There are 7 thoughts on “Recent Reflections While Partaking of the Sacrament”.

  1. A very thought-provoking essay and one which collaborates some of the ideas that have run rampant through my brain at times. I have often wondered if there might not be worlds plenty, for instance, where their Adam and Eve never fell from the Garden of Eden. In such a state, that world might be left as a paradise, but with no other intent, having never graduated from its paradisiacal glory as a harbor, refuge and birthplace for the rest of their mankind.
    And even though I know that Christ is the Savior of the worlds countless, it still doesn’t stop me from wondering about some bizarre scenario where in some other scheme of things, there might have been some other world with a Christ who potentially failed at his mission. (I feel blasphemous in even mentioning it…)
    Anyway, I enjoyed the discourse and the resulting comments, including the insightful one by Raymond Takasaki Swenson. Thanks for an uplifting moment to my day.

  2. One of the blessings conferred by the Book of Mormon is light on the meaning of the Bible. One example is how Christ’s Sermon at the Temple in Bountiful clarifies the Sermon on the Mount. The Beatitudes are transformed from a list of general blessings on certain segments of mankind into a prescription for those who wish to follow Christ as his disciples. Thus, his teaching that “Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted” becomes a promise of the visitation of the Comforter to those who have accepted Christ through baptism and the Gift of the Holy Ghost. In this fuller context, Christ echoes the covenant of baptism as explained by Alma at the Waters of Mormon. In Mosiah Chapter 18 he teaches that when we accept baptism, we promise that we will “mourn with those who mourn, and comfort those who stand in need of comfort.” The promise Christ makes in 3 Nephi and Matthew in which the Holy Ghost comforts those who mourn becomes a pledge of mutual charity between all the disciples of Christ, supporting each other through the trials that will come even to those who are committed to trust in Christ’s atoning power. But I think an additional insight is given to us in the revelations given to Enoch and revealed anew to the young Joseph Smith in 1830. In the visions of Enoch, recorded in Moses Chapter 7 verse 45, Enoch sees his descendants, and asks God “When shall the blood of the Righteous be shed, that all they that mourn may be sanctified and have eternal life?” Enoch understands that the mourning of the disciples of “the Righteous” is focused directly on the shedding of Christ’s blood, his suffering in fulfilment of the blood sacrifice taught to Adam and Eve and all their descendants. The covenant we renew in the Sacrament is our promise to mourn for the suffering of the Son of God on our behalf, the core meaning of Alma’s baptismal covenant. When we are immersed in his pain on our behalf, and learn to empathize with him, we train ourselves to comfort God’s children through our own emulation of Christ’s infinite love for them. I think we are missing the full experience of the sacrament if we think only of Christ as we eat the bread and drink the water as the glorious resurrected Jehovah. We are invited instead to think of the suffering servant of Isaiah 53, the Christ whose descent below all things comforted the Prophet Joseph confined in a cold dark dungeon.

  3. Masterful, moving, marvelous! Thank you for expressing the power and beauty that free will entails … and the comfort that comes with knowing that our Father’s work will succeed, contingencies (hidden or otherwise) included.

  4. Thank you for that beautiful essay, Dan. You are a great inspiration to me. I often review words of Sacrament Hymns while the Sacrament is being passed. A friend of mine is a descendant of the Knight Family.

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