Mormons believe in doing baptisms for the dead for a number of reasons. Primary to these is the belief that people must be baptized in order to be saved. According to Mormonism, baptism was not an option to many of history’s populations; they were utterly unable to fulfill this requirement. In life they did not have the true church authorized to give true baptism.
Mormons recognize that dead people can do nothing for their salvation, not even a simple baptism. No matter what that dead person does in spirit prison, they cannot meet the requirement of their own baptism. They need someone who is alive to accomplish the work for them. Then, that deceased person, upon hearing the LDS gospel in spirit prison, can accept the gospel and accept the work of their proxy in the living world.
Therein, perhaps, lies a way to communicate, and have a Mormon actually relate to, the biblical Gospel. Whether we attempt to help them realize that they are “dead in their sins” or we confront them with their church’s impossible requirements of sinlessness, righteousness, and perfection, or if we simply let the Holy Spirit convict them of their personal failures, perhaps they can more easily comprehend and finally see their need for Christ’s true Grace by hearing of it in terms of proxy work.
- Jesus is my proxy justice, taking upon Himself the punishment I deserved.
- Jesus is my proxy righteousness, living the life Himself that I can’t.
- Jesus is my proxy perfection, being Himself that which I never can become.
Jesus is my Proxy.