A Question on Posthumous Baptism

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Jason Kuznicki

Jason Kuznicki is a research fellow at the Cato Institute and contributor of Cato Unbound. He's on twitter as JasonKuznicki. His interests include political theory and history.

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51 Responses

  1. Avatar Michael Drew says:

    You mean why don’t they just get together every year and baptize every person who’s been born that year, name unnamed.  Perhaps they believe they have to know and speak the name?Report

    • Avatar Matty in reply to Michael Drew says:

      I think they do believe that or something like it, that’s why the LDS church is involved in genealogy research,Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Matty says:

        The thing is, they could get *a lot* of names and read them off if they just cared about saving as many souls as possible.  The fact that they choose more selectively these high-profile, powerful or socially significant names to me smacks more of marketing or social messaging of some kind rather than earnest soul-saving.Report

      • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to Matty says:

        They know my name.  Why don’t they baptize me by proxy while I’m still living?

        Practicing posthumous baptism without baptizing by proxy everyone who is now alive seems to imply that death is some sort of Great Convincer – when you die, you realize the truth of the One True Religion, which is Mormonism.

        Also — the standard logical critique of posthumous baptism is all wrong.  It’s a false dilemma.

        1. Mormonism could be true, in which case posthumous baptism is welcome.

        2.  Mormonism could be a false, human-invented religion, in which case it’s harmless.

        Those are the two standard options.  But it could also be Satanic, in which case posthumous baptism could be both effective and harmful.

        Not that I’m seriously affirming this possibility, but it’s conceivable that it might form one part of someone else’s constellation of beliefs.Report

        • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Jason Kuznicki says:

          Those are good points.  It does seem a little reckless to convert people against their will.  Who knows what the effect is?  People should choose when the consequences are potentially infinite in magnitude and duration.

          They know your name because… you’re that famous?  You think they care that much about a Cato fellow (no offense!)?  Confused about this. It seems  unlikely to me that they’re currently weighing whether to baptize you in particular as a consequence of your being already on their radar.  Is that obviously a wrong intuition?  There’s a lot of people to get, right? It becomes a question of capacity and therefore of priorities, doesn’t it? Doesn’t it come back to my question of why they’re not more systematic about trying to save as many people as possible if that’s what they’re up to? it seems like if they were actually doing so many as to make it likely that they really have gotten to you, they’d almost certainly have to be doing it in a systematic way that would make it no more likely that they’d gotten to you than anyone else. Unless I’m hugely underestimating your prominence in the world.  Are you saying it’s the same for me?  Or have you been bring yourself to their attention in some other way, perhaps sending multiple letters to SLC saying they’re blaspheming the Holy Name of the One True One, or something? Just confused what makes you so certain? And would you know if they had?Report

          • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Michael Drew says:

            irrespective of their will, I guess is more accurate.Report

          • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to Michael Drew says:

            They know your name because… you’re that famous?

            No.  I wouldn’t call myself famous, anyway.  But I’m in the census, and the property tax records, and voter registration rolls, and lots of other public records too.  Just like almost everyone else.Report

            • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Jason Kuznicki says:

              Ok, gotcha. Just wasn’t sure if you were saying that, or saying you thought you’d have come to their attention by now for some reason.  I think there are so many names available that it’s not right to say they ought to have baptized you be now, even if they were singlemindedly focused on getting to everyone.  There are just too many of us.Report

  2. Avatar Brett says:

    If posthumous baptism is possible, why not posthumous marriage?  I’d like my grandfather to marry Jane Greer or Dorothy Lamour….he would like that.Report

    • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Brett says:

      Brett,

      Yes, they actually do that, too.Report

      • Avatar mark boggs in reply to James Hanley says:

        And I’m noe expert, I just live here, but when you get sealed in the temple for your marriage, you’re sealed for all eternity.  Death, divorce, etc. has no bearing on the marriage in the afterlife.  When you get married (and sealed in the temple) again, this wife goes with you in the celestial kingdom.  However many you marry here and are sealed to, are with you in the afterlife.  This only works for men AFAIK.  Women only get one man.

