There is an email being forwarded around that claims that there is a baptismal font deep inside the Basilica of St. Paul that was used for the purposes of baptism for the dead. Here is the text of the original email:
This photo was taken by Kevin Barton, grandson of Keith Barton, a Stake Patriarch, when Kevin was on his mission to Italy in 2001. These pictures were taken in Rome at St. Paul’s Cathedral which is centuries old. Kevin found a chained off area of the Cathedral, which he shouldn’t have entered but did, and discovered this old unused, I’m sure for hundreds of years, baptismal font with a mosaic inscription above it indicating it was used for baptisms for the dead.. There are probably more old Cathedrals in Italy (If they haven’t been remodeled) that still have these closed off fonts that were used centuries ago.. I wonder why they stopped ? This is truly profound and amazing.. ((Email in my possession.))
Included in the email are a couple very blurry/grainy photos showing the wall inscription and the nearby baptismal font, with labels overlaid showing the purported translation and correlation. These photos are shown here on the right (click to enlarge).
On the surface this sounds really exciting for LDS temple studies! Here we might have ancient evidence for baptism for the dead, mysteriously hidden from public view. But not so fast. Let’s do the requisite research. [Read more…]