The sacrament is a sacred priesthood ordinance performed each Sunday. Jesus Christ instituted this ordinance when He was on the earth and restored it in our day through the Prophet Joseph Smith. “The ordinance of the sacrament,” said Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “makes the sacrament meeting the most sacred and important meeting in the Church.”1

The Lord has commanded us to meet together and take the sacrament each Sunday (see D&C 20:75). Aaronic Priesthood holders bless and pass the bread and water to members of the congregation, who take the sacrament in remembrance of the body and blood of Jesus Christ. In doing so, they recommit to live the covenants they made with God when they were baptized. Specifically, they promise to always remember Jesus Christ, to take His name upon them, and to keep His commandments (see D&C 20:77).

Proper preparation to take the sacrament includes repenting, desiring to follow the Savior, and having a “broken heart and a contrite spirit” (3 Nephi 9:20). Taking the sacrament is a weekly opportunity for introspection and rededication. Reverence and prayer enhance the experience. Individuals who have committed serious sins should not take the sacrament until they have repented, including confessing to their bishop or branch president (see 3 Nephi 18:28–30).

Worthily partaking of the sacrament brings great blessings, such as forgiveness of sins, the companionship of the Holy Ghost, and sanctification—being made holy—through the Atonement.

  1. Jesus Christ instituted the sacrament among His Twelve Apostles on the night before His Crucifixion (see Luke 22:19–20).

  2. After His Resurrection, the Savior instituted the sacrament in the Americas (see 3 Nephi 18:1–11).

  3. Holders of the Aaronic Priesthood prepare, bless, and pass the sacrament under the direction of the bishop or branch president.

  4. During sacrament meeting, we concentrate on worship and refrain from behavior that would distract others.

  5. We remember the Savior’s life, example, teachings, and Atonement as we reverently take the sacrament.

Below: The Last Supper, by Simon Dewey; right: The Last Supper, by Carl Heinrich Bloch, used by permission of the National Historic Museum at Frederiksborg in Hillerød, Denmark, may not be copied; painting by Del Parson; photo illustrations by Edwin Redrino, Robert Milne, and Christina Smith

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Note

  1. 1.

    Dallin H. Oaks, “Sacrament Meeting and the Sacrament,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2008, 17.