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Monday, November 10, 2008

More things that i absolutely can't figure out

Posthumous baptism by proxy allows faithful Mormons to have their ancestors baptized into the 178-year-old church, which they believe reunites families in the afterlife.

Using genealogy records, the church also baptizes people who have died from all over the world and from different religions. Mormons stand in as proxies for the person being baptized and immerse themselves in a baptismal pool.

I mean, really? People really believe this? You can baptize someone who's been dead for centuries and save their soul so they can be reunited with their dead descendants who've they've never met?

What if the person was, you know, really, really bad, and never repented of their sins? Can that person's soul still be saved ex post facto, so to speak? I'm really not snarking here.

Although i'm not a believer myself, i can at least understand the concept of faith to the extent that it enables, or even requires, one to do good works in order to either fulfill the will of God on earth, or to achieve passage to the good part of the afterlife when you die. But am i correctly interpreting this doctrine to mean that i can be a total non-believing fuckup and 100 years down the road, one of my great grandkids could marry into the Mormon faith, and one of their kids can "stand in" for me in a baptism by proxy, and my soul will be saved? Is that what's really going on here? Doesn't that give me a few extra outs in the game?

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7 Comments:

  • And do you then get immediately transported from whatever afterlife you were previously enjoying (reincarnation, normal-christian heaven, hell, etc, etc) to some kind of special Mormon heaven? And do you have to then wear the special underwear? And do they serve beer & coffee (I'm guessing not)?

    By Blogger Ross Grady, at 9:00 PM  

  • My family has some Mormon cousins by marriage. A few of them showed up at my (non-Mormon) grandmother's funeral, asking about getting some genealogical information about our end of the family.

    My dad, being the terribly polite and accommodating person that he is, said he'd try to get back to them on it. When they walked away, I asked my dad if he knew what they were up to...he did. I told him that if I found myself in Mormon heaven one day someone was going to get their ass kicked.

    By Blogger Brian, at 9:26 PM  

  • Partying with The Osmonds in Mormon eternity might be fun? Like that movie, "Goin' Cocoanuts!"

    By Blogger Tony, at 10:04 PM  

  • If the Mormons have a type of excommunication, I wonder if you can be posthumously excommunicated? :)

    On the one hand, I don't believe, but on the other, I do try to respect the beliefs of others. So I kinda don't know what to do: it's as if Marvel and DC disagreed over a superhero's parents. I can't really mediate well between two groups' disagreement over something (religion) that's to me essentially fictitious.

    By Blogger Joseph H., at 9:55 AM  

  • Is that really more outlandish than transubstantiation?

    Most religions require belief in outlandish phenomenon. It is easy to sit outside of any religion and find things to ridicule.

    I find it more productive to concentrate on how the beliefs of a group affect their interaction with society (California's Prop 8?). Why should I really care if Mormons baptize dead people? How does that affect me?

    By Blogger Dwight & Karen, at 10:18 AM  

  • Good for you!

    By Blogger Barry, at 10:46 AM  

  • Doesn't that give me a few extra outs in the game?

    Like you're somehow not going to need them.

    By Blogger NCReader, at 4:57 PM  

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