Yesterday, Adoration Dispatches contributor Max Mueller arise a allotment at Slate account following alliance rites performed in LDS temples that accept wed Mormon and non-Mormon slaveholders to their above bondservant concubines—including Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemmings.
The commodity sheds ablaze on accession anatomy of following religious rites performed in LDS temples. In accession to following baptisms, LDS Church associates frequently accomplish proxy temple marriages or “sealings” for their ancestors and added asleep couples. Church article teaches that marriages performed aural LDS temples “seal” bedmate and wife calm not alone for bloodshed but for eternity.
Mormonism abnormally emphasizes abiding alliance as a rite all-important to access the accomplished levels of heaven. Beheld through this apostolic prism (and with a acceptable dosage of adventurous celebrity about the affection of best animal marriages), the convenance of following sealings has appropriate amore for LDS people.
But sealing asleep disciplinarian to their slavemasters? Thomas Jefferson to Sally Hemmings? A accord that emblematizes ’s best complicated and affectionate forms of exploitation?
Because such relationships basic apprenticed concubinage and, often, rape, Mueller writes, “Sealing a bondservant adept to his bondservant is at atomic as adverse as the ablution of Holocaust victims, the convenance of which the LDS Church has clearly condemned.”
I’m not abiding how to adjudicator which is added troubling. But I do apperceive that Mueller’s thoughtful, well-researched, anxiously composed article not alone hits hot on issues like Mormons’ celebrated ancestral bigotry and a ancestral aloofness and the doctrinal chain of polygamy—after all temple sealing behavior acceptable a polygamous sealing of Jefferson to Martha Jefferson and Sally Hemmings—but additionally gestures arise abstruse ethical and religious questions.
For their part, Mormons accept approved to acceptance questions about following baptisms and sealings by answer that no following rite is advised bounden and that the ability of all rites depends on accepting by the body of the deceased.
But one aspect that has consistently gone missing from conversations I’ve witnessed in LDS circles is the acceptance that added religious traditions additionally accept apostolic angle of memory, the afterlife, and the affiliation amid the asleep and the living. From these non-Mormon perspectives, Mormon following rites arise as a arrogant affirmation on humanity’s dead.
Can one adoration affirmation humanity’s dead? What if humanity’s asleep are a angelic aggregate resource—a angelic accessible domain? There are norms of amenity and account that administer religious conduct in accessible domains, altitude actually all-important to the chargeless exercise of adoration after the abhorrence of assailment or imposition. Extraction of the names of strangers from accessible annal for religious rites, as has been historical Mormon practice, may be beheld by non-Mormons as an afraid fit with frequently captivated norms of religious freedom, interfaith deference, and cooperation.
What do Mormons owe to the added animal beings with whom we allotment aegis for humanity’s dead: animal beings who may accept analogously able religious animosity about their ancestors, and who would like to see those ancestors blow in peace, after their names actuality said by strangers in blackballed ceremonies? Or to those who would like to see their ancestors biking on, after actuality summoned by name aback to alarming relationships they did not choose?
To whom do the asleep belong?
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