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Rebaptism Criteria


JonDS

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So, a member was baptised as a youth and went inactive for 20+ years. She was sexually and physically abused by the Bishop who baptised her years ago and it caused her to go inactive for so many years. She is now having a very hard time returning to activity as it brings back horrible memories. During the time she was inactive she was not keeping the commandments and lived a very hard life while suffering through depression, homelessness, addiction, and about everything else. Wanting to come back now she doesn't feel comfortable and cannot seem to get past the things things that happened to her many years ago by a trusted member of the Church.  My question, and her request is, can she be rebaptised? She was not excom or had her name removed from the records, she feels that a Baptism by a worthy PH leader would help give her the strength to get over her past and doubts from the past...and let her feel clean again and not shamed of her past. She understands the original baptism was performed by the PH and not the person, but she cannot seperate the two and feels that her baptism was null because of the past Bishops wrongdoings. She wants to build the trust again in herself and the PH by redoing the baptism. 

Whats your thoughs on this?  I can't seem to find much info on the criteria surrounding rebaptism when  amemebr hadn't been excom or removed from record.

 

Thank you!

 

 

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If ever there was a need for a healing baptism, that would be it.

 

I have no clue whether this will be allowed, I hope it is, that her leaders will go for the Spirit of the Law and not the letter.

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There was a time in the early church where multiple baptisms were performed; however, now this is not done to my knowledge.

 

A more complete understanding of partaking of the weekly Sacrament is a renewal of the baptismal covenants. Each week that we partake of the Sacrament we renew our covenants and are renewed through the blood of Jesus Christ.  For someone that has been baptized it is as if we were re-baptized.  There is a great deal of power and sanctification offered to us each week if we are willing to avail ourselves of this opportunity with the proper frame of mind, spirit, and preparation.

 

A man, any man, is but an instrument in the hands of God to accomplish his will. Once the baptism has been done, the name of Christ is sealed upon the individual. Any further renewal of the covenant does not require another person; it is between the individual and God.

 

This is an opportunity to gain a deep understanding of repentance in its fullest sense. Too often we willingly carry this baggage around with us as it eats away at our spirits, hearts, and souls. If we can but forgive others and allow our Father to take away all the pain, be truly washed in the blood of the Lamb, we are a new creature without any need for looking back and the old creature. 

 

We are so very frail and so often we harm one another, at times grievously.  To learn to turn away from that front and leave the pain completely in the hands of our Savior is to never carry the soul-destroying pain that others create.  We cannot control what others do, but we can control how we react to their actions.

 

Woe to the man that offends the little ones, those that follow after him. The offender must face God in shame and we must learn to approach him with the humble, loving heart of a bride.

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I'm not being glib here. But know that she could be baptised by say the Evangelical and it probably means nothing to the LDS as far as having Priesthood authority. I wonder if that would be ok in our book. If what she desired was the clean feeling.

Edited by Tacenda
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Isn't baptism to wash away one's own sins? As such, there's absolutely no need for it regarding what her former bisop may have done to her (which, frankly, I'm very skeptical if what JonDS says happened really happened). As for her addictions, that would simply require a life change. A change in choices. She can and will do it if she chooses too. Her faith belongs in Christ the Lord. The baptism is His, not the bishop's, and despite it may have been performed by a person with abhorrent behavior, the fact ofthe matter is that JonDS' friend should place all her faith in Jesus Christ and move forward. That's the real cleansing power for her and it is through His blood and His Spirit. There's no need to be rebaptized.  

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I'm not being glib here. But know that she could be baptised by say the evangelical and it probably means nothing to the LDS as far as having Priesthood authority. I womder if that would be ok in our book. If what she desired was the clean feeling.

 

Wouldn't that be like telling this person to resend her letter in the mail without putting an authorized stamp on it and hoping it'll arrive at its destination?

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Isn't baptism to wash away one's own sins? As such, there's absolutely no need for it regarding what her former bisop may have done to her (which, frankly, I'm very skeptical if what JonDS says happened really happened). As for her addictions, that would simply require a life change. A change in choices. She can and will do it if she chooses too. Her faith belongs in Christ the Lord. The baptism is His, not the bishop's, and despite it may have been performed by a person with abhorrent behavior, the fact ofthe matter is that JonDS' friend should place all her faith in Jesus Christ and move forward. That's the real cleansing power for her and it is through His blood and His Spirit. There's no need to be rebaptized.  

