Asia Area Presidency Message
Elder Chi Hong (Sam) Wong of the Seventy, First Counselor in the Asia Area Presidency
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland in the October 1995 General Conference gave a beautiful sermon on the origin and purpose of the sacrament. “As a final and specially prepared Passover supper was ending, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to his Apostles, saying, ‘Take, eat’ (Matt 26:26). ‘This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me’ (Luke 22:19). In a similar manner he took the cup of wine … said a blessing of thanks for it, and passed it to those gathered about him, saying: ‘This cup is the new testament in my blood,’ ‘which is shed … for the remission of sins.’ ‘This do in remembrance of me.’ (Luke 22:20, Matt 26:28, Luke 22:19)
’Since that upper room experience on the eve of Gethsemane and Golgotha, children of the promise have been under covenant to remember Christ’s sacrifice in this newer, higher, more holy and personal way.’”1
Elder Holland then went on to ask, “If remembering is the principal task before us, what might come to our memory when those plain and precious emblems are offered to us?”2
What should we remember?What should we remember?
In order to remind their children to remember the most important things, mothers often use recurring words like “remember, remember.” I feel that our Heavenly Father may do so similarly. In the Book of Mormon there are five instances that the words “remember, remember” were used. Let us search together those occasions in the Book of Mormon and see if our loving Heavenly Father has left us with any hints as to what we should remember.
Samuel the Lamanite – “Act For Ourselves”
Samuel the Lamanite provided ample words of warning and prophecy to the wicked Nephites. He warned them of their destruction if they continued to live in iniquity. He prophesied of the coming birth, life, death and resurrection of Christ. He acknowledged the freedom they had to act for themselves, but in so doing they should not forget that only through the atonement of Jesus Christ and their own actions would they be saved. “And now remember, remember, my brethren, that whosoever perisheth, perisheth unto himself; and whosoever doeth iniquity, doeth it unto himself; for behold, ye are free; ye are permitted to act for yourselves; for behold, God hath given unto you a knowledge and he hath made you free.”3 He wants us to act for ourselves, and in so doing remember the good things we are supposed to do and do them.
Alma the Younger – “Strict are the Commandments”
Alma the Younger had gone through periods of rebellion, repentance and later became a prophet of God. He provided us with great counsel through the teachings he gave to his sons, particularly to Helaman. “O remember, remember, my son Helaman, how strict are the commandments of God. And he said: If ye will keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land – but if ye keep not his commandments ye shall be cut off from his presence.”4
These were stern words from a concerned parent. He firmly shared with his son the consequences of keeping and not keeping the commandments. Why so strict? Why can’t things be easier? Nephi provided a wise warning to those who want things too easy – “…wo be unto him that is at ease in Zion!”5 If we are too casual in our obedience it will be easier for Satan to stir us up to anger, lull us away, pacify us, flatter us, take hold of us and lead us down to hell. Don’t allow yourself to be ‘at ease in Zion.’6 If we want to prosper, ‘remember, remember to keep the commandments’!
King Benjamin – “Hold Faithful to the End”
One of the most powerful sermons in all of scripture was delivered by King Benjamin. Besides living a life as a true disciple of Jesus Christ, King Benjamin desired that the people would understand what he knew to be true – “…those that keep the commandments…and if they hold faithful to the end they are received into heaven.”7 He emphasized his admonition by encouraging them to “O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.”8 King Benjamin reminds us that the Lord God has made this promise and it is up to us to hold faithful to the end.to “O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.”
Nephi and Lehi – “Upon the Rock of our Redeemer”
Two of the most devoted servants to the cause of spreading the gospel, Nephi and Lehi, endured many trials. As they were challenged they remembered the words of their father Helaman. “… remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation…a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.”9 It does not mean that we will not have disappointments, trials or challenges, but as we build a strong foundation we will have the strength necessary to withstand them. Where is our foundation? What is it built upon? How strong is it? If you are still building your house upon the sand, change the location!
Helaman – “Only Through the Atoning Blood of Jesus Christ”
King Benjamin additionally taught, “Yet the Lord God saw that his people were a stiffnecked people, and he appointed unto them a law, even the law of Moses. And many signs, and wonders, and types, and shadows showed he unto them, concerning his coming; and also holy prophets spake unto them concerning his coming; and yet they hardened their hearts, and understood not that the law of Moses availeth nothing except it were through the atonement of his blood.”10
Helaman later in the Book of Mormon affirmed King Benjamin’s words with the counsel he provides to his sons, “O remember, remember…there is no other way nor means whereby man can be saved, only through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ.”11 Therefore, the most important element to building a strong and stable foundation is the atonement of Jesus Christ.
How can we remember?How can we remember?
The principles to follow are simple but strict. We have to use our agency wisely. We need to be faithful to the end by building our lives upon the rock of our Redeemer. Through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, we will be able to once again join our Heavenly Father in eternal splendor.
The sacrament meeting is “the most sacred, the most holy, of all the meetings of the Church.”12 Not only should we partake of these emblems of the Savior with an eye single to His glory, but also as a witness of the truthfulness of His divinity in all that we say and do each and every day. ■
Caption: Elder Chi Hong (Sam) Wong
1 Jeffrey R. Holland, “This Do in Remembrance of Me,” October 1995 General Conference, https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1995/10/this-do-in-remembrance-of-me
3 Helaman 14:30.
4 Alma 37:13.
5 See 2 Nephi 28:24.
7 See Mosiah 2:41.
8 Ibid; emphasis added.
9 See Helaman 5:12.
10 Mosiah 3:14-15.
11 See Helaman 5:9.
12 See Joseph Fielding Smith, in Conference Report, Oct. 1929, 60-61; see also Doctrines of Salvation, ed. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols. (1954-56), 2:340-41; Teachings of Presidents of the Church, Joseph Fielding Smith (2013), 95.Doctrines of Salvation Teachings of Presidents of the Church, Joseph Fielding Smith