Endowment and Eucharist IV

JKC continues his series

In the last three parts (Part I, Part II, Part III), I have suggested that although we as latter day saints are accustomed to thinking of the Kirtland endowment, if at all, as an incomplete chapter of our history that was later superseded by the endowment ceremony administered in the Nauvoo temple, another way of looking at the endowment liturgy could be to see it as a way to organize and systematize the principles that were revealed first in Kirtland, and provide an ritual through which saints that were not present at the Kirtland endowment could symbolically participate in the same spiritual gifts, blessings, and powers by symbolically becoming sanctified, symbolically receiving the divine law, and symbolically receiving God’s presence.

In this part I finally get into the discussion of how all this relates to the Eucharist. Sorry it took so long to lay the groundwork!

IV: From memory into reality: The Endowment and the Eucharist.

As I have explained, one way to see the endowment liturgy is as looking back, at least implicitly, to the Kirtland endowment. In this way, it might perform a similar sort of function with respect to the Kirtland endowment that the Eucharist performs with respect to the last supper.[1] I’ll explain this comparison further, but essentially, I see parallels in that both ordinances look back to a past event where the saints experienced God’s presence, symbolically bring those that participate into that presence, and create a community of saints across time and space that share in that presence.[2]

Without getting too bogged down in the complicated issues of competing Eucharistic theologies, I think it is fair to say that most christians of any denomination agree that we receive the presence of Christ in some form, in the Eucharist. Whether that presence is physical, as the emblems literally, but invisibly, transform into Jesus’s body, as the Catholics hold, whether he becomes truly present in the emblems without them physically changing, as Luther held, or whether the emblems are a mere symbol of Jesus’s body that helps us access Jesus’ spiritual presence, as Calvin held, the point is, by partaking of the consecrated emblems of bread and wine (or, in our case, these days, water), I think all agree that we participate in the holy meal and thus receive Jesus’ presence in some form, as if we were there in his presence at the last supper with the apostles. The Eucharist thus transcends the distances of time and space to create a symbolic communion of saints across the ages as we all commune in the holy meal, all receiving Jesus’s presence.

Now, the LDS Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper is of course a bit different from the Eucharist as celebrated in many other christian churches, because our prayers are taken from the Book of Mormon rather than from the tradition that developed out of the events recounted in the gospels. Therefore, the most obvious difference between the LDS sacrament and the Eucharist of other denominations is that the immediate foundational event for our Sacrament prayers is not the pre-crucifixion last supper, but the post-resurrection sacramental meal with the descendants of Lehi, recorded in 3 Nephi, chapter 18.[3] But despite this difference, I think the point still holds: through partaking of the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, we are promised that we may spiritually receive Jesus’ presence–“that [we] may have his spirit to be with [us]”–and I venture to suggest that when we receive his presence through this ordinance, administered by the authority of the holy priesthood, we receive his presence in a way that is just as real and significant as if we were there eating and drinking in the presence of the resurrected Jesus with the Nephite disciples, or of the mortal Jesus with the apostles in the upper room.

The sacrament thus preserves the memory of Jesus’ body and blood, but it does more than that; it makes us not just observers of his body and blood, but participants in the communion of his body and blood. Jesus asks his disciples to not just contemplate his body and blood, but to “eat in remembrance” of his body and blood. (3 Nephi 18: 7, 11) In one sense, it’s a bit strange, because we are being asked to remember an event that we ourselves did not actually experience. I think perhaps the remembrance that is asked of us involves more than just memory. In this context, the word remember fascinates me. Of course, we have no idea what words Jesus used in whatever language it was he spoke when he gave the sacramental meal to the Nephite disciples, so I don’t want to push this idea too hard, but English is as close as we get to original languages in the Book of Mormon, and at least in English, the word remember is not just to recall something; it is, in at least one etymological sense, the opposite of the word dismember. So it means, not just to mentally recall something, but to reconstitute it, to put it back together, to reconstruct it, to re-incorporate it, to re-embody it. This meaning of the word remember is particularly poignant in the context of the disciples being shown a physically resurrected body. The sacrament symbolically re-embodies Jesus and brings us into his presence.[4]

And when we partake of the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, we also participate in his body, that is, we symbolically become part of his body. As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12–after discussing the Eucharist in the previous chapter–“Now ye are the body of Christ.” (1 Cor. 12: 27). We take his body symbolically, into us, as we are taken, symbolically, into his body. Thus we begin symbolically to be in him, and he in us, as he is in the father and the father is in him. (Compare John 17:11 with 3 Nephi 11:27 and John 14:11). And because his body — his church — encompasses all saints in all ages, the Sacrament transcends the distances of time and space to make us participants in that communion just as if we were there ourselves eating and drinking with him alongside the Nephite disciples.

