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Duncan

Administering the sacrament

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I don't know if this has been asked before but does anyone know when or why only the boys/men can administer the sacrament? I was looking through the scriptures and, unless i'm mistaken, the only reference is that Priests administer the sacrament, but they say nothing about deacons or teachers. I read that women used to set up the sacrament and take it down but when they switched to plastic cups they weren't really needed. Any hot leads?

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The scriptures specify that only those holding the priesthood can participate in the ordinance of the sacrament
D&C 20: 60 " Every elder, priest, teacher, or deacon is to be ordained according to the gifts and callings of God unto him; and he is to be ordained by the power of the Holy Ghost, which is in the one who ordains him."

D&C 20: 58 specifies that Deacons and Teachers can not administer (bless) the sacrament 
"But neither teachers nor deacons have authority to baptize, administer the sacrament, or lay on hands;"

 

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8 minutes ago, JAHS said:

The scriptures specify that only those holding the priesthood can participate in the ordinance of the sacrament
D&C 20: 60 " Every elder, priest, teacher, or deacon is to be ordained according to the gifts and callings of God unto him; and he is to be ordained by the power of the Holy Ghost, which is in the one who ordains him."

D&C 20: 58 specifies that Deacons and Teachers can not administer (bless) the sacrament 
"But neither teachers nor deacons have authority to baptize, administer the sacrament, or lay on hands;"

 

how do you read DC 20:60 as saying that only those holding the priesthood can participate in the sacrament?

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Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacrament_(LDS_Church) says:

Quote

Weekly administration of the sacrament in the LDS Church did not begin until the 1850s. There is no revelation directly commanding the sacrament to be a weekly practice, but rather the custom developed and spread throughout the church over time.

Until the late 1890s or early-20th century, the entire congregation kneeled during the sacramental prayers, consistent with D&C 20:76[7] and Moroni 4:2.[8] Current practice requires that only the individual giving the prayer kneel.[9]

Deacons and teachers did not originally take part in the preparing or passing of the sacrament, a practice which was first adopted in 1898[10] and was widely implemented in the 1920s or 1930s. Previous reluctance to involve them was probably due to the following verse from the LDS Doctrine and Covenants:

″But neither teachers nor deacons have authority to baptize, administer the sacrament, or lay on hands″ (Doctrine and Covenants 20:58).

The term "administer" has since been interpreted as referring to recitation of the sacrament prayer, which deacons and teachers are not given the authority to do.

Individual water cups, instead of drinking from a common cup, were introduced in 1911.

Passing the sacrament first to the presiding church authority was emphasized in 1946.[11]

 

Edited by Robert F. Smith

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1 hour ago, Duncan said:

how do you read DC 20:60 as saying that only those holding the priesthood can participate in the sacrament?

Most of Section 20 talks about the duties of the offices of the priesthood; it doesn't say anything about non-priesthood holders or women participating in the ordinance.

Our latter-day prophets have interpreted these scriptures to mean that priesthood is required to perform these ordinances.

Edited by JAHS

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1 hour ago, Buckeye said:

Here’s a timely post with links to several articles on the issue  

https://bycommonconsent.com/2017/11/27/what-if-beehives-passed-the-sacrament-too/

My take is this. Our doctrine follows our practice which follows our desires. The sacrament has changed many times under this pattern (wine to water, men to boys, priest standing with arms raised to kneeling, communal cup to individual cups, etc). It could easily change again to allow young women to pass and prep the sacrament but currently we don’t desire it (collectively speaking). 

Really interesting article with a very compelling argument for allowing women to pass the sacrament.  The only caveat I have about what you said is that it is not a scriptural “doctrine” that women can’t pass the sacrament, it is a policy.

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21 minutes ago, JAHS said:

Most of Section 20 talks about the duties of the offices of the priesthood; it doesn't say anything about non-priesthood holders or women participating in the ordinance.

Our latter-day prophets have interpreted these scriptures to mean that priesthood is required to perform these ordinances.

but it also doesn't talk much about, hardly about the sacrament, though too

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19 minutes ago, Duncan said:

but it also doesn't talk much about, hardly about the sacrament, though too

Not all doctrines or church policy are found in the scriptures. There's almost nothing about the temple ordinances in the scriptures. 

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20 minutes ago, JAHS said:

Not all doctrines or church policy are found in the scriptures. There's almost nothing about the temple ordinances in the scriptures. 

That is true, but policies and temple ordinances are subject to change, as they have done in the past.  There is no binding scriptural doctrine accepted by common consent which states that women can’t pass the sacrament, or that this duty is reserved only for the priesthood.  In fact, women do pass the sacrament each Sunday.

Edited by pogi

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2 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

They missed a couple of changes to the ordinance but this list is quite thorough.  I would add that the administration used to require the raising of the arm to the square as in Baptism, showing its connection with the Aaronic priesthood according to the temple.  Not sure what year that was discontinued.

