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Praying for the dead


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Friend of mine passed away recently. 

I pray that another friend of mine who I completed the Temple work for a few years back will be guided to my friend who recently passed away, so he can accept the restored gospel. 

Any of you do this or am I over thinking this?

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1 hour ago, nuclearfuels said:

Friend of mine passed away recently. 

I pray that another friend of mine who I completed the Temple work for a few years back will be guided to my friend who recently passed away, so he can accept the restored gospel. 

Any of you do this or am I over thinking this?

There is no scriptural support for that practice. The rituals associated with vicarious liturgy comes from historic pagan roman traditions that were incorporated (with many others) into the Roman Church.

In LDS theology the Temple work is available to us; the living, as a work of grace and mercy where we facilitate a temporal ordinance on behalf of those that no longer enjoy a temporal existence but our involvement ends there. It is a commandment received by revelation and not an act of free will (like a prayer). The ordinance plays the role of an affidavit that is presented in absentia and provide legal standing. It is not intercessory. Well-intended as it may be, those prayers you are offering are neither efficacious nor prescribed in revelation, ancient or modern but  rather superstitious. 

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3 hours ago, nuclearfuels said:

Friend of mine passed away recently. 

I pray that another friend of mine who I completed the Temple work for a few years back will be guided to my friend who recently passed away, so he can accept the restored gospel. 

Any of you do this or am I over thinking this?

Absolutely great.

Nothing wrong with it

I am sure the deceased person will appreciate your intentions, and so will the Lord.

How is this different from doing indexing??

The hope is that we are helping the individual accept the gospel.

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13 hours ago, nuclearfuels said:

Friend of mine passed away recently. 

I pray that another friend of mine who I completed the Temple work for a few years back will be guided to my friend who recently passed away, so he can accept the restored gospel. 

Any of you do this or am I over thinking this?

I think it is a fine sentiment, but I have found that when i pray for things, they come to pass after I've prayed about, learned, and followed through on what I need to do. Hopefully you an share what you have been prompted to do to help your friends on the other side of the veil receive the message of the Restored Gospel.

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17 hours ago, nuclearfuels said:

Friend of mine passed away recently. 

I pray that another friend of mine who I completed the Temple work for a few years back will be guided to my friend who recently passed away, so he can accept the restored gospel. 

Any of you do this or am I over thinking this?

What we know about the spirit world appears to be very little. A favorite insight I heard was a few years ago at a FAIR conference Q&A after the presenter had concluded (I wish I could remember who the presenter was). When asked who, of all God's children with their various forms of worship, he thought would be favored in the post-mortal world, he replied, "I think I'm going to be surprised, and if I'm not surprised, I'll be surprised." I respect the faith you portray in this 👍.

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19 hours ago, nuclearfuels said:

Friend of mine passed away recently. 

I pray that another friend of mine who I completed the Temple work for a few years back will be guided to my friend who recently passed away, so he can accept the restored gospel. 

Any of you do this or am I over thinking this?

This may be more a matter of nuance than anything else.  A few thoughts:

1. We are free to pray for the welfare of people who are alive on this earth.  I'm not sure there would be a problem with praying for the welfare of someone who has passed on.

2. Islander makes a fair point about "intercessory" prayers.

3. As a missionary in Taiwan I once visited an apartment of a man who had passed away during the night.  His widow, distraught at his passing, called her sister who was a member of the Church, and who in turn called us.  We went over and I was surprised at the request of the sister, which was that we missionaries should, essentially, pray his soul into the afterlife (she asked my companion in Taiwanese, who then translated into Chinese for me).  My companion, a native of Taiwan, was apparently willing to make up a "pray the dead person into the afterlife"-style ordinance on the spot, which resulted in a quiet but vigorous disagreement between us.  Fortunately, a few minutes later the bishop and his wife showed up in the apartment.  He took me and my companion aside and asked what had happened so far.  We explained the situation, and the bishop said (in English) something like this: "It's okay, Elders.  I'll take care of this.  As you know, we don't have an ordinance for praying someone into the afterlife, but we often get this request.  Basically I offer a prayer asking for God to comfort the family.  I don't invoke the priesthood or anything."

I think the bishop handled it well.  He did not make up an ordinance, but neither did he take a totally hands-off approach.  He did was he felt was right and withing the bounds of propriety and sanctity.

4. I have honestly never thought of praying for the welfare of a departed friend.  It's a nice sentiment.  And intercessory requests aside, I'm not sure there is a problem with it.  But I'm open to correction.

