Why has the wording of the endowment session changed when taught it would never change?

Why has the wording of the endowment session changed when taught it would never change?

Question

 

Gramps,

On an anti Mormon site, I have just read the original wording for the Endowment which included all of the changes made. The writer also said that Joseph Smith had indicated that the Endowment would never be changed from its original form, as also stated by one of the Apostles.  Over the last 52 years I have noticed these changes take place and my only conclusion that I can come to is that the shorter versions now allow more endowments to take place in the temple.  Regards.

Robert

 

Answer

 

Hello Robert,

As I’m sure you gathered from your research, authors who open the Endowment to public inspection do not generally intend to build an individual’s faith in the Endowment as a saving ordinance–or in pretty much anything else, for that matter.

I am not aware of any quotation from Joseph Smith where he taught that the endowment liturgy as revealed in Kirtland, or in Nauvoo, could never be changed in any way.  What he did teach, was that

It was the design of the councils of heaven before the world was, that the principles and laws of the priesthood should be predicated upon the gathering of the people in every age of the world. Jesus did everything to gather the people, and they would not be gathered, and He therefore poured out curses upon them. Ordinances instituted in the heavens before the foundation of the world, in the priesthood, for the salvation of men, are not to be altered or changed. All must be saved on the same principles. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 308)

In other words:  The ordinances are eternal in nature and are not to be altered; and all people must receive those ordinances.  As Joseph explained in the same sermon:

If a man gets a fullness of the priesthood of God he has to get it in the same way that Jesus Christ obtained it, and that was by keeping all the commandments and obeying all the ordinances of the house of the Lord.

Now, there are a couple of things to bear in mind here.  The first thing to remember is that technically, the endowment is not “an” ordinance.  It is a series of ordinances, bound together with a significant amount of instruction.  The purpose of the instruction is to make the ordinances more meaningful, and that instruction can be (and indeed, has been) changed as often as necessary to make sure that the instruction does what it’s supposed to do; particularly as old symbols or teaching styles become so antiquated as to distract from the overall experience.  To insist that preserving the endowment requires preserving the verbatim text of the instruction, is rather like saying that the sacrament I took this past Sunday is somehow voided because the Sacrament Meeting talks I heard on that date aren’t carbon copies of the Sacrament Meeting talks being given last month, or last year, or a hundred years ago.

Second, we should consider what it really means to “alter” the ordinances.  This is particularly hairy in the case of the endowment.  Did you know that there was no written endowment text for over thirty-five years?  Until the St. George Temple was dedicated in 1877, endowment ceremonies were all done from memory–and, we may presume, were all slightly different from each other.  As the St. George temple neared completion Brigham Young worked with his secretary, L. John Nuttall, to commit the ceremony to paper for the first time.  During this process Brigham Young told how, back in 1842, after the presentation of some early endowment ceremonies, Joseph Smith turned to him and stated:

Brother Brigham, this is not arranged perfectly; however we have done the best we could under the circumstances in which we are placed. I wish you to take this matter in hand: organize and systematize all these ceremonies.  Diary of L. John Nuttall, February 7, 1877.

Historians tell us that even after the written text was developed, minor differences in the ceremony persisted from temple to temple until the early 20th century, when the First Presidency insisted that all temple presidents conform to the same written text.

This problem in finding a definitive text for a saving priesthood ordinance is not limited to endowment ceremonies.  Joseph Smith provided us with three different variants of the baptismal prayer (see D&C 20:73, compare 3 Ne 11:25 and Mosiah 18:13).  If there is some absolutely “perfect” script for an ordinance and that script must never be altered in any way, then does that mean that our baptisms are ineffectual?  Or Alma’s?  Or the ones done after Christ’s appearance to the Nephites?

I rather think not.  In 1840, Joseph Smith dictated a “Treatise on Priesthood”, which he had a scribe read at a church conference on October 5 of that year.  (It appears in in History of the Church 4:207-209, and parts of it are cited in Chapter 8 of the Teachings of the Presidents of the Church:  Joseph Smith.  You can also read the full text online at this link.)  It’s an interesting and important sermon, and I strongly recommend you take some time to digest it.  For our purposes, I will simply quote the following:

God will not acknowledge that which he has not called, ordained, and chosen. . . .

