Cheryl A. Esplin: Renewing the soul through the sacrament

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Sister Cheryl A. Esplin, second counselor in the Primary general presidency, speaks at the Saturday morning session of general conference, 4 October 2014. (Mormon Newsroom)
Sister Cheryl A. Esplin, second counselor in the Primary general presidency, speaks at the Saturday morning session of general conference, Oct. 4, 2014. (Mormon Newsroom)

SALT LAKE CITY — Sister Cheryl A. Esplin of the Primary General Presidency spoke about how the sacrament can be a weekly “renewal for the soul.”

She began by saying that she wishes she had understood the spiritual significance of the sacrament earlier in life.

“The sacrament becomes a spiritually strengthening experience when we listen to the sacrament prayers and recommit to our covenants,” Sister Esplin said. She continued by saying that when we take upon ourselves the name of Christ through the sacrament, “we must see ourselves as His” and “put Him first in our lives.”

She emphasized that the sacrament is not just a brief moment on Sunday when we remember Jesus Christ; it is a commitment to “constantly look to the Savior’s example and teachings to guide our thoughts, our choices and our acts.”

Sister Esplin related the story of a Young Women leader who set a goal to make the sacrament a more meaningful part of life.

“Each week, she conducted a self-evaluation during the sacrament. She recalled mistakes she had made, and she committed to be better the next week,” she said. As time went on, the woman became frustrated with her repeated mistakes. However, when she pondered upon the enabling and transformative power of the Atonement, she was able to continue working through the repentance process with renewed hope and optimism.

“As a priesthood holder extends his arm to offer us the sacred emblems, it is as if the Savior himself is extending his arm of mercy, inviting each one of us to partake of the (gifts) of repentance, forgiveness, comfort and hope,” Sister Esplin said.

She closed by encouraging members of the Church to better prepare themselves to participate in the sacrament each week so they too might have “a renewal of the soul.”

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