5. D&C 137 and 138 are both interesting meditations on the state of those who have passed on.  In section 137 Joseph was shown his departed brother, Alvin.  And in section 128 Pres. Joseph F. Smith was shown "the hosts of the dead, both small and great ... an innumerable company of the spirits of the just" apparently in response to him having "sat in {his} room pondering over the scriptures" and reflecting on the Atonement.  He also "perceived that the Lord went not in person among the wicked and the disobedient who had rejected the truth, to teach them," and "from among the righteous, he organized his forces and appointed messengers, clothed with power and authority, and commissioned them to go forth and carry the light of the gospel to them that were in darkness, even to all the spirits of men; and thus was the gospel preached to the dead ... Thus was the gospel preached to those who had died in their sins, without a knowledge of the truth, or in transgression, having rejected the prophets."

Thanks,

-Smac

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4 hours ago, smac97 said:

This may be more a matter of nuance than anything else.  A few thoughts:

1. We are free to pray for the welfare of people who are alive on this earth.  I'm not sure there would be a problem with praying for the welfare of someone who has passed on.

2. Islander makes a fair point about "intercessory" prayers.

3. As a missionary in Taiwan I once visited an apartment of a man who had passed away during the night.  His widow, distraught at his passing, called her sister who was a member of the Church, and who in turn called us.  We went over and I was surprised at the request of the sister, which was that we missionaries should, essentially, pray his soul into the afterlife (she asked my companion in Taiwanese, who then translated into Chinese for me).  My companion, a native of Taiwan, was apparently willing to make up a "pray the dead person into the afterlife"-style ordinance on the spot, which resulted in a quiet but vigorous disagreement between us.  Fortunately, a few minutes later the bishop and his wife showed up in the apartment.  He took me and my companion aside and asked what had happened so far.  We explained the situation, and the bishop said (in English) something like this: "It's okay, Elders.  I'll take care of this.  As you know, we don't have an ordinance for praying someone into the afterlife, but we often get this request.  Basically I offer a prayer asking for God to comfort the family.  I don't invoke the priesthood or anything."

I think the bishop handled it well.  He did not make up an ordinance, but neither did he take a totally hands-off approach.  He did was he felt was right and withing the bounds of propriety and sanctity.

4. I have honestly never thought of praying for the welfare of a departed friend.  It's a nice sentiment.  And intercessory requests aside, I'm not sure there is a problem with it.  But I'm open to correction.

5. D&C 137 and 138 are both interesting meditations on the state of those who have passed on.  In section 137 Joseph was shown his departed brother, Alvin.  And in section 128 Pres. Joseph F. Smith was shown "the hosts of the dead, both small and great ... an innumerable company of the spirits of the just" apparently in response to him having "sat in {his} room pondering over the scriptures" and reflecting on the Atonement.  He also "perceived that the Lord went not in person among the wicked and the disobedient who had rejected the truth, to teach them," and "from among the righteous, he organized his forces and appointed messengers, clothed with power and authority, and commissioned them to go forth and carry the light of the gospel to them that were in darkness, even to all the spirits of men; and thus was the gospel preached to the dead ... Thus was the gospel preached to those who had died in their sins, without a knowledge of the truth, or in transgression, having rejected the prophets."

Thanks,

-Smac

As with the widow Mary Fielding Smith, who (the story goes) anointed her ox with consecrated oil and restored it to health on the pioneer trail, I believe the good Lord will honor our earnest and faithful desires and acts, even when we don’t observe correct forms and procedures. 
 

There’s a story from my family history about my grandfather doctoring my grandmother’s badly injured hand that had been caught in a laundry wringer. He used consecrated oil as a sort of ointment on her hand. Thus, he helped her recover fully. 
 

I believe he wrought a miracle by the power of the priesthood, though his method would strike us today as unorthodox. 

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On 6/14/2021 at 8:56 PM, nuclearfuels said:

Friend of mine passed away recently. 

I pray that another friend of mine who I completed the Temple work for a few years back will be guided to my friend who recently passed away, so he can accept the restored gospel. 

Any of you do this or am I over thinking this?

Years ago, when I could still get away with it, I did the work for a good friend.  Nobody was available to do it for him, except me.  That no longer seems possible.  How did you manage it?

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On 6/15/2021 at 12:08 AM, InCognitus said:

I suspect you may be thinking of praying to the dead, which is entirely different than praying to Heavenly Father on behalf of the dead.

I am constantly praying to Heavenly Father on behalf of the investigators being taught by the missionaries in our ward, and I don't see any difference between that and praying to Heavenly Father on behalf of the investigators being taught in the spirit world. 

Again, there is no scriptural support for that practice. We pray for each other every day. There is absolutely no mention anywhere in scripture of praying to God for the dead. That is a Roman practice with no root in historical Christianity or modern revelation.