 

This then is the nature of the priesthood, every man holding the presidency of his dispensation and one man holding the presidency of them all even Adam, and Adam receiving his presidency and authority from Christ. . . The power, glory, and blessings of the priesthood could not continue with those who received ordination only as their righteousness continued, for Cain also being authorized to offer sacrifice but not offering it in righteousness, therefore he was cursed. It signifies then, that the ordinances must be kept in the very way God has appointed, otherwise their priesthood will prove a cursing instead of a blessing. If Cain had fulfilled the law of righteousness as did Enoch he could have walked with God all the days of his life and never failed of a blessing.

In other words:  For God to recognize a priesthood action, the required elements are authority and personal righteousness on the part of the priesthood holder.

Clearly, man does not have the right to unilaterally change the forms of the ordinances and ceremonies that God has established (see, for example, Isaiah 24:5).  We follow the current forms because we respect the divine authority of those whose responsibility it is to “preach the gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof” (5th Article of Faith).  However, we should not therefore conclude that God Himself lacks the power to change those forms in order to maximize their spiritual or symbolic benefit to the participants, so long as the Church attempts to ensure that those performing the ordinance are duly ordained and making a sincere effort to live righteously and so long as the substance of the ordinance is preserved.

What God will not do, is allow the ordinance to be changed to the point its core essence is no longer present.  For example, coming back to the ordinance of baptism:  While minor alterations to the baptismal prayer might be permissible, God would never authorize baptism’s degeneration to the point where its covenant aspect would be undermined or even denied (as is unfortunately the case in some Christian denominations today), or where Jesus Christ would be fundamentally written out of the rite (as is the case in a Jewish mikvot).

In contrast, the fundamental nature of the LDS endowment remains now, as it was in Joseph Smith’s day,

to receive all those ordinances in the House of the Lord, which are necessary for you, after you have departed this life, to enable you to walk back to the presence of the Father, passing the angels who stand as sentinels, being enabled to give them the key words, the signs and tokens, pertaining to the Holy Priesthood, and gain your eternal exaltation in spite of earth and hell.  (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 2:31)

 

Gramps

 

 

 

Why is there a one year waiting period to do a baptism for one who has died?

Why is there a one year waiting period to do a baptism for one who has died?

Question

 

Gramps,

Can you explain why it takes one year after death to be baptized in the temple?

Raja

 

Answer

 

Raja,

The simple and most direct answer is… Because the LDS Church has created a policy to that effect.

The Church has many policies that they use to guide the Church and its members along the right path.  These policies can come into place to try to combat errors or misunderstandings.  Over time, as things change the Church can change, adjust or remove these policies as the circumstances dictate.

The origin of the one year wait after death is an interesting one.  During the last part of President Joseph F. Smith’s leadership and the first few years of President Grant’s leadership, a trend developed among the members.  This trend took the form of urgent requests to do temple work, and to do it quickly enough so that the person who passed on could be buried in temple robes.

The church leaders found this to be a disturbing trend.  They did not want the members to ascribe to the temple robes some kind of “magical” qualities bestowed on the one who passed on, nor did they want the temple ordinances to be seen as a simple check box on the path to salvation.  Neither did they want to encourage the idea that some might neglect to get themselves to the temple their entire life and then have all done right at death.

So the Church leaders created the policy of waiting a year after death before any proxy temple work can be done.  This policy seems to have accomplished these goals to various degrees.  The Church also can grant exceptions to the policy or remove it entirely at a future date.  Exceptions might be granted in the cases of people who were actively preparing and seeking the temple but didn’t make it, because they died before it could happen.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

What is the policy if someone becomes disruptive at a church meeting?

What is the policy if someone becomes disruptive at a church meeting?

Question

 

Gramps,

The church allows all to attend meetings, even nonmembers and ex members.  What if a non, ex, or member began outright speaking against the church and its doctrines, to the point that they were a heckler? Would they be banned from the building? Would legal action be taken? Just curious..

Brian

 

Answer

 

Brian,

As you noted the scriptures are clear that we are to allow non-members and even excommunicated members to attend.  This is found in D&C 46:5-6:

5 And again I say unto you, ye shall not cast any out of your sacrament meetings who are earnestly seeking the kingdom—I speak this concerning those who are not of the church.

