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tana

Baptism for the dead.

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In the thread "Weak Spots in Mormon Theology" I posted:

"I've always thought baptism for the dead was an odd thing. It feels more like the attempts of a well intentioned believer trying to reconcile the problem of the countless souls left out of heaven because of the baptism ritual mandate".

Deborah responded with:

"Or a just and loving God wanting all his children of every generation to not be left out of heaven because they couldn't personally participate in a rite that was necessary".

My thinking is, The baptism ritual is either a symbolic ritual a persons submits to in order to show submission and contrition, or it is a mechanical, physical, cause and effect type production that the physical body must go through to physically, mechanically enter heaven.

If it is physical, mechanical, then how could baptizing another in proxy effect a change in the physical body or spirit body of another?

If it is a symbolic ritual, then what's the point in having another submit in proxy, why not just ask the soul in person to say yea or nay?

Curt

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tana39:

When we are baptized we symbolically die and are raised from the dead. When we are baptized for our dead we are symbolically doing for them what they can not do for themselves.

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I don't understand why anyone would have an issue with "proxy" baptism or anything else.

Didn't Jesus suffer, by "proxy" for the sins of the world? Was the suffering "physical" or was it "symbolic". Or was it, in some ways, both?

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If it is physical, mechanical, then how could baptizing another in proxy effect a change in the physical body or spirit body of another?

Why would Peter tell us that the gospel is preached to the dead? It would seem obvious then that changes can be affected in the Spirit World such as spiritual conversion.

If it is a symbolic ritual, then what's the point in having another submit in proxy, why not just ask the soul in person to say yea or nay?

This is essentially what happens at the very least. There is a Jewish concept of "correspondence and the simultaneity of the earthly and heavenly ritual" which would imply that the ordinance is performed for the spirit as it is being performed in proxy in mortality. Not a doctrinal concept in the LDS Church but certainly not in conflict with existing doctrine. The question would be of course, how can you get a spirit wet?

The doctrine of salvation for the dead is not unique to the modern Church. In fact, if the LDS Church is true, one might expect to find similar doctrine in early Christianity as it fell into uiniversal apostasy. And indeed this is the case here. For example, regarding the righteous dead:

"They were obliged," he answered, "to ascend through water in order that they might be made alive; for, unless they laid aside the deadness of their life, they could not in any other way enter into the kingdom of God. Accordingly, those also who fell asleep received the seal of the Son of God. For," he continued, "before a man bears the name of the Son of God he is dead; but when he receives the seal he lays aside his deadness, and obtains life. The seal, then, is the water: they descend into the water dead, and they arise alive.

The Pastor of Hermas, Sim. 9:16, in ANF 2:49.

The preaching of the gospel to the dead is also discussed by the early Christians:

It was for this reason, too, that the Lord descended into the regions beneath the earth, preaching His advent there also, and [declaring] the remission of sins received by those who believe in Him. Now all those believed in Him who had hope towards Him, that is, those who proclaimed His advent, and submitted to His dispensations, the righteous men, the prophets, and the patriarchs, to whom He remitted sins in the same way as He did to us, which sins we should not lay to their charge, if we would not despise the grace of God. For as these men did not impute unto us (the Gentiles) our transgressions, which we wrought before Christ was manifested among us, so also it is not right that we should lay blame upon those who sinned before Christ's coming.

Irenaeus, Against Heresies 4:27:2, in ANF 1:499

These Apostles and teachers who preached the name of the Son of God, after falling asleep in the power and faith of the Son of God, preached it not only to those who were asleep, but themselves also gave them the seal of the preaching. Accordingly they descended with them into the water, and again ascended.

The Pastor of Hermas, Sim. 9:16, in ANF 2:49.

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I don't understand why anyone would have an issue with "proxy" baptism or anything else.

Didn't Jesus suffer, by "proxy" for the sins of the world? Was the suffering "physical" or was it "symbolic". Or was it, in some ways, both?

Can you see any reason (other than we can't know gods mind) why Jesus' baptism wouldn't serve the same purpose?

Apply Occam's razor and it seems much simpler to have one atonement for all....One baptism for all to accept or decline.

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tana39:

That argument could be used for the living as well as the dead. Plus it flies in the face that ALL must be baptized.

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tana39:

That argument could be used for the living as well as the dead. Plus it flies in the face that ALL must be baptized.

Good point.

I have to fall back then on my original post. Either god did not create this mechanical eternal law of baptism, and a physical body must go through a metamorphosis to mechanically enter heaven. This change occurs when a body is immersed completely in water. Which begs the question, how does the immersion in water of another cause the mechanical transformation of the subject.

OR; It is a submission ritual. Which it seems would be at the will or whim of god to enforce or ignore.

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Why would Peter tell us that the gospel is preached to the dead? It would seem obvious then that changes can be affected in the Spirit World such as spiritual conversion.

The question would be of course, how can you get a spirit wet?

I'm curious as to what you and the LDS community have in mind as to the post mortal spirit world? Is it a realm of substance and *things*?

