Why Mormons baptize their dead ancestors
Baptism is a big deal in most churches. It’s always been a big concern; if you weren’t baptized before you died, you were in big trouble, consigned to purgatory or some awful fate, like hell.
“Historically, Christians have been exclusive,” says Terryl Givens, an expert on Mormonism at the University of Richmond.“‘Catholics have taught that only Catholics are saved, and evangelicals say only if you confess according to their tradition. Mormons say,… salvation is open to all people.’
‘In that sense Mormonism is the most nonexclusive religion in the Christian world,’ Givens says.” (CNN)
“’This is about putting names on the guest list,’ says Terryl Givens. ‘They might not go to the party, but they are given the chance.’”
Yesterday, hubby and I went to the temple. We added his great uncle, Harry Savage, to the guest list. Yep, that’s right, Uncle Harry Savage. Sorry, there Harry, I can’t help but chuckle over that name.
We also included his wife, Florence. They can accept it or not. They do not automatically become Mormons.
Mormons believe that after death you go to a spirit world before the final judgement. A world that is much like this one, where our ancestors are interacting, studying, learning, and possibly accepting greater light and knowledge. (1 Peter 4:6) If they do accept the gospel, that saving ordinance is performed — through proxy baptisms.
“It presents the gospel of Christ in probably a more enlarged scale than some have imagined it.” (Joseph Smith, Rough Stone Rolling, Bushman)
And a little humor, because as I’ve said it is good and Godly to have humor: I love this —
Featured Image: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
- Baptizing the Dead, Testing Mormon-Jewish Relations (Washington Post)
- What Baptism for the Dead Means to Mormons (Washington Post)
- How and Why Do Mormons Baptize the Dead (CNN)
- Church Statement on Jewish Names Entered into Genealogical Database (LDS Newsroom)
- Church Statement on Violations of Proxy Baptism Policy (LDS Newsroom)
- Gospel Topics: Baptisms for the Dead (LDS.org)
- Church Apologizes for posthumous Jewish Baptism (KSL)