Catholics told not to give LDS parish data

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  • Joe
    Oct. 13, 2009 8:08 p.m.

    These posts are hilarious.

    Disclaimer: If you are extremely conservative, almost to a puritanical state of mind, and cannot find humor in life do not read any further.

    Okay folks, you can all have my bones and remains and do what you want with them after I'm dead and gone. Really, I won't need them. I won't need my name as well since Joe is pretty common and I expect some more to come along after I.

    With religion has always come war, as well as the war of ideas, this is nothing different. I thought WE, as the human race, have far surpassed the age of enlightenment and worked through our fears and superstitions? I guess there are a few stragglers in any bunch.

  • Anonymous
    July 21, 2009 7:25 p.m.

    I'm a live. I've studied the history and beliefs of Mormonism and I freely choose to believe Mormonism is bogus.

  • Anonymous
    July 21, 2009 7:13 p.m.

    I believe Heavenly Father wants us to do family history for our own benefit. We learn so much about ourselves, by getting to know and appreciate our ancestors. I don't believe for one second that someone will be denied the blessings of eternity, simply because some records are lost or unattainable. All will work out in the end. Sometimes we forget just who is in charge.

  • lame
    July 21, 2009 6:37 p.m.

    What's this old article on here for. Give it up!

  • Stop bawling
    July 21, 2009 6:26 p.m.

    The Catholic church is the only true church on this earth today rather any one of you want to admit it or not. Catholics have sacred records as well. Learn to respect others.

  • Utah Mormon
    July 21, 2009 5:54 p.m.

    If the Catholic Church does not want to give their data to the LDS Church who cares? Jesus Christ himself declared that all will hear his gospel and have the opportunity to accept him, which I believe is true because what kind of God hides from man and punishes them if they haven't heard of the name Jesus Christ and never had the chance?

    Nobody should be getting riled up about this. It's their choice if they don't want to give us the records, we shouldn't be making a big deal out of it. We should be doing what we can, and doing what we believe instead of whining, "They won't share." Then if they don't want to they don't have to! Find other things you could be doing productively instead of moping about it like a bunch of emo kids.

  • Emlyn Davis
    July 21, 2009 5:41 p.m.

    I would like to apologise my family are LDS and I being one I know how important it is for members. I apologise, I had a bad exp. but that's not an attempt to excuse or justify my sin and I don't want to tar anyone or an organisation with my over-reactionary syndrome. Kind of like when someone gives up smoking.

    So I sincerely apologise, I don't agree with the practice, but I feel a bit embarassed that I typed without thinking, so to any LDS reading this who have read my earlier comment I apologise, to others who are reading this and haven't read the other, please accept it as someone with way too much caffeine and anger management.


  • Holy Roman Apostolic Catholic
    June 3, 2009 7:35 p.m.

    1st: RE-READ the article and understand that what the Catholic Church doesnt want is LDS missionares or LDS members posing as "genealogists" mass-microfilming the records it guards. If someone wants a copy of a record, that person must show legimitate interest, for example being a descendant of the record in question he or she wishes to obtain. Period, is that simple.

    2nd: Yes, the Church does have serious concerns of the destination the information given is used for. First by publicizing all the info for the sake of genealogy seems an unthreatening practice, but that info will not only be available to true genealogists and people with legitimate interest, but also to many whakos (including the LDS church) who practice for good or for bad necromancy... and for that, I thank the Pope for protectig the souls of my ancestors.

    3rd: is not a matter of what you find offensive, it is a matter of what the Catholics or the Jews feel offensive, and that should be respected. "do unto others as you..."

    4th: The Catholic Church is the only true Church and all you mormons are poor misled heathen. I`ll pray for you.

  • Anne in Australia
    Oct. 8, 2008 6:45 a.m.

    With a mixed Catholic and LDS background it does not offend me when Catholics have masses said for our relatives when they die. I wish then that they would not be offended when Temple work is done for the dead as it is only to assist them to progress and affords those who did not repent in life to re-dedicate themselves or repent and be baptized, as in Paul to the Corinthians, Else what shall they do who are Baptized for the Dead if the Dead Rise not at all, maybe those who complain dont believe there will be a resurrection. I thought all Catholics and LDS did so cannot each thank the other for the kindly prayers, Masses and Temple work done in love and concern. Ecumenical understanding was thought to have replaced bigotry. Maybe it is waking up again. How Sad.
    Let us pray for Catholic and LDS unity as they have so much in common, anti abortion, worship of God The Father, belief in a living Christ and hope for their own and their loved ones' salvation. What is wrong with that. Solving whether Rome had the authority from Peter is too long a debate.

  • Tea
    Aug. 24, 2008 5:22 p.m.

    I was forced to attend the mormon church when I was young (mother has since left the church and apologised). I've been a Catholic for over 30 years and still the mormons show up at my door like I'm going to have some big revelation and repent. That same persistant arrogance and disrepect when mormons "baptise" the dead, has resulted in the closure of Catholic records. Good job mormons, you've ruined it for the rest of us. You reap what you sow.

  • How interesting....
    June 25, 2008 6:25 p.m.

    It makes no sense to me: if the Catholic Church believes that LDS practices are wrong and invalid, why should it matter to them if Mormons want to baptize their ancestors if they believe it to be an "errounous practice?"

  • Doug Forbes
    May 26, 2008 6:53 p.m.

    I can see a law suit in this. The descendant of the deceased may have more right under the law to the records of their ancestors than any church. The church doesn't even have to get involved in this. Individuals can sue for information about their own ancestors.

  • Bert
    May 22, 2008 4:22 p.m.

    The Mormon Church has already set a precedence when they agree to not posthumously baptize any holocaust victim without the approval of an immediate family member.

    They have in essence acknowledged that to do so is an insult to family members of the deceased.

    This courtesy should be extended to all proxy candidates.

  • Anonymous
    May 18, 2008 5:41 p.m.

    We must remember how often Pres Hinckley reminded members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to be kind to others of other faiths. I have no doubt that as our church leaders speak with the Catholic Church things will work out. It's not always about being right. Sometimes it's about being understanding before wanting to be understood. The Lord has his ways of moving the work forward in His own time and in His own way. No one can stop this work from progressing. It is vital to all, even to those of other faiths, for we are all children of God. We must not have a holier than thou attitude, but live so that our lives can open doors, open hearts, and so that the spirit of the Lord may touch all. This is His work, not ours. We must do it his way. Why should we worry so much? Our Catholic brothers and sisters believe in their religion just as much as we do. Lets worry about staying on course in our own lives, for we are the greatest embassadors of this great and noble work. It is true and it will not be deterred.

  • ???
    May 16, 2008 4:28 p.m.

    How can you people compare a baptism to the Catholics lighting a candle or praying for you?? A baptism is not the same!

  • Lisa
    May 16, 2008 4:14 p.m.

    Mark I totally agree with you. I DO NOT want someone baptising me into some other religion when I am gone whether I believe it works or not....I could just see other religions baptising Mormons after they are gone. You'd sure see an outcry. I don't agree with the Catholic Church holding back on information because of my love for family tree research, but I don't blame them for having their feathers ruffled.

  • Kate Baum - Georgia
    May 16, 2008 12:12 p.m.

    I have spent the last 30 years volunteering as a German, then Gottscheer helper at my local LDS Family History Center and I spend a week every year in Salt Lake City doing research for others. I have traveled to Catholic archdioceses in Europe to get some of my family information and have been rudely treated in some places. No one is rude to me at the Family History Center. It is certainly less expensive to drive to my local FHC that fly to Europe. Those are some of the reason why I love the fact that so many of the records are available through LDS. I am extremely sorry that my church is being so narrow minded and "un-ecumenical".

  • Cliff
    May 16, 2008 9:05 a.m.

    I'm seeing a lot of posts on here stating that the LDS church would be highly offended if other church members began "baptizing" for dead LDS members.

    Nothing could be farther from the truth.

    Such statements are simply knee-jerk statements unfounded in logic or truth. No, we would not be "all over that like white on rice."

    Our 11th article of faith states: "We claim the privilege of worshipping almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege. Let them worsjip how, where, or what they may."

    If someone else wants to perform a post death ritual on behalf of my deceased ancestor, so be it. It will not be of any effect, so why should it bother me, or any other church member?

    I fail to see why this would bother anyone who was secure in their own religion? If the Catholic church really believes the LDS church is in error, what is that to the Catholics?

  • Just to add a bit more
    May 14, 2008 4:56 p.m.

    I meant to say I don't hate Mormons/LDS. My family are still members of the LDS and I love them but I agree with the point made by the catholic church.

  • Sue
    May 12, 2008 5:31 p.m.

    As a devout Mormon who loves Catholics (and other people of various faiths)I am not offended that Catholics, or any other religions, believe that they have the only true church. Why would anyone align themselves with a religion that didn't believe it had the power to save it's members? After my mother-in-law passed away a few months ago, my Catholic neighbor had her prayed for in special masses, which will continue for five years. I am very touched by her love and thoughtfulness. The Catholic Church certainly has the right to do what it wants with its records but I hope that there will be a way for all religions to benefit from shared information.

  • Rebecca
    May 12, 2008 1:26 p.m.

    I can understand that from the outside this statement could be misinterpreted to mean that Catholic's don't like Mormons and it is true that it is difficult to love those who seem different.

    However, The Catholic Church was correct in making this statement for a number of reasons but one which is important in these times, is that there is popular misconception that all religions are the same.If they had agreed to give names of the Catholic faithful this could be misinterpreted as saying Catholic and LDS - the same.

    This is not true, the LDS faith has elements of the truth but it is not the Truth. Christ is the Truth. The Catholic Church is Christ's Church. Which he is with always to the end of time in the Eucharist and which he promised that the gates of hell will not prevail against. It is still His Church :)I pray that we all may grow in the love of Christ. God Bless

  • Emlyn Davis
    May 12, 2008 1:13 p.m.

    I'm sorry but I think it's all about example. If when you give information you know the person is using it in a way that does not match your beliefs or sets an erroneous example then the Catholic Church has every right to hold such information back.

    Also with regards to the comment known as 'Two Faced' don't play the game that the LDS is above reproach and innocent. LDS will do anything to get on tv and look 'Christian' with Helping Hands and other projects. By the way I'm a Mormon who has become a Catholic so yes I'm probably warped and anti-Mormon.

  • Bill
    May 11, 2008 9:27 p.m.

    The Catholic Church is self-destructing. All we can do is let it go.

  • To banderson
    May 10, 2008 3:02 a.m.

    "Some people do research just to find some O'Haras and get together to get drunk and speak fondly of the "Old country"."

    You could have used a non-Irish surname in your example rather than reinforcing a stereotype.

  • Barney
    May 10, 2008 2:28 a.m.

    Erroneous how? asked
    "Will a Catholic please scripturally explain how baptism for the dead is erroneous?"

    I suggest that you go to a parish priest and ask, but please ask politely and respectfully.

  • banderson
    May 9, 2008 1:43 p.m.

    A sweet thing happened a few years ago when my wife hurt her leg severely. Our evangelical neighbor lady came over to see my wife. Seeing that she had a hurt leg she offered to lay hands on her and pray for her to be healed (a New Testament practice still practiced by some churches).

    We LDS lay hands on people all the time and pray for them -- but it was sure different to have a neighbor lady offer a similar opportunity. My wife graciously accepted the offer and the prayer was said. Yes the leg got better.

    I would be happy to have my ancestors baptized in whatever church or sacrificed to heathen gods or whatever. I won't be offended and I suspect they won't either. See above to identify who my ancestors are. They are generally your ancestors -- so knock yourself out if you'd like to.

  • banderson
    May 9, 2008 1:31 p.m.

    The effect of us generally "all having the same ancestors" is that we can all help one another find our common ancestors. Millions of non-LDS benefit each year by using LDS resources to find their ancestors. Thousands of LDS use wonderful Non-LDS resources to find ancestors. There is a great cooperative effort among genealogists.

    The information age has exploded the information available on the Internet and our ability to find our kin and collaborate with others of our extended family to extend our family lines. There are various ways information can be shared into the Internet so extended family can benefit.

    Some researchers like to gather information from others efforts but don't want to share what they have found. That's okay too. Some people do research just to find some O'Haras and get together to get drunk and speak fondly of the "Old country". That's okay too.

    I may think it would be harmful to help the O'Haras find their family, get drunk. But I'll still share my research with them. They're on their own to do with it what they will.

    Everyone has their own reason to search out their kin. Mormons have theirs. Maybe that's okay too.

  • banderson
    May 9, 2008 1:00 p.m.

    "We all share the same ancestors"

    I admit that is a rather general statement understood by many genealogists. Of course I don't share any close ancestors with someone from Japan.

    Here is what I mean. I have 2 parents and 4 grandparents, 8 great-grandparents, 16 great-great-parents. Pretty much all of these were LDS. Farther back than these folks nobody was a Mormon because the Church started in 1830.

    I have 32 great-great-great-grandparents, 64 4th great-grandparents and so on back through the generations -- 128,256,512,1024,2048,4096,8192, 16,384, 33,768, 67,536, 135,072. From this fifth generation back all my family were Methodists, Catholics, Church of England and probably even Druid from Denmark.

    So the total ancestors I personally have at 17 generations back looks like over 200,000. If each of us had unique ancestors, the 300,000,000 or so inhabitants of the USA would have 200,000 ancestors each by the 17th generation for a total of 30 trillion people. I'm quite sure that's more people than have ever lived on the Earth.

    The reality is that as you get back several generations our family trees become so intertwined with many others that effectively -- "we all share the same ancestors".

  • Dear Raymond
    May 9, 2008 12:42 p.m.

    I was unaware that the Catholics thought the Pope received revelation. Can you expound on that one and tell us of any revelations the Pope has received?

    Because as I understand it, according to Catholics, the day and age of revelation is over. All we need to know is in the Bible. No need for modern day revelation...

    As for those who are saying that Catholics don't believe babies go to hell if they aren't baptized, I'd say 90% of the Catholics I know disagree with you. That's there understanding of the doctrine and I asked them last night about it.

  • Arrogant to the extreme?
    May 9, 2008 12:40 p.m.

    "This is America and no religion has the right to tell anther religion what they can and cannnot believe. It's arrogant to the extreme."

    What's arrogant to the extreme is to do something just because you can regardless of the wishes of the living relatives of the dead. Even if your culture is to ignore the sensitivities of others and stand in judgement of all you survey, you can still stand back and reassess ....

  • Re: Indiana Genealogist
    May 9, 2008 12:29 p.m.

    Referring to your temple work as renewing vows is misleading. The validity of the original marriage vows always remain intact. In your explanation, do you tell people of other faiths that the LDS Church does not accept the validity of the original baptism?

  • banderson
    May 9, 2008 12:20 p.m.

    As a doctor in Illinois I can share that medical records are the joint property of the patients (and their legal descendants)and the doctor who is required by law to keep a record of treatment.

    When a patient choses to change doctors a copy needs to be made so both parties have a copy. Some offices charge. We don't.

    I don't know that the medical records are a good comparison with 200 year old birth records held by a church. For whatever purposes the Catholic Church particularly has done a wonderful job over the years of recording births marriages and deaths -- often far earlier than governments made such records.

    You could argue that like medical records the descendants have a "right" to the records of their ancestors but really if there is no legal requirement established by the government to provide those records to descendants -- it's left to the church to make up whatever policy it wants regarding release of their records.

    The Catholic Church is less centrally directed than the LDS Church. Many parishes in the past have chosen to cooperate in the filming and preservation of their records, others have not. Now we'll see.

  • Why Mad at LDS?
    May 9, 2008 11:43 a.m.

    'Just some thought' said: "Why do people get so mad about the LDS? Many people of other faiths try to convert me, like evangelicals, Jehovah's Witnesses, or even hare Krishnas. It is a matter of 5 seconds to say, 'no thanks, I'm not interested.' What's the big deal?"

    The vast majority of Christians do not go to the homes or ring the doorbells of other Christians to tell them they belong to a false religion. Who has ever heard of Methodist missionaries doing this to Lutherans, or Catholics to Presbyterians. How can the vast majority of the 2 billion Christians in the world accept Mormons as fellow Christians under these circumstances. This LDS practice breeds distrust and dislike and is considered disrespectful and intrusive.

  • JOT2779
    May 9, 2008 10:17 a.m.

    The vast majority of these comments ignore the fundamental issues: what "right" do people have to these records? And isn't it the SOLE prerogative of the Catholic Church to decide which of HER records it decides to protect? Would any of you be offended if I declined to provide you my latest payroll statement? If so, on what basis? That's the thing--there's no basis for your "beef" with the Catholic Church's decision.

  • Indiana Genealogist
    May 9, 2008 9:35 a.m.

    I know a Roman Catholic couple who had been married for several years, who had a ceremony by their priest to "renew" their "vows." The RC church apparently approves of re-doing its "sacrament" (what LDS call an ordinance) of marriage for living couples who are still married. People in other Christian denominations also do this.

    I'm a convert of 31 years (formerly RC). When people of any denomination ask me about temple work, I liken it to the custom of "renewing vows." They seem to accept that concept.

  • Sam Schmitt
    May 9, 2008 9:01 a.m.


    Maybe this will help - just because the Catholic Church doesn't believe in baptism of the dead, that doesn't mean the it thinks it's harmless to the one who attempts to do it. So the RCC does not want to cooperate in any way in the practice, not because it harms the dead (as you correctly point out, the RCC doesn't believe it has any real effect), but because the RCC does not want to have any part of a practice which it considers false.

    What if you were asked by a Catholic friend the names of your Mormon friends so that he could pray to Mary for them. I think it is very understandable that you would not want to do this. If he then said to you, "Why not? You don't believe in prayer to Mary anyway, so what's the big deal?" Well, I can see why you would still refuse, not because you think his praying to Mary would actually "do" anything, but because you wouldn't want to cooperate in his praying to Mary, since you think this is a false practice.

    That's what's going on here. It's really not that hard to figure out.

  • AJ
    May 9, 2008 8:57 a.m.

    To spoiled child

    First of all, the LDS Church already has many records for the World to share. This new policy from Rome, will not slow down the work at all.

    Mormons will accept the Catholic ban, this is not a new policy, it's been done before and it's being done again. Who's the spoiled child, by taking their ball and going home?

    What is unacceptable to Mormons is the notion of the Catholic Church stating "we will stop the Mormons from practicing baptism for the dead."
    Ain't gonna happen.

    This is America and no religion has the right to tell anther religion what they can and cannnot believe. It's arrogant to the extreme.

    Keep your records if you will, burn them if you will, but, rest assured that if the Mormons find family histories, "THEY PRESERVE THEM FOR THE WORLD TO SHARE, AND TREAT THEM AS THE SACRED DOCUMENTS, THEY ARE.

    I do work at the Family History Library, I run into people of all Faiths and from all over the World.
    The LDS Church isn't involved in "aversion therapy" trying to dictate to another faith what they can and cannot believe.

    All are welcome.

  • Re: Re: To Again | 10:38 p.m.
    May 9, 2008 8:49 a.m.

    >>You might see the doctrine in that light, but that is not the way the doctrine is taught or practiced in the Catholic Church as a whole. Baptism of infants, as explained to me by a Catholic priest in Argentina, is to cleanse the infants of the "Original Sin" caused by Adam and Eve. Mormon doctrine/philosophy teaches that the "original sin" of Adam and Eve, though necessary, does not taint each person born into this world and that "men shall be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgressions

  • Spoiled Child
    May 9, 2008 12:03 a.m.

    A spoiled child thinks it has the right to get whatever it wants and is offended when told 'no'. When spoiled children get smart, in order to get what they want they use any which excuse they can to get around whatever reasoning the parent gives them. What this article is basically saying is that the Mormon Church should have the right to Catholic diocesan records but that the Catholic Church shouldn't really have the right to deny its access - or that at least the excuses the Church is giving isn't good enough or is lacking. The Church has rights to those records but that isn't good enough - because the Mormon Church WANTS THEM! NOW! What a bunch of whiny, spoiled little children.

  • Re: Re: Re: To Again
    May 8, 2008 11:25 p.m.

    From the "Catechism of the Catholic Church" -- 1261 As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them. Indeed, the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus' tenderness toward children which caused him to say: 'Let the children come to me, do not hinder them,' (MK 10"14;cf. 1 Tim 2:4), allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism..."

  • What about
    May 8, 2008 11:25 p.m.

    simple respect. Why is it the LDS church is so offended that the Catholic church won't give it records? Why does the LDS church fell it is their right to have them? Why does the LDS church believe it's their right to do "proxy" baptisms?
    How about a little respect, the same respect I would afford you.

  • Re: Re: To Again
    May 8, 2008 10:38 p.m.

    Pope Benedict XVI might have something else to say about the matter. I respect the man for his refreshing policy against what he terms "relativism". You might see the doctrine in that light, but that is not the way the doctrine is taught or practiced in the Catholic Church as a whole. Baptism of infants, as explained to me by a Catholic priest in Argentina, is to cleanse the infants of the "Original Sin" caused by Adam and Eve. Mormon doctrine/philosophy teaches that the "original sin" of Adam and Eve, though necessary, does not taint each person born into this world and that "men shall be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgressions."

  • Re: To Again | 4:47 p.m.
    May 8, 2008 8:24 p.m.

    Some real misunderstandings here!

    Catholics believe that those who know about and believe in the sacrament of baptism must receive it. Official doctrine with respect to infants who have not been baptized, is that we have no clear teaching. The belief is that infants will attain heaven as God accepts each of us unless we have rejected Him by living in serious sin.

    Infants are not baptized because they are viewed as sinful or unclean. Baptism sets up a new relationship with God for all of us who are born into a world that has been affected by inherent human weakness. It's a rite to welcome the child into the Christian community, but it is up to the parents and/or sponsors to see that the childs religious education follows.

    Similarly, adults who desire baptism, were repentant and accepted God, but died before being baptized are saved through grace. Those who may not have had an opportunity to accept a personal God through no fault of their own, but are committed to following their conscience, also receive Gods grace-presence.

    The Church does not believe heaven is reserved just for Catholics, and believe that God's judgement is always fair and loving.

  • EndIgnorance
    May 8, 2008 5:33 p.m.

    "The idea that a child who died in youth is going to Hell for not having Christian parents"

    What sort of bigoted mythology do they teach you?? That's not a Catholic doctrine!

  • To Again
    May 8, 2008 4:47 p.m.

    "To put it simply, infant baptism is a "we welcome this child into the Christian community rite."

    Then what is the entire "purgatory" thing all about?

    The idea that a child who died in youth is going to Hell for not having Christian parents is not a Christian doctrine.

  • G
    May 8, 2008 4:44 p.m.

    "That is exactly why the Roman Catholic Church chooses to protect the faith and avoid participating in heretical practices, even if it means making a few Mormons angry."

    But what I don't understand is why so many think the LDS church should abandon proxy baptism to make Catholics and Jewish groups happy. Their opinions should be irrelevant.

  • To G 3:30 pm
    May 8, 2008 4:28 p.m.

    That is exactly why the Roman Catholic Church chooses to protect the faith and avoid participating in heretical practices, even if it means making a few Mormons angry.

  • To Again:
    May 8, 2008 4:20 p.m.

    To put it simply, infant baptism is a "we welcome this child into the Christian community rite." It is at an older age when these children make an adult commitment to Christ through either a "born again" experience (evangelical protestants), or a First Communion experience (Catholics and mainstream protestants) after studying and discerning.

  • RE:RE:RE: Erroneous how?
    May 8, 2008 4:20 p.m.

    "...How unjust would it be to condemn the millions of Gods children to hell because they did not have the opportunity to hear the gospel while they lived in the flesh. Of all born again philosophies, this saddens me the most..."

    It is sad indeed that people hear the Gospel and turn from it. As for those that 'have not heard the Gospel', we cannot know the provision that Almighty God has made for them, although we are told in scripture that all of creation is a witness to God, even the heathen knows right from wrong because of this.
    Anything that the Lord does is 'just'; who are we to question the design of Almighty God? We who are filthy sinners without hope, save for the grace of God and the atoning blood of Jesus Christ? Was The Flood, that killed nearly all who lived on the world 'unjust'? There are many examples throughout scripture that to the modern, human mind seem harsh, but God loves us and has always given us the knowledge required to escape sin and penalty; the Bible says nothing of second chances after death. Quite the contrary, in fact.

  • Believing Unbeliever
    May 8, 2008 3:47 p.m.

    Yes, I'm an believing unbeliever; I believe we ought to engage in dialog concerning morality and whether or not a believe in a supernatural man makes you as a believer morally superior person by this very fact. As someone without religion and knowing family who are Christian, my conclusion that that religious belief does not make grant anyone religious supremacy. We know this to be the case if we open to people of all kinds during our day to day experience. Experiencing morality among people transcends all religions. Unfortunately, the problem begins with religious people often prefer their dogma over real people.

    I believe morality is innate, that we all have the ability to agree on a moral system if we put aside religious authority, both person and scripture. This entire discussion about baptism is an example of where religions fail; in this light, when looking at the years and years of violence and destruction in the name of God, regard the conflict in this thread as an microcosm of the attitudes capable of full out war. Call it a tiny seed.

  • G
    May 8, 2008 3:33 p.m.

    "And he might have been driven out of Utah, too. Unfortunately, this issue, along with the FLDS issue, is going to cause great hardship to the LDS Church and its recruiting efforts in the years to come."

    I thought one of the tenets of the religion was that God ran the church, and not some public relations department.

    If it wanted, the LDS church could get LOTS of converts--just by changing doctrine sufficiently to be attractive to post-modern sensibility. We can drop the tithe and worthiness interviews. We could teach that there are many ways to truth and that different morals apply to different people, and that God doesn't expect anything of anyone.

    Ask nothing, and tell people what they want to hear and the chapels will be full. This is a debate the Catholic church has been having too, isn't it?

    If you think that's a good idea, we'll just have to agree to disagree.

  • Again
    May 8, 2008 3:25 p.m.

    I ask the question because I don't understand, why are infants baptized into the church if they have no cognitive ability to make this choice? Isn't this a "forcing" just like the complaining on this board is? If someone could just explain the baby baptism and why it's done at such a young age?

  • RE: RE: Erroneous how?
    May 8, 2008 3:24 p.m.

    I shouldn't waste my time on 'born again doctrine, but....

    1 Corinthians 15:29 - The Corinthian members were beginning to dispute the reality of the resurrection. He was pointing out that baptizing the dead would have no meaning if the resurrection were not real.

    The Bible, as does the BofM, teach that those who hear the gospel preached while in mortality should 1) accept it, and 2) once accept it, live it.

    How unjust would it be to condemn the millions of Gods children to hell because they did not have the opportunity to hear the gospel while they lived in the flesh. Of all born again philosophies, this saddens me the most.

  • RE: you might not care
    May 8, 2008 2:44 p.m.

    "...The Baptists have a missionary program called the Great Commission, which targets LDS members as potential converts..."

    Actually all Christians have a 'missionary program' called The Great Commission; it is found in the Bible,given in Matthew chapter 28, verses 19-20, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

    This instruction was given by Jesus Christ to the apostles and all who followed them (Christians) to preach and teach what Jesus Christ has shown us in the scriptures and through the power of the Holy Spirit. We are instructed to evangelize to all unbelievers, all over the world. As Baptists, we believe that we are all 'missionaries' for Jesus Christ. Although many do, one doesn't have to go around the world or even around the country or attend an institutionalized program to preach and teach to unbelievers; all of us can look around in our own neighborhoods, where we work, every where we go and see unbelievers.

  • Records
    May 8, 2008 2:41 p.m.

    "And you don't own the records."

    From G: "Really? What records did Jewish groups hold over the church to get them to abandon proxy baptism? -- Who cares. We're talking about the Catholic Church here.

    "Brigham Young would not have tolerated this." -- And he might have been driven out of Utah, too. Unfortunately, this issue, along with the FLDS issue, is going to cause great hardship to the LDS Church and its recruiting efforts in the years to come. Disrespecting Catholic folks in this way -- and on this forum -- is not a smart move.

  • G
    May 8, 2008 12:56 p.m.

    "Ever try to get your personal medical records from the doctor?"

    It's interesting that you mention that. I did this morning. No fee, no problem.

    I can understand the Catholic Church's position on this matter. But privacy issues for people that lived a long time ago are different from those of the living. Especially when the family is involved.

    Even the FBI can be petitioned to release surveillance files on people that have died at least 20 years ago, if a sufficient historical interest can be proven. And if you lived a really long time ago, anthropologists won't hesitate to dig up your grave, make a mockery of your religious beliefs, and put you in a museum. All with no outcry.
    than that.

  • Religion
    May 8, 2008 12:56 p.m.

    Wow! There are over 700 comments about this topic. When there are events in the real world needing attention, so many of you are discussing beliefs that aren't based on the real world.

    I do not see how religion helps people. Doesn't it just create conflict? If there is a dispute about something in the real world, we can actually make reference to the world as we know it. Belief in things that can't be tested as real and talking in tones of certainty about them gets us nowhere.

  • Records ownership
    May 8, 2008 12:47 p.m.

    Organizations own records. You don't even "own" your records. Ever try to get your personal medical records from the doctor? They won't hand them over to you. They will copy your records for you--for a fee.

  • Re: You might not care...
    May 8, 2008 12:08 p.m.

    "Hypothetically, if the Baptists were to initiate a publicly known, church-wide program whereby they used LDS Church membership records to baptize by proxy all LDS members; you can guarantee LDS Church leaders would have something to say about it. You might not *care*, but there is no doubt that action would be condemned at the highest levels of the Church, and access to the records the Baptists were using would be denied."

    I still wouldn't care, since, again, all they would have to do is use a phone book to get names for ordnances. Or our own resources.

    But there are a few subtle assumptions in your analogy that need to be pointed out.

    (1) In your analogy latter-day saints are being specifically targeted because only of our religion, by a specific church we've had problems with. In proxy baptism, every non-LDS person is targeted. It is not a campaign specifically organized against Catholics.

    (2) In your analogy the recipients are still alive.
    I think there is a difference between my Catholic ancestors 300 years ago and the current LDS member rolls. Specifically, it raises the question of whether or not the Catholics *own* my ancestors.

  • Thomas
    May 8, 2008 11:52 a.m.

    No religion should claim veto power over what another religion's adherents do in the privacy of their own churches.

  • You might not care...
    May 8, 2008 11:42 a.m.

    I dont think LDS individuals would *care* if someone was baptizing them by proxy to another faith because they believe it holds not authority, but lets be realistic. The Baptists have a missionary program called the Great Commission, which targets LDS members as potential converts. Hypothetically, if the Baptists were to initiate a publicly known, church-wide program whereby they used LDS Church membership records to baptize by proxy all LDS members; you can guarantee LDS Church leaders would have something to say about it. You might not *care*, but there is no doubt that action would be condemned at the highest levels of the Church, and access to the records the Baptists were using would be denied.

  • records
    May 8, 2008 11:19 a.m.

    Records belong to organizations. Ever try going to a doctor and getting your own medical records? They won't just hand them over to you, but they will copy them--for a price.

