You probably knew that Mormons can baptize people who are already dead — but you probably didn’t know quite how many historical figures the Mormon religious leaders have managed to baptize over the years.
Von Keith Veronese – io9.com
Most of the time, when Mormons are baptizing the long-dead, it’s because a current member of the faith wants to recruit his or her ancestors into the church. But at least some high-profile baptisms skipped over this requirement — arousing more than a little controversy. Like the time they decided to baptize Hitler. And hundreds of thousands of Holocaust victims.
Releasing the dead from Spirit Prison
So where does baptism for the dead even come from? It started at the same time as the Mormon faith itself: in the first half of the 19th century. Founder Joseph Smith endorsed this practice, as part of his spiritual revelation.
Currently, Mormons believe baptism is necessary for an individual to exit from „Spirit Prison“ – a place akin to purgatory in the Catholic Church. Anyone outside the Mormon faith enters Spirit Prison at the time of their death.