I grew up in a faith-filled, Presbyterian family. My parents, and my sister believe in God, and in Jesus Christ. We didn’t attend church hardly while I was growing up. Looking back, I wish that was different.
Last month I celebrated the sixth anniversary of my membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I couldn’t be happier. Joining the church has been one of the greatest decisions of my life. My relationship with Christ and my Heavenly Father has grown substantially, my knowledge of His plan has increased, and continues to increase, and my love for others continues to grow as well.
How is this happening? I attribute these blessings mainly to my church attendance. Latter-day Saint services are scheduled every Sunday. Our congregations are determined geographically to meet the needs of the individual members. Going to church on a weekly basis is important to me. Life isn’t easy, and the week can sometimes seem longer than 7 days. Most weeks I feel drained spiritually, and need to be re-charged.
Our main service is called Sacrament Meeting. This meeting offers those in attendance an opportunity to listen to speakers selected from the congregation speak on various gospel topics. The main focus and priority of the meeting however, is the Sacrament, or Communion. Every week the bread and water representing the body and blood of Christ are blessed and passed to the congregation. We do this for a number of reasons. I wish to highlight two.
To Remember and Worship Him
“And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”
The Sacrament bread and water provide a tangible reminder of the ultimate sacrifice payed by the Savior in our behalf. This Atoning sacrifice was done for everyone on a very personal, and individual basis. It has the power to transform us into the very image that God created us to be-His.
Receiving the sacred emblems of Christ’s body and blood, and remembering what they represent is an integral part of my Sunday worship. Before the Sacrament is offered to the congregation, a hymn is sung. There is no better way for me to focus my mind and heart on the Savior then by singing about his sacrifice and feeling the power of the music and the Spirit bring me closer to God.
To Renew Covenants
Throughout our lives as members of the church, we make sacred covenants and promises with God. Beginning with baptism, we promise to take upon ourselves the name of Christ, to always remember Him, and to keep His commandments. In return we are promised to always have the Spirit to be with us. Each week when we receive the Sacrament, we have the opportunity to re-commit ourselves to the promises that we’ve made, bringing us closer to Christ.
Going to church every week blesses my life. It builds my faith in my Savior as I worship him, and gives me opportunity to serve. I learn more about who I am and what my potential is, for this life and the next. Going to church also brings me closer to those in my neighborhood and community. It opens up a wide variety of resources and blessings throughout the week.
When I attend church on a weekly basis I feel stronger.
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” -Matthew 16:24-25
*All are welcome to attend Sunday services, whether or not you are a member of the church. To find a meetinghouse near you, click here.