Thursday, May 30, 2013

Prepare, Then Partake

I gave a talk in our Stake Conference at the beginning of May. I spoke at the Saturday night session, which generally doesn't have a big crowd. It was even smaller this time, since the session was broadcast, via the internet, to the other buildings in the stake - folks watched in their home units, instead of traveling to the stake center. The result was that I spoke to a crowd about the size of a sacrament meeting congregation - not quite as scary as seeing a stake-sized  group!

In general conference this past April, Elder Erich W. Kopischke spoke on being accepted of God. He said that we need to make a “conscious decision” to honor our covenants through sacrifice. And then he remarked,
Too often we think that the word sacrifice refers to something big or hard for us to do. In certain situations this may be true, but mostly it refers to living day-to-day as a true disciple of Christ.

One way we observe our covenants by sacrifice is worthily partaking of the sacrament each week. We consciously prepare ourselves for the sacred ordinance. We renew and confirm our sacred promises to the Lord. In this way we feel His acceptance and receive His assurance that our efforts are recognized and our sins are forgiven through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. During this ordinance, the Lord promises us that as we are willing to take upon us the name of His Son and always remember Him and keep His commandments, we will always have His Spirit to be with us. Having the Holy Ghost as our constant companion is the ultimate indicator of being accepted of God.
Back in September 2001, Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone  also taught of our need to prepare before partaking of the sacrament:
It is essential that we renew our covenants by partaking of the sacrament. When we do this with a sincere heart, with real intent, forsaking our sins, and renewing our commitment to God, the Lord provides a way whereby sins can be forgiven from week to week. Simply eating the bread and drinking the water will not bring that forgiveness. We must prepare and then partake with a broken heart and contrite spirit. The spiritual preparation we make to partake of the sacrament is essential to receiving a remission of our sins.
Basically, my talk focused on this preparation. Here's the very abridged version of my remarks: We prepare by regularly taking a personal inventory, considering our state before God. As we do this, we acknowledge our sins, we repent, and we make restitution.We do this during the week, again and again.

Then, on Sunday, the ordinance of the sacrament becomes the culmination of these regular, consistent, preparatory efforts. It becomes an opportunity for introspection and rededication, and for the renewal of our covenants.

I suppose others benefited from my remarks, but I am really grateful for my own increased understanding of this principle, and the opportunity now to increase its practice in my own life.


  1. Awesome thoughts. I wish I could have heard your talk. :-)

    1. You're very kind. I'm afraid it was a boring talk, but preparing it was beneficial to me. :)