I’ve always been perplexed as to why we no longer follow the tradition of using wine for the sacrament. The tradition supposedly began with Joseph Smith being told that wine bought from his enemies might be poisoned and that Joseph was free to choose what he would offer in wine’s stead if the saints didn’t provide wine of their own make to be used. Even after the saints arrived in Utah, I’ve read that partaking of wine for the sacrament did continue for a while. My question is why do we not partake of wine any longer? Is it because of the word of wisdom? Is it because it might be contaminated? Or is it simply a tradition handed down that weare afraid to change?
James, fromLexington, Kentucky
I am perplexed about why you are perplexed. The reason that wine is not used for the sacrament is that the prophet Joseph Smith was told by the Lord not to purchase wine from his enemies (Doctrine & Covenants 27:3). He was also told that it mattereth not what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink when ye partake of the sacrament. But the Lord immediately stipulated if it so be that ye do it with an eye single to my glory (Doctrine & Covenants 27:2), signifying that the important thing in partaking the sacrament is the attitude of the person rather than elements used. When this commandment was given the prophet immediately instituted the use of water instead of wine to represent the blood of the Savior. If there were instances from time to time in which emblems other than water were used,it mattereth not..
2 For, behold, I say unto you, that it mattereth not what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink when ye partake of the sacrament, if it so be that ye do it with an eye single to my glory‑‑remembering unto the Father my body which was laid down for you, and my blood which was shed for the remission of your sins (D&C 27:2).