Can anyone explain to me why the LDS/Mormons continue to baptize the dead??? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 104 Old 04-10-2004, 06:51 PM - Thread Starter
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After they have been told not to?! I don't understand this at all.

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SALT LAKE CITY - Researchers say that Mormons have continued to posthumously baptize Jewish Holocaust victims into their faith despite a promise to discontinue the practice.

"We are very hopeful that we will be able to convince the church to stop," Ernest Michel, chairman of the New York-based World Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, said Friday. If not, Michel said, his group will consider other options, "possibly legal steps."
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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has long collected names from government documents and other records worldwide for posthumous baptisms. Church members stand in to be baptized in the names of the deceased non-Mormons, a ritual the church says is required for them to reach heaven.

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In 1995, the Mormon church acceded to demands by Jewish leaders that the denomination stop posthumously baptizing Jews. But Helen Radkey, a Salt Lake City researcher, said on Friday that the process still hasn't ended.

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=stor...ing_the_dead_2
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#2 of 104 Old 04-10-2004, 07:06 PM
 
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That is so disrespectful!

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#3 of 104 Old 04-10-2004, 07:16 PM
 
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That was one of my biggest problems with the Morman faith. On top of it all, they have twelve year old girls do baptisms for the dead.

Where is the shudder smilie?

Anyway, I was coersed at a age of twelve to do this and it has haunted me all my life.

It is so disrespectful.
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#4 of 104 Old 04-10-2004, 07:17 PM
 
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That is soo wrong...

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#6 of 104 Old 04-10-2004, 08:26 PM
 
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That is horrible and very disrespectful!
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#7 of 104 Old 04-10-2004, 09:16 PM
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Going on tiptoe into this thread..... (where's the tiptoe icon??!)

I grew up Mormon, but I don't really consider myself LDS anymore. Your question comes across as a little confusing........there are two different issues here, I think.

First of all, baptisms for the dead, and secondly, baptisms for the dead of a group of people (Jews) who have asked specifically to be excluded from the practice.

I agree that the second issue is disrespectful, but that the first issue, although a little creepy to "outsiders," is perfectly within their rights. USUALLY, people find ancestors within their own lines who weren't baptized, and they submit those names to be baptized posthumously, because "of course" Great-Grandpa, or whoever, would want to be baptized once he learns the "truth" in heaven.

I'm not trying to be sarcastic, or offend anyone on either side. And yes, I know first-hand about baptisms for the dead because I, like Zaq001, was involved with them at the age of 12. It didn't haunt me for life, though.

It's also my understanding that other temple ceremonies are performed posthumously, as well, although I wasn't ever involved in other ceremonies for the dead.

Anyway, no one was really addressing your question, so I thought I would, at least to some extent.

(And I think that this thread should be moved to Spirituality)

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#8 of 104 Old 04-10-2004, 09:26 PM
 
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I did not grow up LDS, but my neighbors were LDS, and I got to know them at a time of my life when I was busy investigating religion in general.

It is my understanding that LDS, being very family oriented, believe that the family unit extends beyond this lifetime and in baptizing those who passed on to the afterlife before Joseph Smith, they are able to continue the family unit to all of their ancestors who did not have the chance to be baptized under the auspices of the LDS.

I do believe that this does not mean any disrespect to other religions. It is a religious practice, so I think they should be able to continue.

You would not want the LDS to ask you or your religion to discontinue a particular part of your religion would you?

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#9 of 104 Old 04-10-2004, 09:30 PM
 
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As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints I also find it disrespectful that individual members of the church have continued to collect names of Holocaust Jews when expressly told not to. Those that have continued to do so since 1995 are very misguided and clearly do not understand or take seriously the church leadership's position on the issue.

I take exception, though, to the idea that this is something the Church organization (as in "the Mormons" or "the Latter-day Saints') advocates. It is not, and the 1995 statement they issued still stands. Since submission of names for proxy baptism is voluntary and not carefully monitored (obviously, the church leadership didn't realize that individuals would disregard the statement), unless brought to their attention, they would not know that the names were those of Holocaust Jews. I imagine that church leaders are taking steps to monitor the process more closely since their goal is definitely not to offend.

If anyone is interested in the practice, they can read briefly here http://www.mormon.org/learn/0,8672,1300-1,00.html As you see, the main purpose is for people to search out their *own* family history and genealogy, not random groups of deceased people. And rules apply here as well (like having permission from the nearest living relative).