 6 And again I say unto you, concerning your confirmation meetings, that if there be any that are not of the church, that are earnestly seeking after the kingdom, ye shall not cast them out.

The condition of admittance is that the person is earnestly seeking after the kingdom.  That can sometimes be hard to tell. In practice, as long as the person is reasonably well behaved, they can stay.

However if someone heckles, or attacks, or actively tries to lead others astray, then they show they are not “earnestly seeking after the kingdom”, and the local leader can take steps.

The local leader should follow the guidance of the Spirit and the local laws in dealing with such disruptive people.  This can range from being asked to stop and/or leave, to court orders, police, and other legal processes.

Gramps

 

How is a new Apostle chosen?

How is a new Apostle chosen?

Question

 

Gramps,

With the passing of beloved Apostle L. Tom Perry there is now a vacancy as it were in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. I am interested to know what the process is for choosing a new Apostle.

Barbara

 

Answer

 

Dear Barbara,

Jesus set the example for selecting apostles when He chose the original 12. “And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles” (Luke 6:13-14). Such callings are made in the spirit of prophesy and revelation. Later, when there was a vacancy in the 12, Peter followed the example of his Master by meeting with the disciples in a season of united “prayer and supplication” (Acts 1:13-14). He addressed the group and led them in selecting someone wholly familiar with the works of the Savior. So they selected “men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us”. All so the ordained nominee could be an effective and powerful “witness with us of [Christ’s] resurrection” (Acts 1:21-22). They once more prayed, and the Lord’s will was made known via lots (Acts 1:24,26), selecting Matthias.

Apostles in our modern dispensation were also chosen from among men who learned discipleship. “The Twelve shall be my disciples,” says the Lord when listing requirements and duties, “and they shall take upon them my name” (D&C 18:26-35). It comes as no suprise then, that the Twelve were selected from men who saw the Lord’s work in a new dispensation. A meeting was called in Feb 1835, of those who had journeyed to redeem Zion. This group saw firsthand the Lord fighting their battles agains enemies and scourging them for disobedience. They were taught order and obedience. Those not in this group learned similar lessons through their missionary labors. Please note as this meeting unfolds the role that prayer, revelation, and order play in the Three Witnesses selecting the apostles (in accordance with D&C 18:37-39). Joseph Smith, first elder and apostle (see D&C 20:2), asked the congregation

“if they would be satisfied to have the Spirit of the Lord dictate in the choice of the Elders to be Apostles; wherupon all the Elders present expressed their anxious desire to have it so.

 

“A hymn was then sung… President Hyrum Smith prayed, an meeting was dismissed for one hour.

 

“Assembled pursuant to adjournment, and commenced with prayer.

 

“President Joseph Smith, Jun., said that the first business of the meeting was, for the Three Witnesses of the Book of Mormon, to pray, each one, and then proceed to choose twelve men from the Church, as Apostles, to go to all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people.

 

“The Three Witnesses … united in prayer.

 

“These Three Witnesses were then blessed by the laying on of the hands of the Presidency. The Witnesses then, according to a former commandment, proceeded to make choice of the Twelve.” (History of the Church 2:185-187).

 

It’s all there: There’s prayer (multiple prayers) and supplication in the pattern of the Savior and His apostles of old. There’s the revealed will of the Lord – it even gets the weight of scripture when the selection is again confirmed by revelation (D&C 124:127-129). There’s the proven devotion of the candidates with a familiarity of the Lord’s work. The only thing lacking in this story is charge to be a witness of Christ’s resurrection. Once again, revelation informs us that this council of twelve differs from others in that their role is synonymous with their ambassadorship. They are “special witnesses of the name of Christ in all the world—thus differing from other officers in the church in the duties of their calling” (D&C 107:23). I said before that these twelve had learned the lessons of discipleship, and so they had. But just as the former Twelve were called well before they had reached the pinnacle of understanding (they all doubted the women’s accounts of the Resurrection – not just Thomas), so these modern apostles had room for improvement as well. The Charge given by Oliver Cowdery (first to Elder Pratt, then to the general Twelve) focused on their discipleship and particularly to the witness they were to carry.

