Can we have the Sacrament as we meet as a family group to discuss scriptures?

Can we have the Sacrament as we meet as a family group to discuss scriptures?

Question

 

Gramps,

We take the sacrament every Sunday. But if we have the priesthood (worthy holders) in our home, can we have the Sacrament as a family group as we meet and discuss scriptures? Sometimes that’s twice a week. Is there a rule prohibiting that? If so, can you quote it for me?  Thank you so much for your help.

Jon

 

Answer

 

Dear Jon,

The sacrament is authorized under the keys held by the bishop. A priesthood holder in a home does not have those keys.

Per Handbook 2:

“Performance of a saving ordinance requires authorization from a priesthood leader who holds the appropriate keys or who functions under the direction of a person who holds those keys. Such authorization is also required for naming and blessing a child, dedicating a grave, giving a patriarchal blessing, and preparing, blessing, and passing the sacrament. Melchizedek Priesthood holders may consecrate oil, administer to the sick, give father’s blessings, and give other blessings of comfort and counsel without first seeking authorization from a priesthood leader.”

As to how often the sacrament is to be performed, the current standard given by the church is weekly during sacrament meeting. Any exceptions to this would need to be authorized by the one holding the appropriate keys.

It might also be important to note the command we have to meet together oft (3 Nephi 18:22), and that there may be an important aspect of the sacrament ordinance related to this. This community nature of the sacrament is likely an important part of our worship, which would explain why our services are organized the way they are pertaining to this matter.

 

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

 

 

If I don’t hear all of the Sacrament prayer, should I partake of it?

If I don’t hear all of the Sacrament prayer, should I partake of it?

Question

Hey Gramps,

I looked for the answer on the site but couldn’t find it.  As an Aaronic Priesthood kid I was always told that if someone didn’t hear the whole prayer they shouldn’t take the sacrament.  Through the years I’ve received varying answers and just want to know what information you have or can find about it.

Brent

 

Answer

Hi Brent,

It seems to Gramps that if you’re making or renewing a covenant, it doesn’t make much sense to miss part of the covenant pronouncement and then go ahead with the covenant form anyway. Can you imagine walking into the baptismal font halfway through the prayer, or joining a temple session after they’ve already begun? The sacrament is a covenant ordinance, and should be approached with the same reverence and gravity we feel with other such ordinances. The fact that it takes place every week should not change how we treat that sacred ordinance.

An article in the October 1985 edition of the Liahona addresses a similar topic. You might find it informative.

For myself, if I am not present for the sacrament prayer, I do not take the sacrament. If I miss the bread, I don’t take the water, either, since they are both part of the same covenant ordinance.

 

Gramps

Why is the Sacrament order different in the Book of Mormon?

Why is the Sacrament order different in the Book of Mormon?

Question

Gramps,

In the New Testament Jesus blessed the bread then broke it.  Yet in 3 Nephi; He broke and then blessed it. Do you know why?

Marco

 

Answer

Thank you for your question.

Let’s examine the two different accounts.

In Matthew 26:26 it reads,

26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.

Then in 3 Nephi 18:3 it says,

3 And when the disciples had come with bread and wine, he took of the bread and brake and blessed it; and he gave unto the disciples and commanded that they should eat.

So why the difference in the order of things between the New Testament and the Book of Mormon?  Keep in mind that the Book of Matthew was written several years after the death of Christ.  Small details such as the order could have been easily forgotten.

I think the best answer would come from Joseph Smith’s translation of the Bible.

In Matthew 26:22 of the Joseph Smith translation it says:

22 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and brake it, and blessed it, and gave to his disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is in remembrance of my body which I give a ransom for you.

We can see from Joseph Smith’s translation that the order of the Sacrament is exactly how it was recorded in the Book of Mormon and how the order of the Sacrament is today.

Gramps

 

Left over Sacrament Bread

Left over Sacrament Bread

What is done with the left over sacrament bread and water? As I see it, it is still set apart emblems of the Savior and should be treated as such. I have noticed that some primary children go up after and grab handfuls and eat it.

Michael (more…)

Sacrament bread and germs

Sacrament bread and germs

My wife worries about getting germs from the bread during sacrament and would like to know why we can’t use small crackers instead? There have been people who have had MRSA in our area and the hand sanitizer does not kill MRSA.

George (more…)

Was the Sacrament practiced in the Old Testament?

Was the Sacrament practiced in the Old Testament?

Question

Gramps,

I do have a question pertaining to the Sacrament. Multiple church leaders and gospel-oriented manuals teach that Jesus Christ instituted the Sacrament, in remembrance of both his body and his blood. While reading my scriptures, I came across Genesis 14:18-19, which seems to say that Melchizedek partook in some sort of Sacrament ordinance. But didn’t Melchizedek live 2000 years before Jesus Christ? My question is simply this; understanding that our knowledge of ancient rituals is limited to few accounts, including the Bible and modern day revelation, was it a sacrament that is spoken of in these two verses?

Thanks.

Dave

 

Answer

Dave,

The evening before His Crucifixion, Jesus Christ instituted the Sacrament in remembrance of His sacrifice. Prior to that time, there were sacred meals that foreshadowed the Atonement, but none of these were the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. The Passover meal has some of the most readily recognizable symbols, and it is from this meal that Jesus took bread and wine and blessed them with a new purpose.
Genesis 14:18 and Exodus 18:12 show that sacred meals were a part of true worship before the Law of Moses. While the Sacrament can be classified as a sacred meal like these other examples, it stands alone in that it serves as a remembrance of the Atonement and not a foreshadowing.

Gramps

Serving the Sacrament During Sunday School?

Serving the Sacrament During Sunday School?

Dear Gramps,

You recently addressed a question about the serving of the sacrament in meetings. That made me think of my youth and our church services before the block program we now have. Why was the sacrament passed during the Sunday School part of our meetings as well as later that day at the Sacrament meeting? When I think about this it seems a strange thing to do now but it was routine back then. I ask this question of others and they also laugh and wonder the same thing as it doesn’t make sense to us.

Just Wondering (more…)

At what point should noisy children be taken out of Sacrament Meeting?

At what point should noisy children be taken out of Sacrament Meeting?

Question

Gramps,

We have a common issue that happens among many families in the church. During Sacrament or some form of church activity where it needs to be quiet our children often throw tantrums. My husband believes that we should take them out at the slightest peep. But I was counseled by the Bishop to encourage the children to quiet down during the meeting as to teach them that it’s a good place to be. I agree with the Bishop. What do you think?

Amber

 

Answer

Amber,

I suppose the Bishop could ask that overly noisy children be removed from the chapel, but ultimately I think the parents themselves are capable of that choice on their own.

Sacrament meeting is a congregational meeting, and though the younger children are not baptized, they are members of the congregation. The LDS Church is a family-oriented faith, and that includes the noisy kids chasing cheerios under the pews.

Also essential to consider is what Christ himself said; “Suffer the little ones to come unto me and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”

I feel even the newest infant has something us grown-ups need to be reminded of or taught through their actions, noisy or not.

Gramps

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