Nine-year-old Brian had just returned from the baptism of his friend Jeremy. “I wish I could be baptized again, Mom,” he said as he visited with his mother in the kitchen.
“Baptized again? Why?”
“Jeremy is lucky. He is clean because he hasn’t made any mistakes since he was baptized. I wish I could be baptized again.”
Mom was surprised. They had had a family home evening about baptism and renewing the baptismal covenants by partaking of the sacrament. Brian had also learned about baptism in Primary. But it seemed that he still didn’t understand some things. …
She sat down with him at the kitchen table. “Brian, you know that each time we partake of the sacrament, we renew our covenants with the Lord. I know that you listen carefully to the sacrament prayers. What are the sacred promises we make?”
“Well, we promise to take Jesus’ name upon us. I think that that means that we promise to not do anything that would bring shame or dishonor to His name.”
“That’s right. What else do we promise?”
Brian reviewed the words of the prayers in his mind. “That we will always remember Him and keep His commandments.”
“Good. What are some ways in which we can always remember Him?”
“Sister Cassler taught us in Primary that we can ask ourselves, ‘What would Jesus want me to do?’ whenever we have a choice to make. I know that that works, because it helped me to be patient with Jenny when she broke my toy car the other day.”
“I’m pleased that you were such a loving big brother. When you are kind and patient, you show that you remember Jesus and are keeping His commandments. He taught that we should partake of the sacrament in remembrance of Him. And as we do, we gain a remission of our sins. Remission is a big word. In this case, it means that we are forgiven for the mistakes we make, if we are truly sorry for them and sincerely try to not repeat them. Before we partake of the sacrament, we should prepare ourselves spiritually. We can do that by correcting the mistakes we have made. That is called repentance.”
“You mean that if I correct the wrong things I have done and try to always remember Jesus and keep His commandments, when I partake of the sacrament, I can be just as clean as when I was baptized?”
“Yes, indeed.” Mom smiled. “We can be washed clean through obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The sacrament is one of those ordinances. We don’t need to be perfect before partaking of the sacrament, but we must be sincerely repenting of the things we have done wrong. During the sacrament service, we think of the Savior and all that He has done for us. We sing a hymn before the sacrament is blessed, which helps us to feel reverent and to remember Him. As it is passed, we can review the things we have done in the past week and look for ways to improve. Partaking worthily of the sacrament brings the blessing that our Heavenly Father promises us at baptism—to always have His Spirit to be with us.”
“So I don’t need to be baptized again! I can be clean again each week as I worthily partake of the sacrament. The sacrament helps me remember my baptismal covenant. Thanks, Mom!”
With a big smile and a hug for Brian, Mom replied, “We can show our thanks to the Savior, Jesus Christ, by keeping our baptismal covenant and partaking worthily of the sacrament each week.”
To read the message on page 13, take a thin piece of paper and trace the lines in Part 2. Then place your tracing over the unfinished words in Part 1. When you have solved the puzzle, find an important promise from Jesus Christ in 3 Nephi 18:7. Using the last sentence in that verse, make a puzzle of your own by tracing all the straight lines in the words for the second part, then tracing all the curved lines for the first part. Choose other messages from the scriptures about the sacrament—for example, Moroni 6:6 and Doctrine and Covenants 59:9—and make more puzzles. Share these puzzles and their important messages with your family.
(Note: CS = Children’s Songbook)
1. Show a picture of the Last Supper and invite the children to share what they know about it. Have them turn to Luke 22:19; read the verse aloud together. Have them keep their scriptures open and, while the music leader sings it, watch for words in “The Sacrament” (CS, p. 72) that are the same as in the scripture (“This do in remembrance of me”). When the children identify the words, have the music leader sing the last 2 phrases again, then have the children sing it with her.
Have the children sing the last 2 phrases again. Point out that in the second phrase, there is a pause in the singing, even though the piano keeps playing, and the melody goes up. Suggest that there is something special we can do while we pause: We can think of things that we remember about the Savior. Ask what pictures come to their minds as they remember Him. Have them sing the last 2 phrases again, this time picturing Jesus in their minds during the pause. Tell them that they can picture Him each time they take the sacrament.
