In March 1997, while living in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, my husband and I were baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
As I studied the doctrines of the Church, many of my questions were answered. It was interesting to learn about the plan of salvation, including the practice of baptism for the dead. I was surprised to learn that we could be baptized for our deceased ancestors.
A year after our baptism, the mission president invited us to prepare to go to the temple. As part of our preparation, we started doing family history research. One day as I was thinking about doing this work, the phone rang. It was my mother-in-law. I asked her if she would send me a list of the deceased ancestors on my husband’s side of the family. She was amazed and told me that baptism for the dead was not Christ’s doctrine but rather something the Mormons had made up. I wasn’t sure how to answer her because I wasn’t familiar with scriptural references that supported the doctrine.
As I was thinking about how to respond, the phone switched off. I was unsure for a minute what had happened, but I hung up the phone and went to my bedroom. I took the New Testament into my hands, knelt to pray, and asked Heavenly Father to show me where I could find the answer.
At the end of my prayer, I opened the Bible. I felt as if someone had told me to read the 29th verse on the very page I had opened. I was in the 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians, which talks about the doctrine of baptism for the dead.
I was touched and surprised that Heavenly Father had answered my prayer at that very moment. It was a wonderful feeling.
I was thinking deeply about this experience when suddenly the phone rang again. It was my mother-in-law, asking me why the phone had switched off. I told her I didn’t know but then asked her to open her Bible and read 1 Corinthians 15:29.
A few days later a list of deceased relatives was on my table. My mother-in-law had read the scripture and now believed that the Savior, through the Apostle Paul, had taught the doctrine of baptism for the dead.
God has promised great blessings to those who do this redemptive work. I know this to be true.