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The emblems of the Sacrament — Section 35

The true meaning of the emblems of the Holy Sacrament

Representative of a Christian church:
It appears to all of us that The Latter-day Saints teach that the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper was not meant as Christ said it, “Take eat, this is my body, and take, drink, this is my blood.”  We feel that the Lord meant exactly what he said regarding these emblems, but you feel that His words were simply figurative or representative.  How do you justify your teachings in light of the Savior’s definite statement?

Missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:
We feel that the Lord did not mean that the emblems were literally his flesh and blood.  Many of you consider the sacrament of the Holy Communion as the “miracle of the transubstantiation”, or the literal transformation of the biscuit and the wine into the actual and living “blood and body of Christ”.  You are aware that all of Christ’s miracles were followed by evidences, such as the blind seeing, the lame walking, and the dead living once again.  The miracle of transubstantiation is not followed by such evidence.  Since you take the Lord’s words literally regarding his flesh and blood, you would have a difficult time explaining what happened at the Last Supper, wherein the Lord had his apostles partake of bread and wine.  Christ was still very much alive, and it was not possible that the apostles literally ate the body and drank the blood of the Savior during those sacred moments.  Matthew 26:26-29 states, “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to his disciples, and said, ‘Take, eat, this is my body.’ And he took the cup and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink ye all of it, for this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.’  But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s Kingdom.”  Notice after they had partaken of the Lord’s sacrament, he said he would not drink of the ‘fruit of the vine’ (not blood) until that day he would drink with them in his Father’s Kingdom.  Paul clarified the true teaching of the Sacrament in 1 Corinthians 11:24-25 when he said, “For as often as ye eat this bread (not flesh) and drink this cup (not blood) ye shall show the Lord’s death till he come.”  That is why we know it is not literal and why there is no mysterious conversion during the Sacrament.  Paul also taught in Hebrews 10:10-12, “By the which will we be sanctified through the offering of the body of Christ once for all…but this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sin forever, sat down on the right hand of God.”  The great sacrifice has been offered, and we partake of the bread and water in remembrance of this great sacrifice.

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