12 Comments

  1. I always say, I want to be a right handed sheep!
    I believe there is a great significance in that our whole gospel “walk” or path of progression begins with a covenant!

  2. One of my favorite hymns in the Church – “How Firm a Foundation” always reminds me of the POWER of the use of the RIGHT hand. It is our covenant hand, and those who stay true to God, are sustained by Him, through the power of covenants.

    My favorite verse in that song, is the third…

    “Fear not, I am with thee, oh be not dismayed,
    For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid.
    I’ll strengthen thee, help thee and cause thee to stand,
    Upheld by my RIGHTeous, upheld by my RIGHTeous,
    Upheld by my RIGHTeous, omnipotent HAND!”

    Scriptural references for this song are –
    Isaiah 41:10, Isa. 43:2–5
    Helaman 5:12

    How grateful we should be, to have the privilege to raise and use our right hand, through so many experiences, of our active membership in His Church.

    tDMg
    Kathryn Skaggs

  3. Handel

    I use my right hand in all the things we do in the Church that entails the use of the right hand, but even if I’m a left-handed person, there was a never a time as a member that I was looked upon negatively for not being “covenant handed”. In fact, when I was called to be part of our ward leadership, none of the other leaders never made a comment, nothing at all about it.

    Thank you Samuel for that wonderful comment–it makes me more happy to know how accommodating and understanding the gospel of Jesus Christ can be. I needed that.

  4. I must admit, when I read this article, I never once thought it had anything to do with the issue of whether a person is either right-handed, or left-handed – physically. It is the use of the RIGHT hand, as the “symbol” for/and of making a covenant with God. It is a representation of His Promises and Power, for those who are true and faithful.

    tDMg
    Kathryn Skaggs

  5. Gen. 48:14; And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraim’s head, who was the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh’s head, guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh was the firstborn.

    I’m willing to accept whatever the Prohet says, he obviously has more knowledge than I, but i’m confused. Someone help clarify for me, Israel placed his left hand on Manasseh, for Manasseh was the firstborn. In my limited understanding of the Gospel, I would think that the firstborn, or birthright son would receive the blessing under the right hand. Any insights? Was there perhaps a time that the left hand was the “covenant” hand?

  6. Dan,

    Israel knew what he was doing in placing his hands, for he did so “wittingly.” Sometimes the birthright is forfeited by the firstborn or birthright son and given to another. The right hand was still Israel’s “covenant hand,” and it was placed on Ephraim because he was to receive the greater blessings. John Taylor once explained this:

    We have another instance of this kind in Reuben, the eldest of the twelve sons of Jacob. We find that the birthright passed from him. He committed a transgression which offended the Lord and offended his father, and it was of such a character that it could not be passed over with impunity; and the birthright was taken from him and given to the sons of Joseph. We find it explained in Chronicles, that because Reuben defiled his father’s bed, the birthright was taken from him and given to the sons of Joseph; and the Priesthood was reckoned after that lineage, though Judah prevailed above his brethren to this extent, that through him came the Chief Ruler of Israel, while unto Ephraim, the son of Joseph, was given the keys of the Priesthood—or those rights that apply to the birthright. Of the two sons of Joseph—Ephraim and Manassah, the Lord said, Manassah shall be great, but Ephraim shall be greater than he; and he shall become a multitude in the earth. And when the patriarch was blessing Joseph’s two sons, though he was blind, he was careful to cross his hands in blessing the boys. Joseph observing what his father was doing, informed him that he was putting his right hand on the head of the younger boy, but the old man replied, I know it, my son. The Spirit of the Lord prompted him to do as he did—to confer the greater blessing upon Ephraim, the younger brother. It was for this reason that God spake through the mouth of Jeremiah concerning the gathering of Israel: “I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.” That is according to his purposes. He acknowledged and re-confirmed this birthright upon Ephraim the younger of the two sons of Joseph, when he referred to the dispensation of the fullness of times and the ushering in of its great work—when the Lord should set his hand to gather His people, and be a father to Israel, even to Ephraim His firstborn. (John Taylor, JD, vol. 21, “The Order and Duties of the Priesthood, Etc.”)

  7. jose

    In the Islam world, the right hand is considered clean and used to eat, etc. whereas the left hand is reserved for unclean tasks such as blowing noise and restroom duties.

    In the LDS Church, both hands are used to make covenants, so isn’t there power in both hands?

  8. Yes, both hands are used in gospel ordinances, however, as explained by President Smith, the right hand “has been used, in preference to the left hand, in officiating in sacred ordinances where only one hand is used” (see his quote in the post above). So there is something more to the right hand than the left.

  9. Gonzalo Sanchez

    Great blog, I ran into it by trying to research more about the similarity between raising your right hand (like when baptizing someone) and the sign of the dove….by looking at the fascimile 2 no 7 it seems like the sign of the dove is actually raising you right arm and hand in form of square…btw for those who will mentioned about the fascimile not being interpreted by JS correctly (I know he did it right)….any comments would be great appreciate it.

    Thanks

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