  • Tiago
    May 8, 2008 10:39 a.m.

    I think those records belong to their ancestors as much as they do to the Catholic Church.

  • G
    May 8, 2008 10:12 a.m.

    "Why is everything nowadays seen as disrespectful? The same goes for baptism for the dead. "

    Because we live in a society that worships political correctness.

  • G
    May 8, 2008 10:02 a.m.

    I wonder if the LDS would mind giving me their dead ancestors names so I can sacrifice their blood to Baal by proxy?

    Shouldn't matter to them. LDS don't think a sacrifice to Baal has any meaning."

    Personally, I wouldn't care. You can get names out of a phone book and practice whatever ordnance you want all day long. If it does no physical harm, where is the problem?

  • G
    May 8, 2008 9:59 a.m.

    "From G: "They don't own the temples." And you don't own the records."

    Really? What records did Jewish groups hold over the church to get them to abandon proxy baptism? None.

    We live in a society where people use "offense" as political capital. Let them be offended. Brigham Young would not have tolerated this.

  • Jim E
    May 8, 2008 9:33 a.m.

    Most LDS are saying that Christians dont believe Mormon baptism has any meaning so why should Christians care.

    I wonder if the LDS would mind giving me their dead ancestors names so I can sacrifice their blood to Baal by proxy?

    Shouldn't matter to them. LDS don't think a sacrifice to Baal has any meaning.

  • Raymond A.
    May 8, 2008 8:37 a.m.

    The Pope of the Holy Catholic church is a prophet of the true God and he acts in accord with communion through prayer and revelations, he is not acting on a personal preference but because he is directed by our Lord. We hope others will understand and respect this rule of holy law given with our love and good will.

  • Actually..
    May 8, 2008 8:03 a.m.

    There are many things in the Bible that very few Christian religions ignore. For example, no one stones their children to death for disobedience as god in the Bible command.

    If you decide to read the Bible without religious authority looking over your shoulder to make sure you read their way, you'll find that the Bible is full of the worst form of morality around, acts that would make Stalin proud.

    Religion is all about picking and choosing passages that support their dogma and conveniently ignoring the immoral god parts and then claiming that the Bible is the word of some supernatural person.

    It's time to drop religion all together.

  • Just some thoughts
    May 8, 2008 5:55 a.m.

    Why do people get so mad about the LDS? Frequently people of other faiths try to convert me, like Evangelicals, Jehovah's Witnesses or even Hare Krishnas. It is a matter of 5 seconds to say "No thanks, I'm not interested". What's the big deal? Why is everything nowadays seen as disrespectful? The same goes for baptism for the dead. As long as you didn't have a relationship with a particular person, how can you say that he/she would feel harassed? Most of them lived hundreds of years ago. How could anyone here be their spokesperson?

    To those who refer to scriptures in the Bible to prove or disprove things I would say, that there are a lot of things that Christian churches do today (LDS and Non-LDS) that is not based on specific commandments or clear guidelines of the Bible.

    One last thing-- If you think LDS are being disrespectful, you better not be someone who ever thought or said: "I'll pray for you, erronous Mormon!", because that, according to your thinking, is disrespectful, too.

  • RE: Erroneous how?
    May 8, 2008 12:56 a.m.

    "...please scripturally explain how baptism for the dead is erroneous?..."

    Paul used first-person pronouns throughout 1 Corinthians referring to himself and the believers, then changes to 'they' in 15:29. Clearly he was referring to an erroneous practice. Paul's style of argument and exposition made frequent use of examples; this is clearly one of those examples, saying, if they don't believe in an afterlife, why do they bother with baptizing the dead? Furthermore, it is mentioned only in that one place in the Bible, without further reference, and without any associated commands or guidelines.
    Were it a practice that was condoned, it would have been mentioned elsewhere along with further guidelines.

    The Bible teaches that salvation must occur before death; else it is too late. See Luke 16:24 concerning this. See 2 Corinthians 6:2.
    The BoM also teaches this: Alma 34:31; 2 Nephi 9:38;
    Mosiah 26:25-27.

    Nothing in the BoM supports baptism for the dead, which claims to contain "the fulness of the everlasting gospel."

  • Shane
    May 7, 2008 11:19 p.m.

    We DO NOT ALL share the same ancestors. The LDS are far less than 1% of the worlds population and so the other 99.x+% of us would appreciate the respect of not harassing our ancestors in the after life nor trying to convert us in the here and now!

  • banderson
    May 7, 2008 9:56 p.m.

    harry C
    I understand the Catholic Church has for decades welcomed the filming and preservation of their records by the LDS Church. I suspect that in the past it was not perceived by them as conspiring with heretics. If that perception has changed, they can of course pay others in the future to preserve their records for them.

    Unfortunately many churches and other holders of valuable genealogical records have a hard time finding the substancial sums necessary to microfilm their records. Their money is spent for other worthy causes.

    Fortunately for record preservation, the LDS Church has been willing to spend huge sums of money to provide filming services to record holders at no cost.

    For instance, in Europe some records were filmed before churches were destroyed in World War II. In New Orleans there had been opposition to LDS filming for decades. Finally, recently, permission was granted and an LDS film crew was operating when Katrina hit.

    We all share the same ancestors. As the LDS find our ancestors and preserve their histories we freely share that information with the world because many have those same ancestors. We invite the world to share with us -- and many do.

  • Truth
    May 7, 2008 9:44 p.m.

    Reading the bulk of the posts here, I've come to the conclusion that many representing the LDS faith simply cannont comprehend the following:

    1. No amount of explaining doctrine about baptism for dead is going to make it acceptable to most. Honoring their privacy and religion should be foremost.

    2. Many people simply don't believe yours is the "True Church." No offense but try to understand.

    3. You believe your work in baptisms and geneology is the "Lord's work." Other religions place no emphasis on this; no disrespect meant but this may be incomprehensible to many.

    I believe many of your intentions are good but please respect the feelings of other religions. Last, to LDS members who understand 1-3 and spoke out on this forum urging religious freedom and tolerance, you've broken down 1 stereotype I had about LDS religion...thank you

  • Thomas
    May 7, 2008 9:25 p.m.

    The Kneebiters are fictional and folklore in mormon history. Anyone who has posted here on actual events involving these creatures are just very, very ill informed. It actually has a very negative connotation as represented in the US version of the book Hitchikers Guide to The Galaxy. I am not sure we want our folklore associated with that connotation.

  • very sad
    May 7, 2008 9:25 p.m.

    I am new to blogging, just trying to make a positive contribution. When I read stuff like this, I wonder it it's worth it. I am so brought down by the sarcasm, the name-calling, negativity and bitterness. Wow. I believe it was Christ who warned us where the "spirit of contention" comes from - and it is he who is the source of all contention that I see emerging as the only "victor" here. I happen to be a Latter Day Saint. I am very sad about the above types of communication here by members of my faith. I apologize for them. Very sad also that others choose to "throw the baby out with the bath water" and dismiss any faith because the members are imperfect. Show me a church full of perfect people? Please? I invite any to read the most up-to-date words of our leaders (try General Conference reports on and see if we do truly teach about respect and tolerance and love for all others. The Catholics have the right to do whatever they like with their records. Please - the enemy is hate - not each other.

  • Anonymous
    May 7, 2008 9:21 p.m.

    I would figure our lord would be able to keep track of our geneolgy and would accept good and kind people no matter what ordinances have occured. If indeed he is our father in heaven and we are all his children then does this all really matter and are we just making are lives more complicated?

  • Papal Assistant
    May 7, 2008 9:20 p.m.

    John Lambert | 12:12 p.m. May 7, 2008
    If the Catholic Churh would let the LDS Church microfilm the records, then the LDS church would give them a copy of the microfilm, all free.

    John, the Pope would like to speak with you on this offer STAT!

  • Erroneous how?
    May 7, 2008 9:02 p.m.

    Will a Catholic please scripturally explain how baptism for the dead is erroneous?

    I'd love to get a response on this question.

    Can anyone answer it for me?

  • Lucillia
    May 7, 2008 8:51 p.m.

    Hey, ajarizona | 7:09 p.m. May 7, 2008
    Hoping your post about placing an embargo on goods associated with Catholisism is a joke and hoping your pointing out all of the favors done by LDS church is just an immature kid. Blackmailing Catholic Church for respecting the privacy of it's members is the funniest joke yet on this thread

  • SKH
    May 7, 2008 8:47 p.m.

    As I visit the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, I see as many non-"Mormons" doing research as I see members. Genealogy is the #1 hobby throughout the world. Record keeping has been aided by churches, individuals, and local governments for centuries.
    I don't want my Catholic relatives to be kept hidden...nor my Quaker, Methodist, or any other religion. We are one eternal family...not one eternal family minus Catholics.
    Catholics can do any of their ordinances they want on my relatives. Let's be a record-keeping people.

  • A little info.....
    May 7, 2008 8:25 p.m.

    for those who asked..

    The Kneebiter was hunted and exterminated in the mid 1890's. It was a terrible plague to the farms in the Intermountain West but through faith and perseverance our forefathers were able to overcome. Some of the posts here are just sad and wrong but I thought I would give my knowledge on this predatory insect since there was some light interest in the name. Now you should all try to get along enjoy the evening instead of spreading hatred.

  • Thomas
    May 7, 2008 8:00 p.m.

    "Christian love between the churches/Seemed the twin of heathen hate."

  • re: ajarizona
    May 7, 2008 7:55 p.m.

    Utah sounds to be a very hostile environment. I have spent a great deal of time in Arizona and did not find it to be unsafe. Do Christian churches in Utah require the use to security guards to protect their parishioners from the local people, or do the local people allow other faiths to worship without harrassment?

  • Andrew
    May 7, 2008 7:53 p.m.

    Nice comments on kneebiters. I don't think they excist as relatives of the mormon crickets, my grandmother tried to scare me with them when I was young and visited her in Provo but I hadn't heard the term in years. I can still remember her saying somthing along the lines of "let's get ready to go to the meeting house or i'll leave you here to fend for yourself against the kneebiters." wow bring back some childhood recollections. nice post among some of the rude comments.

  • Sis
    May 7, 2008 7:48 p.m.

    Hey everyone, Here is my idea...

    Why don't we use our right to bear our testimonies and our opinions and write the Vatican each personally instead of beating each other up here on this board?

  • Re: ajarizona
    May 7, 2008 7:45 p.m.

    I don't think the catholic church makes capital purchases, which you have stated, from the mormon church.

    Our two churches are structured vary different and fund raising is vary different and it is much appreciated the donation (although I think you are overstating) to the remodel of the Cathedral.

    In the larger scheme I detect much bitterness and resentment. I will pray for you and your understanding of the percepective of our two religions.

  • To: ajarizona
    May 7, 2008 7:31 p.m.

    Your little church pales in comparison to the roman catholic church both in size and stature; furthermore your veiled threat on rome is pretty insignificant. You AZ mormons have gotten a little annoying in the past few months.

  • ajarizona
    May 7, 2008 7:09 p.m.

    Memo to all Catholics and the Cathedral of the Madeline.

    The LDS Church politely asks you to return the Million dollars donated to you by us to restore your Cathedral in the early nineties. We're sure it's now filthy lucre in your eyes.

    However, many thanks to you from the Tab Choir for singing at the re-dedication of said Cathedral. We suppose they won't be playing that gig, any time soon.

    Also, we have sent directives to all the Bishops Store Houses and all Mormons involved in Commerce,

    As not sell or do business with any Catholics, who might use items in their religious services that we as Mormons may not agree with.

    Some examples but not limited to....

    1-Metals, gold etc.. This may used to fashion a cross or crucifix, which Mormons can't support.

    2-Grains and Grapes which may be used for the Eucharist and Transubtantiation. Can't buy into this doctrine, sorry.

    3-Water or bird baths, which may be used for infant baptism. Again, in direct conflict with Mormon teachings.

    4-Beads of any sort. These could find their way into a Rosary, and Mormons don't believe in counting ones prayers with beads.

    It's a dangerous road, Rome.

  • To: PJ
    May 7, 2008 7:08 p.m.

    Can I use your words as an example of extremism in this community? ... or is this kind of thinking just simmering below the surface.

    Human relations 101. If one wants to understand how one is occurring in the world. Look out there for the measure ... of course if one doesn't care, then why publicly ask how some practice could possibly be considered offensive?

  • sis
    May 7, 2008 7:04 p.m.

    My inlaws are huge devote catholics. They had reservations about FH but after 15 years of seeing no damage done, they are excited about it and helping! This decree will stop a huge movement of FH of all peoples. So much family info has be hidden by local churches during times of war and those are the only records avaiable to verify any info (Bless those brave people)! I come from holocaust history and I am so grateful for any info that ever come available to me...I desire to know my people. Why would anyone want to keep that info from me? that is not a christian act. Seems that it would be more christ like to keep the children safe from being victimized than guarding the typed and handwritten names of my family. they're hiding the wrong stuff, child abusers get protected and families get destroyed. It isn't the FH that is destroying the diocese. BTW I respect my catholic family and do not do anything they disagree with. Respect is all that is needed. There is nothing to fear here.

  • Re: To answer the question |6:18
    May 7, 2008 6:35 p.m.

    Actually the kneebiter is found in is found in all 29 counties of utah and parts of idaho, arizona, nevada and california as well as a smattering of other locals.

  • jonny mac
    May 7, 2008 6:25 p.m.

    To No longer interested...

    Good riddance!

    jonny mac

  • To answer the question...
    May 7, 2008 6:18 p.m.

    Posted by Knee Biter |5:59

    A kneebiter is a variation of the mormon cricket and is found in Garfield and Sanpete Counties.

  • PJ
    May 7, 2008 6:20 p.m.

    PJ, you sound like a card-carrying member of the Ku Klux Klan. Same talking points and all.

  • Roger
    May 7, 2008 6:13 p.m.

    I am sure the Pope prayed about his decision and he is following that counsel he received.

  • pj
    May 7, 2008 6:12 p.m.

    Do the people posting here have the slightest clue of World History and events?

    As one reads all the posts here, it is evident that most people are not teachable or capable of understanding.

    Since when have the Catholics not stated that every doctrine which does not comply with their's, is heresy?

    Just don't give the Catholic authorites anymore wood or matches, we know how they dealt with heretics in days gone by.

    I have an ancestor, Mother of 5, hanged as a witch by the Puritans. I've also had direct ancestors burned at the stake by the Catholic Fathers.

    The Catholics can have the same agreement as the Jews, no baptisms unless family members do them. Which is the case now anyway.

    The greatest arrogance in all of this is not the records ban, on only one group of people, the very essence of the definition of discrimination, but another Faith telling another, what it can and cannot believe.

    Does this German Pope want to hearken to the past, and a time when freedom of religion was heretical and opposition was met with a painful death?

    Keep your records, but stay out of others Faith.


  • Knee Biter
    May 7, 2008 5:59 p.m.

    Before this forum ends, I would still like to know what it is the LDS are referring to when using the term "knee biter." I have never heard that term before. Thank you.

  • To old mormon
    May 7, 2008 5:57 p.m.

    I think the key word was "Catholic" hospital. It was a Chospital. You should expect something "Catholic" to go on in a "Catholic" hospital. Just as I would expect something LDS to happen in an LDS facility. By the way, the Catholic church no longer does this.
    Just like the kids that go to Catholic schools and question why they have to go to mass.

    It's called mutual respect!!!!!

  • To Everyone Calm Down
    May 7, 2008 5:44 p.m.

    This is about mutual respect. The members of the LDS church want the same respect given to the other christian churches (yes I am accepting their claim of being christian). For this to happen the LDS church need to respect the non-LDS religions.
    Being Catholic I do feel that if my deceased father is baptised by proxy into the LDS church his religious history has been defile and desicrated. This shows complete lack of respect for our religion.

  • old mormon
    May 7, 2008 5:32 p.m.

    at various catholic hospitals they used to baptize ALL babies to insure salvation, my son was baptized there, i have always been lds, but was not offended by this, because i recognized it as an act of love, the same is true of the practice of baptisms for the dead

  • Everyone calm down
    May 7, 2008 4:17 p.m.

    Perfect love casteth out all fear.

    Catholics must understand that Mormons are a little confused by the "offense" taken where none is intended. Mormons would not be "offended" by rites done on their behalf.

    Mormons must understand that some non-LDS people may be offended by the practice of vicarious baptism for dead ancestors (by proxy). I bet some of those who are offended probably don't understand that the ordinance is not being forced on anyone.

    Mormons believe the deceased have the choice to accept or reject the baptism done on their behalf.

  • John Lambert
    May 7, 2008 3:31 p.m.

    I will say again this is a short sighted policy. As people have pointed out the LDS Church has accepted restriction on the accessibility of microfilmed records. Blanket stopping of the microfilming of church records will hinder family history research.
    No one is saying that the Vatican and the Catholic Church can not do this, we are saying that as far as we understand the policy is misguided and narrow minded and hurts the preservation of records and all forms of historical inquiry.

  • records
    May 7, 2008 2:34 p.m.

    From G: "They don't own the temples." And you don't own the records.

  • G
    May 7, 2008 1:18 p.m.

    "Unbelievable arrogance and quite offensive to faithful Catholics. Please do not try to defend the Church in this manner, you are only justifying the negative perceptions that other people already have."

    I've yet to see why Mormons should abandon a tenet of the faith in order to appease another group. Let them be offended. They don't own the temples.

  • G
    May 7, 2008 1:03 p.m.

    "If the Church is right then it won't matter if Catholics prevent the Church from baptizing Catholics for the dead since they would understand that our doctrine allows us to do so in the millenium so it would be logical to have us wait."

    I've heard a few things from church leaders about proxy baptisms, and "wait" isn't one of them.

  • Re: John Lambert
    May 7, 2008 12:48 p.m.

    >>This is extremely stupid on the part of the Vatican.

  • not catholic or mormon
    May 7, 2008 12:40 p.m.

    Well said "Catholic convert from LDS"

    It should not be so hard to understand for the Mormons.

    God Bless!

  • Catholic Convert from LDS
    May 7, 2008 12:27 p.m.

    John L. > Keep you microfilm, you miss the point!

    1. Catholics think their baptism is valid!
    2. Mormons think their baptism is valid!
    3. Mormons think they can correct the invalid baptism of dead Catholics
    4. Catholics find this offensive.

    What's so hard to understand?

    God Bless!

  • John Lambert
    May 7, 2008 12:26 p.m.

    To May 5th at 1:17 PM. The LDS Church is currently in the process of digetizing and indexing records so that many records will be available from the web at no cost.
    For those who think that it is anti-Catholic to claim this is about money, the only person I have ever heard claim that the Archbishop of Detroit was just after the money was a Catholic who goes to church every week.

  • John Lambert
    May 7, 2008 12:12 p.m.

    If the Catholic Churh would let the LDS Church microfilm the records, then the LDS church would give them a copy of the microfilm, all free. This would mean people would no longer have to look through the old records and the information would be preserved forever.

  • not mormon or catholic
    May 7, 2008 11:39 a.m.

    I can understand where the Catholics are coming from. Yes, they don't believe in or agree with baptisms for the dead, that is the point. It is totally offensive in my opinion. It was offensive for the Jewish faith and it is offensive for any faith. Not to mention it's weird and not biblical.

  • Brothers and sisters
    May 7, 2008 11:00 a.m.

    Please, please stop calling people stupid, etc. and be careful what you say.

    We need to show love. This is what Christ taught. Truth will prevail.

  • John Lambert
    May 7, 2008 10:34 a.m.

    To Orion:
    There is access to non-LDS people on New Family Search. One of my colleges at the Family History who is not a member has access to New Family Search.

  • HarryC
    May 7, 2008 10:32 a.m.

    What you're saying is that it's worth it to throw your principles to the wind for a few free microfilms. Get this

    To Catholics, posthumous baptism is heresy. Heresy is the worst sin anyone can commit within the Catholic Church, equivalent to treason, grounds for excommunication, and guaranteeing eternal suffering. Yet what you, and all the others on this forum, expect is that the Pope and all Catholic priests should turn over their sacramental records, knowing full well that they will be used for what they consider to be heretical purposes. In other words, they should facilitate heresy in exchange for a few microfilmed records. As someone else already noted, that's a Faustian bargain.

    Nice one totally self-centered. It's all about you and what you believe and want, with no respect for others beliefs.

    The FHL isn't the only organization capable of microfilming or digitizing records. If Catholics wanted their records preserved, there are hundreds of others qualified to do that.

  • Eduardo
    May 7, 2008 9:53 a.m.

    The Catholic Church's records are private. It has the right to do with them as it chooses.

  • John Lambert
    May 7, 2008 9:41 a.m.

    To those who do not understand Bapitsm for the dead. It is a vicarious ordinance that is done for the benefit of the deceased. It is not done on the body of the dead, so it is not an issue of desecration.
    In the afterlife you still have the choice. If one of your relatives does the temple work for you you still have the full right to reject it. We are just giving people who did not have the full opportunity to accept the gospel now the ability to accept it latter.
    I wonder if this may actually be motivated by a scheme to get more money by charging people directly to access the records. What exactly this policy means however is not 100% clear to me.

  • Dennis
    May 7, 2008 8:14 a.m.

    The LDS church doesnt release baptism or temple records to the public, what is the difference?

  • Catholic Convert from LDS
    May 7, 2008 7:55 a.m.

    I happen to be a convert to the Catholic faith, and I know that there are many others who have converted to Catholism in this happy valley of ours. We appreciate our Mormon roots but have a hard time with "Pride" that we find in the above comments.

    Using the above logic, if numbers are the only thing that prove truth, well we should throw time into the mix. The Catholic Church is 2000 years old. It has had its high and low points, but its still here. It isn't going away.

    So you may have Catholic converts today, but lets not forget the road runs both ways. With time your Church will have it ups and downs. I think in the Media your church is being unfairly slaugtered by the media. It bothers me to see this.

    So, lets grow up and see what the real issue is here:
    1. Catholics feel their baptism is valid.
    2. Mormons feel their baptism is valid.
    3. Mormons believe that once an individual has died that they can correct an invalid baptism
    4. Catholics find this offensive.

    God Bless

  • Another thing is....
    May 7, 2008 6:41 a.m.

    I really miss John Paul II for his peace maker quality. I was sad when he died and I felt a yuck feeling when Benedict was I know why. The thing is that someday this one will leave us as John Paul did. So let's show respect for their will as much as we feel bad about it so that their is a chance they'll understand what has been said over and over here.

  • If right won't matter, if wrong
    May 7, 2008 1:21 a.m.

    John Lambert, "This is extremely stupid on the part of the Vatican. If the LDS Church is wrong than their ordinances have no validity, and if their ordinances have validity than the Vatican is standing in the way of the progress of the work of God. There is no logically consistent view that includes halting the Family History work of the LDS Church."

    I'm LDS and have a strong testimony of family history and temple work but your comments are the dumbest I have ever had the privelige to read. If the Church is wrong which it isn't then it does make sense that the Catholic Church wouldn't want to offend God and those who are being baptized for the dead. It seems to me that you place emphasis on the validity of the ordinances but that isn't how Catholics see it.

    They see as an insult to their faith, Catholics and to God. If the Church is right then it won't matter if Catholics prevent the Church from baptizing Catholics for the dead since they would understand that our doctrine allows us to do so in the millenium so it would be logical to have us wait.

  • LDS convert
    May 7, 2008 1:19 a.m.

    what Benedict should have done was remove all those Catholic Bishops that allowed the pedophilia, who transferred them parish to parish. Rome is running scared due to many catholic priests and nuns being converted to LDS and our numbers rising. Do not tell me I am ignorant , for I am an ex monk of the catholic church. Feel nothing but love for catholics brothers and sisters, but Rome is determined now to squash LDS growth. The Lord will open the door that is temporarily closed...onward Brethren.

  • To Kevin
    May 6, 2008 11:45 p.m.

    What is a knee biter. Is that some sort of insect in Utah? Please explain.

  • John Lambert
    May 6, 2008 11:43 p.m.

    If this means that the Vatican is saying to all dioceses to stop letting the LDS microfilm records this is the worst thing that has occured for Family History Research this century.
    Of course Belgium putting the LDS Church on the list of "dangerous sects" did cause Brussels to cancel a contract to allow the church to microfilm the records.
    This is extremely stupid on the part of the Vatican. If the LDS Church is wrong than their ordinances have no validity, and if their ordinances have validity than the Vatican is standing in the way of the progress of the work of God. There is no logically consistent view that includes halting the Family History work of the LDS Church.

  • By the way...
    May 6, 2008 11:43 p.m.

    Non-LDS don't have access to the temple ordinance dates in the International Genealogical Index (IGI), unless they're lying and saying they're LDS and forging a username and password (tsk, tsk, tsk). All the claims about the number of times Anne Frank, Pope John Paul II or Mother Theresa have been baptized, should be taken with a MAJOR grain of salt. If you can see the names in the IGI, yes, temple work has been done, but no nonmember would know how many times without lying and sneaking around - hardly an "objective" point of view.

    Catholics aren't the only ones joining the LDS Church - Jews are too. Some deceased Jews receive ordinances legitimately from a descendant who's joined the LDS Church. We're all related so it's silly to think that no Mormon can claim Jewish ancestry.

    Ultimately, the whole thing is a control issue, rather like fighting over Grandma's will or who gets to dump her ashes from the helicopter.

  • RE: New England Mormon...
    May 6, 2008 11:36 p.m.

    AKA::: Hey, wait a second

    An "incredible monority" of mormons have these views. Well my friend you are incredible insulated from the central office if you think the LDS church is about "...respect for other religions and loving one another."

    5 Million in the US; well I would argue with that as well ...

  • To: Hey, waid a second
    May 6, 2008 11:21 p.m.

    Yes, but aren't the attitudes of LDSmom and Kevin fascinating?

  • Hey, wait a second
    May 6, 2008 11:03 p.m.

    Since when do the views put forth by an incredible minority of the the LDS Church suddenly represent all of us? There are over 5 million members in the US alone. If every single post on here was from a different LDS person, it would represent just slightly more than .0001% of US members, and .00005% of worldwide members. If you're using this, or Utah for that matter (representing about 10% of the worldwide Church) as your basis for what "all Mormons are like" your view is going to be awfully skewed.

    I for one am from New England, I'm Mormon, and I don't like the attitudes I've seen in Utah because they don't represent the Church that I joined in New England. They represent the elitist attitude that has become prevalent among some people in Utah. You see this same attitude among Southern Baptists in the southeast.

    The members don't represent the religion if they don't live its doctrines, like respect for other religions and loving one another.

  • Kevin
    May 6, 2008 10:29 p.m.

    Knee biters are plentiful here. The caravan moves on and will dot the earth with temples and gods true church will continue his ordinances. No big thing here as the catholics are just bitter we are authorized and well them; not so much.

  • To: Jeff
    May 6, 2008 10:10 p.m.

    You say: "In my humble opinion, a lot of people, including the Pope, need to get back to basics and rediscover what it takes to be a true follower of Christ. Lead us not into judge one another."
    But is it not being judgmental to not let (in this case) Catholic baptism stand w/out additional and presumably *correct* LDS baptism? ... also, am I hearing it correctly that the deceased can authentically *choose* LDS baptism?

  • Jeff
    May 6, 2008 9:59 p.m.

    I am a Genealogist, and I am not Mormon (but have Mormon Ancestors). I have read many responses that echo the sentiments of Julie who stated that if Catholics do not believe LDS Baptisms have any affect, then why stand in the way? This is purely an issue of intollerance. I suppose you could make the same argument about Gay Marriage, or any other issue you may disagree with especially if you feel it doesn't apply to you. What do you lose by it, and if you don't believe it is valid, then why choose to be intollerant of it, especially if it may mean something positive to someone else? In my humble opinion, a lot of people, including the Pope, need to get back to basics and rediscover what it takes to be a true follower of Christ. Lead us not into judge one another.

  • LDSmom
    May 6, 2008 9:51 p.m.

    People should do some research before they comment on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints ----(YES that is the name and please use it properly). You all sound uneducated and obviously dont have a clue on your comments. I am sick with the arguments on this post!

  • Achim Erlacher
    May 6, 2008 9:50 p.m.

    My Ancestors paid and contributed towards the wealth, building up and maintenance of the Roman Catholic Church for centuries. I am sure that this was in part their choice but often the consequence of a lack of choices. As taxpayer in Austria, my taxes still benefit the Roman Catholic Church (e.g. R.C. religous education at schools is at least in part funded by the State, the upkeep and renovation of Chapels is in part goverment supported etc.) My ancestor and their descentants should be able to choose whether they want to be baptised. Strangely the Roman Catholic Church was not only happy to take my ancestors contributions who didnt have a choice but also my tax money to keep and maintain records. On the other hand to be unwilling to share that information with people who have a personal interest in their ancestors being able to choose, is highly inappropriate.

  • banderson
    May 6, 2008 9:48 p.m.

    For seventy years the LDS Church has offered other churches and other record holders FREE labor to microfilm their records, FREE permanent safe storage of the microfilms in Utah,a FREE copy of the microfilm for the record holder as well as the original records staying with the record holder. I understand it has been rather common that when a person goes to the trouble to go to an Catholic or other church in the US or Europe, which has old records in the dusty basement; they will be referred back to one of the LDS Family History Centers for easier access to the records.

    If you're traveling to an old church to check out its' records it's wise to check if the records are on LDS microfilm already, when the old church is open and how much they charge to look through their sometimes fragile books.
    Some people think it is more efficient to borrow, for $5.50, a microfilm from the Family History Library in Utah than to travel to France, for instance, to look at parish records -- but not as fun. A catalog of the microfilmed records the Church has is available FREE on the LDS FamilySearch website.

  • jake
    May 6, 2008 9:45 p.m.

    It's reallt a shame. Just when I thought the two churches were gaining respect and understanding for one another, this happens. I am more interested in preserving records that are being lost @ an alarming rate due to floods, fires, natural disasters, etc than I am about being petty. I am going to follow what Pres. Monson has asked us to do, show an increased amount of love for others not of our faith. I'll let God take care of the rest.

  • Dear Thomas
    May 6, 2008 9:41 p.m.

    Thanks for your thoughtful response re specificity. I think that it is fruitless to expect others to act/react in a certain way. The best judge of how one is occurring in the world is to measure the response and not look inward at one's expectation. No?

  • To: Cougar Royal
    May 6, 2008 9:39 p.m.

    Just trying to understand the "anti" phenomenon that I always hear around this LDS community. My read is that any questioning or critical thinking (not simply being critical but attempting do discern) regardless of sincerity or respectfulness is: "Anti".

    I've also heard it said in this community that one should think how an "elder" (not sure if that's the term) would respond and respond in kind. This sounds similar to my initial comment in terms of not questioning the elders.

    is my assessment correct?

  • Sam
    May 6, 2008 9:18 p.m.

    To those whom reflect on agency to justify baptism for the dead it is just wrong. Agency is a mormon theology and not a Christian theology. If one does not believe in mormonism but is Christian then one does not believe in agency thus your baptism for the dead is morally bankrupt by Christian standards and ultimately untrue. You can only have it one way and I am sorry you have chosen the wrong way.