When we are baptized, we promise to remember Jesus and keep His commandments. He knew that we would need help to keep that promise, and the sacrament helps us do it. And just as the last 2 phrases of “The Sacrament” repeats those important words, Jesus repeated His instructions about the sacrament. Divide the children into 3 groups. Give each group one of the following sets of references and have them discover in those scriptures when, where, and to whom the Savior repeated His instructions about the sacrament. Then have each group report. Sets:
Discuss what they have learned. Have the music leader sing the first 2 phrases of “The Sacrament”; have the children join in on the last 2 phrases. Have the music leader complete teaching the song, and invite the children to share it in their family home evenings. Help them memorize Luke 22:19, and conclude with your testimony of how the sacrament helps you remember Jesus.
2. Have the children make a large mural depicting the 3 instances when Jesus Christ gave instructions concerning the sacrament (see Idea 1, above), and display it in the Primary room during the month. Or, each child could draw a picture, with all of the pictures being mounted on a long sheet of butcher paper or newsprint. As the children take turns at the mural, those not drawing could gather around the music leader and sing (see “Sacrament” in the CS Topics index). The children might also make a drawing to share in their family home evenings.
3. Display the picture of the Last Supper. Say that after Jesus and His disciples had finished supper and the sacrament, they sang a hymn. Singing is an important way we can show our love for Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. Sing songs about Jesus from the CS (see the Topics index). Have the children look up scriptures references after each song, and discuss them. Explain that these songs are poems set to music. Invite the children to write their own verses about their feelings for the Savior. For examples, see Our Creative Friends in the July 1997 (p. 45), Apr. 1996 (pp. 44–55), and Apr. 1995 (pp. 12–13) issues of the Friend. The children could illustrate their poems with pictures or with designs around the borders of their papers. These could be displayed in the Primary room or presented to the bishop as a gift from the children.
4. For younger children: Display the picture of the Last Supper. Let the children identify Jesus Christ. Talk with them about who the other men in the picture are and what they are doing. Explain that Jesus knew that He was going to die and that He wanted His friends to remember Him, do the things He had taught them, and remember the promises they made when they were baptized, so He gave them the sacrament. Help the children understand that the sacrament is a sacred ordinance. Explain that we take the sacrament to show that we remember Jesus and want to do the things He taught us. The sacrament helps us remember Him and His love for us. Ask the children to share what they remember about the Savior. Suggest that they can think about these things as the sacrament is being passed. Little children especially respond to songs about Him, so sing many songs as you talk about remembering Him (see the various entries for Jesus in the Topics index of the CS).
5. A sing-a-story would be very effective with younger children: When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, His mother laid Him in a manger. (Sing “Away in a Manger,” CS, pp. 42–43.) Just like all babies, Jesus grew to be a child. (Sing “Jesus Once Was a Little Child,” CS, p. 55.) When He became a man, Jesus began to teach the people. He told them many stories. (Sing “Tell Me the Stories of Jesus,” CS, p. 57.) Jesus taught us what we should do so that we can return and live with Him and Heavenly Father some day. (Sing “Jesus Said Love Everyone,” CS, p. 61.) When we love others, we help them to be happy. We can spread sunshine wherever we go. (Sing “Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam,” CS, pp. 60–61.) We have so many wonderful songs about Jesus that it shouldn’t be hard to think about Him as we partake of the sacrament. (Sing “To Think about Jesus,” CS, p. 71.) See the Gospel Art Kit for pictures to illustrate each song. Bear your testimony of how the sacrament helps you remember the Savior and keep His commandments.
6. For additional Friend resources, see “The Savior’s Love,” Mar. 1997, p. 47; “Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper,” May 1997, IFC; “Bicycle Lesson,” May 1996, pp. 2–5; “Heidi Loves the Sacrament,” Sep. 1996, pp. 34–35; “Natalie’s Promises,” May 1996, pp. 8–10; “Why Brother Graham Closed His Eyes,” Feb. 1996, pp. 2–5; “Lizzie Remembers Jesus,” Apr. 1995, pp. 30–31; Sister Simon’s Saints, May 1995, p. 39. Also, in the Mar. 1997 Ensign, see “Two Soldiers Gathered in His Name,” pp. 66–67.