For my research essay, I will be exploring the practice of posthumous baptism by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as well as the ethical and practical issues therein.  Evidently, it is a common practice for the Mormon Church to baptize people after they day, so that they may be saved and enter the Mormon’s idea of heaven, known as the Celestial Kingdom.  This idea seems unusual, as it may seem odd to believe that someone may be saved after they die.  However, there is a more unusual aspect to this practice that makes the concept of posthumous baptism seem quite normal—apparently, one does not even have to be Mormon in order to be baptized by the Church.

Relatively recently, in the year 2012, none other than Anne Frank was baptized by the Mormon Church.  As anyone with a decent understanding of history knows, Anne Frank was most certainly not Mormon, but rather Jewish.  Furthermore, the Church once baptized Elie Weisel, who is not only not Mormon, but also not dead.  In my essay, I intend to explore the various facets of this unusual practice, as well as the odd lack of prerequisites that a dead person must have in order to be baptized.  As this is not practiced by any other major religion, I plan to understand and analyze why the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints carries out this seemingly preposterous custom.


  1. Why do Mormons perform baptisms for the dead?

Background: This is a Frequently Asked Questions page on, explaining why and how the deceased are baptized by the Church.

How I Intend to Use It: This will allow me to explain and elaborate upon the practice of posthumous baptism.

2. Here Are 10 Famous People Posthumously Baptized By Mormons

Background: This article contains a list of people who were posthumously baptized by the Church, none of whom were Mormon.

How I Intend to Use It: I will use this article to further outline the counterintuition of posthumous baptism by giving further examples of non-Mormons who were baptized by the Church.

3. Jews Take Issue With Posthumous Mormon Baptisms

Background: This article discusses the fact that the Jewish church has taken issue with members of their faith being posthumously baptized.

How I Intend to Use It: I will use this article to explain the various reactions to the posthumous baptism of non-Mormons, and question why the Church continues to baptize members of other churches after their death in spite of requests not to do so.

4. The Time Mormons Baptized Adolf Hitler and Vlad the Impaler

Background: In this article, the practice of posthumous baptism is further explained, as well giving information on certain historical figures who have been baptized after their death.

How I Intend to Use It: This article will allow me to analyze the people who have been baptized after their death, and investigate apparent lack of any qualifications that one must have in order to be baptized by the Mormon Church

5. Why do Mormons baptize people after they’re dead and how do they do it?

Background: This article explains how and why the Church baptizes people after their death, as well as provides information on the Church’s reasoning behind the process.  Additionally, it offers a list of people (not Mormons, mind you) who have been baptized by the Church after their death.

How I Intend to Use It: I will use this article to analyze the practice of posthumous baptism, as well as the rationale behind the practice.  I will also use it to elaborate on the counterintuitive idea that one does not have to be Mormon or dead to be posthumously baptized by the church.

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3 Responses to Proposal+5–Douglasadams525

  1. douglasadams525 says:

    Feedback requested.

    Feedback provided.


  2. douglasadams525 says:

    Ask atheists what happens when we die, and they’ll say that it doesn’t matter, because there’s no chance of anyone going to heaven or hell—we simply cease to exist. Ask a Mormon, however, and that person will probably say that it doesn’t matter either. While the answers may ultimately be the same, the rationale behind each answer is vastly different. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that it is never too late for salvation, even after death. Therefore, after a person dies, there’s a very good chance that the Mormon Church will baptize that individual anyway, thus posthumously saving their poor and unfortunate soul for Heavenly Father in the Celestial Kingdom, and providing comfort for those who die without believing that they have earned God’s favor. The notion of nonexistence after death may be highly depressing for many theists, who live their whole lives hoping for a better life after death. However, posthumous baptism eliminates even the slightest shadow of this concept, ensuring salvation and providing comfort for anyone. The most heartwarming part of this practice is that the Church will baptize any person, without even asking—the Church casually and graciously disregards faith, or, as we will later explore, whether or not that person is actually dead.


  3. davidbdale says:

    One thing I did not track as your paper evolved was the nature of your sources. I’m going to proceed to your Bibliography now to see if you’ve found academic materials to include. If so, we can dispense with any other commentary on this post here.


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