  • Banderson
    May 6, 2008 9:10 p.m.

    Dear Genealogy: I am a volunteer worker at one of the 4,500 Mormon Family History Centers in the world that the Church staffs with UNPAID volunteers to help members of the Church and the general public access records of their ancestors. Admission is always FREE. Tonight I was excited with a lady as she found on a microfilm the marriage record of her greatgreat grandparents on a parish record in Cornwall,England in 1865. True, she had spent $5 to borrow the film. But,she was thrilled. She had found the married couple's names from 3 death certificates of their children for which she had paid the Cornwall government 45 dollars.

    You might be interested in volunteering in a Family History Center yourself. It's fun to help people find their ancestors.

    You might also be interested in volunteering to help for NO PAY with an LDS Church organized effort to digitize and index all the millions of microfilms the Church has collected over the last 70 years so they can be provided for FREE to anyone in the world on the Internet. The project was opened to the public last August and has about 150,000 volunteers. Everyone please volunteer at

  • Agency
    May 6, 2008 8:49 p.m.

    I think it's important to point out that the LDS church teaches that those people who pass on and then have their work done by proxy can choose whether or not they want to accept it. No one is "forced" and no one is "claimed". It is done out of love and concern for those people. I think this changes the mindset and the motivation behind temple work.

  • Cougar Royal
    May 6, 2008 8:40 p.m.

    Wow, over 600 comments on this blog! I dont think I have seen so many comment on a story.. I obviously dont have time to read all the hatred by the anti-mormons on this story but I am confident and assured they have out done themselves with these 600 + comments. You gotta love the antis, they sure are a persistent little bunch.

  • No Longer Interested
    May 6, 2008 8:40 p.m.

    To Craigr | 3:29 p.m.,

    You may believe whatever you want. Your attitude is exactly what is making me sick to my stomach and unwilling to meet with the elders again. I have already called them and cancelled. Believe whatever the heck you want to. But I can't stand the spirit of people like you. Bye! Forever!

  • Bob
    May 6, 2008 7:53 p.m.

    Most religions are rude. It's the outcome of dogma.

  • ME ME ME
    May 6, 2008 7:48 p.m.

    Yet another comment by an LDS member, "It wouldn't be offensive...." It's not about you. It's about honoring the wishes of the dead and their dead relatives. Is this how you practice Christianity, by questing the sincerity of Catholics with regard to their dead? Wow! Ugly.

    Dear Losing Track:

    You are changing the subject. No one is questing the free information provided by the LDS Church. I applaud any group who liberally provides such information; however, you are changing the subject, trying to lose our discussion track. This is about honoring the wishes of the dead.

  • Genealogy
    May 6, 2008 7:13 p.m.

    Getting records from the catholics is great for the mormons church, especially since I live away from Utah and pay over $5 to see 1 film for a few weeks and over 15 per film to keep it permanently. It's a great moneymaker on the part of the mormon church. Perhaps if they offered the catholics a percentage of the cut, there would not be the problem. Instead the mormons claim the catholics don't have the REAL priesthood so all baptism must be redone. That is just plain rude.

  • Thomas
    May 6, 2008 6:54 p.m.

    "To: Thomas", apples and oranges are both still fruit.

    I guess the issue is this: At what level of specificity should we be offended by a person's belief that his religion is preferable to ours?

    Traditional Christian belief is that a person who believes and is baptized will be saved, while a person who believes not will be damned. All modern, ecumenical attempts to soften this doctrine aside, most believing Christians, when pressed, would acknowledge that it's better to be Christian than not. The level of specificity is Christians versus non-Christians. Is this offensive? Ann Coulter sure caught some flak for acknowledging this.

    The Catholic Church, by praying specifically for the conversion of the Jews, ratchets the specificity level up a notch, and singles out one particular group for attention. Offensive? Some Jews think so.

    Mormons take this just one step further and single out particular (deceased) *individuals,* declaring, by baptizing them by proxy, that it would be better if each specific person were Mormon than not.

    Maybe there's a bright line between offensive and inoffensive here, or maybe not. I think we ought to be slow to take offense at others' sincerely-held religious beliefs.

  • To: Thomas
    May 6, 2008 5:01 p.m.

    praying for groups of people to see the light is apples and oranges to actually attempting to co-opt someone personally and I can still see your point. My parents were Catholic, I am not but if an attempt is made to specifically co-opt them, I take it personally and I can easily see how others do the same and find it astounding that you don't.

    If someone says that Americans are X or that Americans should be X, I'm not bothered. If someone tells me that I should be X to my face or that my parents should be X, specially on a very deeply personal level, then it's an issue.

    I will venture to say that as long as you don't see that, issues will continue ...

  • Thomas
    May 6, 2008 4:36 p.m.

    Anon, while the Catholics surely have the right to do whatever they want with their own records, why go out of their way and change the policy now? Why stick a big papal thumb in the Mormons' eye?

    If the Mormons are wrong about the efficacy of baptism for the dead, then there's no harm done. The dead are either dead, and don't know anything about it, or they're in heaven or purgatory or wherever and they can just look down and laugh at the LDS for wasting their time.

    On the other hand, if the Mormons are right, then providing the souls of the dead access to saving ordinances -- which they can accept or reject of their own free will, in the light of superior eternal understanding -- then how is this not a good thing?

    The present Pope has re-authorized the use of a Mass liturgy that prays for the conversion of the Jews. Some Jews find this offensive. How is this not similar to what the Catholics object to the LDS doing -- involving references in religious rituals to the names of people who are happy in their own traditions?

    Beam, meet eye.

  • Anonymous
    May 6, 2008 4:05 p.m.

    Their records, they can do what they choose with them. End of story. No bitternes or hate needed nor warranted.

  • To: to Re: To: Alex
    May 6, 2008 3:38 p.m.

    "You must be Helen Radkey who constantly complains about this topic with her internet Reverend status... "

    Now this is getting stranger and stranger by the minute. My name is Robert Guevara and I live in California ...

    I am here because I take great interest in people's devotion to religion since it is a central player in how the world unfolds.

  • To: I don't get this
    May 6, 2008 3:35 p.m.

    I think that I am particularly equipped to have this conversation since I am NOT beholden to any religious system of beliefs yet am NOT an aitheist. Unfortunately the word limit does not permit. In a nutshell, different systems of beliefs in this arena each claim to know the: "THE TRUTH" therefore one does not see harm in "saving" others from within anyone system. My parents were VERY secure in their Catholic faith and it served them brilliantly till their last breath. As much as you would like to think that yours in the correct faith, in their view it is not. Common curtesy and respect for the deeply personal as held by others should be self-explanatory. To me, it is expressly counter to my Parents deeply held account of: "THE TRUTH" that I fiercely oppose the albeit symbolic attempt at religious cooptation since I expressly hold their wishes to be considered Catholic both in life and in the here-after.

  • Craigr
    May 6, 2008 3:29 p.m.

    To "No Longer Interested",

    My thoughts: I don't believe you are an investigator. I believe you are an antagonist to the LDS church, taking advantage of the opportunity to rebuff them once more.

    My advise: Come on inside the Conference Hall at the next General Conference and see what all the fuss is about.

  • Question
    May 6, 2008 3:23 p.m.

    Why do so many people use the word Christian when referring to universal morals? Isn't the high standard of respecting the wishes of the dead and the relatives of their dead a universal moral standard?

    This issue really shouldn't be about religion; it should be about universal morals we all share as human beings. Everyone should know that it's a high moral good to respect the wishes of the dead and their relatives. LDS members shouldn't make it about themselves, as when so many often say, "if someone were to do have a ritual in my name I wouldn't care." It's not about you. It's about honoring the dead and their relatives by honoring their wishes.

  • Craigr
    May 6, 2008 3:18 p.m.

    Latter Day Saints sing a hymn verse, "For this eternal truth is given, God will force no man to heaven."
    The God I believe in, is a God of love. He won't force His children to accept any proxy act done on their behalf. They will have their agency to choose. And yes, baptism for the dead is mentioned in the Bible, 1 Corinthians 15:29.

  • Bob
    May 6, 2008 3:15 p.m.

    We need to trust our moral instincts and realize that the best course of action is to honor relatives of the dead by respecting their decision in the life not the supposed decision of a dead person.

    We meet a higher standard of morality when he honor the people living in this world as opposed to honoring your own religious beliefs. Honor all people their wishes concerning their body and names. I am not a member of any religion, but I believe that we ought both non-believers and believers their wishes concerning their deaths.

    I am relieved with the comments made by the religious regarding their believing that we should honor the wishes of those who are Catholic. I've read so many condescending, arrogant and ugly comments by so many LDS members that I began losing hope that there are few, deeply caring LDS people out there.

  • to Re: To: Alex
    May 6, 2008 2:45 p.m.

    your concern has been addressed 1000 times. Most recently by D. Todd Christofferson before he was called to the 12. Maybe you need to get up to speed on what is going on before you argue a point that has already been addressed.

    Actually, there are no church rules that state that a person must prove that the names they are submitting are related. Although, it stands to reason that if someone is going genealogy that they are doing it on their family line. There is no 95 year old rule either... I've submitted many names that were less than 95 years deceased and NO ONE has ever asked me my relationship. We are related but there are not these silly rules you speak of....

    And a quick review of the article it was posted on Feb 22 of this year with Paredes making his comments on the 16th of Feb. Significance meaning what?

    You must be Helen Radkey who constantly complains about this topic with her internet Reverend status...

  • No Longer Interested
    May 6, 2008 2:33 p.m.

    I had been learning about the LDS Church. I was scheduled for another lesson this week. But Mormon arrogance sickens me. I want nothing to do with such a Church that is obviously NOT Christian in any way, shape, or form.

  • Re: "To thanks alot"
    May 6, 2008 2:32 p.m.

    Are you seriously commenting that I'm looking for "an easy way out"? What gall to make such an assumption. And, yes, my Catholic friends were following this story and reading the comments then called me about it wondering what I thought. You again assume a lot thinking they do not know about the LDS doctrine of baptism for the dead, and naively assume more that their understanding of it would enhance their opinion of the church.

    "Go for it!" Go for what? Defending a religion that at least in this forum seems to be more and more defined by harsh repudiations, arrogant egos, and name-calling of the least of these? Perhaps it is only in such forums that such disgraceful communication is carried on. Sadly, it is available for all the world to see.

  • Alex
    May 6, 2008 2:25 p.m.

    "Are you implying that if I object to my deceased Parents (Catholic Faith) being (possibly) posthumously baptized into some sort of LDS framework of beliefs because I find the act dissrespectful at the very least ... are you saying that I don't have a leg to stand on? ... just to be clear sir. "

    Short answer: yes, but probably not in your lifetime.

    Ultimately, yes, your father will have opportunity to be baptized into an LDS framework of beliefs, on conditions that your father does so of his own free will and choice in the world of the Spirits of the Dead. Ultimately, we believe that all will have opportunity to receive those ordinances vicariously (one person standing in the place of another).

    That said, it probably wouldn't be done in your lifetime unless one of your father's posterity as a member of the LDS Church does that work for him. I have never done work in the temple for someone who wasn't a family name who wasn't already dead for over 100 years. That is my experience. (I am sure there are infrequent exceptions.)

  • I just don't get this
    May 6, 2008 2:19 p.m.

    To whoever wrote to Alex,
    Your parents being baptized doesn't change anything if they don't want it to. Thats the fact, no one has to change faiths just because we perform a baptism in the temple. If they don't accept than everything is just same as when they were here. The ordinance isn't forcing anything on anyone. I do have a serious question for any Catholic, not trying to argue just understand. When you baptize a child I realize the intent of it is to make sure they have it done should they pass early in life, but why do the baptism when the child has no choice?

  • Mick is right
    May 6, 2008 2:10 p.m.

    No one should take offense here. Trust in God and move on. He is fair and will give everyone the same chance to do the same things they need to do to be saved. That is what helped convert me to the LDS Church. Respect this decision by the Catholics.

    The other thing by which I'm disappointed is that of these 600-plus comments, not one made by a Latter-day Saint contains an invitation to ask God what He says on this matter. (I helped contribute to this bushel-light covering, I'll admit).

  • RE: To: Alex | 1:19 p.m
    May 6, 2008 1:57 p.m.

    Here's your answer:

    From: Letters
    Note the date....March 1, 2008

    >>[Mark] Paredes stated that Church rules make it clear that a person who adds a name to the baptism rolls must be able to prove that they are related...True. But it is also true that this rule, along with many other rules, are ignored by individual Mormons... For example, there is a rule that you cannot posthumously baptize any person who was born within the past 95 years without permission of the closest relative. Yet Anne Frank was baptized six times. There is a rule that you should baptize only relatives, not famous people, yet Simon Wiesenthal was recently cleared for baptism....Paredes states that a Mormon is permitted to perform ordinances on any relative...True. But the 1995 agreement with the Jewish organization specifically limits it to direct ancestors. The Church has not enforced this rule. No one has a right to involve other peoples families in their religion. It is time that the Mormon Church did the honorable thing and met its commitment to the Jewish people to cease this offensive act of posthumous baptism as outlined in the agreement they signed in 1995.

  • Mohan
    May 6, 2008 1:50 p.m.

    None of us have the superiority we think we have. We are all off one flesh. We are all in need. We are all dependent on God. Let us treat each and every one as a son or daughter of God, as a beloved brother or sister. Let disrespect be far from us.

    I am sure the Catholic Church will soon realize the effect of their pronouncement and when they better understand what they are doing in the great scheme of things, they will again allow Mormon volunteers in assit them by photographing all their vital records. The service rendered by the LDS in this regard is a God send. May we all realize the connections we have with each other.

  • To: Mick
    May 6, 2008 1:40 p.m.

    "The sad part is when we as Mormons become offended, bitter, and make derogatory comments towards the Pope, or any other leader for that matter. We only rise above the level of others when our actions actually show that we live what we speak. Until that time, we are no better than those we decry."

    I find your comments facinating (i'm the author of: "To Alex") I realize that you are devout (LDS version of devout), but please carefully reread your comments. It sounds like a barely cloaked jab at those of another faith. That is: if you live the LDS faith, then you ARE better then those that don't. If after closely considering this possible interpretation, do you see how your words seem no better than those of whom you counsel, at least to an outsider such as myself?

  • Mick
    May 6, 2008 1:28 p.m.

    No one should take offense here. Just because someone doesn't agree with our faith, or doesn't desire to release records, should not anger us. We just have to remember the perspective they are coming from. No offense, just personal misunderstanding, or purposeful denial.

    The sad part is when we as Mormons become offended, bitter, and make derogatory comments towards the Pope, or any other leader for that matter. We only rise above the level of others when our actions actually show that we live what we speak. Until that time, we are no better than those we decry.

  • To: Alex
    May 6, 2008 1:19 p.m.

    "Fortunately, a good portion of the records have already been documented."

    Are you implying that if I object to my deceased Parents (Catholic Faith) being (possibly) posthumously baptized into some sort of LDS framework of beliefs because I find the act dissrespectful at the very least ... are you saying that I don't have a leg to stand on? ... just to be clear sir.

  • Alex
    May 6, 2008 1:11 p.m.


    "I guess it's the "grave reservations" part that has everyone up in arms... I can't figure out why people outside of any church would think they should just be handed information about a church's members..."

    I can. The Catholic Church handed it out themselves.

    "...sounds like privacy violations to me. I mean when you think about it, with all the identity theft going on these days? "

    Except there is neither theft nor any privacy violation here. How could there be if the Catholic Church allowed access from the beginning? At any rate, all of the records are of dead people, many of whom have been so for hundreds of years. None of them are living. These records have been available to the public if they want to go in and look at them. Now with this edict, they are now available to the public, minus the LDS Church. Fortunately, a good portion of the records have already been documented.

  • Melissa
    May 6, 2008 12:24 p.m.

    I guess it's the "grave reservations" part that has everyone up in arms... I can't figure out why people outside of any church would think they should just be handed information about a church's members... sounds like privacy violations to me. I mean when you think about it, with all the identity theft going on these days?

  • To thanks alot
    May 6, 2008 11:58 a.m.

    Are you serious? You're stating all your Catholic friends are on this board and now are questioning your motives as a friend?

    Why don't you look at it a little differently than the sad eyes you are currently using....

    Why not look at this as a chance to enhance your friendship and teach them about the gospel principle of baptisms for the dead? I think I'd turn this into a chance to enhance my dialogue with them.

    Take this chance to deepen your testimony instead of looking for some easy way out of whatever issues you have going on....

    It's not a show stopper but a friendship enhancer....Go for it!

  • Ethicist
    May 6, 2008 11:52 a.m.

    "They [Catholics] allow us access to these old records, and we [LDS] provide them and the public with these records of the dead (microfilm and online)."

    A Faustian bargain, indeed!

    The Pope and the Catholic Church are simply doing what they are obliged to do by their religious beliefs. Ever notice that the Pope carries a shepherd's crook? That's because as the shepherd of the Roman Catholic Church, his duty is to care for his flock. If he allowed the members of his flock to be unwillingly submitted to acts considered heretical by the RC Church (i.e., temple ordinances) he would be derelict in his duty to care for his flock. Thus, by the belief system of the Catholic Church, he is obliged to try to put a stop to the posthumous baptism heresy applied to his members.

    He is doing what he considers to be theologically, morally, and spiritually correct. Can't fault someone for living up to his principles.

  • Thomas
    May 6, 2008 11:12 a.m.

    Nobody's asking the Catholic Church to "cooperate" with the Mormon practice of baptism for the dead. Everybody knows that the Catholic Church disagrees with the practice. All that Mormons are asking is to have the same access to Catholic records as anyone else.

    It is gallingly hypocritical for the Catholic Church to argue that giving Mormons equal access to parish records -- without endorsing what Mormons do with them -- constitutes "cooperation" with an allegedly heretical practice, when the Church employs professors at Catholic universities who support abortion, or otherwise teach in direct opposition to the Magisterium of the Church.

    The Church thus gets to buy doctrinal rigor on the cheap, taking shots at an unpopular sect, while declining to cease its much more direct endorsement of heterodox ideologies by allowing them to be taught at its own universities.

    Clearly, the Church is far more concerned with making friends with modern secular culture than with the Mormons, with whom -- doctrinal differences aside -- they share a much more consistent basic worldview.

    Cheap and shabby, I still say, and unworthy of the Church's great traditions.

  • Alex
    May 6, 2008 11:05 a.m.


    "I would not expect the Church to cooperate with pagans either, so why with LDS church henotheists? "

    Simple: because the Catholic Church has cooperated with the LDS Church for a long time. Look, this work for the dead and genealogical work using Catholic records has been going on for a long time. Over these many years, it is not as if the Catholic Church didn't know what we were doing. Come on. So many posters here act surprised as if the Catholic Church had been hoodwinked by the LDS Church. The Catholic Church knows full well and has known for a long time that we do work for the dead.

    This has been a cooperative effort: you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours. They allow us access to these old records, and we provide them and the public with these records of the dead (microfilm and online). We in turn use them in our temples. It has been a mutually beneficial relationship.

    Naturally, it is the Catholic Church's right to cease that practice. Remember though, they are doing so after benefiting greatly from the LDS Church's genealogical work for their benefit.

    By the way, Catholics are my friends.

  • Supportive
    May 6, 2008 11:04 a.m.

    This comment board is a very good example of begging the question "why on earth would anyone wish to live all eternity linked to everyone else?" I'd much prefer my own wee piece of the universe in a galaxy far, far away.

  • G
    May 6, 2008 11:05 a.m.

    "Absolutely and rightfully so. And it is a Mormon problem, not a Catholic problem. "

    Why should Mormons try to appease anyone else?

  • Thanks a lot
    May 6, 2008 11:00 a.m.

    Just a word of thanks to my *fellow LDS* who have commented with such anger and disrespect toward the Catholic Church. You have made my friendships with my Catholic friends more comfortable today. No. Think again. Today they are asking me if I truly accept them as they are or if I have an agenda percolating somewhere to "save them." The more I read the words of self-names active LDS on these comment boards, the more I reconsider the beneficial effects of the LDS faith. As of today, I'm sure I will be walking out the door of this religion as the goodness of the works of the people was the last thing I was clinging to in order to feel good about belonging.

  • Don't worry, it'll be fine
    May 6, 2008 10:15 a.m.

    The Catholics don't want us to see their records, and they'll probably try to impose some system whereby they'll discover our Mormonness and exclude us from using their records to further our genealogical research.

    If the work is meant to be done, it will be done. There will be a way around this and any other roadblock that may come along.

    The commandment to perform these ordinances for our family members came along just a few years after the Church was restored. The early Church members didn't have cars, computers, telephones, Internet, pedigree charts or family group sheets, but they went ahead and did what they were asked. With all the developments that have come about since then, I doubt the Roman Catholic Church's latest edict will be able to put a dent in our temple work.

    Let's not spend time worrying or bickering. Let's just get busy instead. We still have a lot to do!

  • I'm LDS
    May 6, 2008 10:13 a.m.

    When my family was attempting to sell our home, my mother's Catholic Co-Worker asked is she might bury a statue of a Catholic Saint in our front yard and perform a prayer. Though I had reservations on the matter, my insightful mother agreed to let her. Their friendship has never been stronger and our beliefs were not compromised by her actions. Also, our house did sell.

    I guess my point is this: The Catholic Church has taken an action on a universal level. Let's take our own action at a personal level and show love and understanding to our Catholic brothers and sisters.

  • Pretend
    May 6, 2008 9:31 a.m.

    I would not expect the Church to cooperate with pagans either, so why with LDS church henotheists?

  • Think about it
    May 6, 2008 9:29 a.m.

    I wonder what bring the practice of baptisms of the dead to general knowledge will do for Romney's electability in 2012. Hard to know if that or his having acknowledged having polygamous grandparents will hurt him more.

  • Curious
    May 6, 2008 9:29 a.m.

    Father James Massa, executive director of the U.S. bishop's Secretariat of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs is quoted by CNS as saying the step was taken to prevent LDS members from using the records.

    "The congregation requests that the conference notifies each diocesan bishop in order to ensure that such a detrimental practice is not permitted in his territory, due to the confidentiality of the faithful and as not to cooperate with the erroneous practices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,"

    Many people here are stating that LDS true colors are coming out on this board. The comment above is stating that the LDS Church is erroneous and has a detrimental practice, is this considered Christian way of doing things? Insult the others' believes? I could understand if the statement was made as we don't belive the same as the Mormons and therefore choose not to provide names but the context and words say something else all together.

  • Shocking
    May 6, 2008 9:29 a.m.

    I just checked and MOTHER Teresa (Agnes Bojaxhiu) was baptized into the Mormon church so was John Paul II (Karol Wojtyła) Egads, no wonder you have angered both the Jewish people and now the Catholics. It would not surprise me if this action was the very one that put a stop to communication.

  • Offensive
    May 6, 2008 9:24 a.m.

    Thomas said: "The problem with the Catholic reaction is that it's effectively declaring a major tenet of Mormonism to be inherently offensive."

    Absolutely and rightfully so. And it is a Mormon problem, not a Catholic problem.

  • Who cares !! !
    May 6, 2008 8:50 a.m.

    Who cares if the Mormans Baptize non-Mormans into the church after you're dead? The concept is so off base that it has no Biblical meaning! Let them continue to pretend they are doing something spiritual. This sort of act they administer is no different than the Baal worship that took place thousands of years ago in the Middle East. My security in the living Christ is never compromised by the insecurities the Morman church practices.

  • to Catholic Homer
    May 6, 2008 7:25 a.m.

    How many are active?

    Oh, different number?

  • rudragoo
    May 6, 2008 6:48 a.m.

    So much about hese people from 200+ years ago wanting to be catholic. Who says they wanted to be? where was their choise? Just as with the religious terrorists today it was do as we say or we will torture and kill you. Perhaps they wanted to worship God instead of statues. Too bad. And they are my records as it is my family, not the jailers that recorded them.

  • James
    May 6, 2008 5:50 a.m.

    The main problem is that Christian religions use the Bible to justify their actions. Quote this and that passage and that somehow authorizes them to act the way they do. All religion and all scripture is man-made and thus faulty.
    We who choose not to get caught up in all the nonsense just sit back and giggle over your silliness.

  • Diogenes
    May 6, 2008 5:34 a.m.

    I don't recall having seen such vitriol spewed forth when the Jews demanded an end to the posthumous baptism of members of their faith. Of course, it's politically incorrect to bash Jews, but apparently not Catholics. The fact that so many Mormons don't recognize that *all* religions deserve respect is telling. It's incidents like this through which their true colors come shining through.

    As someone pointed out earlier, this has set back the cause of interfaith dialogue, by about 130 years.

    Not a Catholic.
    Not a Jew.
    Not a Mormon.
    Just a tolerant atheist.

  • Yockel
    May 6, 2008 4:31 a.m.

    Exercise a little Christian charity, people. How would you feel if an alien religious tradition laid claim to your ancestors?
    Although it will be soothing to many people to find out that Mormons believe that baptisms for the dead require the demised's consent to become valid, it is not hard to see that to non-Mormons temple ordinances are imposing on their heritage.
    For a culture that places so much value on our own heritage, it is troubling how little Utah Mormons appreciate the feelings of non-Mormons. I am sorry to say but your lack of sensitivity and charity is giving Mormonism a bad name.

  • to; Thomas
    May 6, 2008 4:26 a.m.

    A friendly approach to LDS posthumous baptism would be to make clear that the RCC disagrees, but Mormons are free to act as their consciences dictate.

    I dont think the Vatican is saying that Mormons shouldnt be free to act as their conscience dictates. They are saying that since they theologically disagree with the Mormon practice, they will not be a party to condoning it.

    I dont understand why Mormons are so obtuse regarding this. I have never met a larger group of people with such a sense of entitlement that they think rules just dont apply to them. Your LDS leaders are constantly issuing statements the media condemning the FLDS and their practices. They are offended if the LDS are confused with the FLDS, and spend an inordinate amount of effort strutting the differences. The LDS refused to assist the court during FLDS prayer, and have chosen to oppose any perception that they even remotely condone the FLDS practices.

    This is no different. You can stop acting so persecuted. Go ahead and perform your misguided baptisms, but dont expect people of other faiths who believe its heretical to any way assist in your efforts or indulge your practices.

  • Miriam
    May 6, 2008 2:42 a.m.

    I'm sure you've all heard of Simon Wiesenthal. The Simon Wiesenthal Center's website describes him this way:

    "Simon Wiesenthal, a survivor of the Nazi death camps, dedicated his life to documenting the crimes of the Holocaust and to hunting down the perpetrators still at large."

    Mr. Wiesenthal was born a Jew in 1908. He suffered during the Holocaust because he was a Jew, and members of his family were murdered because they were Jews. He lived his whole life as a Jew. And when he died in 2005, he was a Jew. One year later, Mr. Wiesenthal's name was submitted to LDS, and he was baptized vicariously.

    Nobody can honestly claim that Mr. Wiesenthal wasn't aware of the existence of Jesus or the existence of LDS. Nobody can honestlyy claim that they thought Mr. Wiesenthal would like to have the opportunity to stop being Jewish after his death.

  • To perhaps
    May 6, 2008 1:14 a.m.

    "If my child converted to Catholic, would I be totall included by the priest in the ceremony? Not."

    Uh, yes you would. You would be able to sit in the pews with everyone else and witness the beautiful sacrament of your child's marriage. It's traditional for parents to attend their child's wedding.

  • Lisa
    May 6, 2008 1:03 a.m.

    I think what some people fail to understand is that a person could theoretically be baptized posthumously into any and every religion, but none of those baptisms will matter if the person (whom Latter-day Saints believe to be living now as a spirit in the Spirit World) decide to accept it. No rights or agency is being denied. The temple work performed on behalf of others only benefits them if they accept it and want it.

    With that understanding, I truly would not care if after I died, someone who loved me and was concerned about my soul, performed some ceremony for me, even if I didn't believe it would change my situation, and even if it was into another religion. In the eternal scheme of things, I believe it wouldn't make a difference to my soul, but should I see that person in the next life, I would thank them for caring about me.

  • Kropotkin
    May 6, 2008 1:00 a.m.

    1. Proxy baptism does not baptise into the LDS Church, it provides a sacrament that is only provided by the LDS Church through priesthood authority. It has nothing to do with any other baptism the individual may have had. It also does NOT make the individual a member of the church.
    2. Every individual has been saved by the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. LDS Baptism does not provide salvation, it allows progression in the next life.
    Obviously, those outside the church refuse to listen, so there is little point arguing with them. However, it would help if more members were better informed and didn't make daft statements that misrepresent the church; it would also help if people remembered that they can only baptise their own relatives.

  • Truth & Patience:Continued
    May 6, 2008 12:49 a.m.

    So if it is right, under God, to love your enemy and to do no harm to others, the definition of harm comes in to play.

    Is it harmful to use a name for ordinances which I believe will save someone if they accept it and if they do not it has no effect? Where 'they have to accept it for the work to be valid' self proves that it does no harm to any individual whether alive or not. The choice is still with the party in question(the dead) and THEIRS to make. No other person has a right to decide this for them. We are giving others a chance to accept the LDS faith. By not giving them that chance(or specifically taking it away) the Catholic church is only denying the dead THEIR RIGHT to choose what they will.

    Who would disagree with this fair LDS doctrine? (Legal argument reworded for religious freedom argument)

    "we do not believe that ... has a right to interfere in prescribing rules of worship to bind the consciences of men, nor dictate forms for public or private devotion ... never control conscience ... but never suppress the freedom of the soul." -D&C:134

  • Thomas
    May 6, 2008 12:39 a.m.

    The problem with the Catholic reaction is that it's effectively declaring a major tenet of Mormonism to be inherently offensive. That makes it difficult for Mormons and Catholics to simply agree in good will to disagree: The Vatican is not just saying that this sincerely-held Mormon belief is erroneous, but that it's *bad*.

    That way lies holy war. The West has managed to rise above religious strife largely by separating religious differences from moral comparisons: We've moved away from declaring people who hold different religious opinions to be *evil* (although many Mormons seem not to have gotten the memo when it comes to dealing with former members!); rather, religious differences are chalked up to our knowing the things of God only in part during our mortal lives, and though we don't whitewash our honest differences, we don't get too exercised about them, either.

    The Vatican is reversing this positive trend by this policy. A friendly approach to LDS posthumous baptism would be to make clear that the RCC disagrees, but Mormons are free to act as their consciences dictate.

    I have always greatly admired the Catholic Church, but it deeply disappoints me with this unfriendly act.

  • Hostility
    May 5, 2008 11:44 p.m.

    Limbo Rock is correct. And yes, even peaceful Christians can express hostility and outrage when dealing with those who express those same emotions toward us, as well as dishonor our Christian faith (much in the same way we have been outraged at radical Muslum extremists in recent years). It may not be right, be we are human and we do ask the Lord to forgive, and put our trust in Him.

  • Limbo Rock
    May 5, 2008 11:27 p.m.

