Elder James J. Hamula: 'The sacrament and the Atonement'

“The ordinance of the sacrament has been called ‘one of the most holy and sacred ordinances in the Church,’ ” said Elder James J. Hamula of the Seventy during the Sunday morning session of conference. “It needs to become more holy and sacred to each of us. Jesus Christ Himself instituted the ordinance to remind us what He did to redeem us, and to teach us how we may avail ourselves of His redemption and thereby live with God again.”

By partaking of the bread and water, Church members are reminded of “Christ’s redemption of us from death and sin,” said Elder Hamula. The sequence of bread first and water second is not inconsequential.

“In partaking of the bread, we are reminded of our own inevitable personal resurrection, which consists of more than just the restoration of body and spirit,” he said. “In partaking of the sacramental water, we are taught how we may be made clean from sin and transgression and thus stand in the presence of God.”

“Through the sacramental prayers, we express our acceptance of the doctrine of Christ, and our commitment to live according to it,” he said. “In our petition to God our Eternal Father, we declare that we will ‘always remember’ His precious Son.”

Members further declare that they will keep His commandments, he said.

That is a solemn commitment to repent. “Next, we declare that we are willing to ‘take upon [us] the name of [the] Son,’ ” he said. “That is a solemn commitment to submit ourselves to His authority and to do His work, which includes receiving for ourselves every saving ordinance and covenant.”

“When we commit ourselves to these principles, we are promised in the sacramental prayers that we will ‘have his Spirit to be with [us],’ ” said Elder Hamula. Receiving anew the Spirit is a consummate blessing because the Spirit is the agent who cleanses and purifies from sin and transgression.

Elder Hamula said, “The most important event in time and eternity is the Atonement of Jesus Christ. He who accomplished the Atonement has given us the ordinance of the sacrament to help us not only remember, but also claim all the blessings of this supreme act of grace.”

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