In my recent post about visiting the LDS church last weekend, I mentioned that I found the LDS sacrament rite to be quite difficult, even long before I left the church. On that entry, a friend left the following comment:
So I thought I would briefly address her question…
In the LDS church, the sacrament is administered every week by members of the lower LDS priesthood. Typically the bread and water are blessed by 16 year old boys and the trays of bread and water are passed to congregants by 12 and 13 year-old boys. I’m not particularly fond of the gendered pattern that this follows. I can’s see any logical reason why a girl could not bless and pass the sacrament, too. So that kind of rubs me the wrong way.
But that’s not my primary discomfort with the ordinance. That comes from it symbolizing the blood and body of Jesus Christ, and for the promises contained in the sacramental 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 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 hath given them, that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen
This ordinance is all about atonement of Jesus Christ–a concept that I find repulsive. I don’t like that the violent killing of a human being was supposedly conducted on my behalf. Even if I could accept the idea that Jesus was a willing victim in this arrangement, I reject the logic of a worldview where a murder is the foundation for personal sanctification. Everything in my heart and in my soul tells me that this is wrong. I could easily use stronger language to describe my repulsion to this concept, but I don’t want to completely alienate those of my readers and friends who hold this view.
So the first part of my LDS faith that I lost, was when I realized that I couldn’t accept the literal or figurative sacrifice of Jesus. That happened several years before the rest of it unraveled. And as a result, I avoided taking the sacrament whenever I could because it was discomfiting for me to participate in a ritual that reified such a violent act.