Thursday, January 1, 2009

Baptisms For the Dead

One annonymous commenter suggested that I write a post about baptisms for the dead. I've never talked about that before, so why not?

I participated in dead dunkings as an adolescent. I don't have any horror stories to share but I've read some scary ones, especially from female participants. I remember hearing FPR's about people who could actually see the person for which they were doing the baptisms. For some odd reason, I never did. Guess I wasn't worthy enough.

As a Mormon, the idea of baptisms for the dead is actually a cool one. You get to save your heathen ancestors. The idea behind the concept is that you do your genealogy and research your family. You then take the names of those family members, who are dead, and submit them to the temple. Family members can then perform all the saving ordinances on behalf of their dead ancestors which, if the person accepts it, will allow them to leave the spiritual prison and enter spiritual paradise.

The problem, however, is that over zealous Mormons take any name they can find and submit it to the temple. Many people have a huge problem with this and if you think about it, it's not too hard to figure out why.

Mormons are the only religion, to my knowledge, that do this. But just imagine if, for example, the Jehovah's Witnesses began doing it. As a Mormon baptizing dead people from other religions into Mormonism, imagine how offended you would be if the JW's started baptizing your dead family into their religion. You'd be pissed off and you'd want them to stop.

Well, that is how everyone else feels about the Mormons doing it to them. But since the Mormons have the only true authority, it doesn't matter what other people think, does it? Since you're saving them, it's okay to ignore their requests that you stop baptizing their dead family. The Mormons have promised to stop doing it again and again, but they don't. Maybe they will when someone finally gives them a taste of their own medicine.

Hey, if Mormons want to put all that time and effort into baptizing their dead ancestors, then knock yourselves out. But leave other people's families alone! Is it that hard for you to do?

Eventually, the Mormons plan to baptize every single person who has ever lived on the earth. That in and of itself is an enormous task! The dead not only need to be baptized, but be confirmed, washings and annointings, endowments, sealings, and for the men, the priesthood bestowed. We're talking several hours worth of ceremonies for each person and it has to be done tediously for every single one of them.

Talk about busy work!!!!!!! But the LDS church is full of unreasonable demands and so why not heap the responsibility of converting every single person who has ever lived? Got to give those followers something to do!

Everyone gets a chance to accept the Mormon gospel. I wonder if anyone has ever done the temple work for Cain?


adam said...

"imagine how offended you would be if the JW's started baptizing your dead family into their religion. You'd be pissed off and you'd want them to stop."

I don't think we Mormons can really imagine being offended at this, as it would create too much dissonance. Everyone I have talked to has said stuff like "oh sure, that wouldn't bother me at all," which I believe they say partly because if they decided they would be bothered, they would have to look at our own practices.

I never saw any dead people either. I did feel worthy though. :)

Personally, I view temple work as more for the (living) individual going through it. Granted, I do realize that many people think rituals are weird, or whatever, but I really enjoy the temple, and (for the most part!) does not feel like busywork. I also think that everyone's experiences with the temple are different.

Mormon411 said...

Hey Adam, I really like the way you think. You're one of the most level-headed Mormons that I have ever conversed with.

I always thought that the temple was wierd. Especially the last part when you're in the room just before you enter the Celestial room. That part was so... odd. I never did feel completely right about that. Even as a believer, something inside me was putting up a little red flag.

But if you enjoy it then great! Mormonism truly is for some people, just not me.

adam said...

Thanks 411. I have tried hard to make sure the practice of my religion is mine and personal, and that I'm not just following blindly or "drinking the koolaide" so to speak, at least until I have examined it quite a bit.

I am looking forward to future discussions!