Viewpoint: Prepare for the Sacrament

Contributed By the Chuch News

  • 23 August 2015

During this year when our Church leaders are asking us to improve our observance of the Sabbath day, may we prepare for and partake of the sacrament, thereby fulfilling His commandments.

Article Highlights

  • We honor the Savior’s example and partake of the sacrament each week during sacrament meeting.
  • Improve Sunday worship by preparing to partake of the sacrament.

“Our whole desire is that throughout the Church, we focus our Sabbath day worship on the Lord.” —Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

On the night before His Crucifixion, Jesus Christ met with His Apostles and instituted the sacrament.

“And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.

“Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you” (Luke 22:19–20).

After His Resurrection, Jesus visited the Nephites and repeated the sacred ordinance.

“And it came to pass that Jesus commanded his disciples that they should bring forth some bread and wine unto him. … He took of the bread and brake and blessed it; and he gave unto the disciples and commanded that they should eat” (3 Nephi 18:1, 3).

Then He gave them specific direction:

“And this shall ye always observe to do, even as I have done, even as I have broken bread and blessed it and given it unto you.

“And this shall ye do in remembrance of my body, which I have shown unto you. And it shall be a testimony unto the Father that ye do always remember me. And if ye do always remember me ye shall have my Spirit to be with you” (3 Nephi 18:6–7).

Jesus then commanded His disciples that they should take of the wine of the cup and drink of it.

“And this shall ye always do to those who repent and are baptized in my name; and ye shall do it in remembrance of my blood, which I have shed for you, that ye may witness unto the Father that ye do always remember me. And if ye do always remember me ye shall have my Spirit to be with you” (3 Nephi 18:11).

As Latter-day Saints we still honor the Savior’s example and partake of the sacrament each week during sacrament meeting.

As Latter-day Saints we still honor the Savior’s example and partake of the sacrament each week during sacrament meeting.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said during his October 2008 general conference address that the ordinance of the sacrament makes the sacrament meeting the most sacred and important meeting in the Church.

“How can we have the Spirit of the Lord to guide our choices?” asked Elder Oaks. “We need to qualify for the cleansing power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We do this by keeping His commandment to come to Him with a broken heart and a contrite spirit and in that wonderful weekly meeting partake of the emblems of the sacrament and make the covenants that qualify us for the precious promise that we will always have His Spirit to be with us.”

Because of the importance of the sacrament, Church leaders are urging Latter-day Saints around the world to improve their observance of the Sabbath day. In local and regional leadership training meetings this year, leaders are receiving instruction on the topic of “strengthening faith in God by observing the Sabbath day with greater purpose.”

Training on improving Sabbath day worship and gospel learning within families was given to General Authorities, Area Seventies, and general auxiliary presidencies during the week of last April’s general conference. That training is now being extended to the level of local congregations as trainings occur throughout the year.

“Our whole desire is that throughout the Church, we focus our Sabbath day worship on the Lord,” said Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

Because of the importance of the sacrament, Church leaders are urging Latter-day Saints around the world to improve their observance of the Sabbath day.

Elder Ballard said Church leaders feel so strongly about the importance of Sabbath worship and the sacrament that the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles appointed a committee that includes four Apostles and the Presidency of the Seventy to focus on the issue (see http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/church-leaders-call-for-better-observance-of-sabbath-day).

One way Latter-day Saints can improve their Sunday worship is to prepare themselves and their families to partake of the sacrament.

Elder David B. Haight, a late member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, taught during his October 1989 general conference address that Latter-day Saints’ most valuable worship experience in the sacrament meeting is the sacred ordinance of the sacrament, “for it provides the opportunity to focus our minds and hearts upon the Savior and His sacrifice. …

“Worthy partakers of the sacrament are in harmony with the Lord and put themselves under covenant with Him to always remember His sacrifice for the sins of the world, to take upon them the name of Christ and to always remember Him, and to keep His commandments. The Savior covenants that we who do so shall have His Spirit to be with us and that, if faithful to the end, we may inherit eternal life.”

One way Latter-day Saints can improve their Sunday worship is to prepare themselves and their families to partake of the sacrament.

Speaking in the Salt Lake Eagle Gate Stake on September 17, 1995, President Gordon B. Hinckley said as Latter-day Saints partake of the sacrament they all stand on a level plane before the Lord. “Each is accountable for what he does as he renews his covenants with the Lord in that magnificent and beautiful and simple ordinance of the gospel which carries with it such tremendous meaning,” he said.

The Lord said in modern revelation that partaking of the sacrament allows Him to guide us.

“And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day;

“For verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors, and to pay thy devotions unto the Most High” (D&C 59:9–10).

It was the same lesson Jesus taught His disciples in the New World after His Resurrection. After His disciples had partaken of the sacrament, He said, “Blessed are ye for this thing which ye have done, for this is fulfilling my commandments, and this doth witness unto the Father that ye are willing to do that which I have commanded you” (3 Nephi 18:10).

We, as modern disciples of the Savior, have the same promise.

During this year when our Church leaders are asking us to improve our observance of the Sabbath day, may we prepare for and partake of the sacrament, thereby fulfilling His commandments.