- Throughout our lives, whether in times of darkness, challenge, sorrow, or sin, we may feel the Holy Ghost reminding us that we are truly sons and daughters of a caring Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we may hunger for the sacred blessings that only He can provide. At these times we should strive to come to ourselves and come back into the light of our Savior’s love.
Elder Hales uses the idea of becoming spiritually self-reliant by taking the sacrament, being worthy of a temple recommend, and sacrificing for others.
- We become converted and spiritually self-reliant as we prayerfully live our covenants—through worthily partaking of the sacrament, being worthy of a temple recommend, and sacrificing to serve others.
He starts by talking specifically about the sacrament.
- For the sacrament to be a spiritually cleansing experience each week, we need to prepare ourselves before coming to sacrament meeting. We do this by deliberately leaving behind our daily work and recreation and letting go of worldly thoughts and concerns. As we do, we make room in our minds and hearts for the Holy Ghost.
- Then we are prepared to ponder on the Atonement. More than just thinking about the facts of the Savior’s suffering and death, our pondering helps us to recognize that through the Savior’s sacrifice, we have the hope, opportunity, and strength to make real, heartfelt changes in our lives.
He provides counsel to the adult leaders of the young men. He shares that we need to teach them that they are standing in as representatives of the Savior when they provide the Lord's Supper to the members of the church.
- Fathers, priesthood leaders, and quorum presidencies have a special responsibility to help Aaronic Priesthood holders earnestly prepare to perform their sacred sacrament duties. This preparation is made throughout the week by living gospel standards. When young men prepare, bless, and pass the sacrament in worthiness and reverence, they literally follow the example of the Savior at the Last Supper and become like Him.
He speaks about the need for us to be worthy of a temple recommend and to use it often.
- Our desires to return to Heavenly Father increase as we, in addition to taking the sacrament, become worthy to obtain a temple recommend. We become worthy by steadily and steadfastly obeying the commandments. This obedience begins in childhood and intensifies through experiences in the Aaronic Priesthood and Young Women during the years of preparation. Then, hopefully, priests and Laurels set goals and specifically prepare themselves to be endowed and sealed in the temple.
- Worthiness to hold a temple recommend gives us the strength to keep our temple covenants.
- The standard for temple recommend holders is not too high for us to achieve. It is simply to faithfully live the gospel and follow the prophets.
- I testify that the sacrifices we make to receive temple ordinances are worth every effort we can make.
Finally, he speaks about serving others. Our goal is to help others make and keep sacred covenants with God.
- The purpose of both temporal and spiritual self-reliance is to get ourselves on higher ground so that we can lift others in need.
It is key to remember that if we walk in faith, we will receive all that the Father has promised us.
- No blessings will be withheld if we faithfully endure in walking the path back to our Heavenly Father.
He concludes with encouragement to look at our lives and see if we have room for improvement. We need to get ourselves right with God first, and then we will have the ability to help others be lifted.
- Let’s have a talk with ourselves in the mirror and ask, “Where do I stand on living my covenants?” We are on the right path when we can say, “I worthily partake of the sacrament each week, I am worthy to hold a temple recommend and go to the temple, and I sacrifice to serve and bless others.”
This is one of those talks that just highlights things we all know but have to be reminded of often. We all know the importance of the sacrament, but to consider that we need to make it more personal to each of us is necessary. We all know we need to be worthy of a temple recommend, but to explain that it is not enough to just make covenants, we need to keep them is needed. I appreciated the reminder that being worthy of a temple recommend gives us strength to keep the covenants we have made. When we are living our lives to be worthy of a temple recommend, we also have the strength to keep the covenants we have made. And finally, to point our that we can't lift someone to higher ground unless we are on the higher ground reminds us to serve others by bringing them closer to the Savior. It is good to have a self-assessment of where I stand and what I need to do to assure I am on the right path.