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Mormon Church apologizes for Jewish baptisms for the dead

Volunteer's access to database revoked after Holocaust survivor's name is submitted

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  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Feb. 19, 2012 5:29 p.m.

    Paul (or Saul) was a Jew. He persecuted Christ's followers until his conversion. He wrote, in 1 Corinthians 15:29, "Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?"

    Was he writing about the followers of Christ or was he writing about Jewish tradition?

    Most think that he was writing about the baptisms that Jews were performing for their dead.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 19, 2012 3:36 p.m.

    Re: Pagan | 2:13 p.m. Feb. 15, 2012
    "And if my faith believes that being given the 'oppertunity' to be Mormon is a sin...? You just condemed my eternal soul...to hell."

    A belief that the actions of another can condemn your eternal soul to hell makes as much sense as suggesting that one infant who is baptized and dies goes to heaven while it's twin who dies without being baptized has to walk on burning coals for eternity.

  • mightymite DRAPER, UT
    Feb. 17, 2012 5:35 p.m.

    Now how do I go about petitioning them not to baptise my ancestors. Can someone let me know. This is a serious issue and most everything in the mormon church is contrary to what what Christian ancestors believed and stood up for. Can someone let me know of resources?

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Feb. 17, 2012 2:57 p.m.

    Re: Sqweebie: For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit( 1Peter 4:5-6 NIV) The preaching was a past event. A better translation.

    To support the Mormon doctrine it would have to read in the present tense, For this cause IS the gospel preached to them that are dead.

    None of them can by any means redeem his brother ,Nor give to God a ransom for him. For the redemption of their souls is costly,And it shall cease forever. Psalm 49:7-8.

    2Nephi 9:38,And in fine, wo unto those who die in their sin; for they shall return to God .and behold his face, and remain in their sins. Very similar to ,And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. (Heb 9:27)

    Re; Bill in Nebraska, Did you know that until the 1960s that Catholics practiced baptism for the dead in some of their cathedrals?
    When the RCC finds false teachings: Liberation theology, Santeria, occult, they are condemned and will excommunicate the teachers.

  • SoCalChris Riverside, CA
    Feb. 17, 2012 12:26 p.m.

    Mayfair | 6:12 a.m. Feb. 17, 2012,

    As I understand it, no work was done for the Wiesel family but was for the Wiesenthal family. If I'm wrong I welcome being corrected.

    Sad that something like this stirs up so much anti-Mormon sentiment. In a Church of 14 million there it's amazing there aren't more mistakes.

  • paperboy111 Lindon, UT
    Feb. 17, 2012 11:01 a.m.

    The problem is; where do you draw the line? If this religious practice is offensive to one set of faithful believers, it's probably offensive to another. Whether you are Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Agnostic or Atheist, the practice may not only come off as insenstive, but distasteful and possibly rephrehensible, to some. The LDS church most definitely needs to rethink yet another one of its outdated doctrines and practices as it contemplates its newfound visibility in today's modern world.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 17, 2012 10:25 a.m.

    Re: Truthseeker | 7:33 p.m. Feb. 16, 2012
    "I can imagine many Mormons might be upset if their ancestors were being researched and Baptists, Methodists, Catholics, or say, Muslims were then performing proxy baptisms."

    Why would it bother me? Would my dead ancestors suddenly be turned into "Baptists, Methodists, Catholics, or say, Muslims" in the twinkling of an eye in the Great Hereafter"?

  • Mayfair City, Ut
    Feb. 17, 2012 6:12 a.m.

    If you'll all go read the Church's official statement about this supposed great breach of trust and insulting action toward Jews on the church's newsroom segment of their official site--

    --you'll find there was no baptisms performed
    and none requested or submitted to be performed.

    The Wiesel names were just added to a genealogical data base, along with millions of other people.

    If everyone who's non-LDS family members listed in that database was upset, that would be about everyone.

    There is NOT anybody who does not have an ancestor on some record data base somewhere...

    Too bad the real facts were ignored and erroneous conclusions jumped to, at the first of all this--so much worry and outrage over nothing.

  • Mick Murray, Utah
    Feb. 16, 2012 9:19 p.m.

    I am an active LDS member.

    I completely agree with the agreement made between the LDS church and Jewish rabbi's regarding holocaust victims. It is very enticing for LDS members to want to access the six million names on records taken by the Nazi's because they were so precise in record keeping. But it is immoral and wrong and I do not think those names should be exploited off of those records.

    The world wide medical community has made a promise not to use information obtained by the horrible medical experiments obtained by Josef Mengle.

    The LDS church has made a promise not to use the records or names of those murdered by the Nazi's and I agree with the decision and respect the memory of those who suffered and family members who still hold their memory.

  • User41 Provo, UT
    Feb. 16, 2012 7:40 p.m.

    I think we need to remember that the Church and its members are not represented by one individual who violates church policy. We also need to remember that Judaism (the culture or the religion) and its people are not represented by one rabbi who seems to be trying to stir up intolerance and strife. How nice it would have been if the rabbi had approached the Church with a kind and mild request to discuss and correct the problem -- and how nice it would be if the members of our church would always remember to act in a Christian way.

    I for one, am a great admirer of the Jews (as a whole) -- their religion, their culture, and their country. I get the feeling that allot of us Mormons feel the same way. We may not see eye to eye with them on every doctrine; but their stamina, dedication, and community spirit are truly inspiring. We as a human race are blessed to have such people among us. Let's reach out to one another in tolerance and respect in order to improve the world -- there are lots of issues where Jews and Mormons do agree. I'm not going to let a couple of 'outliers' (on one side or the other) change my opinion of a fundamentally great bunch of people.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Feb. 16, 2012 7:33 p.m.

    Well, well.

    I can imagine many Mormons might be upset if their ancestors were being researched and Baptists, Methodists, Catholics, or say, Muslims were then performing proxy baptisms. Get real.

    This is such bad timing, when there is a Mormon running for president.....

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Feb. 16, 2012 7:05 p.m.

    Religion's uniquie ability to divide us comes from the exclusive truth each religion claims, as demonstrated here. Clearly a lot of folks commenting today have totally bought in. That's ok, it demonstrates faith, but we fail if we don't also recognise that it could be made up, all of it. Plus, the incredible variety of faith and ideology, plus our national mandate to freedom in these matters, suggests that exclusivity on the part of any is arrogant and counterproductive. Besides, those same Jews we're criticising here are the same ones that we are going to let lead us into the quagmire that will be a war in Iran.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 16, 2012 3:26 p.m.

