“The Power of Partaking Worthily of the Sacrament,” New Era, November 2015, 30–31
Growing up in the Church, Sundays tended to feel tedious and monotonous. It was rare for me as a kid to actually listen to what was being said. Maybe that’s why it’s so interesting to me that to this day I remember a single line from a talk I heard when I was Primary age.
At the time I was sitting in sacrament meeting, wondering why I had to be at church every single week. Then the speaker said, “Sunday shouldn’t get in the way of our lives, Sunday should be the center of our lives.” At the time that idea was so different from what I’d always thought that I wasn’t really able to understand what it meant. Even so, I could tell it was important.
In Primary we learned that we came to church to take the sacrament. I figured these two things were related, but I could never figure out how. I didn’t think too much about the sacrament. It was just something I did, and it didn’t have any meaning to me. Throughout the years, though, those two ideas stayed with me. I knew I was missing something.
Years later, in junior high, I found myself in a hard situation. I had a bad habit I was trying to get rid of. I knew it wasn’t so serious that I had to talk to my bishop, but it was still really bothering me.
I was embarrassed and didn’t want to ask anyone for help. Not even my parents. Not even Heavenly Father. I determined I could overcome this challenge on my own.
Weeks went by. I tried so hard to be better but without result. I was still struggling. I knew the Sabbath should be the focus of my week because of the sacrament. I had also been taught that the sacrament was a tool I could use to access the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
After trying and failing for so long, I finally decided to turn to the Lord. At last I set aside my pride, opened my heart, and prayed to Heavenly Father. I asked for help, strength, and forgiveness. I stopped waiting for change to happen to me and started focusing on taking small steps toward improvement, with faith that the Lord would bless my efforts.
For the first time I focused on preparing for the sacrament all through the week. The sacrament became something I looked forward to. I began to see it as an opportunity rather than a routine because it brought the power of the Savior’s Atonement into my life.
I felt change in my life. The things I was struggling with faded. I became more confident in myself. I was able to open up to my parents and seek more assistance. I felt grateful to the Lord for all of the help I had received. I felt forgiven. I felt clean.
I grew to understand what that speaker meant all those years ago. When I centered my life around being ready for the Sabbath, I came closer to Jesus Christ in a way that purified me and made me stronger.
Through prayer and guidance from Heavenly Father, I learned that I could not walk through this life alone, but that the Savior and Heavenly Father truly had to be a part of my life. I learned that when I spent my whole week preparing to partake of the sacrament, I was better able to fully access the power of the Savior’s Atonement.
I learned that Heavenly Father loves us and has created a way for us to be forgiven and receive blessings, but we need to do our part to make it more meaningful. I am so grateful to Heavenly Father for all that He has done for me and continues to do for me when I remember to prepare for the Sabbath.