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Jacob1207

Proxy ordinance opt-out

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Greetings to all.

I am a non-LDS looking for information concerning proxy ordinances for the dead which I have been unable find with regular web searches. I come here in hopes of finding someone who knows the answer to my query. I hope that this is the correct board on which to post this.

I understand that Mormons practice a number of ordinances on behalf of non-Mormons who have died, including baptism, sealing marriages and children, priesthood ordination, et cetera. My understanding is that current LDS policy only allows these ceremonies to be done by a direct descendant of the person in question or with the permission of such a descendant, at least for people who have died in the past several decades. My understanding is furthermore that Mormons believe that these ordinances must be done, either while living or by someone else for you after you've died, or certain favorable outcomes after this life will be foreclosed.

Assuming the above to be materially correct (and please set me straight if any of it is not), is it possible for a person to permanently opt out of having such ordinances done for him- or herself after his or her death? Obviously, the LDS church keeps records of who has had ordinances done for him or her that are looked into when someone goes to perform proxy work. Could I make it so that when my name is brought up it will indicate that I have knowingly and willingly refused to have any proxy work done for me?

I suspect this request seems rather bizarre. Know that I don't think having such ceremonies done for me after my death will have any negative consequences for me, but for other reasons I think it might be valuable to proscribe such activity. If no one here can give a definitive answer, I'd be grateful for direction to a source that possibly could.

Best wishes,

Jacob

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I haven't heard of that being an option. Our belief is that when the work is done on behalf of those who have died, they can accept or reject it in the spirit world. No matter how against it someone is in this life, we can't assume they will still reject it in the next. :)

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i would say (ie my opinion) that it is like this life. sometimes ppl are baptized and then decide they do not want to participate in the chruch. you can "opt out" of participation without actually having your name removed (but you can have your name removed if you like). if someone is dead and the ordinance gets done i would say they could just say, "that was thoughtful but i don't want it" agency is eternal, before we were and will be after we leave this life. if you say no thanks there will be no force.

if you have family and such that you think would do this knowing you don't want it i would talk to them. i would hope they would respect your wishes and not do the work. i guess you could go as far as putting it in your will if you are that concerned or feel it will hinder your eternal progression according to your personal beliefs.

i think the reason lds don't think about it from that perspective is that we look from the other direction (which in our minds is a much more sad situation). what if you say "no no no i don't want it" and then get to the other side and go "oh crap, wait i do want it" lol you're stuck. or you didn't have the opportunity, can't ask you so assume you do want it so you won't get stuck. do everyone's work and let them and the father decide if it will stand. you can personaly "opt out" on the otherside reguardless of what is done here.

lol couldn't help but think of a hymn. lol

know this that every soul is free to choose his life and what he'll be. for this eternal choice is given that god will force no man to heaven.......

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is it possible for a person to permanently opt out of having such ordinances done for him- or herself after his or her death?

No not that I know of.

First it wouldn't be done for you while you are a live.

After you are dead, then it is up to your ancenstors choice if they want to allow it to be done.

If there is anybody you need to talk to it is people in your family! Make it known that you don't want it done, they can just keep passing that on to each generation, even if those generations join the church it would still be up to them.

There isn't any list (like a DO not call list?) Do not baptised me.

But then again you don't have to worry about it during this life, and the next... well you are going to want it then, even if you don't think you want it now.

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Guest tomk

Greetings to all.

I am a non-LDS looking for information concerning proxy ordinances for the dead which I have been unable find with regular web searches. I come here in hopes of finding someone who knows the answer to my query. I hope that this is the correct board on which to post this.

I understand that Mormons practice a number of ordinances on behalf of non-Mormons who have died, including baptism, sealing marriages and children, priesthood ordination, et cetera. My understanding is that current LDS policy only allows these ceremonies to be done by a direct descendant of the person in question or with the permission of such a descendant, at least for people who have died in the past several decades. My understanding is furthermore that Mormons believe that these ordinances must be done, either while living or by someone else for you after you've died, or certain favorable outcomes after this life will be foreclosed.

Assuming the above to be materially correct (and please set me straight if any of it is not), is it possible for a person to permanently opt out of having such ordinances done for him- or herself after his or her death? Obviously, the LDS church keeps records of who has had ordinances done for him or her that are looked into when someone goes to perform proxy work. Could I make it so that when my name is brought up it will indicate that I have knowingly and willingly refused to have any proxy work done for me?

