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salvation of the dead

In family history on September 10, 2002

i really must sort out comments for when i ask questions round here!

thanks to john robinson of a site for sore eyes
and to kirsty neill for sending me details of why the mormons are so big on
family history. apparently the mormon religion allows for the baptism of
dead ancestors, something which makes me feel a bit icky about using their
resources. i’m of the opinion that religion is a personal thing and something
you decide on for yourself. baptising people posthumously doesn’t seem on
to me, though from my own point of view i don’t really think it does any harm either. john sent me a link to an old wired article that explains:

The obsession with genealogy really took off in 1836. That
year, when Joseph Smith’s controversial teachings were already arousing the
hatred that would eventually get him killed by an Illinois mob, Smith announced
that the Hebrew prophet Elijah had appeared to him, granting the Mormon priesthood
the ability to “seal” families together for eternity, a power that eventually
carried over to dead ancestors and then to the mass of expired humanity.
Mormons began to anticipate a heavenly reward that would fill many modern
Americans with terror: an endless family reunion. Central to this process
is the Mormon religious practice known as the salvation of the dead.

Nothing
ghoulish is required. The Mormons baptize and seal the dead by proxy. Inside
the temple, a living member of the church gets dunked in a baptismal font
and listens to a recitation of Mormonism’s teachings on behalf of the deceased,
whose spirit thus gets a chance for salvation.

thanks for the information!

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