Rebaptism, Feb 7, 1964

-- Feb 7, 1964
President [N. Eldon] Tanner brought to my attention a question that had been raised regarding temple work for [United States] Presidents Martin Van Buren, James Buchanan and Ulysses S. Grant. In this connection reference was made to President Wilford Woodruff 's statement that he had done the work for all the presidents of the United States excepting these three. President Tanner referred to information that had been given to him by Henry Christiansen of the Genealogical Society to the effect that in the case of James Buchanan the records indicate that baptism was performed for him and he has been sealed to his parents, this work having been done by relatives. In the case of Martin Van Buren, baptismal work was done for him August 9, 1876 in the Endowment House, which apparently was not known to President Wilford Woodruff at the time he had the work done for the other presidents. Subsequently, the baptism was done again for Martin Van Buren in 1948 and was followed by endowments, but he is not sealed to his parents, nor has there been a sealing between him and his wife. In the case of Ulysses S. Grant, his baptism and endowment work were done in 1926 at the instance of President Heber J. Grant. President Tanner raised the question as to whether, in view of President Woodruff 's attitude, these ordinances should be cancelled or if the necessary additional work should be done in each case. I ruled that we should leave these cases as they are until the Lord gives us further direction in the matter. [David O. McKay diary, Feb. 7, 1964; emphasis in original] (1)

-- Dec 5, 1964
It is deemed necessary that the following instructions should be imparted to the brethren and sisters of the Salt Lake Temple District who intend entering the House of the Lord to attend to ordinance work for themselves or their dead. ... The Saints who enter the sacred building should be properly prepared. Their bodies should be scrupulously clean; ... The Saints who come to attend to baptism for the dead should be amply dressed in white before entering the font. ... In the performance of work for the dead the rights of heirship (blood relationship) should be sacredly regarded, when practicable. When an heir empowers another person to do the work in his or her stead, he or she should give the acting proxy a written authorization to that effect. ... The Temple is open on all working days at 7:30 a.m. Monday is devoted to taking the record of Baptisms for the Dead, which are performed on Tuesdays. Baptismal records are not taken after twelve o'clock on Mondays. On Tuesdays all ought to be in the building by 8 a.m. .... [Lorenzo Snow, President of the Salt Lake Temple, "To Whom it may Concern," June 23, 1893, reprinted in the Church News, Dec. 5, 1964] (1)

-- May 13, 1965
First Presidency approves the posthumous rebaptism and restoration of blessings for former apostle John W. Taylor who was excommunicated in 1911. His son Samuel Taylor had requested this two days previously. (2)

-- May 19, 1965
By authorization of First Presidency, ex-apostle John W. Taylor is baptized into LDS church. On May 21 Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith performs proxy ordinance of restoring all priesthood blessings to the deceased apostle. (2)

-- Feb 25, 1966
Doroteo Arango (Pancho Villa) is baptized by proxy in the Arizona Temple. James Elbert Whetton does the endowment work for General Villa a few days later. (3)

-- During 1966
Elder Bruce R McConkie notes in Mormon Doctrine, "there is no need for and no ordinance of rebaptism in the church" (4)

-- During Sept. 1967
Salmon Gee: Baptized by proxy into LDS church and "posthumously reinstated" to all priesthood blessings 14 Sept. 1967 (5)

-- Apr 22, 1968
Baptism of Juliet Hulme in California, despite her confession to LDS authorities that she was imprisoned at age 15 for helping to murder the mother of a girlfriend. Her baptism is significant exception to LDS policies and leadership handbooks which prohibit living baptism (or even baptism for the dead) for anyone convicted of murder. While active in LDS women's auxiliaries, she becomes internationally famous as Anne Perry, author of murder mysteries. (2)

1 - Anderson, Devery; The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History,
2 - On This Day in Mormon History,
3 - Advent Adam website (defunct) - based on
4 - Quinn, D. Michael, "The Practice of Rebaptism at Nauvoo," BYU Studies (1978), 18:2:226
5 - Quinn, D. Michael, The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, Appendix 6, Biographical Sketches of General Officers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830-47,

LDS History Chronology: Unconventional Baptisms

Mormon History Timeline: Forms of Rebaptism in LDS History