So, someone performed religious ordinances in Mormon temples on behalf of Mohandas K. Gandhi. “In a statement from Nevada, USA, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed said on Wednesday it was appalling to note that Gandhi had been reportedly baptized by proxy by LDS. ‘It is insensitive and hurtful to the feelings of about one billion Hindus spread worldwide,’ he said.” (link)
Now a standard Mormon argument is that if the appalled on behalf of the dead don’t think Mormon ordinances have any authority over the souls of the dead, then the appalled shouldn’t care what the Mormons are doing. The wrinkle here is that Hindus don’t believe souls stay dead, but rather are reincarnated, so there could be an impact on the living if baptism for the dead is legitimate. Go around baptizing Hindus who’ve been sixty years in the grave, and Mr. Zed could wind up with meditative visions of himself pushing a handcart and come out of it with a hankering for a scone. In fact, Mr. Zed’s words seem suspiciously akin to letters to the editor that used to haunt the Daily Universe, which I heard is recently departed. It’s hard to keep it all straight., but it does call to mind the bit from Kipling’s Kim:
“‘And whom didst thou worship within?’ said Kim affably, squatting in the shade beside the lama.
“‘I worshipped none, child. I bowed before the Excellent Law.’
“Kim accepted this new God without emotion. He knew already a few score.”