Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Sacrament

                                           Two young men in suits stand near a sacrament table with their heads bowed while a third offers the prayer for the sacrament bread.

How is physical birth and baptism alike?

There are several lessons the symbol of birth can teach us.
  • We are clean. The Lord clearly explains when we come out of the water of baptism it is compared to the purity of a newborn baby.
  • It is a greater sacrifice to be baptized than physical birth. Every mother will attest it is a sacrifice to give physical birth, but it is worth it. Just like sacrifices we make to be baptized are worth it.
As we take the sacrament, we know we are renewing the covenants we made at baptism.

Jeffrey R. Holland said in a Bishops note, "A sacrament is one of the ordinances that unite us with God and his limitless powers.  Those special moments of union with God are sacramental moments, such as kneeling at a marriage alter, blessing a newborn baby, or partaking of the emblems of the Lord's Supper.  The sacrament is technically only one of many such moments when we formally take the hand of God and feel his divine power.  These are moments when we quite literally unite our will with God's will, our spirit with his spirit, when communion through the veil comes very real.  At such moments we are not only acknowledge his divinity, but we also quite literally take something of that divinity to ourselves.

Partaking of the sacrament provides us with a sacred moment in a holy place. Sacrifice is essential to salvation. Since the time that Adam and Eve were driven form the Garden of Eden, sacrifice has been a central part of worship.  Until Jesus Christ's Atonement, that sacrifice was performed by shedding the blood of an unblemished animal. But the Atonement did not replace the command to sacrifice. Jesus himself to us, in 3 Nephi 9:20 "Ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit."  Our sacrifice in this manner reminds us of His sacrifice at the alter of Gethsemane.

The Gospel Principles manual explains, "Our willingness to sacrifice is an indication of our devotion to God.  People have always been tried and tested to see if they will put the things of God first in their lives." The sacrament table is our alter of sacrifice, where we can present ourselves, broken and contrite, to be healed and filled with the Holy Ghost".  Proper preparation for a sacrifice includes bringing something to sacrifice.  The ancients would never arrive at the temple without an appropriate animal to place on the altar. Keeping that in mind, Elder Don R. Clarke promises, "If we properly prepare for the sacrament, we can transform our lives."

Elder Melvin J. Ballard said: " I am a witness that there is a spirit attending the administration of the sacrament that warm the soul from head to foot; you feel the wounds of the spirit being healed, and the load being lifted. Comfort and happiness come to the soul that is worthy and truly desirous of partaking of this spiritual food"

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