Friday, May 09, 2008

To Clarify The Issue.

Father Z (insert snappy personality cult salute) found and fisked a BYU Daily Universe column on the Vatican's Instruction on not giving baptismal registers to the Mormons. Judging from the reactions to this post and others on the net, I think some people are simply not clear on the issue.
The Vatican letter mentioned two things; privacy concerns and cooperation with the erroneous practice of baptism of the dead. Now, especially with older records the privacy thing strikes me a bit bogus. Most simply don't care if their great-grandfather was a bastard either literally or figuratively. (I am rather amused by my own relation to John Wilkes Booth.) The real issue is the purpose of LDS genealogical research. Historical interest and family history are subsidiary issues. The principal purpose is to enable the proxy baptism of deceased people. Believe me, I know how important this is for Mormons; it touches on the very issue of salvation. I also understand that they intend only the best by this practice, to enable salvation. However, they need to look at this from our perspective. This practice is erroneous. It is based on a false understanding of baptism, salvation, the afterlife, and God Himself. It doesn't matter that it has no effect. Neither does a Hindu sacrifice, but I am not going to participate in that either. Don't expect us to cooperate directly with something that flies in the face of our beliefs. And don't get your knickers in a twist when we don't. We aren't afraid of baptism of the dead. We just don't want to be a part of it.
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