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Baptizing Dead Quakers


phaedrus ut

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I just finished reading Baptizing Dead Quakers. It's a interesting perspective on why some religious communities find proxy baptism of their ancestors offensive. In this case it's because:

Quakers do not believe in baptism by water. For Quakers, accepting baptism imperils their immortal souls. That's been a major Quaker doctrine since the 17th century. The Quaker branch of my mother's family is rather rare in that it has been consistently Quaker since the 17th century.

Phaedrus

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I just finished reading Baptizing Dead Quakers. It's a interesting perspective on why some religious communities find proxy baptism of their ancestors offensive. In this case it's because:

Phaedrus

That's interesting, do they somehow think that an LDS proxy baptism has some sort of power over their souls to cause them to be effected by it? I mean they are Quakers, why should they be offended if they don't believe? What difference should it make if they are the true believers and we are heretics?

I guess I'm missing the point...

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I found this part odd:

I also know that I have to tread very carefully with Lou and her faith. Lou can voice her frustrations to me, but she also feels that she must remain a member in good standing of her faith. Because the Mormon faith is both a faith of personal revelation and hierarchical authority, Lou is required to voice any doubts to her local leader. If I push too much on the theological inconsistencies (and like all faiths, the LDS faith has some), then I put Lou in the painful position of having to question her faith or not. If she doesn't confess, that will make her feel fraudulent; if she does, then there's a good chance she will be advised to stop speaking to her gentile family -- and that's all of us. We can threaten her belief, and for Mormons, that imperils not only Lou's soul, but the souls of her sons.

I've never heard of members being required to voice doubts to local leaders or being advised to stop speaking to non-LDS families.

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I've never heard of .... being advised to stop speaking to non-LDS families.

In fact quite the opposite.

Another misunderstanding...though minor, imo:

Mormons believe that one of the conditions for the Second Coming is ensuring that every soul who ever lived is baptized
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I've never heard of members being required to voice doubts to local leaders or being advised to stop speaking to non-LDS families.

Sounds like something my Mother-In-Law would declare. That is because my wife did stop talking to her family after she and I were married. However, it wasn't because she became LDS, it was because of the verbal and mental abuse that she had been subjected to, and was continuing to be subjected to at the hands of her parents and family.

The word dysfunctional doesn't even start it.

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So, the Quakers find baptism for the dead offensive because it could endanger their soul?

For Quakers, accepting baptism imperils their immortal souls.
Do they believe that if someone forcibly grabbed them and baptized them, that this would imperil their soul as this does not seem like it is "accepting baptism"? If so, then there should be no real issue if they understand it as even if LDS belief is correct, no one HAS to accept baptism and if they do not, the ceremony is null and void.

I can see why it would be offensive to them that someone thinks they have the right to do so, but it shouldn't be a concern over their immortal souls if our doctrine is false or even if it is correct enough to imperil souls who actually accept it by proxy.

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In this case it's because:

Absolutely meaningless. Because Quakers don't accept baptism, an LDS proxy baptism can't possibly harm or offend a Quaker, living or dead, in any real and meaningful sense. The same logic is true for anyone you care to mention.

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However, it wasn't because she became LDS, it was because of the verbal and mental abuse that she had been subjected to, and was continuing to be subjected to at the hands of her parents and family.

The word dysfunctional doesn't even start it.

This problem isn't unique to just LDS families. The last funeral I went to, the religion separation of the family was obvious since the reception after the Catholic funeral was held in a different church. I remember visiting the Catholic member prior to her passing away and felt the 'dysfunction' of the adult kids who didn't support their elderly mom's faith, but she perservered anyways. Tough stuff.

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Then some eternal bureaucrat appears, douses her with cold water and says, "We just got a memo. You're now in the wrong Heaven. In the other one, you'll be an eternal servant, the subject of some ascended god you've never heard of, who happens to be your many, many times great-grandson-in-law... Who in life was neither peaceful nor egalitarian nor simple. Will you go peacefully or DENY THE WILL OF GOD?"
This appears to demonstrate a real misunderstanding of what LDS believe is going to happen in the next life.

If this is an accurate (though likely somewhat parodied for effect) portrayal of understanding, then it becomes more clear why someone would find it offensive.

Otherwise, it comes across as being offended more on principle...which I don't have a problem with depending on how what that principle is and how consistent it has been applied in someone's life.

However, there is also the problem that LDS believe that their past relatives who sought God to the best of their abilities in the past would desire to continue to seek God to the best of their abilities in the next life, we don't believe their attitude is identical to what existed in this life...as this individual imagines....so we are presented with the problem of do you deprive your dead of what they desire because it will offend your living?

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This problem isn't unique to just LDS families. The last funeral I went to, the religion separation of the family was obvious since the reception after the Catholic funeral was held in a different church. I remember visiting the Catholic member prior to her passing away and felt the 'dysfunction' of the adult kids who didn't support their elderly mom's faith, but she persevered anyways. Tough stuff.

Oh the mental and verbal abuse wasn't even related to her being LDS, she didn't join the church until about six months after she talked speaking to them. I wasn't re-baptized until more than a year after she joined. (we got married and she got baptized on the same day. Morning Wedding, Afternoon Baptism)

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This appears to demonstrate a real misunderstanding of what LDS believe is going to happen in the next life.

If this is an accurate (though likely somewhat parodied for effect) portrayal of understanding, then it becomes more clear why someone would find it offensive.

