Sunday, July 11, 2010

Today's Lesson

Lesson 26
"The Sacrament"

Personal Progress - Value Experience
 4. Learn more about the sacrament. Read about the Last Supper in Matthew 26:26–28, Mark 14:22–24, and Luke 22:17–20. Establish a pattern of pondering during the sacrament by listening carefully to the sacrament hymn and prayers. Think about why we partake of the bread and water. After three weeks of following this pattern, write in your journal some of the promises you make as you partake of the sacrament and remember your baptismal covenants.
(Summary from a talk given by John Bytheway, "The Best Three Hours of the Week")
  1. Cloth on Table - The trays are received from the back room and put on the table on a cloth.  The bread and water trays are arranged and then another cloth is placed over the trays.  Could this represent Jesus' tomb?  Christ's body was covered with a cloth.  Look at the table and see if it doesn't? It resemble a body covered!
  2. Bread is Torn - As the Sacrament begins, we sing a hymn about Christ and the bread is literally torn.  Read the words to Hymn No. 181...  "bruised, broken, torn for us on Calvary's Hill."  We are watching the symbolism of His body being torn.
  3. Sacrament Prayers are Offered - These are perhaps the most repeated prayers!   When somebody of great respect comes into the room, it is customary to show respect by standing up.  However, if Christ were to enter the room, we would show respect by kneeling.  That is why the Sacrament Prayers are given while kneeling.  The Prayers can be found in Moroni, chapters 4 & 5.
  4. Altar of the Lord - The Sacrament table represents an altar of the Lord.
  5. "That they may witness unto thee" - We are saying that we are willing to testify of Christ when we take the Sacrament!  We are saying, If you want to know what Mormons believe, watch me!  When I go to school, watch me!  When I'm with my friends, watch me!  That is testifying of Christ.
  6. Always Remember Him - Remember the story of the mountain climbers and the term "belay?"  It means to secure by a rope to something sturdy.  We are belayed to Christ.  When we fall, we are literally saved by just ten feet while his arms are outstretched, fingers digging into the rocks.  Christ has saved us through the atonement.  When someone saves our life, we don't give them a thank you gift and call it done.  No.  We "always remember him" who has saved us.
  7. Our Covenant Hand - Our right hand is our covenant hand, and therefore the hand we reach to take the bread and water.  We are eating and drinking perhaps to represent putting Christ (his body and blood) inside us so He can get into our hearts and into our nature.
  8. White Shirts - Those passing the sacrament are wearing white shirts to represent the clothing we wore at baptism, and the clothes we will wear in preparation for our temple covenants.
"To make a covenant with the Lord to always keep His commandments is a serious obligation, and to renew that covenant by partaking of the sacrament is equally serious. The solemn moments of thought while the sacrament is being served have great significance. They are moments of self-examination, introspection, self-discernment  a time to reflect and to resolve." 
                                                                                              -Howard W. Hunter

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