As per previous threads on the subject of awareness and spirit, My reasoning puts an entity/awareness inside a spirit body. In a virtual reality. From the entities point of view I would think that it thinks it's environment is made up of substance. Without getting into what this society would look like exactly, I would think that there must be some substance that would suffice for immersion in to represent the act of baptism.

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Good point.

I have to fall back then on my original post. Either god did not create this mechanical eternal law of baptism, and a physical body must go through a metamorphosis to mechanically enter heaven. This change occurs when a body is immersed completely in water. Which begs the question, how does the immersion in water of another cause the mechanical transformation of the subject.

OR; It is a submission ritual. Which it seems would be at the will or whim of god to enforce or ignore.

Except that a perfectly righteous God is not a creature of whim. Rather, He works by laws, and is at all times true to His word.

  1. Jesus taught that we cannot be saved in the Kingdom of God without baptism.
  2. The overwhelming majority of God's children have lived and died on the earth without ever having an opportunity to either hear the gospel or accept baptism.

These two things appear to be at odds. Is there a way to reconcile them? Why yes; and it has two parts. The gospel is preached to the departed spirits in Sheol, and proxy baptisms are performed here on earth.

Thus, the law is fulfilled; mercy has been extended without robbing justice, and our little vicarious acts become a meaningful emulation of the example set by Christ, who did for us what we could not do for ourselves.

Indeed, without the vicarious work for the dead, we would have no opportunity at all to imitate the most important act of our great exemplar.

Regards,

Pahoran

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tana39:

As we don't physically die when we are baptized I believe it is symbolic, and no different in category than Christs' vicarious work in the Atonement. Whether living or dead we still must accept baptism, along with the Atonement of Jesus the Christ.

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When Oisin Mac Fionn Mac Cumhail returned to Eire after three hundred years in the Otherworld with his Daoine Sidhe bride, he found that the Fianna, all his friends and loved ones, were gone. St. Padraic was there, preaching fidelity to the Church of Rome. Having turned instantly into an old man when he touched the soil of the mortal realm, Oisin met Padraic and debated the relative merits of Roman Catholic theology and the Old Ways of the Gael.. Padraic told Oisin that all he loved were damned for eternity because they died before the coming of Christianity and didn't have a chance to be baptized. Oisin replied that he couldn't follow a God who wouldn't save such a good and generous people as the Fianna just because of a technicality. How different it would have turned out if Padraic had known of baptism for the dead.

59That by reason of transgression cometh the fall, which fall bringeth death, and inasmuch as ye were born into the world by water, and blood, and the spirit, which I have made, and so became of dust a living soul, even so ye must be born again into the kingdom of heaven, of water, and of the Spirit, and be cleansed by blood, even the blood of mine Only Begotten; that ye might be sanctified from all sin, and enjoy the words of eternal life in this world, and eternal life in the world to come, even immortal glory;

60For by the water ye keep the commandment; by the Spirit ye are justified, and by the blood ye are sanctified;

Yours under the bardic oaks,

Nathair /|\

Looking at nifty pictures is not a valid path to mastering the ancient grimoires. Please read thoroughly and carefully from beginning to end so that your madness and gibberings will at least make some sense.

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When Oisin Mac Fionn Mac Cumhail returned to Eire after three hundred years in the Otherworld with his Daoine Sidhe bride, he found that the Fianna, all his friends and loved ones, were gone. St. Padraic was there, preaching fidelity to the Church of Rome. Having turned instantly into an old man when he touched the soil of the mortal realm, Oisin met Padraic and debated the relative merits of Roman Catholic theology and the Old Ways of the Gael.. Padraic told Oisin that all he loved were damned for eternity because they died before the coming of Christianity and didn't have a chance to be baptized. Oisin replied that he couldn't follow a God who wouldn't save such a good and generous people as the Fianna just because of a technicality. How different it would have turned out if Padraic had known of baptism for the dead.

I've always felt that "Baptism for the Dead" was a strong point in the doctrine. For the exact reasons that our Druidic Brother has illustrated here.

Matthew 7

14Because astrait is the bgate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto clife, and few there be that find it.

The Lord knew from the beginning that there would be droves of people who would not have the chance to hear his word. He provided them a way to accomplish his commandments.

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This change occurs when a body is immersed completely in water.

I carry in some aspect and fashion a copy Adam's genetic material, which any person for whom I am baptized by proxy also carried. In some aspect, his is mine and mine is his (but on a less invasive par than a transfusion or a transplant). These genetic materials can be interchanged without changing the identity of either of us. If such a fundamental but identical living copy of some genetic aspect of the dead man is being baptized in the mortal sphere while his spirit is in agreement, it doesn't matter where his spirit is; it is as good as if he is also being baptized. Nothing more than a genetic-level temporary loan or donation for the purpose of baptism. If one wishes to look at it that way.

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I carry in some aspect and fashion a copy Adam's genetic material, which any person for whom I am baptized by proxy also carried. In some aspect, his is mine and mine is his (but on a less invasive par than a transfusion or a transplant). These genetic materials can be interchanged without changing the identity of either of us. If such a fundamental but identical living copy of some genetic aspect of the dead man is being baptized in the mortal sphere while his spirit is in agreement, it doesn't matter where his spirit is; it is as good as if he is also being baptized. Nothing more than a genetic-level temporary loan or donation for the purpose of baptism. If one wishes to look at it that way.

