What Can I Do To Prevent Temple Work For Family Members Being Done?

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Question

Gramps,

My husband and son passed away within 6 months of each other.  My husband’s half-sister (same mother),  is an avid LDS  member.  She wants to seal and baptize both in the LDS faith.  I have enjoined her and the LDS from this act in perpetuity, by writing letters. What else can I do to prevent these acts from taking place?  What assurance do I have that my requests will be followed?

Iris

Answer

Dear Iris,

I’m sorry to hear about your double loss and offer my condolences. You have some options available to you in preventing posthumous ordinance work for loved ones. I’ll get to that, but I’d like to help you understand where your half-sister-in-law is coming from and hopefully also acknowledge your grief and concern in this matter.

Honoring the Dead

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches the immortality of the human soul and the precious gift of agency. Latter-day Saints take seriously the claim that an individual’s personhood continues even after death. A person still feels, thinks, hopes, wills, and desires. They still maintain friendships and recognize loved ones who have also passed on. And, through the power of Christ’s Atonement, they will one day be judged by Him and resurrected.

Latter-day Saints also take seriously the claim that God has given us agency whereby we may act out our feelings, thoughts, hopes, will, and desires. God honors a person’s choice to voluntarily enter His kingdom through baptism, or to refuse it. He also honors when a person changes their mind, reverses their position, and opts instead to deny their baptism or to finally receive it. As one of our hymns states, “God will force no man to heaven.”

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