        Again, I just live here and sometimes the goalposts move.Report

  3. You could extend this reasoning to infant Baptism, since infants don’t really have intentions either. On a related note, I wonder if having intentions is the quintessential element of personhood.Report

    • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Christopher Carr says:

      I’ve seen churches split over the issue of infant baptism on precisely these grounds.Report

        • Some Baptist Churches have huge fights over it. (It was one of the reasons I was given that Presbyterians were outside of God’s Will.)

          I know of a handful of ways that Baptists have resolved this… infant dedication ceremonies for parents who want an infant baptism ceremony, multiple baptisms (get baptised as a baby, get baptised when you reach the age of majority, get baptised before you get married…), that sort of thing.Report

        • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Christopher Carr says:

          As you point out, Christian baptism is considered an act of volition, a symbolic re-enactment of the baptism of Christ at the Jordan.   Infant baptism doesn’t fit this bill of particulars.   It’s a holdover from the seven sacraments of the Catholic church by way of the Anglican rite.

          Within the Baptist tradition, that of my family,  baptism isn’t pushed on anyone.   I had to ask to be baptised.Report

          • Avatar Christopher Carr in reply to BlaiseP says:

            Sorry, I read “these” as “three” for some reason.Report

          • Avatar Matt Huisman in reply to BlaiseP says:

            Circumcision was a sign (symbolic of the dealing with sin through the shedding of blood) and a seal (think signet ring) of God’s covenant with Abraham to bless him and his descendents.  The pro-infant baptism argument is that the blood of the lamb of God fulfills this requirement (I don’t think Baptists require circumcision), and that the sign/seal associated with this same covenant in the New Testament era is now baptism (the washing away of sin).Report

            • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Matt Huisman says:

              Baptism is one of those curious doctrines which can go any number of ways, doctrinally.  Metanoesate kai baptistheto eis aphesin ton hamartion, Acts 2:38, repent and be baptised for the forgiveness of sins.

              The baptism of John the Baptist wasn’t all that different, theologically, from Judaism’s doctrines of the mikveh, practised to this day.    The sofer goes to the mikveh each day in a sort of ritual cleansing from sin.   A proper Jewish tahara ceremony washes the corpse in a mikveh after it has been otherwise cleansed.Report

  4. Avatar Jaybird says:

    I’m pretty much an atheist.

    This whole post-mortem baptismal thing that the Mormons do strikes me as one of those backwards religious things that we learn about from documentaries of recently discovered peoples. “The Haluman religion says that people need to be baptised by proxy after their death. They do a dance around the fire wearing ceremonial headdresses. Now we see them go hunting for rabbits. Once a year, they bake a sweetcake and hide a small doll in it. The person who gets the piece of cake with the small doll is said to have good luck for the next year.”

    Having mormons baptise me, after I die, strikes me as about as offensive as having these “I just made them up” Halumans baptise me, after I die.

    Is it one of those things where the god who has accumulated the most followers by Doomsday is the god that gets to be real and this feels like the Mormons are stuffing the ballot boxes?Report

    • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Jaybird says:

      There’s a squad of Hasidim who are on call in Israel to pick up the human remains after a terrorist bombing.   It’s grim work:  they mop up the blood and pick up every piece of shattered bone and flesh, reverently disposing of the remains.

      Judaism’s rites surrounding the dead are intricate and well-established.  Disturbing a grave site is a serious offense against them.  Though Judaism’s eschatology isn’t very clear, the halakha surrounding kavod hamet is exceedingly clear;  respect for the dead is an absolute and binding responsibility upon the people.   Baptising a dead Jew is as serious an affront as I can imagine, whatever you may think of it.

      Me, I’ve made arrangements for my body to be used for student dissection, with a little codicil and endowment in my will:  my estate will pay for a nice dinner for the students and faculty who dissect my corpse.   All I ask is for my name to be pronounced aloud, saying I was a man of science and hope my body will serve them in their own search for knowledge.    Thereafter, I will be cremated and my ashes put into the headwaters of Pine Creek in Pennsylvania, for there I was happiest, singing Cat Stevens’ Moonshadow in a canoe.

