BAPTIZINGDEAD PEOPLE FOR SALVATION
In September of 1842 Joseph Smith received a revelation commanding that the living be baptized, by proxy, for the dead. This occurred by visitation of an angel to Joseph Smith in 1823 and in 1836, and are found in the teaching of Joseph Smith in Doctrine and Covenants 128:18.
The revelation declares, “And now, my dearly beloved brethren and sisters, let me assure you that these are principles in relation to the dead and the living that cannot be lightly passed over, as pertaining to our salvation.
“For their salvation is necessary and essential to our salvation, as Paul says concerning the fathers - that they without us cannot be made perfect - neither can we without our dead be made perfect.
“It is the baptism for the dead. For we without them cannot be made perfect; neither can they without us be made perfect” (referring to 1 Cor.15 15 and 18).
It is a fact that Mormonism from the beginning of its revelation to the end has been in communication with the dead. So we should not be surprised that the issue of salvation has something to do with the dead too. Baptism for the dead is an essential aspect of the fullness of the gospel. It is so essential in fact that no living person can be saved without it. Doctrine and Covenants 20:37 one reads those to be baptized must humble themselves, having “truly repented” of all their sins before being baptized. Baptism is regarded as essential to salvation and those, as the Pharisees and Lawyers (Luke 7:30), who reject baptism are thereby “forfeiting their claim to salvation.” (P. 130)
“The greatest responsibility in this world that God has laid upon us is to seek after our dead” (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 6, page 7).
But this practice is never mentioned in the Book of Mormon! Then how can the Book of Mormon contain the fullness of the gospel if this is necessary for salvation? Seems some great and precious promises are missing in their own book!
In contrast the Bible teaches us not to seek the dead but the living.
Not only does the Book of Mormon never mention baptism for the dead, and I might add neither does the Bible, it also never mentions temple marriage or any of the other necessary requirements of gaining exaltation or Godhood. There is a good reason for this; they were developed and added as new revelation after the book was finished.
Since this is what occurred, it seems strange that the Doctrine and Covenants would claim that the Book of Mormon is “the fullness of the gospel” when such an important element is missing.
Joseph Fielding Smith, 10th prophet of the Mormon Church explains what this term means, “By fullness of the gospel is meant all the ordinances and principles that pertain to the exaltation in the celestial kingdom” ( Doctrines of Salvation, Vol.1, p. 160).
Baptism for the dead, Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. II, p. 141. This is a practice of baptizing each other in place of non-Mormons who are now dead. There are three levels of heaven according the Mormons revelation. Telestial, terrestrial, and celestial ( Mormon Doctrine, p. 348) They believe that the “ baptized” person will help the dead to enter into a higher level of Mormon heaven in the afterlife .
“Baptism is…the very gateway into the kingdom of heaven, an indispensable step in our salvation and exaltation” (Bennet Why I am a Mormon p.124)
Baptism is so important that Apostle McConkie says.... “since the Messiah came to earth to work out his own salvation, as well as make salvation available to all men--we are justified in concluding that he himself needed baptism .... The Lord Jesus, being a man, required baptism even as other men. There is no other way” (Bruce McConkie, The Promised Messiah, Pages 482, 485) This certainly confirms that the Mormon Jesus is not the creator that the Christian Church has always taught and upheld from the scriptures.(Col.1:15-17; Jn.1:1-3; Heb.1:2-3) While Jesus was baptized by John it was not for salvation only sinful men need this!
The Church teaches people were being baptized in Christ over a hundred years before Christ came in the book of Mormon. While it may be feasible for Christian baptism to be foretold by prophecy (although it is not mentioned in the Bible) it is a whole different event to be practiced before Christ came to earth. The event of this ritual which is a token a seal of the New Covenant can only make sense with it being done once the New Covenant is enacted. Since it is an illustration of one being put in Christ and a subsequent resurrection. It is an illustration of the Gospel which was hidden until it was revealed in the person and work of Christ himself. Rom.16:25-26 to be baptized in water declares what one already believes that Christ died for our sins and was buried. Likewise baptism shows one going under the waters buried, taken from view of the audience.
An essential companion doctrine to baptism for the dead is the practice of genealogy, which one traces their “roots” to determine the names of dead relatives in their lineage. This is practiced in Mormonism so that those dead ancestors can have temple works performed by proxy. (Mormon Doctrine, p.308).
