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Criminals And Baptism


bjw

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I hope this is the right forum to ask this, but I have a question about a situation I have. I gave a friend of my dad's a BoM and he has been reading it, and is considering meeting with the missionaries. However, I found out he did 10 years in prison earlier in life for robbery. He seems nice but I don't know the rules if someone who has commited a felony can be baptised. I asked if he gave the money back, and he said no, that he spent some and his girlfriend at the time took the rest. So, is submitting to the law and paying the penalty for the crime, along with godly sorrow, considered true repentance? Could he be baptised with approval of a higher authority than the zone leader or bishop? I realize nobody here speaks officially for the church, but any advice would be appreciated

Thanks

(Edited for spelling)

Edited by bjw
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He needs to talk to the bishop or mission president, I believe.  Depending on the felony, he made need to get approval from an apostle (or maybe First Presidency).  There may be also limitations of callings he can serve in....such as ward clerk since clerks deal with money.  If sexual felonies, they would be banned from serving with youth or children.

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He needs to talk to the bishop or mission president, I believe.  Depending on the felony, he made need to get approval from an apostle (or maybe First Presidency).  There may be also limitations of callings he can serve in....such as ward clerk since clerks deal with money.  If sexual felonies, they would be banned from serving with youth or children.

Sounds like a longshot then. If he can get approval I can understand the restrictions on callings though, to protect the church.
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Here are a few exerpts from the CHurch Handbook:

 

"Authorization of the mission president is required before a prospective convert may be baptized if the person:

Has been convicted of a serious crime (baptism of a person who has committed murder requires the approval of the First Presidency).

In these instances, the mission president conducts a searching interview and issues a Baptism Record form if he determines that the person has repented and is worthy. 

Persons who have been convicted of crimes and seek baptism for the first time or baptism for readmission into the Church are not baptized until they complete their terms of imprisonment, parole, or probation resulting from their convictions (unless the First Presidency has granted an exception). They are encouraged to work closely with local priesthood leaders and to do everything they can to become worthy of baptism."

 

So it sounds to me like if he did the time for the crime and feels he has repented for it, he is elligible for baptism.

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Yes, provided he is not on probation or parole.

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It is not a long shot by any means. If he decides to be baptized an interview with the Mission President will take place. Unless he is proud of what he did or completely unrepentant he is likely to get permission. At least that was the case in my Mission a while back.

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Thanks everyone, this is good to know. It sounds like he's on the right track then. It will probably require the interview with the mp following the zone leader interview.

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I had a couple of those when I was a District Leader, although it was not a crime issue.  They met with the Stake President in addition to meeting with me, but were still  baptized.

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I had a couple of those when I was a District Leader, although it was not a crime issue.  They met with the Stake President in addition to meeting with me, but were still  baptized.

This was a similar case in my dad's baptism, since he was a former employee of Walter Martin, they had to have the mp do an extra interview, as he was affiliated in the past with someone out to destroy the church.

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Thanks everyone, this is good to know. It sounds like he's on the right track then. It will probably require the interview with the mp following the zone leader interview.

 

If the missionaries know before the district/zone leader interview there's no reason to do the first. I had some cases in my mission with homosexuality and abortion where we just skipped right to the mission president interview.

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This was a similar case in my dad's baptism, since he was a former employee of Walter Martin, they had to have the mp do an extra interview, as he was affiliated in the past with someone out to destroy the church.

Your family tree is ... interesting! ;)

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He needs to talk to the bishop or mission president, I believe.  Depending on the felony, he made need to get approval from an apostle (or maybe First Presidency).  There may be also limitations of callings he can serve in....such as ward clerk since clerks deal with money.  If sexual felonies, they would be banned from serving with youth or children.

Ditto, and no longer on probation.
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