      My dearest friend, my second father in a way, was an atheist.   When he passed away, a most untimely death, his distant relatives asked me (so little did they know of him) what sort of arrangements should be made for him.   I said, “He was an atheist.  He would have wanted a simple funeral, with a donation to be made in his name to the ASPCA, for he was a friend of animals.”   They, ardent Irish Catholics, were flabbergasted.  “But funerals are not for the dead, but for the living.   You may do with his body as you wish.”  I continued.   They insisted on giving him a big expensive Catholic wake and funeral, with a casket so big it wouldn’t fit in the crypt when it came time to bury him.   He would have been amused, his wake and funeral were straight out of a Fellini movie.

      You may not care and I certainly don’t give a damn about reverencing our dead bodies.  Posthumous baptism of the dead offends the living.Report

      • Avatar Christopher Carr in reply to BlaiseP says:

        BP, can we be friends in real life someday?

        One of my fondest memories is listening to Cat Stevens’s Moonshadow whilst cruising Virginia’s Skyline Drive at late afternoon in the first leg of a trip across the great Continental U.S. and Canada. It’s kind of one of those moments that just crystallizes for me. We stopped the car and decided to climb to the top of a small peak promising 360-degree views, got lost, and I wound up clinging to the side of a cliff wearing sandals. Finally we made our way to the top and saw the sun set over the same mysterious West the colonists pondered before America even was a nation.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to BlaiseP says:

        It seems to me that there is a continuum of being offended on a religious level.

        At the one end, we have offended by homosexuality and the like. At the other we can have offended by how bodies are treated after they’re blown up by bombs and whether birth control should be covered by all health insurance policies.

        It sure seems to me that being offended by what people are doing in the privacy of their own basement is a lot closer to the former than the latter.

         Report

        • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Jaybird says:

          Well, sure.  Religions have provided many such Rocks of Offense.    Surely attempting to poach the souls of dead Jews to someone else’s upstart religion is just a bit much, what with their doctrines about hanefesh.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to BlaiseP says:

            If they don’t leave their basements, I don’t see much difference between baptism-by-proxy and a particularly boring game of D&D.Report

            • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Jaybird says:

              Sigh.  Insofar as you’ve conjugated all the verbs in the first person,  there’s no reason to argue with your conclusion.   You might not mind if someone dug up your grandfather’s bones and made a wind chime of his tibias, either, or put his skull on the altar of some goofy sect, for all that.

              The LDS should quit making references to the souls of Jews.   End of story.   It’s offensive to Jews, if not to you.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to BlaiseP says:

                See, by digging up my grandfather’s bones, we have suddenly added a variable or two to the whole dynamic that wasn’t there before. For one thing, we’ve left the basement.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Jaybird says:

                Don’t be obtuse.   Your grandfather is past caring about his tibias or his skull.   Who are you to get upset about it if some ghoulish sect stops by to dig up Grandpa?

                Those creepy LDSers down there in the basement have summoned up the name of some Jew and baptised some wingnut in his name.   What’s the difference?Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to BlaiseP says:

                There’s a Paula Poundstone bit where she sees a sign that says “Don’t Even Think About Trespassing!”  So she thinks about trespassing, in spite.

                Vandalism and the destruction of someone else’s property (which is what grave robbing is) is different than thinking that someone should be in heaven.  Your motive might be the same, but the two acts are very different.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                They are different, by your lights.

                Yet if I made an injurious statement about your ancestor, as an heir or assign to his estate, you would be within your rights to sue me for defamation per se, nu?   I think B’nai Brith would be entitled to bring suit under Utah law, which does have a defamation per se law on the books.   That would put an end to it.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                May I add in passing Utah is the only state which has laws about the defamation of the deceased.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                I believe several other states have defamation of the deceased.   Defamation of the deceased generally only survives if the statement is prejudicial to the living but I’m pretty sure Utah is unique in how it treats this connection.   It’s not a federal crime, that much I do know, First Amendment.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to BlaiseP says:

                For the record: I see a difference between tabletop gaming and larping.Report

              • Avatar Murali in reply to Jaybird says:

                tabletop gaming is what cool geeks do. Larping is for losers. PC only gaming is for Poseurs.Report

              • Avatar Christopher Carr in reply to Jaybird says:

                I’m sorry, but none of those activities are cool. You may enjoy them, but they’re definitely not cool.Report

