Thursday, November 11, 2010

May My Descendants Redeem Me When I am Dead

Margaret Young wrote a moving post on By Common Consent last year entitled, "They Fought as They Were Taught". The entire post is worth reading, but in a follow-up comment (Comment #3) she said something that really struck me as profound:

In LDS theology, we talk about “redeeming the dead.” I think at least a portion of this means that we undo their errors and create a better world on the foundation–but also the ruins–of what they’ve left to us. Sometimes, we simply rearrange the ruins like a puzzle which makes a different kind of sense in a different kind of world. They bequeath both a legacy and a burden–and we are called to responsibility.

I love this perspective on redeeming the dead, and I pray that my own descendants will redeem me in exactly this manner. To do so, they will have to see me as redeemable, even if some of my beliefs seem ignorant (or even abominable) in the lens of 20/20 hindsight 150 years later. I pray they use that hindsight charitably and realize I was doing the best I could with what I know, just as they will be doing as they look back at me and forward to the judgment of their own descendants.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful.Who am I to consider myself perfect?My privelege is to consider my self as a mutable entity,a product of my environment,and it behoves me to extend this tenderness and mercy to those who have gone before, mindful of those aspects of our experience of our forebears that need we need to attempt to correct.

We stand on the shoulders of giants...

Mama D said...

Powerful concept. I actually have never thought of redeeming the dead in these terms before. Thanks for sharing your insights!