In Latter-day Saints (LDS) movement, baptism is one of the most important ordinances. For LDS, ordinances are religious rituals that have special significant. Baptism is actually an example of saving ordinances. Baptism is an ordinance that is required so that you may enter God’s Kingdom. As such, being baptized should be treated as an opportunity that even the dead have a right to experience. One way of baptizing the dead is through conducting a thorough LDS family search.
Further, the dead must be given the opportunity of accepting or rejecting Christ’s gospel. Such gospel is also being taught to the dead who were not able to learn about the gospel while they were living. In lieu with this, LDS has a way of providing everyone the opportunity to be baptized. The process is called vicarious baptism wherein an individual will proxy another individual throughout the process. It is possible to baptize the dead by means of the living ones once you know the LDS family history.
Through this, the dead will be given the opportunity whether he or she will accept the baptism carried out in his or her behalf or not. The dead must be respected, and this is also the reason why the restorationist movement conducts baptism using only the most worthy members of the church. Nevertheless, the member must be of the acceptable age of accountability which is eight years old. Baptism of the dead is carried out on holy buildings known to LDS members as the temples. This can be only possible after an LDS family search yields positive results.
LDS genealogy, evidently, is a way to glorify the ancestors, so that they may be worthy of God’s Kingdom. Baptism is just one among the many saving ordinances that should be available to all individuals regardless of whether they are still living or not. Since not all individuals were able to have baptism as an opportunity, researching the Mormon family history will make this possible. Through an LDS family search, it is easier to identify ancestors and have them baptized. This is especially true since ancestors are basically treated as a fundamental part of the LDS faith.
There remains the question whether the baptized dead is considered as a member of the LDS movement. Since the ancestors who are able to be baptized are essential part of every Mormon family history, they are considered part of the faith. However, if we are going to look at it based on documentation, names of the ancestors baptized will not be included in the official record. We can only assume that our ancestors chose to accept the baptism in their behalf because they, too, want to enter the Kingdom of Christ.
Baptism of the dead is something that is ingrained to LDS church. Families should be the center and the priority specifically because these are special units designated by God. LDS family search is thus instrumental in keeping harmony within families. Baptism of the dead will not be a problem since it can be performed vicariously.