    Why should it offend me if someone of another faith were to perform a baptism for one of my dead ancestors? I can see why there will never be peace in the Middle East between the Jews and their neighbors.

  • MarieDevine Divine-Way Kansas City, MO
    Feb. 16, 2012 1:44 p.m.

    Pray that this unwanted baptism and other things about the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints not stop the Jewish people from seeing that Joseph Smith Jr. fulfilled God's word that He would send one like unto Moses; him shall you hear or it will be required of you.

    Joseph Smith Jr. came like Moses, with the Urim and Thummim, with a book restoring what was lost (Doctrines and Covenants), bringing history of the past children of Israel(Book of Mormon), restored the priesthood of Aaron and Levi, restored what was taken from the Bible (Joseph Smith Restored Version of the Bible which includes more testimony of Moses and Enoch proving that even the plan of salvation and name of Jesus Christ was known from the time of Adam and they were to pray in his name for the forgiveness of sins as though he had already come.)He also brought a book of Abraham which was mentioned in the Qur'an. The University on the Mount of Olives is from the Latter Day Saints; God has waited patiently.

    God has prepared the way for unity with a key in the Book of Mormon that He has spoken the same thing to all people and commanded them to write it and it shall be seen to be the same. I have seen the proofs, other books point to following the Torah Law, the whole Bible. Other holy books than the whole Bible give prophecies and the results of following God's written word. When each religion follows what God gave them, it will point to the unity of God and that given to the children of Israel... Peace can follow when we want God's ways.

  • DonO Draper, UT
    Feb. 16, 2012 12:57 p.m.

    A member of the Mormon Church went contrary to an openly stated and widely publicized church position, and was baptized for a dead Jewish person. It was wrong, shouldn't have happened. The offenders were disciplined. The Mormon church has apologized. End of story. Why continue to rehash everything?

  • windsor City, Ut
    Feb. 16, 2012 12:22 p.m.

    The LDS Church's official statement about this on its official site makes it clear that all this outrage directed the Church was inaccurate and unnecessary.

    "the Wiesel family names were not submitted for baptisms but simply entered into a genealogical database. Our system would have rejected those names had they been submitted."

    There were no baptisms done.
    There were no names submitted for request for baptisms.
    The Wiesel family names were added to a database family tree.

  • m.g. scott LAYTON, UT
    Feb. 16, 2012 11:34 a.m.

    We do baptize people in the Temples that are not part of our genelogical family tree. One can just get a random name and do the work for that person. So I'm sure there have been a lot of baptisms that would be objected to by members of their family if they knew about it. My question is, how did this become so public in the first place. Did someone purposely do this to create some problem between the LDS Church and the Jewish Community? Or is there some list of persons baptized in Temples made public that I don't know about?

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Feb. 16, 2012 10:00 a.m.

    It doesn't make sense how anybody could be offended by this. If the mormon church is the one true church (which I doubt) then they should be happy that the dead are being baptized into it. If it isn't, then it isn't going to matter. If I died a mormon, and the catholics and methodists wanted to baptize me after death why should I care? I died a mormon, if that isn't true I have been baptized by another religion. How can more baptisms hurt a deceased being? I don't get this.

  • Kami Bountiful, Utah
    Feb. 16, 2012 9:55 a.m.

    Dear Members of the Church,
    The church has apologized. I see a lot of "yeah buts" in the comments. An apology means nothing with a "yeah but" added to the end of end. Dump your pride people. Let this go.

  • Stuart Kaufman Great Neck, New York
    Feb. 16, 2012 7:38 a.m.

    As an Orthodox Jew, I am offended by those who are offended by Mormons who adhere to their own rituals and processes. Why would I, a Jew, try to tell a Mormon how to follow his own religion? I have not heard of any Mormon who tries to tell me how to be a Jew. The practice of posthumous conversion has no affect on me. I would be grateful if people would adhere to their own faiths (as long as they don't harm others) and mind their own business.

  • mancan HC, UT
    Feb. 16, 2012 7:16 a.m.

    Apparently some Mormons don't understand the Church's doctrine. First, it is clearly taught in the scriptures that temple work is a family affair. in other words, you do your ancestor's work for them in the temple, not go off and submit names of people you are not related to. Second, the gospel is to go to the world in a certain order. The Jewish people were first to get it during Christ's mortal ministry, and will be the last to get it during this dispensation- specifically when Jesus comes again and meets the Jews at Jerusalem (the first shall be last and the last shall be first). Also, during the reign of Christ, temples will be built everywhere and temple work for people all throughout history will be done. So, you put all that together and you should see that you have no reason to do work for victims of the Holocaust. The decendants of the victims will do the work for them after the Second Coming. Why is that so hard for some people to understand? Does Pres. Monson need to explain all that in a talk in April??

  • GAmom Athens, GA
    Feb. 16, 2012 7:09 a.m.

    I am glad the church revoked access to the database and other priviledges of the person who submitted these names. I am sure they knew what they were doing but did it anyway thinking no one would know. I work extensively with family history and teach classes in the Institute program and at wards and know that this is something that is reviewed extensively with people. I cover it over and over again. Plus, when you submit names online there is one point where you are asked if you have permission from a living decendent to do this. Seems this person also deliberately lied which I think in this case maybe should be brought up before a disciplinary council because of the harm it has done to the church as a whole. It can be painful when the work is done for someone when relatives have specifically asked it not be done. I had an aunt, who was not a member, request I not do the work for her husband but someone far removed from me just found his name and did it. I was furious because I wanted to respect my aunt wishes.

  • Rynn Las Vegas, NV
    Feb. 16, 2012 5:26 a.m.

    To those who wonder why this is an issue. It's about respecting the religious beliefs of others, even if you might not agree with them.

    On a more trivial note, say that you went out to dinner with someone. You need to step outside to take a phone call but before you do, you tell your partner what to order for you. When you come back, your partner has ordered something other than what you asked for. Their reasoning? "I feel that what I ordered for you is a better choice of food than what you wanted."

  • BobP Port Alice, B.C.
    Feb. 16, 2012 1:12 a.m.