Mormon Apostle Bruce Mckonkie said, “baptism is the gate to the celestial kingdom…Obviously during the frequent periods of apostate darkness when the gospel light does not shine, and also in those geographical areas where the legal administrators are not found, hosts of people live without ever entering the gate of baptism so as to be on the path leading to eternal life. For them God has ordained baptism for the dead, a vicarious labor” (Mormon Doctrine p.73).
Notice what this means, that they are on the path going toward eternal life and that this is obtained by ones own work. This means grace through Jesus Christ is nullified and the free gift is denied which the Bible clearly teaches.
Bruce R. McConkie has also stated in Mormon doctrine p.308 states Before vicarious ordinances of salvation and exaltation those who have died without a knowledge of the gospel, by who presumable would have received it had the opportunity come to them they must be accurately and properly identified, hence Genealogical research is required. “It is also because of this doctrine that Mormons are interested in genealogical research, “Works for and in behalf of the dead” to gain them entrance into the kingdom.
Baptism by proxy for the dead is a major activity. “The saints are… redeeming their (unbaptized ) dead from the grasp of Satan” (Mormon Plan of Salvation p.8). It is for this reason that Mormon’s practice their doctrine Baptism for the Dead and Temple Marriage ceremonies (as well as other secret ordinances) for the dead. These are considered part of their “good works” for obtaining salvation.
“All other churches are entirely destitute of all authority from God, and any person who receives baptism or the Lords supper from their hands will highly offend God. For he looks upon them as the most contempt of all people, both Catholics and Protestants are nothing less than the whore of Babylon” (Orson Pratt the Seer p.255)
There's no scripture reference in the Bible to it (1 Cor.15:29). None of the Church Fathers record it in any of their writings, neither for themselves or for heretics. So this certainly is a new revelation by prophet Smith. Clearly Mormonism's baptismal practice stands alone among the churches today and throughout history.
The Book of Mormon actually contradicts this In Alma 34:35-36 we read: “For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he does seal you his. Therefore, the spirit of the Lord has withdrawn from you and hath no place in you; the power of the devil is over you, and this is the final state of the wicked.” (As well as 2 Nephi 9:15)
Baptism for the dead is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY for Salvation
“This doctrine presents in a clear light the wisdom and mercy of God in preparing an ordinance for the salvation of the dead, being baptized by proxy, their names recorded in heaven and they judged according to the deeds done in the body. This doctrine was the burden of the scripture--. Those Saints who neglect it in behalf of their deceased relatives, do it at the peril of their own salvation” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Joseph F. Smith, p. 193).
Mormonism makes it clear that without this practice people cannot be saved. They do not need to make a decision on our world, they can always postpone it to the next if they know someone who is a Mormon willing to baptize by proxy.
This baptism seems to be connected to Spirit Missionaries who travel to the under world to preach! “Missionaries from paradise visit the spirit prison to teach the gospel” (Gospel Principles chpt. 45 p. 280).
Not only do living LDS missionaries travel knocking on our doors throughout the world to spread the gospel of Mormonism, but their deceased Mormons travel throughout the spirit world to do the same. “The Latter-day Saint view of the spirit world reveals that there is work being performed there. The most magnificent and extensive missionary program the mind can contemplate is centered in the spirit world” (Ensign, January 1977, p. 51)
The lengths they will go for a convert (see Matthew 23:15) is quite applicable.
In fact, they claim the missionary work done in the spirit world by the dead is taking place on a grander scale than it is on Earth. This is what they mean when they state that Christ died for all and all will be saved. Everyone gets another chance afterward. What If they reject the baptism and the offer of salvation by the dead Mormon spirit preachers, do they get another chance?
“The ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ are essential to salvation. It is necessary that all men who desire the fullest salvation in the Celestial Kingdom of God participate in them” (The Religion of the Latter-day Saints, p. 179).
These doctrines are so essential that a book which is read by couples prior to their temple marriage as, “Baptism Is the Gate to Salvation: Marriage Is the Gate to Exaltation.” The living are but few compared with the dead; and it follows Of necessity that the ordinance-work for the departed exceeds by a great preponderance that done for the living” (Achieving a Celestial Marriage, PP. 198 & 201).
Mormon Apostle Bruce R. McConkie also taught: “...the Lord has ordained baptism for the dead as the means whereby all his worthy children of all ages can become heirs of salvation in his kingdom” (Mormon Doctrine, p.73). Not only do children have this ability but many despots with no choice of their own can enter the fantasy world of Mormon salvation.