    Once more... | 9:17 a.m. May 5, 2008
    "One more try...there is NO religous issue at stake here."

    Of course not, for you. But there is for Jews, members of the Armenian Church, Russian Orthodox, the Evangelisch Church in Germany, and Catholics, all of whom have expressed outrage at the Mormon practice of posthumous baptism.

  • Michael
    May 5, 2008 11:23 p.m.

    Wow, I'm amazed at how out of control everyone is (especially Hostility.) Shame on all of us! Perhaps this emotionalism just comes with the terrain of blogging. Print the forum? A "Godsend"? Those sound like emotionalized, conniving fighting words. Both faiths have been shamed in this forum, so will it ALL be printed? In a time when many are turned off religion altogether, who are we pulling for anyway?

    The Catholic Church isn't declaring anything new, I have to admit. It has just been the policy of this new pope to draw a line of demarcation between his religion and others. Recently he reiterated the view that Protestant religions are invalid. It's too bad because John Paul II had made so much progress to bridge gaps and promote dialogue.

    My roots are in Italy, where I've already seen many Catholic priests refuse to let people of other faiths see their parish records. Others have been more lax about it. Obviously, Benedict XVI is trying to guilt them into his way, but I'm sure there will still be ways around it. Many Catholic clergymen (and Catholics) show goodwill to other faiths. I've only seen a couple in this forum.

  • owning names and people
    May 5, 2008 11:03 p.m.

    I didn't know that any one group had the AUTHORITY to own names and people,
    whether DEAD or ALIVE.

    Free access to history must be the rule. Free access to names, dates, places, etc.
    No one group (whether a religious entity or not) should have the right to
    be so closed minded.

    Unless a person specifically mentioned (sealed by a notary) that they never wanted their name etc. given out, then records must be left open.

    Since when can the catholic church dictate what any other church does?
    Freedom of religion (even in Italy) is the rule of law.

  • Hostility
    May 5, 2008 10:57 p.m.

    Mary Anne fittingly said, "..there seems to be great hostility between Mormons and Catholics." What most LDS don't realize is that most Catholics have never heard of their church, or at best confuse it with the Jehovah's Witnesses or Scientologists. However, things are about to change. I was told about this forum by a friend on the East Coast. Right now this forum is being copied and will surely be distributed to Catholics everywhere. If the LDS wants to be better-known, it's wish is about to become reality. The Baptists were already onto you, now it will be the Catholics, Lutherans, Methodists, etc. Hostility? Yes! Bring it on. The LDS dream of joining mainstream Christianity in the US is now dead and buried and no temple rite will ever bring it back. The LDS posts on this forum is a Godsend to Catholic apologists everywhere.

  • just a thought
    May 5, 2008 10:55 p.m.

    There has been a lot of abusive language in this stream that surprises me. The Catholic Church has the right to say that they don't wish to be a party to a practice they believe to be wrong. In fact, since the Catholic Church believes itself to be the only true church it is appropriate that they take this step. It is also not surprising that the LDS Church would be disappointed in this move because they believe that they are the only true church and that only through these ordinances on behalf of the dead can everyone who has ever lived have a chance to attain the highest degree of celestial glory.
    It is, however, an issue that the church leaders involved should deal with and settle. All of this wrangling online is merely fostering discord and contention, something neither church is interested in promoting. Perhaps we should seek to be a little more constructive and a little less flippant or accusatory. Just a thought.

  • Jim J in Cedar Rapids
    May 5, 2008 10:54 p.m.

    I am dismayed at the antagonistic and offensive statements by both sides of the issue. Obviously, I am not going to change anyone's mind on either side of the issue. But, really, I have read very few posts that exhibit the love and charity exemplified by our Savior.
    Several misconceptions that should be corrected; 1) Temple work is at the request of decendent family members of the deceased. Normally, not always, a relative has done the research and submitted the names to the temple for proxy work. 2) As Latter-day Saints, we do believe strongly in an afterlife where those who did not receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ in life, have the opportunity to be taught and accept the ordinances from the temple on their behalf. It is still their choice to accept or not the blessings and ordinances of the Gospel. 3) The Church has become more sensitive to the wishes of other family members and cultures not of our faith. Not always compliant, but trying to do better.
    I consider it an honor and sacred privilege to do this work for my ancesters. It is their agency to accept or not.

  • Liars
    May 5, 2008 10:49 p.m.

    Shelley | 5:23 p.m. May 4, 2008
    "Not so very many years ago, the Jews were offended to discover that some Holocaust victims had been given proxy baptisms. Out of respect for the history and feelings of those of another faith, the LDS Church no longer allows its members to perform proxy baptisms for Jews unless the member involved can show family ties to the ancestor being proxied. ... Why not do the same thing for the Catholics, if they feel offended by the ordinance of proxy baptism for the dead?"

    In fact, it's probably because of the broken promises made to the Jews by the LDS that the Catholic Church is wary. Despite a written agreement in 1995, thousands of Jews continue to be baptized by proxy, and they're still upset about it.

  • Becasue my Dear Julie
    May 5, 2008 10:38 p.m.

    If I died as a Catholic, Jew, Hindu, Muslim, etc then that was my faith I chose. I would roll over in my grave if later on a LDS family member came by and baptised me as a LDS.

    This is against freedom of religion. Logic says that if the dead person wanted to be LDS they would have converted when they were alive!

  • Sad
    May 5, 2008 10:37 p.m.

    How sad, every time I think there is hope that the LDS people will look at Catholics as a loving and faithful people in our own right. Something like this comes to light.
    We are Catholics because it is right, are faith, are truth, and our joy. We do not ask you to be something else. Do not ask us to be something we are not. Only in Utah. What happened to live and let live? What happen to love they neighbor?
    It is time to say goodbye to Utah and find a new home where people worry less about if you are Mormon or not and more about what kind of person you are.

  • Naive?
    May 5, 2008 10:36 p.m.

    ladyblueyes | 2:18 a.m. May 4, 2008
    "It's not true that we baptize EVERYONE ... it has to be submitted by a family member for that to happen. But it would be nice to have all the information for geneology."

    Ya, right. That's why Pope John Paul II was baptized by the LDS exactly one year to the day after he died, 4 times, no less.

  • Excuse Me?!?
    May 5, 2008 10:26 p.m.

    "deceased are baptized into the LDS faith so that they may be united in the afterlife with LDS families, if they so choose."

    They are dead so how do they choose to be LDS? A living family member decides? Isn't that against freedom of religion? I would be pissed if after I died someone without by consent or will changed my faith.

  • to It wouldn't be offensive
    May 5, 2008 10:09 p.m.

    "If those of other faiths were truly secure in their own faith, they would dismiss any LDS baptisms for the dead as the erroneous choice of a deluded people."

    Everyone already *knows* it's deluded. It's the arrogance and insensitivity of it that people are talking about. Anyone can be fooled but even if they are, they can and should be a decent human being.

  • jennifer
    May 5, 2008 10:08 p.m.

    Baptism by Proxy Doctrine | 10:48 a.m. May 4, 2008, wrote:

    "Christ was perfect and yet he was still baptized."

    Here is the explanation.

    Ambrose in Luke 3:21: "Our Lord was baptized because He wished, not to be cleansed, but to cleanse the waters, that, being purified by the flesh of Christ that knew no sin, they might have the virtue of baptism."

    Chrysostom (Hom. iv in Matth.): "that He might bequeath the sanctified waters to those who were to be baptized afterwards."

  • Dissed
    May 5, 2008 9:57 p.m.

    ladyblueyes | 2:18 a.m. May 4, 2008
    "I cannot believe the Catholic church is being so stingy and dog-in-the-manger."

    Money | 6:59 p.m. May 4, 2008
    "These posts are silly. The obvious truth is the Catholic chuch wants money for its records and that's it."

    It's not about being stingy. It's about respecting others beliefs, something you apparently know nothing about.

  • One-Upmanship...
    May 5, 2008 9:48 p.m.

    I see a lot of idioc comments by mormons.I have less respect for the mormon church from these comments on this post. I once thought that it was possible we had the same end game put now I just see the mormons for how they truly are with all these comments,,,,

  • Patty
    May 5, 2008 9:45 p.m.

    This may not be an important issue to some. But to someone trying to raise their non- Mormon children is a small town with a Very large Mormon population, this is important. Our children face discrimination every day at school and in their neighborhoods. If you move into Utah into a small town, one of the first things you are asked is: are you a Mormon?
    We must take the time to let are feeling known, we all have rights. And not being baptized a Mormon after we die is one of them.

  • Sasha
    May 5, 2008 9:42 p.m.

    Rob | 4:34 p.m. May 4, 2008, wrote:
    "It's understandable if the Catholic or Jewish leaders think the LDS church has secret plans to use all this data they are collecting on people and families to do something other than what they say they are doing, which is performing proxy ordinances."

    Catholics, Jews, and others are aware that it's for proxy baptism. They don't think it's for some other purpose. Their objection is based on knowing that it's for proxy baptism.

  • Sojourner Truth
    May 5, 2008 9:35 p.m.

    Two faced | 2:04 a.m. May 4, 2008
    "I love these churches who on the one hand, will do almost anything to attack, embarass and arm twist the LDS Church. But then, the second there's a fire at one of their churches, or a natural disaster somewhere, they churches often turn around and beg for the LDS Church's assistance."

    Hmm, I cant recall one instance in the past 50 years where the Catholic Church has begged for the LDS Churchs assistance. Quit distorting the truth!

  • Bob
    May 5, 2008 9:35 p.m.

    As far as I can tell, most LDS members posting in this thread are on low moral ground. Such is the nature of religious dogma.

  • Love Catholic friends
    May 5, 2008 9:32 p.m.

    I love my catholic friends. My grandfather was catholic and joined the church, and now we are all subsequently LDS. We are grateful that the Catholic church has opened up its records in the past to us LDS decendents of these good people. Nearly all of my employees are non-mormons- 18 out of 20, and half of these are catholic- great people- and good friends. I treat them well. Not all mormons are against other churchses. I hope that I am an example of that, and I know that most of my LDS friends are that way as well..but there are a few imposters here on this comment board I believe that try to make us look bad. Thanks.

  • Bob
    May 5, 2008 9:29 p.m.

    I am not a member of any religion. I believe that we should respect the wishes of the dead and their relatives. When I see the people choose religious dogma over the wishes of a Catholic or Jewish family, I remember why I not a member of any religion.

  • Irish Catholic
    May 5, 2008 9:29 p.m.

    I can feel the love... Can't you? What a waste! And we wonder why the world is in its current state of disrepair. If we had this much debate about local issues OF IMPORTANCE we would actually SOLVE problems rather than create them so as to hide from the reality of the world.

  • Saddened
    May 5, 2008 9:29 p.m.

    It is sad that the Pope and the Vatican take this position. My family and I are LDS and we embrace working together with other faiths. Here in Colorado the Catholic and LDS Churches join with many others in common charitable undertakings. My two oldest sisters graduated with nursing degrees from the old Catholic Holy Cross School of Nursing in Salt Lake City and I remember as a small boy enjoying their graduation ceremonies held in the Cathedral of the Madeleine. Unfortunately, I lay this edict at the door of Pope Benedict. I served an LDS mission in the Germany Munich Mission from 1977-1979. The Pope, who at that time was Cardinal Josef Ratzinger of the Archdiocese of Munich, personally undertook to shut out LDS missionaries from the city of Freising, home of the Archdiocese (he made sure no one would rent to them, etc.), and from the heavily Catholic city of Passau. Just look at his history of antagonizing Lutherans in Germany, provoking Muslims since becoming Pope, etc. This too will pass, but in the meantime he is needlessly picking fights with other faiths. However, we should turn the other cheek and keep the dialogue with Catholics open.

  • Roy
    May 5, 2008 9:24 p.m.

    Julie | 12:48 a.m. May 4, 2008
    "I'm still trying to figure out why it bothers people that mormons do baptisms for the dead if non-mormons don't believe that it has any effect."

    Are you serious? I find this and all other comments like this to be insensitive, ignorant, arrogant, and disrespectful. How would you like it if some other religion forced their dogma on you or a member of your family after you were dead?

  • Anonymous
    May 5, 2008 9:19 p.m.

    Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much
    Freedom of choice, God gave us that choice.

  • Bob
    May 5, 2008 9:15 p.m.

    Why are people placing a greater importance of claim of an afterlife that no one can substantiate as true when there is so much to learn about in the here and now? The moral life begins on earth.

  • Jo
    May 5, 2008 9:11 p.m.

    Ooooh! I get so angry when I read how arrogant and offensive so many comments by Mormons are!

    If I had any doubts about whether or not Mormons are Christian, I am convinced now that they ARE NOT!

  • Bob
    May 5, 2008 9:11 p.m.


    While it's true that we see things in part, why focus on matter beyond life and stake our moral claims on experience? Regardless of religion, we all share the same moral instincts as the rest of us. Religious dogma seems to stir in a mix of an inflexibility that disregards the feelings of others, which is moral failing. I read a lot of LDS members saying, "why be bothered with using your name in our temple rituals?" I ask then, "why be bothered with holding on to religious doctrine at the expense of ignoring the wishes of a dead person's relative?" I'm not a Catholic or Jew, but seems sense to me that most people don't want their dead relatives name used in anyone's ritual.

    Why not let go of dogma? There are better things in life on which to focus and apply one's energies.

  • Patty
    May 5, 2008 9:02 p.m.

    Catholics do not worship Mary. Lets not lose sight of what we are talking about. The freedom of choice. My choice is NOT to be baptized a Mormon after Im died. What is wrong with that?

  • Bob Krebs
    May 5, 2008 8:57 p.m.

    It's interesting that people in this string are attacking the Catholic Church for not supporting a position that She believes in error. Would the LDS Church support a position that it believes is in error?

  • Anonymous
    May 5, 2008 8:55 p.m.


  • patty
    May 5, 2008 8:55 p.m.

    Thomas: I have lived in Utah a long time. I know how this goes. Non-Mormons are wrong in your eyes.

  • Anonymous
    May 5, 2008 8:52 p.m.

    You LDS are hypocrites!

    People who believe differently than you are constantly performing ceremonies and rites that you find offensive. Take Burning Man, for example. People of other faiths dress in Mormon Temple clothes and depict their own interpretations of the Temple ordinances. It is very instructive, but I have NEVER met a Mormon who is not offended by it!

    So don't tell me you Mormons would not be offended if other churches did that! You are liars and hypocrites!

  • In the tunnel
    May 5, 2008 8:51 p.m.


    You're educated and intelligent, yet you've spent countless hours looking in to religion for answers. You're the only one posting here who has any hope. Free yourself from your past.

  • Patty
    May 5, 2008 8:49 p.m.

    Thomas: I have lived in Utah a long time. This will be one more why of Mormons trying to make non-Mormon feel like something is wrong with them. You may feel its your right to do this. Guess what, its within my rights to say back off. Believe what you want, but dont try to take away my right to do the same.

  • mary anne
    May 5, 2008 8:45 p.m.

    Based on what i have read today in this forum, I think that there is great hostility between Mormons and Catholics. It also appears that the Catholic Church has acted within its rights. I do not hear of anyone suing the church to get at the records.

    Mormons also like to think they are now "Christians," part of the worldwide Christian movement, but the Catholic church has set that thought aside, hasn't it. Pope drew a line in the sand.

    Some have written about how these two Christian bodies have been torn asunder by the Catholic orders. Au contraire, it was never together. I recall a childhood where Mormons would always tell the Catholics that the Catholics were headed straight to hell.

    So, relax. The RC has the records, the world continues to spin, and roses still bloom in the spring. Nothing has actually changed, but some things are more out in the open.

  • I've got an idea
    May 5, 2008 8:44 p.m.

    Why not just baptize everyone into every conceivable religion so that when they're dead they're covered since none of the others count and, apparently, the wishes of the individual don't either?

  • Thomas
    May 5, 2008 8:43 p.m.

    Amber -- Read the referenced post a second time, this time with your irony detector turned on.

  • Amber
    May 5, 2008 8:32 p.m.

    "Like the Jews, apparently he must believe in the LDS doctrine of baptism for the dead and sealings of families."

    Jews do NOT belive in the doctrine of baptism for the dead and sealings of families. Find out the facts before you post.

  • Thomas
    May 5, 2008 8:31 p.m.

    Patty -- The Mormon position is that you may have a clearer understanding of what you really want once God shows it to you when you're dead.

    Like or not, that strikes me as pretty rational. As Paul said, on the earth we see and know things only in part. Mormons who believe their religion is correct naturally believe that its correctness will be made clear in the eternities, once people's knowledge is more complete.

    And they must be correct -- I've never heard a dead person complain about being subjected to posthumous Mormon baptism. ;)

  • Patty
    May 5, 2008 8:16 p.m.

    This has everything to do with respect. If I wanted to be baptized a Mormon I would do so while Im alive. What makes anyone feel they are better or know better than I do when it comes to my wishes?

  • Thomas
    May 5, 2008 8:13 p.m.

    Aimee -- What translation are you using? Neither the KJV nor the NIV -- the only translations I'm very familiar with -- come anywhere close to "forbidding" the practice. To the contrary, the text (1 Corinthians 15:29) is hard to interpret in any other way than indicating that Corinthian Christians were engaged in baptism for the dead, and that Paul was not criticizing them.

    I'd be happy to hear your explanation of how Paul actually forbids the practice.

  • Halcyon
    May 5, 2008 8:03 p.m.

    Why do the Mormons think they have a right to have copies of all the records in the world. They aren't *your* records. Get over it!

  • Aimee
    May 5, 2008 7:55 p.m.


    Maybe it's because it's forbidden in the New Testament by St. Paul to baptize for the dead. If you read the Holy Bible more than the Book of Mormon you would find that out.

  • Dead aren't really dead
    May 5, 2008 7:45 p.m.

    When people die, they no longer have a physical body! Their spirits existed before they came to earth to receive a body and their spirits continue to exist even after they lose their body. Death has no true hold on anyone anymore because Christ died and was resurrected. Resurrection means he got his body and his spirit back. No one got their bodies back until he got His back. Now, because of Jesus Christ, everyone gets their bodies back. But, Not everyone gets to return to the presence of God! Most people don't get it, but the CoJCoLDS knows that the dead aren't dead. In fact, many dead persons appear to the living asking them to do their work for them. Unless you have had this experience, you don't understand the truthfulness of it.
    In fact, why does non-members act as though their dead are dead? They are NOT! And if they come to a living person, then they have their permission don't they? These dead come to faithful and inspire them where to find their information. It doesn't matter where it is, they know where their information is. And they lead living persons to it, won't hinder God's work.

  • Chris Plummer
    May 5, 2008 7:39 p.m.

    A lot of Mormons posting are saying that no-one should care about baptisms for the dead that they are doing to devout persons of other religions.
    Sounds to me like two VERY touchy subject. Religion and dead relatives. Are you really surprised that people are getting offended. Those two subjects can get two people fist fighting and/or killing in a matter of seconds if the correct buttons are pushed. Treat other peoples religions and dead relatives with respect, something this comments sections hasn't done.

  • aj arizona
    May 5, 2008 7:37 p.m.

    If the Pope wants to take his ball and go home, then so be it. The World is poorer for it.

    As for the Mormons, their records are open for the World to share, free of charge, whether you subscribe to
    their beliefs or not.

  • aj arizona
    May 5, 2008 7:37 p.m.

    Rome looks pretty silly on this one and by expressing the reason behind their actions, it has proven they are telling another faith what they can and cannot believe.

    For fifteen hundred years the Church was the State. There was no seperation. Records which were lost in fires, or floods, fortunately, because of the Mormon's efforts, were preserved before they were lost.

    My wifes entire Family tree on her fathers side is Italian, we have gone back 6 generations, a seven year effort. Thanks to these precious records. Our Catholic cousins, back East, have needed to show their lineage in order to qualify for their jobs in Italy. When they needed the information, we had it for them.

    The value of these records are not just for Mormons. The LDS Church indexed the entire Ellis Island records, for the World to cherish, there is a plaque in the main hall, thanking the Church for their efforts. The African American bank records were indexed for the world to enjoy, without these, most African Americans would be at a dead stop on their family histories.

    These records belong to the FAMILY OF MAN, of which we all belong.

  • aj arizona
    May 5, 2008 7:34 p.m.

    At this hospital, Holy Cross, SLC, Utah, and at that time, early 1950's, these Nuns had no authority, they needed a Priest. That was their declared policy.

    And Catholic positions have never changed in 5 years?

    The larger point is, Religions disagree every day on points of doctrine. That doesn't mean you throw down the gauntlet every time you may disagree.

    The Catholic Church has picked a fight with an ally, where one was not necessary.

    They are trying to dictate to another Church what they can and cannot believe. A doctrine which is biblical, by the way. 1 Cor. 15:29 & John 3:5.

    If the Lord says you cannot enter his Kingdom, without baptism, where is your provision for those who never were?

    Mormons don't believe in the Cross or the Crucifix as jewelery. They don't use rosary beads to keep count of prayers. They don't believe the Eucharest turns wine and a wafer into Christ's blood and flesh, Literally.

    Has the Mormon Church ever given an Edict, prohibiting the selling of Gold and Silver and beads and grapes and wheat, which can be used for Catholic practices which the Mormons don't agree with?

  • To: Marie
    May 5, 2008 7:30 p.m.

    I don't think genealogy is the problem. It's imposing one's beliefs on the deceased whose families probably don't appreciate. Please tell me that you're kidding.

  • Susan G
    May 5, 2008 7:26 p.m.

    Beautifully said.

    "For The Love... | 4:38 p.m. May 5, 2008
    For the love, folks, show a little respect and humility in what you post for the world to read. I am active LDS, but Mormons do not have the market cornered on goodness or spirituality, nor do we have a free pass to ignore the often understandable concerns of those not of our faith.

    Your church leaders would never encourage you to defend your faith in the manner that many, if not most, of the posters here are attempting. It does much more harm than good.

    Explain, yes. Attack or condemn, no. We can disagree without being disagreeable, as our leaders have often taught us. Let's make some small effort to put ourselves in the shoes of those whose beliefs differ from our own.

  • Marie
    May 5, 2008 7:20 p.m.

    Shall we toss the Catholic priests and nuns out of the Family History centers? The number one patron of the FH center in South Bend, Indiana (go Irish!) is a Notre Dame University Priest. He's there for HOURS every day.

    Even Catholics like genealogy...

  • Wendy
    May 5, 2008 7:20 p.m.

    This is to CUTS BOTH WAYS: No, you are wrong. The LDS church would not respond at all to FLDS re-doing temple work. Why? Because we know it would be of no effect! They have no priesthood authority in the FLDS church to do any temple work--or anything else for that matter.

  • charles
    May 5, 2008 7:01 p.m.

    The mormons just can't keep their nose out of other people's business, even after they are dead.

  • Not a Catholic
    May 5, 2008 6:56 p.m.

    or LDS but some of the messages I'm reading here give me a very negative image of the LDS.

    I can easily see how it can be considered disrespectful to the dead by their families especially if the deceased was a devout.

    The Catholic Church can trace its lineage back to Jesus Christ who appointed St. Peter as the first pope. This line of popes has continued unbroken for almost 2,000 years and for the person that said the "worship" Mary, they revere Mary.

    As an agnostic, I don't hold the Christian system of beliefs to be the "the truth" but obviously many here don't realize that they do the LDS a disservice with their postings.

  • RE: bj
    May 5, 2008 6:49 p.m.

    um hmmm

  • Michael
    May 5, 2008 6:47 p.m.

    I, too, am sad this blog has become a mud-slinging session and has failed to produce a more respectful, logical dialog.

    To the non-LDS in Utah, please realize that Mormons experience far worse discrimination in areas where they are the minority among a predominant religion. Italy is one example, and the slander comes from the highest levels of media and government. Please consider this before getting so defensive. You might not have an argument to stand on.

    To the LDS in Utah, your religion promotes a higher standard of interaction with other faiths than we've seen in this blog.

    To Catholics who have touted their "sacred dead," how can you historically make a claim that your people died believing in their faith? Catholicism is large and powerful, but it has dealt a heavy blow of death and tyranny to become such. Crusades, inquisitions, torture, conquistadors, Counter-reformations. It is irrational to make such a claim for people who aren't here to speak for themselves? So Mormons want to know about their ancestors, or they perform a baptism for great-great-great grandma, which she can "accept or reject." What's the big deal? How many have been forced to accept Catholicism historically?

  • David P
    May 5, 2008 6:47 p.m.

    Orion stated:

    "orion | 6:19 a.m. May 4, 2008
    I would think there would be a cry of outrage among the LDS folk if Catholics suddenly baptized deceased, life-long, temple worthy, LDS members. How about church prophets? How about those who died while in service of the LDS Church?"

    Quite the opposite is true. I wish there were something the Catholics could offer as a countermeasure to the proxy baptism performed by the LDS faithful.

    I'd gladly hand them a list of the names which I have submitted for proxy ordinances in the LDS temple, so that the Catholic church could perform whatever prayer or rebaptism they wished to perform.

    Because I don't recognize any such prayer or baptism as valid or binding, I see absolutely no harm in it.

    The LDS church has never sought to discourage practicing buddhists, for example, from performing rites on behalf of Mormon, or even Buddhist ancestors whose names have been submitted for proxy ordinances in the LDS temple.

    It's none of our affair what the Buddhists do.

    However, we consider it our obligation to collect, share, and preserve vital records for the entire family of man. We bear this enormous expense gladly.

  • Thomas
    May 5, 2008 6:42 p.m.

    "Religion," again: Keep in mind that Protestant England's repression of Catholics occurred in the context of an age in which Englishmen who fell into Catholic hands tended to get burned at the stake as heretics. And in which Queen Mary's attempt to suppress the Reformation had just occasioned a fresh round of Protestant barbecue.

    As I like to say, that was then, this is now. You can't judge people from the past with the standards of the present. As Reformation figures go, Cromwell was pretty mild. There's no evidence that he ordered his troops' slaughter of the defenders of Drogheda, which in any case was permitted (shockingly enough!) by the then-accepted laws of war pertaining to "obstinate defense."

    Bottom line, I'm still glad Cromwell (and Cranmer and Ridley and Latimer and others) made Britain a Protestant nation. The Catholic Church had gotten out of line, and needed to be put in its place, i.e., away from the levers of political power and back where it belonged creating beautiful hymns, cathedrals, and intellectual theology. The Vatican policy referenced in this article inclines me to believe the RCC hierarchy may need another good Roundhead smackdown these days.

  • non-mormon here
    May 5, 2008 6:41 p.m.

    If you as a Mormon believe that you're going to eventially get everyone's name, including some hunter and gatherer in... ancient Mesopotamia, for example, why worry about some meager Catholic records if you're going to have the ability to get the info get the name an Iraqi that lived 12,000 years ago? Non-mormons are not getting this concept of your church.

  • Thomas
    May 5, 2008 6:31 p.m.

    Dear "Religion" -- Sorry to give you whiplash, "one moment praising the Catholic church, and the next moment slamming it," be advised I'm sort of an equal-opportunity offender in that respect. There is plenty to admire and criticize in all religious traditions, including my own.

    Catholicism's strengths lie in its continuity, its conservatism, and its use of both faith *and* reason in the pursuit of religious truth. (I believe the RCC is far superior to much of American Protestantism, with those churches' fideistic tendencies, in that respect.)

    On the other hand, it is also true that the RCC is a powerful institution, which, in the past and occasionally continuing to the present, has tempted it to go beyond the proper stewardship of a kingdom that is not supposed to be of this world. I believe "Catholic social teaching" has often interfered with democracy and rational economics, and that cultures in which Catholic doctrines have too great an influence have tended to fall into economic stagnation and political illiberalism. Latin America is a classic case in point.

    There's a lesson here for *any* hierarchical church that gets too involved in political and economic culture.

  • Suspicious
    May 5, 2008 6:26 p.m.

    Why, all of a sudden, at this particular point in time, did this particular pope make this particular decision? The LDS Church has been microfilming parish records for decades, spanning numerous popes. This is the same pope that enraged the Jewish community by issuing the revised "Good Friday Prayer for the Jews" which specifically prays for the conversion of the Jews to Christianity. There is something not quite right with this man's thinking. The Catholic church is in serious decline, not just in the USA, but across Europe as well, even in Italy. I suspect this will not be the last of the peculiar, controversial pronouncements from him in some misguided attempt to save the faith.

  • Curious
    May 5, 2008 6:25 p.m.

    What I want to know is if the dead at least get to play some baseball.

  • bj
    May 5, 2008 6:19 p.m.

    The LDS church is not copying these records specifically for baptisms.....they are copying for the genealogy, and only if member of the Lds faith submit their personal family members for baptism is it then done..........not as a parish, or otherwise. they are doing this for the good of all including Catholics worldwide wanting to trace their own roots, without submitting names for Baptism.

  • To whom this pertains, cont.
    May 5, 2008 6:19 p.m.

    Everyone who believes in Christ needs to unite. He that is divided shall fall. There is only one way to do that! That is ask God what his will is. Is God a liar? No! And he says, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed". Yet, very, very few people ever do this. Including those in the LDS faith. If all people were to do this, all Christians would be united.
    As far as Bruce R. McKonkie is concerned saying the Catholic Church as great and abominable church. 1 NE 13. That is his opinion. The church asked him to retract that and he did. What matters is the revelation that comes from the first presidency. NOT individual opinions. That's the same with MT. Meadow Massacre. The Council (the church) told them over and over and over again "NO". Those involved acted alone not waiting even for Brigham Youngs response to leave the wagon trains alone!

  • Mark
    May 5, 2008 6:09 p.m.

    I completely agree with the churches protection of records of the church since releasing those records would undermine the one true baptism, as a sacrament. Jesus had to become man in order to forgive sin and comply with the sacrament of baptism so baptism of the deceased by proxy has no Biblical premise no matter who self proscribes to be a prophet and come up with a new revelation/doctrine or covenant. Jesus came once and when he comes again "for real" we will have judgement based upon our divine nature as man, with body and soul.

  • To whom this pertains
    May 5, 2008 5:55 p.m.

    I don't think there'd be an outcry by anyone of the LDS faith if other denominations or Satan's followers were taking names of LDS and doing their version of baptisms because it wouldn't count. I think that if Satan's followers were taking an interest in names at all it would be to find out who the living saints are so they could "slayeth the saints of God, yea, and tortureth them and bindeth them down, and yoketh them with a yoke of iron, and bringeth them down into captivity." All followers of Satan desire captivity and death of the righteous. It won't matter if they are catholic, baptist, presbyterian, coJCoLDS, etc. If they are righteous, followers of Satan want them to not have freedom, and want to seek their premature death. As those who killed the Jews and other places. Baptisms for the dead (by proxy) isn't a grave-robber type mentality.
    Somebody wrote this and I quote it, I'm sure I don't quote it perfectly either. "He that is offended when no offense is intended is a fool" "He that is offended when offense is intended, is a greater fool"
    The problem we have as Christians: we're not united!

  • Hey, guess what!!!
    May 5, 2008 5:49 p.m.

