Why do we bury people in temple clothing?

Why do we bury people in temple clothing?

Question

 

Gramps,

The temple endowment is an earthly ordinance.  When a endowed person passes away the handbook says to dress them in their temple clothing.  My question is why?  If when we are resurrected our clothing, I would assume, is not resurrected with us why the temple clothing?

Robert

 

Answer

 

Dear Robert,

The thing to remember is that the endowment is not just for this life. The keys of the kingdom, combined with the sealing keys, ensure that whatsoever is recorded in earth is recorded in heaven. So while the saving ordinances must be performed in this world, they are not simply earthly ordinances.

To further understand this concept, consider the words of Brigham Young:

 “Let me give you a definition in brief. Your endowment is, to receive all those ordinances in the house of the Lord, which are necessary for you, after you have departed this life, to enable you to walk back to the presence of the Father, passing the angels who stand as sentinels.” (Discourses of Brigham Young, selected by John A. Widtsoe, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1941, page 416.)

If you are thinking that the endowment pertains only to matters of this world and this life, I would encourage you to visit the temple more often and ponder what is being shown.

Regarding the dressing of the dead in ceremonial robes, I asked a local temple president about it and received some great insights (whether through the spirit or his words, I give credit to both). I encourage you to do the same.

 

Gramps

 

 

Why does the LDS Church ask for 10% tithe considering what is written in the Book of Mormon?

Why does the LDS Church ask for 10% tithe considering what is written in the Book of Mormon?

Question

 

Hey Gramps!

Could you explain why the LDS Church asks for 10% of members income considering what is written in the Book of Mormon chapter 8:32-33.

 32 Yea, it shall come in a day when there shall be churches built up that shall say: Come unto me, and for your money you shall be forgiven of your sins.

 33 O ye wicked and perverse and stiffnecked people, why have ye built up churches unto yourselves to get gain? Why have ye transfigured the holy word of God, that ye might bring damnation upon your souls? Behold, look ye unto the revelations of God; for behold, the time cometh at that day when all these things must be fulfilled.

I’m confused.  Many thanks.

Shell

Answer

 

Dear Shell,

The scriptural importance and benefits of a person’s paying tithes and offerings, are well-established (see. e.g, Malachi 3; Luke 21:1-4; D&C 64:23; D&C 85:3).  That, in this dispensation, it is the Church’s prerogative to receive and administer those tithes, seems equally clear (see D&C 119; D&C 120; D&C 97).

Mormon 8:32-33 does not strike me as being directly applicable to the LDS Church (or any church, for that matter), unless one can first establish at least one of the following:

1.  That the church purports to offer forgiveness of sins in exchange for nothing more or less than monetary payment;

2.  That the church has been built up for the specific purpose of getting gain; or

3.  That the church has “transfigured the holy word of God”.

I do not believe that any of those three conditions applies to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

Will a child have to choose which parent to be sealed to?

Will a child have to choose which parent to be sealed to?

Question

 

Gramps,

So I’ve been busy reading up on your faith as a result of being in a relationship with a LDS church member. She was in a civil marrage to a man eho converted to the LDS faith and had a child but they were never sealed together by the church. My question is as follows. She is worried that her child will not be able to be sealed to her and her ex husband and would have to chose between both parents if ether decided to be remarried. Is this so?

Eric

 

Answer

 

Dear Eric,

Thank you for your interest in our faith!  Mormons do believe in sealings and families “being together forever.”  However, our theology doesn’t contain a lot of specific information about what, precisely, that means; which naturally gives rise to questions in situations like the one you describe.

I am inclined to believe that it is an over-simplification to suggest that Mormon sealings merely ensure that families will “be together forever”–thereby, supposedly guaranteeing eternal and perpetual physical proximity.  If I’m going to “be with” my parents, who in turn will “be with” their own parents, who in turn will “be with” their own parents, and we’re all in the same “household”–that becomes a pretty crowded, awfully quickly!

I have written about the nature of the temple sealing in other answers–see, for example, this one and this one.  However, to be succinct:  our doctrine says that there must be “a welding link of some kind or other between the fathers and the children, upon some subject or other” (Doctrine and Covenants 128:18) that links each person all the way back to Adam.  We believe that the resulting network of links created by Mormon temple sealings has the effect of reuniting fallen mankind into one grand family unit, clarifying the nature of our obligations to each other (especially to those who, whether because of birth or adoption, are sealed to us as our parents or children), and solidifying the “royal lineages” through which each person ultimately claims all of the blessings Jesus Christ has made available to those who follow Him.

