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August 28, 2009

Senator Ted Kennedy Will Not Become a Mormon Any Time Soon

The late Senator Kennedy's funeral has not even taken place yet, and already someone who is either a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (a.k.a. Mormons), or someone who would simply like to embarrass them, has been making preparations to share the "restored gospel" with the senator in the afterlife. Read on, and you'll see what I mean.

One of the interesting and exotic features of the Mormon Church is its temple ritual of baptism for the dead. No, they don't baptize dead bodies. Rather, church members who possess "temple recommends" (a document which officially certifies them for up to one year as being worthy) are encouraged to visit any of the 130+ Mormon temples around the world and are themselves baptized on behalf of deceased persons, who may not have ever been Mormon in this life. (For additional info, see this Catholic Answers tract adapted from an article I wrote in 1989 about Mormonism's baptism for the dead).

Mormons sincerely believe that they can be baptized for deceased people who, the LDS Church teaches, are waiting in "spirit prison" for celestial Mormon missionaries to visit them, preach the gospel to them, and thus enable them — if the prisoner accepts the gospel message — to leave spirit prison and move upward along the path of eternal progression into the various levels of the celestial realm.

To wit, this comes from today's Salt Lake Tribune:

It's not certain whether the late Sen. Ted Kennedy would be more palatable to conservative Utah Republicans if he were a Mormon, but it appears someone tried to make that happen.

Just one day after Kennedy died, someone apparently posted his name on an LDS Church database to have him placed on the list to be posthumously baptized.

That posting was uncovered by researcher Helen Radkey, who has been critical of the church practice.

But, alas, Kennedy won't become a Mormon anytime soon. Whoever placed his name on the list was not authorized to do so, and the church's database security system put a block on it.

According to church policy, a person is not eligible to be baptized posthumously until a year after death. It also is against the policy for anyone to place someone's name on the list who is not related to that person.

The security system also is set up to catch the listing of famous people, like Ted Kennedy, who may be placed on the list as a hoax. (Source)

Some Follow-Up Comments on Yesterday's America Magazine Paroxysm

Cool Guys Don't Look at Explosions

And now for something completely different. Yesterday was a bit more hectic than usual. So here's some levity to change the pace.