“[The ancients] had this testimony, that they had seen the Saviour after he rose from the dead. You must bear some testimony, or your mission, your labor, your toil will be in vain. You must bear the same testimony that there is but one God, one Mediator; he that has seen Him will know Him, and testify of Him. …

 

“You have been indebted to other men in the first instance for evidence; on that you have acted; but it is necessary that you receive a testimony from Heaven for yourselves; so that you can bear testimony to the truth of the Book of Mormon, and that you have seen the face of God. That is more than the testimony of an angel. When the proper time arrives, you shall be able to bear this testimony to the world. When you bear testimony that you have seen God, this testimony God will never suffer to fall, but will bear you out; although many will not give heed, yet others will. You will, therefore, see the necessity of getting this testimony from Heaven.

 

“Never cease striving till you have seen God face to face. Strengthen your faith; cast off your doubts, your sins, and all your unbelief, and nothing can prevent you from coming to God. Your ordination is not full and complete till God has laid His hands upon you. We require as much to qualify us as did those who have gone before us; God is the same.” (Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, by Parley P. Pratt. pages 148-150).

 

At the sustaining of Elders Nelson and Oaks to the apostleship, President Hinckley testified of a similar revelatory process still taking place. Note again the roles of prayer, revelation, discipleship, and witness of Christ.

“Yesterday we sustained two of our Brethren in this sacred calling, thus, after they are ordained, filling the Council of the Twelve Apostles. I want to give you my testimony that they were chosen and called by the spirit of prophecy and revelation. There was much of prayer concerning this matter. There was discussion with President Kimball, the prophet of the Lord in our day, and a clear statement from him, for his is the prerogative in these matters. There was a clear and distinct impression, what I choose to call the whisperings of the Holy Spirit, concerning those who should be selected to assume this most important and sacred responsibility. These who have been called are men of experience in the world and in the Church. …

 

“Their service in the Church has been noteworthy. Since the time they were boys, each has been faithful and active. Each has served in a stake presidency. Each has served as a Regional Representative. They have been involved in many capacities of Church service, and have performed with excellence in each instance. But this is not why they were called.

 

“They were called because the Lord wanted them in this office as men who have a witness of his divinity, and whose voices have been and will be raised in testimony of his reality.” (Special Witnesses for Christ by President Gordon B. Hinckley, April 1984 General Conference).

 

With the passing of Elder Perry, the governing councils of the Church will follow the long-established pattern. The President of the Church (Christ, Peter, Joseph Smith presiding over the Three Witnesses, Spencer W. Kimball, and today Thomas S. Monson) will counsel with leading disciples (Christ apparently counselled solely with His Father, Peter with 120 disciples, Joseph with the Three Witnesses, President Kimball with the First Presidency, and President Monson also with the First Presidency and any other Councils he wishes to include), seek God’s counsel through prayer, receive revelation, and challenge the newly ordained apostle to live up to his calling.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

With the new law in California regarding judges and the BSA, how does that affect the ward level?

With the new law in California regarding judges and the BSA, how does that affect the ward level?

Question

 

In California, it is now illegal for any Judge to be a member of the BSA.  How does that work at the ward level?  If a judge is a member of the Church, can he not be called to be Scout Master?

Robyn

 

Answer

 

Robyn,

In the 12th Article of Faith, we read this;

We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates; in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

There are no loopholes, exceptions, or exemptions to be had with this standard. Insofar as the law of any nation exists, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are expected to uphold this standard completely. Understand that the BSA is not an official part of the Church, but rather a very close, and long-time partner with the Church in upholding and encouraging the development and realization of the best potential that can be had in the young men of today.

The BSA has its own rules, standards, and by-laws to uphold and consider. Of course the recent activity on this front has been a serious public matter, and for several important reasons. In an effort to avoid getting too deep into the matter, something I don’t see as necessary right now, let me just say that yes, you are correct. A judge that is a member of the Church in California cannot remain on the bench and be called as a Scoutmaster at the same time under this law.

This is currently a very interesting legal matter, on both sides. In settling on my answer, I have discovered that the actual lines may have not been fully drawn, and there yet remains a possibility of further legal action regarding this very decision you have asked me about. Having said that, let’s assume that the law stands as I have described it above. The good news is that, even at this point, I doubt it would seriously cut into the number of worthy members able to be called to the position.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

Why is a recommend required to view a temple dedication from a ward building?

