Teaching Pamphlets
What Are Baptisms for Deceased Ancestors?

“What Are Baptisms for Deceased Ancestors?” Families and Temples (2016), 12–14

“What Are Baptisms for Deceased Ancestors?” Families and Temples, 12–14

What Are Baptisms for Deceased Ancestors?

Jesus taught that baptism by proper authority was required to enter into heaven. He further demonstrated its importance when He was Himself baptized. Many people have the opportunity to be baptized while they are alive. But there are also many who die without being baptized or even knowing about Jesus Christ. Heavenly Father also wants each of them to return to live with Him.


Baptistry in the Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple

Heavenly Father knew that many of His children would not have a chance to be baptized in this life, so He provided another way for them to receive this ordinance. In the temple, those who are deceased can receive baptism and other ordinances by proxy (meaning that someone living receives these ordinances on their behalf). Proxy baptism for deceased ancestors (baptism by proxy) is a sacred gift you can offer to your family members and others who have died. Those who have died can then choose whether to accept the baptism and other ordinances performed for them. Proxy ordinances extend the saving grace of Jesus Christ to all people.

young men near temple

Youth visit the Manila Philippines Temple to do baptisms for deceased ancestors.

If you are a worthy Church member and at least 12 years old, you can receive a temple recommend that allows you to enter the temple to be baptized and confirmed on behalf of others who have died without receiving those ordinances. Receiving ordinances on behalf of others who have passed away can be done only in God’s holy temples and is an important family responsibility.