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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

A Parable and Analogy About Rebaptism Into the LDS Church

The parable of the radioactive food

There was once a land comprised of steep, rocky slopes with the exception of one valley. The valley was small but contained sufficient fertile land to support enough farms to feed the people. It also featured a large lake, adjacent to which was a nuclear power plant supplying power to the people. For a while, existence in that land was idyllic. Those in the mountains and in the plain alike enjoyed the necessities and comforts of life. One day, the plant's containment tanks developed a significant leak. For some reason, very few seemed to notice. Some left the valley for the safety of the hills. Most went on living their lives in blissful ignorance. With each passing day, the output of the plant declined* as the leak at the plant continued. Soon, people living in the valley started developing cancer and dying. As the radiation levels increased, more and more people started to become aware of the problem at the plant. Many moved, but others remained in apathy, wondering what difference it could make after a lifetime of exposure. Eventually, the radiation reached a point where anyone from the hills who wandered into the valley would die. This posed a problem. The population had relied upon the food grown in the valley for so long that they had forgotten how to cultivate food for themselves. It was so easy to grow food in the lush, irrigated valley compared to the mountainous terrain that surrounded it. Not really having a choice, they learned to grow food in the mountains. After all, what was the point of surviving on contaminated food for a day if it would kill you in a week?

The analogy of boy scouts

The Boy Scouts of America is an organization that exists independently of the LDS church. The fact that the LDS church chose to adopt Boy Scouts as the official program for young men does not change the fact that the BSA is an independent organization. All of the ranks of the Boy Scouts are attainable to those in and out of the LDS church, because the rules governing rank are set by BSA, not LDS. One who attains rank in BSA within the LDS church can continue BSA outside of the LDS church. 

Interpretation

I was not excommunicated for sin. I was excommunicated because, according to my stake president, I quoted several general authorities who contradicted scripture. (For a transcript of the trial, see here).

Since my excommunication, I've had two LDS friends ask me if I will seek rebaptism into the LDS church. There are no blessings available to people in the LDS church that are not available to those outside of the LDS church. Take baptism, for example. Joseph Smith received the Aaronic Priesthood before the LDS church existed. Given that it existed anciently and modernly outside of the LDS church, who is to say that it can only exist within the LDS church, even if the LDS church chooses to use and propagate it? Has God ever said it can only exist within the LDS church? If Aaronic Priesthood exists independent to the LDS church, doesn't baptism, for the same reasons?

Meanwhile, the false traditions in the LDS church are so strong, numerous, and harmful that the vast majority will never be able to overcome them and will be choked off from God's redemption. Those who do overcome the traditions will be disfellowshipped, silenced, and excommunicated.

Given these facts, why would anyone who has been kicked out want to go back? Would it have any significance to God?


*Note: I realize power output at a nuclear power plant is not related to the containment tanks.