Worthy to attend and partake of the Sacrament?

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Worthy to attend and partake of the Sacrament?

Postby DrJones » Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:34 am

Doctrine and Covenants 20:
75 It is expedient that the church ameet together often to bpartake of cbread and wine in the dremembrance of the Lord Jesus;
76 And the elder or priest shall administer it; and after this amanner shall he administer it—he shall kneel with the church and call upon the Father in solemn prayer, saying:
77 O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this abread to the souls of all those who partake of it, that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and bwitness 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 ccommandments which he has given them; that they may always have his dSpirit to be with them. Amen.
78 The amanner of administering the wine—he shall take the bcup also, and say:
79 O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this awine to the souls of all those who drink of it, that they may do it in remembrance of the blood of thy Son, which was shed for them; that they may witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they do always remember him, that they may have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.
80 Any member of the church of Christ atransgressing, or being bovertaken in a fault, shall be dealt with as the scriptures direct.


When I was a lad, for a time I refrained from taking of the Sacrament because I felt imperfect. As I learned more about the spirit of repentance and grace, and the part that says "that they are willing to..." I felt more at ease in taking the Sacrament. I believe now that the key is a willing heart, willing to repent and move forward.

Now I have two very close to me who might be considered inactive, in part it seems because they don't feel worthy to partake, don't feel worthy to participate fully in the Sacrament meeting. Yet they will pray in family settings with no problem, and both try to be honest and forthright. I love them dearly.

I would say there has been some "trial of the faith" due to "unrighteous dominion" they've encountered from ecclesiastical leaders in the past (see D&C 121). Indeed, in this area, there seem to be quite a number of "inactives" who have encountered this problem, from what I can tell, and I would appreciate comment on this problem also. The Lord has made it clear his feelings about "unrighteous dominion" and offending His children by "holier-than-thou" leaders, although we hardly ever talk about this. I hasten to add that our current Bishop is wonderful and does not seem to be prone to this problem.

I would appreciate some comment, particularly quotes from the Brethren, regarding what it takes to be worthy to partake or worthy to attend Church meetings.

In the case of transgression, is it necessary to confess to one's Bishop as a pre-requisite to taking the sacrament? I have served in Bishoprics in three wards and I think that partaking the sacrament is an individual matter, but I would appreciate anything specific on this question from the Brethren.
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Worthy to attend and partake of the Sacrament?

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Re: Worthy to attend and partake of the Sacrament?

Postby wolfman » Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:48 am

Good topic. I think there are a lot of people who don't want to partake unworthily so they don't partake at all. I don't know that I've heard specific council from the brethren. My last Bishop made it clear to us that unless he has specifically told you not to partake of the sacrament that you should be partaking of the sacrament. He said if you feel unworthy to partake of the sacrament then we need to talk. In most cases he said you probably are worthy to partake of the sacrament. I discussed this matter with my father-in-law one day and I totally agree with his take that worthiness largely depends on attitude. If you are non-repentant and partaking of the sacrament you are mocking the ordinance and therefore unworthy. Likewise, refusing to partake of the sacrament is a slap in the face to Jesus as you are rejecting his sacrifice on your behalf. I hadn't ever thought if it that way before. My Father-in-law then said "cigarette smoke is the sweetest smell in sacrament meeting because it means that someones is coming back"

Unfortunately, unrighteous dominion from ecclesiastical leaders is a bigger problem than many would think. In my sisters ward you must be seated for the prelude music - The doors to the chapel are shut and the sacrament is not brought out into the hall. Sometimes things happen when you are trying to get small children ready for church and you might be a minute late, I don't think the sacrament should be withheld from you. If someone is the victim of unrighteous dominion I would highly suggest going to the stake level and voicing concerns.
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Re: Worthy to attend and partake of the Sacrament?

Postby Mahonri » Sun Nov 28, 2010 11:24 am

wolfman wrote:The doors to the chapel are shut and the sacrament is not brought out into the hall. Sometimes things happen when you are trying to get small children ready for church and you might be a minute late, I don't think the sacrament should be withheld from you. If someone is the victim of unrighteous dominion I would highly suggest going to the stake level and voicing concerns.


That came down in every Stake I have been in from Stake leadership, which made me conclude it must have come from higher up the chain.

I am open to being wrong on this, but I would say that it isn't necessarily unrighteous dominion, but consequences of choices. I have several young children, and years of experience shows if I want to show the respect to the Lord to be on time, I need to get started at a certain time. Sometimes that means we are REALLY early, and sometimes right on time.

