Which Hand for Sacrament - LDS Living

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
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mom3
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Which Hand for Sacrament - LDS Living

Post by mom3 » 09 Aug 2018, 23:56

It seems another small brick has fallen from the wall of LDS culture. I am applauding it. And the local guy in my Stake who posted it.

http://www.ldsliving.com/Why-Members-To ... rs/s/89029
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

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SamBee
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Re: Which Hand for Sacrament - LDS Living

Post by SamBee » 10 Aug 2018, 03:31

What about amputees or those with arms in slings? I'm fairly sure none of these matters as long as you are respectful.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

AmyJ
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Re: Which Hand for Sacrament - LDS Living

Post by AmyJ » 10 Aug 2018, 05:20

My 8.5 year old is left handed, and also has a hard time with being corrected or transitions. For a while, we had an unfortunate family habit where my daughter would take the sacrament with her left hand, my husband would correct her, and then my daughter would become ashamed and defiant of her behavior, prompting my husband to react to her behavior - and the peace and meaning of the sacrament would be altered.

NOTE: My daughter can become defiant out of boredom on her own during sacrament without any attention being paid to which hand she uses.

But using this article, I can advise my husband that maybe a better way is to drop the focus on the hand usage, and have a FHE/family conversation in an non-sacrament space on hand symbolism... a girl can dream :D

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dande48
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Re: Which Hand for Sacrament - LDS Living

Post by dande48 » 10 Aug 2018, 06:55

I believe certain particulars about rituals are important in helping us to both focus on the ritual, and cement certain ideas in our mind. I'm saying this from a completely secular, pragmatic point of view. I doubt God really cares about the particulars, only in the effect the ritual has on us (if anything). If it helps you to focus on Jesus, develop humility for our shortcomings, have compassion for those around us, and strive to do better, it is important to take the sacrament with your right hand. And even though it seems like a small and silly thing, I think the particular of taking the sacrament with your right hand can do just that.

But if you can't take the sacrament with your right hand (for whatever reason), I don't think anyone should stress about it. The purpose of the sacrament is not to take it with your right hand. In my view, rituals are catalysts for inner-change, not magical steps taken to get supernatural beings to do what we want.
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AmyJ
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Re: Which Hand for Sacrament - LDS Living

Post by AmyJ » 10 Aug 2018, 07:17

dande48 wrote:
10 Aug 2018, 06:55
I believe certain particulars about rituals are important in helping us to both focus on the ritual, and cement certain ideas in our mind. I'm saying this from a completely secular, pragmatic point of view. I doubt God really cares about the particulars, only in the effect the ritual has on us (if anything). If it helps you to focus on Jesus, develop humility for our shortcomings, have compassion for those around us, and strive to do better, it is important to take the sacrament with your right hand. And even though it seems like a small and silly thing, I think the particular of taking the sacrament with your right hand can do just that.

But if you can't take the sacrament with your right hand (for whatever reason), I don't think anyone should stress about it. The purpose of the sacrament is not to take it with your right hand. In my view, rituals are catalysts for inner-change, not magical steps taken to get supernatural beings to do what we want.
I can see this point of view. I guess <thinking out loud>, my perspective is that my daughter's interaction with the ritual and and meaning behind it is currently enhanced by NOT focusing on the hand use at this juncture [because it triggers anxiety/behaviors contrary to what the sacrament means] and seek additional opportunities to instill the "best practice" of right-hand ship into the practice of the ritual later.

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Heber13
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Re: Which Hand for Sacrament - LDS Living

Post by Heber13 » 10 Aug 2018, 08:48

A few months ago my 15 yr old took the sacrament with his left hand and passed the tray to me with his left hand.

I told him he should know that there is some symbolism in using the right hand for partaking of the sacrament. He hadn't heard that before. I told him it didn't ultimately matter, but there can be some meaning to it. We spent most of sacrament meeting (instead of listening to speakers) looking it up on our phones and what it symbolizes and why. He found some cool scriptures and quotes he liked about it.

I reiterated to him it doesn't really matter...it's more a symbolic thing. But he thought it was cool and I think that will stick with him.

Once he has been told...my guess is...the thought will come each time...and he'll feel he wants to use his right hand...and he'll know why.
dande48 wrote:
10 Aug 2018, 06:55
I believe certain particulars about rituals are important in helping us to both focus on the ritual, and cement certain ideas in our mind.
I think that is almost everything we do in church...and so...I agree...there is value to it.

Hardly anything is literal. It is all stories in our minds...and we can find more meaning in our experience by having these. Joseph Campbell wrote quite a lot about the value of myths to accentuate our life experiences, and Jesus often taught in parables for good reasons. It can expand the mind and the experience.

The silly part is when those symbolic meanings become too rigid or literal and people start scoffing at left-handers...that is when they've missed the mark.
Jacob 4:14
Wherefore, because of their blindness, which blindness came by looking beyond the mark, they must needs fall;
I am glad to see articles like this in LDS living. It doesn't mean there is no room for ritual or symbolism...just needs to be kept in context.

Those that find meaning in using the right hand, great. Those that don't...no biggie.

But I found it a good opportunity to teach my son. I take opportunities when I get 'em.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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DarkJedi
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Re: Which Hand for Sacrament - LDS Living

Post by DarkJedi » 10 Aug 2018, 11:58

I'm one of those people who appreciates certain symbolism. Symbolism is the only thing that makes the temple tolerable for me. But, I see no symbolic significance in partaking of the sacrament with the right hand. I can at the same time respect those who do find symbolism in it, as long as it is not dogmatized.
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Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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SamBee
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Re: Which Hand for Sacrament - LDS Living

Post by SamBee » 10 Aug 2018, 12:34

Supposedly Neanderthals were left handed as are bears, this may have some significance for why left-handedness is treated as gauche or sinister.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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Heber13
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Re: Which Hand for Sacrament - LDS Living

Post by Heber13 » 10 Aug 2018, 12:47

SamBee wrote:
10 Aug 2018, 12:34
Supposedly Neanderthals were left handed as are bears, this may have some significance for why left-handedness is treated as gauche or sinister.
I also think there was some Greek translations of "left" as "sinister".

There were also some ancient cultures that used their right hand for eating...the left hand for "cleaning" themselves. And so there was a purpose in shaking with the right hand and eating with the right hand for cleanliness.

:shock: not saying i think about that with the sacrament...just saying...some traditions get started for reasons...then become ritualized.

Pick your symbolism for what you wish. Or pass on that in the buffet.


Does it seem to others like back in the 1940s and 50s there was more need for rigidity and structure and exactness in obedience in the church? And today's culture realizes it doesn't always work well...so we need more of these LDS Living articles and other comments to help reassure us it is not so absolute anymore like it has been in the past? It seems that way to me sometimes.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

AmyJ
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Re: Which Hand for Sacrament - LDS Living

Post by AmyJ » 10 Aug 2018, 12:51

Heber13 wrote:
10 Aug 2018, 12:47
Does it seem to others like back in the 1940s and 50s there was more need for rigidity and structure and exactness in obedience in the church? And today's culture realizes it doesn't always work well...so we need more of these LDS Living articles and other comments to help reassure us it is not so absolute anymore like it has been in the past? It seems that way to me sometimes.
I think that it is more of a pendulum swinging thing to keep the "spirit of the law" at the forefront and update Mormon "culture" to be noticeably more "relevant" in a variety of ways.

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