Deathbed conversion?


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Another stupid question from the convert -  let's say non-member Aunt Suzy is sick in hospice. She has always admired you as a Mormon and in her final days has tried to read the BOM and obtain a testimony for herself. She wants to be baptized, but cannot be immersed in water.

 

What do the missionaries do?

 

I guess the same thing goes for someone who is so physically disabled (tho mentally alert) that they can't be dunked in the baptismal font. Do they have to wait to die to be baptized?

 

btw - where's spellcheck on the new board? I need it desperately.

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I don't know what the official doctrine is on this but what TFP says makes sense. I can see how people with certain disabilities, whether physically or mentally challenged, and are unable to be immersed into water, may then have the opportunity for baptism in the next life. I remember a few autistic individuals I worked with that could not tolerate water, as in a shower - forget the bathtub! - it wasn't happening. So we resorted to other methods in getting them cleaned up. So for someone like them, in their situation, the either are baptised in the next life or there's a "modified" baptism version for people in very very unique situations...

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Concerning baptism being done by immersion:

 

 

Handbook 2: 20.3.8   

 

Instructions for Performing a Baptism

 

Under the direction of the presiding authority, a priest or Melchizedek Priesthood holder may perform the ordinance of baptism. To do so, he:

 

1. Stands in the water with the person to be baptized.

2. Holds the person’s right wrist with his left hand (for convenience and safety); the person who is being baptized holds the priesthood holder’s left wrist with his or her left hand.

3. Raises his right arm to the square.

4. States the person’s full name and says, “Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen” (D&C 20:73).

5. Has the person hold his or her nose with the right hand (for convenience); then the priesthood holder places his right hand high on the person’s back and immerses the person completely, including the person’s clothing.

6. Helps the person come up out of the water.

Convert baptisms are usually performed by a priesthood holder in the ward or by one of the missionaries who taught the person. A convert may also request that another qualified member perform the baptism.

 

Link: https://www.lds.org/handbook/handbook-2-administering-the-church/priesthood-ordinances-and-blessings?lang=eng#20.3.8

 

 

Doctrine and Covenants 20:73-74

73 The person who is called of God and has authority from Jesus Christ to baptize, shall go down into the water with the person who has presented himself or herself for baptism, and shall say, calling him or her by name: Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

 74 Then shall he immerse him or her in the water, and come forth again out of the water.

 

Link: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/20.73-74?lang=eng#

 

If someone has heard something from a General Authority or some Church manual about the acceptability of baptism not by immersion I'd appreciate a pointer to it.

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Baptisms don't have to be done in baptismal fonts... but at least they are warmer!

 

If someone with such physical impairments could swim, then perhaps accommodations can be made, perhaps at a member's pool?

 

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-yh-GtLr0r1I/UrRXpRObXdI/AAAAAAAABZo/WmiIwtRiWDg/s1600/essex+002.jpg

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I think this is kind of sad. I would hate to be a disabled person, competent of mind, and not able to be baptised because I can't be imersed in water. I would hate to die, knowing that I wanted to be baptized, and wasn't.

 

I understand about the imersion thing, I just think that since we no longer kill off our disabled once they are born, we should provide a way for them to be baptized.

 

Where's the freakin' spellcheck????

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On my mission there was an old convert, that was in her sixties when she was baptized, she said that she had (and still has) arthritis, so she couldn't bend back in the regular manner of baptism, so she went to a friend's swimming pool, went to the deep end of the pool, stood on a stepping stool, when the prayer was over, stepped down into the water.

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Here is the thing, Dahlia's example isn't someone who can't get baptized in a font or under the standard accommodations, but someone who cannot be immersed in water. Accommodations can be made for the former, the only accommodation that could be made for the later is baptism not by immersion. Anyone have any examples of that?

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I have to ask the same question. Remember, missionaries don't know everything about what to do or how to do it, in unique situations.

 

Dravin, if your question is if there is ever a time where someone can be baptized by sprinkling, or poring of water, without fully placed all the way into water, then the answer is no. I know of a few cases where the person had some medical condition where he/she could die of drowning. The response by the First Presidency (sorry I don't have a source to cite) was that in these extreme cases where death was a high possibility, then they could wait until after they die to be baptized by proxy.

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I suppose its possibly that a deathbed conversion could be a total conversion in the same manner that anyone else can have an instantaneous total conversion on the spot (it's happened before but tends to be pretty darn rare), however in general any attitudes, dispositions, likes, dislikes, habits, and vices you will take with you into the next life. If you've procrastinated the day of repentence right up to your deathbed time, guess what? you'll wake up on the other side of life and say, "oh Nevermind, i'll finish taking care of matters tomorrow".

On the other hand if the person at deaths door had honestly started seeking out the truth but did not have the time to finish in this life, don't worry they will get the chance to do so in the next life.

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I was told by an Elder that live baptisms by proxy can be performed if given permission by the 1st Presidency and the person being baptized is present.

 

 

A missionary Elder? Or a GA Elder?

 

With that in mind, I wonder if someone who has ever served as a member of a Mission Presidency might have the answer to this?  I would think that under such a circumstance, the Mission President would have to know and possibly offer a solution?

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