Comments about ‘LDS Church toughens stand against 'improper' proxy name submissions’

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Published: Tuesday, Feb. 21 2012 6:00 p.m. MST

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Somewhere in Time, UT

I repeat. This is a silly non issue.

Phoenix, AZ

I think that part of the blame lies in the temples that continue to allow the ordinances to be done in the first place. The workers need better training to catch jewish names before they get into the system in the first place. I think also that the threat of disipilinary action needs to apply to the temple workers as well for not stopping these names from getting through in the first place.

Charlotte, NC

The Church has made a commitment to these people not to proxy baptize unless the name has been submitted by a descendant. This sounds reasonable and those who willfully violate this commitment need to be dealt with very firm hand.

With that said, I just don't understand why people care about this. Are they looking for ways to be offended? If they don't believe LDS church doctrine, why would they get upset about it? You can baptize me by proxy into any church at any time. You can baptize me into church of satan and I could not care less because I don't believe that it has any validation by any authority.

Buena Vista, VA

I certainly do not condone the actions of those who may have deliberately ignored Church directives. But I agree completely with Henry Drummond. Since the Jews do not believe that the LDS church and priesthood are true, and do not believe proxy ordinances have any real effect, why are they worried? In fact, they even know that LDS believe that the dead get a choice; we are not calling the dead "Mormons" now. And I agree with Cats: too bad that some people who want the baptism now have to wait because some others chose to be offended. I repeat: chose to be offended. To Truthseeker who says that proxy baptism is offensive because it implies the first baptism wasn't good enough, well, isn't that what our missionaries do anyway? They ask people who have been baptized in whatever faith to be rebaptized in the LDS faith. Shall we also ban our missionaries from suggesting that people be baptized? To Chris 225: If Catholics of Jews did proxy services for Joseph Smith et al, I would be amused, not offended. More people should have my attitude. A wise person once said, it is foolish to take offense where none is intended.

Semper Fi
Bakersfield, CA

I am not LDS and I think the church leaders did an excellent job on the PR end. However, if you truly believe "some deserving souls" are waiting unnecessarily in limbo, that creates another problem: Why give in to non-believers on earth when there are eternal souls at peril? Why not just have the work done privately? It speaks to whether you fear God or man.

As an evangelical, I wish the conversation we were having with all denominations would be how to come together in Biblical unity and cease the division and strife. That would be disappointing to many agnostic and unreligious here, who only add to the cacaphony rather than the solution.

Richard Larson
Holladay, Ut


Average, SE

Re: Chris225

"How would you feel if the jewish community or catholic community did proxy services for Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, Hyrum Smith...any other member who has died for what they believed in? I am pretty sure that you would be offended and thats the whole point."

I wouldn't be offended in the least (and this proxy work is never done to offend others). In fact, I would be honored that the Jewish community and Catholic communities not only recognized the importance of proxy ordinances (they used to many years ago) but also that they cared enough about Joseph Smith and others to perform the rituals for them. As a Mormon, I also wouldn't recognize the validity of it though; it comes down to who has the authority from God to perform the proxy ordinances.

No one is ever forced to accept the proxy work done on behalf of them - the deceased individual has to choose to accept the work and has to repent. Having the work performed doesn't automatically make anyone Mormon or Christian; the person has to make the choice to join God's kingdom on their own.

In any case, there are many Jewish people and leaders who are not perturbed by the proxy work - they don't believe in it so why should they care? What is offensive are the church members who are not following church protocol, who are willfully disregarding the instructions of church leaders, and submitting these names. They have been told not to since at least 1996 but they have decided that they know better than the church leaders. That is what is offensive!

Bill in Nebraska
Maryville, MO

Whether you believe in baptisms for the dead or not is not the issue. Millions have been baptized correctly by the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Millions more will be baptized correctly by the members over the next year. As for Pagan and others. Just think what your family will do after you are gone. They will do what they feel is right. If they are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints they have the right to have your temple work completed. It will get done even these for the Jews. Maybe not now and maybe not in a few short years but the work for them will get done. That is just the way it is. Our leadership has taken a stand to let us know only our own families, 4 generations back is what to be done. By the way I have one line back to Charlamagne which means it can now be traced to Adam. I can't do all that work but the Church is doing it from 1500 on back. Again it will get done, just a matter of time.

Richard Larson
Holladay, Ut

Oh no, again?

Bountiful, Utah

You are asked by the computer if you are related to this person prior to the name being approved for temple work and if you say yes and you are not then you are lying and have no business going to the temple to begin with. We should follow the leaders of the church in not doing this work for others who request it not be done. Although I completely understand the strong feelings on this matter by others, what difference does it make if you do not believe what the Mormons believe. Obviously, if you do not believe in this then it is of no worth to you. I do understand the martyrs who have given their lives for their religious beliefs but if you wanted to baptize Joseph Smith and that was your belief I would respect your beliefs to do so. God will sort out whose baptisms are of effect and not this forum. Sorry to those who have been offended by a work that is only meant to help all of His children.