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9 hours ago, pogi said:

That is true, but policies and temple ordinances are subject to change, as they have done in the past.  There is no binding scriptural doctrine accepted by common consent which states that women can’t pass the sacrament, or that this duty is reserved only for the priesthood.  In fact, women do pass the sacrament each Sunday.

Of course they do. All church members do. But the current prophet and church leaders have been inspired to limit the taking of the sacrament trays from the table to the congregation to the priesthood. And what our prophets say today is more binding on us than what past prophets have said.

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14 hours ago, Duncan said:

I don't know if this has been asked before but does anyone know when or why only the boys/men can administer the sacrament? 

Administering the priesthood is a specifically-identified priesthood duty.

14 hours ago, Duncan said:

I was looking through the scriptures and, unless i'm mistaken, the only reference is that Priests administer the sacrament, but they say nothing about deacons or teachers.

See D&C 107:14 ("Why it {the Aaronic Priesthood} is called the lesser priesthood is because it is an appendage to the greater, or the Melchizedek Priesthood, and has power in administering outward ordinances.").

Consequently, "{t}hose who hold the Aaronic Priesthood may be authorized to administer the 'outward ordinances' of baptism and the sacrament."

Thanks,

-Smac

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It's all pretty silly if you think about it.  Any woman, or girl for that matter, can get up and say the prayer just as any boy, just anyone can walk around and pass the tray down aisles.  Just as my 4 year old daughter can excitedly run the tray to the couple that sits on the end of the bench covering the gap between them and our family.  It's a boy thing because of tradition.  The priesthood is a boy thing largely because, it seems to me, the culture from which the Church sprang and developed was largely patriarchal.  Revelation it seems speaks to the humans in language and in ways they understand.  It was understood clearly and without question as the Church came into being that men were the administrators of the Church because that's how Church had been for thousands of years.  

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19 minutes ago, bluebell said:

But D&C 20 specifically says that deacons and teachers cannot administer the sacrament, which means that administering has a very narrow definition as it's used in the scriptures.  It means blessing the sacrament specifically.  

I think you are correct here.

Quote

If administering the sacrament is defined more broadly (to include passing it and preparing it), we would be contradicting our own scriptures by allowing the teachers and deacons to participate.

I am not sure if "administering the sacrament" should be defined more broadly.

CHI 20.4.3 establishes that "{d}eacons, teachers, priests, and Melchizedek Priesthood holders may pass the sacrament."

I wonder if this policy is founded, at least in part, on D&C 20:27, which provides that a bishop "is to be assisted always, in all his duties in the church, by the deacons, if occasion requires."

One of the duties of of the bishop is to prepare, conduct and preside in Sacrament Meeting (unless another presiding officer is present).  The Bishop can delegate some portions of conducting Sacrament Meeting, such that counselors can arrange for speakers, individuals can be called to arrange and conduct and play music, individuals can be invited to give talks, and so on.  But it appears that deacons are "first in line" in terms of "assisting in all {the bishop's} duties in the Church."  I suspect this is one of the reasons why preparing and passing the Sacrament are delegated to teachers and deacons.

So there is an unequivocal policy in the CHI, and a plausible scriptural basis for that policy in D&C 20:27.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97

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removed

Edited by Oliblish

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15 minutes ago, bluebell said:

But D&C 20 specifically says that deacons and teachers cannot administer the sacrament, which means that administering has a very narrow definition as it's used in the scriptures.  It means blessing the sacrament specifically.  

If administering the sacrament is defined more broadly (to include passing it and preparing it), we would be contradicting our own scriptures by allowing the teachers and deacons to participate.  Is there a scripture that teaches that preparing and passing the sacrament is a priesthood duty?

I don't believe anywhere in the Bible is passing the sacrament considered a priesthood duty. The priestly duties were limited to Levites of a certain age and all their work was centered around the temple (25 years old per Numbers 8:24). 

I'm not sure if there is anything about this in the BOM. 

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18 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

It's all pretty silly if you think about it.  Any woman, or girl for that matter, can get up and say the prayer just as any boy, just anyone can walk around and pass the tray down aisles.  Just as my 4 year old daughter can excitedly run the tray to the couple that sits on the end of the bench covering the gap between them and our family.  It's a boy thing because of tradition.  The priesthood is a boy thing largely because, it seems to me, the culture from which the Church sprang and developed was largely patriarchal.  Revelation it seems speaks to the humans in language and in ways they understand.  It was understood clearly and without question as the Church came into being that men were the administrators of the Church because that's how Church had been for thousands of years.  

Yup, and any one can lay their hands on another person and pronounce a blessing, or ordain someone to a priesthood office, or proclaim themselves a profit. The ability to do something does not equate to having the authority to do such things.  This is pretty fundamental teaching in the early Church. It is also the teaching of the Church today. 

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Just now, Storm Rider said:

Yup, and any one can lay their hands on another person and pronounce a blessing, or ordain someone to a priesthood office, or proclaim themselves a profit. The ability to do something does not equate to having the authority to do such things.  This is pretty fundamental teaching in the early Church. It is also the teaching of the Church today. 

