Baptizing the Dead?


#1

I know I am asking a lot of questions, but I don’t get missionaries coming to my house anymore, I wonder why, but anyway, this question is,

How come mormons baptize the dead to save them? The Bible says you can’t save a person already in hell, so why go against the Bible? I would like to here an answere from a mormon or x-mormon.


#2

First, as a Catholic you should be quite familiar with two things. Catholics say prayers for the dead because they believe there is something to such an action. Protestants accuse Catholics of all sorts of wacky things because of this practice. The Catholic response provided by educated Catholics would be that Purgatory is not a place in which eternal destinies change, but a place where a component of sin is purged from those who died in sin but were already destined for heaven. Prayers merely comfort and aid those engaged in this process. Also, Catholics (non-ultra-trad Catholics at least) do not believe that all who die without literal water baptism will be in hell. So those who are not baptized in the manner advocated by the Bible and the Early Church (Ignatius was big on WATER) do not necessarily find themselves in hell.

Second, I would suggest to you that LDS Baptism for the Dead need not necessarily CHANGE the eternal destinies of those who accept Baptism by proxy. In fact, I believe that when we die we have BECOME who we have BECOME. All will receive a “fair and just opportunity” to accept the fullness of the gospel. Those who would have accepted had they received a fair and just opportunity will be the same folks who do except it after they die. Those who would not have accepted the fullness based on who they BECAME will not accept after they die either. There are “no second chances.” I would extend this concept beyond merely the fullness of the gospel to the lesser degrees of glory as well. So effectively we BECOME someone in this life. We die. And based on what we BECAME we CHOOSE an eternal reward. Those who choose to rebel against God in this life will choose SIMILARLY in the post mortal world with the caveat that ultimately “every knee will bow and every tongue confess.”

Continued…


#3

Lastly, in a recent thread a very educated Catholic commented on Baptism for the Dead. Here are his words.

[quote=AugustineH354]The following is from one of my posts on ZLMB:
[/quote]

Simon J. Kistemaker in BakerBooks New Testament Commentary - 1 Corinthians had the following to say about 1 Cor. 15:29 on page 558: “Throughout the centuries, explanations for verse 29 have been numerous and varied; many of them concern the phrases baptized for the dead and baptized in their behalf. In spite of all exegesis, a satisfactory solution appears to be elusive. I am not presenting a resume of every possible suggestion; instead I mention several attempts to clarify the text.” Kistemaker then provides a list of 7 possible explanations. The first explanation listed is, “** Living members of the church were baptized vicariously for those believers who had died but had not received the sacrament of baptism**.” (Emphasis mine) Kistemaker himself does not like this explanation and says so. But he later on admits that, “…many scholars suggest a literal interpretation as a vicarious baptism…”; to which he adds, “the objections are formidable.” They are formidable for Kistemaker because he is a Reformed Calvinist, and if he accepts the literal interpretation of this verse he would have to radically change his view of the role and nature of baptism, both for the living and dead. As to the other six explanations, Kistemaker concludes with, “In all humility I confess that the sense of this text escapes me; verse 29 remains a mystery.” (ZLMB thread, “Paul Taught Against Baptism for the Dead?”.)>>

But our good Protestant commentator neglected to mention an interesting interpretation of 1 Cor. 15:29 presented by a Catholic saint, St. Francis de Sales, for reasons that should be become obvious.

The following in St. Francis de Sales interpretation of 1 Cor. 15:29:[font=Arial][/font]

  • What shall they do who are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not again at all? Why then are they baptized for them? *This passage properly understood evidently shows that it was the custom of the primitive Church to watch, pray, fast, for the souls of the departed. For, firstly, in the Scriptures to be baptized as often taken for afflictions and penances: as S. Luke, chap xii., where Our Lord speaking of his Passion says: *I have a baptism wherewith I am to be baptized, and how am I straitened until it be accomplished ! – *and in S. Mark chap x., he says: *Can you drink of the chalice that I drink of; or be baptized with the baptism wherewith I am baptized ? – *in which Our Lord calls pains and afflictions baptism. This then is the sense of Scripture: if the dead rise not again, what is the use of mortifying and afflicting oneself, of praying and fasting for the dead? (St. Francis de Sales, The Catholic Controversy, Tan Books, p. 368.)>>[font=Arial][/font]

As one can see, de Sales incorporates the Catholic doctrine of purgatory, and the work for the dead on the part of living for those therein, as an explanation for the passage. His remarks that baptism does not always refer to the rite of baptism, but also to “afflictions and penances” should be noted.[font=Arial][/font]

The above interpretation, incorporated with the Catholic doctrine of “baptism of desire” (see tdknick’s helpful post) offers the only reasonable alternative explanation to the literal reading of 1 Cor. 15:29 in my opinion. Though, I must admit, the LDS view remains the most natural (i.e. literal) reading.

