Water used in sacrament in remembrance of sacrifice

The circumstances under which Joseph Smith received the revelation in Section 27 concerning the sacrament were related as follows:

"Early in the month of August [1830T Newel Knight and his wife paid us a visit at my place in Harmony, Pennsylvania; and as neither his wife nor mine had been as yet confirmed, it was proposed that we should confirm them, and partake together of the Sacrament before he and his wife should leave us. In order to prepare for this I set out to procure some wine for the occasion, but had gone only a short distance when I was met by a heavenly messenger, and received the following revelation, the first four paragraphs of which were written at this time, and the remainder in the September following." (History of the Church 1:106.)President Joseph Fielding Smith explained:

"This heavenly messenger told Joseph Smith that it mattered not what should be used for the sacrament, and he was not to purchase wine or strong drink from his enemies. The reason for this is obvious, for the Prophet had many enemies.

"However, this reason went farther than merely protection against his enemies, for it was a caution against evil and designing persons who would adulterate these things. (See Word of Wisdom, Section 89.) Joseph Smith was also told that wine should not be used for the sacrament unless it was made by the Saints and should be had new among them.

"While the Church did not adopt the custom of using water exclusively in the sacrament at that early time, yet it was from this time that water was used as a substitute for wine, which had been used principally because of its resemblance to blood. Today throughout the Church water is used in the sacrament in remembrance of the blood of Jesus Christ which was shed for the remission of sins in behalf of all who repent and accept the Gospel." (Church History and Modern Revelation 1:132.)

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