Two issues regarding baptism

It has come to my attention that there are some questions, perhaps even action being taken, to change the age of baptism established by the teachings of Christ, by lowering from the age of eight. I have heard there are those who claim the right to lower the age, based on a parent’s discretion, or the superior ability of the child. There was even one case where Johnny, age five, (name changed to protect the “innocent” – pun intended) didn’t want to be left out because all of his siblings were baptized, so the parents just thought they’d try the system and see if they could get his name recorded.

My dear brothers and sisters, have we taken leave of our senses? Do we not read the scriptures? And if so, do we understand them? I will review some of the available scriptures which address this issue. You all can certainly manipulate this submission site into accepting the name of such a child, but why would you want to? We have a system to remove redundancies in which we believe almost all redundancies will be weeded out before the names are hand written into the sacred book. So, if we receive such a child’s name as a single submission in any particular year, it will be written that one time to stand forever in the book. We do not record multiple baptisms for one individual. If you submit a name for the year 2014 and tell us it is a valid baptism, it will be recorded in that year, and never again. You can be baptized as many times as you are prompted, or like, but there is only one necessary recording.

So can you see, if you send us your child’s name, having baptized him or her at an age less than eight, it will be recorded as though it is Ok, although it will be non-scriptural and non-conforming to the requirements established by Christ. We won’t know the difference, but you, and the lord and all the holy angels who look upon this book will. And then if you baptize the child again after they turn eight and re-submit to us the name, it will be discarded as a redundancy, unless you make a special comment that you have repented of the thing originally done, and specifically ask that the name be recorded again. Even at that, the original submission will remain because the only way we will have of changing it will be to draw a line through it, in effect blotting it out. We will not be able to erase.

So please don’t do this!

D&C 18: 42. “For all men must repent and be baptized, and not only men, but women, and children who have arrived at the years of accountability.”

D&C 20: 37. “And again, by way of commandment to the church concerning the manner of baptism–All those who humble themselves before God, and desire to be baptized, and come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits, and witness before the church that they have truly repented of all their sins, and are willing to take upon them the name of Jesus Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end, and truly manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins,shall be received by baptism into his church.”

I have to ask if the bolded part of this above scripture belongs to our little children?

D&C 68: 25-27. “And again, inasmuch as parents have children in Zion, or in any of her stakes which are organized, that teach them not to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God, and of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, when eight years old, the sin be upon the heads of the parents. For this shall be a law unto the inhabitants of Zion, or in any of her stakes which are organized. And their children shall be baptized for the remission of their sins when eight years old, and receive the laying on of the hands.” (The Holy Ghost is an issue we will discuss another time.)

Section 22: 4 of the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants is comparable to the above section 68 of our modern day scriptures and says the same thing about the age of baptism for little children. Revelations Notebook #1 kept by Joseph Smith contains the same revelation under the date of 1 Nov, 1831-A. (See Joseph Smith Papers, Revelations and Translations, Vol. 1, p 201.) Some have tried to argue that there are discrepancies between these various sources, but the record does not bear that out. The Lord revealed that little children in our day and time are to be baptized at age eight. So I would think that as Mormon says below, baptizing your little children would be a “gross error” and “solemn mockery” if they are not yet that age at baptism. Please try to remember that this movement and the revelation which was received establishing it is to remember the Restoration began by Joseph Smith, not the dismantling of it.

Moroni 8: 4-12. “And now, my son, I speak unto you concerning that which grieveth me exceedingly; for it grieveth me that there should disputations rise among you. For, if I have learned the truth, there have been disputations among you concerning the baptism of your little children. And now, my son, I desire that ye should labor diligently, that this gross error should be removed from among you; for, for this intent I have written this epistle. For immediately after I had learned these things of you I inquired of the Lord concerning the matter. And the word of the Lord came unto me by the power of the Holy Ghost, saying: Listen to the words of Christ, your Redeemer, your Lord and your God. Behold, I came into the world not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance; the whole need no physician, but they that are sick; wherefore, little children are whole, for they are not capable of committing sin; wherefore the curse of Adam is taken from them in me, that it hath no power over them; and the law of circumcision is done away in me. And after this manner did the Holy Ghost manifest the word of God unto me; wherefore, my beloved son, I know that it is solemn mockery before God that ye should baptize little children. Behold I say unto you that this thing shall ye teach–repentance and baptism unto those who are accountable and capable of committing sin; yea, teach parents that they must repent and be baptized, and humble themselves as their little children, and they shall all be saved with their little children. And their little children need no repentance, neither baptism. Behold, baptism is unto repentance to the fulfilling of the commandments unto the remission of sins. But little children are alive in Christ, even from the foundation of the world; if not so, God is a partial God, and also a changeable God, and a respecter of persons; for how many little children have died without baptism!”

Now in the words of Jacob, if I didn’t have another issue to discuss with you, we could all go our way and be satisfied that we had covered our topic. But alas, there is another concern:

I know floating out there on the internet is an offer by a woman to baptize others, claiming because of the purity of women, and I suppose she claims particular purity herself, that all women should be able to baptize in this new order of The Doctrine of Christ. My personal opinion is that this is wrong (for now) and I think we should be able to make quick dispatch of the issue by resorting to the comments of Denver Snuffer which he made in the tenth talk.

I, however, do not dispute there may be those women with greater spiritual insight and worthiness and they may have a better general standing in connection with heaven. There is, however, at play here a law, which at this particular time cannot be annulled by men, or women. That law was set at the fall of man and reconfirmed by the Lord recently:

“In my disgust and personal preference, I asked the Lord that priesthood get extended beyond the confines of the men who have continually abused and neglected it. I was told that priesthood is confined to men because of the Fall and the conditions ordained by God at that time. Until we reverse things in the Millennium, that is the way it is going to remain, as to the ordinances thus far given in public. I asked the Lord to change that order. It is not going to change. I then asked the Lord that if only men were to hold priesthood for our public ordinances, then could only women vote to sustain them. The saying pleased the Lord, for it was already in His heart. But he said to me: “There shall be a minimum of seven women to sustain the man in any vote, and if the man is married, his wife shall be one of them.” (Denver Snuffer 10th talk, P.15, Paragraph #4. emphasis mine.)

If I find this becomes a continuing issue I will have my computer assistant add another required field to the submissions which will say something like baptised by; Male__ Female__. I will not be able to record the baptism if the field is marked “Female.”

Of course lying is still an option, if one doesn’t mind having it available for all to see for a thousand years. Can you see that Recording matters, and IT WILL be available for all to see.

Central Recorder
Keith Henderson

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