    I am a Jew. I discovereds this while doing my LDS geneology, but my mother was the granddaughter of a Jewish mother. That said the church made an agreement on a very sensitive topic of those Jews who suffered in the Holocuast. We as members should follow this agreement in good faith, without trying to "sneak" a few exceptions in.

  • Sqweebie Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 10:54 p.m.

    5 Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.
    6 For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit
    (New Testament | 1 Peter 4:5 - 6)

    I am jewish, german and a Latter-Day Saint.

  • Miss Piggie Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 10:43 p.m.

    don17: "It is like telling your next door neighbor you don't care when they say they have an issue with that 10 foot concrete block wall going up in a picket fence neighborhood."

    That's not analogous to the situation. It's like a guy in the town across the country, not your next door neighbor. complaining about the concrete wall. He has no basis for complaint, whatsoever. These Holocaust Jews being proxy baptized for, may well want this work done for them and it's none of anyone else's concern, whatever. Those interfering could well be putting a stumbling block in the way of progression.

    "I think we need to talk. It works more often than not."

    Talking has all been done, to no avail.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 10:19 p.m.

    Are the Jews and other non-Christians equally offended by the core Christian belief that Christ Atoned for the sins of EVERYONE? If this core belief of Catholics, Baptists, Lutherans, and just about every other Christian denomination is correct, then Jesus performed a sacred ritual that gave everyone everywhere the opportunity to repent and be forgiven of their sins. He did that without their express permission. He did that without excluding anyone. It doesn't mean that His sacrifice will force anyone to accept it or become converted. It was simply an act of pure love on His part as a gift for each of us to accept or reject. I find it astonishing that anyone who is sincere would be offended by that.

  • Captain Green Heber City, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 9:57 p.m.

    There is no Church that supports the Jews more than the Mormons do. It is because we understand who they are, unlike most of the world, and because many of us of European decent are also Israelites though Joseph (Judah's Brother), who was the Son of Jacob (Israel)... so we are related. Some Jewish leaders need to realize this and get off the criticism of our Temple ordinances. After all the persecution they have endured, they should be honored that we care about their ancestors!

  • wear2manyhatz Holladay, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 8:14 p.m.

    As the grandchild,and niece to Holocaust victims, and child of a survivor, I appreciate the Church's stand and accept their apology. One large institution cannot always be held responsible for the actions of one lone renegade.

    While I don't know that it was an appropriate thing to do, I was under the impression that one baptizes posthumously for one's own family members. Perhaps not. I would like to believe this person was sincere in his actions. I hope so.

    As to the comment about making a list of names of those murdered in the Holocaust, that is practically impossible. While the Nazis kept certain records immaculately, the vast majority of the names of those slaughtered, simply for the sin of being a Jew, are left in the ashes, and perhaps, in the memories of those few survivors still living.

    Even without knowing all of their names, my unknown relatives will always live in my heart.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Feb. 15, 2012 7:47 p.m.

    Sharrona as usual you only use what is necessary for you to use. What you failed to use was that if one procrastinates the day of their repentance then the said scripture applies. In other words no death bed repentance.

    Also the rest is your interpretation of what Paul is saying. Again you use it as fact that this what it means when it is your interpretation. The problem is that Baptism for the Dead was recognized as valid for quite a few years until a so called CREED OF BISHOPS decided otherwise. Did you know that until the 1960s that Catholics practiced baptism for the dead in some of their cathedrals but to differentiate more from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints they basically stopped the practice.

    As Joseph Smith so valiantly stated it was the creeds that drew Christians away from him not the individuals themselves. It is my understanding that most Christians feel that it will be the grace of Christ that will SAVE everyone, at least a Christian, otherwise all others go to outer darkness. There is no hope for them unless they are baptized as a Christian, mainline. This means all Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and all others are lost and have no salvation. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints teaches this is not so. That all who have, are and will live on the earth will have a chance to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The ordinances of the Temple are to get that work done for them as they are earthly ordinances. Without them these individuals can not enter into the kingdom of God.

  • Arm of Orion Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 7:36 p.m.

    Fine Pagan let's play your little game. If assuming that even the presentation of opportunity is a sin then you would be condemned anyways seeing that you are presented with opportunity to change everyday so that point is moot. You may say that it is arguable that the diety of this religion absovled people who sin. Fine then why should that not also apply to those who are dead, again moot point. Now then how does this target you? Do you have evidence that the dead are targeted specifically if work had been done for you? If so I would love to see it because so far as I know that does not happen. However, what does happen is missionaries of a kind go out and search for those that are dead that are also prepared, whether or not their proxy work has been done. No targeting for those that had proxy work done only those that readied themselves for the change.

    Your argument falls flat Pagan for the reasons stated above. So once more I pose the question how is baptisms for the dead generally an issue seeing that under any consistent and reasonable circumstance shows that if false the point is moot and if true then it is an act of love.

  • mightymite DRAPER, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 6:34 p.m.

    Now if they can only respect other non mormons, then I would be impressed. This is a pretty selfish act that only helps the researcher but does not take into account the other 99.9% of there ow family or the world at large.

  • Tiger5 Cache county, USA
    Feb. 15, 2012 5:57 p.m.

    Why step in the poop, when we are already targets with this election.
    Bad timing.
    Repect the churches policy and stick to family names.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 5:46 p.m.

    RE: Zoar,That entire chapter of Corinthians is about the resurrection.

    In verses 1-19, Christ's resurrection is detailed by Paul. Beginning in verse 20 through verse 23, Paul speaks about the order of the resurrection. Christ was the first one raised - in a glorified body - and next will be those who are His at His return. Verses 24 - 29 then mention Christ's reign and the abolition of death. Verse 29,Just north of Corinth was a city named Eleusis. This was the location of a pagan religion where baptism in the sea was practiced to guarantee a good afterlife. This religion was mentioned by Homer in Hymn to Demeter 478-79.

    Paul explains, And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. (Heb 9:27)

    BoM ,no chance for salvation after death.â¦therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked .See (alma 34:33-35)

    By which also he went and preached(kerysso,G.2784=proclaimed) unto the spirits in prison.(1Peter 3:19). It does not preach to convert, Jesus proclaimed to the disobedient that they could have tasted of the resurrection.

