Q: Do you baptize dead bodies?
A: Ewww. No. Absolutely not. Baptizing corpses would be really creepy. *Shudder*
We do perform ordinances for those who have died by proxy (that is, I might stand in for my great-great grandmother or something). Those vicarious ordinances are a large part of what happens in LDS temples around the world. However agency still applies in the afterlife. What I mean is, once a body and spirit are separated (see Life After Death – Part 1) the spirit retains the ability to make choices, to accept or reject these ordinances. No one is ever forced to become Mormon! Such a thing would inherently be contrary to the nature of God. Being baptized in and of itself does not constitute “Mormonism”. The person who the ordinance is performed for must always exercise faith and repentance before the ordinance of baptism will have any pertinence.
I certainly hope that clarifies that for you and anyone else wondering. I personally find this to be a beautiful doctrine and one for which I am very, very grateful. When understood, I feel it makes a lot of sense as well as being fair and loving. If you’d like to know more, I recommend these other articles from our site: