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Archive for the ‘Baptisms for the Dead’ Category

Conference Report, ‘The Coming of Elijah,’ April 1965, p.113  “Unless the family of the righteous are thus sealed together from father to son and from mother to daughter back to Adam and from Adam to Christ and from Jesus Christ to God the Eternal Father, the purpose of earth life has been missed, and life itself has been a waste….

We must be linked to them, and they to their fathers and mothers back to Father Adam and Mother Eve, and they to Jesus Christ, and he to God as his Only Begotten Son in the flesh. Thus to save our own selves and to complete our own salvation, we must have our hearts turned to our fathers, seek out their identities, and perform the work of salvation for them. We will be held accountable for their blood unless we do so.” – Theodore M. Burton ~ Assistant to the Twelve; Quorum of the Seventy (more…)

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Conference Report, April 1959, p. 23 “I have no idea in my mind that every soul that has lived upon the face of the earth, who has died and gone to the spirit world, is going to repent and receive the gospel. There will be many that will not do that. Our scriptures point to that fact. They are not going to receive the gospel in the spirit world, when their souls are full of bitterness and hate towards the truth, but they have a right to have it taught to them.” – Joseph Fielding Smith [emp. mine] (more…)

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Three days before Christmas I opened a Google-Alert e-mail to read about an all too familiar story in the Herald Extra. AP reporter, Brady McCombs, filed a report on Helen Radkey’s latest discovery of a chronic problem the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints seems to be plagued with. The necromantic practices of baptizing living persons, and posthumously baptizing the famous and infamous dead, is rearing its ugly head once again.

 

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General Conference, ‘Sharing Your Light,’ October 2014; “We will not be raising the dead as did the Savior, but we can bless the dead by finding their names for temple work. Then we will indeed raise them from their spirit prison and offer them the path of eternal life.” — Neill F. Marriott

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Baptismal fontThe voluminous amount of posthumous baptisms Wilford Woodruff took part in while visiting the St. George temple, is an eye-raiser. Not only were the numbers noteworthy, but the recipients were as well. Woodruff’s list reads like a who’s who in world history.

According to Mr. Woodruff, this large group of people included a handful of America’s founding fathers who appeared to him while he was in the St. George temple. These spirits, he said, approached him and began asking why the Church hadn’t performed proxy baptisms on their behalf.

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Melvin J. BallardSermons and Missionary Services of Melvin J. Ballard [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1949], 247; “The limitation given to Latter-day Saints at that time was, baptism for their dead whom they believe would have received the gospel. That is all. Now since we are not prepared to pass judgment on our dead ancestors whom we did not know, the Church has gone further and has permitted members of the Church to do the work for all their immediate ancestors unless they are murderers. There can be no work done for those who have committed murder.” – Bryant S. Hinckley

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Celestial Kingdom's Ordinance Waiting RoomChurch News, ‘Family History Blesses the Living as Well as the Dead,’ 24 February 2015;

“Building the family is at the center of the plan of salvation, the leaders taught. On the other side of the veil, individuals will be organized into families through ordinances that take place in temples. Because of the importance of those ordinances, it is essential that families work together to redeem their dead. Through modern technology advances family history has improved, allowing people of all ages to get involved with ease.”

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Russell NelsonIntroduction to Family History Student Manual, (2012), Chapter 7: Submitting Names for Temple Ordinances; “Elder Russell M. Nelson explained that a newly updated Family Search computer program facilitates family history work and helps Church members determine what temple ordinances have or have not been performed for each individual ancestor: “The Prophet Joseph Smith said, ‘The greatest responsibility in this world that God has laid upon us is to seek after our dead’ [Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith (2007), 475]. New technology makes it easier than ever to fulfill that responsibility. Temple and family history work is now facilitated by [Family Search]. This Internet-based system helps members identify their ancestors, determine what ordinance work needs to be done for them, and prepare their names for the temple. It can be accessed from home, a family history center, or wherever the Internet is available. The steps are easy to follow” (in Conference Report, Apr. 2010, 90; or Ensign, May 2010, 92–93).”

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Meridian MagazineMeridian Magazine, ‘5 Things to Remember if Your Loved One Leaves the Church,’ July 26, 2015;

“God does not look upon sin with the least degree of allowance, but those who truly desire eternal life, in this life or in the next, will have it. Whether they are Buddhist, Baptist, Bahai, Jewish, Roman Catholic, Agnostic, Muslim, Mormon or formerly Mormon — if they desire eternal life, they will have the opportunity to get it.” – Andy Proctor 

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stickman thinking 3Why doesn’t God have a baptismal font in heaven for those who wish to be dunked after they die?

It seems this would save the Saints a ton of money and wouldn’t that be something the Lord would want for His people?

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Episode 5: Mormon Temple Baptisms for the dead

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Posthumous Baptisms for the Dead

This Time Around – Baptizing Mahatma Gandhi and Daniel Pearl

In 2002 Wall Street Journalist Daniel Pearl was killed by terrorists in Pakistan. Fast forward about a decade and Helen Radkey finds the Mormon Church posthumously baptized Mr. Pearl in the summer of 2011 in a Mormon temple in Twin Falls, Idaho. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/la-na-nn-mormon-church-daniel-pearl-posthumous-baptism-20120229,0,2105684.story

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Baptizing Anne Frank:

They’re at it Again!

http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/elie-wiesel-criticizes-romney-for-keeping-mum-on-mormon-posthumous-baptism-of-jews-1.413269

According to the Huffington Post and Haaretz.com, baptismal and confirmation reports from the LDS Church show posthumous work was performed for Anne Frank on February 18, 2012 in the Dominican Republic.

Anne Frank, a teenaged German Jew suffered and died in the Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp in March 1945 at the hands of the brutal SS in Nazi Germany just a few weeks before British troops liberated the camp in April 1945.

 

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Baptisms for the Dead

The following paragraph about the practice of baptizing the dead was taken from Jefflindsey.com, an LDS “apologetic” website–if there is such a thing.  It shows how Mormons helplessly try to explain the practice of baptizing the dead:

 “Baptism for the dead is a powerful evidence that Joseph Smith was a real prophet and the Church of Jesus Christ has been restored. The LDS practice has long been derided as absolute fiction and an abomination, and based on a terrible mis-interpretation of 1 Cor.15:29. However, long after Joseph Smith restored the practice through revelation, dozens of ancient documents have turned up showing that early Christians (at least some) indeed believed in and practiced baptism for the dead much as we do today. “

 I am always glad to see the appearance of the phrase “through revelation” because it usually means that all other Mormon explanations have been exhausted leaving only “we do what we want through revelation.”  

 If there’s a part of scripture that best illustrates how Mormons twist the word of God, this is it.  We have always maintained that Mormons are great basing an entire belief system upon one or two verses of scripture.  This is a well known fact amongst those of us who work in the field of counter-cult ministries.  The LDS Church is no exception to this rule, although they would vehemently deny the allegations.  There is literally one verse that talks about baptism for the dead and this is what the Mormon Church has put their minds on to set a standard of a dead work for their god.  It is found in 1 Corinthians 15:29 and it says; ‘Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?’

 The key to understanding scripture is to read all things in context before you apply it to any teaching.  The first half of 1 Corinthians 15 is speaking about the absurdity of not believing in the resurrection of the dead.  Paul gave examples of those who had witnessed Jesus’ resurrection and then went on to explain that baptizing for dead people was even more absurd if they didn’t believe in the resurrection.  The uniqueness of Christianity lies in the resurrection of the dead.  For whatever reasons, the Corinthian church believed they needed to perform this proxy for the dead and Paul was there to set them straight.

 Joseph Smith is quoted in the book Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 179 as follows; ‘The Saints have the privilege of being baptized for those of their relatives who are dead, whom they believe would have embraced the Gospel, if they had been privileged with hearing it, and who have received the Gospel in the spirit, through the instrumentality of those who have been commissioned to preach to them while in prison.’ 
 

