Michael, KGF Branch, India Bangalore District
When I was an Investigator in the church I actually wasn’t able to partake the sacrament but after getting baptized I tried and managed to partake of the sacrament without knowing what it was meant for, but later on as days went by I started to learn the real meaning. Though, I felt at that time that it was a bit complicated and really hard to understand the symbolism of Christ’s sacrifice, now I am able to understand the meaning of sacrament. I am able to relate the atonement with the sacrament.
“How small a sip of water,
How tiny a crust of bread,
Yet in these emblems we are lifted,
In them we are fed.
As we think of Jesus
And the sacrifice He gave,
We feel His constant mercy,
His loving power to save.”
(Steven Anderson, Ensign, April 2010: Meditation on the Sacrament)
Sometimes I think of these words by Steven Anderson to remember what sacrament really means? What Jesus Christ stands for? What his sacrifice symbolizes? Though these words are simple when we meditate on sacrament we feel the spirit of forgiveness and are forgiven and renew and remember our covenant that we made during our baptism, not only just remember but we should follow them.
From the Book of Mormon account and the testimonies of New Testament witnesses, we learn several important truths about the sacrament:
1. Jesus gave Himself—His body and His blood—as a ransom for our sins. He sacrificed His life so that we might live again.
2. We eat in remembrance of His body. We remember the Passover, the Last Supper, Gethsemane, Calvary, and the Resurrection.
3. His blood represents a new testament—a new covenant with us. We drink in remembrance of His suffering—a suffering so excruciating that He said it “caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink—
“Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men.” (D&C 19:18–19.)
4. When we act in obedience and always remember Him, we are built on the rock of His gospel. We are blessed as we live His commandments. We must take these emblems in worthiness. Personal worthiness to partake of the sacrament is required before one can receive the Holy Ghost. Moroni admonished, “See that ye partake not of the sacrament of Christ unworthily.” (Mormon 9:29.)
Jesus instructed the Nephites: “Ye shall not suffer any one knowingly to partake of my flesh and blood unworthily, when ye shall minister it;
“For whoso eateth and drinketh my flesh and blood unworthily eateth and drinketh damnation to his soul; therefore if ye know that a man is unworthy to eat and drink of my flesh and blood ye shall forbid him.” (3 Ne. 18:28–29.)
What is meant by worthiness? Worthiness implies all those matters mentioned in the temple interview questions, but there is more expected from Christ’s disciples than just the refraining from sin. There must also be harmony among Christ’s disciples, especially within families.
Worthiness includes forgiving another, not holding grudges, having no hatred in our hearts. To live Christ’s gospel is to have charity for all men. If there are feelings of dislikeness, members should seek reconciliation before partaking of the Sacrament.
5. Jesus promised that He would not partake of these emblems again until He drinks anew with us in the kingdom of His Father (Matt. 26:29). We are fortunate to have latter-day revelation in which the Lord reveals that He will drink the fruit of the vine in a great solemn assembly in the latter times before He returns in glory. On that occasion, He will sit with Moroni, Elias, John the Baptist, Elijah, Joseph of Egypt, Jacob, Isaac, Abraham, Michael (Adam), and Peter, James, and John. Then Jesus adds, “And also with all those whom my Father hath given me out of the world,” which means all the righteous Saints from all the dispensations (D&C 27:5–14, especially verse 14).
When we partake of the sacrament, we witness to God that your remembrance of His Son will extend beyond the short time of that sacred ordinance. We promise to remember Him always. We witness that we are willing to take upon our self the name of Jesus Christ and that we will keep His commandments. In partaking of the sacrament and making these commitments, we renew our baptismal covenant.
We receive great blessings when we keep the baptismal covenant. As we renew it, the Lord renews the promised remission of our sins. Cleansed from sin, we are able to “always have his Spirit to be with us” (D&C 20:77). The Spirit’s constant companionship is one of the greatest gifts we can receive in mortality. The Spirit will guide us in the paths of righteousness and peace, leading us to eternal life with our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ.
I know that Jesus sacrificed himself and that God sacrificed his only begotten son because he loves each one of us; he knows us individually. He knows our needs, troubles we are facing, our pain, and our sorrow. I know that as we strive to be perfect and be worthy we will be blessed for our efforts, in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.