  5. Why is this answer not trivially obvious?  If you get baptized now you might do something embarrassing to the Church (conversion says, no, I’ll try real real hard to do what you say — but you say you won’t convert).  Once you’re dead, there’s no hazard.  I suppose to be less nasty about it — the Church can argue that once you’re dead they’re measuring up the totality of the accomplishments you made on Earth and judging you fit for baptism based on that.Report

    • Avatar Dan Miller in reply to Kieselguhr Kid says:

      As I understand it, Mormons don’t believe that baptism converts the dead person against their will, merely alerts them as to the option of Mormonism (I definitely read this somewhere but can’t dig up a source).  Maybe they figure the option looks better to dead souls than to unwilling live ones?Report

  6. Avatar J. Todd Ormsbee says:

    I’ve been researching Mormonism for the past 18 months or so in a professional capacity—or rather, I’ve been researching people who leave Mormonism and become atheist, agnostic, or secular. I’m not sure whether your question was serious or snarky, but the answer is significantly more complex than the question implies, at least from the Mormon perspective.

    These are questions of Mormon cosmology and soteriology (theory of salvation). First, in Mormon soteriology, the central belief is that the purpose of life is to become like God. Second, there is a fundamental belief that someone must choose to follow the “Plan of Salvation.” This goes back to the Mormon cosmogeny (creation story) that all humans were with God in pre-existent form and had to choose whether to follow Satan’s or Jehovah’s (Jesus) plan, with Jehovah advocating for agency or choice. Further, Mormons believe in the centrality of embodiedness in the process of becoming like God, and that the rituals you perform in your mortal body connect you to god’s/Jehovah’s plan; so the rituals must be performed in a mortal body. Combine those two ideas together, and you get the belief that as long as someone is alive, they must use their own body to perform the ritual and they must do so of their own free will and choice.

    Now add to that the belief that God is merciful and wants all their children to become like Them, so the notion of vicarious baptism (and all other Mormon rituals, not just baptism) was created to account for people who never had the opportunity to choose, or for people to change their minds. The ritual gets performed by a mortal body ( a Mormon), and the dead spirit retains their freedom to choose whether to accept or reject the ritual performed in their behalf.

    From a believer’s perspective, this all makes perfect sense; and performing the vicarious rituals is an act of love, compassion, and righteousness. But as will all religions, their religious construction of reality often blinds them to the social implications of what they are doing, in this specific case, what it would mean to a Jew whose grandparents were murdered in Auschwitz, to know that the Mormons had had them not only baptized, but washed & annointed, endowed, and married posthumously. The construction of reality is so strong, that many (most?) practicing mormons are actually baffled by people’s objection to their practice of vicarious rituals.Report

    • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to J. Todd Ormsbee says:

      Baffled they might be, but LDSers are blankly, stupidly, wilfully ignorant of how Jews themselves view the soul.Report

      • Avatar J. Todd Ormsbee in reply to BlaiseP says:

        I absolutely agree. My intention was not to defend, merely to explain.

        Sociologically speaking, the inter-communal ignorance you describe is to be expected. And I would dare say that Jews are equally ignorant of the Mormon view of the soul (which is its own thing and not the same as the Christian view). From the Mormon view of the soul, what they are doing is a moral imperative and the Jewish view of the soul is sadly mistaken; from the Jewish view of the soul, what the Mormons are doing is, at best, nonsensical and at worst gravely insulting (but I doubt any Jews would actually believe that the Mormon rituals carried any kind of eternal force).

        So mutual ignorance is to be expected (or at least shouldn’t be surprising); and intercommunal contradictions in views of reality are likewise to be expected.

        The real question (and it is not an easy or an obvious one, in my opinion) are the ethics involved. If we zero down to the Mormon vs. Jewish question, then it’s specifically how do two minority religions (one of them technically an “alternative” religion) live and interact together in ways that are mutually respectful but still maintain their rights to practice their respective religions? The LDS Church itself has officially declared Jews off-limits both for vicarious rituals and for proselytizing, but that hasn’t changed the actual practice of Mormons themselves, at least in isolated instances.