Anyway, Baptism for the Dead in my opinion is an area in which the CoJCoLDS presents a much more clear and defendable position than the any other Christian group. While it is true there are few references to this practice in the Early Church (and none that would be truly similar to the way LDS practice BOD), as a practice that occurs in Temples were a sacredness effectively results in secrecy, it is not too surprising that evidence of this practice was largely lost.

Charity, TOm


#4

Yeah, Victor, I wonder why? :smiley:

If anyone chooses to study family history, study the lives of their ancestors, the good they did and the mistakes they made, and have some kind of cermony as they finish their study of each, that is healthy. I wouldn’t choose baptism, though-- Memorial day visits to the cemetary are quite adequate for me, along with prayers for the souls of those in purgatory.

What some Mormons tend to reduce it to is dead-dunking of relatives and nonrelatives alike, ritual without real meaning. Or insight. I just object to the way it is done.

As for Tom’s claim that it was done in early Christianity, who knows? Baptism of desire is quite adequate.


#5

Ok, I want to start by saying that I live in Salt Lake City-heart of mormon country. I have had many discussions on baptizing the dead and I believe that it is wrong. In the eyes of the mormons, only really good mormons, who have had all of thier sacrements will aspire to the highest kingdom. Now, the problem that I have with baptizing the dead is that someone who has clearly choosen their faith, would be baptized by a false church when they die. The only faith that has spoken out about this is the Jewish faith, and they have an agreement with them that they can not baptize any more Jews. My problem is that the Catholic Church has not done the same. This means that Pope John Paul II has probably already been baptised by the mormons! In my eyes a person like the Pope has made their decision and they should be respected for that.


#6

[quote=ADRAGON89]Ok, I want to start by saying that I live in Salt Lake City-heart of mormon country. I have had many discussions on baptizing the dead and I believe that it is wrong. In the eyes of the mormons, only really good mormons, who have had all of thier sacrements will aspire to the highest kingdom. Now, the problem that I have with baptizing the dead is that someone who has clearly choosen their faith, would be baptized by a false church when they die. The only faith that has spoken out about this is the Jewish faith, and they have an agreement with them that they can not baptize any more Jews. My problem is that the Catholic Church has not done the same. This means that Pope John Paul II has probably already been baptised by the mormons! In my eyes a person like the Pope has made their decision and they should be respected for that.
[/quote]

No, I don’t think he has been, he has to be dead for awhile. He still has to perform two miracles after death to become a saint in the Catholic Church and I heard it may take as long as 400 years for that, so I don’t think the Mormon church just jumped on having him baptized.
Plus, anyone who is baptized after death has the right to accept or reject it. I have many Catholic relatives from Costa Rica that I will have baptized, but will they accept it? maybe and maybe not. It is their choice. I just want them to have the chance, so that we can all be together as a family again. Family meant a lot to them, as it does to all Latin people.
Unless you believe we hold the power of the priesthood, why would it make any difference who we baptize? We may as well baptize posts if we don’t have the authority. So, I would say, don’t worry so much about it. :slight_smile: BJ


#7

Keeps them busy, and not bothering others. If it makes them feel better, why not? :tiphat: Not a sacrament-- so let them do it.

Woops!!! Edit edit. I gotta watch out for BJ’s :tsktsk: :smiley:

In my eyes a person who has made their decision should be respected for that. (paraphrase)

Now----- THAT is the problem. They NEVER let go, do they?


