i hate how lds culture has this obsession lately with finding symbolism in
everything. i think people think that the more symbolic they can make
something, the more meaningful and spiritually uplifting it can become.
while i think there is place for symbolism in the temple ceremonies,
i really think this is inappropriate for the sacramental ordinance. the
sacrament has two symbols. the bread is symbolic of Christ’s body. the
water is symbolic of Christ’s blood. that is it. those are the only
symbols we need, and those are the only symbols we should have. anything
else dilutes the simple but paramount meaning of the ordinance.
this summer some guy in my elder’s quorum was apparently looked at as the
source for “deep” doctrine. one of our lessons was about the sacrament, so
the teacher had him come up to the front and share with us a list of the
symbols he could find in the ordinance. he went through this list of
around 50 inane things like the four corners of the sacramental table
symbolizing the gospel encompassing the four corners of the earth and the
white shirts of the priests symbolizing the purity of Christ the high
priest. everyone seemed impressed, but all i could think of was that next
time all of those people were taking part in the ordinance, they would be
trying to find all of these symbols instead of contemplating their
personal covenants with Christ, which is the only thing we should be
thinking about during that time. the first principles and ordinances of
the gospel are not esoteric, and we should not try to make them that way.