Why is a recommend required to view a temple dedication from a ward building?

Question

 

Gramps,

Why is a recommend required to attend a temple dedication at the ward building. I would love to invite some that are less active hopeful that these meetings would inspire to work towards regular temple attendance. I understand that the dedication is a sacred occurrence and is an extension of the temple in many ways but the prayers that are given can be read online through church history sites. The temple is not officially dedicated until the final amen and then requires a recommend.

Rod

 

Answer

 

Rod,

The way it’s been explained to me is that when a temple dedication is broadcast to a ward building, the ward building becomes essentially an extension of the temple and is therefore, at least temporarily, subject to the injunction of D&C 97:15-17:

And inasmuch as my people build a house unto me in the name of the Lord, and do not suffer any unclean thing to come into it, that it be not defiled, my glory shall rest upon it;

 

Yea, and my presence shall be there, for I will come into it, and all the pure in heart that shall come into it shall see God.

 

But if it be defiled I will not come into it, and my glory shall not be there; for I will not come into unholy temples.

I don’t know exactly what sort of formal practice was used to ensure that this injunction was carried out in the Kirtland Temple.  However, by the time of the dedication of the Nauvoo Temple in May of 1846, admission to the last day of the three-day dedication ceremony was limited to Church members.  (It should be noted that since most of the Church had left Nauvoo in February of that year, seats for dedication services probably wouldn’t have been especially in demand.)

 

Gramps

 

 

Why are we opposed to tattoos but not to cosmetic surgery?

Why are we opposed to tattoos but not to cosmetic surgery?

Question

 

Hey Gramps!

I don’t understand why the church is okay with surgical body modification but not tatooing. To me, the vanity and rejection of the body God has given us involved in plastic surgery seems a much greater defilement of our temples than a skin-deep procedure that can commemorate important life moments or deep meaning for the recipient. If you can help me understand this better that’d be great.

Thanks!

John

 

Answer

 

Dear John,

I think the difficulty lies in the fact that plastic surgery is a very broad topic.  I assume you are talking about plastic surgery in the terms of what is elective and would be considered for “vanity purposes” only.  But plastic surgery, generally speaking also includes fixing cleft plates, and third degree burns and other trauma.

It appears this is an issue where the Lord expects us to “not be commanded in all things”.  But we have been given some guidance to consider from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland:

“Frankly, the world has been brutal with you in this regard. You are bombarded in movies, television, fashion magazines, and advertisements with the message that looks are everything! The pitch is, “If your looks are good enough, your life will be glamorous and you will be happy and popular.” That kind of pressure is immense in the teenage years, to say nothing of later womanhood. In too many cases too much is being done to the human body to meet just such a fictional (to say nothing of superficial) standard. As one Hollywood actress is reported to have said recently: “We’ve become obsessed with beauty and the fountain of youth. … I’m really saddened by the way women mutilate [themselves] in search of that. I see women [including young women] … pulling this up and tucking that back. It’s like a slippery slope. [You can’t get off of it.] … It’s really insane … what society is doing to women.” 

 

In terms of preoccupation with self and a fixation on the physical, this is more than social insanity; it is spiritually destructive, and it accounts for much of the unhappiness women, including young women, face in the modern world. And if adults are preoccupied with appearance—tucking and nipping and implanting and remodeling everything that can be remodeled—those pressures and anxieties will certainly seep through to children. At some point the problem becomes what the Book of Mormon called “vain imaginations.”  And in secular society both vanity and imagination run wild. One would truly need a great and spacious makeup kit to compete with beauty as portrayed in media all around us. Yet at the end of the day there would still be those “in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers” as Lehi saw,  because however much one tries in the world of glamour and fashion, it will never be glamorous enough.”

To Young Women

So I think the best advice is to prayerfully consider any proposed body changes.  Some, like repairing third degree burns, are a blessing, while others may be “spiritually destructive”.  As always, the Holy Ghost is your best guide.

 

Gramps

 

 

Why can’t someone who is HIV positive serve a full time mission?

Why can’t someone who is HIV positive serve a full time mission?

Question

 

Gramps

If a person is HIV positive, why are they not allowed to serve a normal full-time mission?

