I started by reading the accounts of Jesus instituting the sacrament in the Bible and the Book of Mormon, followed by D&C 27 about the sacrament. I told them it was clear we were supposed to take the sacrament in remembrance of Christ. I then quoted lines from several hymns (146, 148, 190, 176) mentioning the sacrament/Sabbath/remembrance.
I said I was going to ask why we're here, but that there are a variety of reasons people are here and I modified the question to ask what God's purpose in us being there was. I told them it wasn't to hear talks, sing hymns, pray, or go to other meetings, although all those things are good - we're there to take the sacrament. I then quoted D&C 59:9-10 and used the following quote from a 2008 conference address by Elder Oaks:
I then told them that the training had taken place at the stake level and was happening in the wards and quoted Elder Ballard from the training:The ordinance of the sacrament makes the sacrament meeting the most sacred and important meeting in the Church. It is the only Sabbath meeting the entire family can attend together. Its content in addition to the sacrament should always be planned and presented to focus our attention on the Atonement and teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.
...I sense that some in the rising generation and even some adults have not yet come to understand the significance of this meeting and the importance of individual reverence and worship in it….
...During sacrament meeting—and especially during the sacrament service—we should concentrate on worship and refrain from all other activities, especially from behavior that could interfere with the worship of others. Even a person who slips into quiet slumber does not interfere with others. Sacrament meeting is not a time for reading books or magazines. Young people, it is not a time for whispered conversations on cell phones or for texting persons at other locations. When we partake of the sacrament, we make a sacred covenant that we will always remember the Savior. How sad to see persons obviously violating that covenant in the very meeting where they are making it.
followed by this quote from Elder Holland:Of all of the organizational or policy changes or doctrinal training that could hasten the work of salvation at this time, we’ve determined that elevating the spirit and power of the Sabbath day would be most influential in drawing members and families closer to the Lord Jesus Christ.
I told them the sacrament is a personal experience and we shouldn't be concerned with what others do or don't do during the sacrament, but that we should be respectful of those want to have a quiet experience free from distraction.This is the most conspicuous and certainly the most repeatable ordinance in the church and I’m not sure we think of it that way...This is a very personal ordinance. This is the only ordinance really that we repeat for ourselves.
I quoted Elder Andersen from the training:
I reiterated that the sacrament is more than just renewing our covenants and asked rhetorically what else it is about, then read Matthew's account of the institution of the sacrament, and referenced back to the Nephites and how the word remember or remembrance is used frequently, and pointed out we are supposed to remember the sacrifice of the Savior. The I referenced the prayers and noted they speak of taking upon us the name of Christ and witnessing our willingness to God to do these things. I concluded that part by saying the sacrament is the most important thing we do on the Sabbath and testifying of the sacrament, followed by Elder Cook from the training:The title renewing our baptismal covenants is not found in the scriptures. It is not inappropriate, many of you have used it talks, we have used it in talks, but it is not something that is used in the scriptures and it can’t be the keynote of what we say about the sacrament. Spirituality is not stagnant and neither are covenants. … what we pray is that all of us as members are moving along a progressive growth both in our spirituality and in our covenants. Covenants bring not only commitments but they bring spiritual power. We should teach our members that we are moving toward our Heavenly Father. The sacrament is a beautiful time to not just renew our baptismal covenants but to commit to him to renew all our covenants, all our promises, and to approach him in a spiritual power that we did not have previously as we move forward.
I told them our stake president quoted 2 Nephi 25 (we talk of Christ....) and then asked do we? I told them he counseled us that if a talk or topic is not Christ centered we should consider whether it is appropriate for sacrament meeting. I told them our stake leadership thinks we could do better and speaking about Christ, teaching Christ, and testifying of Christ in all of our meetings, but especially sacrament meeting. I ask how we cold go wrong by emphasizing the Savior more? I asked what about topics in Sunday School and PH/RS about tithing or family history and bore testimony that if we look in the scriptures we can relate any core gospel principle to Christ.The sacrament service should be a spiritual experience, inspiring us to remember [Christ], keep HIs commandments, and have His Spirit to be with us.
I said the training included keeping the Sabbath at church and at home and quoted Elder Nelson from last conference:
I told them how I admired the Jewish Sabbath observance but not all of the rules that orthodox Jews have for the observance and quoted Pres. Uchtdorf from 2009:How do we hallow the Sabbath day? In my much younger years, I studied the work of others who had compiled lists of things to do and things not to do on the Sabbath. It wasn’t until later that I learned from the scriptures that my conduct and my attitude on the Sabbath constituted a sign between me and my Heavenly Father. With that understanding, I no longer needed lists of dos and don’ts. When I had to make a decision whether or not an activity was appropriate for the Sabbath, I simply asked myself, “What sign do I want to give to God?” That question made my choices about the Sabbath day crystal clear.
I told them it could become very easy to make lists of rules for that Sabbath but I didn't think that's what the purpose of the Sabbath is, and quoted from Mark 2 (the Sabbath was made for man...). I said the Sabbath is your day and my day and what I consider restful or worshipful on the Sabbath may not match what you think. I told them I wasn;t concerned with what anyone else did on the Sabbath, and nobody else should be concerned with what I do and like so many other things Sabbath observance is between the individual and God and used Exodus 31:12-12 and Ezekiel 20:20 to illustrate the point.How do we become true disciples of Jesus Christ? The Savior Himself provided the answer with this profound declaration: “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” This is the essence of what it means to be a true disciple: those who receive Christ Jesus walk with Him. But this may present a problem for some because there are so many “shoulds” and “should nots” that merely keeping track of them can be a challenge. Sometimes, well-meaning amplifications of divine principles—many coming from uninspired sources—complicate matters further, diluting the purity of divine truth with man-made addenda. One person’s good idea—something that may work for him or her—takes root and becomes an expectation. And gradually, eternal principles can get lost within the labyrinth of “good ideas.” This was one of the Savior’s criticisms of the religious “experts” of His day, whom He chastised for attending to the hundreds of minor details of the law while neglecting the weightier matters.
I closed with Elder Cook from the training:
Brothers and sisters can you help us give back the sacrament meeting to the Savior? ...our prayer and our hope is that the same feelings that emanate from these scriptures can be captured across the church in sacrament meetings where we rejoice and worship God the Father and Jesus Christ our Savior and Redeemer.