CHI #6


The focus of this post is to examine the policies established by the CHI for the worthiness interview required for baptism.

Section 16.3.3 covers interviews for convert baptisms. Mission presidents are given the keys for administering baptisms of new members of the church over the age of 8 or for 8 year old children whose parents are not members of the church. The full time mission district or zone leaders are delegated authority by the mission president to perform the worthiness interviews for these baptisms.

Various scriptures mention the need to verify a person is truly repentant prior to being baptized into Christ’s church. The Lord does expect those who are seeking baptism to in someway demonstrate their repentant state. And it is a priesthood function to verify this. The process for this has become the baptismal interview.

This basically places the full time missionaries in the function of a judge “in Israel” or at least at the entrance into Israel. We are taught that certain sins are more grievous than others. Murder specifically has some scriptural precautions attached to it and is treated as a sin which the Lord does not easily forgive.

In my mind there are some real questions about whether the way we are taught about this is the way God views it. In the book of Alma the people of Lamoni were completely forgiven of murderous acts. You might accept that group because perhaps what they did  was done under a “legal” cloak.  I believe it is a very dangerous thing to think that because a thing is legal under an earthly government it is not murder, enslavement or theft before God. I suggest you read Many are Called But Few Are Chosen by H. Verlan Anderson to understand that. But even if that were true what about those Lamanites who came and began slaughtering thousands of Anti Nephi Lehis who were not even armed nor resisting? They seem to have been truly forgiven that very day.

I will only lightly cover that because it is not the focus of this section of the CHI and I do not feel adequate to treat it thoroughly with all scriptural statements taken into account.

Now to help clarify the CHI requirements for a convert baptismal interview I will break the sins listed into 3 classes. Each class requires a different level of approval before the candidate may be baptized. If this sounds to you a little like the instructions for an income tax form then you should ponder the significance of that.  The format here is not from the CHI but the procedures and events listed are.

Class 1 sins are all sins not covered in classes 2 or 3.

Class 1 candidates are approved by the interview of the missionary District or Zone leader.

Class 2 sins are if the candidate :

1. Has submitted to, performed, arranged for, paid for, consented to, or encouraged an abortion.

2. Has been convicted of a serious crime.

3. Has committed a homosexual transgression.

Class 2 events require the mission president to interview or he may on a case by case basis authorize one of his counselors to interview and then the mission president’s approval must be given before the baptism is allowed.

Class 3 requires the mission president himself to conduct the interview and receive approval of the First Presidency before the baptism can take place.

Class 3 sins are if the candidate:

Has committed murder

Has been involved in the practice of plural marriage

Has undergone an elective transsexual operation

Is currently on legal probation or parole

Under murder further instructions are given exempting cases of a police or military killings done in the line of duty. I wonder if that includes CIA employees who torture people or kill them as part of their job. Well surely torture is not murder just a serious crime or no not even a crime since they were obeying the 12th commandment, I mean article of faith because it was done under the laws of the land (What land? Don’t confuse me with details!).

Regarding involvement in plural marriage two more subsections are cited. The first subsection relates to adults who have been involved. The other relates to children whose parents are practicing or did practice plural marriage.

As an adult you have in the eyes of the CHI committed a class 3 sin if you have previously taught, encouraged or practiced plural marriage. Remember this is as a nonmember we are talking about. The mission president must submit a request for approval to the First Presidency and it should include information about the person’s past involvement and his subsequent repentance.

So let me get this straight. A person who learns of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ must repent of having taught what Joseph Smith and every apostle up until 1890 taught and prove repentance for having taught it before he can be baptized? And of course the same applies to having encouraged or practiced it also.

Wow I am sure glad this high standard doesn’t apply to retaining church membership since as someone who has been sealed to two women (both living as if that makes a difference) I am obviously teaching by example and in fact practicing plural marriage. But we will see why I am exempt from any such punishment.

And now let’s look at the class 3 sin of involvement in plural marriage as applied to a child. This occurs when the candidate for baptism is a child of parents who have practiced or are practicing plural marriage contrary to the law. I take that to mean the civil law where the person is living.

The mission president may submit his request for approval to the first presidency when the following requirements are met.

1. The children accept the teachings and doctrines of the church.

Is this not required in the other classes of baptismal approval? (Hey lay off government regulations are notoriously redundant)

2. The children repudiate the teachings upon which their parents based their practice of plural marriage.

So that would be something found in the Bible, Doctrine and Covenants or the journal of discourses? No it could easily be something in Islamic law too! Yeah and as true blue Americans we all know that is all evil especially after 911. Yeah!

3. Minor children are not living in a home where polygamy is being taught or practiced.

Good thing for my children that they were already baptized when I married my second wife in the temple without cancelling the sealing to my first. But obviously that doesn’t matter since it is not against the law of the state. So is that all the CHI is concerned about? You might say no because is says also even if the doctrine is being taught in the home. But in fact this is exactly the language of the Official Declaration 1 which states we aren’t teaching and we aren’t practicing plural marriage.

