No Baptismal Record

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rexgj
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No Baptismal Record

Postby rexgj » Sun Jun 21, 2009 12:30 pm

Can someone tell me the policy when a baptism occurred (5 years ago) in the past, but it was not recorded, nor was a baptismal certificate created; so it is not in MLS, and the church has no record of the baptism. However, the parents of this child, the bishop, and the person who performed the baptism all agree on who performed the baptism, and the date of the baptism. Can the clerk then go ahead and create the baptism record?

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Sun Jun 21, 2009 12:54 pm

rexgj wrote:Can someone tell me the policy when a baptism occurred (5 years ago) in the past, but it was not recorded, nor was a baptismal certificate created; so it is not in MLS, and the church has no record of the baptism. However, the parents of this child, the bishop, and the person who performed the baptism all agree on who performed the baptism, and the date of the baptism. Can the clerk then go ahead and create the baptism record?


The Church Handbook of Instructions gives the specific instructions for recording an ordinance after the fact. But one of the acceptable sources of verification is having proper witnesses, which apparently have been identified in this case. So given that verification, the clerk can create the record.

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Postby scion-p40 » Sun Jun 21, 2009 1:05 pm

This doesn't answer "how to", but is a caution.

An elderly man in my genealogy SS class shared this story about himself:

His parents always said they were LDS, but he doesn't remember going to church much. Missionaries came to their home when he was young, taught them the discussions, got the family to church a time or two, then baptised them. After a little while, they stopped going to church again.

A couple of decades passed and he decided to go back to church. He walked into the nearest LDS chapel & introduced himself. Several weeks later, they told him that they could locate no record that he had been baptised and invited him to take the lessons and be baptised again. Very upset, he walked out and did not return.

Some years later, he happened to run into the person who baptised him. He asked this man to write a letter indicating that he had done this ordinance. The letter stated that he had been baptised into the RLDS church. He was a recent LDS convert when I met him. :)

rexgj
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Postby rexgj » Sun Jun 21, 2009 1:34 pm

Scion, that is very funny. When I was newly married, a Mexican kid walks into our chapel and says he's a member; but no one can locate a membership record, a baptismal record, or any witnesses. He insisted he was a member, but moved from Mexico shortly after his baptism and was living with his grandfather. So...they rebaptized him. He served a mission, was a great asset to the church. He also died prematurely from complications from MS a few years ago.

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Postby techgy » Sun Jun 21, 2009 1:59 pm

Alan_Brown wrote:The Church Handbook of Instructions gives the specific instructions for recording an ordinance after the fact. But one of the acceptable sources of verification is having proper witnesses, which apparently have been identified in this case. So given that verification, the clerk can create the record.


Many years ago I served as a membership clerk. This was a few years before the church used computers to track membership. We had a member of our ward who was serving as a Seventy at that time. In a review of membership records I had discovered that his ordination to Seventy was never recorded.

The occasion was years prior. I contacted the member and was given some names of people who were there at his ordination. I contacted them and verified that the ordinance had occurred. From their testimony I updated his record with his Seventy ordination, although we had to estimate the date.

So what Alan's telling you is a good recommendation.

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Postby edwardlalone » Sun Jun 21, 2009 6:44 pm

rexgj wrote:Can someone tell me the policy when a baptism occurred (5 years ago) in the past, but it was not recorded, nor was a baptismal certificate created; so it is not in MLS, and the church has no record of the baptism. However, the parents of this child, the bishop, and the person who performed the baptism all agree on who performed the baptism, and the date of the baptism. Can the clerk then go ahead and create the baptism record?


The official policy is that there needs to be some documentation such as a baptism certificate but if no such record exists then the policy is that there needs to be witnesses who can attest to the baptism.

Check out Correcting Membership Records for more detailed information about the policy. The Ward Clerk or Membership Clerk can't just take the word of the person involved but there must be a signed letter. This acts as a record of the baptism. All you need to do is create a quick form letter and have each of those who witnessed the baptism including the Bishop and the child's parents and the person who performed the baptism sign it or have them sign separate letters.

Then go ahead and change the record. I don't know what the policy is about retaining a copy of the letter but I would keep it as long as you would keep a baptism record or until the next Membership Audit.

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Postby SR Ward Clerk-p40 » Thu Jun 25, 2009 6:00 pm

rexgj wrote:Can someone tell me the policy when a baptism occurred (5 years ago) in the past, but it was not recorded, nor was a baptismal certificate created; so it is not in MLS, and the church has no record of the baptism. However, the parents of this child, the bishop, and the person who performed the baptism all agree on who performed the baptism, and the date of the baptism. Can the clerk then go ahead and create the baptism record?


You have probably already solved the issue, but I only saw this post just now.


I ran into an identical situation last year because my predecessor's predecessor was never interested in doing his job as clerk.


You have to ask the two priesthood holders that were actually asked to witness the baptism. In my case it was easy, because the witnesses were the bishop's counselors in the ward at the time of the baptism, and they are still in the ward. Tracking down the person that performed the confirmation was a little trickier, though. He had moved to Utah, but I found a person in a ward next to mine who knew how to get in touch with him. In order to resolve this in compliance with Church policy, those are the three people with whom you need to speak.

I was never instructed to have any letters signed, or anything of that nature. After I spoke with the witnesses and person performing the confirmation, I entered it into MLS, printed the certificate, had our former bishop (who was bishop at the time of the baptism) sign the certificate, and gave it to the girl's family.


Best wishes.

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Postby jbh001 » Thu Jun 25, 2009 7:36 pm

SR Ward Clerk wrote:You have to ask the two priesthood holders that were actually asked to witness the baptism. In my case it was easy, because the witnesses were the bishop's counselors in the ward at the time of the baptism, and they are still in the ward. Tracking down the person that performed the confirmation was a little trickier, though. He had moved to Utah, but I found a person in a ward next to mine who knew how to get in touch with him. In order to resolve this in compliance with Church policy, those are the three people with whom you need to speak.

I was never instructed to have any letters signed, or anything of that nature. After I spoke with the witnesses and person performing the confirmation, I entered it into MLS, printed the certificate, had our former bishop (who was bishop at the time of the baptism) sign the certificate, and gave it to the girl's family.
This procedure does not quite match up to the requirements outlined in the current Church Handbook of Instructions (CHI). Since we have been asked not to quote from the CHI in this forum but are allowed to provide page numbers, rather than try to provide the correct requirements for this scenario, I'll direct you to your appropriate priesthood leader who can find the correct procedure and requirements on page 31 of the 2006 version of CHI book 1.

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Postby lajackson » Thu Jun 25, 2009 8:07 pm

SR Ward Clerk wrote:I was never instructed to have any letters signed, or anything of that nature. After I spoke with the witnesses . . .


You have outlined a process that was commonly used about 35 years ago. As jbh001 has pointed out, the Handbook requirements today are more specific in some ways and less restrictive in others, and are clearly outlined for those who need to go through the process.

In the early 80s, I learned very quickly who in our ward had kept journals and other records as I tracked down the baptism and confirmation information for a dozen children who had shown up on the "over 9 and not baptized" list generated by the computers at CHQ and sent to our ward. (Back then, that was how we got the information we get from MLS today.)

And again I recognize the importance of diligent and faithful clerks. Had there been one at the right time in that ward, my life would have been a whole lot easier for about eight months. [grin]

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Postby russellhltn » Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:20 pm

Yeah, I've had my issue in the past with ward members who didn't think paperwork was all that important.

If a baptism happens, and it's never recorded, it didn't happen.
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