“And They Were Marveling and Wondering One with Another”

Joseph F. McConkie, Robert L. Millet

There was great marvelling and wondering among the people, not only concerning the voice that had been heard but also concerning the remarkable changes that had taken place on the face of the land (see 3 Nephi 8:11-14) and the fulfillment of the sign foretold by Samuel (see Helaman 14:20-27).

“He Took of the Bread and Brake and Blessed It”

Just as he did with his disciples at the Last Supper, in Jerusalem, Jesus introduced to the Nephite disciples that ordinance we know as the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. He previously had taught them that the law of Moses was fulfilled and that , “old things had passed way” (see 3 Nephi 15:2-5).

Now he was instructing them concerning a new ordinance to replace animal sacrifice. Just as sacrificial ordinances were rich with spiritual symbolism, so too were the sacramental emblems symbolic of the atoning sacrifice of Christ, both body and blood. One symbolic ordinance (the sacrifice of animals) looked forward in anticipation of the fulfillment of the Atonement, and the other (the sacrament) looked back in remembrance of the suffering of the Son.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie taught: “As sacrifice was thus to cease with the occurrence of the great event toward which it pointed, there must needs be a new ordinance to replace it, an ordinance which also would center the attention of the saints on the infinite and eternal atonement And so Jesus . . initiated the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. Sacrifice stopped and sacrament started. It was the end of the old era, the beginning of the new. Sacrifice looked forward to the shed blood and bruised flesh of the Lamb of God. The sacrament was to be in remembrance of his spilt blood and broken flesh, the emblems, bread and wine, typifying such as completely as had the shedding of the blood of animals in their days.” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary 1:719-20.)

Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 4