Did the Nephites have access to the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer?
LDS sacramental prayers seem to be influenced by the Episcopal Eucharistic Prayer, Rite I, both
Eucharistic prayer I and II, ("And we most humbly beseech thee, O merciful Father..., to bless and sanctify
these gifts of bread and wine, that they may be unto us the Body and Blood of thy dearly beloved Son Jesus
Christ." or "And we most humbly beseech thee, O merciful Father..., to bless and sanctify ... thy gifts
and creatures of bread and wine, receiving them according to thy Son our Savior Jesus Christ's holy institution, in
remembrance of his death...") These prayers (1789) pre-date the publication of the Book of Mormon, and were
obviously not available at 400AD in America.
Another more subtle tie back to the Church of England is in the nature of the sacrament. Bishop R. Heber (1783-1826) of the Church of England lived in the years just before Joseph Smith established the LDS church. Bishop Heber wrote a verse that was set to music by others including Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958). In this hymn, the LDS concept of the sacrament is stated in the last two lines. The first part reflects a more orthodox understanding of this sacrament that the LDS community once also shared with much of Christianity:
Bread of the world in mercy broken,
Wine of the soul in mercy shed,
By whom the words of life were spoken,
And in whose Death our sins are dead;
Look on the heart by sorrow broken,
Look on the tears by sinners shed, And be thy feast to us a token
That by thy grace our souls are fed!
"God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee, in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread/wine to the souls of all who partake/drink of it..." (Moroni 4:3, 5:2)
LDS scriptures to this day refer to the sacrament as "the flesh and blood of Christ" (Moroni 4:1, 3 Nephi 18:29, 20:8) although some LDS hymns clearly show that the bread and wine (now water) are only emblems of the body and blood of Christ as does hymn #173/4, While of These Emblems We Partake by John Nicholson, (1839-1909). Hymn #176 'Tis Sweet to Sing the Matchless Love contains the phrase, "Tis good to meet each Sabbath day and ... partake the emblems of his death, and thus renew our love and faith". This hymn also presents to us the concept of the renewal nature of this sacrament in the LDS tradition.
The oldest of LDS hymns speak of the body and blood of Christ. O God, the Eternal Father by William W. Phelps (1792-1872) was in the first LDS hymnal and states:
That sacred, holy offering,
By man least understood,
To have our sins remitted
And take his flesh and blood,
This Catholic concept of having our sins remitted through participating in this sacrament is echoed in the early LDS hymn #178 O Lord of Hosts by Andrew Dalrymple (b.1817) in which he writes, "May we forever think of thee and of thy sufferings sore, To cleanse our hearts while we partake the broken bread and wine.