“Getting the Most Out of Sacrament Meeting,” Liahona, June 1996, 31
Do you sometimes leave sacrament meeting feeling not quite satisfied? If so, the problem may not be the meeting. Before you can get the most out of sacrament meeting, you need to put something into it.
Start preparing before you reach the chapel doors. Try to—
Plan to keep the Sabbath day holy before Sunday arrives. Set a spiritual tone for the day.
Get enough sleep Saturday night. If you end up dozing through meetings, you obviously won’t learn very much.
Get up early enough so you don’t have to rush. Be at the meetinghouse in time to find a good seat and enjoy the service right from the start.
Dress your best. Doing so will help get you into a reverent spirit. This is especially important if you are administering the sacrament.
Enter the chapel reverently. If you see friends, greet them warmly, but remember where you are.
Pray that you will be alert, understand the speakers, feel the Spirit, and be able to remember and apply what you learn.
Now that your mind and heart are prepared, you’re ready to learn. Try these ideas:
Put aside anything that may be a distraction. Don’t doodle or play with your personal belongings.
Keep your mind on the subject. Resist the temptation to daydream.
Try not to overreact to crying babies or other noises. Unless you’re in a position to help, ignore minor disturbances.
Show reverence for the sacrament. We take the sacrament to renew our covenants and to help us remember the atonement of Jesus Christ. Listen to the prayers. As the bread and water are passed, think of what they stand for and what Jesus did for us.
Listen carefully to the speakers. Assume they are talking directly to you. Ask yourself if the Lord is sending you a message through them.
Avoid the classic “bored” position (your elbows on your knees and your head in your hands or on the bench in front of you). That can be distracting for the speaker—and is better for snoozing than for learning.
As you listen, try to recognize the Holy Ghost testifying of truth. Listen with your ears and your heart. Pay attention to your feelings and to the impressions you have.
Take notes of the things you think you’d like to review later. You might even carry a Church meeting notebook or journal. You’ll remember a lot more of what you learn as you write it down.
If it’s fast and testimony meeting, or if the speaker is bearing his testimony, think about your own testimony and how you got it.
Don’t watch the clock. Counting the minutes will only make a meeting seem longer. It could also intimidate the speaker.
Take it with you. The messages delivered during sacrament meeting aren’t meant only for Sundays. Keep them fresh during the week by reading your notes and by making a real effort to incorporate the messages in your life.
To prepare before the meeting, or to get back on the right track during the sacrament, you might look up the following scriptures:
Matthew 26:26–29 [Matt. 26:26–29]
1 Corinthians 11:23–29 [1 Cor. 11:23–29]
3 Nephi 18:1–7 [3 Ne. 18:1–7]
Moroni 4, 5 [Moro. 4–5]
Moroni 6:5–6 [Moro. 6:5–6]
Doctrine and Covenants 27:2 [D&C 27:2]