Thursday, 4 March 2010

Famous Dead Mormons: Karen Carpenter


“It shouldn’t surprise anyone that [Karen Carpenter] was baptized a Mormon after she died. But we still struggle to understand how she is any more saved by having her work done twice in a month at the same temple in 1992. Or twice in 2 days in 1993. It just doesn’t seem necessary.”
To be precise she was baptised a total of six times, washed and anointed (don’t ask) twice and received her temple endowments a total of five times – and she was never a Mormon. Mormons come up with all sorts of excuses for why this happens and keeps happening. The real reason is that it satisfies, each time, the sick need of some wacko necromaniac to be able to simper, “Of course, I went through the temple for Karen Carpenter you know.”

The Mormon preoccupation with the dead has long passed from the bizarre to the profoundly offensive, as shown by the web site Famous Dead Mormons. They are all in there, from Vlad the Impaler (baptised a Mormon Sept.2009, I kid you not) to Joan of Arc (baptised 4 times), from Elvis (baptised 7 times) to Emperor Constantine (baptised 1994) 

While it can be funny there is a serious side to this as family wishes are run over roughshod and every few years Jewish groups complain to Salt Lake City about the temple baptism of holocaust victims.

Each time apologies are offered and assurances given but each time the Mormons just ignore everyone and go on doing what they like. No one is suggesting that this pointless exercise actually has any influence on the eternal destiny of people used in this way but while none of this temple doctrine is true, and every work done is done in vain, nevertheless it is very real for the relatives of those so used and the offense is almost unbearable to many.

Christians do not build temples (2 Cor.6:16) and the temples Mormons build are neither Christian nor Jewish, although curiously enough they do have their biblical parallels  – see more here. Neither is baptism for the dead taught in the Bible. Imagine what heartache might be avoided if Mormons were to realise this, and what might otherwise be done with the resources fruitlessly poured into building, equipping, maintaining and attending these temples of the dead.

Famous Dead Mormons: Karen Carpenter

30 comments:

  1. Why anyone would be offended by a baptism performed in a temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when it is based on the post mortal acceptance by the individual being baptized and is a baptism into the Kingdom of God and bound by that individuals worthiness to come unto the kingdom of Jesus Christ and receive of His fullness. If valid it is a wonderful thing. If not, why worry?

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    1. It is offensive because it is done after someone is gone, against their will and for the gratification of those doing it almost against the one being baptized will. They are dead, how can they rebut. Especially in the case of an excommunicated member of the church. If the church didn't want them in life and except them then, they should feel a right to have them in what they deem eternal life. It is so righteous, self-serving and disrespectful to the person who died as well as partners or others who knew what their true wishes were and WERE NOT.

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  2. Thanks for coming by Val

    Yours is a typical example of Mormon doublespeak. On the one hand this "work" is so very important that Mormonism spends countless millions making it possible, Mormons exhaust themselves and their resources doing it and it is described as one of the three pillars of Mormonism.

    Yet it is so inconsequential that, when challenged, a Mormon can't understand why anyone would get worked up about it. Eternal issues are not a lottery and many are offended by the suggestion that they are; "If it is valid its a wonderful thing and if not why worry."

    If it is a wonderful thing why don't Mormons talk about it? If it is relatively unimportant why walk roughshod over people's sensibilities?

    Mormons often do this work, as in the instance of Karen Carpenter, without the knowledge let alone consent of family and, of course, the ongoing controversy with Jewish groups is a scandal. It is none of your business "why worry?" It should be enough that you know people do worry and stop doing these things. Whatever happened to the four generation programme? I can't believe a Mormon traced their line back to Vlad!

    It is not a case of educating people but of respecting their wishes and if you don't know their wishes leave them alone. If you do know their wishes and go ahead, as in the tragic case of the family of a friend of mine, then shame on Mormonism.

    The idea is not taught in Scripture, another reason why people are offended, and goes against every tenet of the Christian faith. It is interesting that you insist that, after all, they will only go to Mormon heaven if they accept the ordinance and prove worthy. Again, an idea that is foreign to the Christian message that declares we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone.

    So, all in all, much is at stake here:

    People's sensibilities and real fears
    Mormon insensitivity and imperious ways
    Assaults on Christian truth
    The teaching of a false gospel

    I think you have a problem.

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  3. I was just reading the lyrics to Calling Occupants, and searched to see if K.C was a New Ager, but I read here she was a Mormon! Where'd you get that from? I'm not denying what you said, but where'd you get your info'?

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  4. Hello Hugh, This can be quite confusing. She was never a Mormon but because of their practice of baptising dead people into their church some Mormons made her one posthumously. As they did Vlad, Joan and Constantine. Elvis is in there somewhere too, as well as Hitler. Strange I know but there you go.

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  5. There's a few famous people in there. Do they baptise any ordinary people or is this just for well known stars? Hitler!!!? So, what's the criteria for qualification, just being famous or infamous?