I suspect this request seems rather bizarre. Know that I don't think having such ceremonies done for me after my death will have any negative consequences for me, but for other reasons I think it might be valuable to proscribe such activity. If no one here can give a definitive answer, I'd be grateful for direction to a source that possibly could.

Best wishes,

Jacob

Can you elaborate?

I would think that someone who does not believe in our faith would not care much one way or the other!!!

I find this curious, since I have had people of other faiths offer to pray for me and I said, "Absolutely ... thank you. I can use all the prayers I can get!"

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Can you elaborate? [On your statement that "I think it might be valuable to proscribe such activity."]

I would think that someone who does not believe in our faith would not care much one way or the other!!!

I find this curious, since I have had people of other faiths offer to pray for me and I said, "Absolutely ... thank you. I can use all the prayers I can get!"

Hey, Tomk. I appreciate your response, and those of the others who've commented.

I am convinced that such ordinances being done for me after my death will have no effect on me whatever, either positive or negative. I am interested in making the request indicated not for my sake but for the sake of any descendants that I may have. Instead of them spending time doing ceremonies for me I would want to encourage them to examine the belief that God is so interested in rituals and ceremonies that people would be kept out of heaven (or certain parts thereof) on account of not having said certain words or performed certain symbolic acts. I'm not sure how much more I could say without triggering a general debate, which is not my intention or desire nor do I think it'd be permitted under the forum's terms of use.

I'm not particularly concerned about ceremonies being done for me any time soon as I don't have any descendants at all right now, let alone any Mormon ones. This bring up a related question, however: what about people who never have children, for whatever reason? Is there no one who'd be authorized to undergo proxy work for them? And what about the people for whom there are no records, such as the hunter gatherers who were the only people on the planet for the overwhelming majority of our planet's history? What are your beliefs concerning those people?

-- Jacob

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There is only one group that has a ban on proxy work being done, and that is victims of the holocaust. Other than that, I don't know of any "list" of this type.

People that do not have any chldren, may have their names submitted by a relative of their father. Aside from that, there are people that do geneology work and gather names and submit them for proxy work.

The peoples that lived and died without records being kept will be taken care of in the millenial reign of Christ, when more information will be made available to us. Though records may not have been kept here on earth, they were kept in heaven.

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I just hope that you don't get to the other side and find that everyone, including the Saviour, has respected your wish and your name has never been submitted for proxy temple work and you find in the spirit world that you regret the decision that you have limited your own eternal glory. If the work is done you can always refuse to accept it, if that is what you still wish when in the spirit world.

You said that you are interested in making the request indicated not for your own sake but for the sake of any descendants that you may have. I'm a little puzzled about this. Instead of them spending time doing ceremonies for you, you want to encourage them to examine the beliefs and validity of such rituals and ceremonies and the teaching that people would be kept from progressing to Celestial glory by not having had certain ceremonies performed on their behalf. Although I can see some logic in what you are saying have you considered that if you do have decendants who would have reached the point of doing temple work for you then they would have already arrived at their own testimony of the point, validity and sacredness of such ceremonies and that if they don't do them for you they will do them for dozens, maybe hundreds of other people - so you will not be affecting your descendants at all, only your own eternal progression.

If your concern is that you wish your descendants to make informed decisions then my advice would be to write a journal and express your beliefs, concerns and wishes. Even making a stipulation in a will will only affect the immediate generation and will not necessarily be passed on to subsequent generations. For that matter a journal could also be ignored by decendants who may feel that you deserve the right to change your mind once you are dead.

Incidentally, does anyone know why victims of the Holocaust are denied temple blessings? Does this also apply if their descendants have become church members?

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As part of your Will have a request that the attorney serve the LDS church with a certified letter that you do not want your name taken through the Temple Ceremonies.

The problem with that idea is that it isn't 'the LDS church' which would do the work. It would be one or more individual members anywhere in the world. It's the individuals who do it, not the organisation.

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I'm not worried about my eternal destiny or spiritual progression being effected by the actions of my descendants or relatives. Likewise, I imagine none of us here think that our spiritual progress will be arrested by a failure to visit Mecca or to bathe in the Ganges--let alone the failure of our grandchildren to do so for us. I would be displeased if, after my death, someone took action in my name that might influence others to think that such rites--which I think is basically magical thinking--are somehow necessary.

But I don't mean to debate the necessity of proxy baptism and the other ordinances; if you'd like to do that I invite you to send me a private message. I just want to see if I can opt out. It looks like this is not a question that ever comes up much.