        Then there’s a larger question of multicultural ethics. Mormonism represents (in the U.S. context, at least) an odd mix of a minority ethno-religion (its sociological status is significantly different from a standard christian church), but which is made up of predominantly middle-class white people, so it is simultaneously in a subordinate and dominant position. [Jews in the U.S. also have a contradictory power position, vis-a-vis their race and class vs. their religious status.] So how do you negotiate the complex interplay between:

        1) when and how to evaluate or criticize a religious belief, without infringing on freedom of conscience and religion

        2) how to guarantee an individual’s right to freedom of conscience religion in a pluralistic context

        3) when and how to intervene when a religious practice steps over the line, which then begs the question of what constitutes stepping over the line.

        Posthumous baptism is deeply offensive from the outsider perspective, and from an atheist standpoint, somewhat silly. But what kinds of public discourses do we have about cultural (religious) practices that we find offensive, and when is intervention necessary?

        Ironically, I find this current uproar about posthumous baptisms to be more than a little suspect, as it seems to be swirling around larger kinds of discourses of fear around Mormon political power, which is (and here’s where the irony comes in) eerily reminiscent of the kinds of discourses that have been following Jews around for centuries. The recent salon.com piece about Mitt Romney had just enough facts in it to be publishable, but was padded with so much clutch-your-pearls fear-mongering as to be a joke.

        Here, Tablet Magazine (a Jewish publication) looks at the possible dangers of public discourses surrounding Mormonism right now. http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/91447/protocols-of-the-elders/

        As a side note, as someone who has been sort of steeped in this culture for the past year and a half, the unintended consequence of all this discussion is that it has reinforced Mormons’ identity as a persecuted and oppressed people, which then serves as a crutch to get off the hook for the political shit they do, e.g., their anti-gay politics. So I wish people would be more judicious about bitching about Mormons “weird religious practices” (what religion is not batshit crazy, I ask you?) and instead focus on real harms and/or real political issues involving the church.Report

        • Avatar mark boggs in reply to J. Todd Ormsbee says:

          Bingo.  I have my issues with Utah politics, but for folks who believe in virgin births and burning bushes and men in whales to suddenly go to mockery about special planets and posthumous polygamy and such is truly rich.  I believe neither but find it humorous that one treats their 2000 year old views so self-evidently while mocking the other guy’s newer, but no less unprovable assertions.Report

        • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to J. Todd Ormsbee says:

          The LDS community ought to know more about Judaism, seeing as their own faith arose from it by way of Christianity.   If Judaism is ignorant of LDS, they know enough about the LDS doctrine of the soul to disagree with it.   The whole Ignorance Argument smacks of tu-quoque at best and should be abandoned.Report

          • Avatar J. Todd Ormsbee in reply to BlaiseP says:

            I agree that the “ignorance argument” is a nonstarter. But my reasons may be different from yours. I am not making a facile, school-yard-style “I know you are but what am I” (tu-quoque) argument.

            Rather, I’m saying that if you account for actual human behavior, cognition, and culture, basing your critique of someone else’s culture on what they *should* know is nonsensical, at best. Human culture simply does not work in such a way that it knows its own history. Ever. Anywhere. Even cultures with scholarship built in (e.g., Judaism), the scholarship is constrained by the cultural rules; so there is a stark difference between Hebrew School Jewish history and Jewish history as taught, for example, in the UC Berkeley Jewish Studies program. Nor does culture work in such a way that it is fully aware of the cultural Other, other than the fact that they are outsiders and different. The notion that individuals and groups *should* have cross-cultural fluency is a very recent development flowing from the values of pluralistic liberal democracies, not from the way that cultures actually work.

            Cross-cultural evaluations, then, must be based on something else besides mutual ignorance—which is a statistically normal state of affairs for culture—given both empirical social behavior and cultural formation, and in terms of the multicultural ethics necessary for living in a pluralistic society.

            As I said above, for me, the base values from which we should be having a cross-cultural evaluative discussion are ethical: 1) the rights of individuals and groups to practice their cultures, 2) in balance with the possible harm caused by those practices (both within and without the group). [As a side note, I also think it’s perfectly acceptable to have an argument from empirical, scientific grounds, e.g., souls do not exist in any sort of scientific sense, be they Jewish or Mormon souls. But such arguments about “truth” will, if social science is any indication, have little impact on the cultural practice regardless.]Report

            • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to J. Todd Ormsbee says:

              I dunno, Todd.   Maybe it’s because I’ve had to live in quite a few different cultures and now speak more languages than is strictly good for me.   Nor do I accept the premise wherein Hebrew School Jewish History is somehow different than anyone else’s history.   I do not know what is taught at UC Berkeley’s Jewish Studies program.   There are shuls and there are shuls, they all teach Hebrew but each has its own ethos.