I think we have to agree that this is all about bowing to the law of man. We can see that the application becomes extreme. Where do the writers of the CHI draw the line regarding teaching the doctrine of plural marriage as an eternal principle? That really doesn’t matter to them because the policy here it is all about bowing to the governments of men.

Now consider this fact. There are only a few nations where sex outside of marriage between adults is a crime. In fact to many people such a law is seen as a “gross human rights violation.” Although I don’t classify Satan as a person (he doesn’t have a body) I am sure he calls laws against extra marital sex as a violation of human rights (see Alma 30:18, 27).

So if a child lives in a home where the parents are not married but simply living together and having sexual relations then there is no restriction on that child being baptized. No letter to the first presidency stating the child repudiates the actions of his parents. And rightfully so. The child’s acceptance of the gospel of Christ is that repudiation.

But I see in this policy an extreme bias against a doctrine which was part of the restoration of all things but which the leadership of the LDS church is now trying to stamp out of existence. And all of this policy is in obedience to governments which outlaw God’s laws and make legal Satan’s laws.

I readily admit there are many things in this policy which could stand some scrutiny and no doubt the comments will explore them. I just picked on a policy which seems to really pick on some innocent little children placing them in the same class with people who have shed innocent blood. And I ask myself and you to what end?

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8 Comments

  1. This is a bit of a tangent from the topic at hand, but I thought I’d point out…

    “Although I don’t classify Satan as a person (he doesn’t have a body)”

    I had an interesting conversation with an elderly gentleman this past weekend where this exact topic was covered. He pointed me to D&C 76:25-26

    25 And this we saw also, and bear record, that an ANGEL of God who was in authority in the presence of God, who rebelled against the Only Begotten Son whom the Father loved and who was in the bosom of the Father, was thrust down from the presence of God and the Son,
    26 And was called Perdition, for the heavens wept over him—he was Lucifer, A SON OF THE MORNING.

    He then pointed me to D&C 129:1

    1 There are two kinds of beings in heaven, namely: Angels, who are resurrected personages, having bodies of flesh and bones—

    He then explained to me how Lucifer had already gone through his probationary state in a mortal world and received a resurrected celestial body.

    As I pulled up these scriptures again for this post I was struck by the wording in 76:26 that Lucifer was “A SON OF THE MORNING”. When I read that line I immediately thought about the imagery used to describe the millennium where those who receive celestial glory shall come forth in the “morning”.

    Thoughts anyone?

  2. Thoughts anyone?

    There are references to angels ministering on this earth prior to Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead. Being that he was the “first-fruits” of the resurrection, I would say that D&C 129:1 may not apply to all of the references to “angels” in the scriptures.

    However, I have never noticed that connection before — thanks for bringing it up.

  3. I’ve heard of that before, and it fits in line with the MMP (multiple mortal probations) paradigm. It sort of fits into the the resurrection unto life OR death. Perhaps Lucifer’s role is merely a “resurrection unto death.” Just musing, not stating.

    Here’s a transcript of a chat I had with someone on this subject that I thought might be worth sharing:

    xxx: incredibly, lucifer is one of them
    11:38 PM me: Haven’t heard much about these 12 archangels for other religions…Lucifer was one of what?
    xxx: the acrh angels – one of the 12 – still is essentially
    11:39 PM me: elaborate, if you would…especially about how it still is….
    xxx: well, now most only have 7
    11:40 PM and 7 seems to be the most reliable, historically so who knows
    me: …how Lucifer still is one of the archangels…
    xxx: well, he was given keys to perform an essential work from heaven.
    xxx: on earht
    11:42 PM me: what keys? sorry, I’m a dunce.
    xxx: well, to perform a work on heaven, the keys of ooposition had to be authorized
    xxx: and lucifer, having preisthood, qulaified!
    11:43 PM me: that his role is essentially a resurrection unto death, where he’s maligned for thousands of years as who he is…and that’s his resurrection of death?
    xxx: well, yeah I think he MIGHT have even done it out of love
    11:44 PM me: did he knowingly choose it, as such?
    xxx: nobody fell further
    and nobodies position is more hideous to us
    me: right, and what’s that saying/quote on the farther they fall, as exalted beings, … the higher … ?
    xxx: it stands to reason, since he fell that we might be exalted
    11:45 PM odd eh
    me: strange perhaps, but then this is a “strange work”.
    xxx: sure is
    11:46 PM at least though we can then have compassion on those who believe and do us wonrg, as their position is essential for our growth
    11:47 PM me: I don’t know…it’s certainly a paradox…maybe that’s not the right word, but it’s interesting nonetheless.
    11:48 PM xxx: paradox indeed
    me: …and that we, by what we believe and do wrong to others…are essential for their growth
    xxx: ah but then we dont wanna be that guy!
    11:49 PM me: Not at all…
    xxx: jk
    me: So, Adam fell to be the first father. Christ fell to be the redeemer. Lucifer fell to be the devil.
    xxx: yes
    me: …and Lucifer fell further than the others.
    11:50 PM xxx: you are beggining to see already!!! in truth, it could just be a nasty punishment

    Don’t make any judgments on it. Just something to think about.

