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My nonmember friends ask why we do baptisms for the dead. They think it’s strange. How do I answer them?
The Savior taught, “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). This means that in order to receive eternal life—the purpose of our existence—a person must be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost.
Although baptism is essential, there are several reasons why many people have not been baptized. Some lived without a knowledge of the gospel, and others were baptized without the correct authority.
Because our Heavenly Father is merciful and just, He does not condemn those who did not have the opportunity to be baptized during their lifetime. In order for these deceased persons to have the opportunity to receive eternal life, baptisms for the dead are performed in their behalf by worthy Church members in temples (see 1 Corinthians 15:29; D&C 124:29–36; 128:18).
The deceased persons, who are in the spirit world, choose to accept or reject the gospel and the ordinances done on their behalf (see D&C 138:58–59).
By performing baptisms for the dead, you are giving more of Heavenly Father’s children the opportunity to receive all of His blessings.
How do I tell a friend her music is inappropriate without losing her friendship? She always tells me that if I’m her friend, then I won’t complain about it. What should I do?
The music and the friends you surround yourself with are strong influences in your life. President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) said: “Choose your friends carefully. It is they who will lead you in one direction or the other.” 1
Discussing the music you and your friend listen to can be a good experience for both of you. Respectfully explain your feelings about the value of good media and the destructive nature of bad media. Share with her how her choice of music prevents you from enjoying your time together more fully.
If she continues to listen to music that offends the Spirit, consider changing friends. Friends are important, but not at the expense of your spiritual well-being.
Gordon B. Hinckley, “A Prophet’s Counsel and Prayer for Youth,” Liahona, Apr. 2001, 36; New Era, Jan. 2001, 4.
Photograph of baptistry by John Luke, © IRI
Photo illustration by Craig Dimond