Church Announces Women Can Now Be Baptismal, Sealing Witnesses
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints on Wednesday announced a change in the faith’s policy regarding witnessing of ordinances, including baptisms performed in chapels and temples, according to a Church statement.
Three updates were made to the policy, according to the Church:
- Any baptized member of the Church may serve as a witness of the baptism of a living person. This change pertains to all baptisms outside the temple.
- A proxy baptism for a deceased person may be witnessed by anyone holding a current temple recommend, including a limited-use temple recommend.
- Any endowed member with a current temple recommend may serve as a witness to sealing ordinances, living and proxy.
“We are joyful about these changes,” Church President Russell M. Nelson said. “Imagine a beloved sister serving as a witness to the living baptism of her younger brother. Imagine a mature couple serving as witnesses in the temple baptistry as their grandson baptizes their granddaughter for and in behalf of a dear ancestor.”
“The temple is the object of every activity and every advancement in the Church,” he added. “All our efforts to proclaim the gospel, perfect the Saints, and redeem the dead lead to the holy temple. He has and always will direct how ordinances are to be performed so that we can understand and internalize our covenants with Him.”
Previously, the witnesses had to be two priests or Melchizedek Priesthood holders.
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