When you are going to do proxy work, do you submit the names of the folks in advance, or do you just show up at the temple with list in hand? If you submit the names in advance, to whom is that information submitted? Also, does the LDS Church have a central depository of records where they keep track of everyone who has had proxy work done for them, or is that information held at each temple or at some other place? Perhaps I could contact those entities for a more definitive answer.

I appreciate any info you can give. And, please, know that I am sure that your proxy work is motivated by love and that you find it to be a meaningful act of obedience to God.

-- Jacob

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Guest tomk

I'm not worried about my eternal destiny or spiritual progression being effected by the actions of my descendants or relatives. Likewise, I imagine none of us here think that our spiritual progress will be arrested by a failure to visit Mecca or to bathe in the Ganges--let alone the failure of our grandchildren to do so for us. I would be displeased if, after my death, someone took action in my name that might influence others to think that such rites--which I think is basically magical thinking--are somehow necessary.

But I don't mean to debate the necessity of proxy baptism and the other ordinances; if you'd like to do that I invite you to send me a private message. I just want to see if I can opt out. It looks like this is not a question that ever comes up much.

When you are going to do proxy work, do you submit the names of the folks in advance, or do you just show up at the temple with list in hand? If you submit the names in advance, to whom is that information submitted? Also, does the LDS Church have a central depository of records where they keep track of everyone who has had proxy work done for them, or is that information held at each temple or at some other place? Perhaps I could contact those entities for a more definitive answer.

I appreciate any info you can give. And, please, know that I am sure that your proxy work is motivated by love and that you find it to be a meaningful act of obedience to God.

-- Jacob

If you are worried about someone "wasting their time" -- you can relax. Many people who go through and do the proxy work do such for people they do not know. You are given the name of a stranger in the temple and you proceed to do the proxy work for that person. At most, it takes a couple of hours to do proxy work for an individual. From our point of view, it is time well-spent. As you indicated, it is an act of love and service, to be sure.

Obviously, the person on the other side of the veil, in the world of spirits, must accept the proxy work that is done for it to be effectual.

In other words, our proxy work has 0 impact on the unbeliever. It is as if the work was never done.

Do you still have concerns about getting on the "opt-out" list?

------

And can someone tell me why the Holocaust victims were so adamant about it, given that our proxy work does not impact the unbeliever?

I heard about this happening, but I don't know the details or motivations behind it. I'm curious now.

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Here are a few items on the Holocaust victim controversy which may be helpful in explaining the views of those who disagree with the practice and find it offensive:

CNN.com - Mormons meet with Jews over baptizing Holocaust victims - Dec. 11, 2002

http://www.jewishgen.org/InfoFiles/ldsagree.html

How would you like it if a Hindu friend of yours said that he had done a ritual for you so that you could become a Hindu after you die if you wanted to at that point? Or if a Muslim neighbor came to you saying that she'd done a ceremony so you could be a Muslim when you die if you find that more to your liking? Or if a coven of Wiccans did a ritual so you could commune with Mother Earth after you die? Would you say "Gee, thanks. Now I know I'm covered if I turn out to be wrong. Maybe I should have some Taoists, Zoroastrians, Shintoists, Jainists, and practitioners of various animistic religions do ceremonies for me too, just in case they're right"? I dunno, maybe you would; I wouldn't.

I would like to register a firm--but polite--"no thank you." I appreciate the offers to try to dissuade me.

-- Jacob

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does the LDS Church have a central depository of records where they keep track of everyone who has had proxy work done for them, or is that information held at each temple or at some other place?

Well there's the IGI (International Genealogical Index) which records work after it is done but I don't think that would help you prevent having it done.

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Here's another article on the Holocaust matter:

Mormons to End Holocaust Victim Baptism - New York Times

Taking Mormons to court?

The articles indicate that the Jewish names added without family consent will be removed from the database. In Mormon belief, does this mean that those people will no longer be able to chose Jesus in the spirit world? What do you believe about those who already did make such a choice, will the results thereof be nullified by the removal of their name from the rolls?

Also, another aspect of the controversy is the apparent failure of the LDS Church to adequately enforce and 1995 agreement that was to proscribe proxy baptisms for Jews without family consent.

