Wednesday, October 26, 2005

*sings* My geneology I am doing it, my geneology

Normally I'd break tradition a bit and do something less serious today, but I read something yesterday that makes me angry. Click on the linked article to find out.

I realize that when I die, someone in the Mormon church will probably do the same thing to me, thus not respecting my choice not be a Mormon. I know they mean well. The thing is I did not make any great sacrifice to leave the Church, nor was I ever greatly persecuted for my religious choice.

Baptizing dead Catholic martyrs or holocaust victims takes away the meaning of the sacrifices these people made, and according to Mormon doctrine, if a Mormon is not one of their descendants it shouldn't happen.

I realize that temple workers are mostly volunteers and don't check all that closely for names that should not go through their work. Honestly, the system should be reworked entirely so that you only baptize the names you submit when doing your genealogy.

Now, like the good Mormon that I was, I did my genealogy around 12 or so when you're first expected to make the trip to the Mormon temple. I never went. Truthfully, I typically find these buildings ugly and not the beautiful places people say they are. (The Washington, D.C. Temple being the exception.) Most people with my surname in my family like to claim descent from a man named Hans Landis in The Martyr's Mirror. (Heresy, it seems, actually is a family tradition.) I can't help but think how would he feel in the afterlife if he looked down and saw me or anyone else claiming to be his descendant doing this? It could be that he would be mildly amused by it, but considering he got hung for joining up with the Anabaptist movement, he might just be a little ticked – assuming the dead watch the living that closely.

This is the third time since I've followed this particular story starting in 2003 that they have been accused of this. I cannot say the leadership of the church is responsible for this current issue. It seems to me that this is more likely the overzealous work of an administrator who feels the Church shouldn't have to live up to this promise.

I realize that since I left I have no chance of changing the church and their policies. They won't be likely to listen to an evil apostate. The truth (make that The Truth) is that this is not making the church any friends and their actions do not help if they want to get over being perceived as a weird, controlling, cult. I just hope it's someone lower in the church hierarchy who overstepped his bounds and not an order from the top.


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