My mission president told me if I wasn't ten minutes early, I was late. I have tried to follow that council ever since.

But as for the topic of the original poster, I would agree that too many don't take it when they could, but also that too many take it when they shouldn't. If there is a question in our own mind, we should study, fast and pray about it and if need be go to the Bishop to find out.

I think it would be more than just willing to follow Him, since everyone reading it is probably desirous to do so, and so the warning would be to those who are reading it, not just those that are not.
And I mean that in the nicest possible way. Insert tact here.
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Re: Worthy to attend and partake of the Sacrament?

Postby Zephyr » Sun Nov 28, 2010 12:08 pm

In the case of transgression, is it necessary to confess to one's Bishop as a pre-requisite to taking the sacrament? I have served in Bishoprics in three wards and I think that partaking the sacrament is an individual matter, but I would appreciate anything specific on this question from the Brethren.


It seems to me that if the transgression is of the magnitude that requires confession to a Priesthood authority in order to repent, then one is "unworthy" until one does so.

We do not need to be perfect before partaking of the Sacrament, but we must repent of mistakes and not partake unworthily as it teaches in the D&C.

Here are two quotes:

Elder John H. Groberg taught: “We are commanded to repent of our sins and come to the Lord with a broken heart and a contrite spirit and partake of the Sacrament in compliance with its covenants. When we renew our baptismal covenant in this way, the Lord renews the cleansing effect of our baptism. In this way we are made clean and can always have His Spirit to be with us. The importance of this is evident in the Lord’s commandment that we partake of the Sacrament each week.”

Elder John H. Groberg taught: “As we worthily partake of the Sacrament, we will sense those things we need to improve in and receive the help and determination to do so. No matter what our problems, the Sacrament always gives hope.”
All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.
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Re: Worthy to attend and partake of the Sacrament?

Postby Original_Intent » Sun Nov 28, 2010 12:56 pm

I doubt anyone is unworthy to attend sacrament meeting. I am pretty sure attendance is encouraged even if excommunicated.

As far as partaking, I have personally always considered voluntarily not taking the sacrament as one step below disfellowship. I know there are people that will not partake of the sacrament if they spoke harshly to someone or something similar. To me, not partaking of the sacrament neabs there is something seriously amiss in my life that requires speaking to a priesthood authority.
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Re: Worthy to attend and partake of the Sacrament?

Postby Zephyr » Sun Nov 28, 2010 2:43 pm

My Husband, who was a bishop, said that no one can tell you NOT to partake of the Sacrament except your bishop.
He said the healing power of the Sacrament is needed.
Of course if someone has comited a major transgression, they need to get to their bishop A.S.A.P. for counseling and directions on to partake or not.
All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.
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Re: Worthy to attend and partake of the Sacrament?

Postby dennis » Sun Nov 28, 2010 4:55 pm

To what extent do sins of omission cause unworthiness to partake? Not loving enough, not forgiving enough, not doing enough to combat evil, not being charitable enough, not serving with all my heart might mind and strength. I must be guilty. My first post was what more can I do. Actually that is why I post so much about the NWO, trying to do something to combat evil. thats why I went to question Senator Hatch. And look where that got me, on the Stasi file. Is it dammed if I do and dammed if I dont? guess Im victim , dumb and dumber.
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Re: Worthy to attend and partake of the Sacrament?

Postby Original_Intent » Sun Nov 28, 2010 5:26 pm

dennis wrote:To what extent do sins of omission cause unworthiness to partake? Not loving enough, not forgiving enough, not doing enough to combat evil, not being charitable enough, not serving with all my heart might mind and strength. I must be guilty. My first post was what more can I do. Actually that is why I post so much about the NWO, trying to do something to combat evil. thats why I went to question Senator Hatch. And look where that got me, on the Stasi file. Is it dammed if I do and dammed if I dont? guess Im victim , dumb and dumber.


Most of the people that I most admire (that I personally know, not like GAs or anything) are guys that are most likely high on the list for the "midnight knock". And they are well aware of this and willingly place themselves in that position to try and wake others up. At the final judgement, being on the enemies "list of top threats" I think will be quite an honor. Doesn;t make it any less scary in this life. Courage is not absense of fear, it is doing what you know to be right in spite of being afraid.

I wish I had more courage, and was more willing to lead the fight.
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Re: Worthy to attend and partake of the Sacrament?