From this perspective, my having been sealed to “parents” at all is far more theologically significant than the biological, or even the emotional, relationship between myself and the “parents” to whom I have been sealed.  Naturally one would prefer to be sealed to one’s own natural parents; and we don’t claim to know exactly who will be sealed to whom in situations like the one you describe.  But we do tend to presume that we won’t really mind whatever result prevails, given the perfect love and absence of insecurities and jealousies that will prevail in heaven.

 

Gramps

 

 

Did a spirit in the pre-existence have to do something to qualify being born in the covenant?

Did a spirit in the pre-existence have to do something to qualify being born in the covenant?

Question

 

Gramps,

Have you ever read anything discussing if a pre-existent spirit needed to do or did do anything to qualify being born in the covenant?

Dennis

 

Answer

 

Dear Dennis,

While there is much we do not know about our pre mortal life, we do have scriptures and teachings from our leaders that give us some valuable clues.  For example Doctrine and Covenants 138: 55-56 says:

55 I observed that they were also among the noble and great ones who were chosen in the beginning to be rulers in the Church of God.

56 Even before they were born, they, with many others, received their first lessons in the world of spirits and were prepared to come forth in the due time of the Lord to labor in his vineyard for the salvation of the souls of men.

President Ezra Taft Benson taught:

“God has held you in reserve to make your appearance in the final days before the second coming of the Lord. Some individuals will fall away; but the kingdom of God will remain intact to welcome the return of its head—even Jesus Christ. While our generation will be comparable in wickedness to the days of Noah, when the Lord cleansed the earth by flood, there is a major difference this time. It is that God has saved for the final inning some of His strongest children, who will help bear off the kingdom triumphantly. …

“… Make no mistake about it—you are a marked generation. There has never been more expected of the faithful in such a short period of time than there is of us” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson [1988], 104–5)

Other scriptures you might find helpful are: Abraham 3:11-12,  22-23,  Isaiah 14:12–15Revelation 12:7–9Alma 13:3–5Doctrine and Covenants 29:36–39; and the rest of Abraham 3 and Doctrine and Covenants 138.

Surely it cannot be disputed that our present state proceeds directly from our past state. It is beyond doubt that our circumstances in this life result from our pre mortal choices.  The problem comes when we try to decide what is a blessing and what is a punishment. If you were not born in the covenant, does that mean you were less valiant? Or does it mean that God chose you to open a family branch to bring his children (your relatives) unto him?  (Hartman Rector Jr.  is a great example of this. He served in the First Council of the Seventy.  You can read about his conversion here:  Stories from the General Authorites: My Conversion)

Were we organized into family units of some sort in our premortal life? (Seems extremely likely.) If so, is our mortal family’s makeup reflective of a premortal configuration? (Seems reasonable.)  However reasonable or unreasonable these things might seem, we cannot know them without understanding the nature of our premortal lives. And we do not have any good idea of the nature of that life. It has not been publicly revealed.

So to my mind, it seems beyond doubt that our premortal actions have greatly influenced our mortal lives, but it is unpredictable what that effect is. For example, we cannot be justified in judging a child born into grinding poverty or other horrible situations as being “less valiant” premortally. Mother Theresa is a great example of this.  What a blessing she was to the poor and needy people of India.  Could anyone doubt that the Lord is pleased with her service? He asked us to “feed His lambs”.  She dedicated her life to that purpose.  It is quite possible that she was fore-ordained to that mission.

I am sure that our pre mortal state looms large in our mortal birth, but we can’t possibly infer how valiant we were (or weren’t) based on our BIC status.  What we do know for certain is that we made choices during the war in heaven that enabled us to come to earth, receive bodies and to prove ourselves.  This is where our focus should be.  How can we be valiant in serving the Lord today?

 

Gramps

 

 

 

How can I help families I Home Teach understand the importance of the visits?

How can I help families I Home Teach understand the importance of the visits?

Question

 

Gramps,

I’ve got two families that don’t seem to want home teachers to come. They tell me we can set something up when I see them in person.Yet never respond to texts or phone calls, And when I just stop by they are always busy and never invite us in. I am frustrated because I want them to enjoy the blessings of home teaching and I feel by their behavior I am losing out on blessings as well. What should I do?

Dev

 

Answer

 

Dear Dev,

I commend your for your effort to be a good home teacher and serve the Lord.

