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A sacred moment

Partaking of the sacrament is in accordance with Lord's command

Partaking of the sacrament each Sunday provides Church members with a sacred moment in a holy place, away from the noise of the world. Such an act is in accordance with the commandment of the Lord given in latter-day scripture, said Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve.

"And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day" (Doctrine and Covenants 59:9).

In his Saturday afternoon address, Elder Perry spoke of being ordained a deacon when he was a 12-year-old boy growing up in Cache County, Utah. Shortly after being sustained into his ward deacon's quorum, young Tom Perry was given the assignment to assist with the passing of the sacrament at his ward sacrament meeting.

"The sacrament took on new meaning to me that day," he said. "As I watched the tray go up and down the rows of the members of the Church, I noticed that not everyone approached the sacrament with the same attitude. There were those who seemed to partake of the sacrament just as a matter of routine, but many accepted the sacrament with great reverence."

Sacrament meetings, Elder Perry said, are more than just another meeting. By partaking of the sacrament, Church members are reminded regularly of their sacred covenants and promises.

"One of the first commandments given to Adam was that he should worship the Lord and offer the firstlings of his flocks as an offering to Him," Elder Perry said. "This ordinance was given to remind the people that Jesus Christ would come into the world and would ultimately offer Himself as a sacrifice."

From the time of Adam to the time of the Savior, Heavenly Father's children were commanded to offer sacrifices. That commandment ended with the Savior's atoning sacrifice. "The night before He completed that sacrifice, the Savior instituted the sacrament of the Lord's Supper to help us remember Him and the Atonement He made for all mankind. Thus, in the ancient law of sacrifice and in the sacrament, the Lord has helped us to be certain that we do not forget His promises and the requirements that we follow Him and obey His will."

Elder Perry shared the accounts of the Savior administering the sacrament found in Matthew, chapter 26, and in 3 Nephi, chapter 18.

"(Christ's) instructions are very clear that we should be willing to do what He has commanded us to do," Elder Perry said. "It would surely be expected that in our day we would again be commanded to partake of the sacrament. As the Doctrine and Covenants tells us: 'It is expedient that the church meet together often to partake of bread and wine in remembrance of the Lord Jesus,' " (Doctrine and Covenants 20:75).

The sacrament is one of the most sacred ordinances in the Church — and partaking of the sacrament gives Church members an opportunity for spiritual growth.

"During the administration of the sacrament, we set aside the world," Elder Perry said. "It is a period of spiritual renewal as we recognize the deep spiritual significance of the ordinance offered to each of us personally. If we were to become casual in partaking of the sacrament, we would lose the opportunity for renewed spiritual growth."

Parents have the responsibility of teaching their families the importance of attending sacrament meeting weekly, he added. "It should be a regular family practice. Every family needs that time of renewing and committing to live the gospel in accordance with the teachings of the Savior."

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