Postby 2wet2burn » Sun Nov 28, 2010 5:54 pm

The adversary tends to do a real number on people who are trying to return. He doesn't want to let them go. When I start to worry about my own worthiness, I ask my self two questions.

Do I trust that Christ is who He says He is and has done what He said He would do?
Do I still have a desire to do those things that were wrong?

Dr. Jones is those close to you feel like "new creatures" without the desire to committ those old sins, then encourage them to trust God and move forward with faith. If there is still something to be worked out the spirit will manifest it.
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Re: Worthy to attend and partake of the Sacrament?

Postby DrJones » Sun Nov 28, 2010 5:55 pm

Thanks for the dialogue.

Zephyr in particular wrote,
We do not need to be perfect before partaking of the Sacrament, but we must repent of mistakes and not partake unworthily as it teaches in the D&C.

Here are two quotes:

Elder John H. Groberg taught: “We are commanded to repent of our sins and come to the Lord with a broken heart and a contrite spirit and partake of the Sacrament in compliance with its covenants. When we renew our baptismal covenant in this way, the Lord renews the cleansing effect of our baptism. In this way we are made clean and can always have His Spirit to be with us. The importance of this is evident in the Lord’s commandment that we partake of the Sacrament each week.”


I believe that once we have resolved to take an upward path following Jesus and are repentant, we can trust in His grace and remember Him by taking the sacrament and renewing our commitment. I don't mean to sound "protestant" here -- just wish to re-emphasize the relevance of the amazing GRACE provided by the Lord. Without that, we're all SUNK. The Lord is patient and incredibly forgiving to those who make the effort to stop doing certain things -- the 10 commandments come to mind. One can stop stealing, adultery, lying etc. ... and resolve in prayer to do these things no more.

As we are repentant and willing to renew our baptismal covenant with the Lord, we may then partake of the sacrament. [It is not necessary to rise to the level of temple-worthiness to enjoy the blessings of the sacrament.] And the great promise then is that the Holy Spirit will be with us. IMO we will NEED the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the weeks and years to come, as the manure hits the circulator especially. "Whither to flee" or whether to stay and probably fight (see Alma 48) -- we will NEED the Spirit to help us make critical decisions. Should one pull that trigger or not?

It's worth the effort therefore to become repentant, sufficient to partake of the sacrament and be restored to the promised gift of the Spirit's guidance.
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Re: Worthy to attend and partake of the Sacrament?

Postby 2BFree » Sun Nov 28, 2010 6:49 pm

It's all about Faith...do we have faith to partake? The Lord came for the sinner not the saint. We are all sinners and he has provided this ordinance to remind us of him...his body and his blood. The greatest sacrifice to end all sacrifice...God's Son laid on the alter of the cross so that we can lift up our sinful eyes from the abyss and see what our Father through His Son has done for us through pure love.

Faith is an action word and by faith we partake with a willing and broken heart to come unto him every Sunday and be reminded of the Good News that He lives and loves us and will carry us and our burdens. I love this ordinance! It is wonderful that all in the church can enjoy and utilize this sacred meal to repent, be filled and become a righteous branch. The sacrament is for sinners to turn their hearts to God the Father through remembering what His Son did for us all. I agree with the thought that who are we to reject what the Lord did for us by not partaking when we really should be. It's like when you don't feel like praying is the precise moment when you should be on your knees. Let's not take such beautiful gifts for granted.
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Re: Worthy to attend and partake of the Sacrament?

Postby Legacy » Sun Nov 28, 2010 7:09 pm

Original_Intent wrote:
dennis wrote:
Most of the people that I most admire (that I personally know, not like GAs or anything) are guys that are most likely high on the list for the "midnight knock". And they are well aware of this and willingly place themselves in that position to try and wake others up. At the final judgement, being on the enemies "list of top threats" I think will be quite an honor. Doesn;t make it any less scary in this life. Courage is not absense of fear, it is doing what you know to be right in spite of being afraid.



What is this midnight knock? Getting a call in the middle of the night to help someone out?
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Re: Worthy to attend and partake of the Sacrament?

Postby Nan » Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:16 pm

Breaking the law of chastity (including porn and masturbation) and breaking the word of wisdom have to be confessed to a bishop. These are laws that can affect our standing in the church with going to the temple ect. If someone doesn't feel worthy I would want to get to the root of what is it they are doing that is making them feel that way.
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Re: Worthy to attend and partake of the Sacrament?

Postby liberty » Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:46 pm

Where in the scriptures is "sins of omission" established as a doctrine?

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Re: Worthy to attend and partake of the Sacrament?

