I have so much that I wish to share today. My heart is full of the great love of our Savior, Jesus Christ and of our Heavenly Father.
As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I have the opportunity to fast, or abstain from food and drink for a period of time, every month. This has been a great blessing in my life. “True to the Faith: A Gospel Reference” has this to say about fasting:
“To fast is to go without food and drink voluntarily for a certain period of time. Fasting combined with sincere prayer can help you prepare yourself and others to receive God’s blessings.”
Fasting is not a true fast unless it is coupled and combined with sincere prayer. There are many purposes for fasting. True to the Faith says this:
“You can fast for many purposes. Fasting is one way of worshiping God and expressing gratitude to Him (see Luke 2:37, Alma 45:1). You can fast as you ask Heavenly Father to bless the sick or afflicted (see Matthew 17:14-21). Fasting may help you and those you love receive personal revelation and become converted to the truth (see Alma 5:46; 6:6). Through fasting you can gain strength to resist temptation (see Isaiah 58:6). You can fast as you strive to humble yourself before God and exercise faith in Jesus Christ (see Omni 1:26; Helaman 3:35). You may fast to receive guidance in sharing the gospel and magnifying Church callings (see Acts 13:2-3; Alma 17:3,9; 3 Nephi 27:1-2). Fasting may accompany righteous sorrow or mourning (see Alma 28:4-6); 30:1-2).”
In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, there is one Sunday each month that is set aside as a day of fasting. This is usually the first Sunday of the month. True to the Faith explains how one observes the day of the fast:
“Proper observance of fast Sunday includes going without food and drink for two consecutive meals, attending fast and testimony meeting, and giving a fast offering to help care for those in need.”
One can also fast on any other day according to one’s own needs and the needs of others. We are counseled to not fast too frequently or for excessive periods of time though.
Blessings from fasting
I have experienced great blessings from fasting. I know that as I went through depression and as others have fasted for me, I have been strengthened. I also know that as I have fasted, I have come closer to the Lord and have had my faith strengthened. In the Bible Dictionary under fasting it says:
“Fasting, a voluntary abstinence from food, is a principle of the gospel of Jesus Christ for developing spiritual strength; it has always existed among true believers. Without doubt it was practiced by Adam and his posterity from the beginning whenever they had the gospel among them.”
Fasting truly is a portion of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It does bring spiritual strength. I am extremely grateful for the knowledge that I have of this principle.
Today I was touched deeply by the sacrament and the meaning of the sacrament as an ordinance and as a reference to Jesus Christ. I listened carefully as I promised to take the name of the Savior, Jesus Christ, upon me. I promised to always remember Him.
The sacrament hymn that the congregation sung before partaking of the sacrament really touched me today. It brought my mind to the right perspective of the reason for this sacred ordinance. The hymn was “As now we take the Sacrament.” The words are below:
“As now we take the sacrament,
Our thoughts are turned to thee,
Thou Son of God, who lived for us,
Then died on Calvary.
We contemplate thy lasting grace,
Thy boundless charity;
To us the gift of life was giv’n
For all eternity.
As now our minds review the past,
We know we must repent;
The way to thee is righteousness–
The way thy life was spent.
Forgiveness is a gift from thee
We seek with pure intent.
With hands now pledged to do thy work,
We take the sacrament.
As now we praise thy name with song,
The blessings of this day
Will linger in our thankful hearts,
And silently we pray
For courage to accept thy will,
To listen and obey.
We love thee, Lord; our hearts are full.
We’ll walk thy chosen way.”
The sacrament is a great blessing in our lives. As we partake of the emblems, we do promise to walk His chosen way. I love my Savior, Jesus Christ, and my Heavenly Father dearly.