Note: apologies for the duplicate article to those of you who subscribe by email. We have had a computer operator error! – i.e. Peter pressed the wrong key, sent out the article by email, but didn’t post it to the website! – it’s an important article anyway which is only emphasized by sending it out twice!
Much has been reported in the media regarding baptism for the dead in recent weeks. This is a good time for us to review and teach people to understand and follow policies regarding submission of names to the temple
There have been reports of members of the church not following temple policies and entering names of deceased holocaust victims or famous people to whom they are not related. People rightfully have been offended. We should be following our own temple policies.
We have also become aware of other members ignoring temple policies and taking names of unrelated persons to the temple.
On 29 February the First Presidency sent a letter to every unit of the church asking us to follow temple policies. The letter asks members to seek assistance from their Family History Consultant – so be prepared. On 9 March you should have received a letter from the FH Dept to Family History Consultants, Family History Center Directors, and Staff (if you did not receive this letter then go to https://www.familysearch.org/consultant/and register).
Please help members to understand and follow the direction of the First Presidency.
Here are some useful links:
- There are 2 articles in the Church News and Events section at lds,org: http://www.lds.org/church/news/church-asks-members-to-understand-policies?lang=eng and http://www.lds.org/church/news/names-submitted-for-temple-ordinances?lang=eng – the second link is the text of the First Presidency letter
- Church News 1 March 2012 – this article includes comments by Dennis C. Brimhall, the new managing director of the Church’s Family History Department – http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles/62066/Family-history—Church-asks-members-to-understand-policies.html#
- CNN offers an interesting article on the topic from the public perspective (link shared with me by a good friend): http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/03/09/mormons-crack-down-on-proxy-baptisms-whistleblowers-access-blocked/?hpt=hp_t3
No doubt you will find many other references. There was a segment of the CBC radio program “The Current” devoted to Baptism for the Dead.
People asking about our beliefs is a good thing. Helping people understand our beliefs is wonderful.
You might want to read the following article from Mormon.org under the menu Values: http://mormon.org/family-history/ The first article is entitled “Why Family History is Important.”
Where can you read about temple policies other than the letter from the First Presidency? We would suggest that you use page 30 of the Member’s Guide to Temple and Family History Work (bearing in mind the one change from 95 to 110 years when needing permission from the nearest living relative). You can also use the Tutorials and Guides from the Help panel or Learn How to use FamilySearch from the new FamilySearch home page. A search in the Help Centre for Temple Policies will take you to the Users Guide for nFS. If we need more information the church will provide it for us.
Here is a quote from page 30 of the Member’s Guide :
“Do not submit the names of persons who are not related to you, including names of famous people or names gathered from unapproved extraction projects, such as victims of the Jewish Holocaust.”
May we strongly suggest that you do not become the judge of what is appropriate to submit. If asked a question about submission policy then quote the relevant section. Avoid contention or debate. If pressed further then suggest the person talk to their priesthood leader.
When we started writing this article a few weeks ago the objective was to make sure everyone was aware that the policy for obtaining permission to perform ordinances has changed from 95 years to 110 years - this is the only change in temple policy of which we are aware. Here is the policy (remember to sign in before accessing knowledge documents):
Knowledge Document ID 113599
“The policy for obtaining permission to perform ordinances has changed from 95 years to 110 years
At the RootsTech 2012 conference, it was announced that the 95 year rule relating to getting permission before doing living ordinances is changing.
The new policy is as follows:
Before doing ordinances for a deceased person born in the last 110 years, please remember that close relatives may not want the ordinances performed, or they may want to do the ordinances themselves.
You may do ordinances for your own deceased spouse, child, parent, or sibling, but please consider the wishes of other close living relatives, especially a living spouse.
If you are not a spouse, child, parent, or sibling of the deceased, please obtain permission from the closest living relative before doing the ordinances. The closest living relatives are, in this order: an undivorced spouse (the spouse to whom the individual was married when he or she died), an adult child, a parent, or a brother or sister.
Verbal approval is acceptable. Family members should work together to determine when the ordinances will be done and who will do them.
For information on what to do with family ordinance cards that were printed by mistake, see 1008370.”
Thank you for all that you do to help people understand how to do Temple and Family History work.
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