The Sacrament

I was sitting quietly in my seat, preparing to partake of the Sacrament with a prayer.  I began to think on the symbolism of the Sacrament, and certain aspects of it that are difficult for me to understand. I began to counsel with the Lord again about something that has long been on my mind.

I wanted to know how it was possible for redemption to come from death and suffering—why it was necessary. I guess I find it easy to think “Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee,” as Peter did when he found out that Jesus Christ was to die such a gruesome death. Christ’s rebuke of Peter should be enough to tell me that I’m wrong, but it’s an idea I still struggle with.

But as I was sitting on the stand, it occurred to me that the bread of the Sacrament is a lot like the seed mentioned in Alma 32. Since the bread represents the life and teachings of Christ, it also represents the Word, which is the seed mentioned in that chapter. And upon seeing that the bread is the seed, it would make sense that water (the blood, suffering, and death of Christ) would have to follow in order to make the seed grow.

And while it is true that the seed must swell, crack open, and die in a sense, the death of a seed is only the smallest piece of a larger, infinite perspective. Partaking of the Sacrament each week with a penitent heart is the equivalent of beginning a new sowing season. Only through actively sowing and reaping can we truly cultivate the peacefulness that is a well-kept inner vineyard.

Thinking about rebirth from that perspective, the death of old habits and beliefs doesn’t seem so tragic. If anything, the ability to truly cast off the smallest seed shells of identity in exchange for greater opportunities and growth has got to be the greatest gift I’ve ever received from anyone…

…and continue to receive.

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