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February 17th, 2012
10:11 AM ET

soundoff (183 Responses)
  1. Yudi

    I am trying to throw eotgther a wedding for my son who is just finishing basic training in the Army and wants to marry his girlfriend of 2 yrs. We have only 10 days of leave to pull this all eotgther. They were just going to do a quicky in court, but I want to give them a nicer one at my house in the back yard. He graduates on 10-1-10 and shipps out to be stationed in Germany for 2 yrs on 10-11-10. Yikes!! Can you help me by marrying these 2 young lovers? You can either E-mail me back here or my cell number is 714-328-3002. We are looking at Sat. 10-9-10 afternoon or early evening.Thank you for your time,Carolyn Esposito

    April 1, 2012 at 7:53 am |
  2. peggy hunt

    God's in his heaven ... let him decide who he will accept ... no-one has the right to decide religious matters for anyone else. I am not Jewish, but am nevertheless extremely irritated that some folks baptize others without that person's consent to being baptized. A deceased person has certainly not given consent ... how dare anyone decide this for anyone else?! This is insulting and ridiculous.

    March 1, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
  3. Bill Fitzgerald

    Truthship, get the facts right, dark skin is not the curse! Pg. 62 Book of Mormon manual. Why do people comment in ignorance? And POPPY brings up a good point. Hitler was bapt. catholic and so was I when just a baby with no choice. I still have the right to change religions and I did. But my parents believed that I needed to be baptized. I do not fault them for it. Choice still exists in the Spirit world and you all will be surprised that you can still join any religion you want there. Some of your ancestors will have switched religions, I assure you. Remember judgement day is AFTER the millenium.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  4. hybarney

    Your ancestors are not just baptized and confirmed as members of the mormon faith. Also necessary for salvation are initiatory and endowment ordinances. All names submitted to the temple are baptised, confirmed, recieve initiatory and endowment, and are then "sealed" to family over an altar. The temples frequently run out of names and "recycle", so temple work is frequently done many times per dead person.

    Initiatory involves washing and anointing, partially clothed (the proxy, of course), in preparation for becoming a king and priest, or queen and priestess unto the most high god, hereafter to rule and reign in the house of Israel forever. The proxy then recieves their new name, sacred and holy, never to be repeated outside of the temple. I feel safe revealing mine, as I am an exmormon. My temple name was Ruth, as were all other ladies in the temple that day. When I returned to do the work on behalf of dead people, they recieved names like Naomi, Eliza, Abish, Esther, Lucy, and Martha.

    The endowment involves watching a film, (or live action in select temples), which details the mormon view of the creation. A series of special handshakes and passwords are learned to ensure access to heaven. Mormons are strongly cautioned to keep these ceremonies secret, though they prefer the term sacred. Penalties, spiritual and physical, are threatened if confidentiality is breached. As I've left the church, I feel safe! Details of these ceremonies can be found with a simple google search.

    February 23, 2012 at 12:17 am |
  5. Nii Croffie

    Everyone is born agnostic we choose a religion whether theism, atheism or ignosticism later.

    February 19, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • Reality

      “John Hick, a noted British philosopher of religion, estimates that 95 percent of the people of the world owe their religious affiliation to an accident (the randomness) of birth. The faith of the vast majority of believers depends upon where they were born and when. Those born in Saudi Arabia will almost certainly be Moslems, and those born and raised in India will for the most part be Hindus. Nevertheless, the religion of millions of people can sometimes change abruptly in the face of major political and social upheavals. In the middle of the sixth century ce, virtually all the people of the Near East and Northern Africa, including Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt were Christian. By the end of the following century, the people in these lands were largely Moslem, as a result of the militant spread of Islam.

      The Situation Today

      Barring military conquest, conversion to a faith other than that of one’s birth is rare. Some Jews, Moslems, and Hindus do convert to Christianity, but not often. Similarly, it is not common for Christians to become Moslems or Jews. Most people are satisfied that their own faith is the true one or at least good enough to satisfy their religious and emotional needs. Had St. Augustine or St. Thomas Aquinas been born in Mecca at the start of the present century, the chances are that they would not have been Christians but loyal followers of the prophet Mohammed. “ J. Somerville

      It is very disturbing that religious narrow- mindedness, intolerance, violence and hatred continues unabated due to randomness of birth. Maybe, just maybe if this fact would be published on the first page of every newspaper every day, that we would finally realize the significant stupidity of all religions.

      February 19, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
  6. Truthship

    So glad the Mormon Church apologised to Jews for Baptizing their dead. Now how do I get that same consideration? Speaking of apologies, if Romney wins Republican nomination it would be interesting if Obama asked Mitt how he explained his support for the black mans Mormon ‘Mark-of -Cain’  when he was on his LDS mission in the 1960’s.  Google ‘Mark of Cain’. Its high time the LDS church and Mitt apologised for that racism.

    February 19, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • manof4

      If you don't believe the LDS doctrine of baptism for the dead has any value or force in the next life, then what's the big deal? And what about us Mormons of Jewish decent? Do I not have the right to perform those ordinances for my ancestors according to my own faith and conscience, or does Abe Foxman have more say over my family than I do? Look, everyone has some pretty odd misconceptions about the LDS doctrine of baptism for the dead (and many others). It's not as though everyone in heaven is suddenly forced to become a Mormon, just because somebody down here on earth was baptized on their behalf. The most important aspect of our existence is the agency we all have to choose for ourselves.

      That concept of free agency applies to both the living and the dead. There are two main reasons we practice baptism for the dead. The first is the fact that there are millions upon millions of people who died without having the opportunity to hear the full Gospel for themselves and be baptized. Many of those people, had they heard the gospel during their own mortal lives, would have accepted it and made the choice to be baptized, while others would have chosen to decline that invitation. They will have that same opportunity on the other side of the veil, to either accept or reject the Gospel according to their own convictions and beliefs. We get baptized on their behalf, but they have to choose for themselves whether to accept or reject that baptism. It's all up to them. There is no dishonor in what we do, and it has no binding force unless the person for which we were baptized, decides to accept it.

      Secondly, we perform baptisms for the dead in order to form a welding link with our ancestors. We connect with them in a very real way by performing what we believe is an act of service and love. It offers us a chance to show our love and respect for those who went before us. Christ himself said that, Our dead, without us, cannot be made perfect and neither can we be made perfect without then. He was talking about the concept of ordinance work for the dead. If we yield to external pressure and criticism and refuse to perform these sacred ordinances on their behalf, then we will half to face them in the life hereafter where they will ask us why we have failed them.

      I

      February 20, 2012 at 12:51 am |
  7. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    February 19, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
  8. POPPY -C

    BY THE WAY HITLER WAS BORN A CATHOLIC

    February 19, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • just sayin

      But Hitler ruled and died an atheist.

      February 19, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • Woody

      Hitler,and everyone else, was born an atheist. It's not until a person is subjected to religious indoctrination, usually as a child, that they become affiliated with a religion.

      February 19, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • Kelly

      But Hitler was baptized Mormon, too. They don't put THAT in the brochure.

      February 23, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  9. Hypatia

    Psychological grave robbing is a disgusting practice.

    February 19, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.