    I'm just grateful to live in a time and a country where no one is shoving a gun barrel, sword, or bow and arrow in my face and demanding that I accept a certain religion as "true." Or burning me at the stake. Or torturing me for not giving into their demands. Too bad my French Huguenot ancestors didn't have the same situation. They had to escape to England and eventually America.

    I'm going to continue to perform proxy temple work for my ancestors, no matter what religion they were in this life, because I believe that Jesus Christ's gospel was founded on the truth that everyone has freedom of choice. It's my choice to do this work, and it's my ancestors' choice to say "Thanks, I was hoping you'd do that" or "No thanks, I'll stay my same Methodist/Presbyterian/Baptist self."

    "The dogs may bark, but the caravan moves on."

  • Michael E. Bristow
    May 5, 2008 5:48 p.m.

    I'm rather suprised that Msgr. Fitzgerald would try to be so "politic" with the Mormons. Right now the LDS Church is running so far & fast away from questions of polygamy, that the last thing they need is to take the Catholic Church about anything.

    What's the Roman Catholic Church - a billion plus, and the LDS make a big deal about their 12 million, world-wide. And, half of that is overseas, so what left, 6 million in the US. That's not even half of Los Angeles County.

    I would sincerely recommend to Bishop Webster not to be to cowardly in his relations with the Mormon Church. They are not on solid ground right now.

  • torquemada
    May 5, 2008 5:41 p.m.

    So, if during the millenium all of the temple "work" is going to get done, why bother with it now?

    Could it be to keep the tithing dollars rolling in??

  • just thiking...
    May 5, 2008 5:41 p.m.

    Some interesting numbers: Say you do 2 baptisms/minute, 18 hours/day, ~120 temples, 365 days/year. You'd do 94 million posthumous baptisms/year. Very impressive. At that rate, you'd go through the entire available database (2 billion names according to newsroom) in about 20 years.

    But it gets tricky. At that rate, it would take 343 years to baptize every one of the 32 billion humans estimated to have been born since 1,200 AD ( And then another 778 years to get the 74 billion or so souls born before that. On top of that, you'd have to dedicate about 80 temples just to keep up with the 60 million or so people who die each year.

    I don't mean this to be discouraging. After all, if you have faith that this work will get done, then you won't be discouraged. I just think it could help the dialog if people inside the LDS Church could see how preposterous this practice looks to the rest of the world, and help you feel better that the names from the Catholic Church are really an insignificant drop in the population bucket.

  • To Decider of Denominator
    May 5, 2008 5:30 p.m.

    , Orion and others.
    What happens if people get to the other side and realize their chosen denominations wrong? The LDS church believes that God's work and glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. We believe that God so loved the world that he sent His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life. Yet on this earth they believe in Him but they are kept from salvation due to a technicality-the ordinance of baptism. Then, if they are given the opportunity, no technicality can keep them from God's promises. God is all powerful, wise, all-loving, etc. and because of that, has given everyone the opportunity to be saved in one of three kingdoms-which have many mansions in each.
    It doesn't matter that the catholics hold back their records because the Savior is soon coming for the second time and when he does, 1,000 years will be dedicated to this work and no hindering will happen. Those who reject (telestial beings) won't be on the earth and won't be saved for this 1,000 years and those who don't reject will be here physically to do the work.

  • Sally
    May 5, 2008 5:27 p.m.

    Jeepers, Is there a religious freedom problem on here or what? I don't think the dead care one way or another if someone wants to do work for them...BIG DEAL! Who cares? I'd like to know how its going to "personally" harm any of you?

  • Gary
    May 5, 2008 5:08 p.m.

    Bruce R. McKonkie said the Catholic Church is the "Great and Abominable Church of the Devil." Why should the greatest and oldest Christian denomination on the planet cut a small startup sect any slack. Also, the LDS Church sends out missionaries to steal away Catholic converts in third world countries without providing anything with regard to social justice.

  • Religion
    May 5, 2008 5:08 p.m.

    When reading the comments in this thread, I find that religion does nothing to improve the moral good will of humans. Instead of focusing on the sky, let's bring ourselves back to earth and rid ourselves of religious dogma.

    Does Thomas know anything about the history of anti-Catholic sentiment among Protestants in England and the cruelty involved? Wow! One moment you're praising the Catholic church, and next moment slamming it.

    I'm convinced that religious is the source of much of what's wrong the world. If the Catholic Church had reigned over England, England would probably have been just as cruel as they were as Protestants.

  • ME
    May 5, 2008 4:56 p.m.

    Dear "It wouldn't be offensive":

    It wouldn't be offensive to YOU if someone were to baptize you into some other church. Why draw on your morality solely on the basis of reference to the way you experience the world and honor the dead and their immediate families by using the dead person's name in a religious ceremony of the dead?

    It strikes me as rude to insist on using the name of anyone for their religious purposes.

  • Thomas
    May 5, 2008 4:55 p.m.

    "To Alex" --
    "The LDS Trinity and the Christian Trinity are not the same. Look it up."

    I *have* looked it up, and researched the Nicene and Athanasian Creeds backwards and forwards. My considered conclusion is that both sides are exaggerating the differences: the Mormons, to gin up a need for a "restoration" of important doctrines on which traditional Christianity was in error, and traditional Christians, because they think Mormons are weird and just hate having secularists tar all religionists with the same kooky brush.

    The bottoml line is that Mormons believe the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are separate persons, who are nevertheless one God in some mystical sense. Hairsplitting aside, that's pretty much the traditional Christian position, too. Such a lot of fighting over stuff nobody truly knows anything about.

    Don't get me started on Elder Holland's infamous mistranslation of the word "immensus" in the Athanasian Creed. Short version: It doesn't mean "incomprehensible" in the modern sense of "impossible to be understood."

  • Thomas
    May 5, 2008 4:46 p.m.

    Mark -- I offer my comment on Oliver Cromwell in the same spirit as the Vatican offered its thumb to the eye of the LDS Church on the baptism issue. I say the descendants of the Inquisitors have something of a log in their own eye getting the vapors over references to Cromwell.

    As much as I admire the present Catholic Church as the custodian of a magnificent intellectual and spiritual tradition, and as virtually the last keeper of the flickering Christian flame in Europe, I am heartily glad that the English-speaking world gave Rome the heave-ho during the Reformation. As nasty as both sides in the Reformation got (and Cromwell's acts at Drogheda, though exaggerated by Catholic propagandists, would never be countenanced today), I am convinced that the right side won in England, and that Anglo-American civilization would have been much the worse for having continued as a Catholic society.

  • Catholic Homer
    May 5, 2008 4:41 p.m.

    The Mormon Church has around fourteen million members, whereas the Catholic Church has over one billion. They can't even be mentioned in the same universe. The Catholic Church is also two thousand years old.

  • Family On Earth
    May 5, 2008 4:40 p.m.

    I believe life as we know it as we experience it with our families should be our focus, not a belief in an after life. What better way to honor a family member than to abide by the wishes of that dead family member as the family knew him on earth. What better way to honor the immediate family member than to honor their wishes?

  • For The Love...
    May 5, 2008 4:38 p.m.

    For the love, folks, show a little respect and humility in what you post for the world to read. I am active LDS, but Mormons do not have the market cornered on goodness or spirituality, nor do we have a free pass to ignore the often understandable concerns of those not of our faith.

    Your church leaders would never encourage you to defend your faith in the manner that many, if not most, of the posters here are attempting. It does much more harm than good.

    Explain, yes. Attack or condemn, no. We can disagree without being disagreeable, as our leaders have often taught us. Let's make some small effort to put ourselves in the shoes of those whose beliefs differ from our own.

  • Brother Chuck Schroeder
    May 5, 2008 4:37 p.m.

    Perhaps the Vatican representatives should know about this and ALLOW their Priest's and all other males to get married to a woman. Remember, the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets. That's why Republican's as well as "normal people" call upon other responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.

  • Howard
    May 5, 2008 4:36 p.m.

    What a shame! So just because my Chinese ancestors never accepted Christ while they were alive, they are out of luck?

    "Get it right NOW" suggests that they, along with the MAJORITY of humans since the race began are all consigned to Hell because the never even heard of Christ. That is merciful.

    As for Catholic records, they own them. It is their choice. That is agency.

  • People...come now
    May 5, 2008 4:31 p.m.

    Folks, what do you think is going to be going on in the Millennium? It's going to be a 1000 years of genealogy work.

    It really matters not if the Catholics or any other church gives up their names or not. They will be known in the Millennium and then the temple work will be done for them.

    It's really cute and dried or in other words, plain and simple.

    Catholics worship Mary. That's not in the scriptures. There version of the "trinity" isn't found in scripture. There version of baby baptism isn't in scripture. all of their rituals aren't found in scripture.

    you know what is in scripture? Baptisms for the dead. Ever read 1 Peter 3:19? Will a Catholic believer please explain that scripture?

    BTW, I don't know where this doing temple work is an act of "love" came from. For some, I'm sure doing their own family names it is a wonderful experience. However, it's a commandment and it has to be done no matter what.

    AND, those who have died don't have an easier time of accepting the gospel versus those on the earth. Where did that come from?

  • Alex
    May 5, 2008 4:29 p.m.

    "The LDS Trinity and Christian Trinity are not the same. Look it up. "

    I know. I was only answering Thomas statement to the effect that we only baptize in the name of the Son. We are baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Three separate beings who are one in every other way other than being the same person. I know what the Trinity as defined by the early church councils is.

  • Wow Indeed
    May 5, 2008 4:27 p.m.

    Why does competing religious dogmas stir up so much division of among people? Aren't we ultimately human beings before anything we are member of a belief system? We can't we get together and focus on concerns facing us in the real world, all together, not as a group of Mormons, Catholics, etc in their separate religious groups, but as a group of human beings concerned with issues all people are concerned out, and let the standard be the evidence of our collective efforts to spread goodness in the world.

    Instead of getting together to focus on life as we know it on this planet, lots of people prefer arguing over baptism. Why? I personally believe that issues we experience are more important than talk of an after life. Don't you?

  • to to alex
    May 5, 2008 4:26 p.m.

    you are right, they are not the same. Can you please scripturally corroborate the Catholic version of God, Christ and the Holy Ghost for us? I don't want you to use the Nicene Creed. I want you to use the scriptures where is says all 3 are 1 person....

    I'll give you some hints...use the verses where Christ is baptized..or use the one of the Mount of Transfiguration...or use the one of the Intercessory Prayer....

    Please, I'd like for you to scripturally tell us the Catholic version of the Trinity...

  • My family
    May 5, 2008 4:17 p.m.

    You people are fighting about nothing. If you go back 6-10 generations or so, on most Mormon lines their are Catholic lines of people who are direct lines that come back down to a particular Mormon person. So if the Mormon person has ancestors who were all Catholics and then this particular Mormon descender chooses to do work for the dead on his direct ancestors, who were all Catholic and Jewish, then he definitely has the right as a Mormon to do work for them because THEY ARE HIS FAMILY! I am a eight generation Mormon and I DIRECTLY have family lines back to Jewish and Catholic families, and as well, being a descendant of (Theologian Protestant Reformer) Martin Luther. These are my "direct" ancestors, so indeed, I will do the work within the Mormon church for "MY FAMILY". Does anyone have any objections to this?

  • elliot
    May 5, 2008 4:17 p.m.

    These comments from both sides of the spectrum should be an eye-opener for us all.

    Religion brings out the worst in people. I will let you sit here and fight about who has the correct baptism. When will we learn?

    I can't wait until these ancient religions die down and the new ones start, maybe they will actually practice what they teach.

  • Macka
    May 5, 2008 4:09 p.m.


    One church recognising another's baptism may happen. However, this is not correct doctrine. Paul himself re-baptised a number of men as they had not been baptised by one holding the correct authority.

    Acts 19: 1-5
    1 AND it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,
    2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
    3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism.
    4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
    5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
    6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. Clearly there is need to be baptized by the correct authority.

  • Hit a Nerve
    May 5, 2008 4:03 p.m.

    Wow, this story sure has HIT A NERVE!! I don't think I've ever seen this many comments on a single story. This is just a little opposition. The Lord is able to do His own work.

  • To Alex:
    May 5, 2008 4:01 p.m.

    The LDS Trinity and Christian Trinity are not the same. Look it up.

  • larry
    May 5, 2008 4:01 p.m.

    After reading and reading and reading on this forum I would like to declare that the Catholic church has every right to its records. Logical, eh.

    PS -- I am not a Catholic.

  • Andrew,/ Re: LDS Mom
    May 5, 2008 3:59 p.m.

    Yes, it is arrogant for those of you who decide that these old twelve white guys in Temple Square are "authorized" to baptize my parents and relatives who died in the Holocaust into a religion they would never accept no matter how "loving a gift" you seem to think it is. Keep your beliefs to yourself and other clones. I and just about everyone I know doesn't want to hear your tired old dogma.

  • Reader
    May 5, 2008 3:53 p.m.

    489 comments. Wow.

    Seems this pushes some real hot buttons. I think I'll start having grave reservations too.

    So much for bringing people together.

  • Alex
    May 5, 2008 3:45 p.m.

    re: Thomas:

    "Mormons do not baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I believe the LDS baptize in Jesus name only. "

    Actually we do each and every time, and we have been doing it in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost from the very beginning.

    Even so, it doesn't bother me that Catholics don't accept my baptism. Heck, I don't accept their baptism either. Its nothing personal. None of this, however, has never stopped me from having plenty of friends from other faiths.

  • Religion aside
    May 5, 2008 3:44 p.m.

    Regardless of beliefs, in today's society of access and open information, particularly in the area of finding out who your ancestors are, this decision to close access to members of a specific religion seems selfish and small minded. If I had information in my possession about who someone's parents, great grandparents or other ancestors were I would certainly share that information freely with them. It hardly seems Christ like or loving to close that door on people who want to know who their ancestors were, for whatever reason.

  • no respecter of persons
    May 5, 2008 3:41 p.m.

    God is no respecter of persons. LDS doctrine teaches that everyone who has ever lived deserves the right to accept or reject the gospel of Jesus Christ and its saving ordinances.

    Members work diligently to trace their ancestral lines and to perform these ordinances on behalf of their deceased ancestors, respecting their right to accept or reject these ordinances.

    My question to those who question this practice is what right do you have on behalf of your ancestors to reject this opportunity for them to choose?

  • dispatches from for-mon
    May 5, 2008 3:33 p.m.

    "...People are only baptized if a family member brings the record, not in blanket style. These are not performed by the church but rather individuals who are related to the person. If a person feels it important to perform a certain act for a deceased ancestor out of love then I do not understand the outrage..."

    My wife, a former Mormon (Praise God for that!), reports that as a teenager, she did temple work as part of a LDS youth group, which specifically included 'baptisms for the dead'; she says she knew none of the people on the list and that none of them were her ancestors nor members of her family.

  • Alex
    May 5, 2008 3:33 p.m.


    "Your reference to Cromwell was mean-spirited. "

    I'll second that. I am hoping that what Thomas was trying to say didn't come out right. Oliver Cromwell is rightly a very sensitive issue for Catholics.

  • Naive
    May 5, 2008 3:32 p.m.

    The bottom line is this: It is naive to think the Catholic Church considers the LDS Church a threat or pays any attention to our comments regarding their actions. The Vatican runs an organization with a population four times the size of the population of the US. The Pope signs numerous documents on a regular basis, and this is probably already old news. To the Vatican, the issue of church records is most likely no more than a minor irritant coming from a tiny US-based religious group that is but a blip on the radar screen to the Catholic Church. To put it into perspective, Catholic church growth has slowed to one percent a year, or 12 million new members a year. That is the size of our entire LDS Church.

  • Shoes
    May 5, 2008 3:29 p.m.

    Of course the LDS would be offend if the situation were reversed. A few years ago a stupid basketball player insulted the mormons, and people went ballistic. They wrote letter after angry letter to the papers demanding he apologize. They felt very persecuted. They looked like idiots.

    If another religion was baptizing LDS dead, and proclaiming that the LDS dead needed the ordinance to be saved, we'd see the same kind of thing happen.

    The near-complete inability of Utah mormons to put themselves in someone else's shoes staggers the mind.

  • re: Thomas | 1:41 p.m
    May 5, 2008 3:27 p.m.

    "The Roman Catholic Church doesn't recognize LDS baptisms as valid, and requires converts from Mormonism to Catholicism to be rebaptized. Since the RCC does not single out Protestant baptisms as similarly invalid, I can't help but to see this as an arrogant, unfriendly act."

    As far as I know, most christian churches, as well as the Catholic church do not recognize the authority of Mormon baptism. It is not meant to be an unfriendly act, as you say...but rooted in the trinitarian belief. This is why some baptisms from other churches are in fact, recognized. Mormons do not baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I believe the LDS baptize in Jesus name only.

    Those spirits you are saving, have already chosen or not chosen to be saved. It is an offensive and elitist view to think that you can save them from their Christian, Jewish, Muslim, atheist...etc, beliefs. They have already made those choices while they were living. Mormon baptism does not supersede all others, and Christian churches/Jewish synagogues do find it very offensive that you take it upon yourselves to baptize their faithful deceased members into a non-christian or non-judaism religion...without anyone's consent.

  • get it right NOW
    May 5, 2008 3:27 p.m.

    The Bible is clear that death is the end of all chances. Hebrews 9:27 tells us that we die, and then face judgment. So, as long as a person is alive, he has a second, third, fourth, fifth, etc. chance to accept Christ and be saved (John 3:16; Romans 10:9-10; Acts 16:31). Once a person dies, there are no more chances.

    What about those who do not believe? Wouldnt they repent and believe if they were given a second chance? The answer is no, they would not because their hearts are not changed simply because they die. Their hearts and minds are at enmity against God and wont accept Him even when they see Him face to face. This is evidenced clearly in the story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31.

  • sheesh
    May 5, 2008 3:24 p.m.

    Oh Please. Blah blah blah The true church blah blah blah Listen. The Catholics 1 billion. Mormons including the Fundamental, maybe 10 million. You are insignficant to them thats why your not getting the records. They don't care. It has nothing to do with being threatened by you. It's like a butterfly on an elephant. They don't even notice it. Sorry. But it's true.

  • LDSmom
    May 5, 2008 3:23 p.m.

    To "To Julie":

    **I wonder how you would feel if a group that you thought was a cult, say The Church of Satan, baptised your family into their Church. Would you like it??? I am not saying anything against the LDS Church, I am saying that many would find it understandably offensive.**

    Wouldn't phase us as we believe our baptisms are the only ones done by those who hold true & authorized priesthood authority.

  • Which Way? How Far?
    May 5, 2008 3:18 p.m.

    The Late Pope John Paul II was known for getting along with others worldwide. He did alot to BUILD Bridges of understanding and respect. The Late
    Gordon B. Hinckley also did alot to BUILD Bridges of understanding and respect. I'm sure that President Thomas S. Monson will follow in Gordon B. Hinckley's
    way of doing things, but it looks like Pope
    Benedict 13 is going in the opposite direction. Going in the reverse direction is a form of "Fundamentalist" type thinking. Warren Jeffs and
    his followers do not OWN the word "Fundamentalist".
    Extreme "Fundamentalism..." is VERY Dangerous. It robs respect and dignity of the individual and throws up "walls" of disrespect, intolerance, and
    bigotry. The Warren Jeffs group has gone a very long way in that directiion --WELL PAST Respect of civil laws and obedience to those civil laws.

    "Extreme" Muslim Fundamentalism thought it was OK
    and actually desirable to fly airplanes into tall buildings in New York City on 9/11. Extreme "Fundamentalism" of anything is extremely

    How far is Pope Benedict 13 going in the Fundamentalist direction?? Will it go to the point of a Fundamentalist Catholic Church?

    I Hope Not.

  • Mark
    May 5, 2008 3:17 p.m.

    @ Nick Hudson:

    The Church does submit names in mass groupings for temple work. Have you ever heard of the name extraction program? Our stake submits tens of thousands of Spanish names each year. And we aren't related to them directly in any sense.

  • Mark
    May 5, 2008 3:12 p.m.

    @ Thomas 1:41 p.m:

    Your reference to Cromwell was mean-spirited.

    For those who don't know, Oliver Cromwell butchered Catholics in Ireland and Scotland in the 17th century. Many LDS would be offended if someone said "Where are Gov. Boggs and the mobsters when you need them?"

  • Nick Hudson
    May 5, 2008 3:10 p.m.

    I still don't understand the shame in doing it or the outrage at someone disallowing it. People are only baptized if a family member brings the record, not in blanket style. These are not performed by the church but rather individuals who are related to the person. If a person feels it important to perform a certain act for a deceased ancestor out of love then I do not understand the outrage. As a family member it seems their right. At the same time, if a group does not want their records to be used then that is their choice and should be respected. I just don't understand why we are so quick to disgust and slow to understand.

  • LDSmom
    May 5, 2008 3:06 p.m.

    **I would think there would be a cry of outrage among the LDS folk if Catholics suddenly baptized deceased, life-long, temple worthy, LDS members. How about church prophets? How about those who died while in service of the LDS Church?

    It is the height of arrogance to claim the "souls" of those like Joan of Arc, Mother Theresa, Pope John Paul II, and anyone else who lived worthy lives dedicated to their own faiths. It is a matter of respect.**

    It's of no concern to us if those of other religions want to baptize our dead as we believe we have the full truth & our baptisms are the only ones performed by the proper & authorized authority bestowed by God on worthy priesthood holders.

    No, it's not arrogance. It's LDS people offering a saving ordinance that others have the right to accept or reject in the next life. The majority of those others will be eternally grateful that this was done for them.

  • Re: Andrew
    May 5, 2008 3:06 p.m.

    "I find it sickening, arrogant and disrespectful for the LDS church to posthumously baptize people who would never have done so during their lifetime."

    How do you know they wouldn't accept this gift of love if they were given an opportunity to study the gospel in an unbiased, completely open setting, such as the place where all spirits go when they depart this life?

    Members of the LDS church perform these ordinances for their own ancestors. The last thing they would want to do is to disrespect those ancestors. We care just as much about those ancestors as people from other faiths do.

  • Alex
    May 5, 2008 3:00 p.m.

    tired of the bashing:

    "baptizing the dead is simply unture to catholic scripture. thats why they are not allowing it. maybe they consider it blasphemy. "

    Thats fine, but why have they been allowing us to microfilm the records all this time? It is not like they didn't know what we did. I want to be clear that I have nothing but the highest respect for Pope Benedict XVI. I've loved his strong stance on many issues. Moreover, the Catholic Church has been very helpful and generous in the past with regards to giving us access to their records. That is why I am a bit confused with all of this.

  • Ammon
    May 5, 2008 2:56 p.m.

    I wish everyone would just calm down and trust the Lord, He will do what needs to be done for His kingdom. Is anything too hard for the Lord? This is nothing for Him to take care of. "What power can stay the heavens? As well might man stretch forth his puny arm to stop the Missouri river in its decreed course, or to turn it up stream, as to hinder the Almighty from pouring down knowledge from heaven." D&C 121:33

    To me, this will allow the Lord to provide a miracle, I can't wait!

  • Andrew
    May 5, 2008 2:49 p.m.

    As a Jew, I find it sickening, arrogant and disrespectful for the LDS church to posthumously baptize people who would never have done so during their lifetime. I know about the church baptizing dead Holocaust victims so it doesn't surprise me that they are trampling on others' graves. For shame!

  • Connie
    May 5, 2008 2:45 p.m.

    Just tell me, Is there any religion out there doesn't bash another religion? NOPE! All religions BASH each other. Everyone of them is true, but none of them are truthful. So I say, forget all of them, and just be a nice guy. Basically life is based on 2 things..Good and Evil. Its all up to each individual to choose thier own path. Religion has nothing to do with who you truly are.

    If the Catholics want to be stinky and stingy with records-- so who cares! Perhaps the LDS church should charge admission to their Family research center...just kidding!

  • tired of the bashing
    May 5, 2008 2:40 p.m.

    baptizing the dead is simply unture to catholic scripture. thats why they are not allowing it. maybe they consider it blasphemy. but in the p.c. world we live in maybe the church doesn't want to say it in a way to hurt anyones feeling. even if those persons feelings may mean more to them than what may be sciptually correct.

  • LDSmom
    May 5, 2008 2:23 p.m.


    *Did the Catholic church also decide to refuse LDS humanitarian aid in the future?*

    Would kind of serve them right but of course the church wouldn't turn down anyone who needed aid regardless of their religion.

    *I guess I can see the Catholic church's point--if my version of "truth" did not include a doctrinal ordinance clearly mentioned (and practiced) in the New Testament times, I might have some "grave reservations" too.*

    LOL, that was very cleverly worded. :=)

  • By-Mexico
    May 5, 2008 2:18 p.m.

    For at least fifty years the LDS church has been micofilming the genelogical records of the Catholic Church and municipal records in Mexico. The quid pro quo was that a copy of the micorfilm is given to the Catholic church as a permanent record since the written records tend to decompose and are lost. There are two parties who loose in this decision besides those who desire the records for geneological purposes. The decision is short sighted when issued for the reasons given.

  • Nick Hudson
    May 5, 2008 2:16 p.m.

    I would say that, despite my personal wishing that the Catholic Church would not close the records, the fact reamins that they do own them. That means that they can use them or not allow them to be used as they wish. We can make doctrinal arguments all day in regards to the rationality of the decision but, as the owners of the records, the Catholic Church has every right to close those records.

  • porky
    May 5, 2008 2:09 p.m.

    what's the point of prohibiting something (proxy baptism) you don't believe in (Mormonism) anyway? Are they afraid there just might be some truth in the LDS faith?

  • Last time I checked
    May 5, 2008 2:09 p.m.

    the ordinance of baptism for the dead was proxy or "in name only". Seems that many people on here feel like it's an actual event with the body and all. Every time the Pope prays for everyone in the world, he is praying to God for me (a Mormon). Should I take offense at that?

  • Alex
    May 5, 2008 2:06 p.m.

    Catholic Me:

    "It is precisely BECAUSE we understand your doctrine of baptism for the dead, and precisely BECAUSE we think your temple rites are bogus and wrong that we oppose your access to our records! "

    If that is true, that is all the more reason why it shouldn't matter to the Catholic Church. If what we are doing is bogus, it will ultimately have no effect, will it. So why worry?

  • James Gaede
    May 5, 2008 2:06 p.m.

    To Just Me and Biblical Practice:

    please read 1 Peter 3:19-20, for what purpose did Christ preach to the spirits that were dead if baptism for the dead is invalid.

  • RE: Get Real
    May 5, 2008 1:49 p.m.

    Maybe the arrogant attitude you have saying others baptisms are just "taking a bath" is the reason the Catholic church is taking a hard stance.

  • Anonymous
    May 5, 2008 1:43 p.m.

    To 'Cuts both ways':

    **Would it bother mormons if let's say the FLDS were re-doing the temple ordinances because they figured the mainstream LDS had gone astray.

    The LDS church would be all over that like white on rice. So why be surprised that other churches don't like the LDS church doing the same?**

    No, wouldn't bother us/LDS at all as the FLDS can't & don't use our temples. They'd have to join our church & be worthy of a temple recommend before they'd ever be allowed to attend a temple. They can redo whatever they want in their own LDS members it doesn't matter to us as we are a totally seperate religion from them.

  • Thomas
    May 5, 2008 1:41 p.m.

    The Roman Catholic Church doesn't recognize LDS baptisms as valid, and requires converts from Mormonism to Catholicism to be rebaptized. Since the RCC does not single out Protestant baptisms as similarly invalid, I can't help but to see this as an arrogant, unfriendly act.

    In any event, if the RCC doesn't recognize LDS baptisms as valid, it shouldn't be insulted that the LDS view RCC baptisms as invalid, and therefore practice baptism for the dead.

    Where's Cromwell when you need him?

  • Catholic Me
    May 5, 2008 1:36 p.m.

    Will you Mormons stop the deception already!!? It is NOT TRUE that Catholics "do not understand baptism for the dead"! We understand completely! It is NOT TRUE that we believe your baptisms are legitimate and that is why we oppose them! Your "priesthood" is a false priesthood and has no legitimacy whatsoever. It is precisely BECAUSE we understand your doctrine of baptism for the dead, and precisely BECAUSE we think your temple rites are bogus and wrong that we oppose your access to our records!

    Stop the spin! Stop the games! Just leave our sacred dead alone!

  • jt
    May 5, 2008 1:26 p.m.

    that is why i do not believe in orgainized religion. Jesus was not orgainized, He was spontaneous. He was charismatic. He did not write sermons. He spoke with his heart. You Lds take things out of concept. The bible guides you, not men.

  • Get Real!
    May 5, 2008 1:25 p.m.

    Many have stated that we as LDS would be upset if our ancestors were baptized in other churches after they were dead. I can guarantee that almost all faithful LDS people couldn't care less! We know that ordinances done without the real authority of God mean nothing, thus they would just be taking a bath with a name, not really baptizing anything.

    And do you really think Jesus would say, "Well you lived a Christ-Like life and would have got into heaven, but it looks like 350 years after you died someone baptized you in a different church so you're screwed."????????

  • Not a dead mormon...yet
    May 5, 2008 1:23 p.m.

    No wonder the LDS have 13 million members and growing. People die every day!

  • Alex
    May 5, 2008 1:20 p.m.


    "It completely undermines a person's decisions that they make in life to baptize them when they are dead. "

    If you don't want baptism there, the ordinance becomes null and void. That is your choice. No decision is undermined. That has always been the doctrine too. As one who has done her research, you ought to have known that.

  • Dave
    May 5, 2008 1:19 p.m.

    Good luck researching any ancestor who lived in a country where the Catholic church was the official records keeping body of the state gov't!

  • Genealogist
    May 5, 2008 1:17 p.m.

    @Disgusted: When this is not a question of money, please explain why a lot of microfilms with catholic records are restricted for the use outside of europe since the 70`s? What is the difference between a LDS Member in the US who wants to baptize his ancestors an a LDS in europe? BTW: I`m not a LDS, i`m catholic. A visit to a family history center costs minimum 8,50 for one film (3 Months) including thepermission to take pictures, the visit in a catholic archive starts with a fee 5,50 just for sitting there an 2 books to view mostly without the permission to take pictures (for 1 Day). Any additional book costs 2 . [Fees may varie from archive to archive]. Ironically they are sometimes (because of saving the old books) giving out microfilm copies of the LDS to visitors. It`s the only please in europe to use them, because of their own restrictions. Will they stop using the microfilm copies because theyre from the LDS?

  • Interesting
    May 5, 2008 1:10 p.m.

    There seems to be a misunderstanding of LDS temple practices. No dead person is being forced to join the LDS Church in the afterlife. They are being offered the opportunity one last time, and one assumes that it might be a bit more convincing after they are dead.

    It is sad that the Catholic Church is cutting off this resource to both LDS and non-LDS people alike, but ultimately it is their choice and I am sure the LDS Church will respect their decision if no compromise can be reached.

    Have Shoah victims been baptized against the wishes of the many branches of Judaism? Yes. Did the LDS Church order this to be done? No. But it can't control what every single individual member does.

