In this episode the topic of the sacrament is addressed. What is the proper way to administer it? Who can administer it? What is the meaning of the sacrament and is there more to the symbolism that we may not always remember, but should?
QUESTION: What is the proper way to administer the sacrament? Who can administer it, how should it be done, and what does it mean?
DENVER: Beginning in mid-November 1856 through April 1857, President Young forbade the entire church from receiving the sacrament.
It’s a commandment that we partake of the sacrament. It’s a commandment that we do it and do it frequently. In fact, if you read the record in 3rd Nephi, one of the things the Lord did was to administer the sacrament with surprising regularity. One time He did it in a miraculous manner because it was that important an ordinance to have take place.
Every time you partake of the sacrament, it’s a reminder of the promise that there will at last be some great wedding feast. It’s not just in remembrance of the blood and of the body, but it’s also a preliminary to the final feast that the Lord intends to offer.
“Yea, a feast of fat things, of wine on the lees well refined, that the earth may know that the mouths of the prophets shall not fail; Yea, a supper of the house of the Lord, well prepared, unto which all nations shall be invited. First, the rich and the learned, the wise and the noble; And after that cometh the day of my power; then shall the poor, the lame, and the blind, and the deaf, come in unto the marriage of the Lamb, and partake of the supper of the Lord, prepared for the great day to come. Behold, I, the Lord, have spoken it”(D&C 58:8-12).
Did you get that? First, they invite the rich and then the learned. And the nations shall all be invited– the wise, the noble. Doesn’t say they enter in. Doesn’t say they’ll partake. It was prepared, after all, for the poor. And the people who will enter in, who do finally make it into Zion where they get to partake– then shall the poor (that’s who it was prepared for), the lame, the blind, and the deaf come in unto the marriage of the Lamb and partake of the supper of the Lord, prepared for the great day to come.
Well, who are the rich? Who are the learned? Who are those that are presently considered wise, and who are those that make the claim that they are the noble, the elect? They do not enter into the wedding feast in Zion.
And who is it that is the poor? Who is it that is derided, even in today’s vocabulary, and accused of being lame? Who is it that is considered to be blind and misled? Who is it that is referred to as being deaf because they cannot hear and respect all the great wisdom that pours forth from these empty cisterns, having nothing but dribble to offer, quoting one another endlessly, as if one misled man on a false path can offer light to a fool following after him? I hope we are the poor. I hope I am speaking to the lame. I hope you are counted among those that are considered blind. And I hope that you have ears not for what any man has to say, but for what the Spirit alone has to confirm to you. I hope you’re deaf to everything in this world but have ears for what our Lord has to say.
As to the sacrament, only an anti-Christ would forbid you from partaking of the sacrament in the way commanded by your Lord. That is an abomination. If you get together, even if it’s only in your own family, partake of the sacrament together. Let no one forbid you from partaking in remembrance of Christ, because He commanded that you do it. Follow the pattern that is given to us. In Doctrine and Covenants section 20 verse 76, one of the things that used to be practiced that has since been abandoned and ought to be renewed among you, is that when the sacrament is blessed, kneel. Kneel. Kneel with the church. Remember it. Keep it. Do the things that have been instructed in the pattern that He commanded that they be observed.
If you partake of wine and for some reason you either are opposed to alcohol, or alternatively you have some medical condition, use grape juice. Use red grape juice. Use the symbol of the blood of our Lord. I can tell you that generally, red wine is bitter for a reason. And partaking of that bitter wine in remembrance of the blood that was shed is apt.
“I the Lord say to you…You pray each time you partake of the sacrament to always have my Spirit to be with you. And what is my Spirit? It is to love one another as I have loved you. Do my works and you will know my doctrine; for you will uncover hidden mysteries by obedience to these things that can be uncovered in no other way. This is the way I will restore knowledge to my people. If you return good for evil you will cleanse yourself and know the joy of your Master”(Answer for Covenant).
Priesthood has a really limited bundle of rights and responsibilities that, at its most basic level, involves baptism and blessing the sacrament.
“Again, the husband is to hold priesthood to baptize and bless the sacrament of bread and wine in the home, and the husband and wife are to bless their children together”(Answer for Covenant).
The foregoing are excerpts from:
● Denver’s talk entitled “Brigham Young’s Telestial Kingdom,” given at the Sunstone
Symposium in Salt Lake City, UT on April 18th, 2012
● Denver’s 40 Years in Mormonism Series, Talk #10 entitled “Preserving the Restoration”
given in Mesa, AZ on September 9th, 2014
● The presentation of “Answer and Covenant,” given at the Covenant of Christ Conference
in Boise, ID on September 3rd, 2017
● A fireside talk entitled “Cursed, Denied Priesthood”, given in Sandy, UT on January 7th,