Lesson 21: In Remembrance

Preparing for Exaltation: Teacher’s Manual, (1998), 116–21


Purpose

To help class members understand the meaning of the sacrament and to encourage them to partake of the sacrament worthily.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Prayerfully study 1 Corinthians 11:28–30; 3 Nephi 18:1–11; 3 Nephi 20:8–9; Doctrine and Covenants 20:37, 75, 77, 79; 27:1–4.

  2. 2.

    Materials needed:

    1. a.

      The pictures Blessing the Sacrament (62343; Gospel Art Picture Kit 603); Passing the Sacrament (62021; Gospel Art Picture Kit 604); and Jesus Praying in Gethsemane (picture 4 in the picture section of the manual; 62175; Gospel Art Picture Kit 227).

    2. b.

      A set of scriptures and a scripture marking pencil for each class member. Continue to encourage class members to bring their own scriptures to class each week.

Note to the teacher

The sacrament is one of the most important and sacred ordinances of the Church. In partaking of the sacrament we remember our Savior and recommit ourselves to the promises we made at baptism. We take the sacrament so often that sometimes we may forget its significance. Encourage class members to guard against this by preparing always to be worthy to partake of the sacrament and receive the constant companionship of the Spirit.

Suggested Lesson Development

We Must Remember the Importance of the Sacrament

Discussion

Write In Remembrance on the chalkboard, and tell class members that it is the title of the lesson.

  • What do you think the topic of the lesson is?

Allow class members a few guesses about the topic of the lesson. If after a few tries they have not given the correct answer, tell them that the lesson is about the sacrament.

Display the pictures Blessing the Sacrament and Passing the Sacrament.

Quotation and discussion

State that many of us have partaken of the sacrament hundreds of times in our lives. When something is repeated this often we sometimes forget its importance.

Read the following statement by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:

“With so very much at stake, [the sacrament] should be taken more seriously than it sometimes is. It should be a powerful, reverent, reflective moment. It should encourage spiritual feelings and impressions. As such it should not be rushed. It is not something to ‘get over’ so that the real purpose of a sacrament meeting can be pursued. This is the real purpose of the meeting. And everything that is said or sung or prayed in those services should be consistent with the grandeur of this sacred ordinance” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1995, 89; or Ensign, Nov. 1995, 68).

  • Why is the sacrament more important than the announcements, talks, and hymns at sacrament meeting?

  • Why do we partake of the sacrament each week?

Write class members’ responses on the chalkboard.

Have class members think back to the last time they partook of the sacrament. Ask them to think silently about the answers to the following questions:

  • What are some of the things you thought about the last time you partook of the sacrament? Did those thoughts help you draw nearer to the Savior, or did they distract you from the real purpose of the sacrament?

We Partake of the Sacrament to Remember the Savior’s Atonement

Scripture discussion

  • Why would a lesson about the sacrament be called “In Remembrance”?

Have class members read and mark Doctrine and Covenants 20:77, 79.

  • What does the sacramental bread represent? What does the sacramental water represent? Why is it important to remember the body and blood of the Savior?

Note to the teacher

If class members ask questions about the use of the word wine in verse 77, explain that when Joseph Smith received the revelation found in section 20, wine was used in the sacramental service. Later the Lord revealed to Joseph Smith that water should be used (see D&C 27:1–4).

Quotation

Display the picture Jesus Praying in Gethsemane.

Testify that Heavenly Father loved us enough to send his Son to atone for our sins. Share the following statement by Elder Melvin J. Ballard, who was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, to show how the sacrament reminds us of that love and to show why we should remember the Savior’s Atonement when we partake of the sacrament:

“It is written in the scriptures that God so loved the world that he gave his Only Begotten Son to die for the world, that whosoever believeth on him … and keepeth his commandments, shall be saved. But this [sacrifice] did not cost us very much—freely given are all these glorious privileges. …

“… While we give nothing, perhaps, for this atonement and this sacrifice, nevertheless, it has cost someone something, and I love to contemplate what it cost our Father in heaven to give us the gift of his beloved Son, … who so loved the world that he laid his life down to redeem the world, to save us and to feed us spiritually while we walk in this life, and prepare us to go and dwell with him in the eternal worlds. …

“Our Father in heaven … loved his Son Jesus Christ, … for [he] had with him his Son, our Redeemer, in the eternal worlds, faithful and true for ages. … God heard the cry of his Son in that moment of great grief and agony, in the garden when … he cried out: ‘Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me.’ …

“… He saw that Son condemned, he saw him drag the cross through the streets of Jerusalem and faint under its load. … He saw [Jesus’] body stretched out upon the wooden cross, he saw the cruel nails driven through hands and feet, and the blows that broke the skin, tore the flesh … and let out the life’s blood of his Son. …

“In that hour I think I can see our dear Father, … his great heart almost breaking for the love that he had for his Son. Oh, in that moment when he might have saved his Son, I thank him and praise him that he did not fail us, for he had not only the love of his Son in mind, but he had love for us, and I rejoice that he did not interfere, and that his love for us made it possible for him to endure to look upon the sufferings of his Son and give him finally to us, our Savior and our Redeemer. …

“… My brethren and sisters, … if I only knew how essential it was … that I should receive the spiritual life that comes from that Son, I am sure I would always be present at the sacrament table to do honor to the gift that has come unto us” (“The Sacramental Covenant,” Improvement Era, Oct. 1919, 1028–31).

