On the night before His Crucifixion, Jesus Christ met with His Apostles and instituted the sacrament. “He took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you” (Luke 22:19–20). After His Resurrection, He instituted the sacrament among the Nephites (see 3 Nephi 18:1–11).
Today we partake of bread and water in remembrance of Jesus Christ’s atoning sacrifice. This ordinance is an essential part of our worship and our spiritual development. The more we ponder its significance, the more sacred it becomes to us.
Remembering the Savior and His Atonement
The sacrament provides an opportunity for you to remember with gratitude the life, ministry, and Atonement of the Son of God.
With broken bread, you remember His body. You can be mindful of His physical suffering—especially His suffering on the cross. You can remember that through His mercy and grace, all people will be resurrected and given the opportunity for eternal life with God.
With a small cup of water, you can remember that the Savior shed His blood in intense spiritual suffering and anguish, beginning in the Garden of Gethsemane. There He said, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death” (Matthew 26:38). Submitting to the will of the Father, He suffered more than we can comprehend: “Blood [came] from every pore, so great [was] his anguish for the wickedness and the abominations of his people” (Mosiah 3:7). You can remember that through the shedding of His blood, Jesus
Renewing Covenants and Promised Blessings
When you partake of the sacrament, you witness to God that your remembrance of His Son will extend beyond the short time of that sacred ordinance. You promise to remember Him always. You witness that you are willing to take upon yourself the name of Jesus Christ and that you will keep His commandments. In partaking of the sacrament and making these commitments, you renew your baptismal covenant (see Mosiah 18:8–10; D&C 20:37).
You receive great blessings when you keep the baptismal covenant. As you renew it, the Lord renews the promised remission of your sins. Cleansed from sin, you are able to “always have his Spirit to be with [you]” (D&C 20:77). The Spirit’s constant companionship is one of the greatest gifts you can receive in mortality. The Spirit will guide you in the paths of righteousness and peace, leading you to eternal life with your Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ.
In preparation for the sacrament each week, take time to examine your life and repent of your sins. You do not need to be perfect in order to partake of the sacrament, but you should have a spirit of humility and repentance in your heart. Every week you should prepare for that sacred ordinance with a broken heart and a contrite spirit (see 3 Nephi 9:20).
If you approach the sacrament with the reverence and solemnity it deserves, it becomes a weekly opportunity for introspection, repentance, and rededication—a source of strength and a constant reminder of the Savior’s Atonement.