Mormons encouraged to baptize their dead ancestors.

Last Saturday, during a Mormon conference held in Salt Lake City, Utah, the First Counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Henry Eyring spoke about the importance of baptizing their dead ancestors who never received baptism when they were alive, via a ceremonial baptism. He said that it is the will of God that all His children come home. Mormons believe only those who have received a valid baptism can enter the kingdom of God. He encouraged those present at the venue and the thousands of the Mormons listening/viewing the broadcast all over the world to trace their roots with the help of the LDS Church's genealogical database, and bring to the Mormon Temple the names of those ancestors who never received baptism while they were alive, so that they could be baptized by proxy, which is authorized by the Lord, and thus make it possible for them to enter God's kingdom.

According to Elder Mark E. Petersen, the dead can be baptized only in a Mormon temple. The baptismal font in the temple is for this purpose. He also said the scriptures make it clear that those who were never taught the gospel while they were alive could be saved, they could be taught the gospel. However, accepting or rejecting the gospel is entirely up to them. Apostle Peter teaches us that Jesus went to the realm of the dead after his death for 3 days, and preached to the spirits there who once lived on earth.

Baptizing the dead, however, is not a concept accepted by other religions. Take the case of Jews, they reject it outright. In fact, several years ago, they discovered the Mormons were secretly baptizing those Jews who had died during the Holocaust. The Mormons even baptized Anne Frank, the famous Jewish teenager who was killed in one of the concentration camps. This triggered outrage among the Jews, and after much negotiations, the Mormons agreed to put a stop to the baptism of Holocaust victims.

The Mormon leaders, during the conference, asked the 15.8 million members worldwide to avoid the many temptations all around them and remain faithful. They also asked them to be compassionate, and treat everyone, those inside and outside the Church, with respect and tolerance.

The conference also saw the LDS Church softening its stance on gays and lesbians. The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles member Jeffrey Holland said in a speech that there is room for homosexual people in the Church as long as they are willing to honor the commandments of God. The Church considers homosexuality as a sin; the words of Holland, however, shows the Church is aiming for the inclusivity of homosexuals.

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