Monday, March 11, 2013

Trial of Faith and Make the Sacrament a Spiritual Experience Each Week

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We are in week four of the transfer and we have had a hard time finding new people and those we have aren´t progressing as well as we had hoped. It´s a trial of faith and Elder Orozco and I have to overcome it and move the work along. Flor had a few challenges this week with how she is going to get out of the economical problems that she has. She sent us a message this week and basically told us that she was done with the church because since she has been meeting with us things haven´t gotten better. We went and talked to her with the Elders Quorum president and all she really needed to do was to vent. We promised her that if she would go to church on Sunday and take the Sacrament, looking for the answer to her prayers, that she would find it. The member who was supposed to pick her up on Sunday was running late and she called us all worried about how she wasn´t going to make it to the sacrament. I told her to have faith that we start late.... and we started late and she got to take the sacrament. We have an appointment with her tonight to find out what happened. I learned from that experience how worried she was to get to church on time to make it to the sacrament, and yet 40% of our ward gets there afterwards. The sacrament is the most important ordinance because without it the rest of what we do would be in vain. We renew all of our covenants through that ordinance, otherwise the baptism, confirmation, priesthood, endowment, and sealings would all be in vain because we all sin after receiving them and they would have no power in our lives without the sacrament to cleanse us. 

There was a referral that we went to look for a long time ago and the old lady said that who we looked for didn´t live there. She asked us why we wanted to visit with him and reaffirmed that she didn´t know him. We went back on Friday and found out that it was his super catholic grandma and that he does live there. He got to know the church in the good old USA on a foreign exchange trip and hasn´t been able to go back to church since he´s been home. He´s excited to keep going. He´s only 18 and so he could definitely be a future missionary. 

Keep up the good work in everything. Make the sacrament a spiritual experience each week. Make it more meaningful. It can be like making a new covenant each week if we just focus on every action that we did the previous week and decide to change what we need to be better. I promise that if you focus on every word, deed, or thought during the sacrament the Spirit will teach you what you need to improve to be more like Christ. Sacrament & Covenant Making~Ensign~W. COLE DURHAM, JR.

Love you all. Be good and have a great week! 

Elder Hill 

Making the Sacrament Personally Meaningful

“If we approach the sacrament each week in the attitude of actively bringing a personal, specific offering—a humble promise to conquer a weakness that is separating us from the Savior—the sacrament will take on an infinitely richer meaning in our lives. Our relationship to Christ will grow and deepen as we make and keep such promises, and thereby progress in honoring our sacramental covenants” (W. Cole Durham, Jr., “The Sacrament and Covenant-Making,” Ensign, Jan. 1978, p. 46).  (LINK ABOVE)

“To make a covenant with the Lord to always keep His commandments is a serious obligation, and to renew that covenant by partaking of the sacrament is equally serious. The solemn moments of thought while the sacrament is being served have great significance. They are moments of self-examination, introspection, self-discernment—a time to reflect and to resolve” (Howard W. Hunter, in Conference Report, Apr. 1977, p. 34; or Ensign, May 1977, p. 25).

Before attending the Sacrament meeting:

Review your life with the Lord, in prayer, to determine what areas you need to improve or repent.  
Go through the steps of repentance (Faith in Our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, Sorrow for Sin, Confession, Abandonment of Sin, Restitution, & Righteous Living).  
Recommit yourself to the Lord that you will work toward eliminating the sins from your life.
Pray that you will feel the Spirit while at the Sacrament meeting.

While at the Sacrament meeting:

Pay attention to the words of the Sacrament hymn as you sing them.
Listen carefully to the Sacrament prayers.
While the Sacrament is being passed to the congregation, think about the Savior and His sacrifices for you.  
Focus on spiritually uplifting things.  This can be through meditation, prayer, reading the scriptures, or reviewing the Sacrament songs.

Following the Sacrament meeting:

Thank Heavenly Father, through prayer, for the Atonement and the opportunity to partake of the sacrament. “

What does it mean to partake of the sacrament worthily? Or how do we know if we are unworthy? If we desire to improve (which is to repent) and are not under priesthood restriction, then, in my opinion, we are worthy. If, however, we have no desire to improve, if we have no intention of following the guidance of the Spirit, we must ask: Are we worthy to partake, or are we making a mockery of the very purpose of the sacrament, which is to act as a catalyst for personal repentance and improvement? If we remember the Savior and all he has done and will do for us, we will improve our actions and thus come closer to him, which keeps us on the road to eternal life.” (John H. Groberg, “The Beauty and Importance of the Sacrament,” Ensign, May 1989, 38)

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve said: “Windows must be washed regularly to clean away dust and dirt. … Just as earthly windows need consistent, thorough cleaning, so do the windows of our spirituality. … By partaking of the sacrament worthily to renew our baptismal covenants, we clarify our view of life’s eternal purpose and divine priorities. The sacrament prayers invite personal introspection, repentance, and rededication as we pledge our willingness to remember our Savior, Jesus the Christ” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1995, 103; or Ensign, Nov. 1995, 77).

Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve said: “After His mortal ministry, … Jesus told his Nephite Apostles that He would no longer accept burnt offerings but that His disciples should offer ‘a broken heart and a contrite spirit’ (3 Ne. 9:19–20; see also D&C 59:8, 12). Instead of the Lord requiring our animals or grain, now He wants us to give up all that is ungodly. This higher practice of the law of sacrifice reaches into the inner soul of a person. … When we overcome our own selfish desires and put God first in our lives and covenant to serve Him regardless of the cost, we are then living the law of sacrifice” (“The Law of Sacrifice,” Ensign, Oct. 1998, 10–11).

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