I’ve managed to patch things up a bit recently with my family. Recently I went on holiday with the family and Mr. Molly. One of the things we were both concerned about was Sunday, when the family would have their own brief church meeting. I do not know if any of my family members know that I am no longer a member of the LDS church and so in their view should not take the sacrament. Mr. Molly is a Nevermo, so he excused himself to take a walk whilst the rest of the family met. I stayed because it was the politically appropriate thing to do.
I was asked to lead the music, which I felt comfortable doing. After the ranking male priesthood member started the meeting several younger family members were asked to bear their testimonies. This is something that’s always bothered me because assigning someone to bear a testimony violates the idea that testimonies should be voluntary and impromptu, given if and when the person feels it is appropriate. One family member still living with her parents is a closeted mentally ex-Mormon. I struggled with two conflicting emotions as I listened to her testimony sharing her gratitude for the men in her life who had the priesthood. On one hand, she was saying all the right words and the older family members were genuinely moved. On the other, she was talking absolute rubbish. I told her later that if it didn’t sound too cynical, I was very impressed by her acting ability. She thanked me heartily and reiterated her wish to move out as soon as she was old enough so she could stop pretending to believe.
A moment of great relief came when the bishop leading our family meeting informed us that Salt Lake has recently decreed that it is no longer permissible for the sacrament to be administered at private gatherings of family or friends. Sacrament may now only be administered during a regulation LDS Sacrament meeting. Until now, it was the norm for families to administer their own sacrament if they were away on holiday or somehow unable to be at church on a Sunday. I watched the faces of my family very carefully when this information was conveyed. The look on each face was a mixture of surprise, sadness, and submission.
I have a few questions for members, former members and non-members:
Do you feel that this change is doctrinal?
Do you feel that this change is appropriate?
Do you feel that this change was necessary?
Why do you think this change was made?
Do you think this change was made to discourage LDS people from being away from chapels on Sundays?
If anyone has more detailed information on this policy, such as whether or not it applies to Sacrament administered privately to those who are infirm and unable to come to church, I would be interested to know that as well.