    If the Jehovah's Witnesses would like to try converting me after I'm dead, they are welcome to do it. I can't say that what doesn't bother me won't bother other people, though. I am sure that God will work everything out in the end, He being omnipotent and all.

    I am saddened to see so many cruel words here towards both the LDS and the Catholics. Christ preached love, not bigotry, snide comments and hate.

  • David Bradley
    May 5, 2008 1:08 p.m.

    Sj Bobkins said, "If the Catholic church believes that the LDS Church is in error, what does it matter?"

    To this I say that it matters greatly! The god(s) of the Mormon Church is(are) NOT the God of the Catholic Church. We are warned by God the Father in the commandments not to put any other god above him. We are warned in Deuteronomy 32 not to get involved with pagan or other "gods" and that any power behind those gods was based on demonic powers hostile to God. Giving in to these rituals and saying they have no detrimental effect is proven to be a poor decision by the fact that some Catholics are already convinced that dabbling with this false god is harmless.

  • Anonymous
    May 5, 2008 1:05 p.m.

    Maybe they are mad the LDS won't baptize the infants they didn't get around to?

    Funny, no scriptural reference on that one.

  • kg
    May 5, 2008 1:04 p.m.

    Pardon me for not reading 9 pages of comments - I hope more information comes out on this one way or the other cause I don't know how the Catholic Church intends to determine who is LDS. Unless they use blanket stereotypes of anyone from Utah, last name of Smith, etc... Will they require background checks or copies of membership?

  • Dave McPhail
    May 5, 2008 1:04 p.m.

    Having worked for the Family History Dept. of The LDS Church for over 18 years, and having done genealogical research using Catholic parish registers in that research as well as producing presentations focusing on the collection of Catholic records already microfilmed. . . I can say this is a sad (and already seen illogical move) move by the Catholic Church. BUT- the Family History Library already has a TON of already microfilmed Catholic parish registers. Most of what the library DOESN'T have is from parishes that historically don't want their register microfilmed anyway. . . so it's all a moot point.

  • jt
    May 5, 2008 1:04 p.m.

    i would be horrified if someone tried to baptize my grandmother mormon. she was a very devout christian and i know i will be with her in heaven. i do not understand why the LDS believe there are seperate heavens. i never read that in the bible. probably because it is untrue. i will continue to pray for your salvation, all LDS. Only God knows the truth. No man made religion whether it be LDS or catholic know. God does not segregate.

  • Ben
    May 5, 2008 1:01 p.m.

    I want to make a few points.

    I don't understand what is wrong with family members that love those that have passed on and want to provide them with the opportunity to be baptized into the church that they believe is true.

    I don't understand why people are getting upset and offend that family members want to do this posthumous baptism that give their ancestors a choice.

    I have tried to see this from their point of view. I have thought to myself. If I died and I had members of my family of another faith pray for me or provide some other act of love or service that they believed would help me after my death. I would feel loved.

  • Paul
    May 5, 2008 1:00 p.m.

    I am LDS. We must respect each other's beliefs. This was a decision by the Catholic church, and we will respect it. Practice charity folks. Live your religion!

  • Dear The Gift
    May 5, 2008 12:59 p.m.

    The gift you are talking about exists as nothing else but fiction, which is why the gifts is truly meaningless. No one accepts or chooses the gift because when you die...well, you die. It comes with the territory.

  • Dee Pearce
    May 5, 2008 12:57 p.m.

    For many years, the churchs, Catholic or Protestant, were the only record keepers, they were the "state archives." What may result from this decision is the blocking of access by family history researchers to the only source of records about their families. How will a parish priest or other Catholic record keeper know if he is being approached by a "forbidden user", are all researchers to be asked whether they are LDS? I suspect Catholic nations may have to step in an remind the Catholic Church that while they kept the records, they did so as a state agency. By adopting this position, the Catholic Church may be inviting government intervention which they might wish to avoid. Will national archives that have taken possession of Catholic records to preserve them as "state records" comply with the Catholic hope that the LDS will not be given access to those records? I doubt it.

  • DEAR JD:
    May 5, 2008 12:57 p.m.

    All religions are man made.

  • Religious Tension
    May 5, 2008 12:53 p.m.

    The Mormon Church should respect the wishes of Catholics' and stop baptizing their dead. Actually, they should respect everyone's wishes about this matter, regardless of religion.

    I find it odd the LDS Church's to practice superstition trumps the wishes of those who don't want their relatives names used for their purposes.

  • Alex
    May 5, 2008 12:53 p.m.


    Have you ever prayed for anyone's soul? Have you ever wanted something for someone else that they don't have--something of great value to you? If you have, you obviously must be elitist, arrogant, critical, condescending, self-righteous and unscrupulous, just like me. If doing work for the dead makes me all these things, then I am guilty as charged. So what.

    Look, we aren't taking control of any records. The Catholic Church still owns them. We are photographing them, documenting them, transcribing them, and digitizing them. They are available to all. Certainly, we have our purposes in doing the work for them, yet none of the work we do is or ever has been invasive of anyone's freedom to choose. We are not hurting anyone. We are not cursing anyone. If we are false, then none of the dead have anything to worry about, will they. If we are true, then none of the dead have anything to worry about either.

  • meri
    May 5, 2008 12:45 p.m.

    To Orion, It Cuts Both Ways, and all the others who think the same way:

    It would not bother me in the least if the FLDS redid the ordinance work for my ancestors or any of the prophets. It would not bother me in the least if the Catholic church declared one of them a Saint. It would not bother me if any or all of them were baptized into another church.

    I would simply acce3pt it as a sign of love, respect, and caring, but nothing more. Because I don't believe that any of those things mean anything, they can do it all they want. They can light candles, cannonize them, or do whatever in their names.

    It is amazing to me that people don't understand that, whether they are in the church or not.

  • jt
    May 5, 2008 12:39 p.m.

    so in other words you all are saying that it is ok to tell a 17 year old mentally handicapped child (by missionaries) that she is not baptized as she was baptized by a christian minister and not a mormon? that is a bunch of garbage. they told my daughter that and i cried as they are so misguided. the only thing that christians are afraid of that has to do with the LDS church is that you are misled and need to see the truth and if you don't then you will pay the price. I know in my spirit and my heart His truth.

  • olive
    May 5, 2008 12:34 p.m.

    As a Catholic who was ALMOST baptized mormon before I did some research I must say that I wholeheartedly support this decision. Of course mormons won't understand why people don't want to join their church. If I wanted to join I would actually open the door to the missionaries when they come knocking on the door all the time. There' my answer, "NO." I also don't need my children or otherwise thinking that I might have made a mistake and baptize me when I'm already dead. I've already been baptized and have made my decisions for myself. It completely undermines a person's decisions that they make in life to baptize them when they are dead. If a person or their religion choose not to make it easier to let mormons baptize their parishioners then it's their decision. It's all about respect and a doing your dealings honestly.

  • jt
    May 5, 2008 12:34 p.m.

    the church records for any church is none of any other man made religions business. only Jesus knows and yes, there is only one heaven, read your bibles.

  • LDS library
    May 5, 2008 12:32 p.m.

    I am not permitted to look at every record in the lds library either.

  • The Gift
    May 5, 2008 12:31 p.m.

    I fail to see why sharing a spiritual gift with an ancestor should cause anyone grief.

    For those who don't believe in the gift, the gift is meaningless.

    For those who do believe in the gift, the person being offered the gift still has the choice to accept or reject the gift.

  • Tom Rod
    May 5, 2008 12:27 p.m.

    Ok, things are way off base here. Here is an objective view of the matter.

    The LDS church feels very strongly that they must baptize and seal all the folks that that anyone on earth has record of, getting back to Adam if they can.

    Catholic folk take offense to this, as the LDS Church uses their records in lieu of any other records to establish birth/death/wedding dates, etc. Perhaps they see acquiescing these records as acknowledgment that the LDS Church has authority, which threatens their hegemony on claims of authority.

    LDS Folk don't see what the big deal is, because if they lack authority, all is moot, and if they don't, then they're right and they really are saving souls from the damnation of stagnation.

    So really this is a power play over hegemony of authority. Only one can be true. If the Catholic is right, the Protestants are all wrong since they broke off a dead branch. If the LDS are right, then the Protestants are still wrong since the authority was lost and can't be restored through good feelings.

    Thinking of this makes me think of the Rocky soundtrack. Weird eh? Hope this works itself out.

  • Disgusted
    May 5, 2008 12:22 p.m.

    I cant believe all the posters that think this is somehow about the Catholic Church wanting money. Your accusations are vulgar and despicable. This is about a theological difference and a response to worldwide complaints of LDS baptizing deceased members of another faith. People of other faiths are not beneath you, and clamoring to be baptized into your one and only true church. This erroneous practice smacks of elitism and arrogance, and you have absolutely no entitlement to do anything with the records, let alone take over control and maintenance as some here have suggested. I read pages of posts and I am disgusted and dismayed. Youve illustrated a depressing example of LDS members who are critical, condescending, self-righteous and unscrupulous.

  • Faith needed
    May 5, 2008 12:12 p.m.

    I truly believe that most Catholics are good hearted people who would give willingly of their substance to help another. LDS people would likewise be as generous. If only they could see the true intent Perhaps the Catholic church is showing some true colors here. Unfortunately, it is a hard thing to change once it is committed.

  • How frustrating
    May 5, 2008 12:12 p.m.

    It is sad but true, the parish records of the Catholic Church DO belong to the Catholic Church. They can do with them what they will.
    This will be frustrating to the many Catholics who want to do their own geneology, as Geneological Research is Europe's number one hobbie.
    The Catholic Church is the owner of a great many other historical texts of all kinds, that would be of extreme value to the rest of the world. and they won't "turn those over", either.
    That is just the way it is. It is THEIR PROPERTY.

  • Anonymous
    May 5, 2008 12:10 p.m.

    They will remain hidden along with the priest sodomy evidence.

  • Verl Doman
    May 5, 2008 12:07 p.m.

    Dear My Question,

    Your question: "I'm still trying to figure out why so many faiths believe their God isn't "god" enough to save those who die without being baptized/receiving rites in mortality?"

    Answer: I suppose most would agree with your premise that our all-powerful Father in Heaven could abolish the need for baptism if he chose, but it was his Son who said: "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (John 3:3) Rather than change the gospel and dilute the need to "fulfill all righteousness" (Matthew 3:15)he instituted a way for us to serve our forfathers by identifying them and then to "baptized for the dead" as mentioned by Paul, but not understood by the so called Christian Churches.(see 1 Corinthians 15:29)

    Would you counsel God on how to provide salvation for his Children? I like the fact that he is consistant in the requirements to enter his presence but merciful enough to provide a way for all.

    I have a feeling the Pope will change this policy when he realizes that the LDS Church sponsors the largest geneological library in the world open to everyone's family research.

  • RE: I really don't understand
    May 5, 2008 12:06 p.m.

    It is because the Mormon church is walking in and saying that the deceased needs saving bc they joined the wrong church.

    How can you NOT find that offensive? Especially if you were a holocaust victim who died for what they believed?

  • I'm Not Surprised...
    May 5, 2008 12:02 p.m.

    the the comments above have been written - this is a Utah newspaper. LDS church members are upset, not because of the geneology aspect as most mormons claim, but because they cannot claim additional members after they die. If I didn't want to be converted to the LDS religion - living in Utah - with all the pressure and condemnation (yes, it's true .... pay attention to your youth and what is said to their non-mormon friends), why oh why would I want to 'belong' and 'baptised' after I'm dead. I believe that if I live my life as God has shown us how to through his own son Jesus, I will be with him again when I die. The promise of belonging to my own kingdom (oh, wait...I'm a woman) ok, so my husbands kingdom where he is God of his own universe (or whatever), to any other religion (except LDS) is absurd. And to the comment about the Catholic religion being man-based? that's funny! really, really funny! especially if you say it and belong to the LDS faith. If you want to 'baptise' someone, do it while they are alive and leave the rest of us in peace.

  • I really don't understand
    May 5, 2008 11:54 a.m.

    Why are people complaining? Noone is saying that dead people are definitely joining the church. The point is to give them the chance to accept or reject LDS baptism. I would not be offended if a Muslim, Buddhist, Jew does something to save me after I die. Then I would have all my bases covered.

  • To SammieB
    May 5, 2008 11:51 a.m.

    You wonder why Catholics don't want to hand over records when you freely throw words around like "anti-mormon"? It comes down to religious records and privacy. Hitler used those records to send people to their death. The Catholics now simply refuse to allow that to happen again should catholic genocide be decided as the next good thing. Ask yourself why it was so important to baptize Adolf into your church?

  • Sad Catholic
    May 5, 2008 11:48 a.m.

    I'm Catholic in Salt Lake City and have spent countless hours in your library pouring over the names of my relatives. I have nothing but good to say about your genealogical recording system and the kind folks who operate it. It's sad for me to think my own church is now going to stifle this resource that's available to all and preferencial of none, with no strings attached. Today I'm a sad Catholic.

  • Chance
    May 5, 2008 11:46 a.m.

    Protectionism is at the root of this conflict. It is unfair to the millions of people around the world who genuinly need or want access to these records to help them perform the research of their ancestors. I hope that the members of the Catholic church recognize this for what it is and do a bit of complaining. The Catholic church appropriated the killing of anyone who does not accept Jesus as the Christ for many years during the crusades. During this time they advocated the stealing of indigineous riches and sending it back to the pope (I mean the King of Spain.) If they are willing to overlook the atrocities they have committed in times past, why then can they justify this action? It is such a small thing to them financially. Must be something else behind it.

  • Tia
    May 5, 2008 11:46 a.m.

    The difference is that the baby can grow up and leave if it wants. The deceased has no say in the matter. It is not a vindictive move, it is one that is attempting to protect its parishoners. They've had numerous complaints!

  • Mind you manners
    May 5, 2008 11:43 a.m.

    To "All of this assuming." To use your logic, the Lord should never have performed the Atonement, or at least for 'select few' who would have received it and Him.

  • Quit whinning!!!!
    May 5, 2008 11:42 a.m.

    The Catholic church DOES in fact own the parish records, their people kept them up to date and have archived them. They have every right to do with them whatever they want to do. It's not like they have burned them in some act of defiance! And you don't "OWN" your ancestors, they were individuals NOT property. Instead of complaining about the Catholic church's decision on this site, why don't you look for ways to explain to the Catholic church both here and in Rome the importance of the archives BEYOND temple ordinances??

  • Alex
    May 5, 2008 11:43 a.m.

    I don't see any reason why this issue can't be short lived. Hopefully, we'll talk about it with the Catholic Church and get this resolved. If it isn't...oh well. The records do belong to the Catholic Church and they can do with them as they please. In that case, we'll have to go another route to get the information. Regardless of what happens, we'll get the work done eventually with or without the Catholic records.

    If our determination to do work for the dead is considered arrogant, then perhaps we should do a whole lot more of it.

  • Why?
    May 5, 2008 11:39 a.m.

    I am so surprised by this move. It really does seem so vindictive and territorial. I am not bothered that Catholics, Baptists, or others pray for my soul. It just seems a little weird to me. I think Pres. Monson try to contact the Pope.

    Genealogy is important to people for more reasons than just temple work. Some people jsut want to know about their ancestors.

  • SammieB
    May 5, 2008 11:36 a.m.

    Maybe this is the Lord's way of making us reach out to those of another faith to get this work done. How many of us have done genealogy work and never said anything to our family member's that are of another faith. The spirit of Elijah is to also reach across those family lines and share the gospel. (All the Anti-Mormons will pick that statement apart). I really think that those members who are doing research and sharing with their families the chioce and the meaning behind the ordinances will still have success. It is now time for us to just bridge the gap in our families and ask for help from someone of another faith with respect and humility, something that alot of LDS still need to learn.

  • Jason
    May 5, 2008 11:35 a.m.

    I suspect a coverup. Maybe some of the records reveal a medieval precedent for the Catholic Priesthood's contemporary struggle with celibacy.

  • to ajarizona
    May 5, 2008 11:29 a.m.

    The nun did not need to find a priest for the baptism, since in cases of near death ANYBODY is permitted to perform a baptism including a child, even self or non-catholic. So I now am forced to doubt your story. Had the baby died without benefit of baptism, God's grace would have been sufficient. Unbaptized aborted fetuses are also expected to receive grace.

  • Confusion
    May 5, 2008 11:28 a.m.

    What is the difference in baptizing an infant in the Catholic church (the baby has no choice in the matter) or baptizing someone who has passed on (and also has no choice in this life)? To me it is the same since neither person had a choice to whether or not they are baptized in that particular religion.

  • Tia
    May 5, 2008 11:23 a.m.

    I didn't have the time to read all of the comments, so I apologize if someone has already mentioned this.

    The church has in the past gone against the direct wishes of a few religions and baptized holocaust survivors and so forth which is incredibly disrespectful. People that have passed away belonging to a certain religion should be respected, as they obviously believed in it. When the dead are baptized it looks more like the LDS church is stepping in and saying that the member was wrong and they have to save them. The Catholic church is definitely not questioning their doctrines and beliefs, or saying the Mormons could be right. That is simply arrogant. They just don't want anymore of their congregations defiled. This is not just the Catholic church's doing, it is based of of thousands of complaints from their faithful about the practice.

  • Anonymous
    May 5, 2008 11:19 a.m.

    The most elitist, exclusive Church is not getting a taste of their own medicine! How does THAT feel?!

  • Sign of the Times
    May 5, 2008 11:16 a.m.

    When the most important work on earth is thwarted, can the end be far away?

    Those who know, shouldn't be saddened.

    Those who aren't saddened, don't know.

    It will all work out according to the Lord's plan. Have faith.

  • anon e. mouse
    May 5, 2008 11:13 a.m.

    ajarizona- Your story makes no sense. If the nuns wanted to baptize a dying baby and there was no priest around, they would've done it themselves. After all, they have access to Holy Water and I'm sure your mom wouldn't have.

  • Records
    May 5, 2008 11:12 a.m.

    The Church is not saying the records of your ancestors do not belong to you, but that they don't belong to the LDS church.

  • joel
    May 5, 2008 11:10 a.m.

    This is broader than a purely religious issue. The LDS Church has the largest genealogical research program in the world. For decades, it has copied records, with the permission of the record owners, returned microfilm or digital copies of the records to the owners and made the information available to the public for genealogical research. Copies have also been safely stored in the Church's granite vaults to preserve them against possible disasters worldwide. This has become an invaluable source of genealogical records for researchers. By choosing not to participate in this program, the Catholic Church is denying genealogists worldwide the opportunity to research their ancestors. Forget about religion or religious motivations for a minute; what kind of public relations and human relations decision is this?

  • All of this is assuming
    May 5, 2008 11:10 a.m.

    Catholics and others are beneath the LDS and their teachings...that is what this is really about. What gives any religion the right to say that? If you think your religion is better than others then keep it to yourselfs and don't hurt others with your arrogance. If you truly believe in "Baptisms for the Dead" then do it for your own ancestors, but leave people alone with every bit as much right as you to believe their religion is "true".

  • Bob
    May 5, 2008 11:10 a.m.

    Amazing. Why would the LDS people care if other churches started baptizing their LDS dead? Their belief is that they have the proper priesthood authority and no one else does. Baptize away! It'll be interesting in the next life, won't it?

  • PCB
    May 5, 2008 11:08 a.m.

    It is just plain rude and arrogant to posthumously baptize the spirit or soul of a person that spent their life BY CHOICE as a Catholic or any other mainstream true christian religion believing in the holh trinity and the resurrection, into a religion that couldn't be further out in left field from those core fundamentals the person held dear. Are the LDS selective on who they baptize in this ceremony. Have they baptized say Hitler or Jack the ripper or even Tupac Shakur I wonder ?

  • Records
    May 5, 2008 11:08 a.m.

    The LDS did not consider my Catholic mother good enough while alive to see her children marry in the temple, why is she good enough for them to care now that she is dead? I read someone wrote that "they should accept it." Well, I was the child that heard and saw the tears of my mother as my sister married. I am glad the Church isn't giving out records. I am sure that though my mother stated she didn't want any "mormon" work done on her, that it has been disobeyed and my sisters did the work anyway. I thought the religion was about the family, and I suppose it's about tearing the family apart.

  • Cool!
    May 5, 2008 11:03 a.m.

    I was born at Holy Cross Hospital, too. I wonder if I was baptized. No one ever told me. That would be fun to find out. I'm LDS by the way.

  • bhparkman
    May 5, 2008 11:02 a.m.

    How much are the Catholic's asking for the records? Don't tell me they're just having religious differences over this - they want money or political advantage.

    Besides the Saints have much, much better archivial and digitizing capabilities than the Catholic Church does. The records would be safer and better preserved in LDS hands.

  • Temple V. records
    May 5, 2008 11:02 a.m.

    Support and accept what they have no control over are two very different things. It's not the "will of the child" to exclude parents from a wedding but church policy. Do you honestly believe one child wants his/her parents excluded? Sit with the other in-laws instead of seeing the wedding in commradory. I ask you now to accept that challenge.
    My mother did not dress my sister, but a complete stranger. I know that my parents allowed the missionaries in their home until they found out they were not allowed to see their two daughters marry. The missionaries were never welcome in the home again and the church was referred to as a cult.
    It is with the above in mind that many people SEE the LDS church and one of the many reasons why the Catholic church does not hand over records. Also of note, the LDS church is non-trinitarian and the Catholic Church is trinitarian.

  • Anonymous
    May 5, 2008 11:00 a.m.

    I wonder how Mormons would feel if the Catholic church started baptizing by proxy all of you. Since you don't believe in it, would it bother you at all? Catholics believe in One baptism therefore we don't need any others. If you would claim the right to practice your religion as you see fit, you should give others the same right.

  • Lets be neighborly about this
    May 5, 2008 11:01 a.m.

    From Luke 10:
    "..what shall I do to attain eternal life?"
    " the Lord thy God...and thy neighbor..."
    "...who is my neighbor?"
    "...a certain man...fell among thieves, which stripped him...wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead."
    "...a certain priest...passed by on the other side."
    "...a Levite...passed by on the other side."
    "But a certain Samaritan...had compassion on him. And went to him and bound up his wounds...and took care of him."
    "Go thou, and do likewise."

  • Perhaps
    May 5, 2008 11:01 a.m.

    We do consider the needs. The non-member parents of those married in the temple can become members themselves, if they so choose. Then the point is moot. you sound bitter. That's OK. My non-member father not only understood, but RESPECTED the fact that we had chosen this path. He sat in the lobby of the temple, waiting for us to come back. Then, he of course, did all he could to make MY DAY more meaningful to ME.

    If my child converted to Catholic, would I be totall included by the priest in the ceremony? Not.

  • re: temple vs. records
    May 5, 2008 11:00 a.m.

    i have no need for a reality check- my point is that there are rules that the LDS church wants respected, and people respect them (although i think it is awful to deny a parent the right to watch their children get married). when the tables turn, and the catholic church doesn't want their records open for posthumous baptisms, then that too must also be respected, no matter how much you want to howl about it.

  • LBR
    May 5, 2008 10:51 a.m.

    What I find interesting is that wen my brother was born in Holy Cross Hospital in Salt Lake City in 1961, he was baptized in the nursery by the nuns. We are not Catholic. Permission was not asked. I have no idea if this is still the practice at Catholic hospitals or a fluk of the time or of the hospital.

    I also think The Deseret News editors should cut off comments after 100. The rantings get annoying. And who has time to read 400 comments?

  • ajarizona
    May 5, 2008 10:51 a.m.

    My mother trained with the Nuns at Holy Cross. She is LDS. One day an new born baby was rushed to her by a Nun, they could not find a Priest to baptise this baby. With fear and trembling, the Nun asked my Mother, a non Catholic, to baptise this baby.

    My mother went through the motions and the Nun was relieved as my Mother sprinkled some water on the baby, soon after, the baby died, and that Nun was at peace, for in her mind, that child would now, not go to hell.

    My Mother felt no need to lecture her about the wrongfulness of infant baptism, which is her belief,
    rather, she respected the Nuns religious viewpoint, and did what came instinctively to her.

    Authority did not matter, in the Nuns mind, the baby would now be spared from eternity in hell.

    Disagree with my Religion if you will, but don't tell me I cannot practice it.

    ARROGANCE is, telling a Religion they must not do this or that, or we will do this, to STOP you.

    My Catholic Ancestors belong to me, just as much, as the Pope feels they belong to him.


  • Penny
    May 5, 2008 10:42 a.m.

    Thank you, Lord, for making all my lines Protestant and primarily Scotch-Irish.

    Have folks never heard of "free will"? Do they not believe that those who've graduated from this life still have it? Do they not understand that baptism is about far more important things than denominational membership?

    An LDS baptism was done for my oh-so-Southern-Baptist maternal grandmother. I don't have any problem with that. It was offered to her out of love and concern. If she was not inclined to accept it, I'm quite sure she was/is capable of saying, "No, thank you. I've already been baptized." Maybe a lot of Catholics don't think their ancestors are capable of saying, "No, thanks."

  • Ownership
    May 5, 2008 10:37 a.m.

    The Catholic Church provided salvation to the people who were baptized into their Church. The Catholic Church kept records of those souls who became members of Christ through baptism by the authority of the Apostolic Succession that goes back to Peter and to Christ himself. Those souls belong to the "Church" (i.e., body) of Christ, along with the records. No Mormon has ANY right to defame those names or records by performing occult ceremonies in the false belief that it gives the deceased the "choice" to leave the Catholic faith in the hereafter. Even if those souls were your ancestors, that does not give you any claim on their souls or their records. But the Church does have claim on their souls and on their records.

  • Mona
    May 5, 2008 10:35 a.m.

    The Catholic Church performed a great service to mankind by keeping Christianity alive through the centuries. They also took the responsibility of documenting people's lives centuries before municipalities began to do so. And it seems that if the Catholic Church now wants to restrict accessibility to those records, they are missing the purpose of the great work that was done by the priests of the past. How sad it would be if family researchers could no longer have access to the only (in many cases) evidence of their ancestor's lives.

  • Temple versus records
    May 5, 2008 10:33 a.m.

    Those who proffer on here that somehow allowing Catholics into the temple to see their child married is the same thing as looking at a record with information on it need a huge reality check.

    I understand your dilemma. My in-laws are going to have to face that same situation in the coming years. I'm sure as the time draws closer that they will become more interested in the church doctrines and start to ask questions. Will they get baptized? Don't know. But they do know that they will not be allowed into the temple as it stands now.

    While some parents might be selfish and complain about the decision of their child, it's nice to see mature parents accept the will of their child and support him/her.

    Doctrines are there to be changed on a whim because some individual feels like they should be allowed into the temple. Life is full of choices and we don't get to pick and choose the consequences.

    These 2 issues are not even close to the same thing. So please stop showing your ignorance and bitterness to something that will never change. You are the one who must change. Get on with it!

  • Mohan
    May 5, 2008 10:29 a.m.

    I never realized that our Catholic friends haven't appreciated the service we Mormons have been giving them and the rest of the world by photographing all their family records for the world to access. This doesn't make any sense. I think they are smart enough to figure out how they are hurting the world and recant this rediculous stranglehold on public access. May God bless the Catholic leadership to figure this out sooner than later.

  • It's a commandment
    May 5, 2008 10:28 a.m.

    For all of you who think the LDS Church made this up on their own, you are sorely mistaken. It's a commandment from Christ and since it is a commandment, we are obliged to fulfill the commandment.

    It's actually pretty simple....

    Also, I'd like for a Catholic to explain to me how the worshiping of Mary does not violate the 1st of the 10 Commandments. I've always been puzzled about that one and haven't taken the time to ask a neighbor...

  • re: wow
    May 5, 2008 10:26 a.m.

    you're right, even as a non-practicing Catholic, reading these comments makes me feel even more alienated by the LDS.

    and lifer, you are right about irony. i see, the LDS church wants these records, wants the Catholic church information to remain open, yet and Catholic mother can't witness her converted daughter get married. that's some real family values there- alienate your non-LDS family- nice.

  • Pray for Pope
    May 5, 2008 10:21 a.m.

    Being the daughter of a Catholic convert I find this policy very disturbing. I have a RIGHT to claim my ancestors records. I have always respected the fact that I come from these other faithful pioneers- like Pres. Uchdorf spoke about.
    I am even grateful that although I don't agree with infant baptism that they have done that for without it & the records kept I would have many missing children in my family lines. I hope that maybe we can all show our true Christian nature and pray that the Pope's heart may be softened and that the First Presidency may find a way to ease any concerns & get further permission to access these records.

  • Marnie
    May 5, 2008 10:10 a.m.

    I am a Catholic who has done extensive genealogy research on my own family and assisted friends in their searches. I have asked permission to view records of many parishes (U.S., Canada, Ireland). Every one of those have asked me who I was looking for (how related) and basic details of the person to verify that my quest was personal and not professional. The Church is protecting against the use of personal information in registers for financial profit. Parishes also want to discourage people from browsing through frail registers; many pastors responded to my letters by providing helpful information they had looked up in the registers themselves, saving me time and travel expense, while ensuring that registers were disturbed as little as possible.

  • You REALLY don't get it
    May 5, 2008 10:07 a.m.

    I understand that you're laboring under the impression that you have the only true church and are doing a "loving" thing. But if the whole world is telling you that you're doing arrogant and insulting things to which they specifically object there may be a clue there that you're missing.

    It's not that anyone thinks your "baptism" invalidates or supercedes anything or is anything more than superstition. It's that it insults the living and the dead in a particularly in-your-face way.

    If you don't care about being arrogant, weird and irritating carry on. But there will be consequences so don't bother whining about them when you encounter them. Or when your missionaries have their jaws broken.

  • lifer
    May 5, 2008 9:58 a.m.

    The irony of Mormons getting upset over another church denying full access to non-members is simply delicious.

    May 5, 2008 9:56 a.m.

    No one wants to "harvest names en masse" or disrespect "your" dead - we're talking about people who have Catholic ancestors, who want to research their family members, being singled out and excluded because of their religious beliefs.

    When I think of the millions of dollars and decades of time the LDS Church has spent in collecting and preserving genealogical records of every kind, only to turn around and share them FREE with the general public for whatever purpose they may dream up - seances, family reunions, curiosity about their ancestors - all I can think is, the Catholic Church must feel threatened. It's too bad because it doesn't do much for its image.

    Sure, the church owns the books and can do what it likes about allowing some genealogists to see them and excluding others. But maybe the leaders should think more about this.

  • Catholic
    May 5, 2008 9:42 a.m.

    Parish records are the private property of the Catholic Church. They were never meant for geneaology nor as a data base for Mormons to harvest names en masse to disrespect our dead.

  • Thomas
    May 5, 2008 9:42 a.m.

    I just want to say that, as a mormon, I could care less if some other church wants to perform proxy baptisms for my dead relatives... just as everyone has been saying... why would I care since I do not believe in the authority of those baptisms.

    For those trying to 'turn the argument around' it doesn't really work as I believe the majority of the LDS would not react the way you seem to believe we would.

