The other smiled good-naturedly, and did as he was asked. Henrik listened this time, and was indeed interested, asking a good many questions.
“Now, about the Temple,” continued the missionary—“we believe that every soul that has ever lived on the earth, that is living now, or that will ever live must have the privilege of hearing this gospel of Jesus Christ. There is only one name given under heaven by which men may be saved, and every creature must hear that name. Now, the great majority of the human race has never heard the gospel; in fact, will not hear it in this life.”
“Where, then, can they hear it?”
“In the great spirit world. Christ, when He was put to death went and preached to the spirits in prison—those who were disobedient in the days of Noah and were destroyed in the flood; and no doubt the saving power of Christ has been proclaimed in that spirit world ever since. Among those who hear, many will believe. They have faith, they repent of their sins, but they can not be baptized in water for the remission of their sins.”
“No; of course not.”
“And yet Christ definitely said that unless a man is born again of water and of the spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. What is to be done?”
The listener, leaning over the table, merely shook his head.
“Paul speaks in I Cor. 15:29 of some who were baptized for the dead—and that is a correct principle. The living may be baptized for the dead, so that those who have left this world may receive the gospel in the spirit world and have the birth of the water done for them vicariously by someone in the flesh.”
“This is strange doctrine.”
“Temples are used for these baptisms. The Latter-day Saints are busy tracing back as far as possible their lines of ancestry, and then they are going into their temples—for they have already four of them—and are doing this work for their dead. In this way is being fulfilled Malachi’s prediction that Elijah the Prophet should come before the great and dreadful day of the Lord, ’and He shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers,’ lest the Lord come and smite the earth with a curse. You will find this in the last chapter of the Old Testament.”
The lamp burned late into the night as these two men sat by it talking; and the conversation was not, as one of them had planned, for the most part about the land of America and its material opportunities.
“Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh
not all that he hath, he
cannot be my disciple.”—Luke 14:33.
“I cannot understand him,” Frue Bogstad was saying. “His actions are so strange.”
“It’s simply wicked of him,” added Froken Selma Bogstad. “He is bringing the whole family into disrepute.”
The mother did not reply, but turned her face thoughtfully away from the angry daughter.