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Comments about ‘Catholics told not to give LDS parish data’

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Published: Sunday, May 4 2008 12:30 a.m. MDT

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Re: Questions and others

God's ordinances do not "hamper" his ability to save. He is all-powerful. However, God is a god of justice, not mercy alone. Without justice, there could not be any mercy. Baptism and other ordinances are commanded by God so that the law night be satisfied. While He is a god of mercy, we must also obey certain laws since he is also a god of justice. As far as this article is concerned and the several comments that have been made, I am not worried. While I respect those friends of other faiths and feel strongly that we should allow them to worship how, where or what they may, I also feel we should be allowed the same courtesy. This returns us to mercy and justice. If baptism is the gate to heaven then truly God is merciful to permit this saving ordinance to be performed for all of His children. Is it merciful to say that because one who has never known God or ever been able to even know His gospel and dies that they are eternally damned? Where is the mercy in that? God is in charge not man and everything will work out.

Wake up!

All these hypothetical situations a few are putting forth about other churches unbaptizing LDS, etc., show the author is not aware that it wouldn't matter. You are trying to project your own fears on the LDS.
No LDS would raise a stink. The church wouldn't worry -- unless we believed those other churches actually had God's real authority. We'd actually just shrug and say thank-you for the good intentions.
Obviously the 10 who have posted such fears haven't read the 60+ comments that already made this point.
Or they haven't awakened yet this morning.

My View

As a member of the LDS faith, I would not be offended by any member of any other faith or group performing a baptism in my behalf or my family's behalf while I am living or dead. I believe such action to be an act of love from them to me and an attempt to follow gospel referred to in the Bible. I also believe it is sanctioned by God only when both proper authority from God is used and when my personal choice affirms the action. It certainly doesn't rewrite my personal history or preference.

To those who are offended by the doctrine of baptism for the dead, I say you simply do not fully understand it. Find a friend who is a member of the LDS faith and ask them about it.

To those of us who are members of the LDS faith: hard words, pointing fingers, derision and outrage won't solve this challenge. Continuing kindness, reaching out, faith and prayer might avail much.

RGG

I'm not so sure LDS folks would be "outraged" if other churches or cults or sects were to perform their religious ceremonies for deceased LDS members.

We believe that an individual's agency prevails, whether here in in the afterlife. Just as we hope those who are baptized by proxy will accept that baptism, we also hope those who are already baptized would choose to stay baptized. However, the choice is theirs, and we certainly don't have any illusions that our desires for them will override their choices.

I am for the living

Let's live and help the living and forget about the dead who are with God anyway...Do you believe that Mother Theresa is in limbo waiting for one of us to baptise her?
Instead copying records, let's go to Chad, Laos, Haiti and other places where there is so much suffering. They need our help now not when they are dead.

Morena

Orion- My thoughts exactly. LDS would be offended in a big way if the reverse were going on. If a Protestant denomination took all the LDS names and did this re-baptism for the dead (which was mentioned in the bible but not practiced by the one mentioning it or encouaged)then the LDS would be offended. You all need to read your Bibles and seriously learn the scripture...who said it, did he practice it(NO) and then you would understand why this is so disrespectful. Congrats to the Catholics!!! Hope the Protestants follow suit!!!

Live & Let Live

Sorry but I do NOT want my Catholic church records given out so I can be baptized as LDS. You can go on and on about the value of geneology records but TRY to understand and REFLECT about why many find these baptisms offensive. To brush it off as "well what does it matter if they don't believe in our doctrine anyway" is unacceptable. Come on if the Catholic or any other church began a massive undertaking to baptize all Mormoms you can bet an uproar would follow. How would YOU feel? And please realize that geneology does not hold an equal importance to all religions.

Let's Be Honest

I am LDS, and I'm sure none of us would be overlly concerned to learn that the FLDS, Wickens, Scientologists or even more mainstream religions were performing certain religious ceremonies on behalf of our deceased LDS ancestors. BUT, would the Church willingly and knowingly hand over our records for that purpose? I highly, highly doubt that. And what if they even provided some additional, tangible service in return (like we are by putting names on microfilm)? I'm still not sure we would willingly hand over baptismal, blessing, birth, or temple sealing records for Wicken cermonies even if some other beneficial service were provided as a part of the process. And let's not fool ourselves, the Catholic Church looks upon the LDS Church as no less a cult than we do FLDS, Scientology or Wickens.

Also, as an active member of the Church, I have never quite understood the need to put in literally millions of hours for the work of the dead. A work that we acknowledge will never end up reaching all who have died. Only a tiny fraction actually. The rest will require heavenly intervention anyway. Therefore, perhaps those millions of hours could be put toward the LIVING?

