Controversial baptisms no longer allowed

The temple baptistry is used to perform baptisms by proxy for deceased persons. Participants are baptized by immersion to symbolize being buried and resurrected with Jesus. The font sits on the back of 12 oxen that represent the 12 tribes of Israel. The b

Controversy flared anew last month when a Dutch newspaper announced that the late Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, her husband Prince Bernard, and Queen Beatrix’s late husband, Prince Claus, were all baptized posthumously (after their deaths) into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as the LDS or Mormon Church).
This followed soon after the family of Daniel Pearl, the “Wall Street Journal” reporter who was kidnapped and beheaded by terrorists in Pakistan in 2002, discovered that he had been posthumously baptized at a Mormon Temple in Idaho.
The Gospels record Jesus’s baptism at the hands of his cousin, John the Baptist; and he commanded his followers “to go and baptize all nations.”
Although most Christian churches practice some form of ceremony applying water to a person (by sprinkling, pouring or immersing) in conjunction with ritual words, only Mormons practice “vicarious” or “proxy” baptisms which allow a living person to be baptized on behalf of a deceased person, thus granting the possibility of “entry to the Kingdom of God if the deceased person chooses to accept the baptism.”
According to Latter-day Saints doctrine, “This is an opportunity for those who never had a chance to make a commitment to accept or reject this means of salvation.”
No one is baptized into the Church against his or her will; each person has the right to choose. “The validity of baptism for the dead depends on the deceased person accepting it and choosing to follow the Savior while residing in the spirit world.” Latter-day Saints are counseled to perform proxy baptisms out of pure love for their ancestors so that it is available if the deceased person chooses it.
The names of deceased persons are not added to membership records of the church, and the Mormon Church in the Netherlands will examine the possibility of setting up a register of people who do not want to be posthumously baptized.  
Some groups have reacted negatively to proxy baptisms, especially Jews who discovered that Anne Frank and other Holocaust victims who were killed for their religion had received proxy baptisms.
Other famous people like Mahatma Gandhi and Elvis Presley have also received this rite. In reaction, the Vatican in 2008 banned unauthorized microfilming and digitizing of that church’s sacramental registers.
Recently LDS President Thomas S. Monson and his counselors wrote a letter to all Mormon bishops, an unequivocal mandate: “Church members must not submit for proxy temple ordinances any names from unauthorized groups, such as celebrities and Jewish Holocaust victims.”
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Netherlands issued a statement saying that the baptism of members of the Dutch Royal Family was a mistake made by “over-enthusiastic members; it worries us when someone deliberately violates the church’s policy whereby something that should be seen as an offering of love and respect gives rise to conflict.”

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