 

I had a Branch Pres, future Temple Pres. member who molested his daughter, she was exed at 18 for sleeping with some guy, he wasn't, now he is dead so he seemed to escape any disciplinary action here but the next life won't be so forgiving

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So, a member was baptised as a youth and went inactive for 20+ years. She was sexually and physically abused by the Bishop who baptised her years ago and it caused her to go inactive for so many years. She is now having a very hard time returning to activity as it brings back horrible memories. During the time she was inactive she was not keeping the commandments and lived a very hard life while suffering through depression, homelessness, addiction, and about everything else. Wanting to come back now she doesn't feel comfortable and cannot seem to get past the things things that happened to her many years ago by a trusted member of the Church.  My question, and her request is, can she be rebaptised? She was not excom or had her name removed from the records, she feels that a Baptism by a worthy PH leader would help give her the strength to get over her past and doubts from the past...and let her feel clean again and not shamed of her past. She understands the original baptism was performed by the PH and not the person, but she cannot seperate the two and feels that her baptism was null because of the past Bishops wrongdoings. She wants to build the trust again in herself and the PH by redoing the baptism. 

Whats your thoughs on this?  I can't seem to find much info on the criteria surrounding rebaptism when  amemebr hadn't been excom or removed from record.

 

Thank you!

 

 

I think this sitaution would go above and beyond a Stake Pres. approval, but it would be exceedingly rare. My guess is is she would be interviewed by a General Authority or AA70 at least for this to occur, sounds good to me but I am not one the making the decision

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Wouldn't that be like telling this person to resend her letter in the mail without putting an authorized stamp on it and hoping it'll arrive at its destination?

I'm speaking mentally, she may not feel clean and has probably tried over and over in the shower to feel clean.  Maybe she wants that feeling she had at her first baptism.  I know, I know she is able to through the Sacrament each week, but for her mentally and psychologically she wants that.  Could it be therapeutic?  And since we don't recognize an Evangelical baptism, why would it matter?  Ok, but maybe it would mess her up too, since she would probably desire a baptism with the authority.  You're right most likely.    

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I had a Branch Pres, future Temple Pres. member who molested his daughter, she was exed at 18 for sleeping with some guy, he wasn't, now he is dead so he seemed to escape any disciplinary action here but the next life won't be so forgiving

 

This is the issue that so many of us forget; we cannot escape the need for repentance. We may try to hide them, but there is always a day of reckoning. Some of think that if we bear the burden of sin in silence God will forgive; that it is just between God and ourselves; that there is no need for confession. For many sins this is correct, but the major sins are something else. Why do we not confess our sins when it is necessary? Pride. What keeps us silent? Pride. How well does pride serve us in the eternities? It provides a ticket to damnation; to separation from our Father and his glory.

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If she was never excommunicated there is no need for rebaptism. As has been mentioned that is what the Sacrament is for, renewing that covenant. If she can get back into activity and temple worthy she can go to the temple and I think she will find there what she is looking for as far as a washing away of the past.

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If she was never excommunicated there is no need for rebaptism. As has been mentioned that is what the Sacrament is for, renewing that covenant. If she can get back into activity and temple worthy she can go to the temple and I think she will find there what she is looking for as far as a washing away of the past.

Yes... Yes... Deborah is correct.   If she can understand that she did nothing wrong in the case with the bishop... and also prayerfully forgives herself and repents of her personal behaviors through the years, becoming active again... and temple worthy for therein lies the peace she desires... when she goes to the temple and receives the initiatory ordinances of washing and annointing she will be so joyous... so absolutely joyous as she hears the words of the blessings that are pronounced upon her...

So... JonDS... if you have any influence on her, please try to explain what people have said here... that she has been baptized, that she is innocent of the bishop incident, and her course now is to repent of her own actions and rely on the atonement... talk to her about the atonement... and encourage her to reactivate and become worthy to go to the House of the Lord and receive those incredible blessings.

I was inactive for just over 30 years... while my life was a good one, I still had repenting to accomplish... and when I was able to go to the temple and I went through the initiatory ordinances I wept as I finally felt my burdens truly lifted. 