Pres. Monson had some counsel that could be helpful here:

Abraham Lincoln offered this wise counsel, which surely applies to home teachers: “If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend.” President Ezra Taft Benson urged: “Above all, be a genuine friend to the individuals and families you teach.” 

 

As the Savior declared to us, “I will call you friends, for you are my friends.”  A friend makes more than a dutiful visit each month. A friend is more concerned about helping people than getting credit. A friend cares. A friend loves. A friend listens. And a friend reaches out.

Home Teaching-A Divine Service

 

The first step in being a friend to these families may be to appreciate that they do not have a testimony of home teaching.  They may not be interested in religion at all, or may be attending another church.  From their point of view, they have no need of your visits.  Being a friend means trying to understand where they are coming from.

Next, you need to try to build a relationship of trust.  Let them know that you want to get to know them and will accept them as they are.  I know you want to teach them a lesson and see them return to church, but suppose for a moment you are a football fan.  How likely would you be to invite someone into your home who just wants to talk to you about the opera?  On the other hand, if you have a FRIEND, who happens to like the opera, you would likely invite them over and even let them talk about the opera-a little.

How to you become a friend to someone who is avoiding you?  It’s not easy, and it will take time and patience.  The most important thing to do is pray and ask the Lord how to become their friend.  He knows them, and loves them.  He can guide you.  He might inspire you to take them cookies, veggies from your garden, or potted flowers for their garden. Perhaps you will feel prompted to send a friendly letter monthly, or offer to mow their lawn, shovel their driveway etc.

Human nature is such that if they perceive you to be someone who genuinely cares about them, rather than someone who is fulfilling a role, they will likely return the gesture of friendship.  There is a couple in my ward who treated their home teacher much as you describe.  He persisted though and eventually they started letting him in.  He became their friend.  The wife also had wonderful visiting teachers that did the same.  Eventually strong friendships were formed, and when the couple was ready, they began to attend church.  Recently they were sealed in the temple.

Not all of these stories have picture perfect endings like this.  Some people will never return or even let you in the door regardless of what you do–be their friend anyway.  The Lord will not judge you on whether or not your home teaching families come to church, what He is concerned with is how you serve Him by loving them.  Just love them to the best of your ability and the Lord will be pleased with your efforts.

 

Beat of luck,

 

Gramps

 

 

Was Satan part of Heavenly Father’s original plan?

Was Satan part of Heavenly Father’s original plan?

Question

 

Gramps,

I have a couple questions I have been pondering and haven’t been able to find an answer.

Was Satan part of Heavenly Father’s original plan?

Is Satan the prodigal son?

Does Satan have power in other worlds or just ours?

Brittany

 

Answer

 

Hi Brittany,

Let me respond to your questions in the order you asked them. Our scriptures tell us that the Father presented his plan, and then Lucifer rebelled against it. (See Moses 4:1,Abraham 3:24-28, and D&C 29:36-38). As part of His plan, the Father solicited a Savior. The Firstborn agreed to fill this duty as the Father had said. Lucifer said he would take the role, but under different conditions, and should thus receive the Father’s honor. So Satan’s rebellion appears to have been an aberration of the Father’s plan, not an intended part of it.

It is worth noting that the word “Satan” means “adversary.” As father Lehi made clear, adversity is an integral part of the plan of happiness. So there had to be opposition to bring about the Father’s plan of salvation. But it would be a mistake to think that the Father appointed Satan or his evil followers to the course they chose. The Father seamlessly wove Satan’s rebellion into the working of the plan of salvation, so that it would go forward regardless of Satan’s evil actions. But the Father did not ordain Satan to rebel. God is not the father of evil.

The parable of the prodigal son is the last of three parables that the mortal Savior used to show the value of finding the lost human soul. When we go astray, we do not lose our intrinsic value as long as we turn to the Savior. This cannot apply to Satan or his followers, who have rebelled against their only source of salvation and are thus lost forever. Jesus was speaking of the lost sheep of Israel, not of Satan, when He told this parable.

So far as I understand scripture, Satan and his minions were cast out of our premortal heaven to this world, and are confined to it. Here are some scriptures and other teachings to consider:

2 Corinthians 4:3-4 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

Revelation 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

D&C 10:27 (cf Job 1:7) And thus [Satan] goeth up and down, to and fro in the earth, seeking to destroy the souls of men.