Mormons have now done their secret “saving ordinances” (by proxy) for none other than Adolf Hitler. Not only has the infamous Hitler been baptized, confirmed, and ordained, he has even been sealed to his “eternal wives” (Yes, plural!) That’s right, he will become a God on his own planet so finally his dream to rule will come true. This is something the Mormons will not tell the public, wonderful isn't it.
Here is a portion of the record:
LDS ORDINANCE: Baptized: 10 Dec. 1993. London Temple. HITLER, Hielder (Mrs.) ... Marriage (civil) abt. 1929, Germany. SPOUSE: Adolf Hitler
LDS ORDINANCES: Sealed to spouse Sep. 28, 1993 Jordan River Temple. SPOUSE: Eva Braun
LDS ORDINANCES: Sealed to spouse 14 June, 1994, LA Temple.
Hitler is now a Mormon saved for heaven as a bigamist, and may be well on his way to becoming a Mormon God on his own planet. That's their spirituality for you.
There are numerous other Prominent People Mormons have Baptized by Proxy .
According to Collected Discourses, Vol.3, Appendix, Wilford Woodruff, December 13, 1893, the following men were baptized by proxy in the St. George Temple on August 21, 1877:
All the Signers of the Declaration of Independence except John Hancock and William Floyd who were later baptized.
Benjamin Franklin was ordained an LDS High Priest by proxy on August 22-24) Between August 22-23, 1877 all of the remaining US Presidents were baptized by proxy except James Buchannan, Martin Van Buren, and Ulysses S. Grant. President Grant who was still alive, but “President Woodruff declined the performance of the Temple work for these two deceased Presidents due to the actions they performed against the Saints during their administrations. Imagine that someone holds the ability as a man to decide your future destiny, the Mormons don’t just claim to be gods in the future but the leaders play god here on earth now.
The baptism for President James Buchanan was performed 4 June 1932 in the Salt Lake Temple, and endowments were given 19 October 1932 (#20580, Book 4T, pg. 924). Baptismal work for President Martin Van Buren was performed 4 May 1938 in the Salt Lake Temple, and endowments were given 21 June 1938 (#4564, Book 6H, pg. 203)” (Collected Discourses, Vol.3, Appendix, Wilford Woodruff, December 13, 1893).
According to the Salt Lake Tribune (8/17/91, p.A6) these are some of the following presidents have also been baptized Mormon .Dwight Eisenhower (US President) ,Patrick Henry (American Statesman) Abraham Lincoln (US President) Miguel Pro (Catholic Priest) Paul Revere (American patriot and silversmith) William Shakespeare (Playwright) Leo Tolstoy (Russian novelist)
Here are just a few other historical figures who Also received proxy baptisms in August of 1877: Napoleon Bonaparte (French Dictator), Christopher Columbus (Explorer - Ordained an LDS High Priest by proxy on August 22-24), Daniel O. Connell (First Catholic member of British Parliament), David Livingstone (Christian Missionary), Thomas Babington Macauley (English historian, essayist, and statesman), Lord Horatio Nelson (British naval admiral), George Peabody (American Philanthropist), Frederick II - A.K.A. “Frederick the Great” (King of Prussia) Daniel Webster (American Statesman) , John Wesley (Christian Evangelist/Pastor - ordained an LDS High Priest by proxy on August 22-24) (excerpts from Mormonism Research Ministry).
I’m sure he’s thrilled to be part of an Occultic system by no choice of his own.
A news service records: Researchers say that Mormons have continued to posthumously baptize Jewish Holocaust victims into their faith despite a promise to discontinue the practice.
“We are very hopeful that we will be able to convince the church to stop,” Ernest Michel, chairman of the New York-based World Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, said Friday. If not, Michel said, his group will consider other options, “possibly legal steps.”....
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has long collected names from government documents and other records worldwide for posthumous baptisms. Church members stand in to be baptized in the names of the deceased non-Mormons, a ritual the church says is required for them to reach heaven....
A more a recent article (4/9/05) in the Associated Press.
Jews, Mormons to meet over baptism for the dead. “The Mormon church
has long collected names from government documents and other records
worldwide for posthumous baptisms. Church members stand in to be baptized
in the names of the deceased non-Mormons, a ritual the church says is
required for the dead to reach heaven.
