3. Express Gratitude (Joy Saunders Lundberg)
Sometimes a sacrament meeting speaker will say something that lingers in your mind for years to come. That happened to me when a speaker was giving a talk about the importance of the sacrament. He told about a man who came into a meeting and sat on the pew beside him; he didn’t recognize the man and found out later he was not a member of the Church. The man was attentive and reverent. When the sacrament bread was passed the man took a piece and said in a barely audible voice, “Thank you, Jesus.” When the water was passed, he drank and again said, “Thank you, Jesus.” The speaker told how touched he was by this man’s gratitude to the Savior for what He had done for him.
Now whenever I partake of the sacrament I often find myself thinking the words, “Thank you, Jesus.” Expressing gratitude in our hearts for what the Savior has done for us is significantly important; however, that is just one part of the sacrament experience for Latter-day Saints.
Elder Joseph Anderson explained,
“When we enter into the waters of baptism we enter into covenant with the Lord that we will keep the commandments that He has given us. When we partake of the sacrament we renew that covenant; we partake of these emblems in remembrance of the atoning sacrifice of our Lord and Savior; we express a willingness to take upon us His name, the name of our Lord and Master, our Savior, Jesus Christ; and we covenant that we will always remember Him, that we will keep the commandments which He has given us” (“We Are a Covenant-making People,” Ensign, Nov. 1976, 89).
In speaking about the sacrament, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland reminded us that we as a people need to take the sacrament much more seriously than we often do—and that the sacrament is the real purpose of sacrament meeting, not something to rush through so we can get on with the rest of the meeting. He also counseled that everything in the meeting, all that is spoken or sung, should be in harmony with that sacred ordinance (see “‘This Do in Remembrance of Me,’” Ensign, November 1995, 67).
By our consistent attendance and partaking of the sacrament, the Lord will use the way He has provided to heal our hearts and bring peace to our souls. We need to be where He is—where He has commanded us to be each Sunday, participating in “the grandeur of this sacred ordinance.” As we do this, it may be said of us, like the Nephites of old during that first administration of the sacrament, “[they did eat and] . . . they did drink, and they were filled” (3 Nephi 18:9).