In fact, the August 1830 revelation on the sacrament (what is now section 27) illustrates this vision of the Sacrament as creating a communion of saints across the ages, transcending distances of time and space. After explaining first that the physical emblems themselves are not important in comparison to the spiritual reality that they represent, the voice of the Lord then goes on to present a vision of the sacrament as a meal shared between him and Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery: “marvel not, for the hour cometh that I will drink of the fruit of the vine with you on the earth” (Doctrine and Covenants 27:5). But this intimate meal quickly becomes an ever-expanding communion as the voice of the Lord adds additional participants from all ages of time: first Moroni, then Elias, then John, the baptist, Elijah, Joseph, Jacob, Isaac, Abraham, and Adam, Peter, James, and John, and finally “all those whom my Father hath given me out of the world.” (Doctrine and Covenants 27:5-14). Maybe this is only a prophecy of some future millennial sacramental meal, but maybe it is both that, and a reflection of the fact that every time we partake of the sacrament, we are symbolically brought into Jesus’ presence — a presence that we share alongside all saints who have been brought into that presence: the eternal communion of the saints in all the ages.

I’ve come to believe that the perhaps endowment liturgy does a similar thing with the Kirtland endowment. When in the initiatory ordinances we become symbolically sanctified and clean, prepared to receive God’s law and his presence, we don’t just recall the fact that the church was washed and became sanctified in Kirtland, we symbolically re-member that event and become participants in it , just as if we had been there ourselves. And when we take on solemn obligations to live principles of the law we symbolically receive God’s sanctifying law, just as if we had been among those early saints in Kirtland or in Zion that were given the divine law by revelation. And when at the end of the endowment liturgy, we are symbolically admitted into the Lord’s presence, we are re-membering the moment when Jesus accepted the temple as his house, so we spiritually enjoy his presence just as if we had been there ourselves when his presence filled the temple as a mighty rushing wind.

So, like the Sacrament, the endowment makes God’s presence not just a memory, but a symbolically and spiritually re-membered reality, and when we receive it, it makes us members of an eternal company of endowed saints, across the ages, transcending distances of time, space, and even mortality.

——————–

[1] In this discussion I am using both the term Eucharist and the term Sacrament (or Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper). While it may seem that I use them interchangeably (and I think they basically are), for precision’s sake I will use Eucharist here to refer generally to the communion practiced by most Christians, while I use Sacrament specifically to refer to the LDS ordinance of the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.

[2] There are, of course additional aspects to both ordinances that I’m not really getting into here. Covenant-making is a huge part of the endowment, and witnessing willingness to do what he have covenanted or will covenant to do is a huge part of the Sacrament (we usually express this as “renewal” of covenants, but I think it is slightly more than that). Kingship or Queenship is an important piece of the endowment. By not discussing those aspects here, I’m not suggesting that they don’t play an important role; they’re just beyond the scope of this discussion. I thought I would focus on some of the perhaps less often discussed aspects of these ordinances.

[3] The Sacrament prayers used in the LDS church come from the “Articles and Covenants,” which, in it’s current form, is Section 20. Without getting too bogged down in the history, what is now section 20 was in its early drafts, put together by Oliver Cowdery, likely in obedience to the revelation now codified as section 18, which directed him to “build up my church” and directed him specifically to rely on the Book of Mormon in doing so. (Doctrine and Covenants 18:2-5.) It is fairly obvious from comparing Moroni 4 and 5 to section 20 that in carrying out this responsibility, Oliver adopted the prayers recorded by Moroni to be the Sacrament prayers that the restored church would use. Further, a close reading of Jesus’ words in 3 Nephi 18, compared with the sacramental prayers recorded in Moroni 4 and 5 shows, I think, that the Nephite disciples developed the sacramental liturgy that Moroni records directly out of the events that were recorded in 3 Nephi 18, similar to the way that the Eucharist, as spoken of by Paul and other early christian writers, was developed out of the events of the last supper that would later be described when the gospels were written. This is why I think we can say that our Sacrament prayers trace directly back to Jesus’ visit to the Nephites recorded in 3 Nephi 18. But I don’t think it is wrong to say that the Sacrament looks back to the last supper; it’s just that I think it looks back directly to the sacrament with the Nephite disciples, and indirectly, to the last supper.