    Ex 24:9-11, Explained by( Acts 7:38 NLT) Moses was with our ancestors, the assembly of Godâs people in the wilderness, when the ANGEL spoke to him at Mount Sinai. And there Moses received life-giving words to pass on to us.

  • zoar63 Mesa, AZ
    Feb. 15, 2012 4:50 p.m.

    RE: Sharrona 1 Cor 15:29 it is not addressed by other Christian faiths.
    Else what shall THEY do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are THEY then baptized for the dead? Paul uses the 3rd person . Paul appears to exclude himself from the practice.

    That entire chapter of Corinthians is about the resurrection and I do not believe that Paul was excluding himself but was attempting to prove the reality of the resurrection otherwise if the resurrection was not real than these people are wasting their time. âElse what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?â If these people were baptizing for the dead where is the condemnation from Paul against it? The condemnation comes much later in 393 A.D., from a council that condemned a practice for which Paul it seems had no problems with. Seems like this council with their learning and wisdom were a lot smarter than Paul who actually saw and conversed with the risen LORD.

  • don17 Temecula, CA
    Feb. 15, 2012 4:44 p.m.

    Miss Piggie,

    Just ignoring is also like saying "I don't care what you think!" in a not very nice manner. It is like telling your next door neighbor you don't care when they say they have an issue with that 10 foot concrete block wall going up in a picket fence neighborhood. Ignore the neighbor or at least talk? I think we need to talk. It works more often than not. Not always, but better than ignoring your potential friend.

  • carman Wasatch Front, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 4:43 p.m.

    I am outraged that Abraham Cooper is outraged.

    Frankly, it is outrageous that Mr Cooper is making huge generalizations about the church's so-called insensitivity on the issue. The church's policy and intentions are clear. The fact that one, or even a small handful of members do something contrary to policy shoul not trigger such an emotionally disproportionate reaction to the so-called offense. I think most leveled-headed folks, including hose of Jewish descent (which I am in part), can differentiate between the misguided actions of a few versus the policy and efforts of a large organization.

    C'mon Mr. Cooper. A more measured response is warranted in this case.

  • don17 Temecula, CA
    Feb. 15, 2012 4:37 p.m.

    Claudio: I appreciate your comment. Please note I said "Many", not all. Please also note I said Understand. You inserted "Accept". I did not say that. Lastly, no comment was made about uneducated Jews. Again that was inserted in your comment. Actually having lived in a very Jewish region of the Chicago area for over 20 years I can state that I never met an uneducated Jew. Not there or in California or any other place I have been. Their value of education is exceptional. I should also clarify, thank you for pointing out, that by educated I mean Jews that have a solid background and understandings of Mormons, in direct real life contact and in beliefs, and not just a media understanding of Mormons. Thank You! No confusion is meant and all due respect to Judism is sincere.

  • Miss Piggie Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 4:08 p.m.

    Perhaps Mr. Abraham Foxman should try to understand that the US military, which included many young LDS men and women in that military, helped to stop Hitler's Jewish Holocaust.

    I think the LDS church should just ignore Mr. Abraham Foxman's et al., concerns and go on with the work.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 4:02 p.m.

    A few individuals have chosen to be offended. As a result some very deserving souls will have to wait. Fortunately, there are a lot of jewish LDS who will at least see that their own holocaust kin will receive these blessings. God's work in saving his children will ot be stopped.

  • Miss Piggie Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 3:53 p.m.

    atl134:

    Honestly I've never understood the purpose of temple baptisms for the dead..."

    You truly don't understand the reason for temple work... it's not necessary for the dead, because much of such work (baptisms, etc.) can be/will be completed in the millennium, per church doctrine. The purpose is to keep folks actively searching family trees/records, going to the House of the Lord, and keeping qualified/worthy to attend, through periodic temple interviews with Bishops. That's the underlying purpose for genealogy and temple work... Pressure/urgings to periodically interview with Bishops and higher clergy. Nothing wrong with such conduct or doctrine.

  • ShereeK WASHINGTON, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 3:39 p.m.

    The way the program is supposed to work, is relatives submit the names. Family members. Family. Mi Familia. No evil intent there.

  • Melanna Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 15, 2012 3:35 p.m.

    @ Shuzzie53 (and many other posters):
    "If Jews (or anybody else) don't believe in what Mormons are doing, then why should they care what we do?"

    That is a really good question. Let me rephrase it for you:

    If Mormons (or anybody else) don't believe that a same-sex relationship is a marriage, then why should they care what same-sex couples do?

  • GiuseppeG Murray, Utah
    Feb. 15, 2012 3:23 p.m.

    re:Ute Alumni

    I don't see how this is any different from knocking on someone's door, offering them the Gospel as you know it and them refusing. They have the right to do that, whether or not you can't see how they could "lose" by accepting your view. You don't get to kick down the door or continually badger them because you think they're wrong! 1) The Jewish organizations have requested that holocaust names not be included in LDS ordinances for the dead 2) The LDS church has agreed not to unless submitted by a direct descendant. That should be the end of the story. I agree that LDS members should take this more seriously and there should be significant consequences for violating that agreement.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 2:50 p.m.

    And if my faith believes that being given the 'oppertunity' to be Mormon is a sin...? You just condemed my eternal soul...to hell. If this were your Reliion< then you are already condemed. Know I know why you list articles rather than logical discussions.

  • Past Utahn Aurora, CO
    Feb. 15, 2012 2:48 p.m.

    Respectfully, I am in the same camp as Rabbi Zippel. I joined the LDS church years ago and proceeded with geneology work. My Buddhist father was upset that I was doing baptisms for the dead in behalf of deceased relatives. I asked him why he cared if he thought the church was incorrect and he didn't believe in their practices. After thinking on it for a couple of days, he reluctantly agreed. Being of Asian decent, I honor my past relatives; however, my beliefs are such that I feel I honor them more by giving them opportunity to choose for themselves.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 2:13 p.m.

    'Seriously how is this an issue? If you do not believe that what we do is true and of God then what does it matter to you.' - Arm of Orion | 12:59 p.m. Feb. 15, 2012

    Because it will TARGET me, after I am dead.

    And if my faith believes that being given the 'oppertunity' to be Mormon is a sin...?

    You just condemed my eternal soul...to hell.

  • Claudio Springville, Ut
    Feb. 15, 2012 1:52 p.m.

