So as a prospective missionary, I felt the need to make sure I had a testimony of everything that I am going to be teaching about! This may seem silly but I kind of went through a mental checklist like okay do I know the Book of Mormon is true? Do I have a testimony of Joseph Smith? The sacrament came to my mind and I realized that I had always taken the sacrament for granted and I needed to truly come to understand the sacredness of this ordinance which had unfortunately become monotonous in my life. To my surprise, I found out that my topic for today was the sacrament and preparing for this scared ordinance. I was overcome with humility as I realized that this would be a perfect experience and time in my life to study and learn about the sacrament, to help build my testimony of it. I love how the Lord does that. He knows each and every one of us so well.
In a talk entitled “Blessings of the Sacrament,” it says:
Elder Robert D. Hales states that:
Dallin H. Oaks states that singing the sacrament hymns is vital to the sacramental ordinance. These hymns bring the Spirit to the meeting and show our reverence toward it. One of my favorite sacrament hymns as of late is “As Now We Take The Sacrament.” Verse 2 is so powerful:
I love the way this one verse can help us kind of walk through the sacrament. As we review the past week, we realize we have made a lot of mistakes and need to repent. The way we get back to you is by living righteously, so we seek your forgiveness with pure hearts and we are re-committing our lives to you.
I had an institute teacher who gave me such a powerful visual of the sacrament that has stuck with me ever since. The priesthood holders who bless and pass the sacrament represent the Savior. Sister Esplin states that
Then my teacher described that as we ate the bread and drank the water, it was like we were putting all of our troubles and sins and cares into the sacrament tray. Then the priesthood holder, or the Savior, takes this tray full of trials and lays them on the altar of sacrifice and they are covered by a perfectly white cloth, cleansing us. How beautiful is that, that we can lay all of our sadness and troubles upon the Savior and he will wash them away. This is the power of the Atonement. This is the beauty of the sacrament.
Soon after I viewed the Sacrament like this, it took on a whole new meaning for me. It truly strengthened my relationship with the Savior. I could come broken and put all my trials and shortcomings and mistakes and worries into His Hands and in return receive peace and feel of his unconditional love for me. The Savior’s hands are outstretched to each and every one of us, no matter what. He can heal us. He WANTS to heal us!! I have felt this redeeming love and redeeming power.
Elder James J. Hamula in a talk called “The Sacrament and the Atonement,” described that the disciples continued to imply the sacrament into their lives even after the Savior had left. He says,
I would like to end with this powerful witness. Our beloved Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson tells the story of how, as a 12-year-old deacon, he was asked by the bishop to take the sacrament to a sick brother who longed for this blessing. “His gratitude overwhelmed me,” President Monson said. “The Spirit of the Lord came over me. I stood on sacred ground.” I hope I can come to appreciate and love the sacrament as much as this sweet man did.
Through study, fast, prayer, and practice, I have come to love and appreciate the sacred ordinance of the sacrament. I am so humbled and grateful that we have the opportunity to renew our baptismal covenants each week by partaking of the sacrament and in return, having the precious promise of the Spirit of God present in our lives. Our Father in Heaven and his Son, Jesus Christ live, and love each and every one of us. We have a Savior who suffered and died for us, that we may repent and live with him again, with our families. The Book of Mormon is the word of God, I have a testimony of its power and the Spirit it brings into my life. I am so grateful for my family, I would not be here without their love and support. I am so lucky to be able to live with them forever. We have a living prophet who is the literal mouthpiece for our Heavenly Father and he is called of God. Joseph Smith was a prophet and because of him, we have the restored Gospel in our lives, and I have the blessed and sacred opportunity to share it with the people of California. I say these things humbly in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.
|Hannah Williams, Sydney Tanner, Hannah Pointer, Riley Warren|
|Marissa & Kelly Martin|