Jump to content

Recommended Posts

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."  

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

An interesting instruction from then-Regional Representative Russell Nelson::

https://www.lds.org/ensign/1983/03/i-have-a-question/is-it-necessary-to-take-the-sacrament-with-ones-right-hand?lang=eng

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.” 

Let the parsing begin. 

Edited by Bernard Gui
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

Well since we had an 11 year old recently pass without yet being ordained (excited parents I suppose) and we didn’t exactly start over or panic over those sins that sacrament receivers might not be forgiven for this week , I guess that suggests that the sacrament ordinance is somewhat softer than the baptism one .

I always use my right hand.  Was taught as a kid.  I don’t lose sleep when others go left. 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
6 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

An interesting instruction from then-Regional Representative Russell Nelson::

https://www.lds.org/ensign/1983/03/i-have-a-question/is-it-necessary-to-take-the-sacrament-with-ones-right-hand?lang=eng

Good thoughts.  I appreciate how he explains his beliefs on the matter, says "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" and then ends by saying that taking the sacrament is sacred and personal.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

It is my understanding that in the lost 116 pages not only were the faithful Nephites described as "white and delightsome" they were also all right-handed.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

More from then RR Elder Nelson...

Partaking of the sacrament is a sacred mental process, and as such it becomes a very personal one for me. I think of the covenants being made between me and Deity as the prayers are pronounced. I think of God offering his Only Begotten Son. I think of the atoning sacrifice of my Savior, Jesus Christ. The sacrament was instituted by him. For all mankind, even me, he offered his flesh and blood and designated the bread and the water as symbolic emblems. Because I have a right hand, I offer it in partaking of the sacrament as an oath, that I will always remember his atoning sacrifice, take his name upon me and remember him, and keep the commandments of God.

Share this post


Link to post

I don’t find it onerous, rigid or legalistic to use my right hand in partaking of the sacrament. I find the symbolism beautiful and compelling, plus the precedents set in other very sacred ordinances. 

Edited by Bernard Gui
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
2 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

More from then RR Elder Nelson...

Partaking of the sacrament is a sacred mental process, and as such it becomes a very personal one for me. I think of the covenants being made between me and Deity as the prayers are pronounced. I think of God offering his Only Begotten Son. I think of the atoning sacrifice of my Savior, Jesus Christ. The sacrament was instituted by him. For all mankind, even me, he offered his flesh and blood and designated the bread and the water as symbolic emblems. Because I have a right hand, I offer it in partaking of the sacrament as an oath, that I will always remember his atoning sacrifice, take his name upon me and remember him, and keep the commandments of God.

Yes, he explains why he personally uses his right hand but does not say that that is how everyone needs to do it.   I think that's a great way to approach the subject, where revelation to the church on the matter does not seem to have been given yet.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Just now, bluebell said:

Yes, he explains why he personally uses his right hand but does not say that that is how everyone needs to do it.   I think that's a great way to approach the subject, where revelation to the church on the matter does not seem to have been given yet.  

You little rebel you! ;)

Share this post


Link to post
2 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

I don’t find it onerous, rigid or legalistic to use my right hand in partaking of the sacrament. I find the symbolism beautiful and compelling, plus the precedent set in other very sacred ordinances. 

I admit I don't' understand the idea that the sacrament should be taken with the right hand because ordinances must be done with the right hand, considering that we have ordinances which require the use of the left hand.  I get the symbolism behind the use of the right hand (and I think it's valid) but there is precedent for using both hands for sacred ordinances as well.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
16 minutes ago, CA Steve said:

It is my understanding that in the lost 116 pages not only were the faithful Nephites described as "white and delightsome" they were also all right-handed.

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.”

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
5 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

You little rebel you! ;)

:) 

I've read enough things from past prophets and apostles when they are speaking to groups (things that we definitely do not believe today) not to just assume that everything they say is God's will on the subject. And I don't mean any disrespect by saying that.  Pres. Oaks is a favorite of mine.  

And like I said, I am open to changing my thoughts and feelings on the topic.  But I personally have never been taught to take the sacrament with my right hand only, and I have never felt the spirit directing me in that direction, so I feel comfortable with the way that I approach it for now.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
5 minutes 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.”

There are very good reasons that the first three letters of the word sinister are s-I-n. 

Edited by Bernard Gui

Share this post


Link to post
On 2/7/2019 at 9:26 AM, bluebell said:

:) 

I've read enough things from past prophets and apostles when they are speaking to groups (things that we definitely do not believe today) not to just assume that everything they say is God's will on the subject. And I don't mean any disrespect by saying that.  Pres. Oaks is a favorite of mine.  

And like I said, I am open to changing my thoughts and feelings on the topic.  But I personally have never been taught to take the sacrament with my right hand only, and I have never felt the spirit directing me in that direction, so I feel comfortable with the way that I approach it for now.

