Mom passed away in 1997. A heavy and ever present feeling of guilt upon my shoulders stayed for years. It bothered me. What did I do to deserve this? Did I not do my best to take care of her those last twelve years? Maybe I did not handle things well enough after her passing.
In life, I never felt that I lived up to her standards. What a strong woman, my mom. She worked hard. She ruled the roost with an expert hand. Great career, great ethics, kept a clean house. Her model guided us, her children, very well. I just never measured up. Couldn’t keep a job, or a husband. I Probably just didn’t live up to her standards of taking care of her last wishes, either.
Eighteen years after her death on this earth, in 2015, that pressure on my shoulders stopped. I missed it. Where did it go? Why nothing, after all this time? Nothing bad, nothing good, just gone. I prayed, I tried to talk to her, no results. This really upset me, the nothingness after all those years.
A few months later, I converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS, or Mormon). A couple months after that, in April of 2016, I asked if I could start looking at our family tree in the church sponsored genealogy site, FamilySearch.org.
With the help of our missionaries, we got into the site and transferred my family tree from my Ancestry.com account to FamilySearch. Immediately, the family tree opened up, connected with others all along our family tree on Mom’s side all the way back to the years of 800 A.D.
What? Who did this? Then I noticed there were little insignia aside many of the names. What was that about? The missionary sitting beside me as we looked at the computer screen explained that those signified ordinance events. Mom, Grandma, Grandpa, and others back further in time had been baptized after death, but recently, all in 2015. It’s a thing the Mormons do, to ensure that those people who passed are baptized through the power of the restored priesthood.
Way back when, in Christianity, after Jesus died, the Apostles all died, with no one to replace them, thus any baptisms were done without the power of the priesthood, according to LDS. What we now refer to as “The Dark Ages”, actually continued as dark ages, until recently.
In 1832, that power of the priesthood was restored, and LDS formed. There are now fifteen million members of LDS, many of us ensuring that our families are baptized properly, with the Blessing of Jesus Christ’s current day apostles.
Emotions got me, later that same evening. I prayed, asking for answers. Where is Mom? Is she ok? What did this really mean? As often happens with me, if I get all emotional, I connect with feelings from the other side. There was just a glimmer, a short feeling of peace, fleeting, but I now know; Mom is at peace, not alone on the other side, happy she is with Grandma, Grandpa and others she loves.
The mystery of the baptism came to light also. Mom had to be baptized through a close family member, that is church policy. Who baptized Mom? A concerned Mormon, mother-in-law to my nephew, got my nephew’s permission to perform the ordinances. It turns out while I’ve been getting to know my nephew’s wife in my essential oils business for the past two years, her mom has been working on baptizing their family lines, and included our family.