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strappinglad

Odd question

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I don't have access to the Handbook so some who does, please try to answer this question. A person , either from birth or by accident  has severe brain damage and will always remain with the mental ability of no more than a 5 year old. Is that person eligible for baptism ? If so, when....8 ...20 ? My opinion is that baptism would not be needed but maybe a case by case exception would be required .

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24 minutes ago, strappinglad said:

I don't have access to the Handbook so some who does, please try to answer this question. A person , either from birth or by accident  has severe brain damage and will always remain with the mental ability of no more than a 5 year old. Is that person eligible for baptism ? If so, when....8 ...20 ? My opinion is that baptism would not be needed but maybe a case by case exception would be required .

I've heard two answers to this. The first is they are unaccountable and therefore don't need baptism. The other answer is to have their work done when they are deceased because when they die they are accountable, in the next life, and therefore can choose to accept it or reject it and who better to have someone's work done than by the family? My Mom had a cousin who was simple and they died and she had their work done and who would say tickety-boo about it?

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The handbook leaves it up to bishops and family about whether to baptize those with limited mental capacity.  Personally, I'd err on the side of baptism and gift of the Holy Ghost, so long as the person wanted to be baptized.   I knew a severely challenged non-verbal teen on the Autism Spectrum,  whose parents were comforted that she was automatically in the celestial kingdom.   I substituted in her SS class for a month.  There was a cupboard in the room on which the door kept opening and making noise.  The next week this supposedly too impaired to be baptized young woman arrived at class early and tried several ways until she solved the door opening problem, proving that her severe disabilities had hidden her actual capability.

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11 hours ago, strappinglad said:

I don't have access to the Handbook so some who does, please try to answer this question. A person , either from birth or by accident  has severe brain damage and will always remain with the mental ability of no more than a 5 year old. Is that person eligible for baptism ? If so, when....8 ...20 ? My opinion is that baptism would not be needed but maybe a case by case exception would be required .

16.3.5
Persons Who May Not Be Accountable

Persons who have intellectual disabilities and cannot knowingly repent may be considered by the bishop as not accountable. These persons do not need to be baptized and confirmed, regardless of their age. They are “saved in the celestial kingdom of heaven” (D&C 137:10; see also Moroni 8:8–12).
If a person later demonstrates an understanding of repentance and an appropriate degree of accountability and desire, he or she may be baptized and confirmed. If a person was baptized but later becomes intellectually disabled, the baptism and confirmation are still valid.
For additional guidelines, see 16.1.8. For information about the membership records of persons who may not be accountable, see 13.6.10.

 

16.1.8
Ordinances for Persons Who Have Intellectual Disabilities

When considering whether to perform ordinances for a person who has an intellectual disability, priesthood leaders and parents should prayerfully consider the person’s wishes and degree of understanding. Ordinances should not be withheld if the person is worthy, wants to receive them, and demonstrates an appropriate degree of responsibility and accountability.
Living persons whose disabilities cause them to have the intellectual capacity of little children are not accountable (see D&C 29:46–50). The saving ordinances do not need to be performed for these individuals. A bishop consults with his stake president if he has questions about specific persons. The stake president may direct questions to the Office of the First Presidency if necessary.
If leaders determine that a person should receive an ordinance, they help him or her understand and prepare for it.

 

 

13.6.10
Records of Members Who Have Intellectual Disabilities

If the bishop determines that a person who is at least 8 years old is not accountable, he instructs a clerk to indicate “Not Accountable” in the baptism section of the person’s membership record (see 16.3.5). The clerk sends the update to Church headquarters or the assigned administrative office. The membership record should not be canceled.

 

All from Handbook 1

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Generally it’s on a case by case basis.  In our ward, a pair of adult, developmentally disabled twins were recently baptized.  I suspect they are still mentally less than eight years old, but they understand the basic concepts of the Gospel and were the ones pushing for baptism.

 

 

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This is why you get two answers, were I to do the work for say my Great Great Grandfather's Great uncle, he's been dead for  over 150 years and so how would I know his intellectual capacity? you just do the work and let God figure it all out. The other being are they not accountable in the next life? Are there free passes?

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1 hour ago, Duncan said:

This is why you get two answers, were I to do the work for say my Great Great Grandfather's Great uncle, he's been dead for  over 150 years and so how would I know his intellectual capacity? you just do the work and let God figure it all out.

Unless you have specific information  that would indicate that an ordinance should not be performed, it should be.

1 hour ago, Duncan said:

The other being are they not accountable in the next life? Are there free passes? 

Not sure what you mean by this.

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2 hours ago, ksfisher said:

Unless you have specific information  that would indicate that an ordinance should not be performed, it should be.

