There are considerable differences in some beliefs between Catholic and Protestant churches on one hand, and the Mormon church on another hand.

One of these is the belief in Trinity due to which, according to the answers to this question and this question, Lutheran/Protestant churches do not view Mormons as Christian. Another difference is the symbols used with the communion, being that Mormons use water instead of wine (as is explained in the answers to this question).

Now considering some more exceptional situation, such as when serving in U.S. military during a war, as in the book cover shown below, would Mormons accept communion from military chaplains that may not be Mormons?

Or would a Mormon in this case not participate in the communion, or have the communion on their own (or possibly request a Mormon chaplain)?

Book cover: Preachers Present Arms, by Ray Abrams


6 Answers 6


A better answer would come from an actual LDS war veteran, but I would imagine that a Mormon in the military may participate in an available ceremony as a symbol of friendship, unity, and support with the rest his regiment. Although they may participate, Latter-day Saints maintain that ordinances are only authorized when exercised by the Priesthood of God, which is had His Church only (the LDS Church). That's not to say the ceremony by the non-LDS chaplain is not beneficial to the Latter-day Saint—it still provides him a blessed opportunity to worship with other Christians who share the same fundamental beliefs—it just is not binding in heaven. In fact, I think any decent member of the LDS Church would encourage, not disparage, participation in available Christian worship services.

You can find out more about the LDS Church and military relations on its website: https://www.lds.org/callings/military-relations/organization-leader-responsibilites?lang=eng and https://www.lds.org/callings/military-relations/military-chaplains?lang=eng. There's nothing particularly quotable but it should give good background. I think the point is that this is up to the individual member's conscience. Other questions and answers on this site go into detail about the Priesthood authority necessary for ordinances to be valid in heaven.

As an aside (that may or may not be relevant), I have personally met and informally interviewed a Latter-day Saint astronaut who commanded a couple Shuttle missions. I asked about how he worships in space. Even he, a Priesthood holder, needed to obtain authorization from his local Priesthood leader (bishop or stake president) before the mission to be able to administer the Sacrament if the opportunity arose. Of course, this was done privately in the extremely limited personal time allotted. But the point is, the administration of ordinances that are considered officially valid before the Lord is well organized, even... in space.

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    One thing to note is that they wouldn't drink wine, even as part of another Church's sacrament/communion. Commented Nov 27, 2017 at 4:15
  • 2
    @PyRulez Oh yes, that's true. A Mormon would, however, accept grape juice. :)
    – Matt
    Commented Nov 27, 2017 at 15:19

Now considering some more exceptional situation, such as when serving in U.S. military during a war, as in the book cover shown below, would Mormons accept the sacraments from military chaplains that may not be Mormons?


5 We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.

-- The Articles of Faith, emphasis added

It is a fundamental tenet of Mormonism that the church that Christ organized fell into apostasy and had to be restored, and that among the things that were lost was the Priesthood authority which is necessary to perform the ordinances that pertain to the Gospel. Anybody who has not been properly ordained to the restored Priesthood, therefore, cannot perform such ordinances with any validity, according to LDS doctrine.

Or would a Mormon in this case not participate in the sacrament, or have the sacrament on their own (or possibly request a Mormon chaplain)?

On the lds.org website, we can find official practices and instruction for preparation for military service. Certain soldiers are called and set apart, as in other Church callings, to act as "Service Member Group Leaders," who are not military chaplains but are authorized to organize and lead LDS meetings, see to the spiritual needs of other Mormon soldiers, and preside over the administration of ordinances such as the sacrament.

  • I think most Mormons would disagree. They believe that even if ordinances in other religions don't have full " priesthood authority", they are still invaluable in helping people come closer to God. LDS leaders applaud other churches for their devotions and ceremonies to God, even if there are disagreements in principle or doctrine. It depends on the Mormon in question, but I think most are happy to participate in the rites of other religions.
    – Derek718
    Commented Nov 27, 2017 at 6:08
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    I cannot comment on most Mormons, but as a life-long member having lived and served in many places in North America, I think I can comment that most knowledgeable members would not disagree. We are more than willing to sit in with other religious observances (and cheerfully support people in their godly devotions), but not participate, which is an entirely different thing.
    – Dúthomhas
    Commented Nov 27, 2017 at 7:29

Life long member of a multi generational family in the LDS Church. I have attended other religious meetings and even attended a First Communion while serving a mission. Without going into a lot of detail here, many of the answers given with the related citations are correct. A devout Mormon that understands the teachings of the Church regarding Priesthood Authority and the Atonement of Christ would not participate in the taking of sacrament or Communion that was administered by someone that wasn't a member of the of the LDS Church. Said member must also be in good standing and ordained to the office of Priest or higher.

