252.2: Redeeming the Dead (D&C Gospel Doctrine Lesson 30)

“The Prisoners Shall Go Free”


In this episode we discuss the history and doctrine underlying the third mission of the Church–to redeem the dead. We will explore

  • Ancient precedents to vicarious rituals including the interpretation of 1 Cor. 15:29
  • The background to vicarious ordinances in Church History
  • The way approaches to redeeming the dead have changed over time with a focus on the concept of adoption
  • The logic behind the idea of vicarious ordinances.
    • How does this practice solve a fundamental problem with Christianity?
    • What do we get out of performing vicarious ordinances for the dead?
    • In what way do the dead need the ordinances to be saved?
    • Why not just wait until the millennium?

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Class Member Reading: Doctrine and Covenants 2; 124:25–55; 127; 128; Joseph Smith—History 1:36–39; Our Heritage, pages 58–60; 1 Corinthians 15:29; D&C 138:28–35

Additional Teacher Reading: 1 Corinthians 15

Macy, Daniel, and Krista join the class.

You can access the Reading Notes here.

You can access the Lesson Notes here (or PDF).


Continue the conversation by posting your questions and comments here, in the facebook group, or email them to me at MormonSundaySchool at gmail.


Many thanks to Devin Roth for the beautiful bumper music. Check out his arrangement of hymns and other work at DevinRothMusic!

Thanks to James Estrada of Oak Street Audio for his quality and crazy fast post-production, and to Trent Oliphant for updating the episode.

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