It turns out that Mitt Romney and his father George successfully converted Mitt’s wife’s entire family to Mormonism, with the mother doing so practically on her deathbed. The one holdout was her father who was a committed atheist and went to his grave asserting that all religion was “drudgery and hogwash” and that he considered people who were religious to be “weak in the knees.”
But Mormons don’t let a little thing like death prevent them from converting people into their faith. The Romneys managed to achieve a grand slam of Anne’s family by converting her father to Mormonism after he died, because of their belief that they have the ability to baptize the dead.
This practice does not sit well with members of other religions who are dislike the idea that they and their ancestors could be yanked out of their respective Christian/Jewish/Muslim/Hindu/etc. heavens and transferred to the Mormon one, where they will not be able to get a decent cup of coffee. An official Catholic website describes the process:
Mormons believe that their church has missionaries in the “spirit world” who are busy spreading the Mormon gospel to dead people who have not yet received it. Should any of these dead people want to convert to Mormonism, they are required to abide by all its rules, one of which is water baptism. Hence the need for proxies to receive the corporeal waters of baptism.
You might be surprised to learn that the Mormon church has teams of men and women microfilming records of Catholic and Protestant parishes, cemetery records, birth and death certificates—virtually any sort of record pertaining to past generations. Temple Mormons hope, in time, to have all of the dead of previous generations baptized posthumously into the Mormon church.
I must admit that I find learning about all these kinds of time-wasting doctrinal hairsplitting to be hugely entertaining.
Mormons may have a hard time winning elections on Earth because of being viewed as a cult and small in number, but because of their edge in post-death conversions, they clearly have a huge numerical advantage in the afterlife.
Here’s a hot tip. I am not sure when Intrade is going to open betting on who will become president of heaven but smart money will go with Romney just as soon as he dies.