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This interesting practice using the right hand in the Coptic Church....

“The raising of the hand and the Covenant with the Lord Christ

When the baptized or the child's parent faces the East and raises their right hand, repeating the words of the covenant with Christ, they are praying for God’s help to fulfill this holy covenant.

NOTES:

Some people say, when the mother turns from the West to the East, she must change her child from her left arm to her right arm, hence this means that she will raise her left hand during the confession for Christ and the reciting of the Orthodox Creed.  I believe this is not correct that she raise her right hand while renouncing Satan, and her left hand while confessing Christ. The Baptismal Rites does not imply this, and therefore, I believe the correct position is for the child to remain on the mother’s left arm in both cases, and thus her right hand is raised in both cases.

Raising the hand has various implications. We shall mention a few :

When the person requiring Baptism raises the right hand while looking towards the West and renouncing Satan, they must open the palm of their hand as if avoiding Satan as an enemy and destroyer.

When the person requiring Baptism raises their right hand while looking towards the East and reciting the Orthodox Creed, they undertakes before God to keep what is said, and hence the raising of the hand signifies the undertaking of an oath, just as in court and oath is taken to indicate the seriousness of what the speaker says and the necessity of commitment to this undertaking.”

 

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47 minutes ago, mnn727 said:

The CHI says nothing about which hand to use.

Do you think President Oaks is not familiar  with the handbook?

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15 minutes ago, MustardSeed said:

I think some people find Oaks unlikeable.  So they decide to ***imo*** make a big deal about a (**imo**)small deal to make the point that Oaks is not only unlikeable but wrong.  

I personally find the personality style of some of my leaders quite unlikeable.  I find some of them to be personally offensive as they have hurt loved ones directly and personally.  

I don’t need my leaders to be perfect or even likeable in order to find what I need out of my religion. And if I take sacrament with my right hand because it has meaning to me, I have no need for anyone else to do the same because I believe it is a SOFT rule.  That is **my opinion**.  

I think Oaks effectively emphasized the importance of the sacrament to those boys.  Imagine the sense of self esteem they can feel the next time they administer this sacred ordinance? Did he shame them? I don’t know, I can’t know because I wasn’t there.  Context and tone are key, and we haven’t got any input from the boys.  Are there other things he could have said?  Always.  

If we take the sacrament with intent, it is my **opinion** that we are well in our way to pleasing the lord.  If we are taking with our  right hand and thinking about brother joes weak testimony then we have work to do.  

And I for one will likely take sacrament Sunday with my right hand , out of habit and rule following, and know that blue will be taking from the left, and will be aware that I have work to do. So not all is lost. 

Good thoughts MS!  And I’ll probably be taking it with my right hand too because I usually do it that way. 😊

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44 minutes ago, Bob Crockett said:

I used to duct tape my young left-handed son's left hand to discourage him from using his left hand.

Just kidding.  I tell him that all the time to tell him that is what is wrong with him (as he is preparing to enter law school).

I know you are joking, but when I was young it was commonplace for parents to encourage or even force their children to use their right hand over their left.  If they saw their child holding a crayon or toy in their left hand, they would take it and put it in their right.  This happened to my younger brother to some extent (not that it did any good).

It seems silly now, but there was considerable social pressure to conform and not stand out.  No one wanted to be the one with the left handed child.  Many in the generation of Elder Oaks grew up with that sort of mindset.

Edited by Oliblish
typo

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40 minutes ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

I don’t have any skin in the game anymore, but as a representative of Jesus Christ who only has time for a five minute message, it blows my mind that this is what God and Jesus wanted to teach these young men. 

Perhaps, if all he had to say was “use your right hand.” 

President Oaks packed a heap of doctrinal teaching into that short instruction. 

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Just now, Oliblish said:

I know you are joking, but when I was young it was commonplace for parents to encourage or even force their children to use their right hand over their left.  If they say their child holding a crayon or toy in their left hand, they would take it and put it in their right.  This happened to my younger brother to some extent (not that it did any good).

It seems silly now, but there was considerable social pressure to conform and not stand out.  No one wanted to be the one with the left handed child.  Many in the generation of Elder Oaks grew up with that sort of mindset.

