Adam has raised an interesting point about preparation for prayer, which reminded me of a question I’ve wondered about for a while: why do we bless our food?
We are commanded to recognize the Lord’s hand in all things (D&C 49:21), and a prayer of thanks for our food is an obvious way to do so, so I don’t wonder why we begin our meals with prayer. Instead I wonder why we almost universally speak of that prayer as a “blessing on the food” (rather than a prayer of thanks) and why we feel that words of blessing on the food are a necessary part of such prayers. Is this a custom whose origins are lost in our history? Is it an artefact of the New England origins of so many early converts? Something remaining from a time when unrefrigerated food was more dangerous than it is today?