Rebaptism, 1877

-- During 1877
(Susa Young Gates) A few months later she recorded this self-portrait: "5'3". 115 lbs. Dark blue or grey eyes, light 'rather curly' brown hair. I must confess my teeth are the only redeeming feature of my face."

In 1877 Susa became the first person to be baptized for the dead in the newly completed Saint George Temple. (1)

-- Mar 25, 1878
You understood Bro[ther] Joseph F. Smith rightly with regard to those only being accepted at the Endowment House who have been re-baptized. We do not think that the blessings of the House of the Lord are for those who are either too careless or too indifferent to give heed to the servants of God, when a call is made for repentance and renewal of covenants. The only exceptions that we make to this rule are with those whose first baptism has occurred within a few (say six or eight) months. [John Taylor to F. Spencer, Mar. 25, 1878] (2)

-- Thurs. Mar 25, 1880
[Abraham H. Cannon Journal] "–". . . were talking for a while about rebaptism and Bro. Enz told me that he was rebaptized a short time after coming on his mission; as I felt it my duty, and felt I must also be rebaptized before I could receive a full measure of God's blessings, I requested the same at Bro. Enz's hands. . , . About 8 o'clock on this lovely moonlight evening, we went down on the banks of the Rhine, and after praying, Bro. Enz rebaptized and reconfirmed me a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints; I will now try and live better than I have done in the past, and be the instrument in the Lord's hands of doing much good; may my Heavenly (Father) help me so to do. I have felt for some time that I should do this, and now it is done, a load seems to be taken from my shoulders." (3)

-- Oct 21, 1880
[Apostle Wilford Woodruff Journal] 21 I received 4 letters. I wrote 1 to Jacobson. Br Henry Charles Fowler Baptized my Daughter Susan C Scholes in the font for the Renewal of her Covenants and her health. (4)

-- Apr 2, 1881
In meeting of stake presidents with First Presidency and apostles: "Before parties can be recommended to the Temples or house of the Lord, they must be rebaptised & must be tithing payers." (5)

-- June 12th, 1881
[Abraham H. Cannon Journal] Another case of rebaptism. "After meeting, Bro. Bloesch, the president of the branch, expressed the desire to be rebaptized. He is guilty of having intercourse with another man's wife, but he asked forgiveness for this, and made everything right as near as possible. We therefore went down to the Bieler Canal, where I rebaptized Bro. Bloesch and baptized Elsie Bangeter, Bro. Alder confirming the former and I the latter." (3)

-- Oct 11, 1881
You say, "If parties are to be rebaptized regardless of how recent their first baptism may have been, &c. &c. we will cheerfully comply." In the first place we think it extremely riskey to send persons to the [Endowment] House &c. who are only "recently baptized." We think people should have an opportunity to prove themselves, before coming to the House or going to the Temple, especially [in]experienced people. They should at least "summer and winter" in the Church, and then if deemed worthy to come for sacred ordinances, agreeable to [the] letter of instructions sent to the Bishops and Presidents on this subject when the House was re-opened, they should be rebaptized for the renewal of their covenants before being recommended by the bishop. [Joseph F. Smith to William Bringhurst, Oct. 11, 1881; emphasis in original] (2)

-- Nov 18, 1881
Permit me to draw your attention to the fact that a few days ago you signed a recommend in favor of a young man, residing in Brigham City, who had not been re-baptized, and whose first baptism took place as long ago as 1863. The consequence was we were compelled to rebaptize him before he could receive his blessing. When such things occur it causes inconveniences and delay to the whole company passing through on that day, and is also contrary to the rules that govern in such matters. Will you please notify the Bishops in your Stake that all persons whose first baptisms have not taken place within a very recent period must be re-baptized before they receive their recommends to pass through the House of the Lord. [Joseph F. Smith to Oliver G. Snow, Nov. 18, 1881] (2)

1 - Van Wagoner, Richard and Walker, Steven C., A Book of Mormons,
2 - Anderson, Devery; The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History,
3 - Abraham H. Cannon Journal Excerpts,
4 - Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993,
5 - On This Day in Mormon History,

LDS History Chronology: Unconventional Baptisms

Mormon History Timeline: Forms of Rebaptism in LDS History