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Guest tomk

Here are a few items on the Holocaust victim controversy which may be helpful in explaining the views of those who disagree with the practice and find it offensive:

CNN.com - Mormons meet with Jews over baptizing Holocaust victims - Dec. 11, 2002

A chronicle of the Mormon/Jewish controversy; THE LDS AGREEMENT: A JewishGen InfoFile

How would you like it if a Hindu friend of yours said that he had done a ritual for you so that you could become a Hindu after you die if you wanted to at that point? Or if a Muslim neighbor came to you saying that she'd done a ceremony so you could be a Muslim when you die if you find that more to your liking? Or if a coven of Wiccans did a ritual so you could commune with Mother Earth after you die? Would you say "Gee, thanks. Now I know I'm covered if I turn out to be wrong. Maybe I should have some Taoists, Zoroastrians, Shintoists, Jainists, and practitioners of various animistic religions do ceremonies for me too, just in case they're right"? I dunno, maybe you would; I wouldn't.

I would like to register a firm--but polite--"no thank you." I appreciate the offers to try to dissuade me.

-- Jacob

It would not bother me in the least. I would accept their offer graciously, and let them do the work on my behalf. That is not the same thing as suggesting I believe their work will have an impact on me (it wouldn't) but I believe in allowing others to worship as they see fit. I take no offense at it. It is meaningful to them, and serves to increase their faith in their God, which is a positive thing.

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Guest tomk

Here's another article on the Holocaust matter:

Mormons to End Holocaust Victim Baptism - New York Times

Taking Mormons to court?

The articles indicate that the Jewish names added without family consent will be removed from the database. In Mormon belief, does this mean that those people will no longer be able to chose Jesus in the spirit world? What do you believe about those who already did make such a choice, will the results thereof be nullified by the removal of their name from the rolls?

Also, another aspect of the controversy is the apparent failure of the LDS Church to adequately enforce and 1995 agreement that was to proscribe proxy baptisms for Jews without family consent.

There is no need for angst.

Everyone will have their chance to accept the Gospel. Everyone.

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The articles indicate that the Jewish names added without family consent will be removed from the database. In Mormon belief, does this mean that those people will no longer be able to chose Jesus in the spirit world? What do you believe about those who already did make such a choice, will the results thereof be nullified by the removal of their name from the rolls?

quote]

for those that had accepted on the other side and had their "names removed from the database" will still have their covenants in tact. just as those that have the work done but don't accept will not have it in tact. paperwork does not make or break the covenant.

if the church records building burned down tomorrow and there was no paper proof of the ordinances i've taken on myself they would not go away. i would still be obligated to god for what i've promised and the blessings still avaliable. likewise those that make covenants in this life and do not live up to them but have their names on the records have no claim upon the blessings of the covenant. god will sort out what is to happen to those that have and have not had their work done. in the end all those that desire and deserve to have their work done will have it done.

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There is no need for angst.

Everyone will have their chance to accept the Gospel. Everyone.

Oh, I believe it. In fact, I go further than you, I think, as I am a convinced universalist, to borrow words from William Barclay; I don't just think that everyone will have a chance to accept the gospel, I think that, eventually, everyone will. (Incidentally, the history of universalism within Christianity goes all the way back to the early Church Fathers, especially the Greek ones, and there have always been Christians who have taught the doctrine; it's an interesting subject to investigate if you're inclined and ever have some time.)

Anyway, which LDS body is it that maintains the records concerning proxy work and, if you know, how might I contact them?

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I was once informed that the work that the Church isn't able to finish by the Millennial Reign will have a chance to be completed fully when He returns.

Does anyone have references for this? I'd like to know where it came from, that idea...

But going with that idea, which I believe anyway... Having his name removed should thus not be too big of a worry for the rest of us in the Gospel. All who want to be baptized will get the chance...

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Oh, I believe it. In fact, I go further than you, I think, as I am a convinced universalist, to borrow words from William Barclay; I don't just think that everyone will have a chance to accept the gospel, I think that, eventually, everyone will. (Incidentally, the history of universalism within Christianity goes all the way back to the early Church Fathers, especially the Greek ones, and there have always been Christians who have taught the doctrine; it's an interesting subject to investigate if you're inclined and ever have some time.)

Anyway, which LDS body is it that maintains the records concerning proxy work and, if you know, how might I contact them?

We'll let you know when the church gets a "Please don't baptize me" hotline. ;)

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No one will force you to be baptized while you're alive, and no one will force you to accept baptism after you're dead. But how would we know if you change your mind after you die? You might change your mind and want to accept it, so we will give you that chance, just in case. Why is that offensive to you? You wouldn't be offended by learning that your parents or brother or sister had a secret savings account in your name just in case you needed it, would you?

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