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Deacons passing the sacrament and other non doctrinal practices


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10 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Today? Have you been to church since COVID?

This is how we've been doing it in my ward for a few weeks.  My parents ward have been passing down the rows for a couple of months.

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9 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

Full stop? I don’t agree. It appears you are creating a modernist narrative where none exists in the original instruction in the New Testament and the Book of Mormon.

As far as I know, there may have been no Aaronic Priesthood organization in the Nephite Church, but Moroni described how the sacrament was administered by ordained men other than the 12 disciples. Jesus said there would be those ordained among them who would have authority, so who is to say there were no ordained men assisting to give the sacrament to the Nephite multitude? That’s more plausible than random folks helping administer a sacred ordinance. 

“Moroni 4:1 The manner of their elders and priests administering the flesh and blood of Christ unto the church; and they administered it according to the commandments of Christ; wherefore we know the manner to be true; and the elder or priest did minister it…”

I understand “administering…according to the commandments of Christ” to mean bring, break, bless, give by those ordained to do it.

By modern revelation this ordinance is the responsibility of the Aaronic Priesthood which was restored by John Baptist. Deacons, teachers, and priests bring, break, bless, and give just as the Nephite disciples, elders, and priests did. In our time it has been established that the teacher prepares (brings), the priest administers (breaks and blesses), and the deacon passes (gives) under the direction and permission of the Melchizedek Priesthood. Elders may also administer this way. So we observe the ordinance just as it was established by Jesus among the Nephites. 

Moreover, the congregation does not walk up to the priest to receive it in our Church. The deacons give it to them as directed by the bishop. That is their authority.

For these reasons I believe we follow the pattern and instructions given by Christ in the Book of Mormon. 

Doesn't the D&C say that only a priest or a Melchizedek priesthood holder can administer the sacrament?  According to the D&C, Deacons and teachers cannot administer the sacrament.  They do not have that authority.

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Just now, bluebell said:

Doesn't the D&C say that only a priest or a Melchizedek priesthood holder can administer the sacrament?  According to the D&C, Deacons and teachers cannot administer the sacrament.  They do not have that authority.

I believe “administer” has since been interpreted as breaking the bread, blessing the bread and water, and handing the emblems to those who pass it to members. 

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2 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

I believe “administer” has since been interpreted as breaking the bread, blessing the bread and water, and handing the emblems to those who pass it to members. 

Interpreted by whom?  Is that how it is interpreted in the D&C?

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9 hours ago, JustAnAustralian said:
11 hours ago, Freedom said:

On reality, does anybody pay tithing in cash anymore?

Old people, children, the less tech savvy, and plenty of places where people don't have easy means of doing it electronically.

Don't forget that anything which needs to be designated as an "Other Member Financed Activity" has to be paid in person as well (e.g., Girls Camp, Christmas Aid, etc.).

 

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6 minutes ago, bluebell said:

Interpreted by whom?  Is that how it is interpreted in the D&C?

The way the sacrament is passed today is approved of by the First Presidency.  It would seem implicit then that they are either interpreting the D&C to allow current practice (which is appropriate as the First Presidency has the authority to interpret and set doctrine and policy for the church) or they are acting on revelation and/or inspiration received post-D&C.

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24 minutes ago, bluebell said:

So when dishes were involved then it was o.k. for the women to do it.  Once the dishes weren't necessary then the women weren't necessary anymore either?   I wish this surprised me but it doesn't.  :lol:

I agree with you there! it seemed like a clear demarcation line to me! hahahhahahhaha! I used to have old church news articles about things like this but I don't seem to have them anymore, like one young woman took down the sacrament every week from age 12 to 18 and never missed, something like that-"Getrude Finnigan age 18 of the Pimple Beach 33rd ward of the Canadian Texas Stake has...."

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On 6/10/2021 at 12:39 AM, Freedom said:

I see many references that say that 'the sacrament is administered by those who hold the necessary priesthood authority" but there is never a scripture reference to accompany statements refering to deacons passing the sacrament. D&C 20:76 states, in reference to the sacrament, 'and the elder or priest shall administer it; and after this manner shall he administer it - he shall kneel with the church and call upon the Father in solemn prayer". To me, the doctrine is that the administering is limited to the ordinance itself. An ordinance that requires the office of at least a priest. 

