Comments about ‘It's unjust to say LDS Church is anti-Semitic’

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Published: Thursday, March 15 2012 5:00 a.m. MDT

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Tooele, UT

Not only unjust, but wildly inaccurate.

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

It looks that way from the outside. Insiders don't have an objective view.

a bit of reality
Shawnee Mission, KS

I wonder if Jews would agree that the Book of Mormon is philo-semitic?

Lots of versus read like Jacob 4:14: But behold, the Jews were a stiffnecked people; and they despised the words of plainness, and killed the prophets, and sought for things that they could not understand. Wherefore, because of their blindness, which blindness came by looking beyond the mark, they must needs fall. (Jacob 4:14)

1 Nephi 10:11, 4 Nephi 1:31, Mormon 7:5 says it was Âthe Jews that killed the Messiah.

And of course, 2 Nephi 10:3 implies that the Jews were the most wicked people in the history of the world, because "there is none other nation on earth that would crucify their God."

West Jordan, UT

Have you read the condemnation of the people of Israel (Judah included) in the Old Testament? And why, because they departed from the right way, and put their trust in other gods and in political alliances. Neither of these served them well. Christ rebuked the hypocrisy of the wicked Pharisees. What do we learn from this? They brought the condemnation upon themselves, just as we can bring it upon ourselves if we do not live righteously. We also learn that if we repent, then God will turn away his anger from us.

Great promises are made throughout scriptures (Bible and Book of Mormon) to the Jews, and to us. Nowhere in scriptures does it give us license to persecute the Jews (which I am descended from in part), but rather the Gentiles are to bind them up and be their nursing mothers and carry them upon our backs. That is certainly not anti-Semitic in any sense of the word.

Hightstown, NJ

I agree that the Church is not anti-Semitic. And the quote from 2 Nephi 29 is a great illustration of this. But it was disingenuous of Mr. Peterson to include scriptures from the NT denouncing the treatment of (the leaders of) the Jews (at the time of Christ) and not the similar comments from Book of Mormon prophet Jacob.

Of course, if people remembered the 60 Minutes feature from President Hinckley's time, they would know from Orrin Hatch that "It's typical of Mormon people to love all people, but especially Jewish people."

Bruce T. Forbes
Kearns, UT

Anyone who thinks Latter-day Saints are anti-Semite didnÂt grow up in the ward I grew up in! From Primary upwards we were taught Jews are our brothers and we should treat them as such. Rabbi Cohen taught classes on Judaism and Jewish history which were widely attended by Latter-day Saints. We sang in each others worship services; we attended each others dances. Imagine my surprise when I discovered the whole world wasnÂt this way. Both times I was in Israel doors that donÂt open for tourists opened for me when they found out I was a Mormon because they knew Mormons respected them and their religion. I had the chance to explain vicarious ordinance work to several concerned Israelis, who certainly thought we were wasting our time but were nonetheless honored that we cared. Yeah, I'm about as anti-Semite as my childhood hero - Golda Meir. "Mormonism" taught me that.

Centerville, UT

I've never come across an anti-semitic attitude within the church. The doctrine certainly doesn't teach anti-semitism. The Bible AND the Book of Mormon teach that the Jews were a stuborn people who rejected Christ, but ultimately, they are still God's people.

I know one Jewish person very well and asked him how he found Utahn's attitude toward his religion. He had nothing but good things to say about his experience here. (He is from another state originally.) He even mentioned that the LDS church had provided security for some of the activities at the Jewish Commnunity Center in SLC.

You find what you are looking for. If you are looking to be offended and insulted all the time, you will be. If you look for the good in others, you will find it.

Bountiful, UT

As someone raised in a Jewish family and later became an LDS convert, I have never seen anything that resembles antisemitism in the many congregations that I have attended all over the US.

If anything, I feel that the LDS church is more pro-Jewish than most Christian churches.

Mesa, Az

The LDS Church is Anti-Semitic....yeah that is a good one. I wonder what Orson Hyde is thinking about that.

Swedish reader
Stockholm, Sweden

The only reason I could imagine why anyone would think us anti-semetic is if they see proxy baptisms as an attempt to remove our ancestors' Jewishness. Surely we can explain to the honest of heart that's not the case? I'm proud of my Jewish ancestors and wish they could have had the additional knowledge I have. The Gospel doesn't replace Jewishness with something else - it completes it.

