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Interesting Article By Atheist Journalist.


busybee

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"Apart from which, if the Catholic [Hebrews, Evangelicals, etc etc etc] ... hold that the beliefs of the Mormons are pure baloney (as they must), and their rituals therefore perfectly meaningless, how can it matter to them what mumbo-jumbo Mormons might mutter over Catholic [Hebrew, Evangelical, etc etc etc] cadavers?"

The author raises and excellent point, which is applicable to all who raise ire against the LDS and the LDS practice of Proxy Baptism.

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"Apart from which, if the Catholic [Hebrews, Evangelicals, etc etc etc] ... hold that the beliefs of the Mormons are pure baloney (as they must), and their rituals therefore perfectly meaningless, how can it matter to them what mumbo-jumbo Mormons might mutter over Catholic [Hebrew, Evangelical, etc etc etc] cadavers?"

The author raises and excellent point, which is applicable to all who raise ire against the LDS and the LDS practice of Proxy Baptism.

Not really a tough question. They care, because they are human, and humans form deep emotional bonds.

Would the atheist author take offense to someone, without his families permission, digging up his deceases mother's body to conduct medical experiments?

Its these emotional connections that cause us to take offense over symbolic actions such as flag burning, koran burning, dancing/spitting on graves, or to put a Mormon spin on it, dragging around temple garments while protesting in front of Temple Square.

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Here are some reasons people are offended.

1. They don't understand our purpose, thinking we are forcing people into our church, rather than allowing them the opportunity to accept.

2. The misunderstand the practice itself, thinking we dig up corpses, or something similar.

3. They find the idea of proselytizing (even to the dead) offensive, because they believe such people have already chosen their path.

4. They worry that we are putting the names on the rolls of our church--in particular, they worry that someone in the future may find our records and think someone converted when they did not.

5. They believe that if they do not directly confront what they believe to be a false practice, that they are implicitly authorizing false practices and will thus be held accountable. (Hence, some countries/churches do not allow us access to their records.)

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My take is that we try to respect their desires/beliefs as much as possible, while maintaining our right to perform these ordinances.

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Jaybear,

I think one of the points, however, is that there is a significant difference between actions with an offensive intent and actions without that intent. It is easy to be offended when someone tries to offend you. It takes a little more work to be offended at an action performed by someone who truly cares, and with which you think there is no large real effect.

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Jaybear digging up some ones bones is very different from a ceremony done in a persons name. I really do not understand the issue. No matter what the Lds do on the memorials a Jew will always be a Jew a Catholic will always be a Catholic; nothing the lds do will change what the records of man say of ones mortal life.

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Jaybear,

I think one of the points, however, is that there is a significant difference between actions with an offensive intent and actions without that intent. It is easy to be offended when someone tries to offend you. It takes a little more work to be offended at an action performed by someone who truly cares, and with which you think there is no large real effect.

Who then is the greater fool:

“He who takes offense when no offense is intended is a fool, and he who takes offense when offense is intended is a greater fool.” ― Brigham Young ]

BTW, great list.

Jaybear digging up some ones bones is very different from a ceremony done in a persons name.

Give me one rational reason why an atheist would care? Dead is dead. There is no resting in peace, just decomposition.

Their objection would be emotionally driven, not rationally driven.

I really do not understand the issue. No matter what the Lds do on the memorials a Jew will always be a Jew a Catholic will always be a Catholic; nothing the lds do will change what the records of man say of ones mortal life.

To understand their objection, one need to invoke empathy, not reason.

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Who then is the greater fool:

I agree with Brigham Young's quote. It is foolish to take offense. However, that doesn't mean it is easy not being a fool. ;-)
BTW, great list.
Thank you. I think people are too quick to jump to the conclusion that if our practice is false then it has no real-world consequences. It certainly does.
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Jaybear:

It has nothing to do with empathy. It has everything to do with telling others what they can and can't believe.

No one is telling LDS "what they can and can't believe". I don't see that such demands are even possible.

Why do you feel the need to make such a hyperbolic statement?

Does the fact that some people are offended at something that would not offend you, offend you?

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Does the fact that some people are offended at something that would not offend you, offend you?

I don't know about thesometimesaint, but it doesn't offend me—it puzzles and frustrates me. Especially when, after hearing a reasonable explanation as to why it should not matter in the least, the person insists on being offended anyway.

Lehi

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Why would I care if an atheist in the privacy of their own home said a few nice things about me after I'm dead?

Or, for that matter, if he said wicked (and obviously false) things about me?

He has only that power over me I choose to give him. He has no power over my loved ones, or my friends or associates who might be interested in my memory or well-being except that power they choose to give him.

So, with the shoe on the other foot*, we see that the Jews or Catholics, or atheists, who object to our practice of baptism for the dead, their dead in these cases, have given us immense power over them and their minds. They have made themselves poorer for their being offended. Because, I assure you, no Saint has ever taken more than a few seconds pondering about the fate of the person for whom he was baptized (unless his own ancestor or kin), while they seem to spend countless hours fuming and seething over the matter. They have made themselves slaves for that time, slaves to the torment of worrying about something that, in their own minds, must have no import at all. How impressively wasteful on their parts.

