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A few weeks ago, I taught a lesson on preparing for Sacrament Meeting and partaking of the Sacrament. I used an idea shared on the Facebook group for LDS Seminary Teachers to hold the lesson in the chapel. I adapted it for my class and it was one of our best classes of this entire Seminary year. (if you have not joined the LDS Seminary Facebook group administered by Jenny Smith -I highly recommend it. I have an entire support community of Seminary Teachers who “get” my life and share incredible ideas. It is, many times, the only reason I look at Facebook. This time of year, as I am dragging to the finish line, it is nice to associate with others who are in the same situation, other times, someone will post a lesson idea that I needed at that very moment)
I took my class in to the chapel and we met around the Sacrament table for the entire lesson. It was a beautiful experience. We used the cloths and trays as we discussed the sacredness of this ordinance and the symbolism.
I had the young men in my class who are Priests and Teachers prepare the table, sit in the seats they sit in to to bless, etc.
We discussed arriving early, starting the prelude music early, staying in your seat the entire meeting, grooming and dress, etc. Being in the chapel brought this lesson straight to their hearts and provided an opportunity to discuss personal preparations.
At the end of the lesson, we sang the Sacrament Hymn #181, Jesus of Nazareth (referenced in John Bytheway’s message). In our chapel, our organ can be programed to play the hymns, so one of my students went right up to the organ and started the hymn as another led us in singing. It was a beautiful way to end a very effective lesson.
I gave this lesson on a Friday so that I could challenge my students to prepare for Sacrament Meeting and partaking of the Sacrament that coming Sunday. On Monday, I followed up with asking about their experiences and thoughts.
In addition to the Scriptures, the two best resources for this lesson were:
1) John Bytheway’s presentation on Sacrament symbols taken from his message, “The Best Three Hours of the Week”. Found HERE (there is a “glue-in” hand out from John Bytheway and one from Elder Oaks’ message, reference below.
2) Elder Dallin H Oaks General Conference message , “Sacrament and Sacrament Meeting”, found HERE (this is one of my all time favorite Elder Oaks’ messages)