"So, I believe the news media in their coverage of this controversy have
mostly missed three important things: First, they have missed how much this
ordinance means to Latter-day Saints like my mother and Willett; second, they
have missed how much this ordinance is central to our perceived duty as
Latter-day Saints; and third, they have missed how much this ordinance comes
from the Bible."---(1) It doesn't matter how much
the "ordinance" means to the LDS. The LDS completely ignore how much it
means to the family of the one being baptized that their family member NOT be
baptized into another faith after their death.(2) It doesn't matter
that the "ordinance" is central to LDS doctrine. It is STILL OFFENSIVE
to the families of those who are being baptized by the LDS Church after their
death.(3) Even if the ordinance comes "from the Bible", what
you are telling these folks is that "your baptism while you were alive
doesn't count! because you WERE IN THE WRONG CHURCH". That is offensive.Your article implies that people of other faiths should take the LDS
feelings into consideration; you fail to realize that it is a two-way street and
YOU should take the feelings of others into consideration as well.
Right on RanchHand!I totally agree!
Hey RanchHand,Your third point confuses me. As I understand things,
Catholics (as just one example) believe that Mormons are going to be in Hell (or
possibly limbo of some kind) for all eternity for dying in the "wrong
church", whereas Mormons believe that Catholics (and everybody else) still
have a chance to become part of the "right church" even after they die.
Most people I know that understand both position, even if they don't accept
either, find the first much more offensives.
I think that few people understand how central to LDS practice is the work for
the dead. Indeed, as I understand it both the end of Polygamy and the end of the
Priesthood ban came about because of considerations for temple work and work for
the dead, not because of outside pressure or other concerns.
@Radically Moderate;The point of #3, which may not have been clear;
even if the Catholics (and other religions) feel that Mormon's are going to hell
because they are in the "wrong church", they aren't baptizing them after
the fact.This article says: "Take the Mormon
perspective/feelings into account"; yet it completely ignores the
perspectives/feelings of the non-Mormons whose family members are being
"re" baptized.I totally understand the Mormon perspective
(having been an active Mormon for over 30 years). Having been on the outside
for a couple of decades now though, I can also see it from an outsider's
"Third, this doctrine is biblically grounded. One of the odd criticisms of
the Latter-day Saints is that we arenÂt grounded in the Bible. Yet 1
Corinthians 15 specifically mentions the practice of baptisms for the
dead."A more accurate way of putting it is that the LDS church
believes the doctrine is biblically grounded. Most religious scholars and
denominations disagree with that view.
@RanchHandYour words remind me of the ACLU and Unitarian Church
sponsored street preachers who stand in front of the Conference Center every
General Conference weekend, holding up signs which tell people all Mormons are
going to burn. They then drag copies of the Book of Mormon across the ground and
pretend to use LDS temple garments as toilet paper.Your words also
remind me of the number of times any journalist, politician or activist outside
the LDS Church has spoken out against the tactics of these ACLU and Unitarian
Church sponsored street preachers. Answer? I'll give you a hint. The
number is below one.
@RanchhandYou talk about two way roads and then say "it doesn't
matter" for any LDS views. That's rather hypocritical. @Radically Moderate"As I understand things, Catholics (as just
one example) believe that Mormons are going to be in Hell (or possibly limbo of
some kind) for all eternity for dying in the "wrong church""The Catholic church believes that people won't be punished for a lack of
knowledge of Christ. This is also how Catholics address the question of those
who never had the opportunity to learn of Christ that the LDS church uses temple
baptisms for... the Catholics just trust that God will take care of things in
some fair manner and that nothing has to be done on Earth for them. With
Mormonism it's a bit tricky because they don't recognize it as a Christian faith
like they do with most of the other denominations. From what I've read though, I
don't think the Catholic belief is that all Mormons go to hell.
@RanchHandYou said - "This article says: "Take the Mormon
perspective/feelings into account..."Brilliant word shuffle.
There was nothing in this article which said anything about the
"feelings" of Latter-day Saints. Your attempt to portray LDS people as
thin skinned, shallow individuals is quite silly. You might think
LDS people are surprised that others find our practices offensive, but we're
not. Just like freedom of speech, freedom of religion is bound to cause certain
people to be offended by those with whom they disagree with. Other churches may not be performing proxy work on behalf of dead LDS people
(and if they did, I wouldn't care and I doubt my dead ancestors would care
either) but there are ministers, writers, bloggers and others who continue to
drag the names of LDS people, living and dead, through the mud. How
many times have LDS pioneers been described in books, movies and websites as
nothing but a bunch of blood thirsty savages who stole land and killed anyone
who stood in their way?How many times, on any number of websites,
have current and past LDS leaders been attacked as racist, sexist, money hungry
charlatans?In a nutshell RanchHand what you're saying is, "Do as
we say, not as we do."