    Don,

    Your second point makes the statement that "educated Jews" understand and accept the LDS practice of post-humous baptism. That is rather inflammatory. Do you mean to imply that a Jew who disagrees with the practice is un-educated? I don't think you did, but you should clarify that just in case.

    To those like Arm of Orion and IJ and others who can't seem to fathom why this is such a big deal, I'll try to sum up my and others previous posts in one sentence that will hopefully help you see the problem:

    Submitting names of Jewish Holocaust survivors for baptism against the family's wish is a willful action in violation of the words of the prophets.

    Simply put, if you do this, you are not following the prophet. Hopefully that is simple enough for those who just don't seem to understand the whole "offensive" concept. Since that doesn't compute, here's the selfish reason why it's wrong.

  • Jazzledazzle Provo, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 1:35 p.m.

    @ JCH

    If only it were that cut and dry. That is like asking why the church cannot go to certain areas of the world to teach the gospel. Your logic makes sense from the eyes of a child, but some things are not so easy.

  • IJ Hyrum, Ut
    Feb. 15, 2012 1:34 p.m.

    In my way of thinking, Rabbi Zippel has it right. If the LDS Church is not true why should this be an issue. It won't go any where; nothing will come of it anyway. If the LDS Church is true every one who ever inhabited this planet will need baptism to enter God's kingdom. If Charles Manson has the ability to steal my soul, what could you do about it? But if not, I won't be losing any sleep over it. I don't believe it and therefore it is a non-issue.

    As for 1st Corinthians 15:29 - read the whole chapter. You will find that Paul is teaching the doctrine of the resurrection and is using baptism for the dead as an example. He is saying if there is no resurrection, why baptise for the dead.

  • JM Lehi, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 1:24 p.m.

    This is offensive to Mormons as well as Jews. It is sad that one person can break down relationships between millions of people. Mormons have a longstanding policy against Baptizing Jews (not from discrimination since many Jews request it).

    Rites for the deceased are intended to be an act of love, but when someone intentionally goes against Church teachings on a sensitive issue it hurts all of us.

    I'm sorry this person has done this.

    Also, I hope everyone understands that there are many people out there who delight in stirring bad feelings against Mormons. Those who hate us have intentionally misrepresented the purposes of rites for deceased persons. These rites are meant to turn the hearts of the Fathers and Mothers to the children, as Malachi taught. They seal families together.

    Please understand:
    1 Mormons are opposed to the Baptism of anyone who is not an ancestor to a Mormon.
    2 Mormons do not believe that Holocaust victims are suffering in Hell or purgatory and that Baptism, like indulgences for the deceased, helps reduce their suffering. Mormons understand that all will be rewarded according to their works. No kind, good person will ever suffer in the next life, regardless of religious affiliation. All are in Paradise and will go to Heaven.

    3 Baptism is not done to anyone, LDS believe that people are free in the next life to choose, just as they are here, and Baptism for the deceased gives them the opportunity to make a decision, it does not make anyone Christian or members of the Church. Even without it they can still make choices in belief.

    Christians practiced Baptisms for the deceased for almost 400 years. Many Christians still practice other rituals for the deceased (indulgences etc). I understand that Jews have done this in times past. I hope that Jewish people understand that the Mormons I know would be honored if Jews were to perform rites for them. That goes for anyone with good intentions, Muslim, Catholic, Buddhist etc.

  • don17 Temecula, CA
    Feb. 15, 2012 1:08 p.m.

    Just a Couple points Please:

    1. Baptism's for the Dead does not equal in any way "Forced Conversion". That statement is used to incite against Mormon's!

    2. Not all Jews are opposed to the Mormon Ritual's. Many educated Jews understand the eternal significance and spirituality of this theology and practice.

    3. Many Jews also understand the LDS Members exceedingly strong support for Israel and have a strong working relationship back and forth.

    4. The Center or a group of Rabbi's cannot make a determined finite list of absolute's when it comes to this issue and they know it! 1st. No Rabbi or group speaks for all Jews or even within the 3 main groups. 2nd. Jewish families do ask for names to be submitted. 3. I have personally been told by Jewish friends to make sure their work is done! 4.There are Jews who will not step away from their religion/culture/way of life because of significant pressure by family, friends, and business contacts but they understand the significance of what they are giving up by staying within the dictates of a 6,000 year history.

    5. The Church does need to make a better effort to not offend the basic Jewish concept regarding this issue. Church members who submit names thinking they are "Doing a Greater Good" are just plain wrong. Submitting a name is just a small part of this issue. Understand the culture and the depth of Judaism. Having Grown up Mormon in a predomenitally Jewish Community(More Jewish than Provo is Mormon) I can say this straight out: Though many Jews do not understand our religion they are people that will defend us as well. They truelly are our friends. No greater deed could a Mormon do than respect our Jewish family. They have come to our defense to build our Temples.

    6. We owe them that respect. Even if a Rabbi or group of Rabbi's may be out of line in personal comments, again they speak for only small fragments of their faith, if even just for themselves.

  • Arm of Orion Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 12:59 p.m.

    Seriously how is this an issue? If you do not believe that what we do is true and of God then what does it matter to you. Further how many of you understand that what is done in the temples are only there to provide an opportunity for those deceased to choose to accept the ordinance. It isn't a forced posthumous conversion. So again Heretic I state that your analogy is flawed since it involves compulsory conversion not an opportunity to accept an ordinance. Let me restate the point so perhaps it could be understood. Baptisms for the dead do not force people to accept the faith it only grants them the opportunity. So tell me again how this is a problem.

  • JCH San Diego, CA
    Feb. 15, 2012 12:49 p.m.

    Defenders of baptizing-the-dead: Was the Mormon Church wrong in its 1995 agreement with the Jews? Was the Mormon Church wrong in its 2010 agreement with the Jews? Was the Mormon Church wrong to apologize for violations of that agreement?

    If the doctrine of baptism of the dead is infallible and the practice is necessary, why does the Church make these agreements or render these apologies? Please enlighten me.

  • no fit in SG St.George, Utah
    Feb. 15, 2012 12:39 p.m.

    Count Intell:

    Yes, must be something one picks up while living in such a peculiar, confusing culture.

  • ouisc Farmington, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 12:33 p.m.

    What saddens me the most about this topic is the disregard for the individual.

