Mitt Romney, early front-runner for president of heaven

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.


  1. Henry Gale says

    I understand that the Mormon Church is responsible for a good deal of the work being done in family history and genealogy records.

    Many people who chronicle their family history benefit from the work of the Mormons, but as you mention others hate the fact they might be converted after death.

    In the mid-1990s, there was a backlash when it was uncovered that the names of about 380,000 Jewish Holocaust victims had been submitted for posthumous baptism by what church historian Marlin Jensen calls “well-intentioned, sometimes slightly overzealous members.”

  2. Jared A says

    I don’t understand why people get bent out of shape about Mormon baptisms for the dead. Even in Mormon theology it supposedly has no effect on (dead) people who don’t want to accept it. In other theologies it’s a powerless gesture. At least it’s well meaning.

  3. Trebuchet says

    My wife and I are genealogy enthusiasts (currently rather inactive, however) who have benefited greatly from the LDS’s collection of records. I still find it a little creepy when I see a devoutly Methodist great-grandparent having been “baptized” and “sealed” into the LDS voodoo. My parents have been gone for a couple of years now, I wonder if the Morons have gotten around to them yet.

  4. jolo5309 says

    I should think it would be an honour for someone to be baptised into Mormonhood. After all you could hang around with other famous Mormons like Pat Tillman, Richard Feynman, Groucho Marx, Carl Sagan and Alexander the Great!

  5. Stonyground says

    I find it difficult to understand how people can just make stuff up and pretend it is real, not in a make believe kind of way but in a way that they actually believe. It really doesn’t bother me that the Mormons want to try to steal my soul after I die, I am no more impressed by that than by their magic underpants.

  6. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    My father, who thought Mormons were a cult, Joseph Smith was a sexual pervert, and Brigham Young was a racist sexual pervert, would have been horrified at being baptized a Mormon posthumously. My father died two years ago. Out of respect for his memory, I don’t want him to be baptized in a church he despised.

  7. JL Fuller says

    Readers should be aware that the ordinance is strictly an offering. It makes no demands on the departed. A living person performs this ordinance at the request of a relative of the dead person or, if they are LDS, the relative performs the ordinances (there are four) themselves.

    A departed soul makes the decision about whether to accept or reject what the living have done on his or her behalf. Nothing is forced. It should also be made clear that the dead are not carried on the records of the church as a member. In fact the only record kept is that the ordinance has been performed and such things as the date and location.

    It is roughly analogous to Catholics praying a dead person out of purgatory although the theology is much different.

  8. JL Fuller says

    Your father will not be made a Mormon against his will – not even if the proxy baptism takes place. This practice makes no demands on the dead and for those who are the recipients of this offering, their names are not carried on the membership rolls of the church.

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