As usual Elder Jeffrey R. Holland dove right into my heart with his talk from General Conference. The talk is “Behold the Lamb of God”, reading it would be most worth your time.
John, called the baptist, called Jesus the Lamb of God. “It is instructive that this long-prophesied forerunner to Jesus did not call Him “Jehovah” or “Savior” or “Redeemer” or even “the Son of God”—all of which were applicable titles. No, John chose the earliest and perhaps most commonly recognized image in the religious tradition of his people. He used the figure of a sacrificial lamb offered in atonement for the sins and sorrows of a fallen world and all the fallen people in it”.
Then Elder Holland gives a little history of how the people of God knew about offerings and sacrifices of lambs! Then, Jesus himself instituted the sacrament which we today continue to do in remembrance of Him.
“Following His brief mortal ministry, this purest of all Passover sheep prepared His disciples for His death by introducing the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, a more personal form of the ordinance that had been introduced just outside of Eden. There would still be an offering, it would still involve a sacrifice, but it would be with symbolism much deeper, much more introspective and personal than the bloodletting of a firstborn lamb. To the Nephites, after His Resurrection, the Savior said of this:
“Ye shall offer up unto me no more the shedding of blood. …
“… Ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost. …
“… Therefore repent, … and be saved.”
About this weekly ordinance that we perform, Elder Holland states:
“our modified Sunday service is also to reduce the complexity of the meeting schedule in a way that properly emphasizes the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper as the sacred, acknowledged focal point of our weekly worship experience. We are to remember in as personal a way as possible that Christ died from a heart broken by shouldering entirely alone the sins and sorrows of the whole human family. Inasmuch as we contributed to that fatal burden, such a moment demands our respect. Thus, we are encouraged to come to our services early and reverently, dressed appropriately for participation in a sacred ordinance.”
He urges us to remember that this is a very sacred meeting and we should treat it as such. He urges reverence in the sanctuary of our buildings, reduction of announcements from the pulpit, and punctuality, all with a lovely pass for moms.
He states that this hour is the “most sacred hour of our week“. And “It is in memory of Him who asked if the cup He was about to drink could pass, only to press on because He knew that for our sake it could not pass. It will help us if we remember that a symbol of that cup is slowly making its way down the row toward us at the hand of an 11- or 12-year-old deacon.”
He asks us to also think of others and their burdens. “One way to “always remember him” would be to join the Great Physician in His never-ending task of lifting the load from those who are burdened and relieving the pain of those who are distraught.”
He asks us: “Beloved friends, as we unite across the globe each week in what we hope is an increasingly sacred acknowledgment of Christ’s majestic atoning gift to all humankind, may we bring to the sacramental altar “more tears for his sorrows [and] more pain at his grief.” And then, as we reflect, pray, and covenant anew, may we take from that sacred moment “more patience in suff’ring, … more praise for relief.”
My heart swelled as I listened to this talk. Elder Holland always, always touches me with his words! Since conference I have read and listened to this talk more. I have realized that personally:
- I should get to sacrament meeting every week possible!
- I need to prepare so that the sacrament is the most sacred hour of my week
- Taking of this ordinance is precious and I should treat it as such
- Offer a broken heart & contrite spirit to my Savior as well as repent and renew my covenants
- remember that others are going through their own stuff and don’t be so self-centered
- try to practice more patience in my suffering
- give my praise for the relief that the Lord gives me
So, those will be just some of the things that I will be personally working on during this 6 months between conferences.
I love so much that Heavenly Father loves us enough to give us prophets to guide us in real time!! I believe with all of my heart that Elder Holland is an apostle and special witness of Jesus Christ. I believe that Jesus Christ leads and guides the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I believe that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live and love each and every one of us personally. I leave these things with you in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.
Have a great day