    I'm sure we've all heard the question, even among missionaries who have served years ago, "how many conversions have you had?" Baptisms on the dead is very similar--get a list of names and read them off in a ceremony. The more, the better.

    I'm sure whoever decided to baptize Simon Wiesenthal had no idea of who he was or what he experienced, especially during and since WWII. If we had done any research on this individual whatsoever, then we would have realized his legacy is exactly as it should be.

    I look forward to a culture change within the LDS faith. There have been effective relevations before--culture change is very possible. The culture change is simply--tolerate others and appreciate who they are! As for posthumous baptisms--only baptize the dead folks who were actively interested in the LDS faith. You would have to know these folks (family and close friends). Otherwise, you truly are disrespectful and not tolerating who the person is and what the person stood for.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 12:31 p.m.

    As neither Jew nor LDS, I don't have a direct stake in the issue. It all strikes me as a rather silly debate that has no real consequence.

    I may not have the right vocabulary for the LDS things, but here are a couple sincere questions:

    1) The penalty for the mistake (revocation of genealogical access privileges) seems light for the offense, especially since it has been a very public point of interfaith contention for years and the LDS hierarchy has made the official position clear. Why not revocation of the temple recommend, disfellowshipping, or excommunication?

    2) Is there a ritual to "undo" the baptism? It's fine that the mortal perpetrator was punished, but the spiritual offense still stands. It's like a mugger going to jail but getting to keep the money. Restitution to the victim should include rescinding the baptism.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 15, 2012 12:27 p.m.

    The official position of the LDS Church is one of respect for Jews and an agreement to not do posthumous services for Holocaust victims.

    The stated position of many of the LDS posters is that the official Church position is wrong and they should be able to do it if they want because those who they are doing it for don't believe in it anyway so there is no harm.

    The harm is in the image of Mormons in the rest of the world. Mormons don't follow their Prophet and have no personal integrity or respect for others' beliefs - at least, this is the image being presented in this thread.

    I guess one good thing about the attitudes presented here - they are proof that it is possible that if Romney is elected President he won't be taking orders from the Church Hierarchy.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 11:56 a.m.

    Re: ute alumni, 1 Cor 15:29 it is not addressed by other Christian faiths.
    Else what shall THEY do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are THEY then baptized for the dead? Paul uses the 3rd person . Paul appears to exclude himself from the practice.
    This was a practice well-known among the early Christian groups, such as the Marcionites, the Montanists, and the Cerinthians, where the living were often baptized on behalf of the dead, so that the latter, who had died without having been baptized, might still be saved. Early Church Fathers, such as Tertullian, Epiphanius, and Chrysostom recorded actual occurrences of such vicarious baptisms. The practice was ultimately forbidden in the sixth canon of the Council of Hippo (393 AD).
    O.T. Saints(Jews) were saved by looking forward to the Messiah.
    He(Moses) regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. Hebrews 11:26.

  • Macfarren Dallas, TX
    Feb. 15, 2012 11:38 a.m.

    "We are outraged that such insensitive actions continue in the Mormon temples," said Rabbi Abraham Cooper.

    Rabbi Cooper appears to ask for tolerance and sensitivity for one group, but not for all.

  • Jazzledazzle Provo, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 11:30 a.m.

    @Claudio

    It's not a sob story, and you are right, this is not an article to take shots at the church, but some comments on here do take shots at the church. That is all I am saying.

  • I Choose Freedom Atlanta, GA
    Feb. 15, 2012 10:35 a.m.

    For all of those people that have completed their own genealogy and just cannot resist doing it for someone else, please give me a call. I have plenty that you can do and no one will be offended. Least of all me!

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 10:23 a.m.

    If government cannot limit the individuals freedom to act as he pleases, Can a Church?

  • Soul Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 9:54 a.m.

    I think the names of dead people (from all walks of life) on the LDS geneanlogical database are in good hands (their individual diginity is preserved) VERSUS other threatening lists of which Jews, living or dead, should really worry about.

    For a reality check, try the Middle East lists of Jewish names? Where do their names stand; perhaps some priority on "non-issues" must be considered by all freedom loving people around the world towards their neighbors?

    Let reasonable and "dignified" religious practices prevail; granted our human imperfections.

  • JoeBlow Miami Area, Fl
    Feb. 15, 2012 9:53 a.m.

    "and I take pride in the fact that the church is persecuted...... It is just one more sign to me that the church is true"

    Hate to break it to you, but you are in a long line.

    Jehovahs Witnesses, Scientologists, Jews, FLDS and on and on and on and on.

    I doubt that you feel the persecution of these religions makes them "true"

  • Midvaliean MIDVALE, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 9:42 a.m.

    It never surprises me when this topic comes up how arrogant the LDS church members can be. To say if you don't believe it then it doesn't matter is silly. We are talking about religion here. A topic so serious that a Holocaust and countless wars have been fought over religion. To say it doesn't matter is ignorant and rude at best.
    The LDS church did the right thing in apologizing.

  • ProudUtahn St. George, Utah
    Feb. 15, 2012 9:31 a.m.

    @atl134 Salt Lake City, UT

    @ute alumni
    "It either is true and gives the deceased the opportunity"

    "Honestly I've never understood the purpose of temple baptisms for the dead because we cannot possibly know the names of everyone who has ever lived. So there's going to be some people in the spirit world who are denied entry into heaven just because they didn't leave enough records of their existence behind? That's not logical and as such means that temple baptism would not be a requirement for non-Mormon deceased people to be accepted by God."

    How do you eat an elephant? one bite at a time! granted there are alot of people past and present and future that do or will need this work done. It does not do away with their agency they still have to oportunity to accept or reject the ordinance. After the beginning of the millenium and 1st resurection and the records of heaven opened more work will be done as we do some now helps with 1. our faith and diligence now 2. amount of work to be done latter.

  • Claudio Springville, Ut
    Feb. 15, 2012 9:23 a.m.

    Jazzledazzle,

    Spare us the persecution sob story. This is not persecution of the LDS Church. It is quite the opposite as we are doing the persecuting. Persecution doesn't need to come in violence, it can be done through ignorantly trampling on the memories of deceased loved ones. I'm a member too and I don't condone this at all.

    It should not be difficult for the Church to create a better system of checking the submission of names. I'm sure the team at Apple could get something done in their sleep.

