How do you create memories for things that are special to you? Do you keep a journal or photo album, or do you have some other favorite method of bringing back good feelings and joy from past experiences?
The covenant of baptism is one of the most joyful and sacred blessings in a disciple’s life. Unfortunately, if we do not take the opportunity to remember the covenants we have made, and the feelings associated with them it becomes very easy for these promise to become lost in the less important stresses of every day life. Because of our Heavenly Father’s great love for us and His understanding of our human frailties, He gives us an equally sacred method to remember this experience by. Every week, as we gather on the Sabbath, we are given the opportunity to take the sacrament. The Lord has commanded us to take advantage of this opportunity. He has promised us that if we will go to Him to renew and remember our baptism covenants, it will also renew our strength and conviction to follow Christ and give us added protection from the evils we encounter every day in the world.
“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” (Doctrine and Covenants 59:9).
As Christ faced His last evening with the disciples, before His ultimate sacrifice, He had two specific things to teach them. These were the things he wanted to have the greatest impression on them. The first was His example of service and a commandment to become like Him. Just as it was for them, it is our willingness to do service and our desire for goodness that bind us to Him. The second was the sacrament. Jesus Christ gave them an ordinance specifically designed to help His disciples remember Him, be close to Him, and honor the promises they made to 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.” (Matthew 26:26-28)
Jesus brought this same ordinance to the Americas when He visited its people after His resurrection.
“And it came to pass that Jesus commanded his Disciples that they should bring forth some bread and wine unto him.
And while they were gone for bread and wine, he commanded the multitude that they should sit themselves down upon the earth.
And when the Disciples had come with bread and wine, he took of the bread and brake and blessed it; and he gave unto the Disciples and commanded that they should eat.
And when they had eaten and were filled, he commanded that they should give unto the multitude.
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.
And this shall ye always observe to ado, even as I have done, even as I have broken bread and blessed it and given it unto you.
And this shall ye do in remembrance of my body, which I have shown unto you. And it shall be a testimony 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 it came to pass that when he said these words, he commanded his Disciples that they should take of the wine of the cup and drink of it, and that they should also give unto the multitude that they might drink of it.
And it came to pass that they did so, and did drink of it and were filled; and they gave unto the multitude, and they did drink, and they were filled.
And when the Disciples had done this, Jesus said unto them: Blessed are ye for this thing which ye have done, for this is fulfilling my commandments, and this doth witness unto the Father that ye are willing to do that which I have commanded you.
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 I give unto you a commandment that ye shall do these things. And if ye shall always do these things blessed are ye, for ye are built upon my rock. (3 Nephi 18:1–12)
At baptism we commit ourselves to Christ and show ourselves willing to carry His name in every aspect of our lives, to try to live His gospel and become like Him. When we take the sacrament we return to that sacred promise. We place ourselves in a holy atmosphere where we can sit at the Father’s feet and assess our lives and dedication to Jesus Christ. We thank Him for the Savior’s atoning sacrifice that we remember through the bread and water. We thank Him for the chance it gives us to repent, to seek forgiveness and begin each day with a greater conviction to bring our lives into harmony with the gospel and His commandments. We walk away blessed with the spirit of Jesus Christ to build us up and guide us through life until we meet and renew our covenants again.