Saturday, February 25, 2012

Baptism for the dead continues to draw attention

Baptism for the dead continues to draw attention to the LDS temple practice allowing Mormons to be baptized for deceased individuals.

The latest parodies of the issue comes from Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert, who performed a mock posthumous conversion of Mormons to Judaism.

Also, the site All Dead Mormons are Now Gay allow users to "convert" dead Mormons to homosexuality "for eternity," allowing them to experience the "joys of homosexuality."  
Users can select a Mormon to convert, or the site will randomly search the church's genealogical index for a name.

Recent events has brought this issue to the forefront when a Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate protested when his name turned up on a list to be baptized for the dead. After the church issued an apology, news surfaced that Anne Frank had again been baptized for the dead.
In addition to ongoing efforts by Jewish groups to prevent baptisms for holocaust victims, other events have raised concerns.  In 2008, the Vatican has ordered catholic parishes to block the church's Genealogical Society of Utah from their records, expressing "grave reservations" regarding proxy ordinances for the dead that occur in Mormon temples. In 2009, the controversy continued when news that some of President Obama's ancestors (including his mother) had been baptized for the dead.

Of baptism for the dead, the LDS church states:
Jesus Christ taught that baptism is essential to the salvation of all who have lived on earth (see John 3:5). Many people, however, have died without being baptized. Others were baptized without proper authority. Because God is merciful, He has prepared a way for all people to receive the blessings of baptism. By performing proxy baptisms in behalf of those who have died, Church members offer these blessings to deceased ancestors. Individuals can then choose to accept or reject what has been done in their behalf.

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