All Things Witness

Thoughts on the mission and power of Jesus Christ


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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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A Faithful Perspective on the Problem of Evil (Part 2)

Image from Flickr, by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes

Image from Flickr, by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes

Flash floods wreak havoc in a neighbourhood and a family’s home is made uninhabitable, with many precious items that hold priceless memories lost forever, and with months or even years of wrangling with insurers and living in inadequate temporary accommodation awaiting them. A young father, following years of depression and struggles with school, home and family, is diagnosed with a mental health disorder, shattering his hopes for a life being able to be the father he wishes to be. A child develops leukemia, and she and her parents face many years of expensive hospital visits and painful treatments until finally she passes from mortality, far too young. I could go on, and of course you could create your own list of tragedies that strike either in your own life, or in the lives of your family or friends.

Tragic? Yes, without any shadow of a doubt. Uncommon? No, not remotely. Pain and suffering are things we each experience during our mortal lives. And the questions that will touch each of us during such times will be variations on, “Why me?”, “How can I endure it?”, “Please, Heavenly Father, wilt thou take this pain away?”, and sometimes, “What am I supposed to learn from this?”

Ultimately, a question that touches most of us at some point will be, “What is the purpose of suffering?” Continue reading


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A Faithful Perspective on the Problem of Evil

WHERE'SI’ve started this post a couple of times, and then, unsatisfied with what I had written, discarded it. It’s been bobbling around in my head for several weeks now – hence no other recent posts as I’ve been thinking about how to write about something for which I don’t really have satisfactory answers.

A few months ago we had some young people from our local Church congregation come over to our home on a Sunday afternoon and we talked about science and religion. We had an enjoyable time, and we then asked them if they’d like to come back again, and if so what subject they’d like us to discuss. I’d prepared a few suggestions, and the very clear preferred topic was about the unfairness of life. This may go from the “everyday unfairnesses” of things we all experience, for example why maybe one person gets the job they love, and another doesn’t, or why one person gets serious illness and another doesn’t; through to the unfairnesses that appears so cruel: why do tsunami’s wreak such havoc and devastate countless innocent lives; why are some people born into kind and loving families, while others are born into horror? Continue reading