William

 

Answer

 

William,

According to the National Institute of Health individuals who are diagnosed as HIV positive need to work closely with their health providers regarding when to start treatment and which medications to take.

Just Diagnosed: Next Steps After Testing Positive for HIV

Needing this level of health care could interfere with missionary service. Being HIV positive is not the only ailment that could preclude one from missionary service.  The church has said:

“Unfortunately, some health problems can present insurmountable obstacles to serving full-time proselytizing missions. The First Presidency has stated: “There are worthy individuals who desire to serve but do not qualify for the physical, mental, or emotional challenges of a mission. We ask stake presidents and bishops to express love and appreciation to these individuals and to honorably excuse them from full-time missionary labors.”  In such cases, service missions can be a great blessing, allowing individuals to live at home and receive appropriate medical care while growing and maturing in the service of the Lord. Parents, bishops, and stake presidents can help in encouraging and arranging appropriate opportunities.

 

Opportunities for service missions can also be found at the Church Web site www.lds.org. Select “Other Resources,” then “Mission and Service Opportunities.” Continuing higher education or technical training to allow better coping with chronic impairment is also an admirable alternative.”

 

Missionary Health Information

 

 

Gramps

 

 

Why aren’t we set apart as visiting teachers?

Why aren’t we set apart as visiting teachers?

Question

 

Hello there Gramps,

I really enjoy your questions and answers.  Thank you for all your shared wisdom.  My question is regarding visiting teaching. I am wondering why we are not set apart and given a blessing for this important church calling?  Thank you in anticipation.

Robyn

 

Answer

 

Hi Robyn,

This is a good question for your bishop or Relief Society president. I’ll give you my take on it.

I have heard many men ask a similar question: “Why aren’t we set apart as home teachers?” The reason men are not set apart is quite simple: Home teaching is not a calling, but an intrinsic part of what it means to be a Priesthood holder. I suspect a similar truth holds for visiting teaching.

Consider this example: Before a man or woman serves a full-time mission, he or she is set apart as a missionary. But we all have the duty to share the gospel as missionaries. We aren’t set apart for that specific task; it’s just a normal part of what it means to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Missionary work is inherent in Church membership.

I think a similar principle is operating in both home and visiting teaching.

 

Gramps

 

 

Why does the Church not have a standard procedure during the Sacrament for those with Celiac disease?

Why does the Church not have a standard procedure during the Sacrament for those with Celiac disease?

Question

Gramps,

I have Celiac disease and cannot eat regular Sacrament bread. At my ward I place my cracker in a pill bag and place on the appropriate tray prior to the Sacrament. Unaware to me, at my son’s ward they have a special tray for the Celiacs. I placed my bag in the tray indicating where I was sitting. When the Sacrament was passed, my  bag was switched to the Celiacs tray, crushed, and dumped in the tray I did not know what to do, so I ate the crumbs. Why does the Church not have a standard procedure for those who are Celiac?

Bill

 

Answer

 

Dear Bill,

Sorry to hear that you have this thorn to bear in this life.  I imagine it can be difficult in other areas besides Sacrament as well.

I think church leaders, even at ward levels, do what they can to accommodate people.  This can be challenging, as there are so many different trials in this life: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.  Some people have difficulty with scents/smells of perfumes.  It seems reasonable to ask other members of the ward not to wear perfume or cologne, but what about the scents in our shampoos, deodorants, and laundry detergents? Others have physical aliments that make it difficult to sit for three hours. In the realm of emotional/spiritual, can you imagine how a child with an abusive father feels when the Primary sings “I’m So Glad When Daddy Comes Home”.  The list could be endless.

In addition, I think the reason there is not a general policy for dealing with this is because the Lord knows we grow more from trying to solve our own issues (such as how to help people with celiac disease with the Sacrament). Each challenge or problem is an opportunity for growth–both for the leaders, and the members.

I don’t mean to minimize anyone’s pain; I just want to illustrate why we can’t reasonably expect the Church to accommodate every issue a member has.  In your situation with celiac, they are making an effort, how wonderful that they are aware and striving to assist.  Might I suggest that in the future, when you visit other wards, you make a brief inquiry before the meeting about how the Sacrament for Celiacs is dealt with.  That could help you avoid further issues.

 

Gramps

 

 

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