Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Jewish family makes peace with LDS baptism/Baptism for the Dead



I was a little surprised to read on CNN.com this morning a headline that says: "Holocaust survivors to Mormons: Stop baptisms of dead Jews". I wonder how many people are going to get the wrong impression of the doctrine of baptism for the dead because of this. Certainly their curiosity about what Mormons believe will be piqued--but will they understand it the way we understand it? Elder Lance B. Wickman was properly quoted in the article explaining that "if our work for the dead is properly understood ... it should not be a source of friction to anyone. It's merely a freewill offering."

Since this is bound to become a topic of conversation across America today, I thought I'd provide the link to a wonderful article:

Jewish family makes peace with LDS baptism

As well as an interesting blog post:

Why Your Ancestors May Want You to Be Pro-Choice

11 comments:

designated conservative said...

I admit that the furor over temple work for Holocaust victims confused me greatly, until I understood that those protesting do not see eternal life as a place where we will have choice. For those that see the eternity as a place where all souls are essentially compelled to worship their God (held in thrall?), a Mormon baptism for the dead could look like some kind of soul-napping!

I'm grateful for my knowledge of the Gospel, and most especially for my understanding of Heavenly Father's plan for us.

Anonymous said...

You don't see Rabbis trying to convert dead Mormons. This is an insult to our faith and shame on you for shrugging your shoulders that it is okay in any sense. Go back to your soda free family nights with your head further up your ass.

AngryJew112

velska said...

I have never thought of us "converting" the people whose ordinances are done by proxy any more than when a Catholic person prays for someone in purgatory. It's an expression of faith, which we believe to be beneficial and do out of love.

We do believe that faithful Saints are working beyond the veil, but everyone there has their freedom of choice as much as here. If my grandfather doesn't want to take advantage, then it's his choice.

Clean Cut said...

I really appreciate your comments, designated conservative and velska.

anonymous, you have every right to disagree and share your disagreements. It's unfortunate that you can't do so respectfully. Perhaps you would do well to stop hiding behind your anonymity and pretend we are having this conversation face to face, as a neighbor or co-worker. I don't believe that using the internet cancels out our obligation to be civil in our interactions.

It would be more beneficial to temper your anger and try to seek mutual understanding rather than mouth off.

Or perhaps "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all".

Regardless, your claims are unjustified.

Anonymous said...

I think part of the problem comes in the expectations of each group.

The COJCoLDS firmly believes that every person has the right to perform this ceremony for all of their direct ancestors.

It sounds like a lot of these Jewish advocacy groups are also trying to limit whether or not family members can perform these ceremonies for their direct ancestors.

The LDS church will never agree to this (this is an infringment on our religious practice). But the LDS church has been more than willing to instruct members to only submit names to which they have a direct relation.

I think what the church is doing is fair.
I think jewish advocacy groups have the right to ask the church to not perform baptisms on those who do not have LDS descendants.
I believe it is unreasonable for jewish advocacy groups to deny descendants the right and blessing to perform these rites. I feel the claim to ancestry is more important than the claim of mutual suffering (that is, it's the descendants decisions, and NOT some group unrelated to the person).

-NOYDMB

Ms.Green said...

I'm curious, CC, how do you reconcile these beliefs with this passage...

"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:"

This passage does not indicate any leeway for a second chance after death.

Clean Cut said...

Hi Ms. Green. Thanks for the question. The quick answer would be that judgement most certainly will come after we die. That's the truth. However, it does not say that the judgement comes "immediately" after death. After death, I believe there is a "holding ground" of sorts where all spirits go to await both judgement and the resurrection. Latter-day Saints call this the Spirit World, including both a paradise and hell. This is the place where we believe that evangelism of lost spirits continues until the earth has served the purpose of its creation and the final judgment occurs.

Ms.Green said...

"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment". Hebrews 9:27

I don't know, CC, you are putting a lot of speculation there between the words "after this" and "the judgment".

After death, I believe there is a "holding ground" of sorts where all spirits go to await both judgement and the resurrection. There is nothing in all of Scripture that supports this. Without using anything but the Bible, you can't support this doctrine.

Clean Cut said...

Well, I beg to differ with your statement that "there is nothing in all of Scripture that supports this". I consider the Book of Mormon on par with the Bible in regards to being God's holy word, or scripture. I believe that "all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16). For me, "all scripture" means "all"--including the Book of Mormon, which fills in some of the gaps where the Bible tends to be silent.

Concerning the postmortal place of human spirits, Alma sought an answer to the question "What becometh of the souls of men from this time of death to the time appointed for the resurrection?" (Alma 40:7). It was revealed to him by an angel that at the death of the body "the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life" (Alma 40:11). They are then assigned to a place of paradise or a place of hell and "outer darkness," depending on the manner of their mortal life (Alma 40:12-14).

I suppose this could be considered a preliminary "judgement" of sorts, but I also believe in the Final Judgement which will come after the resurrection. By that time, every person will have been given an opportunity to receive an understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ (1 Pet. 3:19-20; Luke 4:18; Isa. 42:7).

Ms.Green said...

Well, this is where we differ, because I obviously don't believe any other book but the Bible is God-breathed Scripture.

Thank you, though, for your explanation.

Anne said...

In reference to the Judgment, you're right. God does not give "second chances". But He DOES give FIRST chances. If a person dies before hearing about the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, our just and Merciful Father will provide a way for them to hear about it after they die. Whether an individual chooses to ACCEPT that Gospel (through baptism by proxy, aka baptism for the dead) is up to him or her...God will never force people to do anything against their will - it is counter to His nature. What hope this brings to parents who have lost babies in infancy, to people who died before Christ's ministry, and those today who do not know about the Gospel. 1 Cor. 15:29: "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?"