Not sure what you mean by this.

there is a young man in our ward with down's syndrome. When he dies and goes to the spirit world there won't be any down's syndrome or any other affliction that makes someone unaccountable so they can choose for themselves if they want the gospel or not and hence the need for their work to be done. I think who better to have the work done then someone in the family and as I said before if your relative who died in 1806 had down's syndrome but who knows that now you would just do the work for them because they would be a name on a page

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1 hour ago, Duncan said:

there is a young man in our ward with down's syndrome. When he dies and goes to the spirit world there won't be any down's syndrome or any other affliction that makes someone unaccountable so they can choose for themselves if they want the gospel or not and hence the need for their work to be done. I think who better to have the work done then someone in the family and as I said before if your relative who died in 1806 had down's syndrome but who knows that now you would just do the work for them because they would be a name on a page

There is no need for this person to be baptized:

“Persons who have intellectual disabilities and cannot knowingly repent may be considered by the bishop as not accountable. These persons do not need to be baptized and confirmed, regardless of their age. They are “saved in the celestial kingdom of heaven” (D&C 137:10; see also Moroni 8:8–12).”

“Behold I say unto you that this thing shall ye teach--repentance and baptism unto those who are accountable and capable of committing sin“ (Moroni 8:10)

“little children are alive in Christ, even from the foundation of the world” (Moroni 8:12)

The person in the example you cite is not capable of committing is in this life and is “alive in Christ.”

D&C 137:10 explains that

“...all children who die before they arrive at the years of accountability are saved in the celestial kingdom of heaven.”

A person with down’s syndrome is considered to have never reached the age of a countability.  No baptism is necessary for that person to enter the celestial kingdom.

 

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5 minutes ago, ksfisher said:

There is no need for this person to be baptized:

“Persons who have intellectual disabilities and cannot knowingly repent may be considered by the bishop as not accountable. These persons do not need to be baptized and confirmed, regardless of their age. They are “saved in the celestial kingdom of heaven” (D&C 137:10; see also Moroni 8:8–12).”

“Behold I say unto you that this thing shall ye teach--repentance and baptism unto those who are accountable and capable of committing sin“ (Moroni 8:10)

“little children are alive in Christ, even from the foundation of the world” (Moroni 8:12)

The person in the example you cite is not capable of committing is in this life and is “alive in Christ.”

D&C 137:10 explains that

“...all children who die before they arrive at the years of accountability are saved in the celestial kingdom of heaven.”

A person with down’s syndrome is considered to have never reached the age of a countability.  No baptism is necessary for that person to enter the celestial kingdom.

 

so they get a free pass? i.e without baptism, without repentance, without a testimony? without believing true doctrine?-I mean maybe all that will happen in the next life for all these folks and children. My example of doing the work for people , who you don't know they have a disability, would be waste of time  but how are we to know who is accountable or not if they lived a long time ago? don't do anybody's work if you don't know their mental capacity?

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Duncan, all men are equal... some are more equal than others. All I know is that it is too late for me and thee to use the reason of mental disability. Actually I 'm not sure about thee, but I know about me. :P

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42 minutes ago, Duncan said:

without baptism

The scriptures say they do not need baptism.

42 minutes ago, Duncan said:

without repentance

Without being accountable what do they have to repent for?  There can be no repentance without first a sin.  And there can be no sin if there is no accountability.  

 

42 minutes ago, Duncan said:

without a testimony? 

A testimony is an expression of our faith.  When we pass to the next life we will no longer have just faith, but as Jacob teaches in 2 Nephi 9, we will have a "perfect knowledge."  Those who have died before reaching the age of accountability will have a perfect knowledge that they are sinless and worthy to enter the presence of God and dwell in the celestial kingdom as taught in D&C 137.

 

42 minutes ago, Duncan said:

without believing true doctrine?

As stated before, they are "alive in Christ" and will be taught either by Him or those that He has appointed (see D&C 138)

Moroni teaches that it is a "solemn mockery before God" to baptize little children.  Those who are not accountable are considered to be little children before the Lord.  " little children need no repentance, neither baptism. Behold, baptism is unto repentance to the fulfilling the commandments unto the remission of sins."

Edited by ksfisher
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3 minutes ago, ksfisher said:

The scriptures say they do not need baptism.

Without being accountable what do they have to repent for?  There can be no repentance without first a sin.  And there can be no sin if there is no accountability.  

 

A testimony is an expression of our faith.  When we pass to the next life we will no longer have just faith, but as Jacob teaches in 2 Nephi 9, we will have a "perfect knowledge."  Those who have died before reaching the age of accountability will have a perfect knowledge that they are sinless and worthy to enter the presence of God and dwell in the celestial kingdom as taught in D&C 137.

