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Dear Gramps,

I have a dilemma. I am a recent convert and am starting to work on my family history. I e-mailed my cousin, a non-member, and asked her for information on her parents and brother, all deceased. She said she would be happy to, but wanted to know what the info. was for because Mormons did strange things with people’s names and it made her feel unclean. She said they try to baptize as many people as possible into their families because the more they have, the bigger the planet they get to rule in the next life!!! How would you suggest I respond to this without hurting her feelings? We are family and I don’t want to create any contention.

Colleen, from New Mexico

Dear Colleen,

If you have a reasonably good rapport with your cousin, you could sit down with her and explain that the things she has heard are part of the falsehoods that have been perpetrated against the Church for many years. Suggest to her that if she is interested in how things really are you would be glad to explain them to her. If she agrees, I would suggest that you address just the subject at hand. You could explain that since the Savior said, “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5), we are just trying to provide the opportunity for all who will to comply with the will of the Father. You might even suggest that baptism for the dead was a doctrine that was practiced in New Testament times, as shown by the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:29,

Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?

If your cousin would not feel comfortable discussing the issue with you, then I suggest that you turn to the Lord and appeal to him to soften her heart so that she will come, not only to be willing to impart her genealogy information, but that she may be touched by the Spirit to come to know that the Church is true.


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