Last January 2009, I wrote a piece “Stop Baptizing Our Dead.” I spoke about groups who objected to the LDS Church baptizing the dead that identified themselves with their own religious group, mainly Catholics and Jews.
I faced my own personal dilemma after my Mother died in March of 2007. While she and my Dad did not disown me for joining the LDS Church, they were not happy about my decision. My Mother, in particular, made sure that she voiced her opinion strongly from time to time. She told me once that she was afraid I would give all the money I received from her estate to THAT Church. And she made it quite clear she was not interested in being Baptized a Mormon after she died. Even though I tried to explain the idea of having the right to choose to accept the ordinances performed for our deceased, she was still adamantly against it.
So, I always wondered what I would do after they were gone. Would I respect their wishes and not do their Temple Work or do it anyway?
I decided to go ahead and do the work.
Here was my rationale:
- It is better to do as we are asked to do to seek after our dead and perform vicarious work on their behalf.
- If I didn’t do it, who would? Maybe my children or their children? Could I count on that? At this stage of their lives, the answer is no. So who would do it?
- They will have the choice to accept or reject the ordinances. This is according to our theology. I assume that my parent’s eternal perspective has changed on the other side of the veil.
- What is the worst that could happen? Either they yell at me on the other side for not respecting their wishes, provided they even know I did it. Or, none of this true and it doesn’t matter anyway.
But, what is the best that could happen? That their perspective has changed so much, they embrace the Gospel and thank me for doing their work. And that we will be together as a family forever.
Seemed to me it is worth the risk to have it turn out for the best.
Besides, they’ve yelled at me before, I can take it.