Remembering Christ


What do you picture in your mind when you think of sacrament meeting?

The answer might be as different from one person to another as two snowflakes are in shape, size and design. For one person, those words might trigger thoughts of a boring talk from a visiting high council member. Another person might think of noisy kids or people playing on their smart phones for an hour. Few people are quick to remember the actual purpose that sacrament meeting serves.

Sacrament meetings are constructed around one of the most essential gospel ordinances. Each week we partake of the sacrament in memory of Jesus Christ and his sacrifice for us.

Symbolic ordinance

The ordinance of the sacrament offers a highly symbolic reminder of what Christ endured to throw open the door for redemption and salvation. The broken pieces of bread represent his body – broken upon the cross, so Jesus could break the bands of physical death. The small cups of water represent his blood – shed in the Garden of Gethsemane, and again on the cross, so he could break the bands of spiritual death.

jesus in the garden

When we partake of the sacrament we renew a covenant with God we first made at baptism. One of the key promises in that covenant that we make – both during the prayer over the bread and the water – is to always remember Christ.

A question naturally arises: What does it mean to remember Christ? Alma and Moroni give us the perfect answer. To remember Christ, God expects us to do three specific things:

  • Stand as a witness of Christ in all times and all places (Mosiah 18:9).
  • Take upon ourselves the name of Christ (Moroni 4:3).
  • Keep the commandments of God (Moroni 4:3).

Being a Witness of Christ

One of the final instructions that Christ gave to his 12 apostles in Jerusalem after his resurrection was to go into the world and preach his gospel unto every creature (Mark 16: 15-16). The same commission applies to us once we are baptized in his name by someone with priesthood authority from God. We are expected to share the gospel of Christ.

In other words, we are expected to testify of Christ and teach others about his role as our savior and redeemer. This means sharing the divine truth that Jesus suffered and died for our sins and then rose from the grave again – opening the door for each one of us to conquer physical and spiritual death and return to the presence of God. Nothing else we can do is as essential as spreading the word of Christ’s gift of salvation.


Taking the Name of Christ

Our thoughts, words and actions determine our true identity. If we desire to be counted as a disciple of Christ, we must take his name upon ourselves. How do we take upon ourselves the name of Christ? Through modeling what we think, what we say and what we do upon what our Savior teaches us in the scriptures and through the inspired words of latter-day prophets and apostles.

Christ provides a perfect example of how we should live each day. If we want to be a witness of his name and his role as our Redeemer, we must find ways to be a living witness. Our lives should be a model of gospel principles and doctrines in action. This means loving our neighbor as ourselves. Serving others. Being kind and unselfish. Showing patience and humility. Being a positive influence in the lives of others is one of the most effective ways we can witness of Christ and his message.

Keep God’s Commandments

Loving our neighbor is only one part of the discipleship formula. God also expects us to love him with our heart, might, mind and strength. How do we show that love? Through keeping his commandments. Book of Mormon

It makes sense. Christ’s atonement can only work to maximum effect if you are willing to forsake your sins, turn your heart to God and do the things he has required for you to obtain eternal life. That’s why studying the scriptures and pouring your heart out in prayer daily are so crucial. This is what opens our hearts and minds to obtaining revelation from God and guidance from the Holy Ghost, so we can know what he requires of us personally in our efforts to be a disciple of Christ (3 Nephi 18:7)

Remember to Remember Christ

One reason why the sacrament is such an important ordinance is that it helps us remember Christ. We renew our covenant to take his name upon us. We vow to remember him each day and keep all of the commandments of God. It is our reminder of how we can fulfill our sacred promise to be a witness of Christ at all times and in all places.


Receiving the Second Comforter

christus statue

One of the greatest promises in modern scripture is contained in section 93 of the Doctrine & Covenants. In the first verse, Christ tells Joseph Smith:

“It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am.”

