Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Mormonism Basics: Sacrament, Pt. 1
A sacrament is, by definition, a visible sign of an inward grace. It is similar to what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints calls an 'ordinance.' Examples would be baptism, confirmation of the priesthood, marriage, etc. But when sacrament is mentioned in Mormonism it is most often in reference to the Lord's Supper, or the Holy Sacrament. For convenience, when I use the word 'Sacrament' in this page I am referring to the Lord's Supper.
As stated earlier these ordinances, such as Sacrament, are visible signs of an inward grace. That is, they are physical representations of our devotion and promises made to God. The Sacrament is to remind us of Christ's Atonement as well as allow us to renew the covenants made in baptism. In this post I'll talk about the baptismal covenants and in part two of this post I'll go over how the Atonement is portrayed in the Sacrament.
Baptism is our way of showing we are willing to follow Christ and keep his commandments. The clearest explanation of the promises made in baptism can be found in the Doctrine and Covenants:
"And again, by way of commandment to the church concerning the manner of baptism - All those who humble themselves before God, and desire to be baptized, and come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits, and witness before the church that they have truly repented of all their sins, and are willing to take upon them the name of Jesus Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end, and truly manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins, shall be received by baptism into his church."
- Doctrine and Covenants 20:37 -
When someone is baptized that person is showing he is willing to take upon him "the name of Jesus Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end." When we take the name of the Savior upon us we then must act in a way that would represent what the Savior would do. If we do this humbly then the Lord promises a remission of our sins and the Spirit as a companion.
*For more on Mormonism baptism, visit the following posts:
- Baptism Explained
- Born of Water and of the Spirit
Taking the sacrament is a renewal of these promises. We promise as we take the sacrament to do our best to serve Christ in all our doings, and if we can do so with a broken heart and contrite spirit then Christ will remit our sins and give us the Spirit.
You can read part two of Mormonism Sacrament here:
Want to know more about Baptism? Missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can give you more info and help answer any of your questions. Just ask!