All Things Witness

Thoughts on the mission and power of Jesus Christ


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They Did Kneel Down With The Church

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This post is part of my series about the LDS ordinance of the sacrament. In my previous posts I’ve discussed the table, the cloth covering and the Priests. For those articles, as well as to see what else I’m currently expecting to write in the series, go here.

When Jesus introduced the sacrament amongst His Jerusalem apostles, Matthew tells us that He “blessed” and “gave thanks” for the bread and wine. He then offered it to His disciples. (Matthew 26:26-27) A single blessing or thanks, one for the bread and another for the wine, and then each of the men with Him partook of it.

If you stop and think about it, that’s really interesting, because it is so unusual. Most other LDS ordinances are very much one to one. Baptism: a single prayer for a single person. Confirmation: a single prayer for a single person. Priesthood ordinations: a single prayer for a single person. Etc. We have many communal worship experiences. Not so, with ordinances.*

Indeed, for the sacrament, it seems that the communal experience is an integral part of the ordinance. Moroni tells us that those ministering the Sacrament, “…did kneel down with the church, and pray to the Father in the name of Christ…” (Moroni 4:2, emphasis added. See also D&C 20:76)

The question we must ask ourselves is therefore why the communal experience is so important. Continue reading


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Beautiful Irony

© Copyright, Intellectual Reserve International

This is the fifth post in my series about the LDS ordinance of the sacrament. All the previous posts can be found here. So far, I’ve talked about how the sacrament table serves as an altar for us today here, and the many wonderful symbolisms the white cloth covering the sacrament represents here and here.

When Christ introduced the sacrament, Matthew tells us that, “Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples…. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them…” (Matthew 26:26-27)

I’ll be discussing the bread and wine/water in later posts. Here I want to focus on those who represent Jesus in this ordinance – the Priests (or Melchizedek Priesthood holders).

It was a couple of years ago now that I was pondering the sacrament and suddenly realised the beautiful irony in its blessing. That the Priests represent Christ is generally well understood. Indeed, in any instance where the Priesthood is being used, the one doing so represents our Saviour.

But there is something special about it in the sacrament. You see, in this ordinance the Priests don’t only bless the emblems of Christ’s atonement: they are also the ones who break the bread. Think about that. Continue reading


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A White Covering

This is a continuation of my series of posts discussing the ordinance of the sacrament within the LDS faith. The first post, Remembering Him, is here.

Image © 2015, Intellectual Reserve, Inc

Image © 2015, Intellectual Reserve, Inc

In my last post, Our Modern Altars, I talked about the table upon which the bread and water of the sacrament is placed. A table which serves as a modern altar for us. Today I’m going to discuss the cloth covering the same bread and water.

I started preparing this post thinking that one would be enough to talk about the significance and symbolism of the sacrament cloth, but it has developed so much I’ll need to take two. So this is part 1.

Indeed, there is so much to ponder when considering the sacrament cloth it’s difficult to know where to start. So perhaps it’s best to start with the Church handbook.

“Sacrament tablecloths should be white, nontransparent, clean, and pressed.” (Handbook 2, Administering the Church, 20.4.2)

It would be easy to read this sentence and think that only the colour of the cloth is symbolic, white being the symbolic colour of purity; the other requirements being primarily signs of respect. And while having a clean and pressed cloth certainly does show respect, there is more to it than that. Continue reading


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the_mighty_healer-661166   A beautiful quote from President Boyd K Packer at the recent conference:

“Those who will repent and forsake sin will find that His merciful arm is outstretched still. Those who listen to and heed His words and the words of His chosen servants will find peace and understanding even in the midst of great heartache and sorrow…. The mercy and grace of Jesus Christ are not limited to those who commit sins either of commission or omission, but they encompass the promise of everlasting peace to all who will accept and follow Him and His teachings. His mercy is the mighty healer, even to the wounded innocent.”


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A Faithful Perspective on the Problem of Evil (part 3)

The Famished ChildSadly enough… it is a characteristic of our age that if people want any gods at all, they want them to be gods who do not demand much, comfortable gods, smooth gods who not only don’t rock the boat but don’t even row it, gods who pat us on the head, make us giggle, then tell us to run along and pick marigolds.” (Elder Jeffrey R Holland, The Cost – and Blessings – of Discipleship)

This is the third (and final) post in a series on the Problem of Evil, specifically looking at three fallacies that are inherent within the problem (at least as it is usually described). Continue reading


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Depression and the Atonement (part 2)

In the first post on this topic I looked at examples of several good “righteous” people, who have suffered from Depression, including I believe the great Old Testament prophet Moses, as well as the Book of Mormon prophet Jacob.  In this post I’ll discuss another example from Moses’ life that I think helps us to understand how we can be supported Cloudsthrough such feelings ourselves, through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Continue reading


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Heart, Might, Mind and Strength (Part 5 of 5)

In the final part of this series of posts I’m going to share some of my thoughts on how the Atonement of Christ enables us to overcome our physical shortcomings.  The previous posts in the series have included an introduction, and then my thoughts on how Christ helps us overcome our Spiritual, Emotional, and Intellectual shortcomings.

Ultimately, our physical limitations are overcome Continue reading


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To Mend Our Souls

This following quote is from the October 2013 General Conference.  I love the phrase towards the end about how the Saviour seeks to “mend our souls and heal our hearts”.  It reminds me that above all else, our Saviour is a healer.

“Jesus Christ heals body, mind, and spirit, and His healing begins with faith….

“As we draw near to Him, we realize that mortality is meant to be difficult and that “opposition in all things” (2 Nephi 2:11) is not a flaw in the plan of salvation. Opposition, rather, is the indispensable Continue reading


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Heart, Might, Mind and Strength (1 of 5)

This is the first in a series of 5 articles on this topic I will post.  This first article covers the broad topic, but I will post subsequent articles over the coming weeks that address each area of Heart, Might, Mind and Strength individually.

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy might, mind and strength; and in the name of Jesus Christ thou shalt serve him”  (D&C 59:5).  “Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day.” (D&C 4:2)

These four aspects of our beings – heart, might, mind, and strength – are repeated throughout the scriptures, usually in the context of either how we serve the Lord, or how we worship Him, as in the two examples cited above.  The four aspects seem to cover our entire being.

As I have pondered these, I have come to the conclusion Continue reading


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The Carpenter of Nazareth

Many years ago some friends gave me the book “Christ’s Ideals for Living” by Obert C Tanner.  It has a number of gems in it, and this poem by George Blair is one of them which has stayed with me.  Jeffrey R Holland quoted it in his April 2006 Conference talk “Broken Things to Mend”.

It reminds me that no matter what part of our life is broken, we can be made whole by Jesus Christ, the Great Healer.

The Carpenter of Nazareth

In Nazareth, the narrow road,
That tires the feet and steals the breath, Continue reading