Thursday, November 17, 2016

The R's of the Sacrament

Last Sunday it was our ward conference. During Sunday school, a councilman from the stake was teaching a lesson on the Sacrament and what it means to us. When he asked, "What does the sacrament mean to you?" a bunch of 'R' words came into my mind which led to a very deep thought that I couldn't help but share on this blog. Hope you enjoy!

To me, the holy ordinance of the Sacrament means:

Reflect - We reflect back on the week and talk to the Lord about our choices and actions.
Repent - We repent of any transgressions or sins that we committed.
Remission - The Savior puts them into remission, so they no longer can harm us.
Recommit - We commit again to the will of the Lord and keeping His commandments.
Renew - We renew our baptismal covenant with the Lord and again receive His spirit to be with us.
Redeemed - By doing this we are redeemed from the fall by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He saves us!

All of these 'R' words in action equal LIFE! Yes, to partake of the sacrament and to renew our covenants with the Lord, means choosing to live!

There are many ways you can look at this. Life for all of our bodies - our physical body, spiritual body, emotional body, mental body etc. When these bodies are living we are truly alive. When we are promoting life with our spirit, our thoughts, feelings, and emotions, our behaviors and choices, then we are choosing life for our soul. The soul is the union of the body and spirit.

With every thought, feeling, emotion, choice, action, or behavior we are either regressing or progressing - going backward or forward. When we regress, we move closer to death. When we progress we grow and move forward towards life. This can be with our spirit or physical body. What we put in our body, the way we treat our body, the way we talk to ourselves, what we fill our mind with (images, music, and words) - all of these promote/invite life or death.

In the Bible Dictionary under "death" it reads: But death is also the consequence of our own sins. The symptoms of sin can many times be physical. The stress, anxiety, doubt, worry and fear that we carry as a result of our sins (small or big) can physically weigh upon us. Those effects often manifest into physical pain or illness. Anything that tears your body or spirit down, is regression. Regression of the body and spirit leads to death.

I can testify that when we use the atonement we pull ourselves away from death and closer to eternal life! We give that pain and discomfort to the Savior, and in doing so we choose life! The atonement is something we can use every day. By doing so, we can experience better health, peace of mind, and blessings from the Lord. When Sunday rolls around - we can focus better on renewing our covenants  and recommitting. By using the atonement each day of the week, we can be better prepared to take the sacrament. We can have better clarity and be more open to what the Spirit needs to teach us.

Every morning I ask the Lord to forgive me of anything I have done the day before, that was out of alignment with His will for me. Any transgression or sin that I committed (all negative thoughts, feelings, and beliefs that are not serving me), I give them to the Savior and ask Him to take them from me. Many times, I physically feel lighter after I do this. Then I tell the Lord that I open my heart to Him, and I ask Him to fill my heart with His light and love, and to change me from the inside out. I As I do this daily, I find myself looking forward to Sunday. I'm happy to be at church and I look forward to the sacrament and feeling the Lord's spirit there.

The atonement and the sacrament go hand in hand. Remember these 6 R's I mentioned above, the next time you prepare to take the sacrament. And let me add a 7th - you will feel Reverence as you do this. :)

I say this in the name of Jesus Christ amen.