Postby Mahonri » Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:56 pm

liberty wrote:Where in the scriptures is "sins of omission" established as a doctrine?

HofL


Brigham Young said

"I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call Scripture." Journal of Discourses, Vol. 13, Page 95


In a sermon he gave prior to that (so it would fall into his condition of "yet") he said,

If he has not been guilty of sins of commission, he has committed wrongs, through the omission of duties. Then,
let not my brethren consider their mission is at an end, if they wish to continue to increase in influence, power,
judgment and truth, in righteousness, and in the knowledge of God, which he may please to constantly reveal
unto them through their faithfulness; but let every man be faithful in spirit, striving continually to conquer
every passion, and to subdue every wrong feeling, and bring into subjection every unholy aspiration of his
being, and be willing for the spirit of truth − the spirit of the Gospel − to lead and guide him from day to day,
from hour to hour, and from moment to moment. If we all do this, we shall constantly have in our possession,
words of comfort for each other, and be in readiness to act at all times, in the performance of every duty: but
let a man neglect his duty in his earthly tabernacle, and he will find, in the end, that he has committed many a
wrong, through the sin of omission. Good, and opportunity to do good, is presented to man; but, because of
his ignorance, he neglects to do the good he might, and is, in consequence, full of darkness.
JD 10:354 − p.355, Brigham Young, November 6, 1864


So that is where in the "scriptures" we learn the doctrine of the sin of omission :)
And I mean that in the nicest possible way. Insert tact here.
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Re: Worthy to attend and partake of the Sacrament?

Postby liberty » Sun Nov 28, 2010 11:02 pm

Please provide a scriptural reference.

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Re: Worthy to attend and partake of the Sacrament?

Postby Mahonri » Sun Nov 28, 2010 11:08 pm

liberty wrote:Please provide a scriptural reference.

HofL



What is scripture?

The recorded words of Prophets of God speaking as such.

Therefore, I did. :D
And I mean that in the nicest possible way. Insert tact here.
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Re: Worthy to attend and partake of the Sacrament?

Postby liberty » Sun Nov 28, 2010 11:17 pm

How about a second witness with a scripture?

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Re: Worthy to attend and partake of the Sacrament?

Postby Mahonri » Sun Nov 28, 2010 11:21 pm

if by scripture you mean Bible, Book of Mormon, D&C & Pearl of Great Price, the phrase is not used, but the idea is said over and over again when discussing different principles

Not doing something is an omission

not paying tithing is theft
if we do nothing until we are commanded, we are slothful

It is all over the "scriptures"
And I mean that in the nicest possible way. Insert tact here.
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Re: Worthy to attend and partake of the Sacrament?

Postby liberty » Sun Nov 28, 2010 11:27 pm

No scripture on the "sin of omission" - HMMMMMMMMMMMM.

Why is a person not paying tithing? Are they willfully disobeying?

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Re: Worthy to attend and partake of the Sacrament?

Postby DrJones » Mon Nov 29, 2010 12:30 pm

I think you'll see in the comments above, several differing viewpoints. Elder Groberg expresses my understanding (and this is what I've sought, something written from the Brethren) when he said:

John H. Groberg, “The Beauty and Importance of the Sacrament,” Ensign, May 1989, 38

What does it mean to partake of the sacrament worthily? Or how do we know if we are unworthy?

If we desire to improve (which is to repent) and are not under priesthood restriction, then, in my opinion, we are worthy. ...

If, however, we refuse to repent and improve, if we do not remember him and keep his commandments, then we have stopped our growth, and that is damnation to our souls.

The sacrament is an intensely personal experience, and we are the ones who knowingly are worthy or otherwise.

Do you remember the feeling you had when you were baptized—that sweet, clean feeling of a pure soul, having been forgiven, washed clean through the merits of the Savior? If we partake of the sacrament worthily, we can feel that way regularly, for we renew that covenant, which includes his forgiveness.

Those who would deny themselves the blessing of the sacrament by not attending sacrament meeting or by not thinking of the Savior during the services surely must not understand the great opportunity to be forgiven, to have his Spirit to guide and comfort them! What more could anyone ask?

As we worthily partake of the sacrament, we will sense those things we need to improve in and receive the help and determination to do so. No matter what our problems, the sacrament always gives hope.


Note that only a fraction of the Saints have the level of food storage (or tithing, for that matter) urged by the Prophets -- yet this does not evidently make them unworthy to partake of the sacrament and receive the grace/Spirit of the Lord. These specifics (IIRC) are not part of the baptismal covenant described in Mosiah 18.
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Re: Worthy to attend and partake of the Sacrament?