If you are member of the LDS church and male there is a high likelihood that you yourself are an ordained Priest and if no one else was available you could administer the sacrament to yourself. My grandfather served in the US Army during WWII. My 2nd oldest son is in the US Marine Corps.

Additionally the the Church Military Relations department has Senior Missionaries (think older retired couples) serving at US Military Bases. All of these missionaries under the Military Relations department are also retired Military and so have experience both in the military and in the LDS Church. The Military Relations department can assist service members or their families in locating other LDS even when aboard a ship or deployed to a remote base.

  • I wanted to add that in the LDS Church the taking of bread and water is called the Sacrament (I am aware that other Christian faiths have multiple sacraments) In the LDS Church we have multiple Ordinances of which the Sacrament is one. The meeting on Sunday is also called Sacrament Meeting. The LDS Sacrament is also a renewing of covenants made at Baptism.
    – DRT
    Commented Nov 27, 2017 at 20:19

As a member of the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints, or better known as "mormons", here is the correct answer. And I say correct because you can confirm this with any member of the church, from a 16 yr old priest to the president of the church.

We cannot participate in the communion if it's administered by a person from any other religion, and the reason for that is authority.

When Jesus Christ restored his church through the prophet Joseph Smith, other very important aspect restored was his authority, the priesthood, this happened when John the Baptist as well as Peter, James, and John appeared as resurrected beings to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery.

John the Baptist restored the Aaronic priesthood, and with this, the authority to perform baptisms and bless the bread and the water.

The three Apostles of Jesus Christ layed their hands upon their heads and conferred the Melchisedeq priesthood and with this, the authority to perform the confirmation and other necessary ordinances performed in the temple.

Whith all this, now the authority of God to act in his name for the salvation of his children was again upon the earth.

Then Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in turn conferred this authority to others and these others to some more through generations until this day thus having a chain of authority from Jesus Christ to his original 12 Apostles and from 3 of the Apostles to Joseph Smith, and from Joseph Smith to other people and so forth.

So, any worthy member of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints that possesses this authority, the Aaronic priesthood and has been ordained in the office of "priest", can bless the water and the bread for other members to partake.

But, no other person in any other religion possesses this authority, because to have it, they should have been baptized and confirmed with the proper authority as restored by Jesus Christ.

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    No 14-year-olds in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are priests. Commented Nov 27, 2017 at 16:43
  • 1
    Ordination to Deacon is normally done to young men at 12 years old, Teacher at 14, and Priest at 16.
    – Derek
    Commented Nov 27, 2017 at 17:54
  • You are right, I changed that.
    – m4l490n
    Commented Nov 27, 2017 at 21:40

There are several ways to look at this question.

A. Does the LDS Church believe the Sacrament (the "sacrament of communion" or the Eucharist) when administered by another church or Christian tradition is authoritative?

No. We do not.

We believe that "a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof." (LDS AoF #5). Without that authority, the Sacrament is not acceptable before the Lord (Jer 6:18-20).1 This belief is supported by the Apostle Paul:

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.2 (Rom 13:1-2, see also Heb 5:1-4)

We believe John the Baptist had the proper authority by lineage to be a priest within the Aaronic Priesthood:

Son of Zacharias and Elisabeth, being of priestly descent through both parents. This lineage was essential, since John was the embodiment of the law of Moses, designed to prepare the way for the Messiah and make ready a people to receive Him. He was the outstanding bearer of the Aaronic Priesthood in all history and was entrusted with its most noble mission. (Source, see also D&C 84:28)

Therefore, we do not accept the authenticity of ordinances by anyone not ordained by those who have the authority to the Aaronic or Melchizedek priesthoods.

But that's very different than...

