Taking the Sacrament with Your Right Hand

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DarkJedi
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Re: Taking the Sacrament with Your Right Hand

Post by DarkJedi » 29 May 2015, 05:46

There definitely is that element of church members who believe everything must be done with exactness, which would include taking the sacrament with the right hand and saying the prayer exactly right. These people also tend to be the "strict obedience" types. Also, there are those who believe that since the sacrament and baptism prayers are the only prescribed prayers outside the temple that they are more sacred or important than other prayers. Our bishop leans toward "if it doesn't change the meaning let it go," and I like that. He also will step over there and show the kid what's wrong if he has to do it more than twice and the other kid hasn't shown him - that is part of the job of the second or third blesser.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

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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Curt Sunshine
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Re: Taking the Sacrament with Your Right Hand

Post by Curt Sunshine » 29 May 2015, 05:47

If someone has to say the prayer more than three times, it is a failure of leadership and planning. There are easy ways to eliminate things like that.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

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Heber13
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Re: Taking the Sacrament with Your Right Hand

Post by Heber13 » 29 May 2015, 07:13

nibbler wrote:A bishop that believes the words have to be spoken exactly as written otherwise the ordinance doesn't count. The bishop is probably more concerned with the congregation being able to participate in a legitimate sacrament than he is about the feelings of the kid trying to bless the sacrament.
...or perhaps the bishop is more concerned with who will come up to him afterwards and tell him he should have made sure it was correct...instead of the kid trying their best.
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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SilentDawning
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Re: Taking the Sacrament with Your Right Hand

Post by SilentDawning » 29 May 2015, 08:01

If I had someone make a mistake at the sacrament table, I'd correct it a couple times, and if they still got it wrong, I'd let it go.

If anyone objected, I'd see it as a fabulous opportunity to bring much-lacking judgment to that black and white members's thinking. I would tell the story of someone I knew who, in spite of adequate training beforehand, made the mistake repeatedly and resolved never to ever bless or pass again. I would share the frustration of members who feel a loss of the spirit due to stalling the meeting that way. I would help them see there are many sides of the issue, and that black and white thinking ignores so many other perspectives and variables.

I might even share my knowledge of a "silent but significant minority" of people who don't express disapproval with the kind of absolutist thinking that leads to excessive correction such as prayer-rereading. That I don't want to alienate that group, just as we don't want to alienate lurkers here at StayLDS....At any given time, there are likely people in the congregation who will find the meeting a stumbling block rather than an uplifting experience when it becomes a frustrating reading exercise, and not an exercise is meditation and reflection.
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TataniaAvalon
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Re: Taking the Sacrament with Your Right Hand

Post by TataniaAvalon » 30 May 2015, 06:37

I am left handed and I remember as a kid maybe 8 or 9 going to take the sacrament with my left hand and my mom (who was a convert) very strongly telling me that I needed to take it with my right. I never thought about it much before now. I did have to remind myself sometimes to take it with my right. Now after this thread I might upset the status quo and start taking it with my left. Really as long as I'm remembering Christ it shouldn't matter which hand I take it with.

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Tim
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Re: Taking the Sacrament with Your Right Hand

Post by Tim » 31 May 2015, 10:47

This is an interesting part of human psyche that we like ritual, and like feeling good about doing it correctly and somehow feel smug about knowing how to do it right and self-righteously correcting others who don't know as much as we do. It shows how so many different elaborate religious rituals in a wide variety of traditio s may have evolved.

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Heber13
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Re: Taking the Sacrament with Your Right Hand

Post by Heber13 » 31 May 2015, 13:34

Tim wrote:This is an interesting part of human psyche that we like ritual, and like feeling good about doing it correctly and somehow feel smug about knowing how to do it right and self-righteously correcting others who don't know as much as we do. It shows how so many different elaborate religious rituals in a wide variety of traditio s may have evolved.
In a way...that is what all rituals are.
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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Sheldon
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Re: Taking the Sacrament with Your Right Hand

Post by Sheldon » 01 Jun 2015, 16:29

Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 3 wrote:It is the custom to extend the right hand in token of fellowship. The right hand is called the dexter, and the left, the sinister; dexter means right and sinister means left. Dexter, or right, means favorable or propitious. Sinister is associated with evil, rather than good, Sinister means perverse. We take the sacrament with the right hand. We sustain the authorities with the right hand. We make acknowledgment with the right hand raised.
Now to through this topic complete off track, remember the evil enemy of Underdog? His name was Simon Bar Sinister. Bar Sinister meant that on his crest, his bar went from the upper right corner to the lower left corner. This was a sign of illegitimacy. So basically his name was “Simon the Bastard”.

