Comments about ‘Mormon Church apologizes for Jewish baptisms for the dead’

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

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 14 2012 10:00 p.m. MST

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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?

City, Ut

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.

Leesburg, VA

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.

ute alumni
Tengoku, UT

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.

m.g. scott

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.

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.

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

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

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

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.

A Tropical Paradise USA, FL

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.

m.g. scott

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.

ute alumni
Tengoku, UT

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.

Castleknock, Dublin


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.

Springville, Ut

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.

Fern RL

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.

Salt Lake City, UT

@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.

ute alumni
Tengoku, UT

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.

Free Agency
Salt Lake City, UT

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.

Arm of Orion
Cottonwood Heights, UT

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.

m.g. scott

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.

no fit in SG
St.George, Utah

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.

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