Else what shall they do which are baptised for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptised for the dead? 1 Corinthians 15:29.
The Mormon Church teaches the doctrine of baptism for the dead, whereby a living person is baptised in a Mormon Temple on behalf of a dead person. The dead person is then given the opportunity to accept the Mormon Gospel.
When he introduced this heretical doctrine on January 19, 1841 Joseph Smith, founder and first prophet of the Mormon Church, used the above verse from the Bible in support of his new doctrine.
The above verse does not support baptism for the dead. It mearly mentions it.
One only needs to read carefully to notice that Paul refers to those who were involved in this practice as "they" (twice he calls them that) - he excludes himself, and therefore Christianity. Then, in the very next verse Paul says:
There follows seven Biblical reasons why that verse cannot support the doctrine of which it speaks - baptism for the dead.
1. Scripture decrees that every doctrine must be proved by two or more Scriptures (2 Cor. 13:1; Matt. 18:16; Deut. 19:15-19.) The above verse is the only one relating to this subject.
2. The Church at Corinth was a hotbed of error and heresy (1 Cor. 11:19). Baptism for the dead was only one of many false teachings in their Church.
3. Water baptism does not save a living man from sin. When a person accepts Jesus Christ as their Savior, that man, or woman, is a 'New Creation' from that moment on. Water baptism follows later and is actually an act of testimony to the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. The believer is associating himself with what Christ did for him on the cross (Gal. 2:20; Lu. 13:1-5; Rom. 10: 9-10; Eph. 2:8,9 and 1 John 1:9).
4. Salvation is a very personal matter between a man and God, and is no way obtainable by proxy (Matt. 16:16; Lu. 13:1-5; Jn. 3:16-20; Acts 3:19; Rom. 1:16; Rom. 10:9,10; Eph. 2:8,9 and Rev. 22:17.
5. Nowhere does the Bible command baptism for the dead, neither is there any example found.
6. In the verse, 1 Cor. 15:29, Paul is showing to us the total inconsistency of the false teachers in the Church in denying the doctrine of the resurrection, and yet accepting the fallacy of baptism for the dead. No way does he sanction such a doctrine or practice, just because he mentions it in passing, in one isolated verse.
7. One might just as easily believe there is no resurrection of the dead on the basis of false teachers saying so in verse 12 and, on the same basis, believe in baptism for the dead - verse 29.
It is clear the Bible does not support this heretical doctrine, but Mormon leaders today are stuck with the fact that their illustrious 'Prophet' Joseph Smith used this verse to support the doctrine.
One wonders why Joseph Smith used an obscure verse from - as he claimed - a corrupted Bible. The Mormon Scripture, Doctrine and Covenants, Section 128:17. calls the doctrine of baptism for the dead -
Since the Book of Mormon is declared to be -
(Book of Mormon Introduction; Doctrine and Covenants, Sec.20:8, 9; Sec.27:5; Sec. 35:12, 17; Sec.133:36, 57; Sec.135:3.)
Simple! Not only does the Book of Mormon not mention baptism for the dead, it actually condemns the concept of anyone being redeemed following their earthly death (Alma 34:32-35).
Baptism for the Dead is a pagan heresy practised today in pagan temples, it has nothing to do with true Christianity.
Good Tidings Ministry.