Ellie was asked to give a talk in church and she wasn't excited. Not even a little bit excited. Her topic was THE SACRAMENT. They have had workshops in our congregation to improve talks and presentations. One aspect in public speaking that has been emphasized is sharing relatable personal experiences. That seemed a bit tough given her topic but she (really "we") pulled it together.
When I was 9 years old my Grandma Davis passed away. She loved movies, dolls, going out to eat and giving gifts. Christmas was her favorite time of year. She died a week before Christmas. I learned some lessons at this time that are special to me.
First; Life on earth is fragile and will not last forever
Second; Celebrating & reflecting on her life brings comfort to mine
Third; Feeling gratitude for all that she has done for me helps me to be a better person
If those things are true, and they are, for my Great Grandma, they are surely true for my Savior and the Savior of the world.
The Sacrament, like my grandma’s funeral, is a time of reflecting, remembering and recommitting. At my Great Grandmas funeral, it was a reverent peaceful environment. I played guitar and sang with my sisters and cousins. I spent our time there thinking of her and her life. If we approach the sacrament in this same way, we will benefit from its blessings.
Elder Holland taught “…every ordinance of the gospel focuses in one way or another on the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, and surely that is why this particular ordinance with all its symbolism and imagery comes to us more readily and more repeatedly than any other in our life. It comes in what has been called “the most sacred, the most holy, of all the meetings of the Church. Perhaps we do not always attach that kind of meaning to our weekly sacramental service.”
Then he asked: How “sacred” and how “holy” [is our worship?]”
I know that I can make the sacrament more sacred and holy in my life. I can take this ordinance more seriously, spend time reflecting & repenting. I am promising to remember Him. I can do better.
Elder Holland speaking of the night of the Last Supper and the Garden of Gethsemane shared this,
“One request Christ made of his disciples on that night of deep anguish and grief was that they stand by him, stay with him in his hour of sorrow and pain. “Could ye not watch with me one hour?” he asked longingly (Matt. 26:40). I think he asks that again of us, every Sabbath day when the emblems of his life are broken and blessed and passed.
'How great the wisdom and the love
That filled the courts on high
And sent the Savior from above
To suffer, bleed, and die!
Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!'”
After church I congratulated her on talking clearly, looking up from her notes and speaking confidently. "Mom, I was shaking so much I spilled the sacrament water all over me. I felt so sick. I didn't stop shaking until it was over!" Even though we wrote the talk together, she made it hers. She is surely glad it is over. Hopefully each time it will get easier and easier.