[4] Don’t misunderstand. I am well aware that the church rejects transubstantiation of the sacramental emblems, and by suggesting that the Sacrament re-embodies Jesus in some sense, I am not challenging that doctrine; but if we throw out the bathwater of literal transubstantiation, let’s not discard with it the idea that Jesus’ presence, whether that presence is “merely” spiritual or not, is a real and important feature of the Sacrament. I don’t believe there is anything in our doctrine inconsistent with the idea that Jesus is present in the sacrament in some real, though perhaps non-physical, sense. Thus, even if it is “only” symbolic, the sacrament does symbolically re-embody Jesus’ body and blood in the sacramental emblems. And I suggest that the spiritual presence that the sacrament embodies is far more important, anyway–and no less real–than the physical substance of the emblems themselves (the emblems are just the “mechanics” of the sacrament, to paraphrase President McKay). I believe this is consistent with the August 1830 revelation that permits us to use water rather than wine in the Sacrament: “it mattereth not what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink when ye partake of the sacrament, if it so be that ye do it with an eye single to my glory remembering unto the Father my body which was laid down for you, and my blood which was shed for the remission of your sins.” (Doctrine & Covenants 27:2.) In other words, while we pretty clearly don’t believe that the emblems take on the physical nature of human flesh, that really doesn’t matter much, because the physical substance of the emblems is not the point. But I think we do believe that they become Jesus’ body and blood, for all spiritually significant purposes, while they are used in the context of the ordinance. This is, I think, why Jesus speaks of the Sacrament in seemingly literal terms as “my flesh and blood,” not only in the gospels but also in the Book of Mormon (3 Nephi 18:28-30).

Comments

  1. Jason K. says:

    So much this. A great payoff for a great series. Thanks, JKC.

    Re: your last footnote, I’ve long believed that Mormonism’s Eucharistic theology is pretty close to Calvin’s idea of spiritual presence. The very language of the prayers–“that they may have his spirit to be with them”–suggests as much. My point is less to insist on that particular interpretation than to come out in full-throated support of your claim that Mormonism is compatible with a notion of Eucharist presence.

  2. IN this regard, I agree completely with Flannery O’Connor.

  3. Yeah, Jason, I thought you might like that. :)

    As you note, the point was not to come out in support of any particular position, but to sketch out a sort of “mere christianity” theology of sacramental presence–we may not all agree on the precise way Jesus is present in the sacrament, but we can probably mostly agree at least that he is present in some way–and show how that the restoration doesn’t dismiss that theology as a relic of the apostasy, but perhaps even supports it through additional ordinances designed to symbolically and spiritually bring us into Jesus’ presence. Though, by finding the “mere christainity” version, I suppose you necessarily are going to skew toward the symbolic/spiritual as a sort of lowest common denominator.

    I can see your point about our sacrament perhaps being close to Calvin’s position, a spiritual presence only, and I think I agree. But then again, “All spirit is matter, but it is more fine or pure, and can only be discerned by purer eyes; we cannot see it; but when our bodies are purified we shall see that it is all matter.” :) So perhaps even a spiritual presence only is itself more “embodied” than we might realize.

  4. vajra 2, O’Connor’s quip does resonate. As I’ve said before, there is something about the Catholic insistence on a physical presence that in some ways seems very “Mormon”: an insistence that spirit without body is incomplete, and that the spirit and body, when inseparably connected, experience a fullness of joy, that the spiritual and the physical are not truly separate realms. The LDS church has pretty clearly rejected the physical transformation of the sacramental emblems, and as I’ve said, I’m not going to challenge that; but I’m also not convinced that physical transformation is really necessary in order to affirm that the divine presence is truly real, not just a symbol. Though, I respect that the Catholics believe it is. I think there is room for “holy envy.”

