Periodicals; Mormons; Religious thought; Philosophy and religion
Independent national quarterly established to express Mormon culture and examine the relevance of religion to secular life. It is edited by Mormons who wish to bring their faith into dialogue with human experience as a whole and to foster artistic and scholarly achievement based on their cultural heritage. The journal encourages a variety of viewpoints; although every effort is made to insure accurate scholarship and responsible judgment, the views expressed are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of the Mormon Church or of the editors.
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Peterson, F. Ross ; Peterson, Mary Kay
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Baptism for the Dead: Comparing RLDS and LDS Perspectives
Baptism for the Dead: Comparing RLDS and LDS Perspectives Grant Underwood THE PRECEDING ARTICLES by Roger Launius and Guy Bishop give us a clearer view of how and why two churches sharing a common beginning and espousing belief in virtually the same extra-biblical scripture can end up far apart 150 years later. Tracing these different trajectories of thought across time takes us from a beginning point of mutual belief in baptism for the dead to the Reorganization's complete rejection of it as nonessential and even non-Christian or to the Latter-day Saints' enshrining of it as the third leg of their tripartite mission statement to proclaim the gospel, perfect the Saints, and redeem the dead. While both churches have retained allegiance to the early period, what each considers normative from that period is significantly different. In a very real way, though many who would later join the Reorganization lived in Nauvoo, they never held truck with the theological and liturgical developments of the 1840s. For them what was worth preserving in Mormonism was pre-Nauvoo. Latter-day Saints, on the other hand, look back to those years as the precise period when Mormonism really came into its own. GRANT UNDERWOOD resides in Claremont, California. A version of this response was given at the Mormon History Association meeting in Quincy, Illinois, in May 1989.