Try to help her become active again... Good luck...

 

GG

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I had a Branch Pres, future Temple Pres. member who molested his daughter, she was exed at 18 for sleeping with some guy, he wasn't, now he is dead so he seemed to escape any disciplinary action here but the next life won't be so forgiving

 

if that's what happened than that's the way I see his end but I do hope they both make it to the Celestial Kingdom.

Edited by Darren10
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I'm speaking mentally, she may not feel clean and has probably tried over and over in the shower to feel clean.  Maybe she wants that feeling she had at her first baptism.  I know, I know she is able to through the Sacrament each week, but for her mentally and psychologically she wants that.  Could it be therapeutic?  And since we don't recognize an Evangelical baptism, why would it matter?  Ok, but maybe it would mess her up too, since she would probably desire a baptism with the authority.  You're right most likely.    

 

Th path to celestial glory is in Christ the Lord and we access His grace through covenants we make by the holy priesthood and uphold those covenants. Evangelical baptism has nothing to do with this beyond accepting Jesus as one's eprsonal Lord and Savior. If this person feels better attending an Evangelical group and being baptized with them than she should be 100% free to do so. If she thinks and feels this is the way to improve than I'll be hapy fror her and making a choice to be baptized and frequent in worship with Evangelicals. However, my witness is that there is a way to Exaltation, not just "salvation" and it is not found anywhere in Evangelical theology except the Bible which they do not interpret as such. Therefore I will not offer this asa solution to her beyond her initiating the decision and the desire to follow an Evangelical path.

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I was inactive for just over 30 years... while my life was a good one, I still had repenting to accomplish... and when I was able to go to the temple and I went through the initiatory ordinances I wept as I finally felt my burdens truly lifted. 

Try to help her become active again... Good luck...

 

GG

 

That's really cool.

Edited by Darren10
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If she was never excommunicated there is no need for rebaptism. As has been mentioned that is what the Sacrament is for, renewing that covenant. If she can get back into activity and temple worthy she can go to the temple and I think she will find there what she is looking for as far as a washing away of the past.

 

Exactly.

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I'm speaking mentally, she may not feel clean and has probably tried over and over in the shower to feel clean.  Maybe she wants that feeling she had at her first baptism.  I know, I know she is able to through the Sacrament each week, but for her mentally and psychologically she wants that.  Could it be therapeutic?  And since we don't recognize an Evangelical baptism, why would it matter?  Ok, but maybe it would mess her up too, since she would probably desire a baptism with the authority.  You're right most likely.    

 

 

That is what prayer is for.  Prayer along with some counceling from an LDS councelor should make a difference.  If she is ready to make changes in her life she should ask for some counceling through LDS Services.

Edited by ERayR
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If she has done things that qualify her for excommunication, she can ask for it and tell the council why she wants it.   She can remove her name, and then be  baptised (doesn't even have to wait a year in that case, though if it is the same priesthood leaders involved in both, they may have a hard time with the notion of name removed and then baptised.

 

Fundamentally though, she is misunderstanding both the atonement and the sacrament by needing it.  Because both make the baptism unnecessary with her repentance (though when the behavior came as a result of the abuse, I dont' know that the Lord generally thinks of the "sins" as "sins" in the same manner as He would if they were volitional.)

 

There is church precedent for being rebaptized.  Lots of members were in Nauvoo, and in one or another of the reformation movements after the saints reached Utah.

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If ever there was a need for a healing baptism, that would be it.

 

I have no clue whether this will be allowed, I hope it is, that her leaders will go for the Spirit of the Law and not the letter.

 

I agree. Others have pointed out the historical precedents, and that it would probably require approval by a GA or even the First Presidency. IIRC, rebaptisms are performed today in cases of lost records and, presumably, when questions are raised about the authority of the person who performed the baptism.

 

The only reason I can see why such approval might not be given would be concern that some may interpret it to mean that the validity of ones baptism depends on the personal righteousness of the person performing the ordinance.

 

If her rebaptism isn‘t approved, I would encourage her to do baptisms for the dead. I’m sure that some of her friends would be glad to accompany her, and that, under the circumstances, the temple officiator would be willing to take a little extra time. I often feel like I am renewing my own ordinances when receiving them on behalf of another.

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