I love the Primary song that says:
Tell me the stories of Jesus I love to hear,
Things I would ask him to tell me if he were here.
Scenes by the wayside, tales of the sea,
Stories of Jesus, tell them to me.1
I believe that starting a tradition of telling the stories of Jesus to our children and families is a very special way to keep the Sabbath day holy in our homes.
This will surely bring a special spirit to our home and provide our family with examples from the Savior Himself.
I love to study and ponder the life of Him who gave everything for me and for all of us.
I love to read scriptural passages about His sinless life, and after reading the scriptures which tell about the events experienced by Him, I close my eyes and try to visualize these sacred moments that teach me and strengthen me spiritually.
Moments such as:
When He spat on the ground and, having made clay of the spittle, anointed the eyes of the blind man and said unto him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam.” And the man obeyed, “and washed, and came seeing.”2
When He healed the woman who had an issue of blood and had touched the border of His garment, believing that just by touching Him, she would be healed.3
When He appeared to His disciples, walking upon the sea.4
When He went with the disciples on the road to Emmaus and opened the scriptures to their understanding.5
When He appeared to the people in the Americas and told them to come unto Him and thrust their hands into His side and feel the prints of the nails in His hands and His feet so they could know that He was “the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and [had] been slain for the sins of the world.”6
I rejoice in knowing there are parents who tell stories of Christ to their children. I notice this as I watch children in the Church in Primary programs and on other occasions.
I am grateful to my parents for having taught me about Christ. I continue to see how the Savior’s example helps my dear wife and me as we teach our own children.
My heart is filled with joy when I see my children tell stories of Christ to my grandchildren. It reminds me of one of my favorite scriptures, found in 3 John chapter 1, verse 4, which reads, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” And why not our grandchildren as well?
I am grateful for our leaders, who are constantly teaching us about Christ, about keeping the Sabbath day holy, and about partaking of the sacrament each Sunday in honor of the Savior.
The Sabbath and the sacrament become much more enjoyable as we study the stories of Christ. In so doing, we create traditions that build our faith and testimony and also protect our family.
A few weeks ago, while studying again the message President Russell M. Nelson delivered in the last general conference, and while pondering on the Sabbath day, I felt a deep gratitude for the blessing and privilege of being able to partake of the sacrament. For me that is a very solemn, sacred, and spiritual moment. I greatly enjoy sacrament meeting.
While pondering, I carefully studied the blessings on the bread and the water. I read and deeply meditated on the prayers and the ordinance of the sacrament. I began to go over in my mind and in my heart the events that are connected to it.
In a spirit of meditation, I reflected upon that day, the first day of the feast of the unleavened bread, when Jesus, in response to His disciples’ question about where to prepare for the Passover, answered them, saying, “Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples.”7
I tried to visualize in my mind the disciples buying food and carefully preparing the table to eat with Him on that special day: a table for 13 people, Him and His twelve disciples, whom He loved.
I cried as I visualized Christ eating with them and declaring, “Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.”8
I thought about the saddened disciples asking Him, “Lord, is it I?”9
And when Judas asked Him the same question, He replied calmly, “Thou hast said.”10
I could visualize hands that had healed, comforted, edified, and blessed, breaking the bread as Jesus said, “Take, eat; this is my body.”11
Then He took a cup filled with wine and gave thanks and gave the cup to them, saying, “Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”12
In my mind I looked at the disciples one by one and saw in their eyes their concern for the Master, whom they loved greatly. It was as if I were sitting there with them, watching everything. I felt an intense pain in my heart, full of grief and sorrow for what He was about to experience for me.
My soul was filled by an overwhelming desire to be a better person. In repentance and sorrow, I fervently wished to be able to dry and avoid the spilling of at least a few drops of His blood shed in Gethsemane.
I then pondered about the sacrament we partake of every week in remembrance of Him. While doing so, I meditated upon each word of the blessings on the bread and the water. I deeply reflected on the words “and always remember him” in the blessing on the bread and “that they do always remember him” in the blessing on the water.13
I meditated on what it means to always remember Him.
To me it means:
To remember His premortal life, when this beautiful planet was made by Him.14
To remember His humble birth in a manger in Bethlehem of Judea.15
To remember when, even as a 12-year-old boy, He taught and preached to the doctors in the temple.16
To remember when He went aside privately into a desert to prepare for His mortal ministry.17
To remember when He was transfigured before His disciples.18
To remember when He instituted the sacrament at the Last Supper with them.19
To remember when He went to the Garden of Gethsemane and suffered so intensely for our sins, pains, disappointments, and illnesses that He bled from every pore.20
To remember when, after so much suffering and severe pain, even yet in Gethsemane, He was betrayed with a kiss by one of the disciples whom He called a friend.21
To remember when He was taken to Pilate and to Herod for trial.22
To remember when He was humiliated, buffeted, spat upon, smitten, and scourged with a whip that tore His flesh.23
To remember when a crown of thorns was brutally put upon His head.24
To remember that He had to carry His own cross to Golgotha and that He was nailed to the cross there, suffering every physical and spiritual pain.25
To remember that at the cross, with His bowels full of charity, He looked at those who crucified Him and raised His eyes to heaven, pleading, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”26
To remember when He, knowing He had fulfilled His mission of saving all mankind, gave up His spirit into the hands of His Father, our Father.27
Furthermore, meditating on the sacrament prayers and the very special and meaningful words of the prayers reminds me how wonderful it is to receive the promise, during the blessing of the sacrament, that as we always remember Him, we will always have His Spirit with us.29
I believe the Lord has His own timing as to when to give revelation unto us. I understood this very clearly while studying Ecclesiastes 3:1, 6, which reads:
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: …
“A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away.”
The sacrament is also a time for Heavenly Father to teach us about the Atonement of His Beloved Son—our Savior, Jesus Christ—and for us to receive revelation about it. It is a time to “knock, and it shall be opened unto you,”30 to request and to receive this knowledge. It is time for us to reverently ask God for this knowledge. And if we do, I have no doubt that we will receive this knowledge, which will bless our lives beyond measure.
I love the Sabbath, the sacrament, and what they mean. I love the Savior with all my soul. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.