To Zaq001, you clearly had a bad experience, and I'm really sorry for that, but I wasn't sure if you have a problem with 12-year-old girls being a part of religious ordinances in general or if specific individuals in your situation caused you to feel creeped out. I've done proxy baptisms myself (btw, any LDS person can do them, but they can be no younger than 12) but my experience was very positive. And I'm sorry that you felt coerced by anyone because there is no place for that in one's religious observance. In my practice of the LDS faith, freedom of choice and agency are paramount. But I'm sure that there are those who don't understand that core doctrine.

In case others wonder about the ordinance itself, it's identical to the baptism LDS and other Christians perform with living people--a person is completely immersed in water while the person doing the baptizing utters a prayer affirming that it is being done in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

And of course, I understand that some people here will think that the practice of proxy baptism is disrespectful no matter what. In the past we've talked about missionaries and proselyting and many people did not agree with that either. But these are things we hold sacred. And I know, however, that the Church wants to carry them out in the most respectful manner possible.
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If they are only doing it to/for other Mormons fine but they should not disrespect other peoples' religion by doing it to them. In respecting their rights to their religion you can not take away someone elses' rights to theirs or their right to not be religious as well.

OUR DAUGHTERS ARE PROTECTED SHOULDN'T OUR SONS BE TOO! :
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#11 of 104 Old 04-10-2004, 09:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sheacoby
If they are only doing it to/for other Mormons fine but they should not disrespect other peoples' religion by doing it to them. In respecting their rights to their religion you can not take away someone elses' rights to theirs or their right to not be religious as well.

Exactly my thought.... Well said...

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#12 of 104 Old 04-10-2004, 10:37 PM
 
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How can they continue to do this? Complete and total disrespect and disregard of the validity of any other faith, that's how.

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I do believe that this does not mean any disrespect to other religions. It is a religious practice, so I think they should be able to continue.
Just because their intent is not to be disrespectful doesn't mean the chosen action isn't disrespectful in its results. To give two examples: My sister didn't intend to slice our brother's head open when she threw the bleach bottle piggy bank, but he still needed the stitches! Drunk drivers don't intend to cause fatal accidents, but the victims are still just as dead.

Intent is meaningless when the result is harm. The harm is just as real regardless of the stated intent.

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You would not want the LDS to ask you or your religion to discontinue a particular part of your religion would you?
Oh yes I would, IF I was doing something that twisted some practice of theirs while claiming it to be the same.... If I was unknowingly doing something that profoundly insulted someone's religion, I most certainly would want to know so that I could cease and desist. But then I am ethical that way....apparently unlike the Mormons continuing to do this after being informed and requested to stop.

And I don't buy the concept of the leadership not knowing. What are they doing if not paying attention to what their followers are doing in the religion's name? With the position goes the responsibility. If they can't take the responsibility then maybe they should surrender the positions to those as will?

"What will you do once you know?"
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#13 of 104 Old 04-10-2004, 10:47 PM
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TECHNICALLY, it's always done for/to someone who wasn't Mormon in this lifetime. (Using the great-Grandpa example, perhaps he never heard of the church, so didn't have a chance to "accept" or "reject" it for himself on Earth.)

The assumption is that Great-Grandpa is in heaven, wanting to be LDS, but needing someone on Earth to perform the ceremony (baptism) for him. Which doesn't make much sense to me now, but I really bought into it when I was 12.

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#14 of 104 Old 04-10-2004, 10:52 PM
 
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Intent is meaningless when the result is harm. The harm is just as real regardless of the stated intent.
While I agree that it is kinda wacky, where is the harm? Who is really being *harmed*?
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#15 of 104 Old 04-10-2004, 10:53 PM
 
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Moving this to Spirituality...
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#16 of 104 Old 04-10-2004, 10:58 PM
 
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Don't they believe there is no way for these souls to go to heaven otherwise?

For those who don't share the belief that the mormon religion is the path to heaven, it would be disrespectful. But for people who think that they are giving salvation to thousand of souls who would otherwise suffer eternity, it wouldn't be disrespectful.

All kinda strange. . .
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Quote:
Originally posted by A&A

The assumption is that Great-Grandpa is in heaven, wanting to be LDS, but needing someone on Earth to perform the ceremony (baptism) for him.