And the parsing takes a surprising left turn. 

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5 minutes ago, Oliblish said:

I know you are joking, but when I was young it was commonplace for parents to encourage or even force their children to use their right hand over their left.  If they saw their child holding a crayon or toy in their left hand, they would take it and put it in their right.  This happened to my younger brother to some extent (not that it did any good).

It seems silly now, but there was considerable social pressure to conform and not stand out.  No one wanted to be the one with the left handed child.  Many in the generation of Elder Oaks grew up with that sort of mindset.

Makes you wonder how many religious and cultural beliefs evolved just from the practice of using your left hand for a certain bathroom activity. Just a guess here but I wouldn't be surprised that the reason we read from left to right also has to do with the fact that more people write with their right hand. 

One of my lefthanded wife's elementary teachers would stand next to her with a ruler and hit her left hand anytime she tried to use it to write.

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1 hour ago, The Nehor said:

As a left-handed person I can state definitively: “Everyone is born left handed. You only become right handed when you commit your first sin.”

Well some New Testament commentaries have translated the following passage like this:

"Let him who is without sin cast the first stone left handed."

Of course since redactors down the line were all right handed that part got left out.
 

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I have always considered the right-handed taking of the sacrament to be more along the lines of a "best practice" kind of thing rather than an actual requirement. 

I always use my right hand, personally, but if I see someone doing differently I don't flip out about it.

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2 hours ago, SouthernMo said:

Recently, Elder Oaks was recorded talking about the importance of taking the sacrament with one’s right hand.  What struck me is his teaching that because it is an ordinance, it must be done with exactness.  This begs questions in my mind:

Where else has this been taught?  How are we members supposed to know?

When sacrament prayers and baptisms are done incorrectly, they are redone.  Elder Oaks emphasizes that it has to be done again.  Why is the precision of those two parts of an ordinance taught, overseen, and enforced regularly when I’ve never seen nor heard of any presiding authority have someone re-take the sacrament because they used their left hand?

If the baptismal ordinance is done incorrectly, would it be true that the baptism is not valid?  So then if I take the sacrament with my left hand is that ordinance not valid?

Any thoughts on how we can healthily view the precision required in the sacrament ordinance?

Transcription from the recording:

"I come to see what happens when I'm not here. But I had an impression from the Spirit of the Lord, to teach something to each of you and particularly the young men of the Aaronic priesthood. Because I saw something, in Sacrament meeting today, that told me that some of you don't understand something. The Sacrament is an ordinance of the Gospel. And because it's an ordinance, it needs to be done exactly right. Just like the prayers that the priests offer, they have to say the exact language in the prayers. Because it's a priesthood ordinance. Just like baptism. The Lord taught us, when we are baptized, the priest who officiates raises his right hand, and says, 'having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you, in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Ghost.' and then he immerses the person in the water. And if that's not done exactly that way, it has to be done again.

Now. When we partake of the sacrament, young men and young women, we are renewing the act of baptism. We're promising the Lord again, what we promised in baptism, that we'd keep his commandments. And also, he promises to renew the effect of our baptism, so that we're cleansed, from our sins, when we partake of the sacrament, if we've repented of them. But now there's something about the right hand. When we're baptized the priest raises his right hand, not his left hand, but his right hand. And when we partake of the sacrament, we partake with our right hand, not our left hand. And today, I saw quite a few of the deacons take the sacrament with their left hands. Don't do that. Because you set the wrong example for the congregation if you do that.

I know why you did that, because the sacrament tray was coming up on this side, and it was easiest to do that way. But a mother who's holding a baby, probably changes the baby, so she can use her right hand. And all of us should partake of the right hand, when we participate in that great ordinance of the gospel. That's what I felt impressed to share with you, and I've often mentioned that in other meetings, but I've never seen so many deacons take the sacrament with their left hand, so I thought I'd better perform my responsibility to share that with you. God bless you in the name of Jesus Christ, amen."  

I grew up feeling that I should take the sacrament with my right hand and that's what I still do, but I'm not fanatical about it.