Several questions arise in my mind when I read this thought process of Smith’s.  First of all, how does one know if their dead relative got the chance to hear the gospel in spirit prison?  Secondly, how could someone ever presume that their dead relative would even accept the gospel? Third, if, as many Mormon leaders teach today, that all people will be caught up in the first two levels of heaven regardless of whether they’re Mormon believer or not (i.e. they deny the concept of hell), then what is the point of baptizing the dead? Aren’t we all already going to heaven? 

Let’s look at the exact passage in scripture:

 1 Cor. 15: 29

 “Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?” KJV.

Just to gather some meaning here, let’s read the same verse from the NLV to get a better understanding:

“What good will it do people if they are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised, why are people baptized for them?”

Mormon “apologists” put all their reasoning behind the word “they,” in 1 Cor. 15:29, as if to imply that since Paul said “they” in referring to his fellow apostles in the early part of the chapter, that he means to attribute “they” to [the apostles’] practices later in the chapter as well.

 We cannot build a doctrine based on that.  We need more.  We need to know what is biblical and what is not, based on the entire bible. Since God is not a God of confusion, He tells us what is His ways and what is not.  We know that when we see things mentioned in the bible, as in God’s law in the Old Testament, we also saw it in practice in the scriptures as well.  Paul talks about living a life for Christ numerous times in the New Testament and we see many characters in the Gospels doing just that. We also see what Paul wrote to the Churches in Ephesus, Corinth and others, yet again, we see it put into practice in Acts. We also know that the Church of Corinth was a church that was practicing some strange rituals.  They had lost their way and Paul’s letter was sent to correct that.  That alone should make us suspicious and cause us to question his motives for mentioning baptisms for the dead—if the context to the chapter were not obvious already.

 But let’s look at this from one other angle.  Doesn’t it seem reasonable that if baptisms for the dead were truly God’s way, then it’s a significant thing?  Forgetting or not baptizing the dead as the Mormon’s teach would cost someone their salvation, or so we’re led to believe by LDS doctrine.  That’s an incredible statement if true!  If it were a practice of the early church, and a teaching of Jesus Christ that Paul taught as well, shouldn’t it have appeared somewhere else in scripture?  Perhaps Paul just wasn’t that concerned about the dead. And perhaps Jesus had better things to do.

 Again, I cannot over emphasize this.  The idea of baptizing the dead so that people could be resurrected who would otherwise be lost for all eternity is a rather astonishing idea.  And there is much to be lost if the Church has failed to practice this exercise. Were it not the pagan ritual that it is, then we should have seen it put into practice by the early church. The book of Acts gave us many examples to follow, preaching, baptism, and laying on of hands, to name a few.

 I was baptized for the dead on several occasions in the Ogden Temple while I was growing up as a Mormon in Utah. I remember thinking I had never heard of any of the people I was baptized for so I was unable to say if those people accepted the gospel.  Each time I went to do my proxy work I wondered if what I was doing was in vain.  I prayed that with all my hard work to stay holy and pure to get in the temple wouldn’t be for nothing.  I wasted many hours praying they would accept what I had to offer them.

 The Lord tells us to set our minds upon the things of Christ.  In 2 Corinthians 10:5 it says; ‘Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ’.  The church keeps their members busy so they don’t have the time to think about the obedience of Christ, let alone anything He would want them to do, i.e., studying His Word.

 My prayer now is that if you are a Mormon, you will study the entire passage in 1 Corinthians 15 to see where this teaching originated.  I can assure you that it had nothing to do with the Mormon Jesus’ teaching on the ‘eternal principles’ of baptizing for the dead in the meridian of times and everything to do with Jesus’ resurrection as told consistently in other scriptures in the bible. Can Mormons present the same evidence for Baptism of the dead being taught elsewhere in scripture?

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