@atl134 - "A more accurate way of putting it is that the LDS church believes
the doctrine is biblically grounded. Most religious scholars and denominations
disagree with that view."This is correct. In my life I've heard
many conversations between people of various faiths, both in and out of the LDS
Church, regarding various interpretations of Bible scriptures.
atl134,"Most religious scholars and denominations disagree with
that view."Actually, these days most religious scholars and
Christian historians acknowledge that the Christians of the Apostalic Church
(those that were taught directly by Christ and His Apostles) did in fact baptize
by proxy for the dead. It's mentioned by about a dozen independent sources,
including Josephus, Eusebius, Justin Martyr and many others. The practice was
officially done away with in the Nicean Councils pf the 4th and 5th Centuries,
but had fallen out of wide favor by the mid-2nd Century or so. Only a few
branches of Christianity were still following the practice beyond that point.Most scholars do agree, though, that for about a century after the
Resurrection, baptisms for the dead were a common practice among the followers
@ClarkHippo;I've never protested outside the temple during
Conference nor do I approve of it. On the other hand, I've NEVER voted against
the rights of other Americans as have Mormons.I disagree with your
subsequent post.@alt134;It isn't hypocritical to tell
Mormons that their "feelings" (beliefs really) have no relevance in
relation to Baptism for the Dead. The FEELINGS of the dead one's FAMILY are
important; not those of people completely unrelated/unafiliated. I would tell
the same thing to ANY other Church trying to posthumously poach another Churches
members. The point is: Many of the people the LDS Church "baptizes"
have ALREADY been baptized during their lifetime. Again, the LDS Church
implicitly tells others that YOU ARE WRONG by performing this ordinance.
12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you
that there is no resurrection of the dead? 19 If in this life only we have
hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. 20 But now is Christ
risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For
since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22
For as in Adam ALL die, even so in Christ shall ALL be made alive.
29 Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not
at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?How much clearer can
this be? All die, all are resurrected. Paul is saying, "They wouldn't do it
if it wasn't necessary." My former Minister did not teach it that way. He
made it a negative statement. (Despite all of the preamble)
RanchHand, I think you misunderstand the LDS reason for Baptisms for the Dead.
it is not to "poach" members from other Churches. We believe Baptism is
:a) A necessary Ordinance.b) To be performed in the proper mode.
(In the name of Christ, by immersion, and for a remission of sins.)c) To
be performed by the necessary Authority. (Aaronic or Melchizedek Priesthoods
are the only two mentioned in the Bible.)d) As a precursor to receiving
the Gift of the Holy Ghost.Any other way is not complete, in our
teachings, and I understand that may sound a little "arrogant."
However, if it is true, it is important.The last point is, IF we are
correct, it is a vital work, and your family member will be pleased with the
ordinance. IF we are wrong, your family member has not been baptised after
death by any authority, and it will not be efficaceous. Either way, your family
member loses nothing.
RE: English Alan, I understand that may sound a little "arrogant.Jesus warns to not trust in sacred(secret) places: In John (4:20-24), Our
fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place
where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour
cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem[Temple],
worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for
salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true
worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father
seeketh such to worship him. I have spoken openly to the world,
Jesus replied I always taught in synagogues or at the Temple, where all the Jews
come together. I said nothing in Secret.(John 18:20 NIV)JesusÂ¦ them, Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in
three days. They replied, It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and
you are going to raise it in three days? But the temple he had spoken of was his
Body. John 2:19-21 (NIV) Jesus is The Christians Temple
@EnglishAlan;I am quite familiar with the reasons the LDS Church
offers; I was an active member, born and bred, for over 30 years (I just don't
believe all the hocus pocus anymore). ALL of my family has already been
baptized in the LDS Church during this life and won't need the ordinance once
they die.Arrogant only mildly describes the attitude. "Necessary authority", "proper mode", "necessary
ordinance", "Any other way is not complete, in our teachings"; all
terms that denigrate other religions. As to (d), what need have the dead of the
"Gift of the Holy Ghost"? Isn't that supposed to be something to guide
us through this life? What need have they of it in the next?Last
point: IF it is a "vital" work, then it can be done during the
"millenium" - there'll be plenty of time then, right? - IF that even
ever comes to pass.
@Sarah NicholeI meant that they disagree with the verse suggesting that
proxy baptisms are proper and allowed. The groups practicing it long ago were
generally splinter groups and the Nicean council doesn't mean that's when it was
ended. Consider the recent statement by the LDS church condemning the views some
have as to why the priesthood ban was in place. That wasn't a new statement
inasmuch as it wasn't saying anything new. It was reiterating something that'd
been a position for decades. So the Nicean decrees against baptizing for the
dead don't necessarily mean the church was previously supportive of it, just
that some were doing it (perhaps comparable to how some Methodist pastors in
California were marrying same-sex couples when it was legal there, going against
the leadership of the church).
The Catholics in my family have Mass said for their deceased on certain
anniversaries.If one of them were to do so for one of my immediate
family, I would not be offended. I would take it as the gesture of love and
respect that it is. Nothing more.I do understand that baptism is a
step beyond that. But I think the same principle holds.
If you're really concerned about them mormons "poaching" your dead
relatives, there must still be some sort of inkling that their church and
teachings realy are valid....
@Twin Lights;The key phrase in your comment: "their
deceased:".@NedGrimley;If you're really concerned
about them mormons "poaching" your dead relatives, there must still be
some sort of inkling that their church and teachings realy are valid....--- "there must still be some sort of inkling that their church and
teachings realy are valid...." How so? There must be no such thing; those
of different religions don't want Mormons baptizing their dead. Isn't that
clear enough? It has nothing to do with validity of any religion; it is about
respect for the beliefs of others (something Mormons are lacking when it comes
to the Baptism for the Dead issue).
Seriously guys... This is ridiculous. No one is being forced into Mormonism.
They are simply given an option. If we are wrong, they lose absolutely nothing.
If we are right, denying your family members this ordinance is forcing them to
wait for a necessary ordinance, which I'm pretty sure wouldn't make them very
happy. But hey, lets throw all logic under the bus and go find something else to
be offended over! It must be incredibly fun considering how many people do it.