Hesperia, CA

I support whatever the Church's policy is concerning proxy name submissions. If people are doing things against that policy to have some type of status that a certain name submission would bring on them, then shame on them and they should be punished in whatever manner the Church's policy calls for.

That being said, I have no problem with someone from another church doing any type of work for me, my family or whoever they want to do if for. If I truly believe what my faith teaches, then why would it matter what someone else does in my family's behalf. To me, it is quite sad that people get so offended over something that they have no belief in.

Springville, Ut


I find nothing silly about liars.

I find nothing silly about Church leaders explaining that liars will be punished as they have not only damaged their own good name, but that of the Church as well.

I find nothing silly about demonstrating that members of the Church are asked to "obey, honor and sustain the law" and when they choose not to, there are consequences.

Ironic that you find this a silly issue, but invoke my previous sentence with regards to members of hispanic origins choosing their preferred presidential candidate.

You can't have it both ways. Trying to do so IS silly.

Murray, UT

First off, I do NOT agree with the actions of the members that are doing this. With that being said, why are there so many people telling us to leave the dead alone, that it is offensive, that we shouldn't be baptizing the dead because they would be so mad if they were baptized. The LDS church has never said that once a baptism for the deceased person has been performed, they are automatically mormon and they don't have a choice. They can choose! Free agency! The only reason I can see this practice as being offensive is if those criticizing it believe in it which would mean the church is true and they would they would have to make a choice. I know plenty of non-members who don't care because they just laugh it off because they find no truth in it. But if you are against it, maybe you should revisit your religious beliefs.

Salt Lake City, UT

I completely agree with the Church's stance on this issue given the talks they have had with the Jewish community. But for the life of me I can't see why anyone would be offended by having there name after they are dead or that of an ancestor be brought through an LDS temple.

When this happens, there are only 2 possibilities. Either the ordinance done for them is false, or else it is truly an ordinance ordained by God. If it is false, as most who are offended by it believe, then there is no way that it will have any effect on them, negative or positive. If it is true, then it may have a positive effect on them if they accept it but if they don't accept it, it still has no effect on them. In other words, if you don't want to accept it there is no way it can have an effect on you whether it is of God or whether it is some man-made fantasy.

I personally am of the belief that it is ordained of God. I have respect for other people's views. But on this issue I simply don't understand the outrage it brings out in people.

Dirty Hippee
Bountiful, UT

They died for their beliefs! It is extremely insensitive, and frankly audacious that the LDS Church would minimize their deaths in this way, and continue to do so to all those who suffered and to those we lost during the holocaust. This is offensive and painful for those of the Jewish faith, those who suffered, and those who lost loved ones and ancestors. An apology is not enough. This needs to stop!

Uncle Charles
Where freedom and liberty reign, utah

To end this silliness all the Jewish leaders who are so offended (and it's not all, just a few who like to speak loudly) is give the LDS church a list of all the names that are from the Holocaust.

Those names can be flagged and never have their work done unless it is documented to come from a direct-line descendant. Issue is closed.

Maybe Helen Radkey in her spare time can compile the list for them?

South Jordan, UT

I'm not one to defend Mormons, but I tend to think Jewish organizations are really overreacting here. If they don't believe in the Mormon faith, who cares what Mormons do in their temples? It has no impact on anyone at all.

m.g. scott

Today a story comes out about a Catholic who was a witness to the holocost being baptized and some anger about that. I'm beginning sense a steamroller developing. Pretty soon there will be a move by many other parties to ask the LDS Church to not do these baptisms and to remove the names of those done. I still don't know how outside people are able to access internal Church records. This stuff could be someone from within trying to create problems for the Church. If this does grow, imagine what will happen if the world knew who has been baptized by the LDS Church. I mean will there be a move by decendents of say George Washington, or Thomas Jefferson to have them removed? This could get into a big ugly argument about the limits of religious freedom and practices. I don't think it a coincidence that a Mormon is a likely candidate for the presidency either.

Lane Myer
Salt Lake City, UT

People! It does not matter whether or not you would be offended if someone else did this to your ancestors. It does not matter whether or not you understand why some people are offended. All that matters is that they ARE offended and the church has asked us not to submit these names. The church authorities seem to understand why they are offended and understand that to continue to ignore this is offensive to Jews.

THAT is all we need to understand, right?

Salt Lake City, UT

LDS Church toughens stand against 'improper' proxy name submissions - Title


How many times will they 'toughen' this stance...

until, it, works?

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