Lesson 41: The Sacrament: In Remembrance of Him

Aaronic Priesthood Manual 2, (1993), 155–57


Objective

Each young man will participate thoughtfully and worthily in the ordinance of the sacrament.

Preparation

Materials needed:

  1. 1.

    Scriptures for each young man.

  2. 2.

    Pencils for marking scriptures.

Note

Because we partake of the sacrament every week, we sometimes lose sight of its sacredness. Through this lesson, impress upon the young men the significance of this holy ordinance.

Suggested Lesson Development

Introduction

Scripture and discussion

Have the young men read John 1:29. Explain that the firstborn lamb was offered as a sacrifice to the Lord during the days of the Old Testament. Point out that just as the lamb was symbolic of the Savior before his final sacrifice, the sacrament is in remembrance of the sacrifice he made for us.

Have the young men explain what the bread and water symbolize.

The Sacrament Reminds Us of Jesus’ Sacrifice and Our Covenants

Scripture, chalkboard, and discussion

Read Luke 22:19–20.

  • What was the occasion when Jesus instituted the sacrament? (After the Last Supper, just before his suffering in Gethsemane.)

  • Why did Jesus institute the sacrament? (To leave us a tangible reminder of him.)

Summarize the discussion by writing the following words on the chalkboard: The sacrament reminds us of Jesus and his sacrifice for us.

Adviser presentation

Explain that the purpose of the sacrament is twofold: not only is it a reminder of Jesus’ sacrifice, but it is also an opportunity to covenant with the Lord that we will do what he has asked of us. The sacrament prayers mention three specific promises we make.

Scripture, chalkboard, and discussion

Read and underline Doctrine and Covenants 20:77 (or Moroni 4:3).

  • What three things do we “witness,” or promise, that we will do when we take the sacrament?

Write the three promises on the chalkboard.

We promise to—

  1. 1.

    Take upon us the name of Christ.

  2. 2.

    Always remember him.

  3. 3.

    Keep his commandments.

Thought question

  • Do you really try to keep these promises?

Discussion

  • When did you first make these promises? (At baptism.)

Briefly discuss each of the promises, using questions and stories similar to these:

  • What does it mean to take upon us the name of Christ? (To be willing to live by the teachings of Christ at all times and in all places. See Mosiah 5:5–7; 18:8–9.)

  • When we take upon us Christ’s name, what can people expect of us? (That we will try to live by Christ’s teachings and bring honor to him.)

  • What would others think of Christ if they judged him by the way we, as his disciples, act?

Case study

You have just moved into a new neighborhood. A group of boys comes up before school to meet you. The boys introduce themselves and ask about you—about your family, your old school, your interests, your religion.

  • What would you do? Would you be proud to tell them that you belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or would you keep quiet for fear that they might not want to be your friends when they found out your religion?

  • If you honored your promise to take upon yourself Jesus’ name, what would you do?

  • What does it mean to always remember Jesus? (To think often about him and to follow his teachings in our daily lives.)

  • How would always remembering Jesus strengthen us to overcome the temptations of Satan?

Thought question

  • At what times and places did you remember Jesus during the past week?

Discussion

  • What are some things that sometimes distract us from thinking about the Savior during the sacrament?

  • What can we do as we partake of the sacrament to help us concentrate on remembering Jesus? (You may wish to write the answers on the chalkboard. Possible answers include the following: think about Jesus’ life and mission and his great love for us, ponder the symbolism of the sacrament, recall the words and message of the sacrament hymn.)

  • What can we do during the week to keep our promise to remember Jesus? (Study the scriptures, pray, attend seminary and other Church meetings, act as if Jesus were with us, obey his commandments, and show love to our families and others.)

Scriptures and discussion

Read John 14:15. Discuss with the young men why keeping Jesus’ commandments shows our love for him.

  • How would always remembering Jesus make it easier for us to keep his commandments?

Read the blessing on the water (D&C 20:79 or Moroni 5:2). Explain that wine was formerly used for this ordinance (see Doctrine and Covenants 27, section heading and verses 1–2).

  • Which is the only promise that is mentioned in both prayers? (To always remember Jesus.)

  • If we faithfully keep both the spirit and the letter of this promise, how will we act? Will we have to be reminded to keep the other two promises?

The Lord’s Spirit Will Be with Those Who Partake of the Sacrament Worthily

Chalkboard and discussion

  • What does the Lord promise if we keep the covenants we make when we partake of the sacrament? (That we will always have his Spirit with us.)

Add the following to the chalkboard: God promises to give us his Spirit.

  • What differences does it make in your life to have the Lord’s Spirit with you? (We can enjoy such fruits of the Spirit as knowledge, comfort, and guidance.)

  • How can having the Spirit help you live the gospel?

Scripture and discussion

Explain that to receive the constant guidance of the Holy Spirit, it is not enough just to partake of the sacrament. We must do so worthily.

Read 1 Corinthians 11:27–30.

  • What does Paul say about those who take the sacrament unworthily? (He says that they are “guilty of the body and blood” of Christ, that they do it to their own damnation or condemnation.)

  • Does this mean that we have to be perfect to take the sacrament? (No, but we should be striving to live the gospel and should be repenting of any transgressions.)

  • How can we prepare ourselves to partake of the sacrament worthily? (By repenting daily, seeking forgiveness from those we have hurt, and remembering Christ and his sacrifice often. During the sacrament service, we can review in our minds the sacrament prayers and pray for strength to keep our covenants.)

  • The scripture says, “Let a man examine himself.” How would examining our lives frequently make it easier to partake of the sacrament in the right spirit?

  • Why would during the sacrament be a good time to examine our lives?

Quotation

One of the blessings of partaking of the sacrament is that it can renew us spiritually and thus strengthen us to live the gospel more fully. Elder Melvin J. Ballard said:

“I have always looked upon this blessed privilege as the means of spiritual growth, and there is none other quite so fruitful in the achievement of that end as the partaking, worthily, of the sacrament of the Lord’s supper. We eat food to stimulate our physical bodies. Without the partaking of food we would become weak and sickly, and fail physically. It is just as necessary, for our spiritual body, that we should partake of this sacrament and by it obtain spiritual food for our souls. …

“Who is there among us that does not wound his spirit by word, thought, or deed, from Sabbath to Sabbath? We do things for which we are sorry and desire to be forgiven, or we have erred against someone and given injury. … The method to obtain forgiveness is not through rebaptism; … it is to repent of our sins, to go to those against whom we have sinned or transgressed and obtain their forgiveness and then [go] to the sacrament table where, if we have sincerely repented and put ourselves in proper condition, we shall be forgiven, and spiritual healing will come to our souls” (Sermons and Missionary Services of Melvin J. Ballard, comp. Bryant S. Hinckley [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1949], pp. 148–49).

Conclusion

Challenge

Read the following challenge to the young men:

“Young men of the Aaronic Priesthood, you who are charged with the responsibility of the sacrament, study its meaning, its sacredness, and the sacred responsibility that comes with this great privilege” (John H. Vandenberg, “The Presiding Bishop Speaks about the Sacrament,” Improvement Era, Nov. 1967, p. 16).

Testimony

Share your testimony of the sacredness of the sacrament, of the importance of preparing to take the sacrament worthily, and of the blessings that come from worthily partaking of it.

Encourage the young men to memorize the location in the scriptures of the sacrament prayers; the priests will say them often.