Reigniting a Remission of Sins

When I hear priests read the Christ-commanded sacramental prayers at sacrament meeting, they reignite my faith in Heavenly Father’s fabulous plan of salvation that is made possible through our Savior’s Atonement

Priests at the sacrament table

In January 2024, a polar vortex descended across most of central Canada—bringing windchills below -52 degrees Celsius. Such extreme cold brought back childhood memories of waking up in my grandparent’s mountain cabin in a bed across from their Brigham Young stove. I usually waited a while after my grandfather had ignited a wood fire before arising and basking in the warmth that permeated the kitchen and the other two rooms of the cabin. We would add coal throughout the day to prepare our meals; to heat water to wash hands, faces and dishes; to keep us comfortable while telling family stories and playing games until we again retired to our beds. That stove taught me many blessings of safely controlled fires.

Brigham Young Stove
Brigham Young Stove

My first important experience with ordinances that inspired spiritual fires occurred shortly after my eighth birthday. I was baptized by an Aaronic Priesthood holder (a 16-year-old priest). The next day, Melchizedek Priesthood holders, with my uncle acting as voice, confirmed me a member of the Church and then said, “Receive the Holy Ghost” (General Handbook: Serving in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint, 18.8.2). Providing I obeyed God’s commandments and repented, I believed that this gift could enlighten my mind and warm my heart to guide me divinely forward on the covenant path (see Doctrine and Covenants 8:2).

Boy receiving a blessing

Remembering and Following Christ

The sacrament is also an ordinance of the Aaronic Priesthood. Teachers, priests, and deacons are primarily assigned to prepare, bless, and pass the sacrament “when there are enough Aaronic Priesthood holders … to perform these duties” (General Handbook, 18.9.2). Jesus introduced this ordinance to His disciples at the Last Supper (see Matthew 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:19-20) and to the Nephites after His Resurrection (see 3 Nephi 18:1-11).

Moroni recorded the prayers in “administering the flesh and blood of Christ … according to the commandments of Christ” (Moroni 4:1). When the restored Church of Jesus Christ was organized on April 6, 1830, the Lord reaffirmed the repetition of these sacred prayers (see Moroni 4:3, 5:2; Doctrine and Covenants 20:77, 79). The words for blessing the broken bread renew the covenant of baptism: “that ye are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him, and keep his commandments” (Moroni 4:3; emphasis added). When I hear priests read these Christ-commanded sacramental prayers, they reignite my faith in Heavenly Father’s “fabulous” plan of salvation that is made possible through our Savior’s Atonement (Russell M. Nelson, “Think Celestial,” Liahona, Nov. 2023, 117).


One of the special blessings of such a renewal is that when we “do always remember him … [we] may have his Spirit” (Moroni 5:2; emphasis added). As President Dallin H. Oaks explains, “That Spirit—the Holy Ghost—is our comforter, our direction finder, our communicator, our interpreter, our witness, and our purifier—our infallible guide and sanctifier for our mortal journey toward eternal life” (“Always Have His Spirit,” Ensign, Nov. 1996, 61). The sanctifying Holy Spirit can kindle spiritual rebirth within us to cleanse, purify, and heal our souls.

Always Retaining a Remission of Sins

To seek spiritual sanctification is a key reason why we should purposefully partake of the sacrament. Elder David A. Bednar explains: “The ordinance of the sacrament is a holy and repeated invitation to repent sincerely and to be renewed spiritually. The act of partaking of the sacrament, in and of itself, does not remit sins. But as we prepare conscientiously and participate in this holy ordinance with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, then the promise is that we may always have the Spirit of the Lord to be with us. And by the sanctifying power of the Holy Ghost as our constant companion, we can always retain a remission of our sins” (“Always Retain a Remission of Your Sins,” Ensign, May 2016, 61-62; emphasis added).

Elder Bednar
Elder David A. Bednar

As Elder Bednar’s quote indicates, the root word of remission is remit. According to Dictionary,, remit means: “2. to release from guilt or penalty of (remit sins).” When we worthily partake of the sacrament, the Holy Ghost can remind us that the Savior’s atoning sacrifice releases us from guilt: our Redeemer has already paid the penalties of our sins. We need to have a firm faith that “[Jesus Christ] suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent” (Doctrine and Covenants 19:16).

Concerning our worthiness, Elder Dale G. Renlund offers this counsel: “We are promised that the Holy Ghost will be our constant companion if we approach the sacrament the way a new convert approaches baptism and confirmation, with a broken heart and contrite spirit and a determination to live up to that baptismal covenant. The Holy Ghost blesses us with His sanctifying power so that we can always retain a remission of our sins, week in and week out” (“Jesus Christ Is the Treasure,” Liahona, Nov. 2023, 97).

Woman bearing testimony

Pressing Forward with a Joyful Testimony

I am so grateful that I was baptized by water and by fire at the age of eight and taught “to pray, and to walk uprightly before the Lord” (Doctrine and Covenants 68:28). Those ordinances launched me on Heavenly Father’s covenant path. Since then, I have made mistakes, but I have repeatedly felt burning promptings to repent, learn from errors, and make better future decisions. By attending sacrament meeting each Sunday, I can renew my baptismal covenants and plead earnestly for the sanctifying power of the Holy Ghost to be my constant companion.

If I offer up my sacraments unto Heavenly Father “with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ” (Moroni 10:4), I can reignite the comforting spiritual warmth of repeatedly receiving a remission of my sins.