Thursday, October 12, 2017

Elder D. Todd Christofferson on the sacred symbolism of the sacrament

Elder D. Todd Christofferson (b. January 24, 1945) was called to the Seventy in 1993, and as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 2008.
"To eat His flesh and drink His blood is a striking way of expressing how completely we must bring the Savior into our life—into our very being—that we may be one. How does this happen?
"First, we understand that in sacrificing His flesh and blood, Jesus atoned for our sins and overcame death, both physical and spiritual. Clearly, then, we partake of His flesh and drink His blood when we receive from Him the power and blessings of His Atonement....
"I have spoken of receiving the Savior’s atoning grace to take away our sins and the stain of those sins in us. But figuratively eating His flesh and drinking His blood has a further meaning, and that is to internalize the qualities and character of Christ, putting off the natural man and becoming Saints 'through the atonement of Christ the Lord' (Mosiah 3:19). As we partake of the sacramental bread and water each week, we would do well to consider how fully and completely we must incorporate His character and the pattern of His sinless life into our life and being....
"This suggests the need for a mighty striving on our part. We cannot be content to remain as we are but must be moving constantly toward 'the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ' (Ephesians 4:13). Like King Lamoni’s father in the Book of Mormon, we must be willing to give away all our sins (see Alma 22:18) and focus on what the Lord expects of us, individually and together."
- D. Todd Christofferson, "The Living Bread Which Came Down from Heaven," General Conference October 2017
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

The sacramental language of eating the body and drinking the blood of Christ is symbolic only, but as Elder Christofferson points out, teaches a powerful lesson. First, it links us powerfully to His stoning sacrifice on our behalf; but second, it teaches how profoundly our commitment to Him must be as we attempt to fully "internalize" His message and teachings.

It's the "mighty striving" that we must focus on, in which we "internalize the qualities and character of Christ, putting off the natural man and becoming Saints." That is the great quest of this life!

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2017)

No comments:

Post a Comment

// Customization to close archive widget on first view - DK 3/15