Alleged Mormon ‘Proxy Baptism’ of Holocaust Victim Causes Backlash

English: Drawing of a Mormon baptism ceremony,...

An artist's depiction of a Mormon baptism, circa the 1850s. ... Image via Wikipedia

A former Mormon has alleged that the Mormon church utilized the controversial practice of “proxy baptism” to baptize well-known Holocaust victim Anne Frank into the Mormon faith.

“Proxy baptism” is the practice of posthumously baptizing Christians, Jews, and Muslims into the Mormon church, though I’m not sure it’s limited to people of those three faiths: in case you ever wondered why Mormons are often noted for their genealogical expertise, it’s because they want to find out who their ancestors were so the Mormon church can baptize those dead ancestors into the Mormon church.

Sounds utterly ridiculous to me. Regardless of your religious beliefs, they are your beliefs; no one can force anyone to believe anything, and it’s completely preposterous and morally unacceptable to think it’s okay to associate deceased individuals with a faith they never embraced.

This practice is based entirely on one Bible verse: 1 Corinthians 15:29, which Mormons have greatly misunderstood. Here’s the verse in question (New King James Version):

Otherwise, what will they do who are baptized for the dead, if the dead do not rise at all? Why then are they baptized for the dead?

This article does a good job of explaining the true meaning of that verse in its proper context, but I’ll summarize here: There were some false teachers in Corinth, and one of their false teachings was that there was no resurrection of the dead … yet they practiced baptism for the dead. Paul was pointing out the inconsistent logic of the situation: If these people don’t believe in the resurrection of the dead, then why do they conduct baptisms for the dead? Paul never gave his approval to this practice, plus he makes it clear throughout his writings (as do the other New Testament books) that personal salvation is just that: something only you can decide for yourself. No one else can make that decision for you, whether you’re alive or dead (in fact, you make this decision before you die, after which point there’s no going back).

All in all, this points out just another absurd belief of a particularly weird cult. Perhaps I’ll go into more of those beliefs later, since Mormons love to say they’re Christians when they’re not, but I’ll leave it at that for now.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Chris Goulet (@ItsChrisGoulet)
    Feb 24, 2012 @ 18:00:36

    Wow I had no idea about that! Does that really mean that Mormons literally baptize dead bodies?

    Reply

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