“When They Had Eaten and Were Filled”

D. Kelly Ogden, Andrew C. Skinner

At the first Nephite sacrament meeting, with twenty-five hundred in attendance (3 Nephi 17:25), the Savior himself administered the emblems of his body and blood. The people ate and drank and “were filled”—filled not so much with those physical elements but with the Holy Ghost (3 Nephi 12:6). The sacrament is one of the most sacred public ordinances we have in the Church, and it must be partaken of worthily, remembering the body and blood of the Lord.

The instructions he gave as he administered the sacramental elements constitute the very points of the sacrament prayers: we partake to show our willingness to keep his commandments, to always remember him, and to have his Spirit be with us. Doing these things, we are building upon his rock, able to withstand the rains, floods, and winds of temptation, and avoid entering the gates of hell (see also commentary at 3 Nephi 11:31–41; 14:24–27).

The instruction to remember his body as the Nephites partook of the bread would have been particularly stunning and powerful because they had just felt the wounds in his hands, feet, and side. In our day as well, we partake of the bread and so remember the Bread of Life. By our remembering his body, our bodies may be raised to exaltation (John 6:35, 51–57).

Verse by Verse: The Book of Mormon: Vol. 2