And he [Jesus] said unto them: He that eateth this bread eateth of my body to his soul; and he that drinketh of this wine drinketh of my blood to his soul; and his soul shall never hunger nor thirst, but shall be filled. (3 Nephi 20:8)
I was reading reading randomly through the scriptures and I noticed this particular verse. The context is Jesus administering the sacrament to the Nephites. Somehow I noticed what a difference it makes between if Jesus had said “eatheth of my body to his body” and what He did say, which was “eateth of my body to his soul.” Jesus said this eating bread and wine of the sacrament was to our souls, not our bodies. It is amazing that the sacrament can benefit our spirits with this little act of eating, which normally would only benefit our bodies.
It’s an amazing promise that goes with it. To those of us who eat the bread and wine to our souls, we are promised our souls “shall never hunger nor thirst, but shall be filled.” What might that mean to us to never have a hungry, thirsty soul? What might it mean to always be filled? How would that bless our lives? What might it feel like?
I know my soul is filled when I take the sacrament. I can feel it. (I think I began to really notice it in my late teens.) I’m sure you have felt it too. For me, it is as if all the holes in my soul are filled in and smoothed over, the cracks joined and glued together. I can feel my desires to do good are renewed and strengthened.
I can keep it a few days, but usually by Saturday I feel like I am struggling a bit. After looking at that verse, though, it seems to me like there has to be something I can do to keep that “filled” feeling in my soul. Perhaps I need to remember Jesus more. I am both haunted and inspired by that promise that my soul “shall never hunger nor thirst, but shall be filled.”
What might it mean to us in the middle of our trials and troubles and afflictions if our soul never hungers or thirsts but is filled? How might a “filled” soul handle inevitable difficulties? How might a “filled” soul deal with heavy responsibility? Is a “filled” soul resilient? Serene? Hopeful? (Obviously I need to really internalize these promises..)
I was asking myself these questions, and interestingly enough a little later, I ran across a scripture that showed me the opposite of “filled.”
It shall even be as when an hungry man dreameth, and, behold, he eateth;
but he awaketh, and his soul is empty:
or as when a thirsty man dreameth, and, behold, he drinketh;
but he awaketh, and, behold, he is faint, and his soul hath appetite:
so shall the multitude of all the nations be, that fight against mount Zion. (Isaiah 29:8)
So it seems that being filled is meant to help us escape the terrible predicament that Isaiah described of having a hungry, dissatisfied soul. It seems to be a benefit of knowing you are on the right track and walking in the true way we’re supposed to go.
If you’ve had experience with fulfillment of this promise, will you share what it is you do to do your part?