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  6. Mormons are meant do do it for family members who have died. They produce what they call a four-generation programme, which is research of your family genealogy going back that many generations. They believe they are saving their dead, or at least doing "essential work" for them that they can accept or reject in the afterlife.

    Inevitably the system is abused and people submit famous names, including Mary the mother of Jesus apparently, and many are submitted multiple times by different people who have too much time on their hands and should know better.

    The great scandal is that periodically they are criticised by the Jewish community for doping this on behalf of Holocaust victims, something that is deeply offensive to Jews. They promise not to do it again and then - well, do it again.

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  7. You kinda lost me on the last paragraph. Please explain.
    How do you understand the meaning of "baptising for the dead?" 1Cor.15?

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  8. The Jewish community object to holocaust victims being vicariously "baptised" into the Mormon Church. These objections are dealt with at the highest levels, i.e. leading Jews and Mormons discuss the issue and an accord is reached wherein the Mormon leaders promise to respect the sensibilities of the Jewish people. But then more temple work is done on behalf of holocaust victims and others and the whole thing starts again.

    1 Cor.15:29 is not presenting a Christian teaching but simply using a pagan practice as evidence of a general belief in an afterlife. The whole chapter is about resurrection not baptism. Are you familiar with the idea? What are your own thoughts?

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  9. I agree with your understanding of the text, and yes, I'm familiar with baptism and resurrection, I'm a believer in the biblical Lord Jesus.

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  10. Thanks Hugh. I am sure you are familiar with the adage that we should never build a doctrine on a single text. Yet this is what Mormons do here. They don't even consider that Paul is not teaching or advocating the practice and it is never mentioned anywhere else, let alone taught. A classic example of not allowing the Bible to speak for itself. As a former Mormon I am always thrilled to find that if we let the Bible speak it is a wise counsellor indeed.

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  11. May I ask, why did you become a Mormon? How long for? What began to trouble you about Mormonism? Why did you leave?

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  12. Thanks for asking Hugh. I published my testimony on the blog a while back. You can read it here

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  13. I find it facinating that when Mormons leave the Mormon church, they can't leave it alone. Why make it such a focus of your life to badmouth the beliefs of others? The Bible was written by prophets, and we believe in ongoing revelation by a living prophet. If you don't, that is your privilege.

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  14. Well, Greg, you know what Oscar Wilde said; "The only the worse than being talked about is not being talked about."

    I am glad you feel so generous as to allow me the privilege of believing as I see fit. By that same token I proffer you the same privilege, indeed I note you already use it. Just as I use my freedoms to question the Mormon Church so the Mormon Church attacks my faith (JSH 1:19)

    "Liberty is the right to tell people what they don't want to hear"

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  15. "Convince us of our errors of Doctrine, if we have any, by reason, by logical arguments, or by the Word of God and we will ever be grateful for the information and you will ever have the pleasing reflections that you have been instruments in the hands of God of redeeming your fellow beings."

    The Seer (p.15)
    Orson Pratt

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  16. Hugh, Did you read my testimony? You asked me about my Mormon history and I directed you to my testimony; surely you have something to say?

    As to the errors of Mormonism and Orson Pratt's well-worn because over-used quote, it is an empty challenge. I can demonstrate the errors of Mormonism, have done as much, and continue to do so. As to whether I can convince you depends surely as much on you as on me?

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  17. Sorry Mike, I've been so busy I haven't had time to read it. I'm not a Mormon, I put the quote up for Mormons.

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  18. I should have picked up on that Hugh. I apologise. The quote from Orson Pratt is very familiar and Mormons will trot it out as though to say "we are not afraid of criticism, bring it on" and to give the impression that no credible criticism has been forthcoming so far.

    The evidence against Mormonism is a vast mountain and it can be irritating when a Mormon climbs to the very top and then plants this quote. You just want to shout, "Didn't you see all that stuff on the way up!"

    But, realising they can't credibly engage with the issues, they feign an urbane unpurturbability. Some people are impressed with this but...

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  19. Don't I know it! I've met enough Mormons/J.W's/
    Muslims/Atheists etc, to know this.

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  20. As all this is in the mind, why worry? If Mormons believe they save you by baptising you - but you don't, it's just a case of differing opinions. There's no proof that it gets you into some Heaven, there's no proof it don't. If you have your own religion, someone else's is irrelevant, whether they baptise you or not.
    It is ALL in the mind. Get over it.

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  21. Clearly, this matters to a lot of people. To Mormons who go to ridiculous lengths devoting themselves, "to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith." To Christians who care about correct doctrine and praxis and for the souls of those who chase after such things.

    If there is no God then one way is as pointless as any other I grant you. But since there is a God and since we will be held to account for our stewardship here then it seems right to talk about these things. Just because it doesn't matter to you doesn't mean it doesn't matter.

