Sunday, April 17, 2011

Easter EVERY Sunday by Rebecca Holt Stay

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Easter can be celebrated EVERY SUNDAY 
when we, like Jesus and the 12 at the Last Supper, 
partake of the sacrament.

In partaking of the sacrament we need to do three things: 
Prepare, Pray, and Participate.

1. Preparation needs to begin before we ever enter the building. 

As in the Old Testament, where priests had to keep themselves ritually clean in order to officiate in the sacrifice of the lamb, so the Priesthood today must prepare by staying clean - including in their activities with friends on Friday and Saturday night. As we members arrive at Church, we can take time for a parking lot interview- as if entering the Temple- and ask ourselves: ' Am I worthy today to partake? Can I enter the Lord’s house and be comfortable renewing my covenants alongside these ward members?' If necessary, pray, make peace with others in the foyer or a classroom or over the phone. But as you are judging your worthiness, Neal A. Maxwell said, If you now feel or have ever felt the desire to partake of the Sacrament, to thank God for His goodness or remember Christ’s atonement then you should.”

Arrive early enough to watch the teachers prepare the Sacrament table, and consider: that
they are laying out the Body and Blood of Christ which they cover with a clean shroud of
linen. When the linen is removed, new life is offered to all.

2. Prayer- For Priests, saying the Sacrament prayer is a time to be perfect - just like Christ.
Priests stand in for Jesus whose words they speak. They represent Christ as He pleads for
mercy from the Father- our Father and His- in our behalf and in His name. If possible, a priest should have thought about the word he is speaking and try to say them as if he means them : to make the words his own. We as members participate in the prayer not only through our AMEN, but also by offering heartfelt silent prayers of our own as we worship.

3. We all - member and priesthood officiators - participate by either feeding or feasting.
In blessing and passing the sacrament, the priesthood presents an interesting paradox :
the greatest becomes the servant of all in a powerful contrast to our worldly culture. God’s
plan has MEN standing, preparing, and serving food to seated women and children while
waiting to eat LAST, just the opposite of mealtime in most cultures. One most memorable
Sacrament occasion for me was at a family reunion in Zion’s Canyon. Grandpa presided and
all serving were our sons or nephews. You have probably had a similar experience encircling
a hospital bed, on a battlefield, or in a quiet hotel room far from home.

There is no power in merely OBSERVING the passing of the Sacrament anymore than
the unclean woman was healed by WATCHING Jesus walk by: she had to reach out her
hand and lay hold on the healing body of Christ. During the passing of the sacrament, we
as members should be feasting, not just on the soft bread and cool water but also on the
words of Christ. I love to watch young families helping children remember Jesus by looking
at pictures of Christ. Reading scriptures or sacramental hymns can help us as adults
“Remember Him” for at least the first 10 minutes of our new life with Christ.

Choose today to take the Sacrament.

1- Change your heart and life by sincerely repenting. "God only asks us to give
up those things which, if clung to, would destroy us.

2- Pay attention to the ordinance. “Our outward involvement in spiritual things
can also be illusive. One can be present at Sacrament meeting but not really worship; the
physical body can be there, while the mind and heart are elsewhere. One can accept a
calling but still not magnify it, ending up by simply serving time. One can pay fast offerings
unaccompanied by any personal service to needy neighbors or to the poor. We can open our checkbooks in the same way as some open their scriptures- more in mechanical than
spiritual compliance. In Church, we can join in singing the hymns while being without a song in our hearts. We can take the sacrament with hand and mouth yet not be taken in mind, at least sometimes, to Gethsemane and Calvary. We can play artful doctrinal ping-pong in various Church classes but with minds and hearts that are less stretched than the ping-pong net.... (p. 56) Not everyone will be like Cain or Judas. Equally tragic are able men like Pilate and Agrippa who see themselves as sophisticated neutrals.” (p. 55)

3- Make the covenant today and keep it: “Already too many Church members
have broken hearts and broken homes because of broken covenants and broken promises.
Society’s increasing slide towards pleasure-seeking brings our so-called civilization
comparatively closer to Sodom then to Eden.” (p.67)  “If you sense that one day every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is the Lord, why not do so now? For in the coming of that collective confession, it will mean much less to kneel down when it is not longer possible to stand up!” (p. 173)

4- Consecrate the rest of your life. “Consecration is the only surrender that is also a
victory. It brings release from raucous, overpopulated cell block of selfishness and
emancipation from the dark prison of pride.” (p. 62)

Choose today to live a life of holiness- may we stand as lights and guides to others
around us, too. Only those who are different can make a difference in a darkening world.

[all quotations are taken from the Neal A. Maxwell Quote Book]

He instituted the sacrament as a reminder of His great atoning sacrifice.  
The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles, (2000)

This post consists of notes from a Sacrament talk, given by Rebecca Holt Stay in 2000 just after the release of "The Living Christ."

Read more wonderful insights from Rebecca at:
Finding Christ in The Old Testament

Tomorrow I will announce the winner of the Jenny Phillips CD.
Enter by commenting on the giveaway post.


  1. lovely thoughts to contemplate each sunday...

  2. This really enlightened me today- a great way to begin the Sabbath. Thank you so much for this wonderful message.

  3. We just started teaching our five year old the next level of understanding for him on the sacrament. I love teaching these things to him line upon line!

  4. this was just like having Rebecca back in our midst again..thanx.

  5. I love Dave's Mom! Thanks for the insights.

  6. I sure miss Becky's wisdom. She is extremely knowledgable...thank you Jocelyn.

  7. This is a good reminder. Thanks!


  8. Loved the post and enjoyed the thoughts and the quotes.
    Blessings to you! LeAnn

  9. you did a nice job on this, I appreciate the words and thoughts.