  5. Clark Goble says:

    While I think the spiritual presence is key to Mormon conceptions it seems to me that the Mormon theology of spirit (to the degree it’s developed) is quite unlike Catholic transubstiation. I’m not as familiar with the nuances of Calvin’s thought here but I suspect it too differs, if only because of the more uniquely Mormon conceptions of spirit as matter and the very different conception of the Godhead.

    Not only that but Mormon conceptions of the sacrament seem to see it as a kind of symbolic re-enscribing of earlier ordinances. In that context having the spirit is much more in line with the gift of the holy ghost after baptism. However that then ties it all to a sort of endowment with the obvious connections between the day of Pentecost and our theology of the temple. (Much more explicit in Kirtland)

  6. Yes, Clark, there is definitely an echo with the gift of the Holy Ghost. In fact, you could say that, the laying on of hands, like the sacrament and the endowment, is another ordinance designed to symbolically and spiritually bring us into the (constant) presence of God. We don’t usually talk about it in that sort of language, but what is the “constant companionship” of the Holy Ghost, if not being constantly in the presence of a member of the Godhead?

    (The phrase “his spirit” is ambiguous (does it mean Jesus’ personal spirit, or does it mean the Holy Ghost?) but given the Book of Mormon’s emphasis on the fact that the Godhead is one god, that’s not am ambiguity that I think we need to worry much about.)

    I actually don’t see much of a difference between seeing the promise of “his spirit” in the sacrament as a renewal or echo of the promise of the holy ghost at baptism and seeing it as a promise of Jesus’ presence that is echoed in the endowment. I mentioned it in a footnote above, but I don’t really think “renewing our covenants” fully captures what is going on with the sacrament. It’s not wrong, but it’s not complete, either. The prayers don’t actually mention renewing covenants. Instead, they demand that by eating we witness our willingness to keep Christ’s commandments. I think we covenant to do so when we are baptized (at least, that’s what I get from the baptism of Alma), and for that reason, I think it’s appropriate to say that by witnessing our willingness to keep the commandments, we are renewing our commitment to keep our baptismal covenants. But that’s not the only possibility; we could also be witnessing willingness to keep covenants that we are preparing for, but haven’t made yet. That is, I think the willingness is not limited to renewing past ordinances, but could both renew past ordinances and anticipate future ordinances. (Which also might explain why, despite the emphasis on renewing covenants as the purpose of the sacrament, there is no prohibition on children or investigators taking the sacrament).

    Also, I didn’t mention this in the OP, but in one sense, the sacrament, with its emphasis on willingness to obey, rather than on obedience itself, is a merciful relief from the demands of our covenants. If we are truly humble, then partaking of the sacrament brings painfully to mind all the ways that we have failed to live up to those covenants–how could it not, with its dire warnings against those who will eat and drink unworthily? Yet through the sacrament the Lord is telling us that he will heal that failure, and will not cut us off–that we will be brought back into his spiritual presence, if we are repentant and still willing to keep that covenant. But because that relief can only come through the atonement, all of this–the expression of willingness to keep the commandments, the promise of the spirit–is all contingent on the first and last purpose of the sacrament, to remember the body laid down and the blood shed for us, our passover lamb.

    Put differently, the first thing we do when we partake of the sacrament is to remember the body and the blood, which makes it possible for us to repent, and to recommit, witnessing our willingness to obey, which makes it possible if we will always remember him, to have his spirit–to remain in his presence. So, yes, we renew our baptismal covenants, but there’s little more to it than that.

  7. Oh, also, Clark, I don’t disagree with you that there are still major differences in the details between Catholic, Calvinist, and Mormon notions of the spirit and the Godhead.

  8. Clark Goble says:

    It’s probably worth pointing out differences. The idea of the gift of the holy ghost was already present in Mormonism prior to Kirtland. So the question then becomes, “what is different here?” With the Nauvoo endowment I think the idea is that presence isn’t a mediated presence via the Holy Ghost but a literal presence in heaven. So there’s a difference in both degree and (because of the secret teaching aspects) knowledge. But does that fit with Kirtland? There is the idea of angelic visitors (including Christ). So one difference again is that presence is (at least for a few moments) less mediated.

