Lesson 13

The Baptismal Covenant, the Sabbath, and the Sacrament

“Lesson 13: The Baptismal Covenant, the Sabbath, and the Sacrament,” Teachings and Doctrine of the Book of Mormon Teacher Manual (2015)


Introduction

Through the ordinance of baptism, followers of Jesus Christ covenant to take His name upon them. In this lesson, students will learn that the Book of Mormon teaches that the members of Christ’s Church are to gather together on the Sabbath day and enjoy the sacred privilege of partaking of the sacrament. When we partake of the sacrament, we renew our baptismal covenants and invite the Holy Ghost to be with us.

Background Reading

Suggestions for Teaching

Mosiah 18:8–10; 25:23–24

Taking upon ourselves the name of Christ

Ask a few students to describe something meaningful they remember about their baptisms—for example, the baptismal service, the ordinance itself, or thoughts and feelings they had. Then give students a moment to ponder how well they feel they have kept their baptismal covenants.

Remind students that Alma taught about the baptismal covenant at the Waters of Mormon, and then ask a student to read Mosiah 18:8–10 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what we covenant to do when we are baptized.

On the board, write the following:

When we are baptized, we covenant to …

  • What do we covenant to do when we are baptized? (As students respond, list their answers on the board to complete the doctrinal statement: When we are baptized, we covenant to bear one another’s burdens, stand as witnesses of God, serve Him, and keep His commandments.)

Help students understand the context of the next scripture passage by explaining that after Alma and his people joined with the believers in Zarahemla, Alma established many congregations of believers. Invite a few students to take turns reading from Mosiah 25:23–24 aloud, and ask the class to look for additional insights into our baptismal covenant. After students discuss what they identified, ask:

  • How were the people blessed as a result of being baptized and joining the Church of God? (Help students see the following principle: As we take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ and live accordingly, the Lord will pour out His Spirit upon us.)

  • As you have lived according to your baptismal covenant, how has your life been affected by having the Lord’s Spirit poured out upon you?

Invite students to ponder how their baptismal covenants can strengthen their commitment to be a follower of Jesus Christ in their decisions and actions.

Exodus 31:13, 16–17; Mosiah 18:17, 23–25; Moroni 6:4–6

Worshipping on the Sabbath day

Explain that the Book of Mormon illustrates some of the ways in which members of the Church of Christ are to keep the baptismal covenant.

Assign half of the students to study Mosiah 18:17, 23–25 while the other half studies Moroni 6:4–6. Suggest that students mark words or phrases that describe the worship practices observed by Christ’s followers. Then invite them to share what they identified.

  • What were some reasons that members gathered together often? (Students should identify the following truths: When we become members of Christ’s Church, we are commanded to observe the Sabbath day and keep it holy. As Church members, we are to meet together often to be nourished by the good word of God, to fast, to pray, to strengthen each other, and to partake of the sacrament.)

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

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

“Most people don’t come to church looking merely for a few new gospel facts or to see old friends, though all of that is important. They come seeking a spiritual experience. They want peace. They want their faith fortified and their hope renewed. They want, in short, to be nourished by the good word of God, to be strengthened by the powers of heaven” (“A Teacher Come from God,” Ensign, May 1998, 26).

  • How does gathering together with other Church members on the Sabbath help you to feel “strengthened by the powers of heaven”?

  • What do you do at Church to draw closer to and properly worship Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ?

To help students further understand why Church members are commanded to observe the Sabbath day and keep it holy, invite them to read Exodus 31:13, 16–17 and cross-reference it with Mosiah 18:23.

  • What does it mean that the Sabbath is a “sign” between us and the Lord?

Read the following statement by President Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:

President Russell M. Nelson

“How do we hallow the Sabbath day? In my much younger years, I studied the work of others who had compiled lists of things to do and things not to do on the Sabbath. It wasn’t until later that I learned from the scriptures that my conduct and my attitude on the Sabbath constituted a sign between me and my Heavenly Father. With that understanding, I no longer needed lists of dos and don’ts. When I had to make a decision whether or not an activity was appropriate for the Sabbath, I simply asked myself, ‘What sign do I want to give to God?’ That question made my choices about the Sabbath day crystal clear” (“The Sabbath Is a Delight,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2015, 130).

  • How can asking ourselves “What sign do I want to give to God?” help us to make better choices about what we do on the Sabbath?

  • How do you think your efforts to keep the Sabbath day holy affect the other days of the week?

Invite students to assess their own efforts to keep the Sabbath day holy. Ask them to consider whether their thoughts and actions demonstrate sincere worship of the Father on that day. Invite students to set a specific goal to improve their Sabbath-day worship.

3 Nephi 18:1–11; 20:3–9; Moroni 4:3; 5:2

Partaking of the sacrament

On the board, write the following statement by Elder L. Tom Perry (1922–2015) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (from “As Now We Take the Sacrament,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2006, 39):

“Partaking of the sacrament provides us with a sacred moment in a holy place.” (Elder L. Tom Perry.)

  • How might this idea of “a sacred moment” and “a holy place” influence our thoughts and actions as we partake of the sacrament?

Remind students that the resurrected Jesus Christ instituted the sacrament when He visited the Nephites in Bountiful. Invite several students to take turns reading from 3 Nephi 18:1–11 aloud while the class looks for what the Savior taught about the purpose of the sacrament.

  • What is a principle taught by the Savior about the purpose of the sacrament? (As students respond, write the following principle on the board: As we partake of the sacrament and always remember Jesus Christ, we will have His Spirit to be with us.)

  • What do you do to remember the Savior while partaking of the sacrament and during the rest of the week?

Remind students that Moroni recorded the words that the followers of Jesus Christ used when blessing the sacrament. Consider inviting students to scan the sacrament prayers in Moroni 4:3 and 5:2 and underline phrases that relate to the principle written on the board.

  • What might be the result if we fail to “always remember him”? (Moroni 4:3; 5:2).

Remind students that when Jesus visited the Nephites on the day after He instituted the sacrament, He again administered the ordinance to them. Invite a few students to taking turns reading aloud from 3 Nephi 20:3–9. Ask the class to look for additional blessings that come from partaking of the sacrament.

  • What does it mean that our souls “shall never hunger nor thirst, but shall be filled”?

  • In what ways has partaking of the sacrament satisfied your spiritual hunger and thirst?

  • How might partaking of the sacrament with humility and gratitude help us to better remember the Savior during the rest of the week?

Invite students to consider their behavior during the sacrament service as a student reads aloud the following statement by Elder Dallin H. Oaks:

Elder Dallin H. Oaks

“During sacrament meeting—and especially during the sacrament service—we should concentrate on worship and refrain from all other activities, especially from behavior that could interfere with the worship of others. … Sacrament meeting is not a time for reading books or magazines. Young people, it is not a time for whispered conversations on cell phones or for texting persons at other locations. When we partake of the sacrament, we make a sacred covenant that we will always remember the Savior. How sad to see persons obviously violating that covenant in the very meeting where they are making it” (“Sacrament Meeting and the Sacrament,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2008, 18–19).

As you consider the needs of your students and the promptings of the Spirit, you might read Mark 14:37 with them and point out that one application of this verse is for us to set aside all distractions and give the Lord our full attention each week as we worship in sacrament meeting.

Invite students to consider what they can do to have a more sacred experience when partaking of the sacrament. Ask if any of them would like to share a testimony of the importance of the Sabbath day and the sacrament. Share your testimony that the Lord will bless us with His Spirit as we honor our baptismal covenants and strive to always remember Him.

Student Readings