My Beliefs

ARE WE RELATED?
Donny Osmond

“As I’ve traveled all over the world, the fact that I’m a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has caused a lot of interesting questions. I’ve received so many letters and e-mails asking things like, What are the basic beliefs of Latter-day Saints?”

Debby & Donny Osmond

My Testimony

Listen

…Some want to know how Debbie and I have been able to maintain a strong marriage — over all these years — while living in the world of show business. Others want to know how we dealt with the challenges of raising a close and happy family in such difficult times.

How do we maintain a balance between work, and family life? Well, you know it’s not always easy, but the following pages are my attempt to explain a way of life that helps answer these kinds of questions. It gives me stability in a world, and in a business, that can be uncertain, compromising, and stressful. It’s the pattern that gives me direction in my life. And, I hope that this information will help answer some of your questions.

Questions & Answers

  • Baptism after death

    Our family to had great anger and sadness when my beautiful cousin and 3 year old son perished in a house fire. My cousin was a strong practicing Lutheran as was her husband. They were all baptized as were their children. After their burial we found out the Morman church had members who went out and baptized our deceased love ones at the grave site. Our family was very upset that a church would take it upon themselves to do this when she was a loving mother and wife belonging to a church she was active and loved    She had very strong feelings about the Morman church and in if she wanted to change churches while she was alive she would have turned Morman and would have been baptized Morman while alive. I feel it is a great violation of privacy and disrespectful to the wishes of those who passed. Can you try to rectify why your church would do such a thing by invading and disrespecting another’s wishes both in life and in death with out any permission to do so by the deceased family members? I would really like your view. Thank you KATHRINE

    Dear Kathrine,
     
    I am very sorry that you have been so offended.  I can certainly understand your feelings given your view of what is taking place.  Actually, what we view as a very sacred practice is motivated out of love and actually is not intended to interfere with any individual’s choice or agency.
     
    First of all, the truth is that for someone to submit the name of anyone for this sacred ordinance in one of our temples who has died with a birth date less than 105 years ago, they are required to obtain permission from the closest living relative, so I am not sure how your cousin slipped through that strict policy unless it was quite a few years ago before this policy was adopted.  
     
    Secondly, it is vital to understand that this practice does not impinge upon anyone’s free choice.  Yes, millions of our ancestors have had this proxy baptism performed in their behalf, but it is known that each individual will have the right to accept it or not and even to act upon it in their eternal future or not.  It is not intended to, nor do we believe it even could, impose anything on anyone, but if they happen to accept the gospel, as we understand it, even after they die, then this important ordinance of baptism will have been performed by proxy in their behalf.  That is part of our faith and we do spend a lot of energy following our beliefs as it relates to this practice.
     
    To give you a little background on why our Church even follows what appears to most as such a strange practice, is that we see in the Bible that the gospel is taught to those who have died without the chance to know of the true gospel of Jesus Christ during their lives:
     
    6  For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.
    (New Testament | 1 Peter 4:6)
     
    Paul wrote about it when he referred to the resurrection:
     
    29  Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all?  why are they then baptized for the dead?
    (New Testament | 1 Corinthians 15:29)
     
    We do not expect everyone to accept these beliefs, but we are sincere when we state that the Lord has restored his gospel ​through a prophet in these latter days and that a full explanation of this practice has been revealed.  There are over 165 sacred temples that have been constructed throughout the world in which these baptisms are preformed every day. 
     
     
     
    This practice along with the doctrine that the gospel is taught to those in the world of spirits who did not hear it during their lives, to us, is the Lord’s way to ensure that every last person who has ever lived or who ever will live on this earth will have a complete opportunity to accept or reject the Lord, his gospel, and be baptized as required to enter the Kingdom of God. 
     
    5  Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
    (New Testament | John 3:5)
     
    This explains, though very briefly, our belief in this matter and I hope it helps at least in giving you an explanation on our beliefs regarding the sacred ordinance of baptism.  All of this said, let me reiterate, there should not have been any baptism performed for your cousin unless permission was obtained.
     
    ​Let me know if you have any other questions.
     
    Thanks,
     
    Donny Osmond​
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