 

As stated before, they are "alive in Christ" and will be taught either by Him or those that He has appointed (see D&C 138)

Moroni teaches that it is a "solemn mockery before God" to baptize little children.  Those who are not accountable are considered to be little children before the Lord.  " little children need no repentance, neither baptism. Behold, baptism is unto repentance to the fulfilling the commandments unto the remission of sins."

I get the scriptures but the logic is staggering. 99% of people will never hear the truth here in this life, why I have no idea but it is what it is. So, little Children and people with downs etc. are basically fast tracked to Godhood, bypassing all the ordinances? So, why are we doing work for people we don't know their intellectual capacity? should we only do the work for people we knew in life?

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2 hours ago, Duncan said:

so they get a free pass? i.e without baptism, without repentance, without a testimony? without believing true doctrine?-I mean maybe all that will happen in the next life for all these folks and children. My example of doing the work for people , who you don't know they have a disability, would be waste of time  but how are we to know who is accountable or not if they lived a long time ago? don't do anybody's work if you don't know their mental capacity?

We assume that in the resurrection their deficient mental faculties will be corrected and then during the millenium they will be able to learn and live the gospel, but they don't need it in this life. 
We perform all ordinances for the dead whether or not we know their mental condition. It's the same reason we perform sealings for the dead for all spouses a person was married to in life.
We don't know what will happen to them in the spirit world and who they might finally end up with. We also perform ordiances for the dead regardless of whether we think they would acccept it or not.

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3 minutes ago, JAHS said:

We assume that in the resurrection their deficient mental faculties will be corrected and then during the millenium they will be able to learn and live the gospel, but they don't need it in this life. 
We perform all ordinances for the dead whether or not we know their mental condition. It's the same reason we perform sealings for the dead for all spouses a person was married to in life.
We don't know what will happen to them in the spirit world and who they might finally end up with. We also perform ordiances for the dead regardless of whether we think they would acccept it or not.

wouldn't their mental deficiencies, just like diabetes, lupus, dementia, being run over, killed in an explosion in a Harmonica factory,  blindness be corrected when they die? When we all die whatever reason we died from we would be in perfect spirit form and have all everything restored in the next life and then yeah, in the resurrection we would be physically restored? I don't know if I like the idea of wearing glasses until i'm resurrected😎

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27 minutes ago, Duncan said:

wouldn't their mental deficiencies, just like diabetes, lupus, dementia, being run over, killed in an explosion in a Harmonica factory,  blindness be corrected when they die? When we all die whatever reason we died from we would be in perfect spirit form and have all everything restored in the next life and then yeah, in the resurrection we would be physically restored? I don't know if I like the idea of wearing glasses until i'm resurrected😎

Yes I don't think our abnormal mental deficiencies would be assciated with our spirits. I was just refering to the abnormalities that are assciated with our physical bodies.  I think we will retain our unique spiritual characteristics and personality as spirits in the spirit world. 
 "for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world." (Alma 34:34)

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Don't conflate the shell we are born into with the spirit body. Before coming here and after death we have perfect bodies. What happens to our mortal shell in mortality is not ' corrected ' so  much as we are built a new model based on which glory we received. No need for glasses in the spirit body. You get 360 degree vision like you always had. Or so I'm told.

    You are correct in thinking that there seems to be an unfairness about the mortal existence. Of all the people ever born on the earth, a large fraction never saw their 8th birthday. Then again, a large fraction are born into slums, while a smaller bunch are born into green and pleasant pastures. Philosophers have argued about it for millennia. Good luck getting an clear answer in this life.

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4 hours ago, Duncan said:

so they get a free pass? i.e without baptism, without repentance, without a testimony? without believing true doctrine?-I mean maybe all that will happen in the next life for all these folks and children. My example of doing the work for people , who you don't know they have a disability, would be waste of time  but how are we to know who is accountable or not if they lived a long time ago? don't do anybody's work if you don't know their mental capacity?

Saved in the Celestial Kingdom is pretty self explanatory.  I’m not sure why you think anyone is getting a free pass.  We had agency during the eons of time spent in our premortal life.  It wasn’t just some fireside where we were taught the plan of salvation and then decided whom we would follow.

Many were so valient in our premortal life that they merit Celestial glory.  Mortality for them has only the purpose of gaining a body and offering to us the opportunity to see the glory of God made manifest.  

If you consider the demographics (approximately 100 billion people have lived on earth and the average infant mortality rate has been over 20 percent) between children who die before reaching the age of accountability and adults whose mental deficiencies prevent them from attaining accountability, there have over 25 billion of our brothers and sisters who had been saved in the Celestial Kingdom prior to their mortal lives.

Understanding that provides added depth and perspective to our premortal life.