Medical Lake, Washington

I can appreciate "a bit of reality"'s comments. However, Isaiah and several other Jewish prophets said basically the same thing. Isaiah chapter 8 describes Israel and the Jewish nation as "nation terrible from it's beginning."

Neither the Book of Mormon nor LDS doctrine ever condones or encourages hatred towards any group. Even Moroni, near the end of his writings said: "Be not as we have been." One might conclude that we also have something against those in the Book of Mormon.

Having grown up LDS, I have always been taught that there was great promise for the Jewish people and that at the time of his Second Coming, Christ would rescue the Jews from their enemies, and thus, it has been our conclusion that to oppose Israel or the Jewish people would be an unwise move.

Roanoke, VA

@A bit of Reality ... Look at the Old Testament (including the Torah) references which say the same thing as Jacob 4:14. Surely you aren't implying that the Jews are anti-Semitic, too.

Pleasanton, CA

Leaders and others in the LDS Church have certainly made it clear enough what our position in relation to the Jewish people is, especially as it relates to the issue of proxy baptisms for Jewish people. Anyone who is still inclined to criticize must be willfully misunderstanding.

Federal Way, WA

My goodness - WOW a very well written article... I can sense your heart when you wrote it...Bless your heart Dan! PS: I always enjoy your writings books, articles etc... wow... ... Hey, you seem to be the only one who is a all-round LDS expert on and about Jews and Arabs--- people just don't know they are truly related in a way all way back to Abraham!!! According to your book Abraham Divided... Dan, do keep up your work! :)

Chicago, IL

It is, indeed, unjust and probably quite mean-spirited. I am reminded of a relative, a Rabbi, who, when starting a new congregation, was offered the use of the local LDS ward meeting hall for services until a permanent home could be secured. When he inquired of the rent the church would expect he was told, "none whatsoever." Anti-Semitic indeed.

San Francisco, CA

@ Halwrite

That is really interesting! Something similar happened in my ward, years before my time.

At a high school reunion several years ago, I was reconnected with one of my decades-ago teachers. In conversing with her, it came out that I was an adult LDS convert and belonged to a certain ward. The teacher recalled attending Jewish services in my ward building as a teenager while her nearby synagogue was being renovated.

I later asked older ward members, who also remembered it. The Jewish congregation even used our chapel for their Sabbath services. There was a large artwork in the chapel portraying Christ at Gethsemane, which would be draped for Shabbat and uncovered for Sunday morning.

In my youth, I had a strong interest in the Jews and their religion and history that continues today. Many of my friends were Jewish and I was one of the rare non-Jews who belonged to the Zionist organization at my college. I was becoming inactive in my childhood church, but I am now convinced that my interest in the Jews was one way a wise Heavenly Father was preparing me to be receptive to the Gospel decades later.

phx, AZ

I am not Mormon-I am Jewish I happened to come upon this story because of an email news story alert on the Holocaust. I just wanted to say I don't think the LDS Church or anyone else had any evil intent when they baptized people who died n the Holocaust. You aren't painting swastikas on synagogues. You aren't turning your backs on Jews as they are marched into death camps like the rest of the world did.

I think everyone need to give God and religious people the benefit of the doubt. From what I understand no one is required to accept the baptism. Who knows? they might appreciate that someone is trying to comfort them. At least the church remembers them.

Another thing- I probably wont vote for Romney but he isn't required to defend the LDS Church. There is a separation between church and state and the news pundits need to remember that.

Roy, UT

I am in total agreement, I have always wondered why people are so against the LDS faith when it comes to our attitude with the Jews, we love the Jewish People, we consider them, OUR BRETHREN! They are one of us, like we are a part of them, all Israelites.

Harwich, MA

In theory the title to this article is correct. In the real world you don't see anyone of "Hebrew" decent that has joined the Church as part of the general authority list of participants. Just an observation.

layton, UT

RE: Celeste WOW a very well written article.
The gospel of John, in particular, blames "the Jews" for the killing of Jesus?
No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again¦. Christ ultimately chose to die, Human sin killed Jesus. John 10:18
Romans 4:25 ,He [Jesus] was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. In the above verse, as well as throughout the Bible, it is repeatedly taught that death itself is caused by sin (e.g. Genesis 2:16-17; Romans 5:12, 6:23.

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