Of course this is from a surreptitiously recorded event in a deacons quorum, not General Conference, but would you consider it sufficient information to change? 

“...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.....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.”

Edited by Bernard Gui

Share this post


Link to post
1 minute ago, Bernard Gui said:

Of course this is from a surreptitiously recorded event in a deacons quorum, not General Conference, but would you consider it sufficient information to change? 

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.

“...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.....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.”

No, I personally wouldn't, and I expressed why.  I fall more in line with Pres. Joseph Fielding Smith's thoughts on the matter when he said that having to partake the sacrament with the right hand is a custom that should not be elevated to commandment.

Should it be taught in GC that we need to take it with our right hand, then I would likely alter my thoughts on it.  :) 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

The CHI says nothing about which hand to use.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
48 minutes 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:  

 

 

I kind of like your JSF quote.  Somewhere I read recently that JSF was in a ward meeting where the congregation had to wait until he received the sacrament.  When he complained about this new practice, he remarked that he must have been absent from the Quorum when this rule was instituted.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
27 minutes 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.”

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).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour 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 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. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
35 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

I don’t find it onerous, rigid or legalistic to use my right hand in partaking of the sacrament. I find the symbolism beautiful and compelling, plus the precedents set in other very sacred ordinances. 

But do you find it onerous, rigid, or legalistic to teach that others must use their right hand because you do and because you find meaning in it? I doubt it.

No one is arguing that it is wrong to take it with the right hand. The problems and the argument center around the right hand being a requirement. Pres. Oaks statement "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." implies that he caught them doing something wrong. When the cat is away the mouse will play by taking the sacrament with the his left hand. But now that I'm here, I'll fix your wrongness. It's as if he feels he's correcting some evil, or at least offended by the wrongness of the action of the AP holders. Correcting a YM for partaking of the sacrament with his left hand is not only petty, and non-doctrinal, it's pretty rude. Pres. Oaks is in the 1st Presidency. If he wants to make the "right hand" thing official, perhaps he can include the requirement in scripture...or at the very least a handbook. At least it would be more official, instead of correcting YM in exasperation that they don't know how to partake of the sacrament.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, SouthernMo said:

...................................

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?......................

During LDS baptisms (and Jewish mikvehs), if one's hair is not completely immersed, the ordinance is invalid and must be repeated.  Witnesses present can require that.

The LDS ordinance of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper is done correctly when the priests or elders at the table (the sacrificial altar) say the exact liturgical words.  Other members of the Aaronic or Melchizedek priesthood then serve the Sacramental emblems to the congregation.  Members of the congregation are not under any liturgical requirements and may take the emblems as is convenient.  Even those who are not baptized members of the Church (including children) can take the emblems without cavil, and either hand may be used in doing so.  No mode of proper dress can be required of the priesthood or congregants.  That is the Mormon way.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
3 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. 

I don't personally find it that surprising.  Even though I disagree with Pres. oaks that we should take the sacrament with our right hand, I also don't doubt that many if not most of the YM (and YW, and a lot of adults) don't understand the sacredness and symbolism of taking the sacrament.  Many do it out of habit, without giving it too much of a second though, especially when they are focused on other things.  I can see the spirit telling Pres. Oaks that the YM needed to understand the symbolism better, and to be reminded of what they are actually doing.  

I know that Pres. Oaks said that the spirit told him to specifically correct the left hand thing but sometimes I think the spirit tells us to teach things for one reason while we sometimes believe it's for another. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
On 2/7/2019 at 9:57 AM, HappyJackWagon said:

But do you find it onerous, rigid, or legalistic to teach that others must use their right hand because you do and because you find meaning in it? I doubt it.

No one is arguing that it is wrong to take it with the right hand. The problems and the argument center around the right hand being a requirement. Pres. Oaks statement "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." implies that he caught them doing something wrong. When the cat is away the mouse will play by taking the sacrament with the his left hand. But now that I'm here, I'll fix your wrongness. It's as if he feels he's correcting some evil, or at least offended by the wrongness of the action of the AP holders. Correcting a YM for partaking of the sacrament with his left hand is not only petty, and non-doctrinal, it's pretty rude. Pres. Oaks is in the 1st Presidency. If he wants to make the "right hand" thing official, perhaps he can include the requirement in scripture...or at the very least a handbook. At least it would be more official, instead of correcting YM in exasperation that they don't know how to partake of the sacrament.

After hearing the manner in which he made the correction, I can’t agree with your mis-characterization of his tone and intent, particularly with the apparent goal to make President Oaks into an ogre.

A member of the First Presidency receiving an impression from the Spirit and sharing it with some young people invites some notice, but not for the purpose of demeaning him, IMO. Perhaps we should contemplate what he said and why he thought it was important enough to act on it. Or, when can engage in petty mind-reading and worthless criticism.  

 

Edited by Bernard Gui
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...