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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Patience Dadzie, October 21, 2001. Interview R-0156. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Centrality of family to the Mormon Church as seen in various activities

Dadzie again emphasizes the centrality of the Mormon Church in describing such Temple activities as baptism of the dead and sealing of the family. According to Dadzie, such activities enabled families to rejoin one another in the afterlife.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Patience Dadzie, October 21, 2001. Interview R-0156. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

BARBARA COPELAND:
So what are some of the things that they do at the temple?
PATIENCE DADZIE:
Sealings for those who, baptisms for the death, our forefathers who didn't get a chance to hear the Gospel before they died. We can baptize them so baptize them in their name so—
BARBARA COPELAND:
So how is—I'm a little confused about that. How does that work? You're saying the people who didn't get a chance to be baptized before they died or—
PATIENCE DADZIE:
Yeah or even accept and knew the Gospel, learn the Gospel before they died.
BARBARA COPELAND:
So they weren't Mormons before they died.
PATIENCE DADZIE:
Yeah.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Is that for family members or—
PATIENCE DADZIE:
Family members like genealogy work. You've heard about the genealogy work to know your great grandfathers and all this stuff.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Right. So it is your ancestors that you're doing the baptism for or just people, family members that are in your that are in your immediate family. But like say for instance if your grandmother or grandfather lived with you now in the home, and they were to pass away, but they weren't Mormons. That's when you go to the temple to baptize, to do a baptism for them?
PATIENCE DADZIE:
Yeah, you do that for them and like ancestors, not those who are living but those who you didn't get a chance to know them. They baptize for them too.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Ancestors from way back. And so you would go and do a baptism for them.
PATIENCE DADZIE:
Ancestors. Baptism for them, yeah.
BARBARA COPELAND:
How would you know if they were not Mormons or not once you've discovered that they were your ancestors?
PATIENCE DADZIE:
Your ancestors. Well, I guess that's how I would do a family tree and can ask your mom a question and it goes to grandmother and pass that's where you get all those answers from.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Oh okay. So what is really the purpose then to do a baptism for them in their name even though they're dead. What does that do?
PATIENCE DADZIE:
Because in the scriptures I forgot the name of this, but it says a man is born with a water on the spirit. He cannot go to heaven unless you are baptized with water your spirit cannot go to heaven. It's based upon that.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Okay. So this—
PATIENCE DADZIE:
To enable you to go heaven you baptize.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Okay. So this makes it so that they would gain entry into heaven.
PATIENCE DADZIE:
Heaven, yeah.
BARBARA COPELAND:
And is there some kind of afterlife in heaven?
PATIENCE DADZIE:
Yeah.
BARBARA COPELAND:
What is that like?
PATIENCE DADZIE:
Just like we live in a spirit world. If you know do good deed in your lifetime you spirit.
BARBARA COPELAND:
So the same family that you have here they will be there.
PATIENCE DADZIE:
Yeah. You seal them in the temple afterlife you're going to be together. temple like same family for eternity.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Okay. How does the sealing ceremony. How does that work?
PATIENCE DADZIE:
I know, I haven't had mine yet. So I can't tell you about it. I know one of my friends was telling me, I know both families go there in a room, and it's like a big mirror right there.
BARBARA COPELAND:
A mirror.
PATIENCE DADZIE:
Yeah. So you look inside and you see yourself in it. What is it like—you say a prayer.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Is it the bishop that has to do the sealing?
PATIENCE DADZIE:
I don't really know. I think whoever is over the temple or something. It can be the bishop or whoever on that day the temple can do it.
BARBARA COPELAND:
So does the sealing guarantee that you and your family will be together then?
PATIENCE DADZIE:
Yeah.
BARBARA COPELAND:
In the afterlife.
PATIENCE DADZIE:
In the afterlife, yeah.
BARBARA COPELAND:
If you weren't sealed, then that means that there's no guarantee.
PATIENCE DADZIE:
There's no guarantee.