Thinking of Jesus


“During the administration of the sacrament, you should always be thinking of Jesus Christ and what he did for you. It is a time to renew your covenants with him and remember him.” I had been told this so many times before, and yet as simple as it sounded, I had terrible difficulties with it. In all my Sunday School and Primary classes, in Young Women classes and in sacrament meetings, I had been told this over and over again, but still it remained a problem.

When I was younger, I would find myself thinking about the book I was going to color in after the sacrament, the cartoon I had seen yesterday, and what would be on TV when I got home. As I got older, I thought of the new dress I wanted, the boy sitting two seats in front of me, the test I had in school the next day, and a million other things. Once, when I was about eight and trying to be my best after my recent baptism, I tried simply thinking about Jesus and how he had died on the cross for us. It lasted about 30 seconds before I ran out of things to think about. And the water hadn’t even been passed yet! After that I gave up for a while and thought this task impossible.

This continued until one day, while I was singing the sacrament song, I began thinking about the words that I was singing. They really had deep meaning! I decided that I couldn’t fully appreciate the words and their meanings by just singing them, so while I sat waiting for the sacrament to come, I opened the book to the sacrament song we had just sung and began reading. I took each verse one phrase at a time, thought about it, tried to picture it in my mind, and then interpreted it. I went through half the verses during the passing of the bread and saved the rest for the water. If I finished early, I went over it again and tried to get even more meaning out of it.

I liked this new method of keeping my mind on Jesus during the passing of the sacrament, so I continued to do this each week. As this developed into a habit, I no longer had trouble thinking about those things that were appropriate during the sacrament. And it was exciting and easy!

I discovered that many beautiful poetic descriptions were hidden in each song that I had never noticed before. Many times, I found, the author used words and phrases I hadn’t understood by just singing them. But once I went over them a few times, thinking about them deeply, and sometimes even praying, I understood and appreciated the songs that I had so often sung and yet had never bothered to think about.

I have been doing this for several years now, and my love for the Savior has grown each week as I ponder who he was and the sacrifice he made for me. My thoughts turn to him each week automatically as I prepare to renew my covenants with him. I have grown closer to him because of many authors who wrote beautiful hymns in his honor. The time during the administration of the sacrament is no longer wasted on worldly things but is spent thinking of Jesus. It is one of the few times during the week when I sincerely and exclusively think about His sacrifice for me, and I look forward to it each week.

[illustration] Illustrated by Ronald Stucki