Jews are stating the Mormons have broken their promise. Ernest
Michel, chairman of the New York-based World Gathering of Jewish
Holocaust Survivors plans to show posthumous baptism records to church
officials in meetings Sunday and Monday - records he said prove
tens of thousands of Jews, including some who died in Nazi concentration
camps, were posthumously baptized over the past 10 years and as recently
as last month.” A 1995 agreement signed by Jewish leaders and
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called for an immediate
halt to unwanted proxy baptisms. After evidence was found in the church's
massive International Genealogical Index that the baptisms for many Jews
- including Anne Frank - continued, the two faiths reaffirmed the
agreement in 2002.
Most Catholic popes have been proxy baptized, as have historical
figures like Ghengis Khan, Joan of Arc, Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin and
Buddha, according to Salt Lake City researcher Helen Radkey.
The Mormon Church has contingent of men and women microfilming records of all different churches, birth and death certificates any type of record connected with past generations. Over Two Billion (2,000,000,000) deceased persons names have been stored in the record vault in a granite mountain east of Salt Lake City. The Temple Mormons goal is to have all of the previous generations who have died baptized by proxy into the Mormon Church. Imagine someone, maybe a loved one, who was not a Mormon here on earth, will become a Mormon by someone's Mormon temple ceremony whether they like it or not! So those in other religions can become Mormon's without permission. Christians who are now in heaven can become a Mormon without knowing it.
The Bible soundly condemns the practice of genealogy for religious purposes (1 Timothy 1:4 and Titus 3:9). The only genealogy that was traced were of the priests and of Christ. The Bible clearly teaches that there are no opportunities for salvation after death. Any doctrine that teaches otherwise is false and dangerous. As Hebrews 9:27 proclaims: “...it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”
Can one wait thousands of years later in the Spirit world for them to be baptized by proxy for redemption. Can the dead recipient respond to the baptism of his vicarious benefactor when they so choose? How does one know the act of by proxy baptism on his part is effectually received and not rendered invalid? Can the one undergoing proxy baptism on earth know the intended recipient, in the spirit world, has believed and repented, though he died without belief and repentance? If he can, how can he know this? If he cannot, what is the status of this proxy act, on earth during the interval between its performance and the proper faith and repentance on the part of the intended recipient?
If any of this vicarious work can be done on earth? Why only baptism? Why not observe the Lord’s Supper, pay tithes, repent and even do good works for the dead recipients. Remember the Gospel of Mormonism is “faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Spirit by the laying on of hands, morality, loyalty, tithing, word of wisdom, duty, celestial marriage (Articles of faith) they are suppose to be in sequence. Why are these Mormon essentials missing and then only a baptism required? It would appear its easier to be saved when one has died than when one is living.
Also Mormonism holds that, “no man who rejects the testimony of Joseph Smith can enter the kingdom.” (Doctrines of Salvation vol.1 p.190) This is why they must have a testimony that Joseph Smith is a true prophet. It is required to enter Mormon heaven. But if they hold his testimony the book of Revelation says they cannot enter the true heaven; for no liars will enter.
This is not much different from the Roman Catholic view of indulgences for the dead to have them be relieved of their suffering. Except this goes further, by actually saying one can be saved by another even if they didn’t want to be here on earth when they were alive. So why do so? One can live an utterly sin oriented life and then repent later, what a deal, who can refuse that! Doesn't this go against all the morals and ethics they are trying to incorporate?
“This doctrine presents in a clear light the wisdom and mercy of God in preparing an ordinance for the salvation of the dead, being baptized by proxy, their names recorded in heaven and they judged according to the deeds done in the body. This doctrine was the burden of the scripture--. Those Saints who neglect it in behalf of their deceased relatives, do it at the peril of their own salvation” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Joseph F. Smith, p. 193)
The true word of God- the Bible does not teach a second chance for anyone after death. The great gulf which could not be crossed between the rich man and Lazarus as taught by Jesus should settle the issue (Lk. 16:26) I'll take the words over Jesus who has the keys of death and hell over any new prophet that might come along that speaks contrary to Him. Scripture teaches that we will be judged according to deeds done in the body while we were alive (2 Cor. 5:10).
Joseph Smith quoted 1 Cor.15:29 and interpreted it as “If there is one word of the Lord that supports the doctrine of baptism for the dead, it is enough to establish it as true doctrine” (History of the Church vol.4 p.569 1978)
The “proxy baptism,” by “vicarious savior's “ of L.D.S., in order to uphold itself, must show that the whole concept of proxy baptism is taught in the Bible as a consistent teaching not just twisting and lifting an obscure passage to prove that their vicarious baptism interpretation is the true interpretation of 1 Cor.15:29.
