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Is Baptism for the Dead a form of Necromancy?
by W. John Walsh
Is the practice of baptism for the dead a form of necromancy?
To learn more about the LDS practice of baptism for the dead, please visit our Teachings About Temples home page. (Also see Why do Baptisms for the Dead?)
Is the practice of baptism for the dead a form of necromancy? First, let's define necromancy. The dictionary states:
necromancy, n. conjuration of the spirits of the dead for purposes of magically revealing the future or influencing the course of events (Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition)
This description in no way matches the LDS practice of baptism for the dead. First, Latter-day Saints are encouraged to avoid any form of spiritualism [communication with the dead]. We do not conjure, invoke, or attempt to communicate with the dead in any way, much less ask their assistance in revealing or influencing the future.
Anyone charging Latter-day Saints with necromancy is simply making a blatant misrepresentation. For more information on the LDS condemnation of Spiritualism, please read our article on the subject.
(See Response to Criticism home page; Accusatory Questions home page)
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