#8

Well obviously you were not taught mormonism in Utah! I have met mormons from other states and countries, and they are not anywhere near as rabid and anti-other religions and people in Utah are. There is a huge difference in the way that people outside of Utah are minorities and they have to be much more careful about what they say and do. For example, when I tell them I am Catholic they do not care; however, I have had my best friend not talk to me, people not go out with me, and people refuse to associate with me because I am catholic. I felt ashamed to be a non-mormon, but now I can talk loops around their faith and I have even made missionaries question their faith. As for the Pope, you are wrong I have heard people already talking about baptizing him, mostly because of all the trouble they have had with the Jews lately. So your views of mormonism are slightly scued, come to Utah and see how ‘true’ mormons really are!


#9

Nobody knows the troubles I’ve seen, nobody knows, but Jesus.:whistle:

Like I said, baptism of the dead is the least of the problems, in my eyes.


#10

Jerusha, this was a serious question, please stop trying to show the world which direction you’ll be posthumously heading for making fun of things that others hold sacred.

.


#11

:eek: Would you rather everyone take it to court to prohibit that practice because it offend them to have their ancestors baptized against their will? I am not making fun of it-- I am saying it is irrelevant-- If they wish to do it, then that is their choice, because that is what they believe in. And I can’t argue with the logic of it, for those who believe in it.

I believe in your religious freedom to participate in a ritual that you believe in, and I don’t. Dead-dunk all you want.

Mormon logic is beyond all rules-- people are damned if they do, damned if they don’t.


#12

The judgments of my loving God are compassionate-- His grace abounds. If the harsh and condemning judgments of your god condemn you to such mindless ritual, you have the freedom to do it.


#13

[quote=ADRAGON89]Well obviously you were not taught mormonism in Utah! I have met mormons from other states and countries, and they are not anywhere near as rabid and anti-other religions and people in Utah are. There is a huge difference in the way that people outside of Utah are minorities and they have to be much more careful about what they say and do. For example, when I tell them I am Catholic they do not care; however, I have had my best friend not talk to me, people not go out with me, and people refuse to associate with me because I am catholic. I felt ashamed to be a non-mormon, but now I can talk loops around their faith and I have even made missionaries question their faith. As for the Pope, you are wrong I have heard people already talking about baptizing him, mostly because of all the trouble they have had with the Jews lately. So your views of mormonism are slightly scued, come to Utah and see how ‘true’ mormons really are!
[/quote]

Oh, my God, the Mormons want to baptize the Pope? Well bless their hearts and isn’t that sweet? Let them. I’m sure he will be quite honored.


#14

Oh, my God, the Mormons want to baptize the Pope? Well bless their hearts and isn’t that sweet? Let them. I’m sure he will be quite honored

:wink:


#15

Mormons perform proxy baptisms on behalf of the dead because they believe that one must hold the keys of the priesthood in order to have authority to baptise. Pope John Paul II in all likelihood has already had a proxy baptism performed on his behalf–there is no reason in the LDS Church to ‘wait’ for sainthood. In any case, one of the nicer things about Mormonism is that they believe that virtually everyone goes to some kind of heaven anyhow. The purpose of proxy baptism (along with proxy confirmation and proxy marriage, by the way–wonder who JPII will be ‘sealed’ to in post-mortem matrimony–Mother Teresa mebbe?) is to give non-Mormon souls the CHOICE to accept the fulness of the LDS Gospel in the afterlife and thereby gain access to the Celestial Kingdom. Not everyone will choose such an exalted honor. JPII may decide he prefers the Terrestrial Kingdom of Heaven better than the Celestial and politely decline the ordinances performed on his behalf.

I consider the Jewish leadership generally and the State of Israel particularly to have proven themselves world-class idiots for ever raising the issue of LDS proxy baptisms. Absolutely no harm is done to anyone’s memory because another persons’s religious ritual endeavors to honor them by some sort of proxy ceremony, performed privately and without any sort of fanfare. It’s really no one’s concern except the Mormons. Unless we go through some sort of calamitous world-wide water shortage or something.


