In the Saturday morning session of October General Conference 2014, Sister Cheryl A. Esplin gave a powerful sermon about the Sacrament [what we call holy communion] which we partake of in our weekly Sunday service. She taught that partaking of the bread and water can become much more than a ritual, but a truly spiritual experience and “a renewal for our souls.”
6 ways the sacrament can be a renewal for the soul each week
1. Listen to the words of the Sacramental prayers
The prayer on the bread, which we partake “in remembrance of the body” of Jesus Christ – read D&C 20:77
The prayer on the water*, which we partake “in remembrance of the blood” of Jesus Christ – read D&C 20:79
*note: Mormons use water in place of wine for the sacrament. If you’re interested, a page detailing why is found here.
2. Covenant to put Jesus Christ first
We must be willing to take upon us the name of Jesus Christ.
“That means we must see ourselves as His. We will put Him first in our lives. We will want what He wants rather than what we want or what the world teaches us to want.”
3. Covenant to “always remember” Jesus Christ.
As we partake of the sacrament, we witness to God that we will remember His Son always, not just during the brief sacrament ordinance. This means that we will constantly look to the Savior’s example and teachings to guide our thoughts, our choices, and our acts.
4. Remember to Keep His Commandments
Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” The sacrament gives us an opportunity for introspection and an opportunity to turn our heart and will to God.
5. Reflect upon the Savior’s redeeming and enabling power through His Atonement.
Many times we only focus on the repentance and redemption side of the Atonement of Christ. However, another part of the Atonement is the ENABLING power that Christ gives to us.
Our wounded souls can be healed and renewed not only because the bread and water remind us of the Savior’s sacrifice of His flesh and blood but because the emblems also remind us that He will always be our “bread of life” and “living water.”
When we have done all that we can do, it is the Spirit of Christ that gives us hope, strengthens us spiritually, physically or emotionally, expands our capacity to learn something difficult, or to serve someone in need.
6. Think of Jesus’ loving arms reaching out to you
“Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me.”3 Nephi 9:13
An Excerpt of Sister Esplin’s Talk
There are so many gifts that Jesus gives us during each day through his enabling power that we may not recognize yet. Partaking of the sacrament weekly allows us to reflect on the gifts and blessings we have received that week, and to recognize the Savior’s hand in our life personally.
You can read or watch Sister Esplin’s entire talk here. – MoSop
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