What I have more feelings about after reading the quote above is I'm left wondering how I'd feel if my son had been in the group of boys that Pres. Oaks spoke to.  I would have wanted my son to be excited and look forward to hearing from one of the Apostles (and I imagine these boys were).  So quite honestly, I'd be disappointed that this is what took place.

I would have wanted an Apostle to have acted as Christ would speak and teach.....humble and loving.  Not, ""I come to see what happens when I'm not here." which comes off as being pretty arrogant (granted I was not there and we can only read the words).  Plus I think he taught them something that was incorrect and more letter of the law than spirit of the law regarding the partaking of the sacrament ("The Sacrament is an ordinance of the Gospel. And because it's an ordinance, it needs to be done exactly right."....."And when we partake of the sacrament, we partake with our right hand, not our left hand. And today, I saw quite a few of the deacons take the sacrament with their left hands. Don't do that. Because you set the wrong example for the congregation if you do that.").  

It would be interesting to hear from some of the boys who were there.  Did they leave feeling loved or feeling judged?  Did they have warm and good feelings about having just heard from an Apostle and did they feel he was approachable and Christlike?  Maybe....we don't know what else Pres. Oaks said (unless this was all and it was just a short exchange).  

ETA:

I know there's a recording of this but haven't been able to listen to it.  If someone has, what was the tone of President Oaks?  That would be interesting and helpful to know.

 

Edited by ALarson
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Quote

The Lord taught us, when we are baptized, the priest who officiates raises his right hand, and says, 'having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you, in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Ghost.' and then he immerses the person in the water. And if that's not done exactly that way, it has to be done again.

When did they change the baptismal prayer?

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1 hour ago, Bernard Gui said:

Perhaps, if all he had to say was “use your right hand.” 

President Oaks packed a heap of doctrinal teaching into that short instruction. 

But this is the question - he ties what other leaders have called tradition to doctrine.

I think that Just as we need to protect against the loss of doctrine, we need to protect against the faulty expansion of what practices are put in the doctrine category.

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2 minutes ago, CA Steve said:

When did they change the baptismal prayer?

Yeah, I heard this being discussed last night and some were joking about how he “yelled” at the boys for not doing things “exactly right” and then he gets the prayer wrong (that is supposed to be exact)!

That is kind of funny especially with what he was trying to teach.

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7 minutes ago, CA Steve said:

When did they change the baptismal prayer?

The Book of Mormon teaches a different verbiage for the baptismal prayer.

Wonder what Oaks thinks about that.

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1 hour ago, Bernard Gui said:

This interesting practice using the right hand in the Coptic Church....

“The raising of the hand and the Covenant with the Lord Christ

When the baptized or the child's parent faces the East and raises their right hand, repeating the words of the covenant with Christ, they are praying for God’s help to fulfill this holy covenant.

NOTES:

Some people say, when the mother turns from the West to the East, she must change her child from her left arm to her right arm, hence this means that she will raise her left hand during the confession for Christ and the reciting of the Orthodox Creed.  I believe this is not correct that she raise her right hand while renouncing Satan, and her left hand while confessing Christ. The Baptismal Rites does not imply this, and therefore, I believe the correct position is for the child to remain on the mother’s left arm in both cases, and thus her right hand is raised in both cases.

Raising the hand has various implications. We shall mention a few :

When the person requiring Baptism raises the right hand while looking towards the West and renouncing Satan, they must open the palm of their hand as if avoiding Satan as an enemy and destroyer.

When the person requiring Baptism raises their right hand while looking towards the East and reciting the Orthodox Creed, they undertakes before God to keep what is said, and hence the raising of the hand signifies the undertaking of an oath, just as in court and oath is taken to indicate the seriousness of what the speaker says and the necessity of commitment to this undertaking.”


Raising the right hand to the square is significant when making oaths.   We are not raising our right hand to the square in oath when we partake of the sacrament however.  We are eating bread and drinking water in oath.  There is no raising of the right hand in oath required or even mentioned anywhere or at anytime in any official document for the ordinance, that I am aware of. 