We Partake of the Sacrament to Renew Our Covenants

Discussion

  • People often say that when we partake of the sacrament we “renew our covenants.” What does this mean?

Make sure class members understand that renew means to make new again and that covenants are promises between us and our Heavenly Father. Explain that the sacrament gives us the chance to renew the covenants we made when we were baptized.

Chalkboard and scripture discussion

Erase the chalkboard. On the left-hand side, list the promises class members mention. Answers should include the following:

We promise to:

  1. 1.

    Take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ.

  2. 2.

    Always remember him.

  3. 3.

    Keep his commandments.

Refer to lesson 13, in which you discussed the baptismal covenant, and have class members review Doctrine and Covenants 20:37.

  • What aspects of this verse are like the promises on the chalkboard?

  1. 1.

    Take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ: “Willing to take upon them the name of Jesus Christ.”

  2. 2.

    Always remember him: “Having a determination to serve him to the end.”

  3. 3.

    Keep his commandments: “Truly manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ.”

  • What is promised to us if we keep the covenants we have made? (See D&C 20:77.)

On the right-hand side of the chalkboard, write Always have his Spirit to be with us.

Referring to the list on the chalkboard, ask the following questions:

  • How will our lives change if we remember Jesus in everything we do?

  • Why is obedience to the commandments necessary for us to have the Holy Ghost with us? Why do we need his constant companionship?

We Must Partake of the Sacrament Worthily

Scripture discussion

Tell class members that when Jesus visited the Nephites after his Resurrection, he taught them about the sacrament. Have class members read 3 Nephi 18:1–11 and mark words they think are important.

  • Which words did you mark? Why are those words important?

  • How many times is the word filled used in these eleven verses? (Four times.) In what way do you think those who partook of the sacrament were filled? (See 3 Nephi 20:8–9. They were filled with the Spirit.) How can we prepare to be filled spiritually when we partake of the sacrament? How can we make partaking of the sacrament each week a more meaningful experience?

  • Why did Jesus call the disciples “blessed” after they had partaken of the sacrament? (See 3 Nephi 18:10.)

Point out that he called them blessed because by taking the sacrament they had witnessed that they were willing to keep the commandments. We make the same commitment when we partake of the sacrament, and we will also be blessed for keeping that commitment.

Explain that the Apostle Paul talked about the importance of partaking of the sacrament worthily. Point out that being worthy to partake of the sacrament does not mean being perfect. To partake of the sacrament worthily, we must be doing our very best to keep the covenants we have made—to take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ, always remember him, and keep the commandments.

Have class members read and mark 1 Corinthians 11:28–30.

  • What are the consequences of partaking of the sacrament unworthily? In what ways might partaking of the sacrament unworthily make us “weak and sickly”?

  • What did Paul say we should do to ensure that we partake of the sacrament worthily? How can we “examine [ourselves]” spiritually?

Quotation

Read the following statement that Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles made to the youth of the Church:

“My dear young friends, I encourage you to take time each week to be by yourself, away from television and the crowd. Have your scriptures with you, and as you read, ponder, and pray, take an honest look at your life. Evaluate where you stand with the promises you have made with Heavenly Father. If you have a problem, talk it over with the Lord in earnest and humble prayer. Counsel with your parents; they will help you. Your bishop and your Young Men and Young Women adult leaders will help. They love you and want you to be at peace with yourself so you can partake of the sacrament worthily each week. When all is said and done, however, only you know if you are living true to your covenants made with God” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1993, 7; or Ensign, May 1993, 8).

Testimony

Remind class members that the sacrament gives us the chance to review and remake the covenants we made at baptism. Bear your testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and express your gratitude for the sacrament.

Encourage class members to partake of the sacrament worthily and to think about the Savior while partaking of the sacrament.

Enrichment Activities

You may want to use one or more of these activities during the lesson.

  1. 1.

    Sing or read the words to a sacrament hymn (Hymns, nos. 169–196).

    • Why do you think we sing only certain hymns before the sacrament? What is special about sacrament hymns?

    • What is the purpose of singing sacrament hymns? (To answer this question, you may want to refer back to the statement by Elder Holland in the first section of the lesson.)

  2. 2.

    Invite a deacon in the class to share what it means to him to pass the sacrament. Then discuss the following questions (you may want to arrange for a small group of class members to have a panel discussion on these questions):

    • What can young men do to show reverence and respect as they pass the sacrament?

    • What can young women do to make partaking of the sacrament an uplifting experience for themselves and others?

  3. 3.

    Read the following quotation:

    “While very young … I recall telling a dear Sunday School teacher that I was not going to sacrament meeting any more because it was boring and dry. [The teacher] looked at me and said, ‘Don’t you ever let me hear you say that again! God has invited you to that meeting to partake of the emblems of Jesus Christ’s suffering and of his gift to you. You are very privileged to be invited. If you take the right spirit with you to meeting, you will always bring something good away with you’” (LaRue C. Longden, “God Has Invited You,” in Leon R. Hartshorn, comp., Remarkable Stories from the Lives of Latter-day Saint Women, 2 vols. [1973–75], 1:97–98).

    • How would sacrament meeting be different if we remembered the words of this Sunday School teacher? How would we be different if we remembered these words?