Lesson 20: Administering the Sacrament

Aaronic Priesthood Manual 2, (1993), 72–73


Objective

Each young man will more fully recognize the sacredness of the sacrament and will administer it reverently.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Materials needed:

    1. a.

      Scriptures for each young man.

    2. b.

      A pencil and paper for each young man.

  2. 2.

    At least one week before you present this lesson, have quorum leaders meet with a member of the bishopric or branch presidency to identify any problems in the way the sacrament is being administered and to decide how to correct the problems. The quorum leaders should be prepared to hold a training session during priesthood meeting to teach the young men how to administer the sacrament properly.

Note

The sacrament is sacred. It was ordained by the Savior. When Aaronic Priesthood holders administer the sacrament, they should keep in mind that they are acting in his behalf. They should be concerned with how Jesus would act and what his attitude would be. Each young man who honors the sacrament and administers it as he knows the Savior would will receive a testimony of its sacredness.

Suggested Lesson Development

Introduction

Story and discussion

Richard had just been ordained a teacher. He was assigned to prepare the sacrament with three other teachers whom he admired as leaders. However, it was a disappointing experience for him. First, the other teachers arrived late, so he had to wait. Then, one of the teachers squirted water at the others instead of reverently filling the cups. Another teacher was placing bread in the trays but kept a piece out to eat. He said he was starving because it was fast Sunday. Another complained about always being assigned to prepare the sacrament. He said he wished he could usher more often and sit in the soft chairs in the foyer.

  • How might this kind of experience affect Richard’s feelings about preparing the sacrament?

  • How might it affect his calling as a teacher?

  • How do you think the Savior feels about such behavior?

The Sacrament Is a Holy Ordinance

Quotation

Bishop John H. Vandenberg explains the sacred nature of the sacrament as follows:

“It was a very sacred ordinance, so sacred that it was instituted by the Master himself. It was prepared and blessed by the Savior during that first sacrament meeting. …

“Today, following the restoration of this ordinance, the Savior has authorized the bearers of his priesthood to act in his stead in blessing these sacred emblems. In this dispensation, young men perform the same function with regard to the sacrament as did the Savior; it is a sacred responsibility and trust” (“The Presiding Bishopric Speaks about the Sacrament,” Improvement Era, Nov. 1967, p. 15).

Thought questions

  • How might you have felt if you had been present at the first sacrament meeting?

  • How do you feel knowing that the Lord has trusted you with the authority to administer his sacrament?

Scriptures and discussion

Have the young men read Matthew 26:17–20, 26–28.

Explain that not long after this, the Savior, as a resurrected being, instituted the sacrament in the Western Hemisphere. Have the young men read 3 Nephi 18:1–3, 6–8, 10–11.

  • What added information about the sacrament does this scripture give?

Quotation

Read the following statement from Elder David O. McKay:

“No more sacred ordinance is administered in the Church of Christ than the administration of the sacrament” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1946, p. 112).

Administering the Sacrament Reverently

Quotation

Ask the young men to evaluate how they administer the sacrament as they listen to the following statement from Elder John H. Groberg:

“You young men must be worthy and realize what a privilege you have to pass the bread and water, the emblems of the Lord’s love for all of us. Think of the blessings you offer—hope, love, joy, forgiveness, freedom, and everlasting life. What a contrast to so many youth who today pass other types of white substances and other kinds of liquids that bring gloom and failure, captivity and death in the deceitful guise of happiness!” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1989, p. 51; or Ensign, May 1989, p. 39).

Discussion

  • Why is it important to be dressed appropriately to administer the sacrament?

  • What should you think about as you administer the sacrament?

  • How might your feelings about the sacrament be affected by the way you administer it?

  • What effect does the way you administer the sacrament have on those who may observe you while you do it?

  • How would the Savior administer the sacrament if he were in your place?

  • Why does the Savior want the sacrament to be administered with order and reverence?

Activity

Pass out paper and a pencil to each young man. Have each write his responses to the following question: How can I increase the reverence with which I administer the sacrament? After the young men are finished writing, list their suggestions on the chalkboard.

Training session

Allow time for the quorum presidency to conduct a short training session on administering the sacrament (see item 2 in “Preparation”). Make sure they discuss how to administer the sacrament reverently and efficiently.

Conclusion

Testimony

Share your testimony of the sacredness of the sacrament. Emphasize again how important the young men’s role in this ordinance is. Express your confidence in them to improve their reverence while administering the sacrament.

Challenge

Have the young men choose one suggestion for improving their sacrament administration, and challenge them to make a special effort to work on that suggestion for the next month.

Have each young man choose one other suggestion he will work on by himself for the next month, and have him write it on his suggestion list.