  4. All I was meaning is that the definition of “person” means a entity with a body. Not one who is a spirit. The Webster dictionary lists it as archaic. Makes sense because that is the way it is used in D&C 130:22 where the holy Ghost is referred to as a personage. So I don’t believe satan has a body now so I don’t call him a person. And even if he had many previous bodies he doesn’t have one now.

    I really don’t buy the need to have an evil one to progress. Earth life is filled with all the pain we need without needing the extra kinetic energy of one who “falls from a very great height” to make the system work. It sounds like putting the second law of thermodynamics into the workings of God.
    But fact is the second law of thermodynamics only applies to a closed system. When we see things as they are we will see there is no such thing as a truly closed system anywhere in the universe. And speaking of that the universe is expanding and everything is moving constantly faster. This demonstrates an ever increasing kinetic energy in the whole universe. Which in and of itself proves the second law is baloney.
    But as you say that is a little off topic.

  5. On the question asked in the post, it seems fairly clear to me that the majority of rights/keys retained by the mission president (or even the First Presidency for “Class 3” sins) are retained precisely for public relations purposes, not really for severity of sin. Repentance is recognized through the Spirit by those sitting as judges in Israel, so either the missionaries delegated have that Spirit for all cases or they do not and should, in essence, be able to sit in all cases, or not at all. All Class 2 and 3 sins are of political/criminal import, so that ups the ante in a society highly governed by others.

    On the comment tangent, perhaps the best argument for an MMP is the fact that the grand council in heaven at which Jehovah and Lucifer were present occurred chronologically (in Abraham) before the spiritual creation of mankind that are on this earth (in general). In that chronology, the decisions were made in a council without us present, which we later accepted or not as we were spiritually created/born and chose to follow Elohim’s/Jehovah’s/The Plan of Happiness or to follow Lucifer’s plan (whereby he most likely gets to skip a step or two in the MMP and get to Elohim’s status after this one last hurrah).

  6. Im a lurker on this and many related sites (PureMormonism, Zomarah etc). You guys all rock and wish I had some people around me in real life who were as intellectually honest.

    Anyway, why don’t we just call multiple mortal probations (MMP) reincarnation?

  7. I have never bought into reincarnation if defined as a series of multiple physical rebirths on this earth after the initial spirit birth from Heavenly Father. I especially reject it in terms of a possibility that you may come back as an animal or other life form. I do not reject that other non human life forms may be a step in the progression of intelligences, I don’t know. I believe that the intelligences which are capable of governing the collection of entities which we call a spirit child of God are of such a nature that they not subject to a recycling process where they would be born again on this earth. All those who do not commit the unpardonable sin will receive a glorious resurrection. They may become as Father, but they may chose to be less that Him and remain as a ministering angel. This is not a negative thing. They are beings of great glory and power and eternal happiness involved in a great and worthwhile work. Their lives are not wasted. They are where they want to be. they made a choice to progress to that state and then no further. In today’s language, they have really good jobs with excellent benefits.
    However those who followed Satan lock, stock and barrel will not be happy. And outer darkness is not a good place to spend eternity. They will wish they were never born. They will suffer real bad. But I do not believe the eternal truth and justice of the universe is served by leaving them in that state. Who is benefited by such an arrangement? In fact I am sure all exalted beings find such a state of affairs repugnant to goodness. But I believe the recycling is not a simple return to earth as a baby. Just as physical bodies can be destroyed I believe so also spirit bodies can be destroyed. My intelligence is not my spirit body. My intelligence was not created nor made. As such it can not cease to exist. But My intelligence can be better organized and refined and improved by my choice and only by my choice. There are intelligences of humans, animals, plants and elements. Would a recycled follower of satan come right back to receive a human spirit body? Possibly not. Joseph Smith was quoted in the early editions of the Lectures on Faith as saying that we who are part of the family of this earth had been progressing since our spirit birth for 2.5555 billion years before Adam and Eve were placed on the earth to begin the physical birth process. Can an insect intelligence be reborn with a spirit body of a higher life form and so on until they progress to be a human intelligence? I don’t know. But such a facet could easily be seen as reincarnation. But to me the real problem is one of how many eternities is it going to take if we do not make good use of our time in this eternity. I don’t enjoy doing things over again. I like eternal progression. So even a recycling program as I have mentioned is to me a real horrible hell.

  8. When I was on my mission, we baptized a smoker. He smoked at his baptism while still dripping wet. When he came back into the Relief Society room, everyone could smell the smoke.


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