Each young woman will participate with deeper understanding in the ordinance of the sacrament.
Picture 14, The Last Supper (62174), located at the back of the manual.
Prepare to have the class sing
“I Stand All Amazed” (Hymns, no. 193) at the conclusion of the lesson.
If it is available in your area, show “What Think Ye of Christ?” from Family Home Evening Video Supplement 2 (53277).
Assign young women to present any stories, scriptures, or quotations you wish.
Suggested Lesson Development
Some of the events in the life of Jesus are listed below. Ask the young women to try to decide, as they listen to you read them aloud, which one is of greatest importance in their lives.
He was born under miraculous circumstances.
At his baptism, the Holy Ghost descended upon him.
He performed many miracles that testify of his divinity.
He calmed the sea.
He introduced the sacrament at the Last Supper.
He suffered for the sins of all mankind, died, and was resurrected.
He taught the proper way to pray.
He fed five thousand people with a few loaves and fishes.
He prophesied of his second coming.
If you need to, give the following clue and then read the list again. Clue: If the Savior had not done this one thing, none of the others would matter very much.
Help the young women discover that the sixth item (“He suffered for the sins of all mankind, died, and was resurrected”) is the greatest in importance, for without it none of the others would have any lasting value.
The Sacrament Reminds Us of Christ’s Suffering
Display the picture of the Last Supper.
What weekly opportunity do we have because of an event that took place at the Last Supper?
Ask a young woman to read Matthew 26:26–28 aloud.
How can the sacrament remind us of Christ’s suffering for mankind’s sins, his death, and his resurrection?
Explain that our Heavenly Father has great love for us. As the following quotation is read, have the young women listen for evidence of this great love:
“Our Father in heaven … loved his Son, Jesus Christ, better than Abraham ever loved Isaac, for our Father had with him his Son, our Redeemer, in the eternal worlds, faithful and true for ages, standing in a place of trust and honor, and the Father loved him dearly, and yet he allowed this well-beloved Son to descend from his place of glory and honor, where millions did him homage, down to the earth, condescension that is not within the power of man to conceive. He came to receive the insult, the abuse, and the crown of thorns. God heard the cry of his Son in that moment of great grief and agony, in the garden when, it is said, the pores of his body opened and drops of blood stood upon him, and he cried out: ‘Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me.’ …
“… His Father looked on with great grief and agony over his Beloved Son, until there seems to have come a moment when even our Savior cried out in despair, ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’”
How do you think parents would feel watching one of their children suffer as our Heavenly Father watched his Son suffer?
Conclude the quotation:
“In that hour I think I can see our dear Father behind the veil looking upon these dying struggles until even he could not endure it any longer; and, like the mother who bids farewell to her dying child, has to be taken out of the room, so as not to look upon the last struggles, so he bowed his head, and hid in some part of his universe, 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 also had love for us. 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. Without him, without his sacrifice, we would have remained, and we would never have come glorified into his presence. And so this is what it cost, in part, for our Father in Heaven to give the gift of his Son unto men” (Melvin J. Ballard, Sermons and Missionary Services of Melvin Joseph Ballard, comp. Bryant S. Hinckley [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1949], pp. 153–55).
Explain that the sacrament helps to increase our appreciation to our Heavenly Father for the gift of his beloved Son. We also remember the Savior and learn to appreciate his sacrifice and suffering.
Each Young Woman Should Remember the Covenants She Has Made
Explain that the sacrament is a weekly reminder of what the Lord has done for us and what we covenant to do to return to his presence.
Ask the young women to review the covenants they make each time they partake of the sacrament. (Take upon us the name of Christ, always remember him, keep his commandments; see Doctrine and Covenants 20:77, 79.)
Remind the young women that by partaking of the sacrament, worthy Saints renew the covenant they made in the waters of baptism.
Have the class turn to Mosiah 18, and ask a young woman to read verses 8 to 10. Discuss the covenants we make at baptism, the same covenants made by these Saints at the Waters of Mormon. You may wish to list these on the chalkboard.