Brigham Young:

[W]hen the revolt took place in heaven, when Lucifer, the Son of the Morning, was cast out[, w]here did he go? He came here, and one-third part of the spirits in heaven came with him. Do you suppose that one-third part of all the beings that existed in eternity came with him? No, but one third part of the spirits that were begotten and organized and brought forth to become tenants of fleshly bodies to dwell upon this earth. (Journal of Discourses, 3:369)
Wilford Woodruff:
We have baptized a great many into this Church and kingdom—not many, certainly, when compared to the twelve hundred million inhabitants of the earth—but a great many have apostatized. What! Latter-day Saints apostatize? Yes. I tell you people will apostatize who have received the holy priesthood and Gospel of Jesus Christ, if they do not honor God, if they do not keep his commandments, obey his laws and humble themselves before the Lord; they are in danger every day of their lives. Look at the number of devils we have, round about us! We have I should say, one hundred to every man, woman and child. One third part of the heavenly host was cast down to the earth with Lucifer, son of the morning, to war against us—which I suppose will number one hundred million devils—and they labor to overthrow all the Saints and the kingdom of God. (Journal of Discourses 21:126)
Joseph Fielding Smith:
“The punishment of Satan and the third of the host of heaven who followed him, was that they were denied the privilege of being born into this world and receiving mortal bodies. They did not keep their first estate and were denied the opportunity of eternal progression. The Lord cast them out into the earth, where they became the tempters of mankind—the devil and his angels” (Doctrines of Salvation,1:65).

 

Gramps

 

 

 

Why does the LDS church have 15 apostles if only 12 in the New Testament?

Why does the LDS church have 15 apostles if only 12 in the New Testament?

Question

 

Gramps,

The recent passing of Elder Perry has got me thinking. In the New Testament after the passing of Judas, a new apostle was called to fill the vacancy of the twelve. And in all scripture, I can only find reference to the quorum of twelve apostles. Why then does the LDS church have 15 apostles? Peter, James, and John are thought of as the 1st first presidency, yet there were still only twelve apostles including them.

John

 

Answer

 

Dear John,

Let’s dive into the New Testament and see what we can learn about the efforts of the original apostles to maintain a full quorum. During Jesus’ ministry He called 12 disciples to be a part of His inner circle, namely: Simon (Peter), Andrew, James (the son of Zebedee, John’s brother), John (the beloved), Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew (Levi); James (the lesser, the son of Alphæus), Lebbæus (Thaddæus, Jude), Simon (Zelotes, the Canaanite), and Judas Iscariot (see Matt. 10:2-4, Mark 3:16-19, and Luke 6:13-16). At the death of Judas Iscariot the remaining 11 gathered and called Matthias to receive the apostleship (Acts 1:26), so we have a full quorum as you stated. Then we read on in the epistles and we find something odd: Paul is constantly referring to himself as “an apostle”. Well this doesn’t work so well with our notion that there aren’t more than 12 apostles, so we return back to Acts to find another vacancy. There in Acts 12 we have the martyrdom of James (brother of John) (verse 2). Checking the timeline, Paul (then Saul) starts preaching Christ back in Acts 9, but he is formally called to the ministry in Acts 13 (verse 2) (perhaps this is where he is called to be an apostle?). This works with your theory of the 12 dropping to 11 then calling another, but no more than 12 at a time.

Here I have to pause and point out that we’ve now entered some shaky ground. Given its subtlety we must draw attention to it lest we build an entire structure on this faulty foundation. We have surmised that Paul was not called to be an apostle until after James’ death, because we need him outside of the quorum until that time in order to support the no-more-than-12 theory. If we are fully honest with ourselves, we must acknowledge that the scriptures are not clear as to when Paul was called to the apostleship, and it may very well have been before James was martyred.

Admitting to this weakness in our investigation, we start to find other weaknesses presented in the New Testament. For starters, in the scripture mentioned above as Paul’s call to the ministry, we have Barnabas called alongside him. As we read about their mission, we find them both identified as “the apostles” (Acts 14:14). We need another death to account for this, and the record doesn’t provide us with one. Paul introduces us to another apostle, namely “James the Lord’s brother” (Galatians 1:19) who is notably absent from the original 12. Once again, we need another martyr.

Other weaker candidates for apostleship also include Silvanus and Timotheus who co-author 1 Thessalonians with Paul as “we … the apostles of Christ” (2:6). One more candidate is Apollos who is mentioned alongside Paul and Cephas (Simon Peter) (1 Cor. 1:12) with a passing reference to “us the apostles” (1 Cor. 4:6,9). That’s three more martyrs.