    If we sign an agreement, we should live up to it. Ignorance is NOT a virtue.

  • Jazzledazzle Provo, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 9:05 a.m.

    I am LDS. I know the church is true, and I take pride in the fact that the church is persecuted. Christ was persecuted and slain for the sins of the world. It is just one more sign to me that the church is true.

    That said, I respect all religions, especially the Jewish culture. They have a soft spot in my heart. The holocaust was one of the most tragic, evil events to ever occur. I have studied memoirs by Cori Ten Boom and Gerda Weismann Klein, and they are some of my heroes.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 9:05 a.m.

    'I'm glad to see you don't care what others think, but that doesn't make your argument for this
    "perceived intrusion" anymore comforting to Non-LDS people.' - Happy Valley Heretic | 8:59 a.m. Feb. 15, 2012

    Well said.

    Disregarding the wishes of the person in question...

    so you can give them the 'oppertunity' (Intrusion) to turn their back on their life-long beliefs...

    is an insult.

    And if LDS members do not CARE about what the wishes of the PERSON are...

    why would it be any different, for the living?

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 9:03 a.m.

    "We are outraged that such insensitive actions continue in the Mormon temples," said Rabbi Abraham Cooper...' - article

    Continue, in the Mormon temples.

    You cannot simply SAY someone belongs to 'X' religion. Even if it is only your 'personal' records.

    You need their CONSENT.

    If you cannot verify that, in this life or the next, you are FORCING your belief, on people who are dead.

    Why is this an issue?

    It desecrates the persons memory. Insulting family members, and distorts history.

    There is not 'justification' for descrating the memory of the dead.

    The 'oppertunity' for redemption, was not asked for.

    As such, the LDS church needs to leave people, alone.

    Otherwise, the backlash at such intrusions lives, names and history...

    is completely warrented and justified against the LDS church.

  • Vince the boonies, mexico
    Feb. 15, 2012 9:02 a.m.

    C'mon LDS members of which I am one, keep your noses out of other peoples religion and business. If you all believe in the here after and the good lord I believe that he will take care of these problems when the time arrives and does not need your help right now. Live and let live please! I also believe your time can be spent mentoring issues within your own religion and fulfilling the many requests of your time without going outside of your church.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 8:59 a.m.

    Sorry Alumni, but since a large part of the nation sees the LDS church as a cult,
    my analogy is quite accurate to how someone who doesn't believe the way you do might feel.

    I'm glad to see you don't care what others think, but that doesn't make your argument for this
    "perceived intrusion" anymore comforting to Non-LDS people.

    According to many posters they'll be a 1,000 years when you can freely to this work, without offending anyone, so what's the rush?

  • no fit in SG St.George, Utah
    Feb. 15, 2012 8:55 a.m.

    As a non-mormon who is a fanatical genealogist, this is difficult to understand.
    Genealogy/family history has become the number one "hobby" in the world. People are fascinated as they search, now Internet available, records for their families throughout the world.
    Religion is Not a factor for many people in their search.
    No one has the answers to what happens after we leave this earth. And, many of us find the Mormon philosophy rather arrogant. Certainly, if Mormon families wish to search, and do their ritual work for their ancestors, that is their choice.
    However, so much of what is in conflict with the LDS by non-Mormons, has to do with intrusion into the lives of non-Mormons who do Not have interest in the Mormon Church.
    The LDS need to take care of their own. They might consider changing their policies concerning their apparent need to continually intrude into the lives of those of other, or no religious dominations. This is a very personal and, sometimes, private topic for many.

  • m.g. scott LAYTON, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 8:55 a.m.

    Re: alt134

    Of course you are skeptical otherwise you would be LDS. I'm skeptical of Jews and others who would say Jesus isn't the Messiah. However, if he isn't and the first or only coming is yet to happen, I will become a Jew as fast as possible.

  • Arm of Orion Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 8:47 a.m.

    Heretice we are not stealing souls away through force or coercion. The practice being performed is merely a means to provide an opportunity to become a Mormon in the after life should they so choose. Your analogy is therefore flawed and not usable for this instance. Better luck next time.

  • Free Agency Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 8:46 a.m.

    As a Jew, I strongly agree with the rabbi who pointed out that the LDS genealogical database isn't just used by church members but by many, many other people. And so it does a huge disservice to those who were murdered because they were Jewish to now be listed as non-Jewish on this widely-used database.

    It reminds me of the movie "Bus Stop," where Don Murray is determined to marry Marilyn Monroe whether she wants to marry him or not. (She doesn't want to.) In other words, how about *asking* first? And since you can't ask the dead, let's assume--despite your own feelings of love--that the answer would be no rather than yes.

  • ute alumni Tengoku, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 8:39 a.m.

    happy valley heretic:
    there is a lot in a name. I couldn't care less his charlie manson wants to steal my soul. interesting that you equate him with the workings of the LDS church. I think I know your bias. Good luck on future analogies.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 8:38 a.m.

    @mg scott
    " according to LDS theology, it will be during the 1000 years millinium that all the records of manking will be revealed by the Lord, and the vast majority of the work for humanity will be done in thousands of Temples, yet to be built"

    I've heard that though of course as someone who isn't LDS I'm skeptical of the notion.

    "One of the reasons we do Temple work for others is so that we can remember the covenants we ourselves made in the Temple when we went through for ourselves. "

    I've also heard that and that makes sense.

    @ute alumni
    "Interesting to me is that although it is contained in 1 Cor 15:29 it is not addressed by other Christian faiths. "

    Christian faiths address it by either suggesting Paul was condemning the practice or that it was something other groups were using (based on pronoun usage throughout that chapter). Historically the Marcionites practiced it though... they were kinda far away from mainstream christian and modern LDS belief outside of that one practice.

  • Fern RL LAYTON, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 8:34 a.m.

    The thing that impressed me most in this article is the quote from Foxman:

    "...this issue is extremely important to the Jewish people, as Holocaust victims died precisely because they were Jewish. Listing Jews as 'Christian' on one of the most researched genealogical sites in the world inadvertently aids and abets denial of the Holocaust."

    I wish I knew more about what it means to be Jewish, but as I have always understood it, it is both a religious believe and a genetic heritage. So I thought a person could convert to Christianity and still be Jewish by heritage. I know Isaac Asimov was an atheistic Jew.

