Importance of Personal Recording

As you may well now be aware, there is not much individual information which actually gets recorded by the Central Recorder. Now I don’t want to give the idea that I’m just sitting here twiddling my thumbs, because when I multiply what is recorded for one name by a couple of thousand others, I keep pretty busy. But for each individual there is only recorded here, Last name, middle name, first name, and year baptized, and that’s it. But should that be all that is recorded? For me the answer is yes. For you, the answer is no.

Baptism for most is a very special event.

Many times, it’s a very spiritual event, highlighted by intense feelings of gratitude, love, and a connectivity with heaven. Many times there has been an intense preparation for the occasion. For others, their spouse or beloved children have been left home not caring to partake because of unbelief. There are feelings of elation, grief, sorrow, and gratitude that span a spectrum of many other emotions driven by our individual circumstances.

Special friends have been invited, and there may be a special bond with the baptizer asked to perform the ordinance.

There are many locations where the baptisms are held, which are breathtakingly beautiful, and wonderfully symbolic things have taken place. Perhaps doves have made an appearance, or eagles have flown above, or geese and ducks have made spectacular takeoffs or landings. Some have been baptized in driving rain, and have felt blessed because of it, and for others the weather has cleared miraculously allowing the beauty of the sun to magically appear through thick clouds. Some have broken the ice and have felt an icy death as they were laid under, while yet others were baptized in balmy 103 degree water coming out anew into 20 degree air, brisk and enlivening.

Many times a specific date for our baptism has been chosen, perhaps coinciding with birthdays, solstice, equinox, or other phenomenon, that will forever engrave in our minds the occasion.

Many times instruction has been given which bolsters faith and drives testimony of the occasion. Sometimes there seems a ethereal strangeness because of our traditions which require white clothing, formal witnesses, and full names to be given, when instead we are baptized in cutoffs, wet suits, and various other garb, while at times it is only us and the baptizer, and other times there are dozens to observe; and all the baptizer wants to use as our name is the name we think God would call us if He was speaking directly to us. And to top it off, the prayer is different.

There are these and so many more things no one but ourselves can know about us, and what we feel about this occasion. All of these things should be recorded, and there is no one who can do it justice except you.

And this is not all:

“Now the nature of this ordinance consists in the power of the priesthood, by the revelation of Jesus Christ, wherein it is granted that whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven…or, in other words, taking a different view of the translation, whatsoever you record on earth shall be recorded in heaven…”

“It may seem to some to be a very bold doctrine that we talk of–a power which records or binds on earth and binds in heaven. Nevertheless, in all ages of the world, whenever the Lord has given a dispensation of the priesthood to any man by actual revelation or any set of men, this power has always been given. Hence, whatsoever those men did in authority, in the name of the Lord, and did it truly and faithfully, and kept a proper and faithful record of the same, it became a law on earth and in heaven, and could not be annulled, according to the decrees of the great Jehovah. This is a faithful saying. Who can hear it?”(D&C 128: 8-9.)

What I record will generate a record in heaven binding those names it contains, and the record will be kept in the temple for at least a thousand years where it will be researched by many, and will stand as a testimony to the faith through obedience, of those pioneers who entered the waters of baptism in this age, in accordance with the Doctrine of Christ.

What you record will be a witness containing your testimony and the circumstances of the event to your descendants, and to those others who will stand in awe at your faithfulness. I have no doubt that my record and your record will be combined in heaven as a binding law, which shall never be annulled.

Central Recorder
Keith Henderson

Correspondence & reply

I have been receiving correspondence from several, asking essentially the same question:

“Is it wise to put us under “penalty of law” in order to submit a name? Why not just accept the names that are submitted and leave any judgement in the hands of the Lord? I am also wary of making an oath of honesty.”

“Why the requirement for email addresses, phone numbers, or any contact information at all? The reason I ask is that if you believe there are eternal consequences to not having your name recorded, then wouldn’t you want to be sure that you do not unnecessarily cause someone to “not” submit their name? What if there are people out there who do not submit their name because they do not want to provide their contact information, or because they don’t want to swear an oath?”

My answer in each case has been:

We have all been trammelled because of oaths, etc. However there are some reasons for including the statements we have made and requiring identifying information from those submitting names for themselves and especially for others.

. All the person is attesting to, is that the name is correct to the best of their knowledge and that the work was actually done. We are requiring no allegiance of any kind. This actually amounts to another level of security against the spurious submission of names.

. The internet has created some interesting issues which Joseph Smith never had to deal with. Although the requirements for the name being submitted are minimal, (only the person’s names and year of baptism), there has to be an identifier for the one doing the submitting. In this case the easiest is email and phone number. This is so I can verify I haven’t just received part of the LA phone book as their submission. I suppose if a submitter is really adamant that they not have to give out this information, they can always travel to my address [which is included in this web site], and personally hand me their list. They will then, never really know or not, if their image was caught on surveillance.

. D&C 128: 4 says the following: “Then, let there be a general recorder, to whom these other records can be handed, being attended with certificates over

    their own signatures, certifying that the record they have made is true.

Then the general recorder can enter the record on the general church book, with the certificates and all the attending witnesses, with his own statement, that he verily believes the above statement and records to be true…When this is done, the record shall be just as holy as if he had seen with his own eyes and heard with his own ears…”

Before I make my attestation that I believe the above submissions are true and accurate, I want every avenue open to me to convince me that they are, because I am making that statement to someone much higher than myself, who requires me to do my best.

Central Recorder.

Purpose of this Website

Well, we are now up and running. Submissions of individuals names, baptized or re-baptized in the Doctrine of Christ may be made on this site. To do so, simply click on the SUBMISSIONS linkĀ above or click here and follow the instructions.

It is not the intent of this site to retain in long time storage, the names collected here. This is to be an enabling tool for the Central Recorder.

Each year, when the collection of names for those baptized that year is complete, the recorder will transfer those names into a special book via handwriting with special archival ink. This book will be preserved and eventually placed in the temple which will be built, where it will be maintained throughout the Millennium.

As often as required there will be messages placed here, primarily in answer to questions posed by submitting recorders. These messages will be designed to help expedite the work and clarify issues which may be presenting problems.

May God bless us all in moving this work forward.

Keith Henderson
Central Recorder