Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Sacrament Meeting

The prophet Moroni, when describing the operation of the church, said, "And they did meet together oft to partake of the bread and wine, in remembrance of the Lord Jesus." (Moroni 6:6)

We, too, meet together often to take the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. I find that sometimes it becomes rote, as if I'm just going through the motions. Other times, it is a profound spiritual experience.

Today at Times and Seasons, there is a post talking about a astronaut who blessed and partook of the Sacrament while aboard the space shuttle. At Mormon Matters, there is a post that is not specifically about the Sacrament, but is about unique or out of the ordinary Sacrament meeting experiences.

I commented on the Mormon Matters post about one of my unique experiences, but I have several others as well. While I was on my mission, one Sunday my companion and I were late for church because we were assisting one of our investigators. We arrived at church just after the Sacrament was passed. The district leader and his companion also served in our ward, and their apartment was near ours. We received permission for them to come over in the evening and administer the Sacrament. It was extremely spiritual, having four missionaries on a Sunday evening participating in a sacred ordinance.

My most recent unique Sacrament meeting experience took place last month. I was at a singles' retreat up in the mountains. I love mountains and find them to be extremely spiritual locations. I feel as if I'm closer to God when I'm there, and I find it fitting that mountains were used as temples in ancient times. The retreat ran from Friday night to Sunday afternoon, and on Sunday morning, we had a Sacrament meeting. Snow was falling outside and a fire was roaring inside as 20 of God's followers concluded a weekend of fellowship by meeting together to renew their covenants and remember their Redeemer. Although I had only met these people two days before, I felt a sense of unity as we worshiped together amid the pine trees.

I want to feel the Spirit that strongly every week. I believe that with a little preparation, it's possible. Right now, I show up to church a bit stressed each week because I'm on call Saturday nights. When my shift ends, I have just enough time to change for church and slide in with about 5 minutes to spare. This is, of course, provided that there are no emergencies near the end of my shift.

What do you do each week to prepare to make church a spiritual experience? How do you make the Sacrament feel holy and meaningful each week?

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