    The point in the LDS sacrament prayers (as contrasted with say 1st century Palestinian ones as show up in the Didiche) between obedience and willingness to obey is quite interesting. I think a compelling case can be made that there’s a literary dependence of the prayers in Moroni with King Benjamin’s address and how it gets alluded to over time. That might also get at the differences. (Although as always, one is left wondering how the KJV language affecting the Book of Mormon text distorts the underlying original texts – if at all)

  9. Clark, I did not mean to suggest that there is no difference between the presence of God through the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost and the presence of God in the endowment, just that because I see the laying on of hands as another (though not identical) way of invoking God’s presence, I don’t think it is inconsistent to think of the spiritual presence of the sacrament as both an echo of the gift of the Holy Ghost and also an echo of the Lord’s presence in the endowment. Also, as you point out, the idea of the endowment is closely tied in the New Testament and in Kirtland to receiving the Holy Ghost. I would suggest that Nauvoo doesn’t repudiate that, but adds an additional dimension of a “less mediated” presence, as you put it.

  10. Clark Goble says:

    Oh, didn’t mean to imply you were. That was me thinking through the issue theologically. Clearly there must be something beyond the Holy Ghost for this to be significant. What is it? Well at Kirtland there were the angelic visits. In the more masonic Nauvoo endowment there’s tokens of recognition and a more mekabah like heavenly ascent (or rather, since it’s explicitly stated to be a preparatory endowment a kind of preparation for a future heavenly ascent).

    As a practical matter since most of us aren’t going to see angels it’s worth asking what is being developed here. Even if we adopt my theory of how mediated encounters are, I wonder what’s going on. My sense is that we end up with a position where Nauvoo is preparatory for a less mediated encounter while Kirtland literally is the less mediated encounter. That is, in a certain way Kirtland is very much more of an endowment than Nauvoo and Utah temples are. Put in other terms Kirtland has less development than Nauvoo but more open presentation of what in Utah becomes the second anointing.

    In Nauvoo you have a splitting but also more of a development of the ritual utilizing masonry and perhaps medieval Adam or everyman plays. And this ritual utilizing aspects of masonry recreates the much earlier merkabah tradition of Judaism. (Although it is possible there was some exposure to such traditions in Nauvoo depending upon what you think was available in the teaching of Hebrew there – I’m much more skeptical of direct Kabbalistic influence even if the Kaballistic/Merkabah parallels are undeniably there)

    So I think it’s useful, as you’ve done so well, to split up discussions of the ritualistic aspects of these endowments from the question of what is endowed theologically.

  11. Very interesting comparison JKC. I think you have a good point. From my own experience, though too personal to go into here, the sacrament can bring us into the Lord’s presence through the promise in the sacrament prayer of having His Spirit to be with us. I don’t think it’s insignificant that it mentions HIS Spirit. Interesting that the order seems reversed, but makes sense if looked at as the Nauvoo Endowment coming after Kirtland to hearken back to the literal endowment of power through the Pentecost the saints experienced there. Scripture seems to be pretty right-brained anyway.

  12. Clark Goble says:

    A lot of people take the sacrament as a renewing not just of baptismal covenants but of all covenants and thus a re-inscribing of our endowments and washings in a perhaps stronger fashion than merely returning to the temple for the dead does.

  13. Yes, you can find a whole host of quotes from church leaders saying that–that partaking of the sacrament renews all covenants, including temple covenants. And I think that is consistent with the language of the prayers, which witnesses broadly a willingness to “keep his commandments which he has given them,” rather than reference a specific covenant.

  14. Eucharist comes from the Greek word eucharistia which means thanksgiving. The Eucharistic prayer in which the bread and wine are consecrated to become the body and blood of Jesus contains the giving of thanks to the Father. It is an offering to the Father, not to Jesus, who offered himself as atonement to God. The atonement is a gift from God, and by celebrating the Eucharist, we give thanks to the greatest of God’s gifts by offering an unbloody sacrifice.

    When Jesus instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice, there is a set sequence of actions:

    1. He took the bread
    2. Then He gave thanks to God
    3. Then He broke the bread
    4. Then finally, he gave it to his disciples saying “This is my body”

    Even after the Resurrection, the sequence never changes. See Matthew 26:26-27, Mark 14:22-23, Luke 22:19-20 and compare with Luke 24:30, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26. You have multiple attestations from Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Paul that the ritual as instituted by Jesus to remember his passion and death was meant to remain unchanged after his resurrection.

    Because the Eucharist is a sacrifice offered to God, it is performed on a high altar. That’s right, it is done on an altar. And that altar is not a dining table.