#16

Jerusha and iwonder,
I agree with you, much ado about nothing. Thanks for your posts.
I will stay away from those rabid Utah persons. ha ha
:thumbsup: BJ


#17

[quote=ADRAGON89]Ok, I want to start by saying that I live in Salt Lake City-heart of mormon country. I have had many discussions on baptizing the dead and I believe that it is wrong. In the eyes of the mormons, only really good mormons, who have had all of thier sacrements will aspire to the highest kingdom. Now, the problem that I have with baptizing the dead is that someone who has clearly choosen their faith, would be baptized by a false church when they die. The only faith that has spoken out about this is the Jewish faith, and they have an agreement with them that they can not baptize any more Jews. My problem is that the Catholic Church has not done the same. This means that Pope John Paul II has probably already been baptised by the mormons! In my eyes a person like the Pope has made their decision and they should be respected for that.
[/quote]

Bishop Neiderauer once spoke about this and said to just let the mormons do their baptizing since it means nothing to us. I agree to a point. Living in SLC, I’m sure you know that leaders of the Jewish faith recently met with higher ups in the LDS church regarding the baptising of Holocaust victims. Even though whoever is doing the baptizing needs permission from the family, that isn’t always done. The LDS leaders said they can’t control some of their members from unauthorized baptisms but have once again reminded members about the requirements. I think it’s wrong to baptize the Holocaust victims because they were killed because of what they believed. They didn’t convert to save their lives, they shouldn’t be baptized now. They died for their faith and I think it’s disrespectful to ignore that. I know the LDS believe it’s their choice to accept the baptism but I think their choice was clear in the first place and it should be honored. To me, it’s wrong just in principle.


#18

[quote=UtahMaggie] . . . .I’m sure you know that leaders of the Jewish faith recently met with higher ups in the LDS church regarding the baptising of Holocaust victims . . . I think it’s wrong to baptize the Holocaust victims because they were killed because of what they believed. They didn’t convert to save their lives, they shouldn’t be baptized now. They died for their faith and I think it’s disrespectful to ignore that. I know the LDS believe it’s their choice to accept the baptism but I think their choice was clear in the first place and it should be honored. To me, it’s wrong just in principle.
[/quote]

Jews did not die in Germany ‘for their faith’. People of Jewish ancestry were slaughtered irrespective of their religious beliefs–I thinks some had even converted to Roman Catholicism–because Hitler had devised a theory of racial superiority which suggested that people of Jewish descent were somehow unworthy of continued existence. German converts to Judaism (the religion) with no racial links to Jewish people were NOT killed–only people with known genetic links to Jewish descent. Even ONE ancestor known to have been of Jewish descent could be a death sentence. This is a bit off-topic, but I felt it needed addressed.

I still think that nothing in the LDS rite of baptism for the dead–which is never publicised or made commerce of–is of any concern to Jewish leaders. It is certainly a vain and useless ritual from my perpective, and–presumably–from the perspective of Judaism. But it causes no harm to anyone.


#19

But it causes no harm to anyone.

Except maybe for the baptizers haunted by the spirits of those offended by the practice. Shhhh!! I din’t say that. :eek:


#20

[quote=flameburns623]Mormons perform proxy baptisms on behalf of the dead because they believe that one must hold the keys of the priesthood in order to have authority to baptise. Pope John Paul II in all likelihood has already had a proxy baptism performed on his behalf–there is no reason in the LDS Church to ‘wait’ for sainthood. In any case, one of the nicer things about Mormonism is that they believe that virtually everyone goes to some kind of heaven anyhow. The purpose of proxy baptism (along with proxy confirmation and proxy marriage, by the way–wonder who JPII will be ‘sealed’ to in post-mortem matrimony–Mother Teresa mebbe?) is to give non-Mormon souls the CHOICE to accept the fulness of the LDS Gospel in the afterlife and thereby gain access to the Celestial Kingdom. Not everyone will choose such an exalted honor. JPII may decide he prefers the Terrestrial Kingdom of Heaven better than the Celestial and politely decline the ordinances performed on his behalf.

I consider the Jewish leadership generally and the State of Israel particularly to have proven themselves world-class idiots for ever raising the issue of LDS proxy baptisms. Absolutely no harm is done to anyone’s memory because another persons’s religious ritual endeavors to honor them by some sort of proxy ceremony, performed privately and without any sort of fanfare. It’s really no one’s concern except the Mormons. Unless we go through some sort of calamitous world-wide water shortage or something.
[/quote]

And you really see nothin superstitious and idolatrous in this practice? Dude, huge bummer dude. Thanks but no thanks.


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