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And what of those who have deficiencies due to the sins of others such as fetal alcohol syndrome or who were accountable but then brain damaged by drunk driving?  Kids abused and murdered?  Or kids shot and killed in a driveby...they died because they didn't need more than a body so God put them in those situations so others who needed the experience of a few more years or just days of accountability got it...when we are talking about existing eternally already?

And why just lacking in mental accountability?  Why not emotional or spiritual or physical accountability?  Some with severe physical limitations won't have all the choices someone without them.  Same goes with emotional and spiritual.

I think it is too simplistic an answer to suggest that all those who died young or live a life mentally unaccountable were superior in progression to those who lived to old age or at least past age of accountability and thus skipped to the last step.  That a child died one day before the beginnings of a realization of the implications of right and wrong is meant to be in the CK and another child died a few days into accountability but was not taught the gospel so ends up in Spirit Prison and eventually doesn't fully accept the gospel and so ends up in the TRK...just doesn't compute for me.

Edited by Calm
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59 minutes ago, Calm said:

think it is too simplistic an answer to suggest that all those who died young or live a life mentally unaccountable were superior in progression to those who lived to old age or at least past age of accountability and thus skipped to the last step.  That a child died one day before the beginnings of a realization of the implications of right and wrong is meant to be in the CK and another child died a few days into accountability but was not taught the gospel so ends up in Spirit Prison and eventually doesn't fully accept the gospel and so ends up in the TRK...just doesn't compute for me.

This is one of the reasons for my heretical view about multiple mortal probations.

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I know plenty of 8 year olds who only have the mental capacity of 5 year olds. Seriously though, how many eight year olds can really understand what it means to make a lifetime commitment? (none) They can't even legally sign a contract for another 10 years and there is a good reason for that. So it obviously doesn't take a fully developed adult brain to be baptized. I think if a disabled individual has enough basic intelligence to ponder the question of baptism and wishes to be baptized, they should have that opportunity. Of course, profoundly affected individuals who have no understanding of the meaning or the commitment should not be.

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12 hours ago, Calm said:

And what of those who have deficiencies due to the sins of others such as fetal alcohol syndrome or who were accountable but then brain damaged by drunk driving?  Kids abused and murdered?  Or kids shot and killed in a driveby...they died because they didn't need more than a body so God put them in those situations so others who needed the experience of a few more years or just days of accountability got it...when we are talking about existing eternally already?

And why just lacking in mental accountability?  Why not emotional or spiritual or physical accountability?  Some with severe physical limitations won't have all the choices someone without them.  Same goes with emotional and spiritual.

I think it is too simplistic an answer to suggest that all those who died young or live a life mentally unaccountable were superior in progression to those who lived to old age or at least past age of accountability and thus skipped to the last step.  That a child died one day before the beginnings of a realization of the implications of right and wrong is meant to be in the CK and another child died a few days into accountability but was not taught the gospel so ends up in Spirit Prison and eventually doesn't fully accept the gospel and so ends up in the TRK...just doesn't compute for me.

Yet the Book of Mormon tells us that ALL will confess that God’s judgments are just.  So you can trust in the fact that if you don’t yet understand it, someday you will.

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Do they give any 8 yr. old a mental test before baptism? I say go ahead and baptize any 8 yr. old child if they desire it. No matter what their mental capability is as long as it won't hurt them mentally or physically. What is the harm, because actually, IMO, no 8 yr. old really knows what they are getting into as far as the church's hidden covenants, sure they understand to follow commandments somewhat. But they can sure get the feeling of being closer to the Saviour, why deny any child that, that is of age? After working for several weeks with a Down's Syndrome child, I know without a shadow of doubt she would be a good candidate to be baptized. It's for the parents at that age as well, why deny the child's parents, if they have a mental disability? Crazy! 

Edited by Tacenda

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23 hours ago, Duncan said:

so they get a free pass? i.e without baptism, without repentance, without a testimony? without believing true doctrine?-I mean maybe all that will happen in the next life for all these folks and children. My example of doing the work for people , who you don't know they have a disability, would be waste of time  but how are we to know who is accountable or not if they lived a long time ago? don't do anybody's work if you don't know their mental capacity?

We had a crazy person on a predecessor to this board argue that killing babies was doing them a favor. He got upset about derails about the morality of what he was doing and wanted to focus on the practicalities. For a while I used one of his frustrated posts as part of my signature:

”Can we please focus on the baby-killing here?”

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On 11/11/2018 at 4:28 AM, strappinglad said:

This is one of the reasons for my heretical view about multiple mortal probations.

I've waffled over this from time to time, too. But I've decided it doesn't matter because it's out of my control. What would you do different if you knew it were the case? Answer: nothing. Stop worrying about it, do what you know is right, and let God handle it.. He can be trusted to get it done properly.

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