Bernard, we know for sure that certain aspects of the ordinance have to be followed perfectly - like the sacramental prayer.  We have to repeat the ordinance if it is not done correctly.  If we are supposed to repeat the ordinance for partaking with the left hand, I'm just curious - how is the general membership supposed to know that?  It is not written anywhere that I am aware of from a prophet, manual, or conference talk.  If it is so significant and important, to the point that the ordinance needs to be repeated if done with the left hand, why isn't it taught to the general membership?

Quote

The hand used in partaking of the sacrament would logically be the same hand used in making any other sacred oath. For most of us, that would be the right hand. However, sacramental covenants—and other eternal covenants as well—can be and are made by those who have lost the use of the right hand, or who have no hands at all. Much more important than concern over which hand is used in partaking of the sacrament is that the sacrament be partaken with a deep realization of the atoning sacrifice that the sacrament represents.” 

There is a big difference between a "logical" inference and a divine injunction.  One is officially mandated the other is speculation.  This quote by President Nelson in no way suggests that the ordinance needs to be repeated if the left hand is used. 

Edited by pogi

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I have serious doubts that the Lord cares which hand someone uses when taking the sacrament. The majority using their rights hands is nothing more than tradition. Just like the wives always speak first in sacrament meeting and the husbands second. That is not written anywhere but you will NEVER ever see the husband speak first. Simply due to tradition. 

On my mission Hispanics would put their left hand behind their backs while passing the sacrament and only bless babies on fast Sunday. They swear that is official policy but it is not, that is their tradition.

I really think these non-issues should be left alone, they only alienate people unnecessarily. I know someone who has paralysis in her right hand and the right hand doctrine just makes her be uncomfortable and have to jump through hoops that shouldn't be there.

 

 

Edited by 10THAmendment

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11 minutes ago, JulieM said:

Yeah, I heard this being discussed last night and some were joking about how he “yelled” at the boys for not doing things “exactly right” and then he gets the prayer wrong (that is supposed to be exact)!

That is kind of funny especially with what he was trying to teach.

Huh....that is ironic :) 

I just know that I would be disappointed if my son had the opportunity to personally hear from an Apostle and he left feeling chastised for doing something that wasn't even wrong to do.  It was an opportunity for this Apostle to teach and I'd imagine that the boys left believing it was a commandment to take the sacrament with their right hand.

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What I don't get is how Elder Oaks seems to think these kids should've known better. How could they have known better if it's not in the handbook and not ever taught in general conference or in church publications? He's got to be aware that it's not actually an official policy, right? I want to be charitable, but lately Elder Oaks just seems to be in an entirely different universe from my reality sometimes.

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3 hours ago, mnn727 said:

That was stated as being incorrect decades ago.

I'll see if I can't find a reference.....I see Bernard beat me to it.

Here's another:  

 

 

that's fanstastic,! where does that come from? 

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1 hour ago, JulieM said:

Yeah, I heard this being discussed last night and some were joking about how he “yelled” at the boys for not doing things “exactly right” and then he gets the prayer wrong (that is supposed to be exact)!

That is kind of funny especially with what he was trying to teach.

He didn't yell and it was lovingly said. This youtube was posted on the other thread of so I guess it's ok to stay. Here it is:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0siBml8crY&feature=youtu.be

 

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8 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

He didn't yell and it was lovingly said. This youtube was posted on the other thread of so I guess it's ok to stay. Here it is:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0siBml8crY&feature=youtu.be

 

Thanks for posting that Tacenda.  I hadn’t listened to it (but just did).  I put that word in quotes because it wasn’t my word but what was said.  I agree that he didn’t yell and was just pretty matter of fact about it.

It’s just odd to listen to this though.  And then he just closes with no other thoughts (left me feeling kind of weird at the end).  I wonder if this was his only message for the youth?

Edited by JulieM

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Seems to me that President Oaks was more about the deacons understanding and doing it correctly as an example, than he was about how the members in the pew were doing it.  

And we all get testimonies of the various principles of the gospel in different sequences.   Maybe the takeaway for us is whether we need to work getting a testimony that Pres. Oaks is speaking correct doctrine (and whether as a matter of practice, choosing to use our right hands even without that testimony is what we want to do).

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