Monday, July 13, 2015

A POWERFUL ORDINANCE.

One of our many adventures when we travel, and don't laugh, is attending other wards. Same church, but in a different city or state. Reason why I wrote "don't laugh" is because for most people that may not be an adventurous outing, but it is to us. Ever since the girls were little we decided to not only attend a temple while we are on vacation, but to find an LDS chapel to attend if we stay until the weekend. Since our daughter participated in EFY for a whole week we decided to stay over the weekends to attend the past two Sundays at Rockbridge ward in Virginia. 

And it was refreshing! 

Refreshing because knowing that no matter what area of the church we attend the gospel never changes. The doctrine is the same, and most of the time I end up making new friends. That's a bonus! 

We were lucky enough to have been present this past Sunday when the stake president spoke on the sacrament, and why we partook of it at the end of the meeting. 

I was wondering why we were waiting to take sacrament at the end, but after listening to both talks as to why it all made sense. 

First, this wonderful sister gave an excellent talk on sacrifice, and President Jones talked about preparing ourselves before taking the sacrament, and how vital it is to prepare ourselves not five minutes before we step into the building on a Sunday to sit down for church, but to prepare the week before. Maybe even two, or three days before. In other words...always be prepared to take the sacrament ahead, and with a great desire. 

He mentioned how partaking of the sacrament every Sunday isn't ritual. It happens regularly, but it isn't ritual. It is the closest thing that we have to the ordinances of the temple of Solomon. The closest thing we have to the ordinance and anticipation of the sacrifice of Christ. He continued on with the story of when Jesus met with all his apostles for the last supper (the passover), and taught them the doctrine, and procedure of the sacrament as explained in Luke 22-15. 

I personally never want to think of taking the sacrament every week as ritual, but a "powerful ordinance." I don't want to rush coming to church, winded trying to find a place to sit with my kids while in my head saying, "we made it." It was nice to not have not been in a rush for the past two Sundays, and to have arrived to church five minutes before it began. It was nice to have felt a sincere desire as to why we chose to come to church when, in all honesty, we didn't have to. We could have slept in, and played hooky. But we went. 

As I was listening to the words of President Jones all I can think about was the crucifixiton of God, and how He knew what was going to happen to him, and yet He desired it. And when I think about what He sacrificed for me, and my family gives me a stronger desire to come on Sunday prepared to participate in the emblems of His sacrifice, and to be spiritually renewed by His atonement willed by his father. And to recommit myself to be more like him by that "powerful ordinance." I know I'll never achieve that goal in this lifetime, but I'll certainly do my best every day of my life to be a kind human being. To follow along in prayer, and take the ordinance of the sacrament seriously, so that in the process I can be cleansed. 

I am so grateful to have been a part of this ward, even if it was just for two Sundays, and to have participated in taking the sacrament at the end. It truly made it a more holy, and sanctifying experience...without any distractions!! 

Having it done this way reminded me of all that I was taught when I first became a member of the church. I was reminded of the story of Jesus, and how going to church shouldn't be "casual, and ritual" but a sincere commitment because the main purpose why we are there is to take the sacrament so that we can be spiritually renewed. 

President Jones ended with saying how partaking of the sacrament should be the central focus of our sabbath worship, and our week. That is so true. That should be our main purpose, and having him reminding me of that gives me a greater desire to keep God's commandments throughout the week in hopes that by coming every Sunday prepared that the cleansing that I long for will come, and that I will always have the Savior in my life. 
I want for my husband and I to be good examples to our kids so that they can understand that church is a place where we come to worship, and remember the Lord's sacrifice. That church is a place where they will learn all about Heavenly Father, and his son Jesus. That church is a place where they can feel safe, and know that they are loved by Heavenly Father as well as their brothers, and sisters. To teach them that no matter where we go...the Church is perfect, and true. 

It was so nice seeing our children happy, and comfortable in Rockbridge ward. We really had a nice time in Virginia, and you better believe we'll be coming back to visit this ward next time we are in town! 
Happy Monday! 

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