To worthily partake of the sacrament, we must strive to forsake all wickedness and live a Christlike life.
The natural man is an enemy to God.
He partakes not of the Spirit and power of the Lord.
Immorality, divorce, injustice, impropriety, and lust may be the results.
The sacrament is one of the principal ordinances by which men are made able to partake of the Holy Spirit and be born again.
The sacramental covenant has two parts yielding one result.
By partaking of the bread, disciples show they are willing to do three things.
By partaking of the water, they covenant that they actually do remember Him.
As they fulfill the conditions, they receive the Holy Spirit.
By worthily partaking of the sacrament, one receives the Holy Spirit, through which the natural man is overcome and the divine nature strengthened.
New Testament Reading Assignment
Chapter 35, “This Do in Remembrance of Me”
D&C 76:118. What enables one to bear the glory of God in the eternal world?
Mosiah 3:19. What must one do to put off the natural man?
Mosiah 27:25, 26. Why must all become “new creatures” unto God?
John 3:8. How does one know when spiritual regeneration is taking place in his life?
3 Nephi 20:7-9. What can be the result of worthily partaking of the sacrament?
John 6:30-51. How is this discourse a prelude to the sacramental bread?
John 4:7-14. How is this discourse a prelude to the sacramental water?
3 Nephi 18:5-12. How does partaking of the wine fulfill the commandment to remember the Lord?
D&C 27:2-15. What qualifies one to partake of the great sacrament at which the Lord will preside?
3 Nephi 18:27-32. What does one lose by unworthily partaking of the sacrament?
Jesus the Christ, pp. 342-43, 613-14. Why did the Lord institute the sacrament?
A of F, pp. 174-76. What is the special blessing that comes from worthily partaking of the sacrament?
Gos. Doc., pp. 201-4. What is the relationship between sacrifice, sacrament, salvation, and the Savior?
Discourses, pp. 170-72. How sacred is the ordinance of sacrament?
M of F, pp. 364-66. What happens to the natural man when he is regenerated?
DS, 2:338-50. What does one lose by refusing to observe the sacrament?
John Taylor, The Mediation and Atonement, pp. 124-25. Of what two things did Christ partake at the Last Supper?
Marion G. Romney in CR, Oct. 1953, pp. 34-36. Of what should we think during the sacrament?
Melvin J. Ballard, “The Sacramental Covenant,” New Era, Jan. 1976, pp. 7-11. A classic discussion on the subject.
Some Suggestions for Presentation
(Note: Paul’s writings are so full of counsel and instruction that there may be several themes the teacher might wish to develop. The suggestions used here deliberately attempt to tie the various themes together to highlight the power that comes by and through worthily partaking of the sacrament. The problems Paul discusses, such as immortality, marriage, things offered to idols, schisms, and the like, are only symptoms. The real problem, which he alludes to in 1 Corinthians 2:14, is that the Corinthians are natural men. The purpose of the sacrament is to assist man in overcoming that which is natural and partake of the divine nature.)
To Always Remember Him
The Savior stated that men are condemned because they believe not “in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:18.) The teacher could point out that names were very important to the ancients because they were descriptions of characteristics or attributes of a person. This is true also of Deity. (See Moses 7:35.) The students could be asked to think of and give the meaning for as many names of the Lord as they can. A list could be placed on the chalkboard. The teacher could then build a discussion around this question: What does it mean to take upon oneself the name of Christ?
The Natural Man Is an Enemy
The concept that the basic problem of the Corinthian saints was that they had not put off the “natural man” could be brought out by use of scriptural analysis. The students could be asked to identify all the problems Paul mentions. The teacher could note that these were only the symptoms of a deadly spiritual illness; then he could ask the students to identify the illness. A discussion could then center around its cure.
The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper
The sacrament is not just a time to begin repenting but to finalize penitence for past sins and to renew covenants. Consider the words of Elder Melvin J. Ballard:
“[We must] go to those against whom we have sinned or transgressed and obtain their forgiveness and then repair 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. It will really enter into our being. You have felt it. I am a witness that there is a spirit attending the administration of the sacrament that warms the soul from head to foot; you feel the wounds of the spirit being healed, and the load being lifted. Comfort and happiness come to the soul that is worthy and truly desirous of partaking of this spiritual food.” (New Era, “The Sacramental Covenant,” Jan. 1976, p. 8.)
As one’s soul is healed he receives spiritual power which can help him overcome other weaknesses and become more Christlike. As he continues to have the Lord’s Spirit always with him, he overcomes the world and partakes of the divine nature.
Those Under the Covenant Must Be Careful Not to Offend the Weak in the Faith
In 1 Corinthians 8 Paul teaches a concept built on charity, or the “pure love of Christ.” It is, in essence, that there are some things which one could do which are not wrong but which should be avoided because of what they might connote to another. This idea could be taught by using the example of a mythical Mormon named Mark Taylor. The students could respond to the question How would Mark act differently if he understood what Paul teaches in this chapter? as the teacher presents the following situations:
Event 1: Mark is at the office Christmas party, which he was obligated to attend. Cocktails were being served in martini glasses, but Mark has poured 7-Up rather than alcohol into his glass.
Event 2: Mark was on his way home from work when he passed the theater at which an X-rated movie was being shown. He recognized Carol Jones, a neighbor and friend, working in the box office. He stopped to say hello.
Event 3: Mark has stopped off at the liquor store to see if he can find some boxes to help his brother pack in preparation for going away to school.
Event 4: Mark has gone to the adult magazine shop to pick up a copy of U.S. News and World Report for his father.