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  22. The "Mormon Church" only exists on this earth. The dead are not baptized into the "Mormon Church". They are simply baptized vicariously and the dead can accept the ordinance or reject it. But whether they accept or reject the baptism, they are not considered memers of the "Mormon Church".

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  23. Well now, that depends on your idea of "church." The Christian Church is comprised of the whole company of saints, living and dead, both on earth and in heaven. Your view of the church seems by comparison singularly parochial.

    I understand, and have always understood, that in Mormon thinking the dead are not forced vicariously into the Mormon - heaven? Why do Mormons always assume that this is the problem as perceived by outsiders?

    The real problem is the intrusive nature of the rite and work, the disregarding of the wishes and feelings of living relations who, even according to your own four generation programme, have prior claim, the blatant disregard of the counsel of Mormon leaders to do ONLY your own four generation programme and the countless times the same names are submitted time and again, making a mockery of the whole process, surely, even from a Mormon perspective.

    And, of course, the fact that this is not a Christian doctrine, neither is it biblical.

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  24. So sorry to let the air out of your cult balloon but Karen WAS NOT a mormon. Karen was a devoted Protestant/ Methodist. So yeah, she was a Christian who believed in the fact that Jesus IS God.

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    1. Dear Anonymous, I am always puzzled by people with strong views who, nevertheless, are not prepared to put their name to those views.

      If you had read the post properly you would have understood that I was not saying Karen Carpenter was a Mormon. Rather, I was pointing out that, because of the strange Mormon teaching on which I was commenting, she had been "baptised" vicariously after her death, along with Vlad the Impaler and Joan of Arc. It wasn't a comment on her faithful Christian convictions but on the strange Mormon practice that abused the occasion of her sad demise.

      Thanks for commenting anyway.

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  25. I have to say your testimony confused me, in it you seem to genuinely stay away from saying hurtful things about the church. Yet it seems in this post you changed your tune and call the Mormon temple goers "wacko necromaniacs". I myself was LDS being born into the church. I have since grown up and chosen to find my own spiritual path. Though, I have respect enough for the church to not go around spitting out hateful remarks about something that is sacred to them. Do you really think that most LDS people go around bragging that they went through the Temple for any famous person? The church goers that I know keep those things sacred and don't discuss it as if they met a celebrity on the street. I think it is sad to see that your once kind thoughts of the church, has since turned into a somewhat trashy display of Mormon hatred. I agree you have your right to speak your mind but if you want to share your testimony to others you might show a bit more of your Christ like attitude, and how you feel toward your current religious views rather than discriminating about a church that you once said was kind and loving. Those people who showed you love and kindness deserve better than to be talked about as if they are sick freaks getting jollies off of baptizing dead people. The way you said it can be misconstrued in an awful way. That being said I also have different views from the church and have my own set of beliefs. I understand that people sometimes need an outlet as to why they chose to leave the church. I just believe you could go about it in a much classier, less hurtful and more accurate way.

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    1. Jennifer,

      Thank you for your comment and especially for putting your name to it. I suppose it depends on how you look at it. What Mormons have continued to do in being baptised for the dead has proved not only controversial but deeply offensive to people. I think the rest of the article shows this and justifies the strong response I give.

      I hear often enough the "why can't we all just get along in a Christ-like manner" but Jesus himself didn't play the game by your rules. He made a whip and turned over the tables of the money changers in the temple. He called the Pharisees "white-washed tombs, clean on the outside but full of dead men's bones." Paul scorched the Judaisers, the circumcision party, with his remarks, "Why don't they go all the way and castrate themselves!"

      Some things need to be said and those misguided folk who go through the temple on behalf of dead celebrities should be a target for such strong language. They don't even play by the rules of their own church yet you jump to their defence and chide me for telling the truth.

      What concerns me more is your remark that you have found your own spiritual path. I do hope that path has taken you to the cross and the Christ who died there for all our sins, once for all. Anything else is simply idolatry. There, I have done it again, but I find sometimes people need a loud and clear wake-up call because all the niceness in the world will just reinforce their mistaken notion that they are right. And one thing you could never call Jesus is nice.

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  26. There are many scriptures in the Bible that can be debated like Hebrews 11:37-40 , Malachi 4:5-6, 1 Peter 4:6, 3:18-19, Obadiah 21,Isaiah ch 29 ect. And though we may not agree on everything l know there is much we can learn from people who look at things differently. I'm not a Buddhist but meditation is something we all could use.I'm not a Catholic but Mother Theresa who led a life of service once said to keep a lamp burning you have to keep putting oil in it. The apostle Paul said prove all things hold fast that which is good. Yes I believe in temples, a foundation of apostles and prophets Ephesians 2:19-20, and most importantly above everything else john 14:6. Jesus Christ is my Savior and without Him l have nothing ,and because of Him l have everything Philippians 4:13.

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