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[personal profile] firebyrd

I'm hoping I can get some insight from my friends of different beliefs. For some background, in my faith, we believe that everyone needs to be baptized in order to reach the highest levels of heaven. But there's a little problem-most people in the history of the world haven't had a chance to be baptized. Rather than automatically excluding them, we believe that they can learn of our beliefs after they die and choose to accept them at that point. However, they still need to be baptized, and that's something that needs to happen with a physical body. So we do proxy baptisms using names of dead people so that they're covered if they do choose to accept our beliefs, since we have no way of knowing who has and hasn't chosen to accept our beliefs. This does nothing under our beliefs unless they do make that choice. They don't become Mormon. They don't get put on our list of members. They just get put in a database saying it's been done so people don't do it over and over for the same people. And if we really are the nutjobs people think we are and everything we believe is wrong, obviously it does nothing in that case either.

Some people are apparently very, very offended by this. I've always had a very hard time understanding why. Obviously, if they're offended, they don't think our beliefs are correct, so why would they think it does anything? Some people have even recently made a website listing names of dead church leaders and declaring that they are now gay, apparently to try to make us see how offensive we are. I still don't get it. I'm not offended by that website, because I don't believe the people maintaining it have the power to make Joseph Smith and Brigham Young gay. So do these people really think we have the power to make dead people, who might not even exist anymore in any form, Mormon? If not, what's there to be offended about?

I'm genuinely trying to understand the problem here, because every time this becomes a controversy, I'm very confused. Now, I absolutely think the Church should follow the agreements it has made (and my understanding is they've revoked the privileges of doing proxy work for the guy responsible for the latest group of Holocaust victims who had work done). I just don't get why anyone cares at all. It seems to me if we're right, it means people have a chance to progress farther in the next life, and if we're wrong, then we've wasted our time with a meaningless prayer. What am I missing here?
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