Friday, March 9, 2012

What is it like to do baptisms for the dead in the Temple?

So what is it really like to perform proxy ordinances in the Salt Lake Temple? It's not a simple matter to explain--and yet it is all quite simple.

How can one speak the love that suddenly engulfs the heart for progenitors long deceased? We know there is no death. There is no death as the world understands death. Our ancestors live on. We shall meet. 

But this much we can explain: we descend into a large round basin of water and are immersed for another in the name of Jesus Christ (see 3 Nephi 11:23, 27). After changing into dry clothing, we enter a nearby room, where two bearers of the Melchizedek Priesthood place their hands on our heads and in the name of Jesus Christ confirm us, for another, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost. Taken together, immersion and confirmation make up one act of baptism, the legal gateway into the Kingdom of God. Even Jesus Christ received the ordinance of baptism; the Holy Ghost descended like a dove.

I cull the following description from my own journal. 

November 10, 2006

Today in the baptistry of the Salt Lake Temple I participated both as proxy and as officiator in baptisms and voice in confirmations. A mother and little girl came into the baptistry office and disappeared down the hall. They walked around a bit. They came into the confirmation room where I was to act as voice in the confirmation of my Danish ancestors. I asked the little girl her name. “Leah.”  She was Leah Jeppsen and had long yellow hair and cherry-red cheeks and a light in her eyes. It was her 12th birthday and the first time she had come to the House of the Lord. After she was confirmed, her mother said to her: “Now you’ve done temple work.” A beautiful day.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.