Human communication with the dead, or necromancy, is never encouraged in the Bible and is always condemned (1 Samuel 15:23, 28:6ff). Such a practice was punishable by death (1 Samuel 28:9) in theocratic Israel. Despite these grave warnings, many temple Mormons look forward with great anticipation to possibly being visited by spirits of the dead. In fact, there are a number of recorded sightings of alleged dead spirits who have visited Mormons in LDS temples.
Prior to the dedication of the San Diego temple in 1993, local Mormon families were given a packet titled Family Temple Preparation Material. Included in this written material were about seven pages devoted to “true stories” of temple patrons who were visited by the dead.
Fourth Mormon Prophet Wilford Woodruff told followers in 1887, “The dead will be after you, they will seek after you as they have after us in St. George (Journal of Discourses 19:229). Woodruff is referring to the St. George temple in southern Utah. He also stated, “I will here say that two weeks before I left St. George, the spirits of the dead gathered around me, wanting to know why we did not redeem them. Said they, “You have had the use of the Endowment House for a number of years, and yet nothing has ever been done for us. We laid the foundation of the government you now enjoy, and we never apostatized from it, but we remained true to it and were faithful to God. These were the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and they waited on me for two days and two nights” (The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, p.160).
In his book titled Temple Manifestations, Mormon writer Joseph Heinerman lists several accounts of dead spirits visiting patrons in LDS temples. However, such encounters are never condoned by the Bible and as such, should be shunned rather than encouraged.