- To eat His flesh and drink His blood is a striking way of expressing how completely we must bring the Savior into our life—into our very being—that we may be one.
- We understand that in sacrificing His flesh and blood, Jesus atoned for our sins and overcame death, both physical and spiritual. Clearly, then, we partake of His flesh and drink His blood when we receive from Him the power and blessings of His Atonement.
Concerning the bread and water of the sacrament, Elder Christofferson shares what we should be thinking about when we partake.
- The symbolism of the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper is beautiful to contemplate. The bread and water represent the flesh and blood of Him who is the Bread of Life and the Living Water, poignantly reminding us of the price He paid to redeem us. As the bread is broken, we remember the Savior’s torn flesh. Elder Dallin H. Oaks once observed that “because it is broken and torn, each piece of bread is unique, just as the individuals who partake of it are unique. We all have different sins to repent of. We all have different needs to be strengthened through the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, whom we remember in this ordinance.” As we drink the water, we think of the blood He shed in Gethsemane and on the cross and its sanctifying power. Knowing that “no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom,” we resolve to be among “those who have washed their garments in [the Savior’s] blood, because of their faith, and the repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness unto the end.”
We need to emulate the Savior and the things He did in his life. The character of Christ should be learned by all of us and we should strive to make our character like His.
- Figuratively eating His flesh and drinking His blood has a further meaning, and that is to internalize the qualities and character of Christ, putting off the natural man and becoming Saints “through the atonement of Christ the Lord.” As we partake of the sacramental bread and water each week, we would do well to consider how fully and completely we must incorporate His character and the pattern of His sinless life into our life and being.
- We cannot be content to remain as we are but must be moving constantly toward “the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.”
One way the sacrament helps us is that it reminds us to constantly have the Savior in our thoughts. Daily, we need to make the Savior part of our lives in all areas of our lives. All of our actions and activities should help encourage the companionship of the Holy Ghost.
- If we yearn to dwell in Christ and have Him dwell in us, then holiness is what we seek, in both body and spirit. We seek it in the temple, whereon is inscribed “Holiness to the Lord.” We seek it in our marriages, families, and homes. We seek it each week as we delight in the Lord’s holy day. We seek it even in the details of daily living: our speech, our dress, our thoughts. As President Thomas S. Monson has stated, “We are the product of all we read, all we view, all we hear and all we think.” We seek holiness as we take up our cross daily.
I learned something from this next paragraph. "Holiness to the Lord" which is on each temple use to be a kind of rallying cry to the early saints. It was written on all sorts of things and used to remind us of the constant focus on the Savior we need in our lives.
- Zechariah prophesied that in the day of the Lord’s millennial reign, even the bells of the horses would bear the inscription “Holiness unto the Lord.” In that spirit, the pioneer Saints in these valleys affixed that reminder, “Holiness to the Lord,” on seemingly common or mundane things as well as those more directly associated with religious practice. It was inscribed on sacrament cups and plates and printed on certificates of ordination of Seventies and on a Relief Society banner. “Holiness to the Lord” also appeared over the display windows of Zion’s Cooperative Mercantile Institution, the ZCMI department store. It was found on the head of a hammer and on a drum. “Holiness to the Lord” was cast on the metal doorknobs of President Brigham Young’s home. These references to holiness in seemingly unusual or unexpected places may seem incongruous, but they suggest just how pervasive and constant our focus on holiness needs to be.
The sacrament is a reminder to make our lives like the Savior and to make His attributes ours.
- Partaking of the Savior’s flesh and drinking His blood means to put out of our lives anything inconsistent with a Christlike character and to make His attributes our own.
Elder Christofferson concludes by encouraging us to go to the Savior for understanding of what we can do better in our lives to be more like Him. We are not alone in our discipleship and the Savior will encourage us and teach us what we need to do to be better disciples of Christ.
- God will show us our flaws and failings, but He will also help us turn weakness into strength. If we sincerely ask, “What lack I yet?” He will not leave us to guess, but in love He will answer for the sake of our happiness. And He will give us hope.
There have been several great talks recently about the Sacrament and what we can learn from it. This talk reminds me that the purpose of the sacrament is to help build us to be more like the Savior. As we have the Savior constantly in our minds and hearts, we will make decisions like He would make. We will think better things since there will be little room for the things of the world. Our ultimate goal is to be more like the Savior and the sacrament makes that possible through encouraging our devoted discipleship.