One of my earliest memories is of sacrament meetings held in our home in Warrnambool, Australia. Between 10 and 15 people attended our branch, and my father, one of three priesthood holders, regularly had the opportunity to bless the sacrament. I remember the feelings I had as he humbly and carefully read the words of the sacrament prayers. Often his voice trembled as he felt the Spirit. He sometimes had to pause to control his emotions before completing the prayer.
As a five-year-old, I could not understand the full meaning of what was being said or done; however, I knew something special was occurring. I could feel the calm and reassuring influence of the Holy Ghost as my father contemplated the Savior’s love for us.
I invite all of us to consider five ways to increase the impact and power of our regular participation in the sacred ordinance of the sacrament, an ordinance that can help us become holy.
1. Prepare in advance: We can begin our preparation for the sacrament well before sacrament meeting begins. Saturday may be a good time to contemplate our spiritual progress and preparation.
2. Arrive early: Our sacrament experience can be enhanced when we arrive well before the meeting and ponder as the prelude music is played.
3. Sing and learn from the words of the sacrament hymn: The sacrament hymn is an especially important part of our sacrament experience. Music elevates our thoughts and feelings. The sacrament hymn has an even greater influence when we focus on the words and the powerful doctrine taught.
4. Spiritually participate in the sacrament prayers: Instead of tuning out the familiar words of the sacrament prayers, we can learn much and feel even more as we participate spiritually by considering the commitments and associated blessings included in these sacred prayers.
5. Ponder and remember Him as the sacrament emblems are passed: The reverent moments as priesthood holders pass the sacrament can become sacred to us.
As we consider our sacrament experience, we might ask ourselves:
What will I do this week to better prepare for the sacrament?
Could I contribute more to the reverence and revelation that can accompany the beginning of sacrament meeting?
What doctrine was taught in the sacrament hymn?
What did I hear and feel as I listened to the sacrament prayers?
What did I think about as the sacrament was passed?