I agree. That is the church's position.  And I'd suggest it take nothing away to actually grant authority to women.  

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48 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

It's all pretty silly if you think about it. 

I don't think it's silly.  I think it's a judgment call.

Quote

Any woman, or girl for that matter, can get up and say the prayer just as any boy, just anyone can walk around and pass the tray down aisles. 

But they cannot bless the Sacrament.

Deacons are specifically tasked with assisting the bishop.  Bishops are tasked with conducting Sacrament Meeting.  It therefore seems reasonable to enact a policy of having deacons (and teachers, who retain all the responsibilities of deacons) in assisting the bishop with conducting Sacrament Meeting.

Quote

Just as my 4 year old daughter can excitedly run the tray to the couple that sits on the end of the bench covering the gap between them and our family.  It's a boy thing because of tradition. 

It's a priesthood thing because of a specific and published policy in the CHI-2.

Does that policy have a scriptural basis?  I think so.

Quote

The priesthood is a boy thing largely because, it seems to me, the culture from which the Church sprang and developed was largely patriarchal. 

I think you are ignoring quite a few statements on this issue found in the LDS canon and by general authorities.

Quote

Revelation it seems

Huh.  "It seems?"

So it's a judgment call?  

And who is it that is tasked with making that call for the Church as a whole?  Prophets, seers and revelators ordained and endowed with authority and sustained as such?  Or self-appointed, because-I-say-so types who presume to publicly second guess those who are in authority?

Quote

speaks to the humans in language and in ways they understand. 

Yes.  And if and when God chooses "language" to allow women to be ordained to the priesthood, or to revise policies such as the one under discussion, He will do it.  I don't think, however, that He will do so by inspiring individual members of the Church to publicly speak against those in authority.

Quote

It was understood clearly and without question as the Church came into being that men were the administrators of the Church because that's how Church had been for thousands of years.  

I suspect there is more to it than that.  I addressed this previously here: What Is The Scriptural Basis For Limiting The Priesthood To Males?

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97

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4 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I don't think it's silly.  I think it's a judgment call.

But they cannot bless the Sacrament.

Deacons are specifically tasked with assisting the bishop.  Bishops are tasked with conducting Sacrament Meeting.  It therefore seems reasonable to enact a policy of having deacons (and teachers, who retain all the responsibilities of deacons) in assisting the bishop with conducting Sacrament Meeting.

It's a priesthood think because of a specific and published policy in the CHI-2.

Does that policy have a scriptural basis?  I think so.

I think you are ignoring quite a few statements on this issue found in the LDS canon and by general authorities.

Huh.  "It seems?"

So it's a judgment call?  

And who is it that is tasked with making that call for the Church as a whole?  Prophets, seers and revelators ordained and endowed with authority and sustained as such?  Or self-appointed, because-I-say-so types who presume to publicly second guess those who are in authority?

Yes.  And if and when God chooses "language" to allow women to be ordained to the priesthood, or to revise policies such as the one under discussion, He will do it.  I don't think, however, that He will do so by inspiring individual members of the Church to publicly speak against those in authority.

I suspect there is more to it than that.  I addressed this previously here: What Is The Scriptural Basis For Limiting The Priesthood To Males?

Thanks,

-Smac

Thanks for the link.  It does feel quite circular to say the Church is right about priesthood being limited to males and then use the Church saying it's a male thing to support the notion that the Church is right about it.  Well I'm dizzy.  Thanks for spinning me around.  

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15 hours ago, Duncan said:

I don't know if this has been asked before but does anyone know when or why only the boys/men can administer the sacrament? I was looking through the scriptures and, unless i'm mistaken, the only reference is that Priests administer the sacrament, but they say nothing about deacons or teachers. I read that women used to set up the sacrament and take it down but when they switched to plastic cups they weren't really needed. Any hot leads?

Any Priesthood holder can do so, there is a need however for those who are called to specific duties. In our Ward we are running low on Deacons, so the adults help every week.   

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9 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

Thanks for the link.  It does feel quite circular to say the Church is right about priesthood being limited to males and then use the Church saying it's a male thing to support the notion that the Church is right about it.  Well I'm dizzy.  Thanks for spinning me around.  

At present, and in the absence of any light and knowledge to the contrary, ordination to the priesthood claimed by the LDS Church lies within the province of those in authority.  If they are wrong, then God will let them know.  Meanwhile, I do not think it is within the province of members of the Church to publicly criticize or speak against the Brethren on this issue.

Thanks,

-Smac

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3 minutes ago, Bill "Papa" Lee said:

Any Priesthood holder can do so, there is a need however for those who are called to specific duties. In our Ward we are running low on Deacons, so the adults help every week.   

The same goes in our ward in Provo.  We have one Deacon, two Teachers, and one Priest.  Parts of Provo are being demographically hollowed out in terms of youth, since housing is bigger and cheaper to the north (Lehi, Saratoga Springs, Eagle Mountain, American Fork, etc.) and the south (Payson, Springville, Spanish Fork).

-Smac

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