              For some years, I was involved in an interfaith committee as part of a refugee settlement effort.   Each community of faith helped the others come to some understanding of its aspirations and needs:  everyone got along famously and none better than the Muslims and the Jews, who worked to get a halal/kosher butcher into the town.   You can put *should* within asterisks:  I propose *could* with an emphasis on the possible.   LDS scholarship is horrible:  I know a fair number of LDS “archaeologists” in Guatemala, insistent on promulgating their nonsense about the Nephites, pointing to the Temple of the Inscriptions.   It’s all bunk.   Even their own more prudent archaeologists now quietly renounce all this nonsense from Mormon 6.

              History is written by the winners, but the losers write all the songs.  No one account of history is correct:  as with intelligence gathering, the pieces must be assembled and evaluated by neutral parties before any sort of truth can emerge.

              Tell you what’s nonsense, is this idea that we are so imprisoned within our cultural constructs that we can’t know what goes on in other cultures.   Nor is this a modern idea:   it is ancient, time out of mind.   The ancient world was a ferment of cultures.   In those days, gods changed names more often than people changed their underwear.   The little statues of Isis and the infant Horus became the Madonna and Child and the carvers didn’t even have to change the output.

              If one culture is ignorant and rigid while the other learns and adapts, we both know who’s going to win out.   LDS culture has been forced to adapt from the outside.   It hasn’t evolved from within.   There was another such culture, the Ottomans, with whom I am far better acquainted.   The Ottomans had a head-on crash with history and the LDS did, too.   They’re going to have more of them if they don’t wise up.Report

    • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to J. Todd Ormsbee says:

      Thank you for the detailed reply. Some of it I knew, and some of it I didn’t.

      If it’s a choice for the deceased person to accept the baptism or not, then doesn’t that mean that the objection raised above to me taking a baptism while still alive… would also apply to them?  As in, just as I might get baptized and remain my obstinately godless self, might a deceased Jew get baptized, and still not accept the Mormon faith — thus providing a scandal to spirits in the afterlife?  (At a certain point this does get very hypothetical, of course.)Report

      • Avatar J. Todd Ormsbee in reply to Jason Kuznicki says:

        LOL. In the Mormon world view, there are millions of spirits after death, awaiting resurrection, who have rejected their posthumous baptism. The Mormon world view remains in tact, however, because of the belief that ultimately, our state in the afterlife is our own choice and we would only be happy in the place we chose. Mormons don’t really believe in hell, as such; rather, “degrees of glory,” or different kinds of heaven. So if a Jewish spirit rejected their Mormon baptism (it makes me giggle just typing it out), then Mormons believe that’s because they are choosing the kind of after-life they really want. As a side note, Mormons also believe (in a kind of weird pyramid scheme kind of way) that not all Mormons achieve the highest level of glory (heaven) either. “Many are called, but few are chosen” kind of thing.Report

        • Avatar Char in reply to J. Todd Ormsbee says:

          All very interesting, informed, and thoughtful comments.  One edit to your above, J. Todd, Mormons believe in different levels of heaven but they also believe in outer darkness, which is somewhat akin to hell.  It is a holding area for the wicked, including Satan, until the time of resurrection and judgment, at which time they can either be allowed into the Telestial Kingdom or be cast for eternity into outer darkness.

          I typically disavow myself of anything to do with Mormonism, having been raised within the church as the oldest daughter of a Mormon bishop, and having rejected it and removed myself from its rolls 15-20 years past.  With that said, in a forum for intelligent discourse and/or for the interest of a party such as J. Todd, I am happy to share.  There are several of us just from my young women’s group in my former ward (i.e. congregation) who have rejected it and are atheists/agnostics nowadays.  Feel free to comment/ask questions or we can take further discussion offline.Report

  7. No prob here—you can still go to hell if you want to.  And knowing the difference between soteriology and sociology is the American genius, or at least it used to be.  Now, not so much.Report

  8. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    The LDS Church could simply program a computer to generate every possible name and baptize all of them.  Of course, that might have serious consequences.Report

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