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An Hour to Watch with Him
The author lives in Ica, Peru.
One day I was preparing to give a talk in sacramentmeeting. I was studying the article “The Atonement ofJesus Christ” by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the March 2008 Liahona. In his article, Elder Holland relates a dream Elder Orson F. Whitney (1855–1931) had in which he saw the Savior in the Garden of Gethsemane. Elder Whitney described the pain and suffering he saw the Savior bear. Then he wrote:
“Presently He arose and walked to where [the] Apostles were kneeling—fast asleep! He shook them gently, awoke them, and in a tone of tender reproach, untinctured by the least show of anger or scolding, asked them if they could not watch with Him one hour. …
“Returning to His place, He prayed again and then went back and found them again sleeping. Again He awoke them, admonished them, and returned and prayed as before. Three times this happened.”1
As I read this, the spirit of revelation entered my mind. In that instant, I realized that the way I could “watch with Him one hour” was in the way I approached sacrament meeting each Sunday. Since then, I have learned that this is an hour in which we can pray to our Heavenly Father in a more meaningful way. Prayer is fundamental at all times, but the Spirit present in that hour of the sacrament is an opportunity to elevate ourselves closer to Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ. When we focus our thoughts on the Lord, it is, in a way, accompanying Him at the moment of the agony He endured when taking upon Himself our sins. It is a time to acknowledge the pain He suffered for us.
Sacrament meeting means everything to me. For me it is the hour of infinite salvation. It has become a sacred time in which I remember and commit in prayer and in spirit to honor my covenants and to follow the perfect example of my Savior. I know that He lives and loves me. I know that it is only through His sacrifice and His precious blood that was spilt that we can all be saved. I know this is true because as I have worked at “watching with Him,” my understanding has been enlightened, my life has been blessed, and my vision of eternal life in His presence has been deepened.
A Reflective, Reverent Moment
“[The sacrament] should be a powerful, reverent, reflective moment. It should encourage spiritual feelings and impressions. As such it should not be rushed. It is not something to ‘get over’ so that the real purpose of a sacrament meeting can be pursued. This is the real purpose of the meeting. And everything that is said or sung or prayed in those services should be consistent with the grandeur of this sacred ordinance.”
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “This Do in Remembrance of Me,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 68.
How Can Taking the Sacrament Change My Life?
In the October 2012 general conference, Elder Don R. Clarke of the Seventy taught, “If we properly prepare for the sacrament, we can transform our lives.” He then suggested “five principles that can bless our lives as we partake of the sacrament worthily”:
Elder Clarke promised: “It will always be a great sacrament meeting if the sacrament is the center of our worship.”2