Understand the doctrine

The LDS doctrine of baptisms for the dead (mentioned in the New Testament) does not take away the right for anyone to choose. Just as in this life, anyone who is baptized (regardless of faith) have the choice to practice their religion or not. Our belief in baptizing for the dead simply gives them the opportunity to accept the ordinance or not. That's all. It doesn't force anyone to become a Mormon. We don't believe in forcing decisions at all, simply giving opportunities to choose.

Baptism by Proxy Doctrine

For those of you unfamiliar with our doctrine: Baptism for the dead does not mean they are automatically saved, they have the option to accept or reject the ordinance. Christ was perfect and yet he was still baptized. This is a mandatory ordinance to enter the kingdom. We as mormons believe that we are doing a service in this baptism by proxy, giving those whom we are being baptized for a chance to accept or reject it. And as for doing things for the living, just google the words "mormons and katrina" or "mormons and san diego fires" and you'll see that it was the mormons who were there first for the living and wounded.

Concerned Researcher

I was saddened to read this article this morning. I have absolutely enjoyed researching my ancestors, to see who and how they lived, and garner treasures of their lives that ultimately help me to understand my own makeup.

However sad this may be, let us take courage that the works of God will go forward, "boldly, nobly, and independently." Let us be patient, and faithful. The Lord will open doors that have heretofore been closed, soften the hearts of those who have concerns regarding these sacred ordinances. The words of Nephi come to mind in setbacks and trials such as these, as stated in 1 Nephi 3:7 (in the Book of Mormon), "I will go and do the things which the Lord has commanded, for I know the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, SAVE HE SHALL PREPARE A WAY FOR THEM TO ACCOMPLISH THE THING WHICH HE COMMANDETH THEM."
Let us always be found being kind in word, thought, and action to everyone around us, despite what they may think, do, or say about us or this work.

Adam

I'm LDS and while I think the Catholic church's decision is unfortunate based on my beliefs I also recognize that it's important to respect their decision. We did the same thing for the Jews with regard to their wishes for Holocaust victims. Even if we disagree with the stance of the Catholic church on this issue, and can't see why they should be upset by something they don't believe in... I think the takeaway lesson is that by making this decision and the Jews making a similar request in the past, that obviously it DOES bother them. In this case we might be better off respecting their wishes. That's not to say a dialogue shouldn't begin to try to increase understanding on the topic, but expressions of outrage regarding this decision followed by dismissals of their feelings as invalid... that might not be the best approach.

None of your business

It bothers people because it is meddling in the lives of people who either don't like having their dead relatives information involved in another religion or who just don't like mormons. It's really pretty simple. If other religions and their members don't what you nosing around in their business, then please have the decency and respect to butt out.

Clare

I'm not happy at all with this situation. I just found out that on my birth side (I am adopted), there is a very strong possiblity that my ancestors were Jews who converted to Catholism. I want to know who they were. What happened? Were they coherced into it or did they join willing? Were they even Jewish? I'm dying of curiosity. These records are in Poland or what was once part of Russia. It's not fair that I can't find out about them. I can only hope that the church has gotten some on microfilm before this ridiculous statement by the Vatican. What are they afraid of?

Not Mormon

Hey Mormons.......the catholic church doesn't want you. Get over it.

A European

The family history centers in the ward buildings in Germany are frequented more by non LDS people than LDS people. They benefit from the work the LDS church has done by collecting records. They open the doors for all others to use the records.
Why doesn't the Catholic church do the same? Invites a lot more people to also look into their churches that are so scarcely visited even on Sundays now.

My View

Additional Thought:

Cultural and idealogical differences are contributing to the bad feelings here. It seems that 1) those of the LDS faith don't completely understand the backgrounds, cultures, and beliefs informing the outrage felt by members of other faiths at the idea of baptism for the dead. And 2) members of other faiths don't completely understand the background, culture, and belief that make baptism for the dead by ANY religion unoffensive and important to members of the LDS faith.

Clearly, more non-confrontational dialog between all groups is needed--along with a bit of willing effort to understand by all groups.

uncannygunman

As an atheist, I hereby unbaptize ALL souls, past, present, and future, of any faith whatsoever, so the poor dead folks can rest in peace. Problem solved and amen.

Bill

I would think the Pope should re-consider this policy if only for selfish reasons. Just think what would happen if he were able to completely shut down genealogy work. All those LDS senior citizens who spend so much time and effort in this work would be unleashed on the world in search of the living!

I would think he would rather keep them engaged in what he perceives as a worthless effort.

Aguia

It's a question of perspective.

LDS see baptisms for the dead as an act of love.
Others see it as disrespect.
Neither is really going to convince the other that their perspective is wrong.

I can understand the Catholics thought process on this restriction; even though i may not approve of it. I think it will hurt those who are researching their geneology for a multitude of reasons.

Whatever may happen now. We know that all eventually will have the opportunity to make their choices.

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