In an April 1979 general conference address, President N. Eldon Tanner, first counselor in the First Presidency, said:
"We know by the scriptures that the gospel is preached to the dead and the dead are to be judged according to men in the flesh and live according to God in the spirit. Thus baptism is necessary for those who, during their lifetime, had no opportunity for this ordinance of baptism by immersion for the remission of sin."Only in the Church of Jesus Christ do we find temple work which is performed for the living and vicariously for the dead, who rely on us for the performance of this work on behalf of those who cannot do it for themselves, even as we relied on Christ to do for us what we could not do for ourselves.
"The Lord has said, referring to baptism for our dead, `For we without them cannot be made perfect; neither can they without us be made perfect.' (D&C 128:18.)
"God has provided the way to attain this perfection through genealogical and temple work so that we may trace our ancestry and link family to family back to Adam. This work is being done today in the temples of the Church and in fulfillment of the prophecy by Malachi." (See Mal. 4:5-6.)
Articles on this page may be used in conjunction with the Gospel Doctrine course of study.
Information compiled by Gerry Avant.
Sources: April 1977 and April 1979 general conference reports.