The New Testament alone does not conclusively determine for us whether or not there was always to be only 12 men on the earth who hold the office of apostle. We would have to read into it one way or the other, and that’s largely what the Christian world has done. They take the documents that have survived to our day and wring them ever so tightly to squeeze every possible ray of truth for their enlightenment. They should be commended for their determination and diligence. There is a better way.

We know so much about what the primitive church was like, because we have the epistles of Paul, an apostle out of season. What if the Lord again called an apostle – not one of the original 12, but an apostle nonetheless, who could witness of His bodily resurrection and lead His ministry on the earth? What if, instead of wringing every precious drop from ancient accounts, we had a fountain of living experience bursting abundantly in our midst? What if we had a modern Paul and a steady stream of successors?

The opening of this last dispensation sheds new light to old stories. We have Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery as the first apostles in the modern Church (D&C 20:2-3). Later the Church was more fully organized with First Presidency and a Quorum of 12 Apostles (see, for instance, D&C 107). The newly organized First Presidency did not have apostles (with the exception of the two already mentioned) – neither Sidney Rigdon nor Frederick G. Williams were ordained apostles. At the death of Joseph, the Quorum of the 12 was the governing body of the Church and there were once again only 12 apostles leading the Church (Oliver was excommunicated). This remained the case for a number of years until the First Presidency was again reorganized and the counselors selected from the Quorum of the 12.

If we overlay this modern pattern over the ancient, we find a consistency that can help resolve your question (while acknowledging that this ground is every bit as shaky as what we stood on before). The early apostles may have been under an “apostolic interregnum” for a number of years, maintaining a quorum of 12 until the post-Acts period when the Lord revealed that a First Presidency should be organized. If the First Presidency was formed later (say, about the time James was martyred), that gives rise to a number of vacancies in the 12 for Paul, Barnabas, and James the brother of Jesus to fill.

The bottom line is that the ancient record is too sparse to confidently reconstruct the primitive church. In contrast we have a modern record and, more importantly, modern apostles who have built up Christ’s Church today.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

 

How do we find time to do everything that is expected of us?

How do we find time to do everything that is expected of us?

Question

 

Dear Gramps,

In the Church we are encouraged to study the Book of Mormon, read the General Conference Addresses, read and prepare a home teaching message from the monthly First Presidency message from the Ensign, study the Gospel Doctrine lesson, study the Priesthood lesson, and if your calling requires it, also prepare a lesson for your class. Add to that Family History work, Temple attendance, Home Teaching…

How do we find time to do everything that is expected of us?

Steven

 

Answer

 

Dear Steven,

It sounds like you are feeling a bit overwhelmed.  Indeed it does sound overwhelming when you put it in those terms.  I have a couple thoughts that might help.  First, remember that the Lord has counseled us through King Benjamin:

“And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength.  And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.”  Mosiah 4:27

Do not run faster than you have strength.  Our relationship with God is not a “to do’ list and never should be.  If you’re seeing your spiritual life that way, you will feel anxious and unhappy.  A new angle is needed. The things you mentioned are all good things that can help us on our path to God, but they are intended to help support you like a life preserver and not to stress you and pull you under the water like a millstone.

Take a step back from the list for a moment and ask yourself what things help you feel closer to God. How can you more adequately nourish your relationship with the Father and the Savior?  Which suggestions from your list would be helpful for you at this time in your life?

Remember also that there are different times, seasons and missions in this life.  (I’m not talking about 2 yr proselytizing missions here, but life goals.) Joseph taught (Ensign, May 2006, 54–570) that “magnify your calling” simply means you are doing everything God requires you to for it. In the case of home teaching, the Spirit might tell you meeting once a month and reading the message is sufficient for a family. He may also tell you that you need to be making bi-weekly visits, taking over food, and helping with household chores. If we’re talking about two different home teachers here, we shouldn’t think the latter is magnifying his calling while the former is shirking his duty. Similarly, a person might be prompted that scrapbooking highlights in her children’s lives is currently sufficient for family history (generations later, when she becomes the person of interest, those documents will come in handy).

Finally, I counsel you to re-read (or watch) Pres. Uchtdorf’s talk, The Gift of Grace, from the recent (April 2015) conference.  His words serve as both a reminder, a teacher and a balm to our spirits.  Here are some of the highlights from that talk:

 

“Salvation cannot be bought with the currency of obedience; it is purchased by the blood of the Son of God.”

 

“If grace is a gift of God, why then is obedience to God’s commandments so important? Why bother with God’s commandments—or repentance, for that matter? Why not just admit we’re sinful and let God save us?”