So i am assuming then the mormon church their beliefs are the one true religion and if you dont believe in it ur not going to heaven???

something about this practice still doesnt make sense to me...

why baptize jewish descendants..obviously they made their choice on earth...

something about this whole thing isnt right... maybe its just cuz im not LDS so i dont understand the whole reasoning behind it...

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#18 of 104 Old 04-10-2004, 11:13 PM
 
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I have a real problem with this practice in any form. I had a very good friend who died 4 years ago. His mother became Mormon after this. I have a feeling that she had a proxy baptism for him even though he would have been against it with every part of his being. I feel it is disrespectful of others beliefs.

I grew up in the Mormon church at a very young age. My mother's family is mostly LDS and has had family members baptized after death. It would bother me if this happened to me. I would feel that the person that had it done had no respect for my own feelings.

The fact that they are doing this to a group of people that were so different from them spiritually and who died for that really bothers me. They have asked for this to stop and it hasn't. Do we have no respect for these people that have been through so much?

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#19 of 104 Old 04-10-2004, 11:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by tricia80
So i am assuming then the mormon church their beliefs are the one true religion and if you dont believe in it ur not going to heaven???

Mormons believe in different levels of heaven. So, you'll be in heaven, but not in the top level, if that makes sense.

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#20 of 104 Old 04-11-2004, 12:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sheacoby
If they are only doing it to/for other Mormons fine but they should not disrespect other peoples' religion by doing it to them. In respecting their rights to their religion you can not take away someone elses' rights to theirs or their right to not be religious as well.
That's what I meant when I posted above about the practice being disrespectful. I meant disrespectful for them to baptise holocast jews after being told not to.
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#21 of 104 Old 04-11-2004, 01:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by applejuice
...You would not want the LDS to ask you or your religion to discontinue a particular part of your religion would you?
I most certainly would if it turned out that my religion was not respecting the rights of people to make their own decisions. I don't think anyone, of any faith, should have the right to try and change the decisions individuals have made here on Earth.

I love my BIL and SIL, and they are both born-again Christians who have been trying for ten years to "save" me. If I should become very ill, my husband is under strict orders to keep them far away from me. I don't want to be coerced or presured to change at my most vulnerable moment. If there is a G-d, then let G-d judge me for who I am and the choices I have made. I am especially repulsed by the idea of them trying to convert me after I'm dead. How disrespectful!
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#22 of 104 Old 04-11-2004, 01:38 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sheacoby
If they are only doing it to/for other Mormons fine but they should not disrespect other peoples' religion by doing it to them. In respecting their rights to their religion you can not take away someone elses' rights to theirs or their right to not be religious as well.
They will be able to accept or deny the baptism that was done in their name. We do it because we believe that you need to be baptised to get to the highest degree of heaven. But, if they do not wish to be baptised then they deny it and it's like they were never baptised.

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#23 of 104 Old 04-11-2004, 01:40 AM
 
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We believe the person who the baptism takes place for has the opportunity to accept or reject the baptism. I.E. Great Grandpa never learned about the LDS Church. The baptism is performed for him, and he now chooses if he accepts or rejects the baptism.

Also good to know, if an LDS member wants to submit a deceased person's name to have his or her temple work done, they must have the permission of the immediate family, if there is any.

I have also had the opportunity to participate in baptisms for the dead, and it was a wonderfully spiritual experience. I think people tend to get creeped out by the name -- some assume we are actually exhuming bodies to baptise. Not at all. It is done by proxy.

I love many aspects of attachment parenting. I have come to it slowly and it has made such a difference in my life. I want to share with everyone I know how much it has enriched my life and my family experience -- especially those who look like they are struggling or searching for something. When I encounter a mom or family who might benefit from even one aspect of AP, how selfish would it be for me not to share that with them? And I do not share wanting them to embrace the whole AP Philosophy, I just hope I can offer them something that might work in their lives.

I feel much the same way about my religion. So it makes sense to me that I give my ancestors the same opportunity to accept or reject these beliefs. Now whether they decide to accept it is their decision, but why should they not have the opportunity simply because they were not introduced to the LDS Religion in their lifetime on earth?

