Several safeguards have also been initiated. Church members are now asked to certify that their submissions for proxy baptisms meet church policy. Should any inappropriate submissions be identified, the new system allows the record of the baptism to be removed from the public database and the submitters are contacted to ensure such errors are not repeated. To that end, church staff also regularly search records to identify inappropriate submissions and prevent such baptisms from being performed.
Tension between the American Gathering and the church over the past 15 years has been a rare occurrence in what has been a long and friendly history between Jews and Mormons. Wednesday's statement says "goodwill and friendship have marked the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Jewish people." It adds that the church has appreciated the support that the state of Israel has given the church in helping establish the BYU Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies.
Both groups believe that closer cooperation in programs of humanitarian aid will be enhanced across the world.
Michael Purdy is in the Public Affairs Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
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