Who was the first woman baptized?

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Joni
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Who was the first woman baptized?

Post by Joni » 23 Apr 2017, 05:30

I'm teaching Church History/D&C to nine year olds (and trying to put an unorthodox spin on it -haven't been released yet). We've talked about how the three and eight witnesses were all male, and the first six members of the church were all male, largely due to the overwhelming sexism of 19th century America.

Who was the first woman to be baptized after those six men? I can't find it in the lesson manual (What a surprise) or RSR. I would have thought Emma Smith but she didn't get dunked until July 1830. Was it Lucy Smith? Anyone know?

Roy
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Re: Who was the first woman baptized?

Post by Roy » 23 Apr 2017, 16:16

I did a fair amount of googling and could not find the answer.

Perhaps it simply was not recorded. I understand that they did not keep records for baptisms initially unless it was for a special purpose (like meeting the minimum membership number to be considered a legal church).
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dande48
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Re: Who was the first woman baptized?

Post by dande48 » 23 Apr 2017, 18:52

Both Lucy Smith and Sarah Witt Rockwell were baptised on April 6th, 1830, the day the Church was organized. It's anyone's guess who was baptized first, but they were the earliest women.
http://mormonhistoricsites.org/wp-conte ... Platt4.pdf

Before that day, only four others had been baptized; Joseph, Hyrum, Oliver Cowdery, and Samuel Smith.
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Minyan Man
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Re: Who was the first woman baptized?

Post by Minyan Man » 23 Apr 2017, 20:24

I went to FamilySearch & looked for early members of the church. For example, Emma Hale. Under Ordinances I was hoping it would give a date but instead it says "Not Available". That seems strange to me.

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On Own Now
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Re: Who was the first woman baptized?

Post by On Own Now » 24 Apr 2017, 07:03

To me, I think it is probable that Emma was baptized prior to April 6, 1830, but that the baptism was not recorded, or that the record was lost. All who were baptized before April 6 were subsequently rebaptized, so Emma's official date of June doesn't deter me.
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DarkJedi
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Re: Who was the first woman baptized?

Post by DarkJedi » 24 Apr 2017, 07:05

I think we need to keep in mind that in the early days, especially before the church was founded, there weren't actually formal records kept. "Behold there shall be a record kept among you" (D&C 21) wasn't given until the day the church was organized. Also, prior to the organization of the church people were baptized only for the remission of sins. Most, if not all, were rebaptized (and confirmed) as members of the church after the organization of the church. It's also apparent that some people were baptized several times, and that baptism was also sometimes performed as a healing ordinance.
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Re: Who was the first woman baptized?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 24 Apr 2017, 20:34

Exactly what DJ said.

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Orson
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Re: Who was the first woman baptized?

Post by Orson » 25 Apr 2017, 13:11

Dande answered it, Lucy or Sarah Rockwell. History of the church says April 6th but an early draft of the same and other witness testimony says the two of them were baptized "a few days later." The next women baptized were wives of the Book of Mormon witnesses that Sunday in Fayette. Emma was baptized in Colesville in June.
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Re: Who was the first woman baptized?

Post by Joni » 26 Apr 2017, 03:05

On Own Now wrote:
24 Apr 2017, 07:03
To me, I think it is probable that Emma was baptized prior to April 6, 1830, but that the baptism was not recorded, or that the record was lost. All who were baptized before April 6 were subsequently rebaptized, so Emma's official date of June doesn't deter me.
That answers the next question I was going to ask, which is why did it take until July before Emma was baptized.

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Orson
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Re: Who was the first woman baptized?

Post by Orson » 26 Apr 2017, 12:43

Joni wrote:
26 Apr 2017, 03:05

That answers the next question I was going to ask, which is why did it take until June before Emma was baptized.
There may have been a few factors, the most obvious being geography and opportunity. There is no indication that Emma made the long trip with Joseph and Joseph Knight to the Manchester/Fayette area in early April 1830. She was much closer to Colesville and participated in the organization of that branch in June, thus was baptized with those residents. We are also not clear on how the disapproval of her father and family may have affected her eagerness to join the new church (possibly why she wasn't baptized the year before?), but it wouldn't have been a huge deterrent because the first time others in her area were baptized she was with them.
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