    I also thought that Holocaust victims included all who were connected with the nationality, regardless of their religious beliefs.

    So maybe the Church of Jesus Christ should list "Jew" by the names of those to whom that applies.

  • Claudio Springville, Ut
    Feb. 15, 2012 8:21 a.m.

    Some of my fellow members of the LDS Church seem baffled as to why a Jewish person would be offended by this action. Yes, we think of it in terms of a humanitarian service. They see it as a slap in the face and a further mocking of their people and rightfully so. Jews were specifically targeted in the Holocaust. Many perceive our post-humous baptizing of Holocaust survivors/victims as a change of religion (which is exactly what we claim it to be for the living). Thus by baptizing Jewish Holocaust survivors contrary to the family's wishes, we are seen as (and indeed are) discounting their sacrifice by saying they aren't Jews anymore and therefore random people were "targeted" by the Nazis.

    The LDS Church leadership recognizes this. Why some of the members don't is beyond me. The attitude of "if you don't wish to accept it, then it's meaningless anyway so why do you care" is exactly the problem the leaders of both the LDS Church and Jewish congregations are speaking to. It is a big deal. It does matter. Members of the LDS Church should respect their leaders, their Jewish brothers and sisters, and themselves by following the rules. Willfully acting against them shows a special kind of arrogance that is far from Christ-like and is completely contrary to the spirit and purpose of the ordinance of post-humous baptism.

  • IrishLDS Castleknock, Dublin
    Feb. 15, 2012 8:20 a.m.

    @atl134

    It's true that it is not possible for us presently to identify every person that has lived but it possible that during the 1,000 year duration of the Millenium that heavenly messengers will assist those on the earth to identify all those who have ever lived on this earth so that proxy baptisms can be performed. Additionally, it is conceivable that they will assist in identifying those who desire such a work to be performed on their behalf. Hence, the logic fits appriopriately with other beliefs that we have. Finally, baptism is not required for entrance into 'heaven' it is required for entrance into the highest heaven.

  • ute alumni Tengoku, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 8:12 a.m.

    alt134:
    millions of names are being submitted monthly. Over time all will have the opportunity to accept or reject. Interesting to me is that although it is contained in 1 Cor 15:29 it is not addressed by other Christian faiths. restored revelation and additional explanations by modern day prophets are very helpful to understand this important doctrine.

  • m.g. scott LAYTON, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 8:08 a.m.

    Re: Alt134

    I'm sure I won't be the only person to point this out to you, but according to LDS theology, it will be during the 1000 years millinium that all the records of manking will be revealed by the Lord, and the vast majority of the work for humanity will be done in thousands of Temples, yet to be built. One of the reasons we do Temple work for others is so that we can remember the covenants we ourselves made in the Temple when we went through for ourselves. That is something a person only does once. No one would ever remember the details of the experience were it not for the opportunity to do it hundred or thousands of times again.

  • MormonConservative A Tropical Paradise USA, FL
    Feb. 15, 2012 8:08 a.m.

    This is not the first time.

    Vatican issues an order to Bishops to not allow Parish records to be given to genealogical societies of the Mormon Church. In an effort to block posthumous rebaptisms by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Catholic dioceses throughout the world have been directed by the Vatican not to give information in parish registers to the Mormons' Genealogical Society of Utah. An April 5 letter from the Vatican Congregation for Clergy, obtained by Catholic News Service in late April, asks episcopal conferences to direct all bishops to keep the Latter-day Saints from microfilming and digitizing information contained in those registers. In 2001 the Vatican's doctrinal congregation issued a ruling that baptism conferred by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints cannot be considered a valid Christian baptism, thus requiring converts from that religion to Catholicism to receive a Catholic baptism. Mormons have been criticized by several other faiths perhaps most passionately by the Jews for the church's practice of posthumous baptism.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 8:03 a.m.

    Lets say the Church of Charlie Manson decides it's found a way thru satanic ritual to steal the souls of spirit world for their dark lord. That would be cool with the LDS members, right?
    I mean if you don't believe in it theirs no harm done?

    Not everyone believse or understands the LDS religion, and to mock their requests show your intolerance for others beliefs.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 7:55 a.m.

    Gosh, why are we always so persecuted? Don't they see all the blessings, even rich blessing the recieve?

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 7:52 a.m.

    @ute alumni
    "It either is true and gives the deceased the opportunity"

    Honestly I've never understood the purpose of temple baptisms for the dead because we cannot possibly know the names of everyone who has ever lived. So there's going to be some people in the spirit world who are denied entry into heaven just because they didn't leave enough records of their existence behind? That's not logical and as such means that temple baptism would not be a requirement for non-Mormon deceased people to be accepted by God.

  • m.g. scott LAYTON, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 7:47 a.m.

    I do find it odd that Rabbi Cooper would suggest that the LDS Church change one of the basic beliefs of the Church. That being Baptism for the Dead. He would not take kindly to outsiders from the Jewish faith suggesting the Jews change some basic principle of their faith.

  • ute alumni Tengoku, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 7:39 a.m.

    How do these people assume that they can make decisions for the dead? It either is true and gives the deceased the opportunity or it doesn't so why does it matter. The jews can do whatever ritual to me whether alive or not.
    They might want to worry about what this administration's policies are towards Israel today. It is much more dangerous that proxy baptism.

  • Mrclark Leesburg, VA
    Feb. 15, 2012 7:26 a.m.

    Why not have Jews submit a list of people affected in any way by the Holocaust? Then the church can easily block those name from having the ordinance performed.

  • Yorkshire City, Ut
    Feb. 15, 2012 7:22 a.m.

    Perhaps the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Church could jointly administer a data base of Holocaust victim's names that the Rabbi is concerned will be posthumously baptized against both LDS Church and Jewish directives.

    This would allay fears by the Rabbi and others of the Jewish community that the Church has a hidden agenda.

    If a name from the list is submitted for Temple work, it would be red flagged and an review performed to determine if it was submitted legitimately by an LDS descendant.

    If so, go ahead.
    If not, it would not be performed and the submitter denied access, as was the person in this story.

  • Shuzzie53 HAYWARD, CA
    Feb. 15, 2012 12:38 a.m.

    The rabbi at the the end of the article is right. If Jews (or anybody else) don't believe in what Mormons are doing, then why should they care what we do?