Duplicate reply deleted...

Edited by marineland
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On 6/10/2021 at 12:39 AM, Freedom said:

I see many references that say that 'the sacrament is administered by those who hold the necessary priesthood authority" but there is never a scripture reference to accompany statements refering to deacons passing the sacrament. D&C 20:76 states, in reference to the sacrament, 'and the elder or priest shall administer it; and after this manner shall he administer it - he shall kneel with the church and call upon the Father in solemn prayer". To me, the doctrine is that the administering is limited to the ordinance itself. An ordinance that requires the office of at least a priest. 

Do you believe 3 Nephi 18:5-9 excludes the people in the crowd from passing the bread
and the wine?

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1 hour ago, bluebell said:

Interpreted by whom?  Is that how it is interpreted in the D&C?

Our current practice evolved slowly from the 1870s when there was no general church guidelines. For many years, adult men were the deacons, teachers, and priests. Some bishops began ordaining younger boys partly out of a shortage of men wiling to do the “menial” work. Eventually the haphazard practices were organized by the general church leadership including Presiding Bishoprics. They began to set standardized policies and established young men Aaronic Priesthood quorums. Preparing the sacrament and cleaning up afterwards were shared among men and women, but eventually were assigned to the teachers quorum. I believe the Relief Society still launders the sacrament linens.

Edited by Bernard Gui
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19 minutes ago, marineland said:

Do you believe 3 Nephi 18:5-9 excludes the people in the crowd from passing the bread
and the wine?

It does include the instruction for the disciples to give it to the people, but the procedure for how that was done is not mentioned. 
 

Quote

18:8 And it came to pass that when he said these words, he commanded his disciples that they should take of the wine of the cup and drink of it, and that they should also give unto the multitude that they might drink of it.
9 And it came to pass that they did so, and did drink of it and were filled; and they gave unto the multitude, and they did drink, and they were filled.

20:3 And it came to pass that he brake bread again and blessed it, and gave to the disciples to eat.
4 And when they had eaten he commanded them that they should break bread, and give unto the multitude.
5 And when they had given unto the multitude he also gave them wine to drink, and commanded them that they should give unto the multitude.

Verse 5 indicates those who give it must be ordained. The question is, what does giving entail?

Quote

18:5 And when the multitude had eaten and were filled, he said unto the disciples: Behold there shall one be ordained among you, and to him will I give power that he shall break bread and bless it and give it unto the people of my church, unto all those who shall believe and be baptized in my name.

 

Edited by Bernard Gui
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1 hour ago, ksfisher said:

The way the sacrament is passed today is approved of by the First Presidency.  It would seem implicit then that they are either interpreting the D&C to allow current practice (which is appropriate as the First Presidency has the authority to interpret and set doctrine and policy for the church) or they are acting on revelation and/or inspiration received post-D&C.

Let me clarify.

It appears that the D&C has a narrow definition of the word 'administer', as in it seems like it uses it solely to refer to breaking and blessing the bread and water.  Church culture, on the other hand, has broadened that term to include things like setting up the sacrament and taking it down, and passing it during the ordinance.  We need to recognize the difference between scriptural and cultural.  It's an important distinction.

I have no problem with our apostles and prophets having the deacons and teachers doing those things.  My issue is attempting to make that procedure scriptural.   We need to separate church culture (or policy, as you have outlined) from doctrine.  We create all kinds of problems when we defend policy as if it's doctrine, when it's not.

 

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1 hour ago, Bernard Gui said:

 Preparing the sacrament and cleaning up afterwards were shared among men and women, but eventually were assigned to the teachers quorum. I believe the Relief Society still launders the sacrament linens.

So how it's done right now is a matter of policy and not doctrine?  If that's what you are saying then I agree with that.  

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13 minutes ago, bluebell said:

Let me clarify.

It appears that the D&C has a narrow definition of the word 'administer', as in it seems like it uses it solely to refer to breaking and blessing the bread and water.  Church culture, on the other hand, has broadened that term to include things like setting up the sacrament and taking it down, and passing it during the ordinance.  We need to recognize the difference between scriptural and cultural.  It's an important distinction.

I have no problem with our apostles and prophets having the deacons and teachers doing those things.  My issue is attempting to make that procedure scriptural.   We need to separate church culture (or policy, as you have outlined) from doctrine.  We create all kinds of problems when we defend policy as if it's doctrine, when it's not.