B. Does the LDS Church teach its members to refuse participation in the Sacrament (the "sacrament of communion" or the Eucharist) when administered by another church or Christioan tradition?

There is no Church teaching that I am aware of, or can find in rapid research, that teaches that a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints should not accept a sacramental offering (from the LDS perspective) administered by an officiator of another church.

The idea that we would act with such incivility and rudness is (or, at least, should be) anathema to us. We delight in every opportunity to teach others about our faith, but we should never persecute another for their faith. The Lord taught:

And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea. (Mark 9:42)

And again:

And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us. (Luke 9:50)

Regrettably, those ideals are applicable to the Church and its membership generally and not individually. We do not believe that people are perfect or saved simply because they join the Church, and there are members who behave less than admirably.

Nevertheless, there are reasons why it would be appropriate and valuable for an LDS member to support the solidarity of a group in crisis. What value could there be in creating ill will, dissent, or anger when the next moment a battle will begin or the group must steel itself before rescue? The Lord taught that we should agree with our adversaries quickly, lest the resulting disunity3 do more harm than good (Matt 5:25) And He ultimately taught that we should love even our enemies, blessing those who hate our Church, and praying for those who would persecute us. (Matt 5:44)


There is nothing that I know of, nor anything that I believe, that would suggest an LDS member should not participate in the Sacrament as provided by another officiator in the circumstances you suggest. On the contrary, the teachings of Jesus Christ are that we should be supportive and consider the needs of the many before our own selfish desires,4 always acting within the law that Christ has taught us,5 that our good example may grant us opportunity to teach Christ all the more. (1 Cor 9:19-22)

(While I have not been in a crisis situation, I have been invited by friends to attend their church services, where I politely participated in their ordinances and suspect the Lord was delighted with their effort to grow closer to Him and my willingness to let a sleeping dog lie for a greater good. Thus, I do not believe I was in error in any way and the courtesy was returned when they visited my church.)

And though it is true that we do not accept the officiator's authority, we should never act to bring anger, hate, or distrust among a group that must depend on one another (or ever, frankly).

I am grateful for a simple quote from Victor Hugo.

Certain thoughts are prayers. There are moments when, whatever be the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees.

There really are no atheists in foxholes. When the pressure's on, all men seek for salvation.

1That verse from Jeremiah, from the perspective of LDS theology, supports the idea that without proper authority the ordinances performed are not acceptable to the Lord. This is due in part to D&C 131:7 which teaches that when any priesthood holder is wicked, "behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man." Said another way, to the Lord it doesn't matter if you had the priesthood and are in sin, or didn't have the priesthood at all. The consequence is the same: the ordinance goes unrecognized.

2I'm obviously viewing this verse through the lenses of LDS theology. Whether or not ours is the true authority of God is a discussion not within the scope of this answer.

3I consider being thrown into prison an obvious sign of disunity and to be more harmful than good both theologically and physically. I'm just sayin'.

4Yup, I'm a Star Trek fan.

5As mentioned by others, we wouldn't drink the wine, but would ask for an alternative.


It is a fundamental doctrine of the Latter Day Saints (Mormons) that all other churches are 'corrupt', by which they mean no longer teaching the truth about God or following his commands. As such other churches have no authority with regard to sacrements or anything else, nor any effectiveness regarding sacrements. Taking sacrements from other clergy would not be seen as any kind of benefit. That's not to say that nobody did it, but not with the sanction of the church.

  • I think most Mormons would disagree. Even if ordinances in other religions don't have full "authority", they are still invaluable in helping people come closer to God. LDS leaders applaud other churches for their devotions and ceremonies to God, even if there are disagreements in principle or doctrine. It depends on the Mormon in question, but I think most are happy to participate in the rites of other religions.
    – Derek718
    Commented Nov 27, 2017 at 6:04
  • While I disagree with the general structure of this answer, I will again respond to Derek718’s commentary the same as his identical comment to Mason Wheeler’s answer: applauding and supporting other people in their efforts to draw close to God does not equate to participating in another religion’s sacraments.
    – Dúthomhas
    Commented Nov 27, 2017 at 7:33
  • Interesting comments, given that I am saying exactly the same as Mason Wheeler is. Commented Nov 27, 2017 at 14:07

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