Water Baptism Essential for Salvation
(and Baptism for the Dead)
The LDS system of salvation affirms that baptism is essential for true salvation. Mormons equate baptism, into their church with being "born again." Bruce R. McConkie stresses the importance of baptism saying:
The second birth begins when men are baptized in water by a legal administrator. . . . (Mormon Doctrine, 101).
Strangely enough, Mormons tell us that at the moment of baptism their blood literally changes into Jewish blood.1 LDS Apostle and teacher, Bruce R. McConkie explains:
But if someone whose blood was wholly of Gentile lineage were converted, he would be adopted into the lineage of Abraham and Jacob and become the house of Israel. (Abraham 2:9-11.) That this action involves a literal change in the convert's blood was plainly taught by the Prophet [Joseph Smith] . . . "while the effect of the Holy Ghost upon a Gentile, is to purge out the old blood, and make him actually of the seed of Abraham. . . ." (Teachings, 149-150) (Mormon Doctrine, 390; emphasis added)
Nevertheless, in LDS theology baptism is essential for salvation.
LDS Proof texts
All groups that teach baptismal regeneration use generally the same passages
to try to prove that water baptism is necessary for salvation: Mark 16:16;
John 3:5; Acts 2:38; 22:16; and 1 Peter 3:19ff. By asserting that water
baptism, or any external deed, is necessary to receive justification, the LDS
Church places its members in a state, as the Apostle Paul warns, of anathema
(i.e., Divine condemnation; see Gal. 1:6ff.).
To respond to exegetically to the assertion of baptismal regeneration, please go here: International Church of Christ.
At least 60 times in the New Testament is salvation explicitly tied with repentance or faith but never with baptism.
The LDS Teaching of Baptism for the Dead: 1 Corinthians 15:15:29.
Besides the fact that the LDS doctrine of baptism for the dead is non existent in church history, the entire chapter of 1 Corinthians 15, Paul uses first person plural (i.e., "our," "us," "we") to refer to Christians but when he gets to verse 29, he then switches using second person ("they"). Hence, he does not include himself or the Corinthian church with this practice (v. 29: "what will they do" Not: "what will we do"). Most likely, that the pagans of the day were practicing baptism for the dead, but even so, it still was not with synonymous with the LDS way of thinking.
Judgment is at DEATH: Matthew 25:46; John 3:36; Hebrews 9:27; Revelation 14:9-11; 20:10, 15.
1, Cf. Joseph Smith, History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City, Utah: Dessert Book Company, 1973) 3: 380; Journal of Discourses, 2:268-69
2, Much evidence exist demonstrating that the ending of Mark (16:9-20) is spurious.
canonical objections of the long ending of Mark 16:9-20:
1. The reading (vv. 9-20) that appears in the majority of manuscripts is not found in the earliest manuscripts (e.g., codex Vaticanus, codex Sinaiticus, codex Bezae, codex Regius, codex Sangallensis, etc.; also Jerome was aware of manuscripts that did not contain it).
2. A number of manuscripts that do include it have critical marks (e.g., asterisks) indicating that the scribe knew of its spurious nature.
3. There are at least four different endings of Mark that exist (e.g., a longer ending than that of the majority rendering appears in codex W).
1. In Scripture, water baptism is never so closely woven together with salvation.
2. There are several non-Markan words.
3. There is a numerical problem: “Afterward He appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table. . . .” (v. 14). But was not Thomas absent?
4. Compared to the other post-resurrection events reported in Matthew, Luke, and John we find peculiarities in verses 9-20, e.g., Jesus as appearing in a different form (v. 12); Jesus rebukes His disciples for their unbelief, which was completely out of character (v. 14).Therefore in light of the compelling evidence above it is highly unlikely that the ending of Mark that appears in the majority of manuscripts (but not he earliest) was contained in the original