The personal side of LDS proxy baptism

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  • So. Cal Reader San Diego, CA
    Feb. 24, 2012 11:22 a.m.

    I always enjoy reading Bro. Otterson's insight. The part of this piece I liked best, and one that I've shared w/ family members & friends as we've discussed this issue:

    "In my own heart, I want to believe he accepted it, but I cannot know that now," Otterson wrote. "What I am certain of, however, is that in whatever cognizance of this life that exists in heaven, that my father will not be offended for a gift generously intended and sincerely given by his son. The worst I can imagine is a 'Thanks, but no thanks.'"

    This act of service is not unilaterally imposed on another. We retain our moral agency on the other side of the veil as well. This labor of love fulfills a commandment that dates back thousands of years.

  • Swedish reader Stockholm, Sweden
    Feb. 24, 2012 7:53 a.m.

    Performing a proxy baptism is like laying out clothes for someone. If they are not interested in wearing what you laid out, they'll just put it away and wear something else. Or maybe like offering someone a cookie. If they don't want it, they'll just say "no thank you". It is not offensive to make the offer, and it is not offensive to accept or reject it. What is a little sad is that some people think that a proxy baptism is valid just because it's been done. It isn't, not until the person in the spirit world has decided to accept it. And that's their choice, not ours.

  • Serenity Manti, UT
    Feb. 24, 2012 12:10 a.m.

    John 3:5, where Jesus says, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God."

    Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost

    The New Testament is full of commandments too be baptized. If a person dies without being baptized, how can he enter the kingdom of God? The Lord would not let His children to be damned because they had no chance of baptism. A just God would give everyone a chance to get baptized if they wanted to, either in this life or in the next.

    The LDS Church believes that God did give everyone a chance to be baptized through proxy baptism in the holy temple. This ordinance does not make anyone a Mormon, it only gives the souls a chance to receive or reject baptism and to accept or reject the Gospel of Jesus Christ just like they would do on earth. This is an act of pure unselfishness and love, performed with kindness and spirituality.

  • Rocket Science Brigham City, UT
    Feb. 23, 2012 7:33 p.m.

    What I got from Michael Otterson's account was the great joy, happiness and personal connection he felt with his father. Turning the hearts of the children to their fathers can bring great joy and happiness to everyone. To learn of them will help us learn of ourselves and learning of their history will help us and make us more loving regardless of our religion.

    Mightylite: I wish to make a suggestion that perhaps might bring peace and happiness to you concerning this issue. Get the names and birth/death dates of your direct ancestors for the past 100 years, research their histories, and send the data to the LDS Church with a letter requesting that you wish those names not be involved in proxy baptism. I believe your request will be honored and at the same time your research could result in some information that may be a personal treasure to you. It might be a way to resolve your concerns and at the same time make some lemonade of it all.

  • Janet Ontario, OR
    Feb. 23, 2012 6:36 p.m.

    My third-great grandfather was an anti-Mormon preacher in Illinois in the 1840's. One of my relatives submitted said grandfather's name for LDS proxy baptism. Thus, the man's name was spoken during a baptism, and that ordinance is indicated as "completed" on church records. I figure either my ggg-grandfather has converted and is grateful that someone had his work done, or he is in the heaven he was anticipating and couldn't care less. I'm sure he has a number of descendants who are not LDS, and some of them might not appreciate the discovery that he's been baptized for, but he's no more their ancestor than mine or the relative who submitted his name. Those who are raling about baptism for the dead being an insult or disrespectful have no problem hurling the most hurtful, hateful, and insulting remarks in their comments on media articles about Mormonism! I cannot imagine saying the things about a religious group that have been said recently about the Latter-day Saints! Over 45 years ago, I was pregnant, far from home, and deathly sick. My Italian-Catholic landlady and her sister asked if they could bless me with holy oil. Do you think for a minute that I refused? Of course not! They gave me a great compliment in performing that ordinance, and I was grateful.

  • mightymite DRAPER, UT
    Feb. 23, 2012 4:38 p.m.

    Yes there is a "personal" side. It is me and my family who never intended nor chose to join the mormon church. It is personal... There needs to be an opt out form and I should have as much of a say in not baptizing a member of my family as an over zealous mormon has in putting their name in for proxy baptism. This is just a bad situation that shows nothing but disrespect for those who are not mormon nor never wanted to be mormon. Though I think the baptism is invalid in ever regard, it is still very disrespectful.... God will find the good and invite them into the kingdom, whether there is a valid baptism or not -- this is how most mormons will come into the kingdom.