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On 6/15/2021 at 4:59 AM, Dan McClellan said:

Vicarious liturgy was a part of Christianity from the beginning, and has always been a part of ancient Israelite practice. As early as we can distinguish Judahite and Israelite tombs from those of other societies, we have found mortuary chapels with representations of the dead that included petitions for the wellbeing of the dead as well as petitions to the dead for help. The earliest version of any passage known from the Hebrew Bible is a set of tiny rolled up silver scrolls dating to around 600 BCE that contain a version of the priestly blessing from the book of Numbers that was used as an apotropaic amulet that was buried with a deceased person and meant to protect them in the afterlife. Intercession on behalf of the dead began to invoke angels in the Greco-Roman period, primarily as a result of expanded literary activity and increased interest in the nature of the heavens within Judaism. The dead have always been invoked within Israelite, Jewish, and Christian practice, both to secure for them a better afterlife and to seek aid for the living. 

By the 1st century AD, Judaism has descended into a decadent pit of superstition, empty ritual and a morass of rabbinical traditions that the Savior thoroughly condemned in the Sermon of the Mount. The idolatry of Israel is legendary and every prophet chastised Israel for it. Ezekiel 16 is a scathing rebuke of Israel for her harlotry and abominations with idol worship and going after other gods. My point is that nowhere in scripture God commanded or allowed prayer to or for the dead. The dead are not part of our religious realm. The temple work avails those to whom God offers the opportunity to achieve redemption beyond the vail. Out part in that ordinance ends there. Anything else is shooting beyond the mark.

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7 minutes ago, Islander said:

Again, there is no scriptural support for that practice. We pray for each other every day. There is absolutely no mention anywhere in scripture of praying to God for the dead. That is a Roman practice with no root in historical Christianity or modern revelation.

No there is none, but try to tell that to a parent who suddenly lost a child at a young age. We do perform baptisms and other ordinances for the dead so that is something we can do for them if not pray for them that has an effect on them in the next life

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16 minutes ago, JAHS said:

No there is none, but try to tell that to a parent who suddenly lost a child at a young age. We do perform baptisms and other ordinances for the dead so that is something we can do for them if not pray for them that has an effect on them in the next life

People are free to do what they will and often do. There are many things that are expressly prescribed or prohibited in scripture. But, it is precisely scripture which point to and describes for us the character, atributes, history and promises of God. However, the argument relates to: is such a practice outside of God's revealed truth and thus, in fact, contrary to the will of God? God is not fond of people improvising on what He has decreed.

"Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took their respective firepans, and after putting fire in them, placed incense on it and offered strange fire before the Lord, which He had not commanded them. And fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord. Then Moses said to Aaron, “It is what the Lord spoke, saying, ‘By those who come near Me I will be treated as holy, And before all the people I will be honored.’So Aaron, therefore, kept silent.

Lev. 10:1-3 

 

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51 minutes ago, Islander said:

By the 1st century AD, Judaism has descended into a decadent pit of superstition, empty ritual and a morass of rabbinical traditions that the Savior thoroughly condemned in the Sermon of the Mount. The idolatry of Israel is legendary and every prophet chastised Israel for it. Ezekiel 16 is a scathing rebuke of Israel for her harlotry and abominations with idol worship and going after other gods. My point is that nowhere in scripture God commanded or allowed prayer to or for the dead. The dead are not part of our religious realm. The temple work avails those to whom God offers the opportunity to achieve redemption beyond the vail. Out part in that ordinance ends there. Anything else is shooting beyond the mark.

That which is not expressly allowed is forbidden?

Also what does idolatry have to do with praying for God to bless and/or help someone who is dead? Do you imagine they are calling on Hecate to lead the missionaries to their dead friends?

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On 6/18/2021 at 7:25 PM, Islander said:

People are free to do what they will and often do. There are many things that are expressly prescribed or prohibited in scripture. But, it is precisely scripture which point to and describes for us the character, atributes, history and promises of God. However, the argument relates to: is such a practice outside of God's revealed truth and thus, in fact, contrary to the will of God? God is not fond of people improvising on what He has decreed.

"Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took their respective firepans, and after putting fire in them, placed incense on it and offered strange fire before the Lord, which He had not commanded them. And fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord. Then Moses said to Aaron, “It is what the Lord spoke, saying, ‘By those who come near Me I will be treated as holy, And before all the people I will be honored.’So Aaron, therefore, kept silent.

Lev. 10:1-3 

 

Except this isn't an improvisation, this is a direct and explicit violation of the law. The word translated "strange" in the KJV can refer to something foreign or unrecognizable, but it also means unauthorized or prohibited, and in this case refers to coals from a profane context (rather than a temple context), which is in direct violation of the law.

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On 6/16/2021 at 6:27 AM, Robert F. Smith said:

Years ago, when I could still get away with it, I did the work for a good friend.  Nobody was available to do it for him, except me.  That no longer seems possible.  How did you manage it?

Asked the son of my deceased friend, after a year had passed. 

Makes me wonder:

Why dont the missionaries distribute to members somthign like pass-along cards that explain blessings and proxy Temple work? 

I totally suck at explaining these to nonmembers who then understandably decline my offer

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