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Baptism For the Dead
The Mormons have a strange teaching called "Baptism For the Dead". I believe they devised this doctrine because they ran into a problem common to all cult groups believing they are the only way to salvation. The problem is this: What do they do with all the people who lived before their prophet, Joseph Smith came on the scene?
Since they believe there is no salvation outside of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and the church wasn't around until Joseph Smith founded it, what about all the people who lived prior to their prophet?
Each cult group handles this problem slightly differently. The Jehovah's Witnesses, for example, have Jehovah God recreating from memory all the people who lived before the "Brooklyn Bunch" offered salvation. He supposedly brings them back onto the restored paradise earth so they can hear the Watchtower gospel. At that time they can decide to believe and live or decline and be anhililated.
The Mormons created a different scenario, namely "baptism for the dead". Each member who wishes to participate must be "temple worthy". They must research their genealogy and go through a temple ritual for each dead one they wish to obtain salvation for. The Mormon Temple has lists and lists of dead people all awaiting Mormon salvation who lived before the time of Joseph Smith. Members must take their name, go through the ritual for them, and thereby give them Mormon salvation in their afterlife.
In this manner, even Adolf Hitler and his mistress Eva Braun are now Mormons, having been baptized for the dead at the Jordan Temple, in South Jordan, Utah on September 28th, 1993. (P. 174). The Mormons are now attempting to cover up this embarrassing little incident but the cat is out of the bag!
As might be expected, the Mormons have an isolated Bible text that mentions "Baptism for the Dead". Let's just clear that misquote up now.
They quote 1 Corinthians 15:29, "Otherwise, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why then are they baptized for them?"
Read by itself, it appears that the Bible teaches "Baptism For the Dead". However, let's consider this verse in context.
First the background must be considered. 1 Corinthians, chapter 15 is concerned with the subject of the resurrection, not baptism at all.
Verse 12 says,
"Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?"
Here, then, is the correct background. Paul is speaking to those who believed and taught that there was no resurrection of the dead. He goes on to explain vital truths about the resurrection.
It appears that this dissident group, while denying there was a resurrection, practiced a pagan custom called "baptism for the dead". Paul addresses this pagan group with this question,
"Otherwise, what will THOSE do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why then are THEY baptized for them?" (emphasis ours).
Notice Paul was not speaking to believers (i.e. us, we etc.), but was speaking to "those" and "they", clearly NOT the Christian believers.
In conclusion, and in context, baptism for the dead is a practice debunked in the bible, not taught by the bible.
Really, how silly to practice "baptism for the dead" if one believes the dead are not resurrected! Paul points this out.
How equally silly for the Mormons to try and use this one, lonely, isolated passage to cover one of their pagan rites.
Hebrews 9:27 points out that there is no "second chance" salvation as the cults teach.
"...it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment".
Each of us, Mormons included, will have to answer to the true God for decisions made in this life. That is why it is so vitally important to have something meaningful to say to Mormons when they call at your door. This book will equip you to do so.