 

I think I mostly understand where it's coming from, except where you're trying to differentiate between policy and doctrine where priesthood ordinances are concerned.  If the first presidency says a priesthood ordinance should be performed in a certain way is that policy or doctrine?  And does it matter whether it is one or the other?  I don't think it really matter whether we call the deacons passing the sacrament policy or we call it doctrine, as long as we are carrying out the instructions we have from the first presidency.

As for the current practice being scriptural, I don't see evidence one way or the other.  The scriptures don't and I don't cover everything we do as a church.  I don't believe they're intended to.  Doctrine can be based on the and explained by the scriptures, but ultimately doctrine is defined by those who hold the appropriate priesthood keys.

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2 hours ago, bluebell said:

So how it's done right now is a matter of policy and not doctrine?  If that's what you are saying then I agree with that.  

A lot of things have changed over the years.

1012131231.jpg

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3 hours ago, bluebell said:

So how it's done right now is a matter of policy and not doctrine? 

If policy is revealed, could it be defined as doctrine?

Edited by Calm
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2 hours ago, bluebell said:

And that would be sad (to have a crisis over such a thing) if the current way we do things is actually just policy that can easily change to be more accomodating with God's permission.

As with everything pertaining to the rites and ordinances of the priesthood, this is the key.

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37 minutes ago, Calm said:
3 hours ago, bluebell said:

So how it's done right now is a matter of policy and not doctrine? 

If policy is revealed, could it be defined as doctrine?

I think it could be considered more policy than doctrine, but there needs to be something for the deacons to do to get them involved in priesthood ordinances early on.
Church leaders were inspired to assign this duty to the Deacons. 

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14 minutes ago, JAHS said:

think it could be considered more policy than doctrine, but there needs to be something for the deacons to do to get them involved in priesthood ordinances early on.

I agree, but would like to know your reasoning.

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2 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

A lot of things have changed over the years.

1012131231.jpg

Exactly.  And the consequences of policies changing, verses changes in things that people consider to be doctrine, are pretty big.

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1 hour ago, Calm said:

If policy is revealed, could it be defined as doctrine?

That's a good question.  I looked up the definition of doctrine on the church's website and this is what it said:

Quote

What God teaches is called doctrine. God supplies doctrine for His children by way of commandments and instructions that will bless them and bring them happiness. Just as He did in Old Testament times, God continues to reveal doctrine through prophets today. Individuals are strongly encouraged to pray about revealed doctrine in order to receive personal confirmation that it is current and true.

A key point of doctrine for members of the Church is that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and Savior of the world. Christ taught the doctrine of obedience and also repentance. Obedience shows a person’s love for God and a willingness to follow His commandments. Repentance is essential because all people are imperfect. Repentance allows the mistakes of the past to be forgiven. Doctrine, like God, is constant and unchanging. Church policies and procedures may change over time, but doctrine does not.

According to that definition, policy and doctrine are not the same thing, even if the policy is the result of revelation.

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1 hour ago, ksfisher said:

As with everything pertaining to the rites and ordinances of the priesthood, this is the key.

Yes, but that doesn't negate the issue being discussed.  

This is what it says about doctrine on the church's website:

"What God teaches is called doctrine. God supplies doctrine for His children by way of commandments and instructions that will bless them and bring them happiness. Just as He did in Old Testament times, God continues to reveal doctrine through prophets today. Individuals are strongly encouraged to pray about revealed doctrine in order to receive personal confirmation that it is current and true.

A key point of doctrine for members of the Church is that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and Savior of the world. Christ taught the doctrine of obedience and also repentance. Obedience shows a person’s love for God and a willingness to follow His commandments. Repentance is essential because all people are imperfect. Repentance allows the mistakes of the past to be forgiven. Doctrine, like God, is constant and unchanging. Church policies and procedures may change over time, but doctrine does not."

 

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2 hours ago, Calm said:

If policy is revealed, could it be defined as doctrine?

It could be defined as revelation.  But to be doctrine it would have to establish a truth.  And truth doesn't change as policy does.  The only truth about policy is that it's currently God's will.  Until he changes it.

But doctrine is information, presumably true information if it's from God.

 

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