That's how I feel.
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#24 of 104 Old 04-11-2004, 02:16 AM
 
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Is there any place I can register to never be baptised? Fill out an affadavit of some kind that I have heard enough about the church and have made my decision.. don't let some grandkid of mine pull a stunt like this?
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#25 of 104 Old 04-11-2004, 03:56 AM
 
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Kama~I hope there is, and when I find out my name will be the first on it and so will my children.

This is so disrespectful I can't evn put it into words. When I die, my devout mormon family better leave my name freakin ALONE!!!!

It makes me heartsick to know that when my dh and I die my family might do this to us. Ugh.
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#26 of 104 Old 04-11-2004, 04:16 AM
 
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Well I am heartsick as well.

Why waste time here? Why not record your feelings down for your posterity's sake? Better yet, speak to your family members who may go against your wishes after you die -- leave it in your will. I don't see why it would matter, if you don't believe in it, it would not pertain to you, would it? Wouldn't it just be null and void?
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#27 of 104 Old 04-11-2004, 04:37 AM
 
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Stacie, I will try to explain this as gently as I can. I understand that to you this is a lovely gesture of outreach and inclusion. To many of the rest of us though it feels very different.

It feels like something being done to you against your will. It is a trespass on a very intimate, spiritual level. While I may not believe in your faith I do believe that ceremonies of many kinds, very intentional religious rituals, have power. I do not want anyone of any faith enacting rituals on my without my consent. Not while I am alive and not after my death. I am the author of my own spiritual destiny. I will make my own choices and I will live with them. Despite the caveat that an unwanted baptism can simply be rejected it feels like a very powerful intrusion on my spiritual being. It also feels like other people, in some cases clearly people I don't even know... trying to take control of my destiny from me.

I understand that this is not how the gesture is intended but that is how it feels to outsiders. Imagine how you would feel if I told you I had given information about you to a traditional Hawai'ian kahuna and asked him to do a ritual on you from afar. I suspect it would make you a little uncomfortable at the very least.

All that said... yeah, I could make it clear to my children that I want no part of this.... if I live long enough that they are old enough to have conversations like that. But will my grandchildren know? My great grandchildren? The children and grandchildren of my nine brothers and sisters? The decendents of my husbands 6 siblings? The odds are decent that eventually I will pop up on someones family tree who doesn't really know me at all and they will do this thing. And the thought of it makes me profoundly uncomfortable. So it occured to me to wonder if the Mormon church, which is quite large and very well organized, might have a list of this kind. If the answer is no or if you simply have no idea that is fine. But you have to be able to see that the way you all have this set up it is all but impossible for me to insure that anyone who might ever be moved to do this get the word that I would prefer they didn't... and having gotten it that they would respect it. This whole conversation started because some members of your church insist on continuing to baptise people after having been told specifically not to, both by their relatives and by your own church hierarchy.
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#28 of 104 Old 04-11-2004, 07:52 AM - Thread Starter
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No one can prove or disprove that no harm is being done to these deceased persons via the LDS baptism. Who knows for sure, right? Can anyone confidently tell me what is going on beyond the grave? No.

If the LDS administration felt it was appropriate to stop doing this in 1995, then they can stop again. For the same reasons it was fine with them to stop in 1995.

If the LDS need so many to be in heaven, then best they continue to work here on earth with consenting adults toward conversion via missionary efforts.

Or maybe all religions can start trading lists back and forth to baptise as they see fit. It can be a contest to see who can get the last baptism in before the end of the world! (this is meant as tongue in cheek).

I will definitely put in my living trust that I do not want to be baptised by any religion after my death. Again, not too sure what is going on there on the other side and I do not wish to have anyone accountable for my spiritual life but me.

The LDS folk can trust me to answer for myself when I meet my Maker, thanks very much indeed.
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#29 of 104 Old 04-11-2004, 10:52 AM
 
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alittle T

As for this usually being done only for the deceased, I personally know that a friend I grew up with and her entire family was baptised by proxy without permission.

Now that is wrong.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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#30 of 104 Old 04-11-2004, 12:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by applejuice

As for this usually being done only for the deceased, I personally know that a friend I grew up with and her entire family was baptised by proxy without permission.

Now that is wrong.

See that is very wrong... and intrusive... i wouldnt want anyone baptizing me in any religion after im dead... heck i didnt baptize dd in any religion when she was born.. its not my decision to make for her... when shes old enuff she can make her own decisions regarding her faith...


Keep me off the list too....

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