* The shoe's being on the other foot is an expression that came about before there were "left" and "right" shoes. Modern shoes fit well out of the box, but not so before the Union Army introduced mirror-image boots in the War Between the States. One had to be careful to wear the same shoe on the same foot day after day until the shoes were broken in to fit the "correct" foot. Even after the breaking in, the shoes looked almost identical, so it was fairly common to wear the shoe on the other foot, but not for long, because it hurt, just as having one's shoes on the wrong feet hurts today.

Lehi

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I don't know about thesometimesaint, but it doesn't offend me—it puzzles and frustrates me. Especially when, after hearing a reasonable explanation as to why it should not matter in the least, the person insists on being offended anyway.

Lehi

Its not that puzzling. As noted above, their offense is not rooted in reason, but in emotion.

Or, for that matter, if he said wicked (and obviously false) things about me?

He has only that power over me I choose to give him. He has no power over my loved ones, or my friends or associates who might be interested in my memory or well-being except that power they choose to give him.

So, with the shoe on the other foot*, we see that the Jews or Catholics, or atheists, who object to our practice of baptism for the dead, their dead in these cases, have given us immense power over them and their minds. They have made themselves poorer for their being offended.

Interesting that you feel the need to lash out and belittle those who have expressed offense at the practice. Somehow, I don't think its merely "puzzlement". I sense that you are genuinely offended that the LDS Church changed its practice to accommodate their objections.

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Jaybear:

Yes you are telling me what I can believe. I believe that we all have the choice as to what we believe, and death is no impairment to that choice. You tell me that I can't mumble a few nice words about my ancestor when they're dead. It does nothing to them, it doesn't make them anything less or more than they were in life. Their body isn't anywhere near me. As you say it is just decomposition.

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when proxy work completed is the name of the dead then listed as a member of the LDS Church on any LDS Church record whether said record is available to the public or not?

They are not counted among the 14,000,000 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

There are records kept, and they are (marginally) open to the public. We know this since one woman (whose name I forget right now) has made it her life's work to publicly "expose" "errors", such as a Jewish person whose work has been done.

Lehi

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Jaybear:

Yes you are telling me what I can believe.

No, I am not. Really, I am not.

You tell me that I can't mumble a few nice words about my ancestor when they're dead.

Nope. Never told you that. Mumble away, if that brings you peace.

It does nothing to them, it doesn't make them anything less or more than they were in life. Their body isn't anywhere near me. As you say it is just decomposition.

No argument here. Nor would I care if you post posthumously baptized mother Teresa, burned a Koran, burned the US Flag, took the Lord's name in vain, or for that matter got married another man. None of that does anything to me, or anyone. Just don't be surprised if some people take offense.

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Jaybear:

I don't want this to come across as faint praise, but I detect in your posts in this thread a strong flavor of understanding, rationality and objectivity, with hardly any snark at all. After all this time, I didn't think you had it in you!

I think it is a marvelous point that these folks who have a problem with LDS proxy baptism are simply having an emotional reaction -- and we all know that emotion very frequently flies smack in the face of reason, and does so for practically anyone. And thus should be completely understandable. Excellent observation and I thank you. I find it hard to believe that I hadn't really understood this before as well as I do now.

Out of the mouths of Jaybears, and all that.

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Its these emotional connections that cause us to take offense over symbolic actions such as flag burning, koran burning, dancing/spitting on graves, or to put a Mormon spin on it, dragging around temple garments while protesting in front of Temple Square.

You have a good point, but my right to practice my religion is balanced by your being offended by my actions. Burning the Koran is not a private act of devotion but a public act intended to offend, a provocative attack of deliberate disrespect.

I am certain that you understand our temple ordinances are designed to be a gift to someone who may receive with joy, done privately with no intention of offense.

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You have a good point, but my right to practice my religion is balanced by your being offended by my actions.

Balance? No balance. You have every right to practice your religion. They have every right to be offended, and to voice their objection.

A balance implies someone has to make a choice between two options.

This is not a black/white right/wrong issue.

Burning the Koran is not a private act of devotion but a public act intended to offend, a provocative attack of deliberate disrespect. I am certain that you understand our temple ordinances are designed to be a gift to someone who may receive with joy, done privately with no intention of offense.

Yes. I understand. Do you understand that if you toss the Koran onto a campfire, not to provoke anyone, but simply because you want to keep the fire going, and you have no intent to ever read the book, you would offend some Muslims?

Do you understand that If someone vomits, and the handiest thing available to clean it up is the American flag, you might offend someone if you use the flag to clean up the mess?

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Jaybear:

Vomit away in the privacy of your own home. Be my guest. But to publicly clean up vomit with any flag, including the flag of the US, is incitement. I have enough respect for the beliefs of others not to disrespect them in a public setting, even if I don't agree with them.

To tie it in with LDS Temple work. The Temple is not a public building. It is by private invitation only. As such it is none of anyone not LDS business what goes on in there. It would be as if I came into your home and told you I won't allow you to believe what ever you want. You could/would tell me where the nearest exit is.

Ps. The recognized way of disposal of the American flag is by burning in a dignified manner.

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