  • WOW!!!!
    May 5, 2008 9:39 a.m.

    I haven't read every comment on this blog, and I hope the Pope doesn't either. All the Catholic bashing isn't going to help change his or anyone elses opinion of the LDS church. In fact I have to wonder if all these negative comments aren't doing as much damage between the two churches as the Pope's decision to close the records.

  • Oh, really?
    May 5, 2008 9:35 a.m.


    But the Catholic Church does?

  • James
    May 5, 2008 9:27 a.m.

    How does that work I live with my kids as a family forever, or do I live with my parents as a family forever? Then what happens to my kids?
    If people in heaven really have the choice to accept Mormonism or not (and the proxy baptism) does that mean there's free agengy in heaven? How does that can Satan have influence in heaven? Plus, if God is standing over my shoulder telling me to accept a certain religion, what choice do I have in the hereafter? Why does a person need a physical baptism when all of us will receive a perfectly good body when Jesus comes again? Why can't we just do it then? God certainly knows who is good or not. If I were born in Mongolia in 400 A.D. and have no birth record, what happens then? Eternal damnation? If God sorts out everything in the end, why even bother with proxy basptism in the first place?

  • tstu
    May 5, 2008 9:23 a.m.

    Why wouldn't the Vatican just ask the LDS church presidency instead?

  • Ownership-
    May 5, 2008 9:23 a.m.

    I agree we don't own our ancestors. It isn't a matter of ownership. It's simply a matter of finding out who our ancestors were and tying family lines together. It's interesting information. The LDS church has no more Ownership of it's members than the Catholic church does of it's members. Every soul that ever lived on this earth has their own free will.

    Isn't it highly possible that sometime after the vital records were made hundreds of years ago(birth, baptism, marriage) that the person may have chosen for themselves to leave the Catholic church? There probably isn't any record made of that. So it doesn't make sense that the Catholics have "ownership" over a person just because their name was in the parish records. Perhaps if their death record is in the parish and they were known to go to that same church their whole adult lives, you could argue that they truely belonged to that church of their own free will. ANd they can certainly reject the proxy baptism if they want to. I would bet that many hundreds of thousands of people left church by the time they died.

  • Once more...
    May 5, 2008 9:17 a.m.

    One more try...there is NO religous issue at stake here. Mormons believe in baptizing the dead, no other church believes it has any significance. People can believe what they want to.

    The ISSUE HERE is that many of these records will be lost forever, UNLESS an organization like the LDS church is allowed to do what it has been doing for many years...microfilm the records. These records will be lost or damaged unless it is done. For reasons peculiar to them, the LDS people have taken on this task...let them continue to do it. They turn no one away from their library or its immense store of records. Go to the SL gnealogical library on any'll see MANY non-LDS people there. In fact, I think a slight majority of them are non-LDS (depending on the floor, and day). Be reasonable...there is NO issue here for anybody to be upset about, really. Religion is a matter of faith, not fact. We are all in the same boat in that regard. The peculiar belief of one group is no threat to anyone else. Microfilm these records, preserve them for future generations! I hope his Holiness sees the light on this.

  • Rob
    May 5, 2008 9:10 a.m.

    Pres. Hinckley used to say "Things will work out". I think that applies to this situation as well. We need not be judgmental of any group of people when the fact is they really don't understand what we're trying to do. If this is the work of the Lord, which I believe it to be, then things will work out. Let's be kind, be better examples today than we were yesterday, and see what happens.

  • Prophecy
    May 5, 2008 9:05 a.m.

    This is merely a fulfillment of prophecy in my opinion. Family records should not be ownership of any church. This is information that belongs to the people, not to a given church, or sect. The LDS church has known this for years, and have gone to great lengths to make this information available. The Catholic church is apparently doing the opposite, and going to great lengths to make this information unaccesable to the people. What a shame. What a terrible move by the Catholic church. This is sure to upset more than just LDS folks.

  • Dutchman
    May 5, 2008 9:02 a.m.

    Now I know why the German, Elder Uchtdorf, was called as a member of the First Presidency. It sounds like the the two Germans, President Uchtdorf and Pope Benedict need to work this out. Also, I can't believe the number of issues the very capable President Thomas S. Monson has had to deal with since becoming President of the Church. God bless these noble men.

  • Anonymous
    May 5, 2008 8:56 a.m.

    This is not about Mormons vs Catholics or what belief is the right one. People from both sides actually need to learn to live and let live. It's really getting old. My point here is those records should be public because they are the people's not the Catholic Church's. The parishes were the ones in charge of those record until beginning of the 20th century and those records should be taken and administered by the goverment so the public have access to them. This is like the times when the Bible was only read by the priests until the printer was invented and then the public has access to it. The people is the right owner of those records.

  • Franz
    May 5, 2008 8:53 a.m.

    To Cuts Both Ways: If the FLDS Church or anybody else wants to do baptisms or any other ceremony for me after I'm dead then they are welcome to it. Proxy baptisms have no effect on membership numbers, and is done as an act of love and concern; if other churches care enough to try to save my soul at their considerable expense then go right ahead. Again, there is no benefit to the LDS Church from these baptisms, and there is a substantial expense to copy and preserve the various birth , marriage, death and christening records. Building temples, where these baptisms are done, are not cheap; this is in addition to the infrastructure for family history research (libraries, computers, software). The other churches should be ashamed that they don't care so much. Shame on the Catholic Church for actually hindering this work. I have had respect for the Catholic Church in the past, and still respect the members as good people; if I were a member I would be embarrassed.

  • Michael
    May 5, 2008 8:48 a.m.

    Particularly for LDS members in Italy, this move will only aggravate the horrible suspicion and discrimination they deal with. Regarding Catholic objections to LDS baptisms for the dead, the Catholic Church historically has done the SAME practice. They were called "indulgences," except their underlying motives are far more iffy than those of enthusiastic LDS members giving of their time to express something on behalf of their forbears. "Poor people, pay this money and you'll get your ancestors out of purgatory (and we'll be able to build St. Peter's.)"

    May 5, 2008 8:46 a.m.

    Put your religion aside and look at it from a Non-Mormon's perspective, if that's possible. It is considered and insult, and an a front to the, "affected religion." Mormon's think they are God's gift to the world, when in reality they are no better, nor worse than any other people. It is their perceived feeling of superiority that is being condemned.

  • Mike
    May 5, 2008 8:41 a.m.

    It's not about the Church. The bottum line is, it's about families being together forever in the eternities as a unit.

  • No Ownership
    May 5, 2008 8:37 a.m.

    The Churches have MUCH MORE OWNERSHIP over your ancestors than YOU do! People identify themselves as a member of a Church and that identification holds more power and weight than family ties -- that is why people leave their families in order to be baptized into another Church. This is especially common for people who join the Mormon Church. No other Church is so parasitic upon other Christian Churches than the Mormons. They send their 50,000 missionaries out to create dissatisfaction among Catholics by telling them a distorted story about a "Great Apostasy". Then they rip people away from their families and away from their Church to make them into Mormons. This is offensive enough. But then they want to take these victims of indoctrination and use them as a foothold into the Catholic records so they can do pagan baptisms for the dead. Just because you have the same last name as someone else does not give you "ownership" over them and their records. YOU HAVE NO OWNERSHIP OVER YOUR ANCESTORS!

  • Former Mormon
    May 5, 2008 8:33 a.m.

    I was raised in Utah and was Mormon, but converted to Catholicism in 2003. My wife and children are still very active in the Mormon faith. Prior to my conversion I served in numerous capacities including as a full time missionary, member of a Bishopric, Sunday School President, as well as numerous other callings. When I joined the Catholic Church I faced stiff opposition from my local Bishop and Stake President. They visited my home many times and used every rationale that they could think of to dissuade me. I found it hypocritical that they would be so angry when the Mormon Church regularly baptizes members of other faiths without providing a full doctrinal understanding of the belief system. In order to become Catholic I had to attend RCIA for a full year studying about doctrine and my obligations as a Catholic. As a full time LDS missionary we would usually give three very basic memorized discussions and then issue a Baptismal challenge at the end of the third discussion. It was usually a pressure situation where "No" was not accepted as an answer.

  • Anonymous
    May 5, 2008 8:25 a.m.

    I think Catholics feel the same way we (LDS) would if we were being baptized Catholic after we were dead?

  • Right On
    May 5, 2008 8:19 a.m.

    I think we LDS could certainly learn a lot from the Catholic Church. In the LDS Church we NEED something like a HIPAA regulations to protect the privacy of Church information. LDS Church members are the biggest gossips in the world! Because they have a "lay" clergy, common members are called to callings that give them access to private information about others. Ward clerks, Bishoprics, auxiliary callings give access to information about other members' temple worthiness, tithing donations (and therefore income), past Church disciplinary actions, and more. And what do these people do with that information? They GOSSIP! They judge one another harshly. They say things to their buddies in the ward like, "Oh, Brother XYZ makes GOOD money! I have seen his tithing numbers!" They tell their wives and their wives tell their buddies as they go walking in the mornings: "Did you know the Joneses daughter is not getting married in the temple! That figures. This is Brother Jones' second marriage. He was excommunicated once."

    If the LDS Church would take the privacy of people's information MUCH more seriously, we would dramatically reduce the GOSSIP in the Church!

  • Joyce
    May 5, 2008 8:19 a.m.

    It won't matter how many Catholic people get baptized by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints who are dead. God forces NO One. They have the choice to accept that baptism or choose Not TO ACCEPT that baptism and the same goes for the Jews who started the whole negative thing.
    There will be so many that wish someone had been baptized for them. Sometimes it is their own posterity who do the work for their dead.

    The greatest gift our Heavenly Father gave to all of us is the RIGHT TO CHOOSE!

  • They are my ancestors
    May 5, 2008 8:18 a.m.

    I have done genealogy since the mid 1970s and have found much information in Catholic Church records in Germany. Most other parts of my family were Protestants (Huguenots, etc.). The people who I looked for were MY ancestors. They, according to our belief, can do whatever they wish with what is done for them in our temples. If we're wrong it means nothing, has no effect on them, and should not matter one bit to a person of another faith. Most of the my family who I pulled Catholic records for were born 150-250 years ago, no one alive knows anything about them, no privacy issue is violated, no harm is done. Apart from what I may do with the information, many other people simply want to know about their family tree and the Catholic records are excellent records for that purpose. The amassed records of the LDS church are available to all, stored safely for future generations and represent a treasure of immense worth to everyone. It should be viewed as a way to preserve precious records to allow them to be microfilmed and saved from fire, theft, or other harm.

  • Andrea Eaton
    May 5, 2008 8:18 a.m.

    Thank goodness King Henry VIII had the foresight to divorce England from the Catholic Church and the Pope of his time, otherwise information on my whole family would be lost by this latest edict. Oh I forgot, Henry wasn't thinking about me or anyone else when he broke from the Catholic Church, he was thinking about his lust for Ann Bolyn and his Catholic marriage to Catharine who he really wanted to divorce (at least she kept her head, poor, poor Ann). Anyway I'm grateful to Henry.

  • Paolo S.
    May 5, 2008 8:03 a.m.

    I joined the LDS church 17 years ago in Italy and after a month I started to search for my ancestors. The city hall didnt have the records, the parish did.

    Before approaching the parson I faithfully prayed I would not be hindered in doing my research knowing that I was implementing one of the three missions of our church. So I approached the parson and simply told him I was beginning a family research on my ancestors. I then asked him kindly if it was possible to look into the archives. He gave me a suspicious look to which I sincerely responded I had no second intentions at all, and he could trust me. He gave me the keys and asked me to lock myself in while I was doing my search and promptly return the keys once I was done.

    I spent four days in that room, and for four days I had no problem in getting the keys: 1) because he trusted me, 2) because the Lord was on my side.

    Isnt this a Marvelous Work and a Wonder? Would the Catholic Church be somehow able to stop it? I dont think so... This work will continue!

  • Perhaps
    May 5, 2008 8:03 a.m.

    Perhaps if the LDS Church allowed Catholic parents to see their LDS children marry, the distribution of records would not be an issue. Perhaps it is time for the LDS Church to start considering the feelings of others over the needs of self.

  • Truth
    May 5, 2008 8:03 a.m.

    They are CATHOLIC records and they can restrict them if they want.

  • Alex
    May 5, 2008 7:53 a.m.

    I'm completely scratching my head on this one. I've had enormous respect for the Pope. I really do. I would hope that we can have a good conversation and work this out. At the worst, we are useful idiots cataloging the worlds genealogical records. At best, we are your friends assisting in helping the dead who died without the Gospel to be able to receive the full blessings.

    Incidentally, it wouldn't bother me one bit if any church did a ritual for me in their church for my salvation. I'd be flattered.

  • To: On Limbo
    May 5, 2008 7:51 a.m.

    1. If Catholics believe they have the keys for some blessing the LDS do not have, then they would be unloving if they did not share them, with whatever stipulations they want to make, with the LDS and others.

    2. The LDS Church already shares all of it's births, deaths, and marriages for deceased members with the whole world via These records are in the IGI there. If another church wants to perform ordinances for any of these people, they just have to go there, collect the data, and have at it. I wouldn't care a bit because, as a Latter-day Saint, I don't think they hold the keys or authority. As for what the LDS dead might think having two sets of ordinances performed for them (one by non-LDS proxy) -- they'll have to choose for themselves. These people aren't really dead. They are not incompetent. They are just elsewhere for the time being.

  • No second chance?
    May 5, 2008 7:42 a.m.

    So what happens to all the folks who lived and died without a knowledge of Jesus Christ, people in the deepest jungles and outermost reaches of the world? Are they just out of luck?

    Another question if anyone knows the answer- I can understand that the Catholic church "owns" the books or whatever the records are written on, but do they "own" the information? Is it even legal to withold this information from family members? Will they allow members of the Catholic church access to those records? And what is there to stop a Catholic who obtains the info from sharing with LDS families. (This is exactly the case with a dear Catholic lady I know of who does lots of family research in LDS family history centers. She is friendly with LDS and has no qualmes with sharing her research with her LDS family and friends for the purpose of temple work.)

    I think the Lord knew this glitch would come up and He'll provide a way around it. I'm not thumbing my nose at the Pope. It just that this is the Lord's work and He'll make it possible to continue.

  • To: No 2d Chance
    May 5, 2008 7:26 a.m.

    You said, "Scripture plainly teaches that if one waits until they have died, they have waited too long. There are no second chances after death. This is why it is a big deal."

    I Peter chapters 3 & 4 tells how the Gospel is preached to those who are dead. Christ came into the world (and also went to the afterworld) to redeem the world, not to condemn it -- even the disobedient spirits.

    Would a loving God have created beings for the purpose of damning them when they made mistakes or, worse yet, because they never have had the chance to hear the Gospel. No loving human parent would do that to his children. Why would one worship a god with such a character as you are describing in your comment? The LDS teaching in controversy is only that baptism must be performed on earth and by proxy for those who are dead. The Atonement of Christ is a doctrine based on belief in the efficacy of a proxy offering. Baptism for the dead is a proxy offering because, "They without us cannot be saved."

  • Hey Vicki
    May 5, 2008 7:21 a.m.

    The family member can chose in the resurrection to convert and you don't need to insult the families of the deceased by doing the temple work now. It's just good manners. Remember though, if a person is a legitimate family member, the Catholic Church will be happy to give you ancestry information.

  • Diana
    May 5, 2008 7:00 a.m.

    I live in Spain and work in a fHC here. We have a lot of Catholics come to the centre to look for their ancestors, some cannot due to the fact that some provinces are restricted by the Bishops in charge. LDS members have to write a letter to the Bishop asking permission to view films. If the filming now in progress here is cut off then many people are going to very sad, both Catholics and LDS.

  • False on conversion
    May 5, 2008 6:15 a.m.

    To the person that Stated that the Catholic Church required rebaptism of all, that is patently false. The LDS Church claims they are not trinitarian, while other protestant churches claim they are trinitarian as well as the Catholic Church. So, the Catholic Church accepts protestant baptism while rejecting the non-trinitarian LDS baptism should come as a shock to no one.

  • Anonymous
    May 5, 2008 6:13 a.m.

    A lot of you talk of the records not being available to family for historical purposes, lol. They still are, if you read the article it's available to true family members.

  • doug
    May 5, 2008 6:13 a.m.

    My step-father was a good Catholic boy from Park City, who became a Mormon in order to marry his first wife. Then she passed away. He married my mom, his second wife, and became a Catholic again (though we were not). He wanted to get back to his roots. He joined the Mormon church in order to get married to the woman he loved. He did not join because Catholicism was wrong, he joined because he was in love. Pretty common thing, actually. Tracks runs both ways.

    I enjoy these stories in this forum about how someone was a Catholic and then became a Mormon. Well, I hate to tell you this but there are conversions that did not take quite so well.

    And my step-father used to laugh about things that are taken a little too seriously here in this forum. And, I really can't blame him. Lots of humor here about knowing what happens after death.

    Was it Mark Twain on his death bed that said: "Ah, now for the great adventure."

  • Jim
    May 5, 2008 6:12 a.m.

    The Catholic Church doesn't have to give geneological data to anyone if they don't want to. Think of it as Catholic HIPAA. The records are personal and confidential unless those whose information is recorded and the organization keeping the records both agree to release the information. Don't like it? Get over it. You don't have a right to the information.

  • On Limbo
    May 5, 2008 6:09 a.m.

    While some Catholics might believe in Limbo, it was never Church Doctrine but people the Adam/God Doctrine, blood atonement and other teachings of the LDS Church.
    As the Jewish people were offended by temple work for the dead, especially the Holocaust victims, why not wait until the Resurrection and allow these people to make the choice for themselves? Based on the size of past and present populations, we are not going to catch up as the temple currently functions. It really would be similar for the Catholics to approach the LDS Church to state that all LDS marriages are not valid and wish to give the children produced legitimacy by marrying the parents after their death into the Holy Roman Catholic Church. Would the LDS Church willingly hand over records? My magic eight-ball says "not likely."

  • Vicki
    May 5, 2008 5:51 a.m.

    Is there not something called free will? If the deceased person wanted to be Mormon, he/she would be. It's not for a "family" member to make that choice. That is an abomination in my book.

  • "Holy" Father
    May 5, 2008 5:46 a.m.

    The pope can't pray for the world - because that includes me (a mormon). If I wanted the pope to pray for the world (including me) then I would become a catholic. By the way, how does the catholic church have ownership over my ancestors? They are witholding info about my ancestors. . . talk about respect for the dead (and living).

  • To: No 2d Chance
    May 5, 2008 5:23 a.m.

    My understanding is that the Catholics have believed that the living have the opportunity to affect the amount of time that a deceased soul spends in Purgatory. The time might be reduced through prayers (prayer candles) and earlier there was sale of indulgences for the dead. This doctrine that the living can change the outcome for the dead is a "similar" teaching held by the the LDS church. Other similar teachings include Extreme Unction and LDS annointing of the sick. Of all other Christian faiths, I would think that the Catholics very well understand LDS ministrations in behalf of the dead. I think it is in their understanding, not their misunderstanding that they abhor the LDS practice. They understand the doctrines of authority and keys very well, and have a very deep concern for the outcome of a deceased soul now having the choice of which of the two churches to have membership in.

  • marvic ilagan
    May 5, 2008 4:52 a.m.

    julie is right. and i know baptism for the dead is a doctrine of God.

  • Sumiko Honda
    May 5, 2008 4:46 a.m.

    As a young Catholic, I don't think that the Vatican should engage in ecumenical dialog with any other branch of Christianity except for the Greek Orthodox. There are so many sects, groups, cults, and "churches" with traditions and views so different from Catholic and also from each other, that it is pointless waste of time.
    Regardless if the LDS is offended by this new Vatican ruling, it was done to protect the private registry of members of Catholic parishes, and to keep bizarre practices away from the Catholic Church.
    There is nothing wrong with wanting to protect your own faithful (Catholics)

  • GBH Quote
    May 5, 2008 4:26 a.m.

    President Gordon B. Hinckley: "If there is trouble, let us face it calmly. Let us overcome evil with good."

  • Dear Cuts Both Ways
    May 5, 2008 3:49 a.m.

    The LDS Church would not say one single thing about anothe Church doing baptism for the dead and rebaptizing our members because they think we have fallen from the truth. You apparently do not know the 11th article of faith where we allow others to practice their religion and ask the same of them to let us allow our religion.

    I wonder if the catholic church believe in agency, the great and wonderful gift from God to make our own decision. If we baptize them and they don't wan that baptism then it is null and void.

  • Julie
    May 5, 2008 12:58 a.m.

    The main negative response to my earlier comment seems to stem from a misunderstanding about the doctrine of baptism for the dead. Those for whom it is performed have a choice of whether or not they want to accept this ordinance. It is not revisionist history as claimed by one commentor because I believe the records of who has been baptized for the dead are kept private in the church. Mormons don't claim that anyone who has been baptized for the dead is now "mormon." In response to other criticism, feel free to baptize me into any other church or make me a member of any organization. I don't mind because I don't believe it has any eternal effect or consequences.

  • lie in the bed that you've made
    May 5, 2008 12:51 a.m.

    Still sane | 8:27 a.m. May 4, 2008
    So once again "Christians" fight other "Christians" - oh, except the others don't believe that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Christian anyway. so, I guess it must be OK."

    Yes, it is okay. We are all free to believe as we will. We are all responsible for our own faith and the doctrines that we choose to adhere to. LDS believe that others are wrong, so why do they find it strange that others believe that they are wrong? Please, let go of the persecution complex.

  • All Get Along
    May 5, 2008 12:39 a.m.

    This proves that religion is just one big fat source of contention in the world. Let's bulldoze ALL the churches and put in parks. Everybody get out and get some exercise and go be nice to your neighbors. Give your donations to an organization that helps the poor, starving and sick not into maintaining real estate. Then maybe you'll feel like getting off the prozac and find something better to do than gossip and judge your neighbors.

  • no second chance
    May 5, 2008 12:35 a.m.

    Julie | 12:48 a.m. May 4, 2008
    I'm still trying to figure out why it bothers people that mormons do baptisms for the dead if non-mormons don't believe that it has any effect."

    amen | 1:10 a.m. May 4, 2008
    I completely agree with Julie... If it is "erroneous" in their view, then what is the big deal?"

    Because it is 'erroneous', or, a false doctrine. The same reason that we wouldn't worship another God, even though we don't believe in other Gods. It would have no effect beyond dishonoring the doctrine of worshiping Almighty God, and blaspheming. We know it to be a pagan practice, therefore we want no part of it.
    Scripture plainly teaches that if one waits until they have died, they have waited too long. There are no second chances after death. This is why it is a big deal.

  • Alex
    May 5, 2008 12:27 a.m.


    If LDS temple work is neither christian nor authorized, then why would it matter? Heck, the genealogical records we record are available to the public as a service. Yep, they are available to you too if you wish. If I weren't a believing Latter-Day Saint, I would look at the LDS and say, "Hey, go ahead and knock yourself out. It is no skin off my nose."

  • re: Anonymous 11:54
    May 5, 2008 12:20 a.m.

    "You folks who think the Catholic church is right, how would you feel if you were trying to research your ancestors, (it would be almost impossible to research without the Lds database.) and the LDS church said that you had to have a temple recomend to view? I would be upset as a non-member. They are my relatives."

    Upset?...They are my relatives?

    Hmmmm....I wonder if this is how a Catholic mother feels when she is denied entrance to the temple to witness the marriage of a child who converted to Mormonism?

  • Anonymous
    May 4, 2008 11:58 p.m.

    Temple work is not christian nor are these unauthorized baptisms. I think this is only yhe first we have seen of this with other christian faiths following suit.

  • Anonymous
    May 4, 2008 11:54 p.m.

    You folks who think the Catholic church is right, how would you feel if you were trying to research your ancestors, (it would be almost impossible to research without the Lds database.) and the LDS church said that you had to have a temple recomend to view? I would be upset as a non-member. They are my relatives. That is exactly what the Catholic church is saying. The Lds church is doing everyone a favor allowing ancestry research regardless of creed to search out ancestors from the comfort of their own computers. If you don't do geneology then it doesn't matter, however there are tons of people that do. I am not LDS but love geneology and would hate to have to go to a foreign country if the Lds church was doing that for free. I have found plenty of records off the database that would have cost me thousands to fly to the countries and search the records. I hope the Catholic church changes this bigoted policy.

  • Riley
    May 4, 2008 11:53 p.m.

    I was a catholic until age 21 when I converted to the LDS Church. I actually have no problem at all with this pronouncement, and I still have much geneological work to do. It will open up an honest dialogue on doctrinal truth that, as evidenced by this move, has not been had in the past. It will foster a better understanding of mutual beliefs and I'm confident that President Monson will find a way to prevail upon the leaders of the great Catholic faith to allow us (LDSs) to know our progenitors' histories. I am not worried and no one else should be either. The end has only to be played out...all will have an opportunity to accept or reject the restoration of the gospel. For my part, if I've offended my Catholic brethren and family I'd love to sit down and explain my motives, namely, to draw nearer to my predecessors thorugh temple work. I also would like to apologize for the missionaries in Colorado who defaced your monuments. I'm not sure if their actions had anything to do with the decision, but if so, I offer my personal regrets. God Bless.

  • shawilli
    May 4, 2008 11:50 p.m.

    The parish records belong to the catholic church, they are theirs to do with as they see fit, it is a prvillage NOT a right for the LDS Church to have access to them.I hope that this policy may be changed in the future but, for the present it is what it is and we must simply accept that. The work of the Temple goes on and on even without access to Catholic parish records, we shall simply move into another area of labor for those whose records are available to us. We shall have enough temple work ahead of us to last through the Millenium, so rather than cry foul lets move on and wait for the day when we can once again glean from the parish records the information we need. I am sure that Heaveanly Father knows of this matter and will deal with it in his own way and in his own due time.

  • all hail the moderator
    May 4, 2008 11:45 p.m.

    I think that the posthumous baptism records
    will be used later to show how many LDS members were there historically,

    it seems like stealing souls

  • Genealogist
    May 4, 2008 11:44 p.m.

    I have to repeat myself: you have still access to the archives of the catholic church and this will never stop to happen! Nobody is asking you for your religion when you enter a catholic archive. It`s now a bit harder for the american genealogists and LDS Members, but there allready now a lot of records not microfilmed by the LDS. Who has for example complained about the protestant church in germany? They refuse to let their records filmed since the seventies, because they think the LDS are not christian and a syncretic religion. Most catholic Dioceses in Poland allready refused microfilming their records. The pope is just going a step further after writing the essay about not accepting the LDS Baptizm of living people (as a leader of the "Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith"). Take a deep breath and plan your next visit to europe and the church archives here.

  • Rosie
    May 4, 2008 11:44 p.m.

    Neither my husband nor any of his family are LDS. They have been so grateful that I have been doing pedigree research on their Catholic ancestors from Louisiana, particularly after hurricane Katrina occured. They don't have the time, or frankly, the interest to do it themselves. I will be sorry to tell them that I may no longer be able to help them, due to this new policy of their church. :-/

  • Ron
    May 4, 2008 11:33 p.m.

    As an active, practicing LDS member, I am ashamed and dismayed at this stream of arrogant, prideful comments from other apparently LDS members.

    How quickly have you forgotten President Hinckley's many sermons to reach out in love to good people in all faiths, and his acknowledgments that they also have some of "The Truth." We may be troubled by this decision to withhold ancestral records, but these rancorous attacks on the Catholic church, the Pope, etc. do far more harm and are not Christlike.

    It is this same chest-thumping, boastful "we-will-crumble-you" arrogance that generates roadblocks in approaching non-member friends who've experienced it, or which makes my non-member friends and family regret their move to Utah. It is this same "holier than thou" LDS attitude which I suspect at least exacerbated the anti-Mormon feelings in pioneer Missouri, and which I know caused divisions in my own family.

    You may respectfully disagree with Catholic doctrine, but I assure you that they do have some (as we view it) of the Truth , that they stand with us on many issues of vital importance to the family and human dignity, and that such negative comments cause more harm than you can imagine.

  • john b
    May 4, 2008 11:31 p.m.

    i would like to know sence my fathers family back at least 1756 were catholic why i should not be able to get information on them for my own records not for bapbtism just be cause i chose to join the LDS Church

  • Anonymous
    May 4, 2008 11:30 p.m.

    You'd think the Catholic church would be overjoyed that all of those children they claim went to limbo because they died at birth without a baptism would now have a chance to go to heavan. Oh well, that's apostasy for you.

  • Discrimination
    May 4, 2008 11:30 p.m.

    This is a crime against LDS beliefs.

    If they don't believe it's true, then it shouldn't be able to hurt them.

    If they did believe it's true, they would know that only those who accept the Gospel will have valid ordinances.

    If they claim we are doing something which is wrong they would be wrong by the very bible they claim to believe upon.

    "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?"
    "if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die."
    "But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?"

    The LDS church is the only church on this Earth to even remotely resemble the teachings of the bible.

  • False accusers
    May 4, 2008 11:27 p.m.

    The LDS church has never claimed that baptizing on behalf of deceased ancestors automatically makes that individual a member of the church. Never. That is a false assumption by detractors who have only responded out of bitterness or hatred, certainly not informed.

  • Phillips
    May 4, 2008 11:15 p.m.

    Thank you, Neola, for your comments. This work we do is awesome. We do this out of love and to be of service to those who may want to accept it on the other side the the veil (life beyond the grave). If one does not want this opportunity they may reject it according to their choice. My son in law was Catholic until his father invited the missionaries in. The entire family embraced the gospel and are all members. They would want to give their family the opportunity to enjoy blessing of being together with their family, not as angels flying about but as real families, sealed together to be families as our Father in Heaven (and Jesus Christ) intended. I pray that the Catholic church would not feel so threatened as to close that information to anyone. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints opens the Family History Libraries to anyone-'Mormon', Catholic, Athiest....That is what God requires of us so we share rather than keeping the information only within our membership. Let's just pray that they would be forgiven for their mistrust and selfishness.

  • good doctrine
    May 4, 2008 11:12 p.m.

    Peter declared the gospel was taught to the dead. Paul said the dead were baptized. Whats the problem? It seems to me the LDS are onto something.

  • Re: Dear Steve
    May 4, 2008 11:11 p.m.

  • Returned Missionary
    May 4, 2008 11:02 p.m.

    Because of my mission for the LDS church, I had the opportunity to learn a little about Catholicism. I hope all of you know that the Catholic church in my opinion came closer to the truth than any other church besides the LDS faith. Now I can sit here and argue about some of their doctrines such as infant baptism, payed clergy, paying for your sins to be forgiven you and the doctrine concerning life after death but I'm not going to. I'll I can truly say about this situation is that the Pope is out of line. The LDS church and Catholic church have been for a long time now, in good standing with each other and this is an unnecessary decision on the Popes part. This would prove as further evidence that the Catholic faith has started to believe in our "Baptisms for the Dead." Otherwise, why are they so concerned about it. No matter what religion you are you still need proper authority to do anything in the name of God. John the Baptist had it , Moses had it, Abraham had it, Melchizedek had it, Adam had it and all of us must have it.