 

“Brothers and sisters, we obey the commandments of God—out of love for Him!”

 

“As we walk the path of discipleship, it refines us, it improves us, it helps us to become more like Him, and it leads us back to His presence. “The Spirit of the Lord [our God]” brings about such “a mighty change in us, … that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually.”

 

“Dear brothers and sisters, living the gospel faithfully is not a burden. It is a joyful rehearsal—a preparation for inheriting the grand glory of the eternities. We seek to obey our Heavenly Father because our spirits will become more attuned to spiritual things. Vistas are opened that we never knew existed. Enlightenment and understanding come to us when we do the will of the Father.”

 

 

Continue to strive to keep the commandments and counsel we have been given, Steven, but do it out of love and gratitude for the Savior, not out of fear.  Then you will find the Lord’s yoke is easy and His burden light.  (Matthew 11:30).

 

Gramps

 

 

 

Did women work in the ancient temples?

Did women work in the ancient temples?

Question

 

Gramps,

Did women work in the Old Testament temples or in the Book of Mormon temples? Were baptism or endowments done in these temples?

Karen

 

Answer

 

Dear Karen,

There is much we don’t know about these ancient temples, but there are answers we can extrapolate from what we do know.  First, we know that work for the dead could not be performed in the temple until Christ bridged the gulf between the righteous and wicked in the Spirit World.  We can read more about this in Doctrine and Covenants 138:29-32:

The work in early temples appears to have revolved about sacrifices (which symbolized the sacrifice that Christ would later make for mankind.)  Interestingly, they did have large fonts of water held on the back of sculptures of oxen, as our baptismal fonts do today (1 Kings 7: 23-26).  However these were for the Priests to be ritually washed.  Sacrificial animals needed washing as well.  Laver – Bible Dictionary

They did have a form of initiators for priests as evidenced in Exodus 40:12-15 with the washing, anointing, and clothing ceremony.

Some apocryphal gospels, such as The Protovangelion of James (also called The Infancy Gospel of James) have Mary living in the temple and sewing the veil, and I recall that there may have been female Levites assigned to the choir, but I don’t think these things were done in the temple proper.

All things considered, it does not appear that women did work in the ancient temples.

 

Gramps

 

 

Can I be re-baptized to show my recommitment?

Can I be re-baptized to show my recommitment?

Question

 

Gramps,

I cannot find anywhere in the scriptures nor the handbook that I cannot be re-baptized again. I know the church used to for those who wanted to recommit themselves to the Savior. I also know that Sacrament is for renewing covenants and renewing your baptism. But as a child of 8, I did not fully understand the true meaning of baptism like Alma and when Paul found those who were baptized in Ephesus. But I do it for myself and to the Savior. Please list the commandment that says we can’t.

Jon

 

Answer

 

Dear Jon,

While there is no commandment there is policy.

Elder Talmage spoke about this idea in his book, Articles of Faith.  He said:

Repeated Baptisms of the Same Person are not sanctioned in the Church. It is easy to fall into the error of believing that baptism offers a ready means of gaining forgiveness of sins however oft repeated. Such a belief tends rather to excuse than to prevent sin, inasmuch as the hurtful effects seem to be so easily averted. Neither the written law of God, nor the instructions of His living Priesthood, designate baptism as a means of securing forgiveness by those who are already within the fold of Christ. Unto such, forgiveness of all sin, if not unto death, has been promised on confession, and repentance with full purpose of heart; of them a repetition of the baptismal rite has not been required and, were subjects of this class repeatedly baptized, unto them remission of sins would in no wise come, except they repent most sincerely. The frailties of mortality and our proneness to sin lead us continually into error; but if we covenant with the Lord at the waters of baptism, and thereafter seek to observe His law, He is merciful to pardon our little transgressions, through repentance sincere and true; and without such repentance, baptism, however oft repeated, would avail us nothing.”

Elder James E. Talmage, The Articles of Faith, pg 148.

If not re-baptism then what?  You know the answer. Elder Dallin H. Oaks said,

“Baptism is for the remission of sins, and the sacrament is a renewal of the covenants and blessings of baptism.”

Many other leaders have taught the same principle.

Jon, I’m sure the Lord appreciates your desire to recommit yourself through baptism.  But He has told us through His leaders how He desires this to be done.  Please consider a prayerful study of the Sacrament.  You may think you know all about it, but in my experience, there is always more to learn about the Lord’s doctrines if we humble ourselves and seek Him for that understanding.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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