Elder Holland Shares 8 Things to Remember During the Sacrament That Will Deepen Its Impact

The following is an excerpt from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland's book Trusting Jesus. He offers eight things we can remember when we take the sacrament. (Headings have been added.) 

In the simple and beautiful language of the sacramental prayers those young priests offer, the principal word we hear seems to be remember. In the first and slightly longer prayer offered over the bread, mention is made of a willingness to take upon us the name of the Son of God and to keep the commandments He has given us. 

Neither of those phrases is repeated in the blessing on the water, though surely both are assumed and expected. What is stressed in both prayers is that all of this is done in remembrance of Christ. In so participating, we witness that we will always remember Him, that we may always have His Spirit to be with us (see D&C 20:77, 79). 

If remembering is the principal task before us, what might come to our memories when those plain and precious emblems are offered to us? 

#1) The Savior's Premortal Life

We could remember the Savior's premortal life and all that we know Him to have done as the great Jehovah, creator of heaven and earth and all things that in them are. We could remember that even in the grand council of heaven He loved us and was wonderfully strong, that we triumphed even there by the power of Christ and our faith in the blood of the Lamb (see Rev. 12:10–11). 

#2) Christ's Birth

We could remember the simple grandeur of His mortal birth to just a young woman, one probably in the age range of those in our Young Women organization, who spoke for every faithful woman in every dispensation of time when she said, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word" (Luke 1:38). 

#3) Joseph

We could remember His magnificent but virtually unknown foster father, a humble carpenter by trade who taught us, among other things, that quiet, plain, unpretentious people have moved this majestic work forward from the very beginning, and still do so today. If you are serving almost anonymously, please know that so, too, did one of the best men who has ever lived on this earth. 

#4) The Miracles of Jesus 

We could remember Christ's miracles and His teachings, His healings and His help. We could remember that He gave sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf and motion to the lame and the maimed and the withered. Then, on those days when we feel our progress has halted or our joys and views have grown dim, we can press forward steadfastly in Christ, with unshaken faith in Him and a perfect brightness of hope (see 2 Ne. 31:19–20). 

#5) To Delight in Living

We could remember that even with such a solemn mission given to Him, the Savior found delight in living; He enjoyed people and told His disciples to be of good cheer. He said we should be as thrilled with the gospel as one who had found a great treasure, a veritable pearl of great price, right on our own doorstep. We could remember that Jesus found special joy and happiness in children and said all of us should be more like them—guileless and pure, quick to laugh and to love and to forgive, slow to remember any offense. 

#6) True Friendship

We could remember that Christ called His disciples friends, and that friends are those who stand by us in times of loneliness or potential despair. We could remember a friend we need to contact or, better yet, a friend we need to make. In doing so we could remember that God often provides His blessings through the compassionate and timely response of another. For someone nearby we may be the means of heaven's answer to a very urgent prayer. 

#7) Blessings 

We could—and should—remember the wonderful things that have come to us in our lives and that "all things which are good cometh of Christ" (Moro. 7:24). Those of us who are so blessed could remember the courage of those around us who face more difficulty than we, but who remain cheerful, who do the best they can, and trust that the Bright and Morning Star will rise again for them—as surely He will do (see Rev. 22:16). 

#8) Christ's Suffering

On some days we will have cause to remember the unkind treatment He received, the rejection He experienced, and the injustice—oh, the injustice—He endured. When we, too, then face some of that in life, we can remember that Christ was also "troubled on every side, [but] not distressed; . . . perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed" (2 Cor. 4:8–9). 

When those difficult times come to us, we can remember that Jesus had to descend below all things before He could ascend above them, and that He suffered pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind that He might be filled with mercy and know how to succor His people in their infirmities (see Alma 7:11–12; D&C 88:6). 

All this we could remember when we are invited by a kneeling young priest to remember Christ always.

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Get more inspiring thoughts in Trusting Jesus by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

A mother, struggling to cope when a family member is diagnosed with a devastating illness, finds hope and strength when her small daughter pulls her close and whispers, “Trust Jesus.” Those simple words form the foundation for Elder Jeffrey R. Holland's book, Trusting Jesus

“Everyone meets affliction in mortality,” writes the author. “Everyone knows some sorrow. Everyone experiences disappointments, even despair, and looks for ways to bear up and keep on going. The answer for all times and all seasons is to 'trust Jesus.'” 

This collection of some of Elder Holland's most memorable and powerful talks will inspire us to keep our focus and our faith on the one source of strength that will never fail us: Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Included in this collection are such classic addresses as “The Other Prodigal,” “He Hath Filled the Hungry with Good Things,” “Come unto Me,” “An High Priest of Good Things to Come,” “A Handful of Meal and a Little Oil," “As Doves to Our Windows,” and many others.

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