Lesson 36: Jesus Christ Gives the Sacrament to the Nephites
- Items needed: A tray full of items that help people remember things (such as family pictures, a CTR ring, a finger string loop tied in a bow, a journal, a planner, a calendar, sticky notes, a notebook, etc.), a cloth to cover the tray, chalk and eraser, and a few rolls of clear tape. You will also need the following for each child: one small Ziplock baggie, two pieces of eight inch long ribbons or string, a piece of paper, a pencil, and a Book of Mormon.
- Print the visual aids (or show them to the children using a tablet or laptop).
- Print the game items onto heavy paper and cut them out. With an exacto knife, slice though each set of dotted lines on the sacrament tray so it has five slits.
- Sacrament Book instructions: For each child, print one copy of the Sacrament Book pages (colored or black and white) onto heavy paper (also make one extra copy to use as an example). Cut out the answer pages by cutting straight across the dotted lines (you should only need to make two cuts per page using a paper cutter.) Turn the pages so they all face the same direction and then stack them together in numerical order. Hole punch the left side. Cut out each of the questions. Put one set of booklet pages and one set of questions in each baggie. Assemble one book to use as an example by loosely tying the pages together with the ribbons through the punched holes, and then by putting each question on top of its matching answer and taping down the left side edge of each question.
Show the children the tray of items. Uncover it and ask the children what the items on the tray are used for. (They are used to help people remember certain things or important events.)
Cover the items back up. Hand out a piece of paper and a pencil to each child. Ask the children to write down all the items they saw on the tray without discussing it with each other. Uncover the tray and let them check their lists. Most likely the children won’t have remembered some of the items. Point out that we sometimes forget things in life, but Heavenly Father wanted us to always remember a very important event, so an ordinance was instituted to help us remember it. Tell the following story and see if the children can guess what important event the story represents. Before telling the story, write on the board what the items in the story represent: roots/temptation, river/sin, rescuer/Jesus Christ.
A certain man, desiring to enjoy the beauties of nature, went for a woodland stroll by the side of a flowing river. Deep in thought about the magnificence of God’s handiwork, he didn’t see the tree roots jutting out near the water’s edge. He stumbled and fell headlong into the river. The water was deep, and the man couldn’t swim! He cried out. But who will hear me? he wondered as the water engulfed him in darkness. He surfaced and shouted again, but his hopes dimmed as he sank for the second time. His call was much weaker as he rose one more time, and he thought, No one can hear me now!
But someone did hear his cries, dived into the water, and brought him safely to the bank.
When the drowning man recovered, he looked up into the face of his rescuer and said, “Oh, thank you! Thank you for saving me. What can I do to show my love and appreciation?”
Then a sad thing happened. Although the man who had been saved lived, his rescuer died as a result of his exertion during the rescue.
Before the rescuer died, he explained that he wanted the man to live a wonderful life of doing good deeds so that the sacrifice of his life would not be in vain. (Elder Derek A. Cuthbert Adapted from a Brigham Young University devotional address, May 19, 1981.)
- What important event does this story represent? (The Atonement of Jesus Christ.) Explain that the man’s rescuer represents Jesus Christ who gave his life for us so that we may repent of our sins and be saved. We show our love and appreciation for the Savior by doing what he has asked us to do.
- What ordinance did the Savior institute upon the earth to help remind us of his sacrifice and of our baptismal promise to do the things he has asked us to do? (The sacrament)
When Jesus was on the earth, he first instituted the sacrament in Jerusalem during what was known as the last supper. (Show picture #1) When Jesus visited the Nephites he instituted the sacrament at the conclusion of his first day among them. He commanded his disciples to bring forth some bread and wine. (In latter days we do not use wine as part of the sacrament for many reasons. The Lord declared “that it mattereth not what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink when ye partake of the Sacrament, if it so be that ye do it with an eye single to my glory-remembering unto the Father my body which was laid down for you, and my blood which was shed for the remission of your sins.” D&C 27:2)
When the disciples returned with the bread and wine, Jesus broke the bread and blessed it and then gave it to his disciples and commanded that they should eat. (Show picture #2) They ate and were filled. (3 Nephi 18:4) One of the meanings of “filled” is to be filled with the Holy Ghost. When the disciples (meaning the twelve apostles) were filled, Jesus commanded them to give the sacrament bread to the multitude. After the multitude had partaken of the bread, Jesus commanded his disciples that they should drink of the wine, and that they should also give the wine to the multitude that they might drink of it. After the disciples and multitude had drank of the wine, they were filled.
Jesus explained to the disciples that they should always observe the sacrament ordinance.
The symbolism in the sacrament ordinance reminds us of the atonement Jesus made for us. For example, the cloth covering the sacrament is symbolic of the cloth that Jesus was covered in when he was laid in the tomb. (Show picture # 3) When Jesus instituted the sacrament among the Nephites, he explained what the bread and water represent. He also discussed the covenants that we are renewing when we take the sacrament. Remind the children that a covenant is a two-way promise.
