Can you picture with me the prophet Moroni inscribing the final words of the Book of Mormon on the golden plates? He was alone. He had seen his nation, his people, and his family fall. The land was “one continual round” of war (Mormon 8:8). Yet he had hope, for he had seen our day! And of all the things he could have written, he invited us to remember (see Moroni 10:3).
President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985) was fond of teaching that the most important word in the dictionary could be remember. Because we have made covenants with God, he said, “our greatest need is to remember” them.1
You can find the word remember throughout the scriptures. When Nephi admonished his brothers, often he invited them to remember the Lord’s words and to remember how God had saved their forefathers (see 1 Nephi 15:11, 25; 17:40).
In his great farewell address, King Benjamin used the word remember seven times. He hoped that his people would remember “the greatness of God … and his goodness and long-suffering” toward them (Mosiah 4:11; see also 2:41; 4:28, 30; 5:11–12).
When the Savior instituted the sacrament, He invited His disciples to partake of the emblems “in remembrance” of His sacrifice (Luke 22:19). In every sacrament prayer you and I hear, the word always precedes the word remember (see D&C 20:77, 79).
My message is an invitation, even a plea, to remember. Here are three suggestions about what you could remember each week when you partake of the sacred emblems of the sacrament. I hope they are helpful to you, as they have been to me.
First, remember the Savior. Remember who He was while on earth, how He spoke to others, and how He showed kindness in His acts. Remember whom He spent time with and what He taught. The Savior “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38). He visited the sick. He was committed to doing His Father’s will.
Most of all, we can remember the great price He paid, out of His love for us, to remove the stain of our sins. As we remember Him, our desire to follow Him will grow. We will want to be a little kinder, more forgiving, and more willing to seek the will of God and do it.
It’s hard to think of the Savior—His purity and perfection—without also thinking of how flawed and imperfect we are in comparison. We have made covenants to obey His commandments, yet we frequently fall short of this high standard. But the Savior knew this would happen, which is why He gave us the ordinance of the sacrament.
The sacrament has its roots in the Old Testament practice of offering sacrifices, which included a confession of sin (see Leviticus 5:5). We don’t sacrifice animals anymore, but we can still give up our sins. The scriptures call this a sacrifice of “a broken heart and a contrite spirit” (3 Nephi 9:20). Come to the sacrament with a repentant heart (see D&C 59:12; Moroni 6:2). As you do so, you will obtain forgiveness of sins and you will not stray from the path leading back to God.
As you examine your life during the ordinance of the sacrament, I hope your thoughts center not only on things you have done wrong but also on things you have done right—moments when you have felt that Heavenly Father and the Savior were pleased with you. You may even take a moment during the sacrament to ask God to help you see these things. If you do, I promise you will feel something. You will feel hope.
When I have done this, the Spirit has reassured me that while I’m still far from perfect, I’m better today than I was yesterday. And this gives me confidence that, because of the Savior, I can be even better tomorrow.
Always is a long time, and it implies a lot of focused effort. You know from experience how hard it is to think consciously of one thing all the time. But no matter how well you keep your promise to always remember Him, He always remembers you.
The Savior knows your challenges. He knows what it is like to have the cares of life press upon you. He knows how urgently you need the blessing that comes from always remembering Him and obeying Him—“that [you] may always have his Spirit to be with [you]” (D&C 20:77; emphasis added).
So He welcomes you back to the sacrament table each week, once again offering you the chance to witness before Him that you will always remember Him.