Friday, May 27, 2005

Have you ever wondered why the Mormons are so keen on genealogy?

We got a letter today (at the day job) from the Genealogical Society of Utah requesting a bunch of stuff . Wait a minute, I thought - aren't they part of the Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter-day Saints? So why is LDS so interested in genealogy? Well, I'm glad you asked.

The LDS church teach that families are incredibly important and in order to stay together for eternity, families are encouraged to make covenants (like a special promise) in temple. Members of LDS also believe that once a person dies, their spirit goes into a kind of spirit world where they wait for the day of judgement.

So, if you can identify your ancestors - you need their whole name - you can make covenants to them which they can accept from the spirit world. Hence you can spend eternity with your ancestors.

If you don't identify your ancestors, presumably they shrivel up in purgatory somewhere all the while cursing you for not trying hard enough to identify them.


Blogger Craig said...

I've always been curious about things like that. It's possible to save your ancestors who have already passed on, but you have to know their entire name? It seems a rather poorly thought out restriction, like the arguments against cremation. The typical argument goes that if you are to be resurrected you will need your original body to be intact. So, it seems you can be raised from the dead and whatever caused death can be fixed but not a body burned after death. That seems like a rather arbitrary line to draw for the limits of an all powerful beings power.
Why is the original body needed or why is the full name needed? Why do we limit the abilities of God/gods and yet still consider him/them all powerful?

12:20 pm  
Blogger L said...

they also "baptize" non relatives posthumously-- there was an uproar after a Jewish group discovered that they'd been going through genealogical records to poshumously "baptize" and bless Jews....

1:54 pm  
Blogger granola girl said...

Actually, the full name has to be known only if the ancestor is male, last names are acceptable for females. Also, date of birth (and death, if known) are important. As far as shriveling up in Hell goes -- members of the LDS faith don't believe that at all -- simply, those who would be shriveling up in Hell aren't bound with their families for eternity. I think it would be kind of lonely, personally. Other than that -- you did a good job summing the whole thing up.

Lastly, as far as the previous comment on posthumous baptism: please realize that they aren't digging up dead people to do these things. Yeah, that's all.

1:13 am  
Blogger Laziest Girl said...

you guys are awesome.

8:44 pm  
Blogger Craig said...

Laziest Girl, you say that as if it's some sort of surprise.

12:17 am  

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