Mormon Dilemma 200
Baptisms for the Dead not Necessary
Alma 34:32-35; “…that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world… ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his,… and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked.” (See also 2 Ne 9:38 and Mosiah 2:36-39)
Mormon Doctrine, pg 72; “Based on the eternal principle of vicarious service, 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. 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 legal administrators are not found, hosts of people live and die without ever entering in at the gate of baptism…”
Isaiah 38:18; “For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.”
Well here we are again looking down the long road of contradictions in Mormon teachings. Sadly their work in those temples is all for naught. Isaiah gave us a good indication of what the dead thinks of the Mormon works inside those grandiose buildings. Pray God would open the eyes of those who do this work day in and year out.
One must first note that the context of Alma 34 is those who already no the truth. One cannot knowingly live in sin and hope to repent on his death bed, or after he dies.
The same spirit that possessed a man in live does so in death. So, a truly good person whose spirit would have embraced the gospel in this life given the chance will still do the same after death. However, as they will be spirit they will lack the power to perform the necessary labors, and thus will need to assistance of the living.
In the context of Alma 34 a person who dies having had that opportunity will not have the power to perform the necessary labors or repentence as a spirt, and they will not have the opportunity to have the living do so for them.
No contradiction when you understand things.
As to Isaiah 38: 18, this is Hezekiah saying everything that dying would prevent him from doing. It has no application outside this life, as it is the musings of a man on his death bed concerning that which he longs to do in this life, but would have been prevented from doing if he had died.
At this link you will find a detailed discussion of WHY NOT. There is another link in the article to read further.
Interesting article. I would just make a few comments.
Paul himself, personally, was not sent to baptize. This in no way lessons the need for baptism.
In 1 Corinthians 1 Paul is expressing relief that he did not baptize, as he feared the people would use that as support for their factions (I was baptized by Paul, and all that) and a claim of righteousness.
As to 1 Corintians 15: 29, it is because he uses this as support for the doctrine of the Resurrection that we know he approved of it. You refer this back to verse twelve, but you yourself pointed out the impersonal nature of verse 29, while showing the very personally nature of verse 12. This shows that they are not speaking of the same group.
As to the impersonal nature of the comment, that is understandable when you realize that this ordinance can only be performed in certain places, and so it is likely that in these early days it was done only in Jerusalem. As such, while the doctrine was known and accepted by Paul and the Corinthians, it would not have been directly practiced by them, and thus we get the comment of ‘they’ who perform this work. The following verse uses the we because it returns to a doctrine that does directly apply to the Corinthians.
A last point on this, Paul never once uses false doctrine to teach true doctrine. It is never good to use lies to try and establish truth.
In 1 Corinthians 8 Paul is addressing the practice of literally eating food sacrificed to idols, concluding that for one who knows the difference such doesn’t matter, but that it should be avoided for those who do not have as strong a faith.
In 1 Corinthians 10 Paul is addressing the symbolic nature of the water and bread established by Christ at the last supper. In this context to eat at the table of devils is to take part in pagan believes and practices.
The two chapters have very different contexts.
As to the essential nature of baptism, it was Christ who taught that “He who believes and is baptism shall be saved” and thus established the requirement for baptism (Mark 16: 16). He also taught that accept a man be born of water and of the spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God (John 3: 5).
Paul, in writing to Titus abserved that “according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing (baptism of water) of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost (baptism of spirit) (Titus 3: 5). Clearly he understood the essential nature of baptism to eternal life.
Now, I admit that his focus was more on faith, but just because he focused on faith does not mean that he lessoned the requirement for baptism. I would also point out that faith is more essential, as it is our faith that makes baptism take effect.
The arguments you present are well made, but they are not convincing.