The Sacrament
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updated 08/17/15
As Now We Take the Sacrament - Hymn Number 169
Performed by:
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Text by:
Lee Tom Perry, b. 1951 1985 IRI
Music by:
Daniel Lyman Carter, b. 1955 1985 IRI
As now we take the sacrament, Our thoughts are turned to thee,
Thou Son of God, who lived for us, Then died on Calvary.
We contemplate thy lasting grace, Thy boundless charity;
To us the gift of life was giv'n For all eternity.

As now our minds review the past, We know we must repent;
The way to thee is righteousness -- The way thy life was spent.
Forgiveness is a gift from thee We seek with pure intent.
With hands now pledged to do thy work, We take the sacrament.

As now we praise thy name with song, The blessings of this day
Will linger in our thankful hearts, And silently we pray
For courage to accept thy will, To listen and obey.
We love thee, Lord; our hearts are full. We'll walk thy chosen way.

 We live in the perilous times prophesied by the Apostle Paul . Those who try to walk the straight and narrow path see inviting detours on every hand. We can be distracted, degraded, downhearted, or depressed. How can we have the Spirit of the Lord to guide our choices and keep us on the path?

In modern revelation the Lord gave the answer in this commandment:

'And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day; For verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors, and to pay thy devotions unto the Most High' .

This is a commandment with a promise. By participating weekly and appropriately in the ordinance of the sacrament we qualify for the promise that we will 'always have his Spirit to be with [us]' . That Spirit is the foundation of our testimony. It testifies of the Father and the Son, brings all things to our remembrance, and leads us into truth. It is the compass to guide us on our path. This gift of the Holy Ghost, President Wilford Woodruff taught, 'is the greatest gift that can be bestowed upon man' (Deseret Weekly, Apr. 6, 1889, 451).

The resurrected Lord emphasized the importance of the sacrament when He visited the American continent and instituted this ordinance among the faithful Nephites. He blessed the emblems of the sacrament and gave them to His disciples and the multitude , commanding:

'And this shall ye always do to those who repent and are baptized in my name; and ye shall do it in remembrance of my blood, which I have shed for you, that ye may witness unto the Father that ye do always remember me. And if ye do always remember me ye shall have my Spirit to be with you.

… And if ye shall always do these things blessed are ye, for ye are built upon my rock.

But whoso among you shall do more or less than these are not built upon my rock, but are built upon a sandy foundation; and when the rain descends, and the floods come, and the winds blow, and beat upon them, they shall fall' .

The sacrament is the ordinance that replaced the blood sacrifices and burnt offerings of the Mosaic law, and with it came the Savior’s promise: 'And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost' . 

Elder Dallin H. Oaks
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (October 2008)