No telling what it means if we take the sacrament with our “sinister” hand!

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On Own Now
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Re: Taking the Sacrament with Your Right Hand

Post by On Own Now » 01 Jun 2015, 17:31

Katzpur,

I'm sorry for your frustrating experience, but I'm glad you brought this up; it's a very interesting topic. I'm going to offer a few points to slightly counteract the prevalent view on this board. In no way do I disagree with you. I love your term "right hand police" and I believe that it is pointless to tell people that they must take the sacrament with their right hand. But, I will say that it is proper to take the sacrament with the right hand. Does that mean that it is improper to take it with the left? No. Just that there are good reasons to use the right hand as a matter of symbolism.

First, the direct issue. Does the HPGL or counselor need to make a statement? No. LDS people are told and it is modeled to them to use the right hand, but there is rarely any thought beyond that. So, reiterating a norm like that without any further discussion is... regrettable. If I were to have a lesson about it, I would start by saying that the absolute highest priority in the sacrament is to put yourself in a bond with God/Jesus... what we eat or how we do it is a far-distant also-ran in the rite... and that it doesn't matter which hand anyone uses, but now let's explore the reasons why right-handedness in these rituals has symbolism... then I would want to have a discussion about the following (and I wish you and I could discuss, rather than me writing all this out at once, but such is the realm of these forums)...

Right-handedness in non-Mormon rituals: When people make the sign of the cross, they use only their right hand. When the priest puts the wafer, representing the body of Christ, into the practitioner's mouth, he uses his right hand (I'm pretty sure, but I'm open to others correcting me on that). When presidents, citizens, witnesses, doctors, lawyers, are sworn in, they, they raise their right hand. When the King/Queen of England takes the Oath of Coronation, they do not raise a hand, but put their right hand on the Bible, and say, "The things which I have here before promised, I will perform and keep. So help me God."

Right-handedness in Mormon rituals: baptism, sustainings, temple.

Right-handedness in culture/custom: Handshaking is the obvious one, but as hawkgrrrl pointed out, there is a significant population of earth that only touch food with their right hand. They also will only give or take money with the right hand. The reasons are not spiritual.

Right-handedness referenced in the gospel:
- Jesus sits at the right-hand of God
- The "righteous" will be at the right-hand of Jesus, and the wicked at the left; the sheep on the right, the goats on the left
- In Revelation, the Son of Man holds the Seven Stars (seven church communities to whom the Revelation is given) in his right hand; the Enthroned Figure later holds the Sealed Book in his right hand
- "I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness" (Isaiah 41:10)
- Israel blessed Ephraim and Manassah with his right and left hands, respectively, showing favor toward Ephraim
- in Luke, Jesus heals the right hand of a man... not just the hand... the right hand.

Right-handedness as symbolism: Going back a long time, as Roy pointed out, the right side is sort of the 'true' side and the left the weak or askew or 'off' side. The right hand, therefore symbolizes being in-line or connected with God and the left side symbolizes being at odds with God. It is a manifestation of the dichotomy in all of us; the potential for good (righteous) and evil (sinister). The distinction represents the battle of good and evil that rages within each of us.

OK, so what to do with this... There is no doctrinal enforcement of using the right hand to take the sacrament... that is number one. If someone wants to take the sacrament with whichever hand is... well... at hand... then fine. No argument or even notice from me. But if someone else wants to take the sacrament with their right hand and they do that every time, I have no problem with that either. After all, the sacrament is between the individual and God. For me, I think using the right hand is proper as I said earlier. It's a way to add myself to the symbolism. I take the bread and wine/water. I eat and drink, signifying both a reliance on the spiritual nourishment that comes from God/Jesus, but also the participating in the atonement, offered to me and taken by me. The right hand is just another (minor) aspect of the symbolism; that I do so with a desire to be righteous or on the right hand of God... I take it with the hand that represents good or a desire for good or the possibility of good in me. This is symbolic (but nothing more).
"Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another." --Romans 14:13

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LookingHard
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Re: Taking the Sacrament with Your Right Hand

Post by LookingHard » 01 Jun 2015, 20:16

Nice points On Own Now,
On Own Now wrote:When presidents, citizens, witnesses, doctors, lawyers, are sworn in, they, they raise their right hand.
From what I understand, that comes from Masonry.

This week I intentionally took the sacrament with my left hand - not to be a rable-rouser, but just to make myself think more about what I was doing.

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