Melvin J. Ballard, a former Apostle, related his feelings about taking the sacrament and standing as a witness of God:
“I need the sacrament. I need to renew my covenant every week. I need the blessing that comes with and through it. I know that what I am talking about is true. I bear witness to you that I know that the Lord lives. I know that He has made this sacrifice and this atonement. He has given me a foretaste of these things. …
“I know that He lives, and I know that through Him men must find their salvation, and that we cannot ignore this blessed offering that He has given us as the means of our spiritual growth to prepare us to come to Him and be justified. …
“Go to the sacrament table. Ah, that is a blessed privilege that I now rejoice in, and I would be ashamed, I know, … to stand in His presence and try to offer any apology or any excuse for not having kept His commandments and honored Him by bearing witness, before the Father and before men, that I believe in Him, and that I take upon me His blessed name, and that I live by and through Him spiritually” (Melvin J. Ballard, Crusader for Righteousness [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966], pp. 138–39).
The Sacrament Service Requires Active Participation
Have the young women read the following scriptures and discuss what each scripture tells us about participation in the sacrament service:
Doctrine and Covenants 59:9 (The sacrament helps us keep ourselves unspotted from the world.)
3 Nephi 9:19–20 (We should no longer sacrifice by the shedding of blood. Our sacrifice should be a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Then we will receive the Holy Ghost.)
John 6:51, 54, 56 (The sacrament can help us be one with Jesus Christ and gain eternal life.)
1 Corinthians 11:29 (We should not partake of the sacrament unworthily.)
Point out that partaking of the sacrament will accomplish nothing if it is merely a passive, thoughtless act. We must actively make covenants with the Lord.
Read the following quotations:
“If we approach the sacrament each week in the attitude of actively bringing a personal, specific offering—a humble promise to conquer a weakness that is separating us from the Savior—the sacrament will take on an infinitely richer meaning in our lives. Our relationship to Christ will grow and deepen as we make and keep such promises, and thereby progress in honoring our sacramental covenants” (W. Cole Durham, Jr., “The Sacrament and Covenant-Making,” Ensign, Jan. 1978, p. 46).
“To make a covenant with the Lord to always keep His commandments is a serious obligation, and to renew that covenant by partaking of the sacrament is equally serious. The solemn moments of thought while the sacrament is being served have great significance. They are moments of self-examination, introspection, self-discernment—a time to reflect and to resolve” (Howard W. Hunter, in Conference Report, Apr. 1977, p. 34; or Ensign, May 1977, p. 25).
What do these brethren suggest we should do during the sacrament service?
Tell the following story:
Throughout Pam’s fifteen years in the Church, she had partaken of the sacrament almost every Sunday. As the tray came by, she took the bread and water just as the people on her left and right were doing. She was almost always quiet and reverent, but she felt that something was missing from the sacrament ordinance.
What was Pam forgetting to do during the sacrament service?
Continue the story:
Pam didn’t realize what she was missing until one Sunday a lesson was given in Sunday School by a very conscientious and prayerful teacher. He carefully explained the purpose of the sacrament and how to prepare for it each week. As Pam listened to the lesson, she suddenly realized that she had never partaken of the sacrament with a repentant heart, praying for forgiveness, or with the thought in mind of renewing covenants that she had made through baptism.
Pam decided to put into practice the next week the things she had learned in that Sunday School lesson. She knew there were some problems in her life that she needed to work on, and even though it was not fast Sunday, she fasted the next Sunday morning. As she partook of the sacrament, she prayed silently that the renewal of her commitments would be acceptable to the Lord. During the entire sacrament service, she kept her mind in tune with her Father in Heaven. She thought of Christ’s suffering and of his love for her. As the sacrament service ended, a wonderful feeling of peace and joy came over Pam and for the first time in her life, she felt the true significance of the sacrament service.
Ask the young women to think of ways they could apply Pam’s experience to their own lives.
Testify to the young women that the sacrament can become a more important and helpful part of their lives. They should prepare themselves in advance, be reverent, listen to the sacrament prayers, think about the Savior’s life and how they can be more like him, and actively examine their own lives and resolve to do better. Also testify to the importance of partaking of the sacrament each Sunday.
Conclude the lesson by singing the song “I Stand All Amazed.”