I love the sacrament. I look forward to it every Sunday for a lot of different reasons but mainly because the sacrament is my reminder of the promises I’ve made with God.
The way I remember the baptismal covenants I renew when I take the sacrament is by an activity days lesson I found on Pinterest. They basically made treat bags with Take 5 bars and each letter of TAKE helped the girls remember the covenants they are reaffirming when they take the sacrament.
- T) Take His name upon me
- A) Always Remember Him
- K) Keep His commandments
- E) Endure to the end (I think they added this one but I like it anyway)
When I am waiting to take the sacrament I often think about what I am actually taking. When I eat the bread, I am taking His name upon me and promising to always remember him. As I’m drinking the water I’m promising to keep His commandments and endure to the end.
Always Retain A Remission of Your Sins
In this past April conference, David A. Bednar, gave a fantastic talk on the Sacrament, entitled “Always Retain A Remission of Your Sins”. He said,
“The ordinance of the sacrament is a holy and repeated invitation to repent sincerely and to be renewed spiritually. The act of partaking of the sacrament, in and of itself, does not remit sins. But as we prepare conscientiously and participate in this holy ordinance with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, then the promise is that we may always have the Spirit of the Lord to be with us. And by the sanctifying power of the Holy Ghost as our constant companion, we can always retain a remission of our sins.”
I love how Elder Bednar says, “the ordinance of the sacrament is a holy and repeated invitation to repent sincerely and be renewed spiritually.”
When I was growing up I tended to take the sacrament for granted. I knew that I needed to be sincere and focus my thoughts toward God but I didn’t feel like I was being renewed spiritually. Especially all through my college years, sacrament felt more like a chore than a holy invitation.
Struggling Through College
College turned out to be a very tumultuous time for my testimony. I stopped reading my scriptures, I often skipped church to catch up on my homework or go to the grocery store, and most importantly, for a while, I stopped taking the sacrament.
I didn’t immediately feel lost. For a while it seemed easier because if I didn’t take church seriously then I had plenty of time to catch up on my week and have a social life. To all of my friends I was known as the Mormon girl that didn’t seem Mormon. And It wasn’t long before I hardly knew anyone at church and the majority of my friends didn’t share my values.
During this time in my life, it’s important to remember that I never really gave up on my values. I still told people I’m LDS, I still wanted to be LDS, but I didn’t wholly follow the lifestyle or feel like I fit there anymore. That was the low point in my spiritual journey. Feeling like I don’t belong in a place I so desperately wanted to. This was the time that I realized I had moved away from the lessons I learned growing up and I needed to find my way back.
This brought me to my mother’s favorite scripture, which is consequently my favorite scripture and you can find it in Mosiah 2:41. It reads:
“And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true’ for the Lord God hath spoken it.”
Now what does this have to do with the sacrament?
The sacrament, to me, is my ticket to never ending happiness. It wasn’t until I was without the sacrament for a while that I realized how lucky the people taking it were. Like Elder Bednar said, “as we partake in the holy ordinance, then the promise is that we may always have the Spirit of the Lord to be with us..”
I was tired of being without the spirit of the Lord and I realized that the lost feeling I had been having was a lack of spiritual guidance. It took a while, but eventually I got back to a place where I could take the sacrament every week and it even became the best part of my week.
I can say that when I take the sacrament now, I never feel the spirit stronger and I never feel more blessed. The sacrament, to me, is a reminder that God is aware of us, that He loves us and that He is gives us a chance every single week to be perfect again in His eyes.
It reminds me of the sacrifice the savior made for me personally and for all of us collectively. It reminds me that I am never alone and that God sends His angels to protect us and guide us home.
There is an important part of my story that I left out, and that is, that I didn’t find my way back on my own. Although I never truly abandoned my beliefs, a lot of it was because of the help I had along the way. There were certain women in my relief society who didn’t know my struggles yet they always reached out at the right time. There were my parents who loved me despite my spiritual trials. And there were amazing priesthood holders who made a point of showing up in my life when the Lord prompted them. Without these angels I never would have made the sacrament a priority in my life again.
My goal is to always retain a remission of my sins and the way to do that is to come to the Lord every week with a broken heart and contrite spirit and worthily take the sacrament.
I am grateful for the experiences that led me to a stronger testimony of the sacrament and of this beautiful plan of happiness the Lord has given us. I know that by recommitting our baptismal covenants each week through the sacrament, we are blessed to have the guidance of the Holy Ghost. I know that I am a child of God, that he loves me and that He has a plan for me.