Lesson 3: Administering the Sacrament

Aaronic Priesthood Manual 1, (2002), 7–10


Objective

Each young man will become more reverent and spiritual when administering the sacrament and will better understand its sacred nature.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Materials needed:

    1. a.

      Scriptures for each young man.

    2. b.

      Picture 1, Last Supper (62174); and picture 2, Baptismal Font (62031).

    3. c.

      Pencils for marking scriptures.

    4. d.

      Two sacrament trays: one for bread, one for water.

  2. 2.

    Invite the bishop or one of his counselors to discuss with the young men the importance of administering the sacrament reverently.

Suggested Lesson Development

The Importance of the Sacrament

Picture and discussion

Display the picture of a baptismal font, and have a sacrament tray for both the bread and water on the table at the beginning of the class period.

  • What do the sacrament and baptism have in common? (When we are baptized, we make a covenant or promise. Each time we partake of the sacrament, we renew that covenant.)

Scripture and discussion

To help the young men remember the promises they made at baptism, have a member of the quorum read Mosiah 18:10 as the others follow along in their scriptures.

  • What promise do we make at baptism? (To serve the Lord and keep his commandments.)

  • What does the Lord promise us in return? (We can have his Spirit with us.)

Remind the young men that each time we partake of the sacrament, we promise the Lord again that we will remember him and keep his commandments so that his Spirit may be with us.

Scripture, chalkboard, and discussion

Have a young man read Moroni 4:3 and Moroni 5:2. Have the young men mark these passages in their scriptures.

  • How should we renew our covenants when we partake of the sacrament?

List on the chalkboard:  

The Meaning of the Sacrament

Object lesson

Refer to the sacrament trays.

  • What are these trays used for?

Accept the young men’s responses. Emphasize that they are used in fulfilling our priesthood assignment to pass the sacrament. Indicate in the discussion that even though the trays are used in the passing of the sacrament, they do not have any particular meaning by themselves.

  • What do these trays need to have meaning? (Bread and water.)

Scripture and discussion

Have someone read 1 Corinthians 11:23–25 while the others follow and mark their scriptures.

  • What does the bread represent?

Make sure the young men understand that the bread represents the Savior’s body, which he sacrificed for us.

Discussion

  • What does the water represent?

In the discussion, emphasize that the water represents the Savior’s blood. Discuss or explain in detail this great suffering as Luke describes it (see Luke 22:39–46). Emphasize that Jesus suffered for our sins.

Explain that because Jesus suffered for our sins in the Garden of Gethsemane, he made it possible for us to be forgiven. He provided a way for us to repent and to correct our wrongdoings.

Briefly discuss the Crucifixion and the Resurrection. Explain that a marvelous event had taken place. Jesus, who had died, was alive. His spirit had reunited with his body. He looked the same, yet he was different. His body had been changed. Jesus would never die again, but would live forever. This was the first time that anyone on this earth had been resurrected. Jesus’ resurrection made it possible for all the people who have ever lived upon the earth or who ever will live upon the earth to live again after they die. Jesus gave us this very precious gift and opportunity.

Point out that the sacrament is as sacred today as when it was first administered.

Bear your testimony of the importance of the sacrament in your life.

Jesus Passed the Sacrament

Picture and discussion

Show the picture of the Last Supper.

Explain that before this meeting, the Savior knew that his great suffering and sacrifice were but a few hours away, so he gathered around him the Apostles who had served with him for the three years of his ministry. He wanted to share these last moments with them.

Scripture and discussion

Have a young man read Luke 22:19–20 while the others follow along and mark their scriptures.

What did the Savior do at this meeting? (He introduced the sacrament.)

Emphasize to the young men that this picture depicts the first time the sacrament was passed. Emphasize also that Jesus himself prepared, blessed, and passed the sacrament.

Help the young men to realize that the Savior has given those who hold the priesthood the privilege of acting in his behalf in preparing, blessing, and passing these sacred emblems of bread and water.

Quotation

Have a quorum member read what Bishop John H. Vandenberg, who was a Presiding Bishop of the Church, said about this responsibility.

“You young men who bear this responsibility, do you administer, prepare, and pass the sacrament with the thought in mind that you are literally performing the same functions as the Savior did? And does this thought assist you deacons in keeping reverent throughout sacrament meeting, and in passing the sacrament with dignity and respect?” (Improvement Era, Nov. 1967, p. 15).