While I totally understand the LDS frustration in not seeing the harm in performing Baptisms for the Dead, members should be consistent in not being offended if they have satanic family members perform similar intentions. My experience says that many LDS would prefer these intentions to not be performed though. :diablo:

Just saying....

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While I totally understand the LDS frustration in not seeing the harm in performing Baptisms for the Dead, members should be consistent in not being offended if they have satanic family members perform similar intentions. My experience says that many LDS would prefer these intentions to not be performed though. :diablo:

Just saying....

I would definitely prefer that such things not be performed, but if i knew they were being done out of genuine love and concern for the eternal welfare of my family member's soul, i don't see how i could be offended by them. 1)-in my belief the act has absolutely no effect at all on my loved one and 2)-someone is trying to love, serve, and care for someone that i also love and care for.

What valid reasons would there be to be offended by anything done in a family members name under such circumstances? I honestly can't think of any but my question is sincere.

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members should be consistent in not being offended if they have satanic family members perform similar intentions.

That's quite a "what if." Do you in fact know of such cases? I doubt it. In any case why should something I don't believe in offend me?

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I would prefer my name to not show up on any Baptism for the Dead list even if there is no harm in performing it. But I know as a technically 6th generation family member, the chances are slim to none that my wishes would be honored.

So be it. I'll get over it. :rolleyes:

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It doesn't matter if you, whoever you are, are not offended in theory while applying a thought experiment. It matters if they, whoever they are, are offended in fact when you apply an ordinance to a person, represented by a name, from their family.

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Absolutely meaningless. Because Quakers don't accept baptism, an LDS proxy baptism can't possibly harm or offend a Quaker, living or dead, in any real and meaningful sense. The same logic is true for anyone you care to mention.

If it is absolutely meaningless, then why did the LDS church agree to quit performing baptisms for the dead for Jews killed in the Holocaust? Obviously, a number of Jewish organizations, and the LDS church themselves, do not consider these actions meaningless, and in fact, a number of Jewish organizations found these activities to be downright offensive.

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Do Quakers believe in the Bible? Do they believe in Jesus Christ as the Savior? I'm unfamiliar with their scriptural belief... if they believe in the Bible, it is perfectly clear that baptism is a must... in fact, the last thing that Christ told his apostles before his ascension was to preach the gospel to all the world, baptizing in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost...

If they accept the Bible, how do they get around this admonition...

GG

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GG

Perhaps this link from about.com will help

Quakers Beliefs

Baptism - Most Quakers believe that how a person lives their life is a sacrament, and that formal observances are not necessary. Quakers hold that baptism is an inward, not outward, act.

Bible - Quakers' beliefs stress individual revelation, but the Bible is truth. All personal light must be held up to the Bible for confirmation. The Holy Spirit, who inspired the Bible, does not contradict Himself.

Communion - Spiritual communion with God, experienced during silent meditation, is one of the common Quakers beliefs.

Creed - Quakers do not have a written creed. Instead, they hold to personal testimonies professing peace, integrity, humility, and community.

Equality - From its beginning, the Religious Society of Friends taught equality of all persons, including women. Some conservative meetings are divided over the issue of homosexuality.

Heaven, Hell - Quakers believe that God's kingdom is now, and consider heaven and hell issues for individual interpretation. Liberal Quakers hold that the question of the afterlife is a matter of speculation.

Jesus Christ - While Quakers beliefs say that God is revealed in Jesus Christ, most Friends are more concerned with emulating Jesus' life and obeying his commands than with the theology of salvation.

Sin - Unlike other Christian denominations, Quakers believe that humans are inherently good. Sin exists, but even the fallen are children of God, Who works to kindle the Light within them.

Trinity - Friends believe in God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit, although belief in the roles each Person plays vary widely among Quakers.

Practices of Quakers

Sacraments - Quakers do not practice a ritual baptism but believe that life, when lived in the example of Jesus Christ, is a sacrament. Similarly, to the Quaker, silent meditation, seeking revelation directly from God, is their form of communion.

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If it is absolutely meaningless, then why did the LDS church agree to quit performing baptisms for the dead for Jews killed in the Holocaust? Obviously, a number of Jewish organizations, and the LDS church themselves, do not consider these actions meaningless, and in fact, a number of Jewish organizations found these activities to be downright offensive.

If a Jewish member of the Church wants to do proxy baptisms on behalf of his/her own deceased ancestors, the Church would not stop him/her from doing so, regardless of any objections from from Jewish activists or organizations. The Church only agreed to stop proxy baptisms by Church members for deceased Jews who were not their own ancestors. Church members have an obligation to perform proxy ordinances for their own ancestors to whom they are directly related. If I wanted to perform such ordinances for someone not related to me, such as a close friend for example, I would have to obtain permission form their closest living relative before doing so, be they Jews or Gentiles.

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GG

Perhaps this link from about.com will help

I wonder why they believe Jesus was baptized, and why John the Baptist, physically baptized people? It would be so interesting to have a Quaker on here who would share their thoughts on it.

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It doesn't matter if you, whoever you are, are not offended in theory while applying a thought experiment. It matters if they, whoever they are, are offended in fact when you apply an ordinance to a person, represented by a name, from their family.

This sounds good, until you factor in that people have LOTS of relatives and there is no good reason for one family member to believe they have sole claim on the use of an ancestor's name.

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