So, the real question to ask is:Who at Corinth is practicing baptism for the dead. 1 Corinthian 15:29, and do they have Apostle Paul’s approval for this ritual?
Mormons teach that because Paul mentions baptism for the dead it should be an endorsement for this sacred ordinance.
Notice: this “sacred ordinance” does not take place inside a temple located in Corinth. It appears these baptisms are taking place in a somewhat public venue.
1 Corinthians 15:29 is difficult to understand, but when we compare it with the rest of Scripture we know that it does not mean a dead person can be saved by someone else being baptized on his or her behalf, because baptism is not a requirement for salvation in the first place.
According to the LDS: Through modern revelation the Lord told Joseph Smith in reference, to our ancestors
“For we without them cannot be made perfect. Neither can they without us being made perfect.”
Doctrine and Covenants 128:18.
I believe that careful study of the Scriptures will provide clear evidence to conclude that Paul in verse 29, does not give or imply his approval of baptism for the dead. It is abundantly clear In Paul’s epistles and through out the Bible that we cannot save ourselves. Nor does any religious institution or ritual have the power to save us. It is the power of God alone, through His mercy and grace, that we can be saved.
Joseph Smith has said,
“The greatest responsibility in this world that God has laid upon us is to seek after our dead.”
Journal of Discourses 6:7.
Joseph also taught that
“baptism for the dead was the only way that men can appear as saviors on mount Zion.”
No human being can redeem any other human being. There is only one Savior. The Palmist declared
“None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him.”
Men are redeemed only by the precious blood of Christ.
We only have, to acknowledge that and accept it as a gift from God.
The claim that baptism for the dead was part of original Christianity that was lost and needs to be restored, lacks any historical, scriptural, or logical basis.
Despite all the manuscript writings and archaeological discoveries of early Christianity, absolutely no evidence has been found to show that anyone practiced proxy baptism in the church. This lone account in 1 Corinthians 15:29 was reference to an isolated event, limited to either some misinformed Corinthian converts, or possibly a pagan cult.
The Doctrine and Covenants teaches that the Book of Mormon contains the fullness of the gospel (D&C 20:9), it also teaches that
“…this most glorious of all subjects belonging to the everlasting gospel is, namely, the baptism for the dead..”
If all of that is true – why can’t you find this doctrine or practice in the Book of Mormon? How can the Book of Mormon be said to contain the “fullness of the everlasting gospel” if it doesn’t mention baptism for the dead?
The Book of Mormon doesn’t allow for this doctrine. Alma 34:34-35 teaches that if people procrastinate their repentance until after they die – meaning in the Spirit World – they would have NO need for proxy baptism. Their fate is ALREADY determined!