In LDS tradition, the sacrament of the Lord's supper is a weekly observance.
It is an occasion to remember God's love for us, as revealed in Christ's
sacrifice; to renew our commitment to Christian discipleship; to be spiritually
fed; and to experience communion with God and our fellow Christians. The
sacrament recalls the meals that Jesus shared with his friends here on
earth. It is also an image of the great supper promised in scripture,
when Christ will sit at table with all who have accepted his invitation:
a grand reunion of prophets and saints from every time and place, and
a feast for the poor (D&C 27:1-14; D&C 58:6-12).
The Book of Mormon offers two ways to understand the sacrament: both
as a symbolic remembrance of Christ's body and
blood (3 Ne. 18:1-11) and as Christ's actual
body and blood to the souls of those who receive it (3
Ne. 20:8-9). Taking the emblems of Christ's body and blood into
our bodies vividly symbolizes a desire to have Christ live in us—in
the words of the sacramental prayers, to always have Christ's Spirit to
be with us.
Any food and any liquid may be used to represent Christ's body and blood
(D&C 27:2). An innovative worshipping community
might experiment with different sacramental elements, as moved by the
Spirit: corn or rice to remember Christ's concern for the world's poor;
milk to remember that Christ is the mother who gives us second birth;
fruit and water to symbolize the fruit and the waters of life from Lehi's
dream (1 Ne. 11:21-25).
| God, Our Father, Hear Us Pray (Hymns
| In Humility, Our Savior (Hymns
| We'll Sing All Hail to Jesus' Name (Hymns
| In Memory of the Crucified (Hymns
|Brigham Young: No matter
how many generations come and go, believers in him are required to
eat bread and drink wine in remembrance of his death and sufferings
until he comes again. Why are they required to do this? To witness
unto the Father, to Jesus and to the angels that they are believers
in and desire to follow him in the regeneration, keep his commandments,
build up his kingdom, revere his name and serve him with an undivided
heart, that they may be worthy to eat and drink with him in his Father's
kingdom. This is why the Latter-day Saints partake of the ordinance
of the Lord's Supper.
of Discourses 13:140
|B. H. Roberts: The rite
of the Lord's Supper, or sacrament. . . , is the visible sign of the
communion of the saints with God—their continuing union with
him, and with each other.
| A Comprehensive
History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1930), 2:363
|Matthew Cowley: The most
sacred service of religious worship is that of the sacrament. Through
this service the religionist is brought into proximity to the spiritual
force and exalting power of the perfect character of the Son of God.
|Matthew Cowley Speaks
(Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1954), 190
|George Albert Smith: We
partake of physical food—that is, we partake of bread and water etc.,
to nourish the physical body. It is just as necessary that we partake
of the emblems of the body and blood of our risen Lord to increase
our spiritual strength.
| The Teachings
of George Albert Smith
(Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1996), 95
David O. McKay: Not
a moment of his existence on earth did Christ think more of himself
than he did of his brethren and the people whom he came to save,
always losing himself for the good of others, and finally giving
his life for the redemption of mankind. When we partake of the sacrament
in his presence we remember him, his life of sacrifice, and service;
and we are inspired by that thought and memory. . . .
I remember when I was a boy that there was emphasized even more
than we hear emphasized now the necessity of no one's partaking
of the sacrament who had ill feelings toward another, and I have
heard more than one man say: "I am sorry that I hurt brother
so-and-so's feelings, and I ask his forgiveness." He felt it
necessary to do that before he was worthy to partake of the sacrament
of the Lord's Supper. We meet in the brotherhood of Christ, all
on the same level, each expressing confidence in the other and all
in one another.
Report , October 1929, 11-12