Good answer!

I concede....

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I've always felt that "Baptism for the Dead" was a strong point in the doctrine. For the exact reasons that our Druidic Brother has illustrated here.

The Lord knew from the beginning that there would be droves of people who would not have the chance to hear his word. He provided them a way to accomplish his commandments.

I agree... and it was settled for me when I started reading the Church fathers.

Heres one example at the beginning of the fifth century Epiphanius reports:

From Asia and Gaul has reached us the account [tradition] of a certain practice, namely that when any die without baptism among them, they baptize others in their place and in their name, so that, rising in the resurrection, they will not have to pay the penalty of having failed to receive baptism, but rather will become subject to the authority of the Creator of the World. For this reason this tradition which has reached us is said to be the very thing to which the Apostle himself refers when he says, "If the dead rise not at all, what shall they do who are baptized for the dead?"

However there are many others that are earlier. Nibley does a good job cataloging them here:

Baptism for the Dead in Ancient Times

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Can you see any reason (other than we can't know gods mind) why Jesus' baptism wouldn't serve the same purpose?

It seems reasonable but the Bible still teaches that indiviudal baptism is necessary for salvation.

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I carry in some aspect and fashion a copy Adam's genetic material, which any person for whom I am baptized by proxy also carried. In some aspect, his is mine and mine is his (but on a less invasive par than a transfusion or a transplant). These genetic materials can be interchanged without changing the identity of either of us. If such a fundamental but identical living copy of some genetic aspect of the dead man is being baptized in the mortal sphere while his spirit is in agreement, it doesn't matter where his spirit is; it is as good as if he is also being baptized. Nothing more than a genetic-level temporary loan or donation for the purpose of baptism. If one wishes to look at it that way.

An excellent explanation and it also gives light to this scripture as well:
(2 Nephi 9:21) "And he cometh into the world that he may save all men if they will hearken unto his voice; for behold, he suffereth the pains of all men, yea, the pains of every living creature, both men, women, and children, who belong to the family of Adam."

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An excellent explanation and it also gives light to this scripture as well:

These as well...

Acts 17

24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;

25 Neither is worshipped with men

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I'm curious as to what you and the LDS community have in mind as to the post mortal spirit world? Is it a realm of substance and *things*?

The doctrine is that spirit is matter (D&C 131:7) and at least relative to those times when the doctrine was given(1843), it cannot be perceived except with "purer" eyes.

As per previous threads on the subject of awareness and spirit, My reasoning puts an entity/awareness inside a spirit body. In a virtual reality. From the entities point of view I would think that it thinks it's environment is made up of substance. Without getting into what this society would look like exactly, I would think that there must be some substance that would suffice for immersion in to represent the act of baptism.

I think Jesus' atonement was the best example based on what we know. What has been revealed to us isn't much, but it is quite a bit more than found in the rest of Christianity.

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The doctrine is that spirit is matter (D&C 131:7) and at least relative to those times when the doctrine was given(1843), it cannot be perceived except with "purer" eyes.

John says... "God is light." (1 John 1:5)

Even light is finer/purer matter... (ie the building blocks of atoms... protons neutrons electrons)

In physics and chemistry, plasma is a state of matter similar to gas in which a certain portion of the particles are ionized. The basic premise is that heating a gas dissociates its molecular bonds, rendering it into its constituent atoms. Further heating leads to ionization (a loss of electrons), turning it into a plasma: containing charged particles, positive ions and negative electrons.[1]

http://en.wikipedia....Plasma_(physics)

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Sure, but if God moves in the infrared or ultraviolet spectrums, we can still see/detect Him.

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Sure, but if God moves in the infrared or ultraviolet spectrums, we can still see/detect Him.

I'd assume he moves in a band width WAY outside that. Since he's reportedly so huge... filling the whole universe... Id say his band width is way below the audible frequencies of even elephants whos ulta-low growls are heard for miles.

And since Gods day takes 1000 of our years... he does move pretty slow comparable to us.

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I'd assume he moves in a band width WAY outside that. Since he's reportedly so huge... filling the whole universe... Id say his band width is way below the audible frequencies of even elephants whos ulta-low growls are heard for miles.

And since Gods day takes 1000 of our years... he does move pretty slow comparable to us.

Actually, time slows as speed increases, so if God is travelling at near light speed, he could make a day trip out to Sirius and back and find a thousand years have passed on earth since he left.

Yours under the Relativistic oaks,

Nathair |\

If asked to sign a contract or pact and you are experiencing doubts or reservations, sign your neighbor's name. Malevolent entities rarely ask for photo ID.

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An excellent explanation and it also gives light to this scripture as well:(2 Nephi 9:21) "And he cometh into the world that he may save all men if they will hearken unto his voice; for behold, he suffereth the pains of all men, yea, the pains of every living creature, both men, women, and children, who belong to the family of Adam."

...which explains why this does not pertain to animals, who share much of the same genetic material as well.

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