Having been raised in an L-DS family and married to and L-DS woman, and attending an L-DS ward, family home evening is something I’m encouraged to do. I don’t think there is anything wrong with taking one night out of the week to study the gospel and spend time together as a family.
But I feel the same way about Family Home Evening as I do about scripture study. It does no good to regiment it. By saying you need to read your scriptures once a day relegates it to a chore, a task on a long checklist. Instead we should just be a scripture reading people. Reading scriptures shouldn’t be a task to complete everyday. Rather it should just be who we are. The use, and knowledge, of the scriptures should be a fundamental element of our daily lives.
So I feel that relegating activities associated with Family Home Evening to one night a week is counter productive to our ultimate goal. Instead, every day we should be involved in gospel discussion and family bonding(treats wouldn’t be that bad either). It should just be part of who we are. Not a weekly event to plan and complete.
But anyway, I’ve decided that I will do my best to hold a weekly family home evening. This is mainly for the benefit of my beloved wife. I feel at times that my lack of interest in L-DS Church promoted activities has a negative affect on her. So I feel that by doing an activity, such as Family Home Evening, it will help her and also help me take a more active lead in the spiritual path of my family.
So here we go. Lesson one, about the sacrament. My daughter is almost three so these lessons will be VERY simple. So the key notes of the lesson will be in bold. The scriptural backing will be in plain text. Because there will be many people who disagree with what I teach I will back up my statements with the scriptures and words of the Prophets. This lesson should not take more than two minutes to complete. The spirit led me to expound and simplify things as I explained it to my daughter. So just go where you are led, and don’t stick to exactly what I’ve outlined.
What is the sacrament?
The sacrament is a way that baptized members of the church, show our love for Christ. It was a way that we remember him and show our faith in him.
To remember the body of Christ
To witness to Heavenly Father that we are willing to:
- Take upon the name of Jesus
- Always remember Jesus
- Keep the commandments
These things so that we may have the Spirit to be with us.
To remember the blood of Christ which was shed for us.
To witness to Heavenly Father that we do always remember Christ
These things so that we may have the Spirit to be with us.
76 And the elder or priest shall administer it; and after this manner shall he administer it—he shall kneel with the church and call upon the Father in solemn prayer, saying:
77 O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it, that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him and keep his commandments which he has given them; that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.
78 The manner of administering the wine—he shall take the cup also, and say:
79 O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this wine to the souls of all those who drink of it, that they may do it in remembrance of the blood of thy Son, which was shed for them; that they may witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they do always remember him, that they may have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.
How do we partake of the sacrament:
Bread and Wine
And as they were eating, Jesus took bread and brake it, and blessed it, and gave to his disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is in remembrance of my body which I give a ransom for you.
Matthew 26:23, 24
23 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it.
24 For this is in remembrance of my blood of the new testament, which is shed for as many as shall believe on my name, for the remission of their sins.
D&C 89:5, 6
5 That inasmuch as any man drinketh wine or strong drink among you, behold it is not good, neither meet in the sight of your Father, only in assembling yourselves together to offer up your sacraments before him.
6 And, behold, this should be wine, yea, pure wine of the grape of the vine, of your own make.
D&C 27:2, 3
2 For, behold, I say unto you, that it mattereth not what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink when ye partake of the sacrament, if it so be that ye do it with an eye single to my glory—remembering unto the Father my body which was laid down for you, and my blood which was shed for the remission of your sins.
3 Wherefore, a commandment I give unto you, that you shall not purchase wine neither strong drink of your enemies;
Elders or Priests Bless the sacrament
D&C 20:38, 40, 46, 50
38 The duty of the elders, priests, teachers, deacons, and members of the church of Christ—An apostle is an elder, and it is his calling to baptize;
40 And to administer bread and wine—the emblems of the flesh and blood of Christ—
46 The priest’s duty is to preach, teach, expound, exhort, and baptize, and administer the sacrament,
50 But when there is an elder present, he is only to preach, teach, expound, exhort, and baptize,
Kneel when the sacrament is being blessed
2 And they did kneel down with the church, and pray to the Father in the name of Christ, saying…
76 And the elder or priest shall administer it; and after this manner shall he administer it–he shall kneel with the church and call upon the Father in solemn prayer, saying…
Only those who are baptized should eat of the sacrament
3 Ne. 18: 28, 29
28 And now behold, this is the commandment which I give unto you, that ye shall not suffer any one knowingly to partake of my flesh and blood unworthily, when ye shall minister it;
29 For whoso eateth and drinketh my flesh and blood unworthily eateth and drinketh damnation to his soul; therefore if ye know that a man is unworthy to eat and drink of my flesh and blood ye shall forbid him.
Eat until Filled
3 Nephi 18: 4, 5
4 And when they had eaten and were filled, he commanded that they should give unto the multitude.
5 And when the multitude had eaten and were filled, he said unto the disciples: Behold there shall one be ordained among you, and to him will I give power that he shall break bread and bless it and give it unto the people of my church, unto all those who shall believe and be baptized in my name.
I also printed out two pictures as visual aids.
I did not use a picture of Christ because I believe that falls under the making of graven images. For me when I see an image or painting of Christ it draws me away from actually coming to know Christ. This is because an artist has already depicted Him for me. I would rather have my own image of Christ in my mind and heart rather than imagining an artist’s depiction of Him.
Finally here’s an interesting write up I found while doing research. It comes from here: http://truthseeker.tripod.com/LDSQUESTION11.html
How did we overlook that we should all kneel as the sacrament is being blessed?
Moroni 4:2 And they did kneel down with the church, and pray to the Father in the name of Christ, saying…
D&C 20:76 And the elder or priest shall administer it; and after this manner shall he administer it–he shall kneel with the church and call upon the Father in solemn prayer, saying…
Note that in both scriptures it says that the person blessing the sacrament will kneel WITH the church and not FOR the church or IN FRONT OF the church. No, WITH the church, that is to say WITH the members which together are the church.
This very issue was discussed in the 1890′s and was dismissed by Joseph F. Smith as being “rather impracticable”:
“I want to speak of one or two little things that have been brought to my mind here and at other places, which may be profitable to some of us. I would like to call the attention of the congregation, especially of the Bishops, to the mode of administering the sacrament. The book of Doctrine and Covenants teaches us that the Elder or Priest who administers the sacrament ‘shall kneel with the Church.’ Of course, it is quite difficult, and probably inappropriate, for a whole congregation to kneel while the blessing is being asked upon the bread and upon the water. The confusion and noise incident to kneeling and rising again would be inappropriate. Besides, the construction of our meeting houses, and the size of the congregations generally, would make that practice rather impracticable.” (Collected Discourses, Vol. 3, Joseph F. Smith, July 16, 1893)
Difficult? Probably inappropriate? Confusion and noise? Construction of our meeting houses? Size of congregations? Impracticable? Sounds a lot more like excuses rather than revelation to me.
Our meeting houses could have been built to accommodate the word of God! Catholics stand and kneel as a congregation during Mass without noise or confusion. I believe we were supposed to kneel during the sacramental prayers but this point has been over looked and is now lost.