FAQ :: What is “baptism for the dead”?

The ceremony for baptizing the dead is a Mormon ritual for saving the souls of the dead. As most people know, many Mormon traditions are fishy, and this one is not an exception. The Mormon belief of the afterlife is that the dead do not really die. Until they are “redeemed” by the living, they are suspended in a “spirit prison.” Mormons believe that these spirits are living in their temples.

The ceremony occurs when a member is approached by a “spirit” asking for his help in getting released from this prison. The spirit almost always claims that it has converted to the faith after death. The spirit proclaims that the Mormon religion is the only true one and then asks that its genealogy be finished and that the (living) person be baptized in its name. This is believed to send the spirit to “Paradise.” These spirits often appear as beings of light.

Everything about this practice should raise an alarm. In the Bible, almost no one comes back to communicate from the dead, with the exception of the prophets Samuel, Elijah, and Moses (1 Sam. 28:7-19, Matt. 17:1-9). The Mormon Church claims it happens all the time. So, who are these spirits? Since Satan is seen often as an “angel of light,” is it not possible for these spirits to be his lackeys? What is more, the Book of Mormon says that once the person is dead, there is no second chance (Alma 34:33-36). The Mormons contradict themselves on this teaching.

The Bible specifically says not to communicate with the dead (Deut. 18:9-12, Lev. 19:31, 20:6). This, too, can be found in the Book of Mormon. Why does the Mormon Church practice this ceremony, even when its own scripture prohibits it?

Source: The God Makers, by Ed Decker and David Hunt.