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“Temple work for the deceased”  — Section 13

Vicarious work for the dead, as performed in holy temples

Representative of a Christian church:
Judge, an interesting belief of the Latter-day Saints is their belief concerning their dead.  I would point out that this belief is contrary to the scriptures.  Titus 3:9 states, “But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law, for they are unprofitable and vain.”   This verse contradicts the Latter-day Saint ‘work for the dead’ program.  The same advice was given to Timothy in 1 Timothy 1:4, yet this belief in ‘work for the dead’ continues to be a mainstay in the Latter-day Saint church.

Missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: 
It is our privilege to defend and explain this very ‘scriptural’ doctrine.  We first point out Matthew 1 and Luke 3, where the genealogy of Jesus Christ is given in great detail.  This was considered a vital way of recognizing the promised Messiah, because scripture predicted that He would come through the seed of David, and from the house of Judah.  The Cambridge Bible Society gave an excellent answer to the two scriptures that you mentioned in your question.  They wrote in their Bible Dictionary, “1 Timothy 1:4 and Titus 3:9 refer to fables and endless genealogies, and is referred to as the legendary stories of the heroes and patriarchs of early Hebrew history, such stories being at the time very popular among the Jews, but foreign to the Gospel, and likely to call attention away from the essential doctrines of the Christian faith.”  In other words, my friends, these genealogical lines and legendary heroes stories were causing the Jewish and Gentile nations to depart form the simple teachings of Jesus Christ.  I am sure that we will have the opportunity to explain our Plan of Salvation to you before we conclude our conversations.

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