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MorningStar

Temple Work for Missing People

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My grandmother has been missing for close to 50 years now and we're sure she must have passed away. We can't do her temple work until she is 110. That's another 13 years and I know my mom won't live that long. Does anyone know what would happen if she were declared dead? It just occurred to me that maybe that's a possibility. I really want my mom to have the experience of doing her temple work. Would the church accept that? Our DNA is just sitting in a database waiting for Jane Doe to come up as a match. 

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Just an observation but..isn't it a legal issue of sort to be declared dead after so many years?  I don't see that it would hurt for your mom to get this opportunity. 

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Lot of trouble and expense for something that can be done in 13 years without it.   And I'm not sure how it would be done in your jurisdiction  or what circumstances allow it.   But yes, when a judge declares someone dead, then you'll get a death certificate, and have to wait a year to do the ordinances.

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If you call or email your temple, they could tell you what's needed.  Email might be better, simply because you would only have to explain the situation once.

 

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Correct me if I am wrong but you could do her work 10 years after a death certificate is made. The 110 year rule is for people that its so far back now and you have no leads and it's just a mystery but in your case the death certificate is needed and then 10 years after that to get her work done. There was a GA years ago, Elder Royden G. Derrick, his uncle went missing and they had nothing, no leads, no contact and they had his work done 110 years after he was born. That's different from another case I know of where someone presumably drowned but they never found the body so they got a death certificate and then had to wait 10 years after that, in case the person turns up, but she never did and then they could do the work. I don't know what it takes to get a death certificate or what but worth looking into.

edit to add

https://www.lds.org/manual/introduction-to-family-history-student-manual/chapter-7?lang=eng

scroll down to presumed dead

Edited by Duncan
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I think it’s a unique enough case that it’d be worth contacting someone in Salt Lake about and being persistent. If you don’t mind me asking, what were the circumstances?

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19 hours ago, MorningStar said:

My grandmother has been missing for close to 50 years now and we're sure she must have passed away. We can't do her temple work until she is 110. That's another 13 years and I know my mom won't live that long. Does anyone know what would happen if she were declared dead? It just occurred to me that maybe that's a possibility. I really want my mom to have the experience of doing her temple work. Would the church accept that? Our DNA is just sitting in a database waiting for Jane Doe to come up as a match. 

Since the system does not question a submitted date of death, or require evidence of death (certificate), you could calculate a reasonable date of death based on an average or even maximum age that ancestors of your grandmother have reached.  I know this sounds at least vaguely deceitful, but if you were to get a judge to declare her dead, the date of death provided by the court would be the date of the declaration, and that would be no more accurate than your calculated date.

I am curious.  What were the circumstances of her disappearance?  And where?  Answer only if you are comfortable doing so, but in any case, in these days of technology it may be easier to find her than in the past. Has your family ever thought of hiring a private investigator to see if she could be tracked down?  

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Duncan is right, even if she is declared dead and you get a death certificate, you still have to wait ten more years.  And without a death certificate you have to wait until the person would be 110, no exceptions (according to the church's website).

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