- What do the emblems of the sacrament teach us about the Atonement of Jesus Christ?
- What can you think about during the sacrament to help you remember the Savior’s Atonement?
- What can you do as a priesthood holder to make partaking of the sacrament a more meaningful experience for others?
Excerpt from "Sacrament Meeting and the Sacrament" by Elder Dallin H. Oaks:
The ordinance of the sacrament makes the sacrament meeting the most sacred and important meeting in the Church. It is the only Sabbath meeting the entire family can attend together. Its content in addition to the sacrament should always be planned and presented to focus our attention on the Atonement and teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.
My first memories of sacrament meeting are set in the small Utah town where I was ordained a deacon and participated in passing the sacrament. Measured against those memories, the sacrament meetings I now attend in many different wards are greatly improved. Typically the sacrament is administered, passed, and received by the members in an atmosphere of quiet reverence. The conducting of the meeting, including the necessary business, is brief and dignified, and the talks are spiritual in content and delivery. The music is appropriate, and so are the prayers. This is the standard, and it represents great progress since the experiences of my youth.
There are occasional exceptions. I sense that some in the rising generation and even some adults have not yet come to understand the significance of this meeting and the importance of individual reverence and worship in it. The things I feel impressed to teach here are addressed to those who are not yet understanding and practicing these important principles and not yet enjoying the promised spiritual blessings of always having His guiding Spirit to be with them.
I begin with how members of the Church should prepare themselves to participate in the ordinance of the sacrament. In a worldwide leadership training meeting five years ago, Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught the priesthood leaders of the Church how to plan and conduct sacrament meetings. “We commemorate His Atonement in a very personal way,” Elder Nelson said. “We bring a broken heart and a contrite spirit to our sacrament meeting. It is the highlight of our Sabbath-day observance” (“Worshiping at Sacrament Meeting,” Liahona, Aug. 2004, 12; Ensign, Aug. 2004, 26).
We are seated well before the meeting begins. “During that quiet interval, prelude music is subdued. This is not a time for conversation or transmission of messages but a period of prayerful meditation as leaders and members prepare spiritually for the sacrament” (Liahona, Aug. 2004, 13; Ensign, Aug. 2004, 27).
*To read the full talk, click here.