Elder Clarke Recounts Sacrament Blessings
“It will always be a great sacrament meeting if the sacrament is the center of our worship.” —Elder Don R. Clarke of the Seventy
“We will be blessed as we feel gratitude for the Atonement of Jesus Christ, renew our baptismal covenants, feel forgiveness and receive inspiration from the Holy Ghost as we partake of the sacrament each week,” said Elder Don R. Clarke of the Seventy in his Sunday conference address Sunday afternoon.
When he was a young man, a Church teacher challenged him to write down his thoughts during the sacrament. The weeks progressed and he began directing his thoughts toward the Savior and His Atonement.
“I anxiously looked forward to Sundays, and to the opportunity to partake of the sacrament, as understanding the Savior's Atonement was changing me.”
Elder Clarke suggested five principles for getting the most out of sacrament meeting, what President David O. McKay called “the most important meeting in the Church.”
- Have a feeling of gratitude for the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
A new deacon was warned before he passed the sacrament, “Look out for Brother Schmidt. You may have to wake him up!” He warily approached Brother Schmidt's row only to find him awake and attentive. During the water, however, this young man saw that Brother Schmidt's eyes were closed. Elder Schmidt then looked up and the boy saw tears streaming down the man's cheeks. He vowed to have the same reverence for the sacrament as did Brother Schmidt.
- Remember that we are renewing baptismal covenants.
Elder Clarke said members might want to memorize the prayers to help remember the covenants.
- During the sacrament we can feel forgiven of our sins.
“If we have spent time before sacrament meeting repenting of our sins we can leave sacrament meeting feeling clean and pure,” he said.
- We can receive inspiration for solutions to our problems.
When he was a mission president, Elder Clarke said, he learned from President Henry B. Eyring how to be ready to benefit from a meeting: “We should come with our problems, humble as children ready to learn, and with the desire to help God's children.
”As we humbly come to sacrament meeting we can be blessed to feel impressions for solutions to our daily problems,“ he said.
- Partaking of the sacrament worthily will help us be filled with the Holy Ghost.
When the Savior instituted the sacrament, He promised that the souls of those who partake of the sacrament ”shall never hunger or thirst, but shall be filled.“ The sacramental prayer also promises those who live up to their covenants will always have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost.
”It will always be a great sacrament meeting if the sacrament is the center of our worship. I express my gratitude for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I know He lives.“