Mormons practice baptism for the dead using 1Cor 15:29 as their biblical justification: “Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead. If the dead rise not, why then are they baptized for the dead?”
Paul uses several arguments to prove that there is a resurrection and there must be life after the grave: the fact that Christ rose from the dead why do some of you say there is no resurrection (vs. 12-16); as he previously wrote of 500 witnesses (vs.6). That if Christ is still dead there is no forgiveness of sin no salvation (vs.17-18); if there is no life beyond the grave then Christianity is the most miserable religion because we are called to deny ourselves in this life in exchange for the life to come. And we have become false witnesses and have no message (2 Cor. 4:8-18) in 15:29 his argument is that even the pagans believe in a life beyond the grave, as evidenced by the fact that they baptize for the dead. Some of the Corinthians were believing likewise.
There are about as many views on this subject as their are opinions on Eschatology. One view that comes with substantial validity is the fact that the Corinthians were bringing in the way pagans practiced tongues as a free for all in service and Paul rebukes them explaining that God has order and the purpose and use for the tongue. In like manner it has been suggested that they took the concept of the pagans of baptizing for the dead. One thing is certain-- it was about pagans. If the Corinthians were doing the same they were practicing a false doctrine.
But how do we know he's referring to pagans? Earlier in Chapter 15 (vs. 12,14, 1 5, 17, etc.) Paul uses the pronouns we, you, our, your, and ye, referring to himself, the apostles and the Christians in Corinth who he was writing this letter to. In verse 29 the pronoun changes to they; then at verse 30 it reverts to we. Who are “they”? Clearly those referred to as they in verse 29 are not the Christians he refers to as you and we, but the pagans that lived among them. The latter practiced baptism for the dead, but there is no hint that Christians did or should do so, because that is contrary to the gospel. Heb.9:29 says “it is appointed for man to die once and then the judgment.” The bible speaks directly against the Mormon teaching of a postponed judgment and even salvation offered after one dies.
G. R. Beasley-Murray, regards the verse as an ad hominem argument against an importation from possibly mystery religions or other Hellenistic religions. The Corinthians were following this practice of Greek non-Christian religion and Paul refers to it to show the inconsistency of their practicing such by denying the resurrection. He thus demonstrated their inconsistency without arguing with their practice. This is the majority consensus of the biblical scholars.
Biblically all who are buried with Christ in Baptism declare by that act that they believe that he was buried and rose again: and in believing that he rose, we at the same time believe and by our action declare our faith in a resurrection of all the dead.
It is declared by immersion what we believe in the death of Christ, but we are not left under the water but brought back up showing the resurrection of all the dead. Christ first and through him all others, those to eternal life and those to eternal punishment just as the Scripture state. If Christ did not rise from the dead, burial in baptism would be meaningless; and if He rose not, then no others will rise, and the faith we have is a false. This is what Paul meant to persuade upon them that their baptism is meaningless if there be no resurrection of the dead.
Also the word dead is a plural number in the Greek, so if we change it into the singular we would change its meaning. Which is exactly what Mormons do by taking the position that one is baptized for another. The word dead refers to the dead in general as well as Christ; not only that He rose, but that all will rise in the same way.
The apostle Paul was arguing on the resurrection, the whole chapter is about this subject. If we are to come to the same conclusion as Mormons do, that Paul is teaching that living persons may be baptized for dead ones, then we must believe that he has introduced a whole new subject in that one sentence which has no connection with the subject he was writing on. Again it is about the resurrection not baptism. It is a subject that is not found anywhere else in all the Bible. The Bible actually tells there is nothing that can be done for the dead. This is a clear influence of Joseph Smith's involvement with the occult as he tells us that many dead saints appeared to him and gave him the priesthood.
Since no one today can believe, repent, or confess faith in Christ for another by “proxy,” We must conclude that no one can today receive baptism for another because it was always a believers baptism. Additionally the scripture says Once someone dies an unbeliever there is no chance to be baptized or anything else connected to Christian activity.
One second century sect, the Cataphrygians (Montanists), seem to have developed the practice of baptizing actual corpses based on a misunderstanding of this verse just as the Mormons misunderstand it today. (Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, p.119)
They are in bad company in this practice!
The Bible does not teach the LDS doctrine of baptism for the dead.