PUBLIC OUTRAGE OVER ALLEGED MORMON PROXY-BAPTISM OF ANNE FRANK: MY VIEW ON BAPTISM FOR THE DEAD
Yahoo has a story about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and how Holocaust victim Anne Frank was recently proxy-baptised by Mormons. Of course there are nasty, ignorant comments like you wouldn't believe on the accompanying message board for that story. As a Mormon, I just wrote something up off the top of my head and posted it there (which got thumbs down, figures). Anyway, here it is for anyone who is interested:
I'm a convert to the Mormon church and I know there is alot of stuff out there about Mormons that are taken out of context, etc. I read all this over 30 years ago when I was first investigating the church. All I could find back then were anti-Mormon books (in Christian book stores of all places!). But I took the time to learn the truth. I admit I was surprised when I first learned of baptism for the dead. I grew up Episcopalian and we sure never talked about that. But I was even more surprised when I learned that this is mentioned in the BIBLE! (look at 1 Cor. 15:29 .... "Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?") It truly is scriptural, but mainstream churches just overlook it or don't understand it. In any case, the LDS church is the restored church on earth, we have the fulness of the gospel with the Priesthood and additional scripture and latter-day revelation that helps shed light on the more difficult to understand passages in the Bible. We do practice baptism for the dead, as a means to help those who have died without knowledge of the gospel to accept or reject it in the afterlife. That is the key: they are free to accept or reject this. It is just an ordinance we perform for them here. But we are not FORCING anyone to become a "Mormon". How could we?? That would be just crazy, of course. It's not like we have any "magical powers" to turn spirits into "Mormons." Also, I don't know why people get so upset over this; if they really think that Mormons are crazy and that we aren't even Christians and our church is a sham, they wouldn't even care! But alot of them DO care, because they know there just might some truth to our church. Anyway, I just wanted to make it clear that in the spirit world they are free to accept or reject this, and that is an ordinance performed here on Earth for anyone who hasn't heard the gospel. People really shouldn't get so uptight about this.