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Do you take the sacrament?

Posted: 29 Aug 2013, 23:06
by conflicted testimony
As a late convert, and very uneducated in church ways, I find I often have a very watered-down or sketchy understanding of some things.

I currently partake of sacrament, my understanding was that you don't have to be perfect to take the sacrament it is a remembrance of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, a renewal of baptismal covenants and an opportunity to repent and be cleansed. ie you don't have to be perfect or worthy to do so.

However, 3 Nephi 18 is pretty clear that you are damned if you take the sacrament when you are unworthy. (This is a new discovery for me)

I consider myself unworthy for a number of reasons - WOW, church attendance is irregular, tithing, don't believe in some things. However I never considered that I should not take the sacrament, until now. I also do it as an example to my kids.

What is your view on sacrament taking and worthiness? Do you take the sacrament when you don't believe ALL church teachings/expectations?

Re: Do you take the sacrament?

Posted: 29 Aug 2013, 23:13
by Old-Timer
Unworthy to take the sacrament is a very high standard, imo. The Church doesn't even forbid non-members from taking the sacrament.

If you are comfortable with the wording of the sacrament prayers, I see no problem whatever with taking it.

Re: Do you take the sacrament?

Posted: 30 Aug 2013, 05:06
by SilentDawning
I agree. I also weigh the value of confession. There was a time in my life when I confessed every little thing to the Bishop -- probably due to some kind of guilty conscience my mother said I had. I realized it wasn't helping me be a better person and it only wasted the Bishop's time. I suppose for very heavy sins (and you can decide what those are), if you really felt unworthy one would refrain from taking the sacrament, But there is a lot of room for judgment.

Now that I see the BP as simply a volunteer with often limited skills to counsel and help members (they don't have a license or even significant training in how to counsel others), I feel that most guilt/typical worthiness problems can be handled one on one with God, and if they are interfereing with inner peace, perhaps with a professional counselor who is not LDS (I tried to get some counseling through LDS social services once, but they were booked -- your tithing dollars at work).

Re: Do you take the sacrament?

Posted: 30 Aug 2013, 05:08
by DarkJedi
I've always taken a pretty broad view of worthiness to take the sacrament. The scriptures actually say little about it, but I always go back to the "broken heart and contrite spirit" thing. In truth, since we all sin none of us would be worthy to take the sacrament if we relied upon sin as a measure of worthiness to partake. I think that unless one has committed a sin which could result in church discipline, one is is probably worthy of partaking the sacrament. It is, after all, a time to reflect on the sacrifice and atonement of Jesus Christ and renew the covenants we have made. I think it's there to help us repent and truly be partakers of the atonement. FWIW when I return I plan to take the sacrament.

Re: Do you take the sacrament?

Posted: 30 Aug 2013, 08:41
by Orson
I often go back to the idea that we participate in church to improve our relationship with God. If you feel that you are on good terms with God and you hope to build on that relationship do exactly as you feel God would want you to regardless of what earthlings around you may say.

This general idea is what I follow in all of my church activity. In TR interviews I picture God sitting across from me asking the questions or giving the counsel that HE would actually ask/give -- etc. etc.

Re: Do you take the sacrament?

Posted: 30 Aug 2013, 09:03
by GBSmith
From Page 317 of the Book of Common Prayer
Examine your lives and conduct by the rule of God’s
commandments, that you may perceive wherein you have
offended in what you have done or left undone, whether in
thought, word, or deed. And acknowledge your sins before
Almighty God, with full purpose of amendment of life, being
ready to make restitution for all injuries and wrongs done by
you to others; and also being ready to forgive those who have
offended you, in order that you yourselves may be forgiven.
And then, being reconciled with one another, come to the
banquet of that most heavenly Food.
It's not so much where you are when you take the sacrament but what you're willing to do.

Re: Do you take the sacrament?

Posted: 30 Aug 2013, 09:43
by On Own Now
conflicted testimony,

Great topic. Some thoughts:

- The bread and water are reminders of the Atonement, and the sacrament is a symbolic act representing our desire to receive the Atonement in our lives.

- Taking the sacrament should be something to celebrate, not something to fret over, and certainly not something to be constrained. The sacrament is our closest element of 'worship'. It should hold primacy in our Sunday church activity. It is the reason we have 'Sacrament' Meeting. Do it to worship and to invite godliness into your life. Make it an opportunity to replace shortcomings with spiritual living.

- IMHO, anyone present in SM who wants to is already worthy of taking the sacrament. I realize this is a departure from standard teaching, and from 3 Nephi 18, but I'll stand by it. Paul taught that "while we were yet sinners" Jesus made himself a sacrifice for us in the Atonement. How can the atonement be made for "enemies" of God, "the ungodly", and "sinners" (all Paul's words) but the symbolic rite representing the atonement be reserved only for the "worthy"? Perhaps "unworthily" statement in 3 Nephi 18:29 could be viewed as 'without sincerity' rather than 'without sin'.

- I don't really like the "renew baptismal covenants" dogma. It's not doctrine. The baptismal prayer does not mention the sacrament and the sacrament prayers do not mention baptism. They are are interrelated, because both baptism and sacrament are symbols of the the Atonement, though from different components of the Atonement. Baptism is a symbolic act of putting away our old selves and rising in a new life, with an opportunity to live spiritually. The sacrament is a reminder that the price of our sins has been paid by Jesus' sacrifice, giving us the opportunity to become sanctified.

Re: Do you take the sacrament?

Posted: 30 Aug 2013, 17:46
by conflicted testimony
Thanks for all your input. I am finding all this so hard because the more I learn the less clear things become. I was better off in blissful ignorance, not thinking too hard about things.

I am comfortable taking the sacrament when I listen specifically to the prayer:
O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it, that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and be witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him and keep his commandments which he has given them; that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen
Maybe I should just put my head back in the sand :)

Re: Do you take the sacrament?

Posted: 30 Aug 2013, 21:24
by cwald
"Do you take the sacrament?"


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Re: Do you take the sacrament?

Posted: 05 Sep 2013, 20:52
by Jazernorth
Even with my conflicting issues, I still take the Sacrament. I'm not sure why, only I see it as the right thing to do.