Interpretation of the doctrine in that verse has fueled a recent schism among some who belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Denver Snuffer – a lawyer in Sandy, Utah – was excommunicated for apostasy in 2013. Snuffer first gained notoriety for teaching in his book, “The Second Comforter” that every person should seek to obtain a personal visitation from Jesus Christ in this life. Snuffer drew the ire of LDS Church leadership with his book “Passing the Heavenly Gift.” In this book, Snuffer denied that the prophets and apostles after Joseph Smith died had actually seen Christ and concluded that they had gradually led the church away from many doctrines of the gospel that Joseph restored.

Snuffer’s incorrect thesis has sown confusion among many well-meaning members of the church and caused them to misunderstand the true context of D&C 93:1. It put several at odds with both the scriptures and the living prophets and apostles and led them to follow Snuffer out of Christ’s church.

When we look at what the verse actually says, it outlines four conditions that must be met by a follower of Christ before receiving the second comforter:

  • Forsaking sins
  • Coming unto Christ
  • Obeying his voice
  • Keeping his commandments

In other words, obtaining a personal visit from Christ is not like ordering a pizza or streaming a movie. God does not deal in instant gratification. He wants us to demonstrate a firm commitment to his gospel and exercise faith in Christ before blessing us with such a lofty sign. We must be humble and patient and be willing to endure a trial of our faith. Even after doing these things, we must leave it up to God to decide when, where and how he reveals himself to us.

Prophets and apostles who saw Christ in the scriptures were blessed with that experience because they first exercised great faith and lived in harmony with his gospel. They listened to the voice of the Holy Ghost and kept the commandments over many years. They prayed with humility and only sought to do his will. Never do you see an occasion where a prophet or an apostle demanded a personal visit from Christ simply to satisfy their own curiosity.

God will not magically appear like a genie in a lamp to anyone who demands to see him. Pestering him until you see him face-to-face is not what the scriptures teach.

Consider what Moroni tell us in Ether 12:6:

“And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.”

In other words, God expects us to exercise faith in him and be patient. We do not receive any sign, miracle or other dramatic spiritual manifestation at a time of our own choosing. We only receive these things after a trial of our faith. God wants us to learn to walk by faith and obedience. The concept of a trial of faith implies the passage of a long period of time.

Returning to the presence of God is a journey that requires many steps. The first step is building faith in Christ. Repenting of our sins is next. Then we must be baptized for the remission of those sins by one who has authority from God. We then are given the gift of the Holy Ghost and must receive the Holy Ghost.

This is only the beginning of the path as Nephi teaches in Chapter 31 of 2nd Nephi. We must continue to press forward in faith, receive the Holy Ghost and keep the commandments of God. Only by showing God that we will live by every word that comes from him through the scriptures, the voice of the spirit and his chosen leaders do we prove ourselves worthy to enter into his presence. Only when we show we are determined to obey God’s voice at all costs will our calling and election be made sure and we receive the second comforter as promised in the 14th chapter of the Gospel of John.

Christ affirmed this principle in D&C 88:67-68 when he said to Joseph Smith:

“And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things.

Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil his face unto you, and it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will.”


Joseph F. Smith warned us about focusing too much energy on pursuing after dramatic spiritual manifestations when he said:

“Show me Latter-day Saints who have to feed upon miracles, signs and visions in order to keep them steadfast in the Church, and I will show you members of the Church who are not in good standing before God, and who are walking in slippery paths. It is not by marvelous manifestations unto us that we shall be established in the truth, but it is by humility and faithful obedience to the commandments and laws of God.” (Conference Report, Apr. 1900, Page 40).

Seek to pattern your life after the Savior and his teachings and build faith in him, his gospel and his chosen servants. We should all aspire to receive the second comforter. The best way to do it is to follow the pattern he outlined in the scriptures.

Don’t fall for the trap laid by Denver Snuffer. Rejecting the prophets and apostles God has called through revelation to lead his church will not aid us in obtaining the second comforter. Christ does not show us a miracle or sign without the purpose of furthering his work, no matter how badly we want it. Faith is always the key and, if we prove ourselves faithful, we will obtain any blessing God desires us to have – on his own timetable.