On Fast Sundays, instead of a full-length article, I write what I call a “fast thoughts” post. A short, unplanned look into a quick lesson I learned from the Book of Mormon. Enjoy.
The other night, I was reading in 3 Nephi 18, where Jesus institutes the Sacrament among the Nephites. He administers the bread to the Twelve, and they, in turn, administer it to the congregations. Then He explains the significance of the bread and does the same for the water: giving it to His chosen twelve, who in turn pass it among the people, followed by an explanation of the symbolism.
But this time, three words jumped out at me like never before:
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…
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.
So the twelve Nephite disciples and all the multitude were “filled” by the Sacrament. I think there are a few ways you could read that. Perhaps the disciples just brought a lot of bread and wine, so it was a filling feast. Perhaps this is like the miraculous feeding of the five thousand in Judea, where Christ makes a little meal go a long way. But I think it’s not too much of a stretch to interpret it as the multitude being spiritually filled. Which made me wonder: when is the last time I felt “filled” by the Sacrament?
Today is an appropriate day to consider that question. We just stuffed ourselves on Thanksgiving a few days ago. And today we are looking forward to being physically filled again when we break our fast this evening. SO, how does the fleeting fulness that follows a physical feast compare to the spiritual “fullness” that we should be experiencing every time we partake of the Lord’s Supper? Are our minds focused on the Savior and the Atonement as we partake of the Sacrament? Are we drinking deeply? Are we feasting on the Sacrament? Or do we let other thoughts and distractions prevent the Sacrament from spiritually filling and renewing us?
To people like me who sometimes get distracted from the most sacred few minutes of the week, Elder Joseph B Wirthlin counseled:
Too many sit at the banquet table of the gospel of Jesus Christ and merely nibble at the feast placed before them. They go through the motions… but their hearts are far away. If they are honest, they would admit to being more interested in the latest neighborhood rumors, stock market trends, and their favorite TV show than they are in the supernal wonders and sweet ministerings of the Holy Spirit…
Drink deeply of the living waters of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
What are some things you do to make the Sacrament a “filling” experience?