Postby mchlwise » Mon Nov 29, 2010 3:18 pm

Original_Intent wrote: To me, not partaking of the sacrament neabs there is something seriously amiss in my life that requires speaking to a priesthood authority.


My wife teaches in Relief Society, and taught the lesson on the Sacrament a couple weeks ago. As she was preparing, this question came up. "When are you 'unworthy'?" We read a few talks and looked up a few things, and then came up with a guideline that she was comfortable with using, which she then confirmed with the bishop:

If you feel like you have committed a sin serious enough that you question your worthiness to partake of the Sacrament, then it is serious enough that you should talk to your bishop about it. If it isn't serious enough to talk to the bishop about, then you should not deprive yourself of the blessings and forgiveness partaking of the Sacrament brings. If there is any doubt, your bishop can help you resolve it and help you understand how you should go forward.
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Re: Worthy to attend and partake of the Sacrament?

Postby Col. Flagg » Mon Nov 29, 2010 3:27 pm

Original_Intent wrote:I doubt anyone is unworthy to attend sacrament meeting. I am pretty sure attendance is encouraged even if excommunicated.

As far as partaking, I have personally always considered voluntarily not taking the sacrament as one step below disfellowship. I know there are people that will not partake of the sacrament if they spoke harshly to someone or something similar. To me, not partaking of the sacrament neabs there is something seriously amiss in my life that requires speaking to a priesthood authority.

Amen OI!
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Re: Worthy to attend and partake of the Sacrament?

Postby Col. Flagg » Mon Nov 29, 2010 3:30 pm

wolfman wrote:Unfortunately, unrighteous dominion from ecclesiastical leaders is a bigger problem than many would think. In my sisters ward you must be seated for the prelude music - The doors to the chapel are shut and the sacrament is not brought out into the hall. Sometimes things happen when you are trying to get small children ready for church and you might be a minute late, I don't think the sacrament should be withheld from you. If someone is the victim of unrighteous dominion I would highly suggest going to the stake level and voicing concerns.

That's ridiculous, totally inappropriate and wrong and needs to be brought before the Stake Presidency and if that doesn't do it, it's time to write to Salt Lake because it would get nipped in the bud real quick by the brethren!
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Re: Worthy to attend and partake of the Sacrament?

Postby Col. Flagg » Mon Nov 29, 2010 3:34 pm

dennis wrote:To what extent do sins of omission cause unworthiness to partake? Not loving enough, not forgiving enough, not doing enough to combat evil, not being charitable enough, not serving with all my heart might mind and strength. I must be guilty. My first post was what more can I do. Actually that is why I post so much about the NWO, trying to do something to combat evil. thats why I went to question Senator Hatch. And look where that got me, on the Stasi file. Is it dammed if I do and dammed if I dont? guess Im victim , dumb and dumber.

Dennis, you'll be highly regarded and rewarded on the other side of the veil some day for your courage to combat and face evil in this world. I think that is going to be the case for most of us here in this forum. :D I hope I have awakened many fellow Saints with the information and knowledge I have gained and shared here in the forum and pray that I have done more good than not (as some have suggested because of my questioning the brethren on certain subjects).
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Re: Worthy to attend and partake of the Sacrament?

Postby Col. Flagg » Mon Nov 29, 2010 3:36 pm

Original_Intent wrote:
dennis wrote:To what extent do sins of omission cause unworthiness to partake? Not loving enough, not forgiving enough, not doing enough to combat evil, not being charitable enough, not serving with all my heart might mind and strength. I must be guilty. My first post was what more can I do. Actually that is why I post so much about the NWO, trying to do something to combat evil. thats why I went to question Senator Hatch. And look where that got me, on the Stasi file. Is it dammed if I do and dammed if I dont? guess Im victim , dumb and dumber.


Most of the people that I most admire (that I personally know, not like GAs or anything) are guys that are most likely high on the list for the "midnight knock". And they are well aware of this and willingly place themselves in that position to try and wake others up. At the final judgement, being on the enemies "list of top threats" I think will be quite an honor.

Doesn;t make it any less scary in this life. Courage is not absense of fear, it is doing what you know to be right in spite of being afraid.

I wish I had more courage, and was more willing to lead the fight.

OI... I think we're both of the same mindset here.

Amen again!!
"Truth is in history, but history is not the truth." - Nicolás Gómez Dávila
Col. Flagg
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