    Around AD 96, St. Clement who was at that time Bishop of Rome wrote an epistle to the Church in Corinth describing the offering of sacrifices and those authorized to administer it:

    “These things therefore being manifest to us, and since we look into the depths of the divine knowledge, it behooves us to do all things in [their proper] order, which the Lord has commanded us to perform at stated times. He has enjoined offerings [to be presented] and service to be performed [to Him], and that not thoughtlessly or irregularly, but at the appointed times and hours. Where and by whom He desires these things to be done, He Himself has fixed by His own supreme will, in order that all things, being piously done according to His good pleasure, may be acceptable unto Him. Those, therefore, who present their offerings at the appointed times, are accepted and blessed; for inasmuch as they follow the laws of the Lord, they sin not. For his own peculiar services are assigned to the high priest, and their own proper place is prescribed to the priests, and their own special ministrations devolve on the Levites. The layman is bound by the laws that pertain to laymen.” (“First Corinthians” chap. 40)

    According to St. Clement, the Lord himself appointed the times by which the sacrifices were to be done, and those who follow it commit no sin. He also mentions a threefold hierarchy of men consisting of the high priest, priests, and Levites with their respective services, as well as laws pertaining to the lay people. Those OT offices are names for the Bishop, Priests, and Deacons in the NT Church. In other words, there is an order of clerics appointed to offer the Eucharist which is a class of men distinct from lay people. This is how the Church celebrated the Eucharist around 30-35 years after the death of the apostles Peter and Paul. This is still the way it’s done in the Catholic Church after 2,000 years.

    In contrast:

    1. Thanksgiving is not a core fundamental in the Endowment.
    2. There is an altar in the Endowment, but no sacrifice is offered on it.
    3. The sacramental prayers and ritual from Nephi do not resemble the one recorded by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Paul.
    4. Those who administer the LDS sacrament, mostly teenagers, are not a class apart from lay people.

  15. This series of posts is not comparing the LDS endowment to the Catholic Eucharist. Rather, it is comparing the Nauvoo Endowment to the Kirtland Endowment and arguing that one perhaps overlooked but critical characteristic of the Nauvoo Endowment is that it can — if we recognize the signals and symbols — draw our minds to the endowment of power at Kirtland. In other words, if we allow it, the current LDS endowment ceremony can help us always bear in remembrance the endowment of power at Kirtland.

    This is similar to how the celebration of the eucharist (as a general category, whether in the form of the LDS sacrament or the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper as celebrated in other Christian denominations) helps us to always bear in remembrance the Last Supper and, more specifically, the Atonement.

  16. Therefore, I have been misled by the title of this series…. :-)

    Since the Eucharist is a very minor aspect of this presentation, perhaps a more accurate title would have prevented the confusion. After all, if what is being compared are two Mormon rituals from different time periods, then why not “Comparing the Endowment: Kirtland versus Nauvoo”?

    The purpose of the Eucharist and the purpose of the Endowment are too disimilar to be even mentiioned side by side. The Eucharist, being the very body and blood of Jesus, is meant to feed the Christian soul and establish union with God (John 6:55-57). When the Christian eats the very body and blood of Christ, that act is how he “remembers Jesus”. Consuming mere symbols of his flesh and blood will not accomplish that because the Lord demands exactness in the ritual. In the Last Supper, as Jesus gave his disciples bread, he said, “this is my body”. Either it is his body as he clearly stated, or it is not. There is no middle ground for ambiguity or nuance laced language.

    The Mormon endoment cannot supplant the Eucharist because it is not only inferior in purpose, it is historically and doctrinally questionable in several aspects. As one commenter has said, its connectiion with freemasonry is so obvious. In fact, freemasons themselves have cried plagiarism. And anyone familiar with the history of freemasonry in 17th century Europe should see that its aim is the destruction of the Catholic Church. Until the 1990s, this anti-catholicism was still present in the Mormon endowment ritual. (eg: those “popes and priests who will rule with blood and horror on this earth” and the “Orthodox minister” who acts as a minion of Satan). Now the author of this series may not be aware of these inconvenient facts, therefore it is but proper to point them out. Charity and truth go hand in hand.

    To sum: the Catholic Eucharist and the Mormon endowment come from mutually exclusive philosophical grounds. They do not complement each other at all. Even as a tangential subject matter in this presentation, the Eucharist has clearly nothing to do with it.