A Profound Comment on Redeeming the Dead

Public forum for topics that don't fit into the other categories.
Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 15843
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

A Profound Comment on Redeeming the Dead

Post by Curt Sunshine » 21 Jan 2010, 19:00

From Margaret Young (http://bycommonconsent.com/2009/08/25/t ... ent-156386):
In LDS theology, we talk about “redeeming the dead.” I think at least a portion of this means that we undo their errors and create a better world on the foundation – but also the ruins – of what they’ve left to us. Sometimes, we simply rearrange the ruins like a puzzle which makes a different kind of sense in a different kind of world. They bequeath both a legacy and a burden – and we are called to responsibility.


My response (http://bycommonconsent.com/2009/08/25/t ... ent-156585):
Margaret, I also am touched by the idea of redeeming our dead by building what they were unable to build and letting go of what they could not. I hope my own descendants will redeem me in exactly that manner.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

swimordie
Posts: 755
Joined: 02 Jun 2009, 21:50

Re: A Profound Comment on Redeeming the Dead

Post by swimordie » 21 Jan 2010, 22:37

I love this concept, Ray! For me, this perspective means infinitely more to me than just genealogy work and baptisms for the dead (not that there's anything wrong with that :oops: )
Perfectionism hasn't served me. I think I am done with it. -Poppyseed

MWallace57
Posts: 281
Joined: 23 Jul 2009, 03:12

Re: A Profound Comment on Redeeming the Dead

Post by MWallace57 » 22 Jan 2010, 04:58

Dear Ray,

I have been thinking and praying a lot lately about redemption of the dead. I prayed so long and hard for peace on this issue. My feelings were about "the Spirit of Elijah" who would turn the hearts of the children to the fathers and the hearts of the fathers to the children before the great and terrible day of the Lord. If this did not happen, the earth would be totally wasted at His coming.

My own personal interpretation of that is that I should turn my own heart to my living children and grandchildren and to those little spirits yet unborn because they will turn to me. They all depend on me to protect and preserve this earth upon which they will reside. If I pollute and destroy this earth and I don't think of all of those little unborn children who will have to live on this earth once I leave it, the earth will be "totally wasted" at His coming. |It will be a wasteland of trash, radioactive waste, and deforested, bare land. My own ancestors protect and preserved the land. The irrigated, planted forests and tended to the earth. |I need to turn my heart toward them for their example.

That is my "Spirit of Elijah".

Peaceandjoy
Posts: 102
Joined: 21 Jul 2009, 07:53

Re: A Profound Comment on Redeeming the Dead

Post by Peaceandjoy » 22 Jan 2010, 05:55

In LDS theology, we talk about “redeeming the dead.” I think at least a portion of this means that we undo their errors and create a better world on the foundation – but also the ruins – of what they’ve left to us.[/b]


I still haven't figured out this quote thing. Anyway, I don't understand what she is saying here. Does this mean that we do temple work to undo their errors? So, if we do their work any mistakes (sins) they did in their life will magically disappear? I don't get it.

Peaceandjoy
Posts: 102
Joined: 21 Jul 2009, 07:53

Re: A Profound Comment on Redeeming the Dead

Post by Peaceandjoy » 22 Jan 2010, 20:55

I just read my comment and thought it might sound mean. But I really don't understand and just wanted you to explain it to me.
Thanks so much

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 15843
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: A Profound Comment on Redeeming the Dead

Post by Curt Sunshine » 22 Jan 2010, 23:50

It's cool, peaceandjoy. I didn't take it as a criticism.

The quote in question is one that I take to be an expansion or re-symbolizing of the term "redeem the dead". We all know of the ceremonial practice of vicarious ordinances, but I read Margaret's comment as focusing on the practical ways in which we can "redeem" the impact of their actions on the here and now - on this earth - on the lives of their ancestors.

Let me try to say it this way:

I know that part of who I am is inherited from thoe who came before me. Thus, what I do is (in part) a result of what they did. Thus, they are partially responsible for me. Thus, one of the ways I can "redeem" them is to act in such a way that their actions (in helping to create me) result in good through me. Thus, I must be willing to overlook and "forgive" the ruinous elements of what they gave me while recognizing and maximizing the goodness they left for and in me. Thus, as I look at my own descendants, I hope they can take what I leave for them (take what I gave to them in helping to create them), be charitable in how they view me and have the ultimate result be good through them.

In popular terms, this is like "leave the world a better place than it was when you arrived" - but it adds a personal element of gratitude for our ancestors' role in making it possible for us to do that and a humility to hope that our own descendants will be charitable in how they view our efforts and strive to "redeem" us in the exact same way - by making our lives ultimately meaningful on a scale larger and more lasting than just what we lived on our own in mortality.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

Peaceandjoy
Posts: 102
Joined: 21 Jul 2009, 07:53

Re: A Profound Comment on Redeeming the Dead

Post by Peaceandjoy » 23 Jan 2010, 09:15

Ray, Thank you so much. I was born with this brain and sometimes I just can't grasp concepts. I tend to get impatient and skip over ideas I don't understand. But you explained it beautifully and it is a beautiful concept.

User avatar
Brian Johnston
Site Admin
Posts: 3486
Joined: 22 Oct 2008, 06:17
Location: Washington DC

Re: A Profound Comment on Redeeming the Dead

Post by Brian Johnston » 23 Jan 2010, 09:19

Ray,

I always love your views on work for the dead. Your thoughts and pondering on this subject are fantastic. It's a difficult topic for many post-crisis members to see in different ways.
"It's strange to be here. The mystery never leaves you alone." -John O'Donohue, Anam Cara, speaking of experiencing life.

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 15843
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: A Profound Comment on Redeeming the Dead

Post by Curt Sunshine » 23 Jan 2010, 15:36

BTW, if you take my last comment and insert "Joseph Smith" or "Brigham Young" or anyone else in my communal heritage, the same concept applies. It's an interesting exercise, and I recommend you go ahead and do it. Re-read my last comment with the suggested change, then do it again and insert anyone from your personal or communal past instead of "ancestors".

Did you have an abusive parent - a mean teacher - a petty Home Teacher - an unsympathetic Bishop? Try inserting their name. Do you have somsone now who will need to be "redeemed" in the future by someone else - perhaps your own descendants? Try inserting their name.

Reaching this general attitude has freed me from SO much stress and potential anger and bitterness and wasted energy. It's how I personally view the term "Saviors on Mount Zion" - those who lose their own lives, in a sense, in an effort to "redeem the world". (and I have no problem applying that term to anyone, anywhere - like Mother Theresa or the Assemblies of God missionary I met this week who helps establish safe houses for girls in third world countries who desperately need them) They are "redeeming the dead" in the way that Margaret describes.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

User avatar
Tom Haws
Posts: 1245
Joined: 13 Jan 2009, 06:57
Location: Gilbert, Arizona, USA
Contact:

Re: A Profound Comment on Redeeming the Dead

Post by Tom Haws » 25 Jan 2010, 13:08

I really like this idea. The OT says Yahweh will visit the sins of the fathers on their children unto the third and the fourth generation. But if we arise and atone, we redeem the fathers from that curse. Powerful.

Love,
Tom
Tom (aka Justin Martyr/Justin Morning/Jacob Marley/Kupord Maizzed)
Higley and Guadalupe
Gilbert, Arizona
----
Sure, any religion would do. But I'm LDS.
"There are no academic issues. Everything is emotional to somebody." Ray Degraw at www.StayLDS.com

Post Reply