I would like to tell you a story, one that was imparted to me by my seminary teacher many moons ago–too many moons to count.
The story has stuck with me all of these years. I’m sure I don’t have it completely correct. The story has probably morphed into something entirely different from the original. My memory has a way of playing tricks on me. I have no idea who the original author is, but I will do my best to do the story justice.
I think about this story nearly every single Sunday while partaking of the Sacrament. Which tells me it definitely hits the intended mark. I hope it will for you too.
One evening a young man named Peter was out on a date. As he arrived home, he was horrified to see that his house was on fire.
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His mother and father stood on the curb, weeping.
“Peter, your baby brothers are still inside! We can’t get to them!” his mother cried.
Peter adored his twin baby brothers and he’d do anything for them.
Without hesitating, Peter ran inside the blazing inferno, much to his parents dismay. He was determined to save his brothers.
His parents waited anxiously outside of their home, feeling helpless and scared.
At last Peter appeared at a window. They ran to help him. First he handed over one of his brothers, and then a few minutes later, he handed over the next brother into the waiting arms of his parents.
Their happiness was short lived. The flames engulfed the home and Peter never came out.
He was killed during the act of saving his brothers.
He gave his life so that his brothers could live.
Peter’s parents never forgot his sacrifice. They taught Peter’s brothers what he had done for them.
They never let them forget Peter’s great sacrifice for them.
Every year on the anniversary of his death, they took their sons to Peter’s grave site. They used this time to remember him and think about what he had done for them. The boys vowed they would never forget what their older brother had done for them.
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The boys grew up, married, and had families of their own. They continued to teach the next generation about Peter’s sacrifice. They continued to go to Peter’s grave every year and remember what he had done for them.
This continued on to the next generation as well.
Until one day as the huge family gathered at Peter’s grave site for their yearly family get together, one person said, “Why do we have our family get togethers at a cemetery? This is weird. Let’s have our next family reunion at a park. And let’s make it a picnic too.”
Everyone agreed. It was just plain wrong to have their family gathering at a cemetery. Whose idea was that anyway?
The family continued to gather on the anniversary of Peter’s death at a park, the reason for coming together on that particular day completely forgotten. To an extent, they kept the tradition, but the meaning behind it was lost.
You can probably guess the meaning behind this story.
Each week we attend the Sacrament meeting at church. During the Sacrament meeting, we partake of the Sacrament in remembrance of Jesus Christ and all that He has done for us.
It is a designated time to remember Him.
It is also a time to renew our baptismal covenants and to use the gift of the atonement in our lives by repenting of the things we have done wrong. It is a time to be thankful that our Savior and older brother made the sacrifice that He did. He made it possible for us to be able to worthily return to our Father in Heaven.
We can’t forget.
We must never let ourselves or our future generations find themselves asking, “Why are we here again? Why do we partake of the bread and water anyway? Why does this take so long each week? Wouldn’t it be better if someone were speaking to us during this time? The silence seems like a waste of time.”
We can’t be like Peter’s future generations who completely forgot about his sacrifice.
It’s so important to teach the future generations why we remember Jesus Christ during this sacred time each week.
We must Always Remember Him.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.