Baptism for the Dead and being Born Again
I often wonder what Mormons think of the passage of scripture in John when Nicodemus asked Jesus what he must do to be born again. While we’ve explored this issue in our Mormon Dilemmas section before, today I began wondering about another angle to this scenario.
If Jesus told Nicodemus he had to be born again then how are dead people born again?
John 3:3; “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
The Mormon Church teaches that they can’t be saved without their dead and the dead can’t be saved without members doing works for them in the temple.
D&C 128:18; “…baptism for the dead. For we without them cannot be made perfect; neither can they without us be made perfect.”
So how can a dead person be born again? Remember, we’re not talking about being spiritually dead, but a literal dead person.
The Mormons I’ve spoken with have told me the person who is dead has the choice of accepting or rejecting that which was done for them in the temple. But this doesn’t answer the question so it’s something I’d keep asking them about.
I also wonder how they feel about Moroni 10:26 and 2 Nephi 9:38 in light of the Doctrine and Covenants passage listed above.
Moroni 10:26; “And wo unto them who shall do these things away and die, for they die in their sins, and they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God; and I speak it according to the words of Christ; and I lie not.”
2 Nephi 9:38; “And, in fine, wo unto all those who die in their sins; for they shall return to God, and behold his face, and remain in their sins.”