  • How does it make you feel to know that you are actually performing the same ordinance that the Savior performed?

As the young men discuss this, emphasize again the great, sacred privilege and honor they have to serve the Lord by passing the sacrament.

Passing the Sacrament Respectfully

Have the bishop or one of his counselors conduct this part of the lesson, if possible. You may want to have the bishopric give this part as a separate lesson on a subsequent Sunday.

Chalkboard and discussion

  • What can you do to make the sacrament a more sacred experience?

Help every young man to see that by properly passing the sacrament, he can help people remember Christ’s suffering and renew their covenants with Heavenly Father. List on the chalkboard the young men’s specific suggestions for making sacrament meeting more spiritual and meaningful to all who attend.

Possible suggestions might include:

  1. 1.

    Think about the Savior and his sacrifice.

  2. 2.

    Listen carefully to the sacrament prayers.

  3. 3.

    Think deeply concerning the meaning of the sacrament. Sing the sacrament hymn and think of the words. Listen to the sacrament prayers. Review scriptures.

  4. 4.

    Conduct yourself with dignity and reverence.

  5. 5.

    Dress properly, as defined by your local priesthood leaders.

  6. 6.

    Always have clean hands when passing the sacrament.

  7. 7.

    Do not have candy or gum in your mouth.

  8. 8.

    Do not talk, whisper, or giggle.

  9. 9.

    Learn how to pass the sacrament properly.

  10. 10.

    Remember you are acting for Christ.

  11. 11.

    Think of uplifting things, such as the sacrament prayers, words to a sacrament hymn, scriptures, and teachings of the Savior, even though you may be busy passing the sacrament.

Story

Read the following story about one young man who helped to make passing the sacrament a more sacred experience (you may substitute an appropriate personal story):

Bob served the sacrament bread to Brother Moore and watched as the tray was passed along the row. At the other end, James hooked two fingers under the handle and swung it over Sister Martin’s head to start it on the next row. Bob was bothered by the casual way that James handled the sacrament, but reasoned that James was a new deacon. What’s more, he had never had a Grandpa Peterson.

When the sacrament was over, Bob walked down the aisle to join his family. It was always hard for him to return, look down the bench, and not see Grandpa Peterson. It had been six months since Grandpa had died, but Bob still expected to find that familiar face next to Grandma’s in the place Grandpa had occupied every Sunday for as long as Bob could remember. Even though the row was nearly full, it always seemed nearly empty to Bob without Grandpa.

Everything seemed different now that Grandpa was gone. Bob thought about the time just after he was ordained a deacon that he and Grandpa had pulled the dead leaves out of the flower bed. They had been talking about special moments all afternoon when Grandpa got on the subject of the Savior and his gifts to us. Then Grandpa stopped raking, stood up straight, and said, “Bob, when you pass the sacrament, I want you to always remember what the articles represent that you are carrying. Don’t just hang the tray there at the end of your fingers, but hold it up. Carry it with pride and honor.”

Bob’s mind drifted back to the here and now of the chapel. The bishop had just finished bearing his testimony and was inviting the congregation to do the same. Suddenly Bob had a tremendous desire to help James and the other deacons who had never known Grandpa Peterson to understand the importance of their calling.

Even though he had not borne his testimony for several years, he walked to the front with confidence as he had seen his grandfather do so many times before. Arriving at the podium, he spoke into the microphone:

“I would especially like to bear my testimony today to the new deacons so that they can know how important the work they are doing is.” Bob then went on to explain to them the talk his grandfather had shared with him. “Remember what that sacrament represents,” he finished. “Hold that tray up. Carry it with pride and honor.”

Bob then returned to his seat, and this time the row seemed a little less empty than before.

“Remember, carry it with pride and honor.”

Conclusion

Conclude by reminding the young men that it is not only their responsibility to pass the sacrament, but also to teach by their example the meaning of the sacrament. Remind the young men that the younger boys preparing for the priesthood are watching them.

Challenge and testimony

Challenge the young men to strive to radiate the proper spirit so that others who see them might be reminded of the Savior’s great sacrifice. Bear your testimony of the importance of participating worthily and reverently in the ordinance of the sacrament.

It may be appropriate to arrange a time to take the young men into the chapel and instruct them in properly passing the sacrament.

Make a specific challenge for the young men to help them pass the sacrament more appropriately. Challenge each young man to make a specific goal to make the sacrament more meaningful to himself.