Gee, MONTY, I’d imagine they do, but then they don’t say that they’re not doing that when they obviously are. That was my point (and my only point): To construe the Baptism for the Dead as merely a different kind of prayer actually misconstrues it, if I understand it correctly, and if the (Mormon) sites I just reviewed again are right. Again, I’m not quarrelling with your right to do as you like, I only took (mild) exception to your explanation of this particular aspect of Mormon faith because it was AFAIK oversimplified. Do you disagree?
Of course it isn’t. And I’m not saying that you’re wrong to categorize the BftD as merely “your kind of prayer,” but neither am I wrong to point out that others do not take it that way. To those of us for whom baptism is a sacrament, it is definitionally far more that “a type of prayer.” Is it just a prayer to you? Again, I’m just asking – I don’t know.
And I take your correction regarding the baptism of Jews only insofar as the LDS will continue to baptize dead Jews who have Mormon direct descendants who ask for the BftD for their Jewish ancestors. But the church has AFAIK entirely stopped BftD of any Jewish person not a direct ancestor of a current Mormon, and furthermore has stricken from the rolls of the posthumously baptized hundreds of thousands of Jews who were totally unrelated to any present Mormon.
Again, I’ll take correction on this if I’m wrong, but I don’t think I am. And again, I’m not attacking your belief, merely pointing out that the way you have chosen to describe it does not accurately illustrate why non-believers might very reasonably object to it. And I note that I participated in the linked thread from 1999 and raised the same exact concerns then. I hope I was respectful then, and I’m trying to be respectful now. But when you post “I believe X” you must be willing to allow others to post – respectfully – “I don’t belief X, and here’s why.”