Tell the children that they are going to play a game that has questions and answers in it concerning Jesus’s teachings about the sacrament. (Make sure each child has a Book of Mormon.)
Show the children the game items. Point out the scriptures on the cups. Explain that you are going to read a question, and they will have to figure out which scripture has the best answer in it. If a child thinks they have found the correct scripture, have them raise their hand and share the reference with the class. The other children have to agree that it is the correct scripture. If the child is correct, that child reads the scripture out loud, answers the question, and then puts the cup into the tray. Once a child has had a turn, they can help someone else find the correct scripture. Be sure to discuss the answers after each correct response. On the last question, have the person who raises their hand first with correct answer put the cup in the tray.
Game Questions and Answers
1. What does the broken bread remind us of? (3 Nephi 18:6-7) Jesus’ broken and bruised body.
2. What does the wine (water) represent? (3 Nephi 18:9,11) Jesus’ blood that was shed for us.
When we partake of the bread and water we are committing to remember the atonement and make it part of our lives, repenting when we make mistakes.
3. Who receives the sacrament? (3 Nephi 18:5) All who are members of the church. (Point out the word “baptized” in the verse.)
Why should you be a member in order to receive the sacrament? Explain that when a person is baptized, he makes special covenants. The sacrament is a time to review and renew those baptismal covenants (make those promises again). (Little children can also take the sacrament as preparation for the future covenants they will make.) During the sacrament we should also be reviewing our actions for the week, repenting of wrong doings, and committing to do better. When we do this we can become clean again like at baptism.
4. When members of the Church partake of the sacrament what are they witnessing to Heavenly Father? ( 3 Nephi 18:10-11) That they will keep the commandments (renewing our baptismal covenants), and that they will always remember Jesus.
5. What are we blessed with when we always remember Jesus? (3 Nephi 18:7) We are blessed to have his Spirit to be with us always. This is a great blessing because the Holy Ghost can give us guidance and help with the difficult challenges and temptations we face in life.
- Why is it important for us to always remember Jesus? When we remember Jesus, we remember the things he did for us. We remember his love for us, and we remember the things he taught. When we remember those things, our faith and love for Jesus grows and our desire to keep his commandments increases.
- How can we remember the Savior during the week so that we can have his Spirit to be with us? We can remember to express our gratitude for Jesus in our prayers. We can read the scriptures daily to learn of His life, ministry, and teachings. We can strive to live what he has taught and keep his commandments.
Sacrament Book Activity
Show the children the baggies and explain that they are each going to make a flap book that can be read each week as they prepare to take the sacrament. The books will help remind them of the purpose of the sacrament. (A flap book has a question on the flap and the answers under the flap.)
Give each child one of the baggies containing the Sacrament Book pages. Have the children sit on the floor and put their pages in front of them. Explain that they need to match the eight questions with the eight answers. Have them put the question on top of its matching answer. After they have made their matches, read your example copy to them so they can check their answers. Have them fix any that are incorrect, and then give them pieces of tape to attach to the left edge of each of the question cutouts to make flaps that cover each answer. Have them stack their pages in numerical order. The pages that say “I will remember Jesus” go at the end of the book. Give each child two pieces of ribbon or string and have them tie together their pages through the holes. Point out the last few pages and explain that during the week they can draw or glue pictures of things they remember about Jesus on those pages. This will help them remember Jesus throughout the week. They can even add more pages if they desire.
- What are some aspects of the Savior’s life and ministry that they might be included on the blank pages of the books? Jesus’s death and atoning sacrifice, his humble birth, his miracles, his teachings, his loving care towards others, etc.
The Savior taught that if we partake of the sacrament, always remember him, and keep his commandments then our lives will be built upon his rock, which is a solid foundation. But if we do not do these things then our lives are built upon a sandy foundation. (Show the picture of the castle on the sand.)
- What will happen to the castle when the rain descends, and the floods come, and the winds blow and beat upon it? It will wash away into the dark, deep ocean.
- What happens to us if our lives are not built upon a solid, safe foundation and the storms of life such as adversity and temptation come upon us? If our spiritual foundations are not firm and safeguarded then we can fall into the deep, dark depths of misery and hell. (3 Nephi 18:12-13)
Remind the children that the Lord wants us to live wonderful lives doing good and righteous works so that we can be happy on earth and someday gain eternal life. The sacred sacrament ordinance reminds us of our Savior and of his sacrifice and love for us. It is also a reminder to make the Atonement part of our lives and to keep our covenants so that we may return to live with Jesus and Heavenly Father again.
Weekly Reading Assignment
Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week: 3 Nephi 18:1–14