The LDS Church believes that it is possible for individuals to be baptized after death (in particular, their descendants can be baptized on their behalf, and if they accept the covenant of baptism they will be able to gain its blessings).

Does any other Christian denomination believe that individuals will have a chance to be baptized after their death if they did not get baptized in life? (This does not necessarily have to be in the form of proxy baptisms, but perhaps after the resurrection, for example.) If so, which ones?

As far as I know, most other Christian churches either believe those that were not baptized by the time they die have lost the chance to go to heaven, or do not believe that baptism is necessary (or have no beliefs on the issue), except the LDS Church and the early Christian church.

3 Answers 3


I love your question and hope others take the time to respond. This is what I found:

Believe in Baptism for the Dead

  • Early Christian church - Baptisms performed until forbidden by Councils of Cathage in 397 AD (Tvedtnes). See 1 Cor 15:29
  • Early Judaism - Judas Maccabeus, high priest and commander, performed ordinances in behalf of the dead after the battle of Marisa in 163 BC (Tvedtnes)
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - Baptized by proxy to provide opportunity to deceased individual. Mentioned in the question.
  • Community of Christ - Previously done. Documents referencing practice removed in 1990 world conference.
  • New Apostolic Church and Old Apostolic Church - Baptized by proxy for unknown number of deceased persons.


Do not believe in Baptism for the Dead

  • Catholic - Unbaptized individuals are saved through baptism of desire.
  • Lutherans and Anglicans - Believe in baptism of desire.
  • Baptists - Baptism is not necessary for salvation. It is traditionally a part of membership, though policies vary (Baptists). Salvation comes from faith alone.


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: Baptism for the Dead

You can learn more about what we believe about Baptism for the Dead below:

Note: If you find out more about what other Christian denominations believed please feel free to edit!

  • 4
    Huh, I thought Baptists did believe in baptism (hence the name). Commented Jul 2, 2017 at 11:14
  • I agree. That surprised me as well.
    – Hans Vonn
    Commented Jul 2, 2017 at 21:47
  • 3
    Baptists certainly believe in baptism, just do not consider it essential for salvation. They consider baptism something commanded by Jesus, and a witness to the world of a person's belief. Thus baptism may be considered evidence of salvation, and is almost always required for church membership.
    – Bit Chaser
    Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 6:12
  • @disciple thank you for pointing that out. It is great to learn what others believe.
    – Hans Vonn
    Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 11:28

According to Philip Schaff, the Marcionites c150 CE practiced "baptism for the dead".

"The Marcionites practiced sometimes vicarious baptism for the dead. Their baptism was not recognized by the church." http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/hcc2.v.xiii.xvi.html



In regard to the 7th Council of Carthage in 251 CE, Cyprian and the others argued against the Roman Church's position that heretical baptism, like Marcion's, were just as salvific as the Church'a.



In my personal experience, there is no active christian communities (outside of the LDS as stated in the question) that practice Baptism for the dead.

A correct understanding of baptism is that it does not in any way advance or secure ones salvation. Baptism is a form of WORKS. Works being "anything that you do" specificially relating to "good deeds".

IF you are counting on your works for salvation, you are missing the point of the cross.

Ephesians 2:8-9New King James Version (NKJV) 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

There is no physical act that we can do to "be saved" that would amount to saving yourselves. This idea that "baptism saves" is called baptismal regeneration and is generally regarded as being very much in error.

As far as you mentioned "a chance to go to heaven after you die" The bible teaches that

Hebrews 9:27 King James Version (KJV) 27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

Some people have come up with ideas about things like purgatory, but none of these ideas are really found in scripture.

One famous example of baptism not being necessary for salvation, is the thief who died on the cross next to Jesus, Jesus said today you will be with me in heave, and obviously the man did not have time to be baptized on the cross.

However, i want to point out that baptism is still commanded by God, and as a response in faith in the desire to be obedient believes should definitely be baptized, it just doesnt equal a gaurenteed get out of jail free card.

  • I downvoted based on the opening sentence. The question and a previous answer both call out an active Christian community that practice Baptism for the dead. Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 0:43
  • Do you mean the LDS? The question specifically says, besides the LDS. i will edit the first sentence to indicate this
    – L1R
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 16:10
  • most of this answer is irrelevant to the question. OP is not concerned with why you or anyone else doesn't believe in baptism for the living or dead. OP is merely trying to find out what sects practice it.
    – BlackThorn
    Commented Nov 29, 2017 at 17:20

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