  • baptism
    May 4, 2008 11:02 p.m.

    Odd how some people think the Catholics now recognize the legitimacy of Mormon baptism. Former LDS members do frequently join the Catholic Church and must be re-baptized. The Church has never recognized Mormon baptism, as it is without authority. The Vatican just doesnt want you people using their parish records for your illegitimate posthumous rites. Its really bizarre how most LDS here, think they are entitled records that dont belong to them. The frustration of this announcement must be too much.

  • Mohan
    May 4, 2008 11:02 p.m.

    This is amazing. Of course no Mormon would care if another Church wanted to light a candle for their ancestors. We would think it is sweet. It certainly wouldn't hurt us or offend us in any way. It would make me smile.

    And for the Catholic Church to do this is like cutting off your own nose to spite your face. All you do is keep people of all faiths from being able to locate their family lines and fulfill the Spirit of Elijah. Mormons come in free of charge and photograph millions of records at no cost to the Catholic Church. Who else is going to do that? This will be short lived. Once they realize they cannot do this work without us they will reverse their very strange decision.

    May God bless them to come to grips.

  • True Blue
    May 4, 2008 11:00 p.m.

    Funny how current research in Egypt is uncovering many documents that show early Christians believed in, practiced and taught baptism for the dead.

    Just the same as Peter talking about it in the New Testament.

    This is NOT NEW doctrine, it is surprising many non-LDS gospel researchers as they uncover many old documents that support MANY of Joseph Smith's teachings.

    Not only that, but NONE of the early Christian documents being found teach contrary to Joseph's teachings!

    The Gospel of Jesus Christ will continue to be proven by research for those who desire to read it. But it is only the power of the Book of Mormon that will convert you through the Holy Ghost.

    It matters not to anyone else if you believe it, It IS TRUE. And you are the only one missing out on the teachings, ordinances and knowledge by ignoring or fighting it.

  • Rich
    May 4, 2008 10:56 p.m.

    If the LDS church does not have the authority from God to perform baptisms for the dead, these ordinances are of no effect and harm nobody. The Catholic Church should look for ways to cooperate with LDS to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ rather than worry about LDS temple practices. There is a trend to abandon all religion as well as the morality that comes with it. The Pope surely realizes that Europe is becoming highly agnostic and atheistic, and the U.S. is becoming more so. Some of my ancestors were Catholic, and I should have the right to view the records of my ancestors. The LDS do not deny this right to Catholics. Also, FLDS and RLDS members also can utilize LDS family history resources for those who are wondering. The LDS feel that if somebody performs an ordinance for a dead relative without God's authority, that ordinance is of no effect.

  • Dear My Questions...
    May 4, 2008 10:50 p.m.

    If God was not "tied" by laws, then:

    1. You would have no assurance that God wouldn't decide to just do away with all of us for good. How long could a god watch all our garbage and not just throw in the towel? After all, he would be god, and have no obligation to us.

    2. Why would God witness the torture, beating and humilitation of His only Begotten Son if there were some other option? The law had to be followed. We then, are indebted to Him, our Father, and must obey His commandments, as He has said.

    It cannot be had both ways.

    Just some observations.

  • Andy
    May 4, 2008 10:49 p.m.

    What a wonderful opportunity now for the average Latter Day Saint to become better friends with the average Catholic. This way Latter Day Saints can help Catholics with their search for their roots with the resources available to Latter Day Saints & Catholics can help Latter Day Saints with the resources available only to Catholics.

  • Re:Council at Nicaea |
    May 4, 2008 10:34 p.m.

    Pope Sylvester I sent two priests as his official legate representatives, Vitus and Vicentius, who signed the canonical records of the Council. More than 300 Bishops attended, but just two priests with authority to act as emmissaries of the Pope. Bishop Ossius of Cordoba is believed to have accompanied them to preside over the council. You can read Ossius' biography--"Ossius of Cordoba by Victor De Clercq.

  • cch
    May 4, 2008 10:30 p.m.

    Wow! What prideful and hateful comments. I'm LDS and I am embarrassed. Comments with tones like these will only further convince the Catholic leadership that they are doing the right thing. Way to go.

  • Anonymous
    May 4, 2008 10:27 p.m.

    As a former catholic and a latin, I was sad to read about the Catholic church refusal to provide these records. Americans and Europeans may have no problem with that but for other regions such as Central and South America, Spain and Italy, this is certainly a big deal. In Latin-America, it was the Catholic Church the only entity who carried those records. In most countries, the government started to take control of them since 1900 once goverments started to separate the church from the state. It's so unfair and no right that they are denying access to those records that are supposed to be public. Whatever I do with that information is my business, not theirs. But I have faith that someday, these records will be freed and we will have access to them. The work of the Lord can't be stopped. In the meantime, put your shoulder to the wheel!!

  • Re: Re: Offended? Why?
    May 4, 2008 10:26 p.m.

    "If you, as a distant Mormon relative, baptize my dead Catholic grandmother, it's every bit my family's business."

    What if she's my grandmother too? Are you worried about my family being offended that you're saying Catholic prayers for her? I doubt it. Somehow your being offended by our Mormonism is supposed to command more respect than our desire to do something for her that we think is important. That's hardly fair.

    We're not infringing on anyone's rights by researching our family and performing ordinances for them. We have just as much claim on our ancestors as anyone else, Catholic or not.

    And if Grandma doesn't want that baptism, she doesn't have to take it. I don't know why this is so hard to understand.

  • Barbara
    May 4, 2008 10:19 p.m.

    Now is NOT the time to tear down each other's religion. We ALL believe in the same God, we ALL believe in the same Jesus Christ. We ALL believe in the 10 commandments and we ALL read the same Bible. Let's just wait to see where this ends up, and start acting a bit more Christ-like, Catholics and Mormons alike.

  • Linda
    May 4, 2008 10:16 p.m.

    My son's attitude is that he plans to be baptized in EVERY church "just in case". I think it's a great idea, won't offend anyone and his "records" will be worldwide.......

  • To: Happy
    May 4, 2008 10:12 p.m.

    I agree with your comment in respecting others, and I was annoyed by the woman that stated the only time catholics are basically friendly is in a time of need.

    There should be no need to worry about baptisms for the dead. What is so upsetting to the catholics about these baptisms? Any religion could do these baptisms if they wanted, but ultimately it will be the decision of the deceased for what they want to choose.

  • Dear Steve
    May 4, 2008 10:03 p.m.

    Hey Steve, in case you can't read or comprehend, it is baptisms for the DEAD, not the living. There is a huge difference...... what a silly and stupid analogy....

    It's people like you who don't have a clue and lack understanding..... the people are DEAD!

    Again, you want to baptize my family that has passed on, let me know and I'll send you my PAF file of over 10,000 names....

    Metonian...does the age of one's church make it a true church? if so, can you show me where it states that? Do you know how to read about the apostacy in the Bible?

    Can you document the priesthood line of authority from Peter to the current Pope? I'd love to see it....Do Catholics really understand how their church came about? I think not....

  • CougarKeith
    May 4, 2008 9:55 p.m.

    I would just like to thank the Vatican for finally acknowledging the truthfulness of the Restored Gospel and the Priesthood Authority being restored to the earth. It is a shame the Vatican thinks they can stop "God's Work" from moving forward by withholding a few of their Geneology records. This should not be surprizing as Satan has promised to raise his ugly head in opposition in every way he can to prevent the work from moving forward. Relax, any "Stoppage" this creates is only temporary, the work will be completed in the Millenium in spite of any efforts to the contrary of True Doctrines of the Church of JESUS CHRIST.

    I think this is just really nice of the Pope and the Vatican to finally be concerned enough to openly acknowledge the LDS Legitimate Priesthood Authority, otherwise why would this even matter?

    We must remember the Catholic Church is a wonderful organization in today's day and age, they are sincere and a wonderful people. They believe the doctrines and creeds passed down from their fathers and councils.

    They do a lot of Good, They Help A Lot Of People, And We Must Remember The Sincerity Of Their Hearts!

  • Genealogy expert
    May 4, 2008 9:56 p.m.

    I passed along this information to a woman at church who has been working in family history libraries for years. Her first reaction was not, "Shoot this is going to slow the work down." But, "Well, there are going to be a lot of Catholic people who will be very disappointed because they come to our LDS Family History centers to find their ancestors. They can't afford a trip to Italy or wherever to lok it up themselves. These Catholic (or Lutheran or whatever) folks appreciate so much the effort of the LDS genealogy workers for finding this information for them. So this is a sad event for LDS and Catholic alike.

    Baptism for the dead? I can see how Catholics would be offended if they didn't understand it. If they knew and comprehended our belief that this is just an opportunity we are offering to our ancestors, something they may not have had access to in their lives on earth, and that they can reject it if they want, it shouldn't be offensive to them at all.

    I sense that Catholics don't want to understand and are jumping on the bandwagon of trying to squelch an opposing faith.

  • Belles N. Whistles
    May 4, 2008 9:53 p.m.

    I am not LDS so I definitely see little significance in by-proxy baptisms for the dead, when I am dead.

    However I do feel like I own my name and identity, living or dead, and it is not the LDS's or a LDS's to assume at any time. They say they do it as a gift of love. To me it is stil arrogant identity theft.

    The gift itself is just annoying junk mail addressed to my soul. I am not Catholic either but I thank the Pope for his stand.

  • wrz
    May 4, 2008 9:48 p.m.

    >>The pope is scared and this is proof.

  • Re:Most Hon. Rev. Finkelstein
    May 4, 2008 9:38 p.m.

    "Wow! Look at all the LDS people who don't mind if some other church has them baptized into another faith after they die."= This is because we understand the "Doctrine" of "Free Agency", just because someone is "Baptized by Proxy" in a temple who is dead is meaningless if: 1. The Church is not true. 2. The individual chooses NOT to accept the Baptism in his/her behalf. 3. Authority to Baptize is not From God and His Priesthood by the Laying on of Hands. With those 3 key principles baptize away my friend, I could care less after I am dead! Do it, do all my dead ancestors, Truth is truth, and if the Catholic Church doesn't believe in LDS Priesthood Authority what is the Harm in this? Are they worried?

  • Keith
    May 4, 2008 9:33 p.m.

    The catholic church is crumbling and the LDS chruch is growing and is seen as the true church of the lord. I think this is a petty move and based on no truth as the catholic faith has not had any truth nor represented Jesus Christ for nearly 2000 years. The catholic church is insignificant and we are converting members hands over fist. I think this is a childish and very very dark move by a false church!

  • Carl
    May 4, 2008 9:32 p.m.

    I would say the Mormons have a little "face saving" to do with both the Catholics and Jews.

  • re: Offended? Why?
    May 4, 2008 9:31 p.m.

    "No Catholic church member need feel offended - it's frankly none of his or her business"

    Are you joking? If you, as a distant Mormon relative, baptize my dead Catholic grandmother, it's every bit my family's business.

  • Freeman
    May 4, 2008 9:31 p.m.

    Beth, you should read up on the first few hundred years of that two thousand years of history to which you are referring. "Clear" is not a word that scholars would use to describe those times. Maybe you've heard of the "Dark Ages" before? Hardly clear.

    And nobody is trying to "trick" you into anything at all. If you want to talk about "legitimate" Christian rites, you need to start with the authority that Christ bestowed upon his apostles, not "mainstream" status. Legitimacy stems from proper authority, not the accumulation of history. But to each his/her own. I'll eat my apples and you can drink your kool-aid.

  • Mertonian
    May 4, 2008 9:25 p.m.

    Hey, Upon this Rock (St. Peter) I will build my Church and the gates of hell will not prevail. The Pope is like your prophet (without authority). Your church is less then 200 years old, Ours is 2000 years old. If it be of God it will continue if not it will die on the vine. Well, its still here and telling you that have no authority....

  • Anonymous
    May 4, 2008 9:24 p.m.

    The mormons who have posted here are very prideful; so much to a point you are an embarassment to anyone whom claims to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. I personally would say you are drunk with your percieved power and the 'authority' that you percieve god has granted you. I feel sorry for you all and I wish that you could just repect fellow man without tearing down his faith just to build yours up.

  • Steve
    May 4, 2008 9:15 p.m.

    I suppose if Catholic priests were running around hospital delivery wards baptizing newly born infants Mormons would just simply watch in silence since they don't believe it does anything...right?

    Why should any church leadership stand by and allow someone to perform what they believe to be a heretical practice on their faithful?

  • Council at Nicea
    May 4, 2008 9:14 p.m.

    This whole council was a fraud perpetrated on people. When do you think the plain and precious truths were removed?

    You don't vote on whether or not bap 4 the dead is a valid practice or not. You don't vote if God, Christ and the Holy Ghost is one person or not. The definition that came of that council is one of the silliest definitions ever heard.

    Can't you people read the Bible and see where there are 3 separate and distinct people?

    For you Catholic scholars....Who had the priesthood line of authority from Christ to convene the Council of Nicea? Please document who it was that had the priesthood authority, not the governmental authority, but actual priesthood authority!

    I don't care what the Catholics do on their own time. The Pope is not a prophet of God; he doesn't have any priesthood authority; he doesn't receive revelation; where does it say that we should worship Mary...Actually the 1st commandment of the 10 commandments tells us otherwise....

    There are so many fallacy practices in the Catholic Church it would take forever to list them all.

    Kostecki is a nitwit with nothing else to do but blast the Mormons...

  • Zoar
    May 4, 2008 9:08 p.m.

    Aint no thang,

    Since you are a former Catholic and Now LDS dont you think you have the right to research the records of your own ancestors. If it was for some Tom, Dick, or Harry, I would see their point. So all you people that are making a big fuss, we are doing it for their own family not for strangers. What is wrong with that? Are you going to tell me I dont have the right to baptize dead relatives in my own blood line. Who is infringing on rights now?

  • A couple of things
    May 4, 2008 8:58 p.m.

    First off, last poster Beth has no concept of Baptism for the Dead. According to your logic, then the whole Bible is a myth...

    To all you posters who think that I would be offended if your church or any other church wanted to baptize me or anyone else in my family after I was dead, I say, GO FOR IT! I could care less and I'm sure that most Mormons would say the same thing. Knock yourself out.

    If the Catholic Church doesn't want its records used for family history, so be it. All that means is that it will take a little longer during the Millenium to sort out all the names. 1000 years is a long time and people will be busy doing it.

    As for doctrine, the Catholic Church has changed so many things from the Bible that it scarcely looks like the church that Christ set up while He lived on the earth. Anyone with have a brain knows that they have no authority to do a thing.

    I have too many other things to worry about than if some Catholic is offended because someone who died 500 years ago is baptized for the dead.

  • Offended? Why?
    May 4, 2008 8:53 p.m.

    What if I decide to take my Catholic grandmother's name to the temple and receive proxy ordinances for her? She's my grandmother. If she disagrees with what I do in the temple for her, that's between her and me, not anyone else. No Catholic church member need feel offended - it's frankly none of his or her business. There are former Catholics who join the LDS Church and want to perform these ordinances for their ancestors, and that's their right. The Catholic church making it more difficult by sequestering these records will only make them look bad - and this being the Lord's work, it won't stop anyone for long.

    I agree that the Catholic Church's proposed action is about money. I imagine anyone with enough money would be able to see those records, regardless of what religion he is.

  • Re: Jen
    May 4, 2008 8:52 p.m.

    "The original Christian church, following Jesus Christ's death & prior to the council of Nicea 3 centuries later, aka the Catholic church, practiced baptism for their dead."

    Did you learn this in seminary? You need to check your facts. There were numerous break-off sects after the crucifixion. At least one, even maybe a few practiced baptism for the dead, but it was considered a LOCAL practice and was NEVER practiced as a whole by the mainstream Church. The Council at Nicea sought to consolidate the beliefs of Christianity, but baptism for the dead was never a practice of the "Original Christian Church" or even a wide-spread practice and was considered heretical.

  • Beth
    May 4, 2008 8:50 p.m.

    Jen | 8:02 p.m.,

    You have no proof that early Christians practiced baptism for the dead as a legitimate Christian rite. two thousand years of history shows that ALL mention of baptism for the dead in the Bible are condemning that pagan, false, occult practice as evil and from the devil! Even the Dead Sea Scrolls and the documents found in the Nag Hammadi Library all clearly show baptism for the dead to be an heretical practice that was NEVER mainstream in the Christian church.

    "Dem apples" you so arrogantly try to trick us into swallowing are poisoned apples! Poisoned by the lies of Mormon apologist "scholars" who are on the payroll of your Church to give the illusion of legitimacy and respectability to the false doctrines they are making YOU swallow! Wake up before it is "everlastingly too late!"

    A TRUE sister in Christ.

  • fairytale
    May 4, 2008 8:46 p.m.

    The practice of trying to convert dead people is downright creepy. Not to mention incredibly disrespectful, arrogant, and plain rude to the survivors.

  • Andrew
    May 4, 2008 8:40 p.m.

    I think Athiests have the only legitimate argument for being against the LDS church baptising thier deceased anscestors because if they are correct then all they have is the vestiges of their life including their name and may not want that altered in any way. Other religions should be satisfied with the fact that they don't believe it matters. So if the Athiest Society doesn't want to hand over thier records then we should respect that;)

  • Ken
    May 4, 2008 8:34 p.m.

    The way I see it, the Catholic Church can look at the Mormon practice of proxy baptism and 1) let them do it because in their mind it is a false and meaningless effort, or 2) go one step further and withhold names altogether to keep the LDS from even attempting it. They've decided to choose the latter.

    I'm sure this isn't the end of the discussion and perhaps a consensus can be reached.

  • Empty promises
    May 4, 2008 8:33 p.m.

    It's easy for Mormons to say they wouldn't mind if another religion baptized them posthumously - since no other religion does it. How magnanimous is it when there's nothing to lose? ... I'm also struck by the sense of entitlement Mormons seem to have about another church's records.

  • Bruce
    May 4, 2008 8:25 p.m.

    The lords work will conitnue to be done. The idiocracy of the catholic church will not stand in front of the lords true work. How come you think you are loosing so many member! Because they aer becoming LDS and yes they will continue to baptize former catholics because they want there ancestors to have the chance in the after life rather than living in the eternal darkness of a corrupt church!

  • Mary
    May 4, 2008 8:17 p.m.

    I have a question. If I now go to a Catholic church to see my ancestor's records, am I going to have to swear under penalty of perjury that I am not LDS? and if I lie, can I march myself right over to the Catholic confessional, with records in hand, and promise to never do it again? How are the Catholics going to know who is LDS and who is not? Is this a witch-hunt? I am not looking for my ancestors to do their work, I am looking for my ancestors to know where I came from and who else I am related to. I'm looking for my family.

  • just a thought
    May 4, 2008 8:16 p.m.

    The mission of the LDS church is to preach the gospel; period. We don't care if not everyone will join; that is not the point. The point is that everyone has the opportunity to hear the gospel. That is what the members of the church have been commanded to do and we are trying to do it in a spirit of love. Other organizations can't stop the work from progressing. Joseph Smith said, "The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done (History of the Church, 4:540).

  • Misguided
    May 4, 2008 8:17 p.m.

    The pope is unguided and at the helm of a false church. I would suspect we will see more of this as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints continues to grow in stature. These little knee biters will try to take away from the church because of the authority we know has been bestowed upon us. I think the pope may be jealous that a twenty year old boy has more authority then himself.

  • observer
    May 4, 2008 8:10 p.m.

    I haven't read all the posts but what right does the pope have to tell their congregation what they should do with their own personal records. As far as I know the FHC abides by all laws governing privacy rights. No church has exclusive rights to all these records and is not the spokesperson for any family. This issue should be in the hands of the individual families about what information they feel should be disclosed. If the pope had said to use caution, I can accept that, but he didn't. Sounds like interference in personal lives of individuals.

  • Jane
    May 4, 2008 8:06 p.m.

    To Jordon,

    How dare you accuse the Catholics of "standing in the way of the Lord's work".

    The Catholic Church IS the Lord's work! They have been doing the Lord's work for ten times longer than you Mormons have been deceiving people with your lies about the so-called "apostasy"!

    You make me sick and angry toward the arrogant Mormons!

  • judie
    May 4, 2008 8:03 p.m.

    When I went to the LDS Library, no one asked me what my religion was. They kindly helped me find my French and Spanish and other ancestry. They were quite kind to me. I found lots of my ancestors and found that they came from places that I never knew existed and so I found a new part of me.

  • Jen
    May 4, 2008 8:02 p.m.

    To Mark, Jason, Decider of Dominator, DCC, etc. you may want to go back and check the facts on Catholic history. The original Christian church, following Jesus Christ's death & prior to the council of Nicea 3 centuries later, aka the Catholic church, practiced baptism for their dead! The practice was only removed like so many other doctrines when Constantine & the others had their council. How do you like 'dem apples?

  • Boo Hoo
    May 4, 2008 8:01 p.m.

    I can not wait until I here a statement from the first presidency. I think the catholics are ignorant and selfish for this but it will solidfy how much of a threat we are to bringing down the false doctrine of the catholic church and how jealous they are that we are converting nearly all there members.

  • Leslie Townsend
    May 4, 2008 7:59 p.m.

    The Catholic Church should be ASHAMED for being so supremely ungrateful for the fantastic genealogical database the LDS Church has compiled and allows EVERYONE regardless of religion to use. Why should the LDS Church's proxy baptisms both them unless they believe it would actually have some sort of permanent effect on the souls of the dearly departed Catholics in question? It is pure insecurity!

  • re: "my questions"
    May 4, 2008 7:53 p.m.

    To answer an earlier question: Why isn't God powerful enough to save without baptism/ordinances? He is. Joseph Smith taught (you can find this in the Doctrine and Covenants) that children under the age of 8 are saved through the blood of Christ because they are without guilt. The rest of us, however, are not without guilt. There are certain stipulations to entering in the Kingdom of God, just as there are certain stipulations to earning a scholarly degree. One has to work toward it and complete certain requirements. Baptisms for the dead show the mercy of God. How would you like to not be able to earn your degree because you didn't know about certain classes that you had to take to graduate? By the same token, how would you like to not be able to go to Heaven because you didn't know about baptism (think about the millions of people who died without a knowledge of God or Christ)? Baptisms for the dead give people the opportunity to "take the classes necessary to graduate" before their final desination is determined.

  • get a clue
    May 4, 2008 7:52 p.m.

    Why does the LDS Church require non-mormon polling workers to obey the word of wisdom while using their church buildings on election day?

    Its simple. Because the LDS subscribe to this belief as part of their theology, and they demand that it be respected in their buildings. They forbid all polling workers to drink coffee or use tobacco products in the building out of respect for Mormon beliefs.

    You people do not get it. The Catholics DO NOT BELIEVE in baptizing the dead. I dont care how much support you think 1Cor 15:29 gives you, Christian churches are very clear in their beliefs that Mormons misinterpreted Paul, and several posters here have outlined that for you. The Vatican has addressed this and will not contribute to an erroneous ritual that does not coincide with Catholic theology. Catholics obviously want the same respect for their beliefs when asking for parish records; that the LDS demand for Mormon beliefs when their facilities are being used as polling places.

    You guys need to stop bashing the Catholics, and making arrogant and judgmental comments. Youre no better than the Anti-Mormons who bash you on a regular basis on these boards.

  • Jordon
    May 4, 2008 7:40 p.m.

    The catholics should be ashamed of themselves standing in the way of the lords work. I now know that they are horrible and misserable people if they cannot grant this choice on to those who have believed a false gospel and have gone before them and live in the darkness of non-existence.

  • No Name Catholic
    May 4, 2008 7:34 p.m.

    this is BIG. this is HUGE!

    first the Mormons tried to do baptisms for the Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust, without regard for how the Jewish community and synagogues felt about it. this is EXTREMELY insensitive and disrespectful. but the mormons DON"T CARE about anyone but themselves.

    now the Catholic Church has finally realized what disrespect the Mormons have been performing against their people!

    all you Mormons can do is whine about it. it never occurs to you that what you are doing is GROSSLY offensive to others. you don't care.

    well, it is about time. thats all i can say. its about time.

    May 4, 2008 7:32 p.m.

    HEADLINE: "Catholics told not to give LDS parish data"
    Thank God!

  • Wouldn't be bothered
    May 4, 2008 7:31 p.m.

    No, actually, I wouldn't be bothered if some other faith did baptisms for the dead for my ancestors, even the LDS ones. As I don't accept their baptisms as having any effect whatsoever, why would it matter?

    The Catholic church must believe our baptisms are valid, and also that a person can be baptized against their will. I think what we have here is a fundamental difference in beliefs about baptism.

    News Flash: Mormons don't believe anyone is baptized against their will.

  • Question
    May 4, 2008 7:26 p.m.

    To all the LDS members who claim this practice is "no big deal" and doesn't really mean anything, why is the church spending so much time on it? But more important, what sort of records are kept on individuals from other religions who have been baptized LDS? Surely some notation for perpetuity is made which associates the individual as having been baptized? Is THAT a secret??

    And to those LDS who say they really wouldn't mind being baptized into another religion because it "doesn't mean anything," do you understand that some future relative or geneology researcher might come to the conclusion that you were Catholic, Hindu, Protestant...what goes around.
    Thanks to Pope Benedict for protecting these PRIVATE records.

  • Richard
    May 4, 2008 7:24 p.m.

    I think for the good of genealogical research covering the entire world, the LDS church and the Catholic church should come to a mutual agreement that benefits both institutions. Sure there are religious differences, but these can be put aside for a common genealogical effort that is underway around the world (there are a large number of non-mormons doing this now). Catholics can continue to access free genealogical data put into organized data bases, and LDS can do their baptisms for the dead. Both win under this scenario. Wow, maybe nothing should change.

  • Vaiola
    May 4, 2008 7:11 p.m.

    The comments have been very interesting...some very negative and incredulous toward the Pope. What most of you don't understand is that he doesn't all. The publicity engendered by his decision will open all kinds of doors for the people who want to know the truth and can see the dichotomy you all have commented on. Just keep serving your neighbor and doing good to those who may offend you. Remember, "No unhallowed hand..."

  • Tigerlily
    May 4, 2008 7:10 p.m.

    to non mormon. we as lds people have every right to search out our ancestors no matter what religion they may be. and us as relatives have every right to the information about our ancestors. and yes we do have the right to speak for them.

  • Freeman
    May 4, 2008 7:06 p.m.

    To The Shadow:

    The information needed for family history databases is not the same as church membership records. You say the LDS church would not be willing to give up info to the Church of the Magic Wand. Yet, the LDS church has already made all of that and more available online to everyone, including the Magic Wand people. Nice try, but in the end you have shown that...

    The Shadow Knows Nothing.

  • anonymous
    May 4, 2008 7:01 p.m.

    OK, now get this......any church in the world, ANY, can feel free to baptise my dead ancestors. It doesn't bother me at all because I know that they do not have the authority to do so. If the Catholic church believes that the LDS Church does not have the authority to do baptism's for the dead then what's the concern. Obviosly the LDS Church is a major threat to Catholism.

  • Money
    May 4, 2008 6:59 p.m.

    These posts are silly. The obvious truth is the Catholic chuch wants money for its records and that's it. They have seen how the world in anxious to find their ancestors, it's just not an LDS thing, and they want to cash in, pure and simple. But have fun thinking this is a religous issue. Its all about money.

  • William F. Butler
    May 4, 2008 6:58 p.m.

    I'm glad to see the Catholic Church has finally recognized the authority and efficacy of the LDS Church's ordinances -- why else would they worry about Mormons peforming baptisms for the dead?

    I personally would be pleased if a Catholic felt concerned enough about my salvation that they would light andles and say prayers in my behalf. I would be pleased and appreciative but would not think for a momnt that there would be one iota of difference as I do not think they have the power and authority to act in God's name.

    Nevertheless, I respect Catholic clergy and members for the good they do throughout the world and hope that we cn have mutual respect and dialogue in spite of this rather narrow-minded move on their part.

  • happy
    May 4, 2008 6:56 p.m.

    I think if the Mormons want to be respected than they too must respect others. If you know that this offends maybe it would be kind and Christ-like not to do it??!! I am a Catholic - and I believe the Mormon Church has not holds on anyone - we believe in one baptism, no need for another. I believe that God has the final say - not you or I - let's all try to focus on that and things should flow smoother.
    Just a quick ? - early post said that when a disaster strikes the LDS church is called upon to help everyone - why then in published photos of some disaster areas there are boxes with "LDS ONLY" stamped on them?

  • Mahershalalhashbaz
    May 4, 2008 6:56 p.m.

    To sjc 9:44am : Actually the Catholic church used to accept baptism from other "Christian" religions except for the Mormon church. Under the new pope, a statement was made that the Catholic baptism is the only baptism that will bring a person salvation. It ticked off a lot of protestants. Do a search on google and I believe you will find the AP article about it (not that I take the AP to be doctrine of the Catholic church). Anyone else have any info on this?

  • Larry in Ohio
    May 4, 2008 6:56 p.m.

    I am not catholic, but I do respect the Pope very much. There seems to be a lot of LDS envy concerning the Pope in these posts. Could it be his popularity?

  • Mrs. Gecko
    May 4, 2008 6:55 p.m.

    Boy, the Catholic Church must be scared! They don't even recognize LDS baptisms anyway! I was graduated from a Catholic high school, having been raised by an Irish Catholic mother who was a genealogist back in the 60's. She often complained that the priests all over America and Europe were a major roadblock to her work and she even resorted to bribing them with money to get the records she needed. Obviously she just did the work for history's sake and was upset when I was baptized Mormon, but finally accepted that I was doing vicarious baptisms for all the hundreds of family names because she believed lt "it would be for naught". Now, that she is deceased and I did her temple work I bet she's really grateful! (Satan may have won this battle, but we know who will win the war!)

  • silly
    May 4, 2008 6:52 p.m.

    It doesn't cut both ways as was posted above. Any mormon could care less if the FLDS or any other religious group decided to proxy baptism in their temple. The point is that it's a *proxy* baptism, not a cursing. The person who the baptism is for gets to decide for themselves if they want it. If someone of another religion decided to baptize for the dead and offered a proxy baptism for my ancestors, I'd care less because it wouldn't mean anything. As was said many times above - if you believe the other churches are wrong, then the baptism wouldn't mean a thing. Obviously, the Catholics must believe that the LDS have the priesthood or the restored gospel if they care so much about the LDS offering baptisms for the dead. Else, why would they care at all?

  • P. Roxey
    May 4, 2008 6:50 p.m.

    If the LDS practice of baptisms for the dead is not valid in the eyes of the Man Upstairs, then it's just a bunch of misled nimrods wasting their time.

    If it's valid, then it must be important.

    But either way, what's the harm in trying to tie the human family together?

  • I can see it now
    May 4, 2008 6:47 p.m.

    The Catholic Church requesting of the mormon church all marital records since mormon marriages are invalid as determined by the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church, in loving kindness, only wishes to legitimize the offspring.

  • ToSetefano&LDS
    May 4, 2008 6:47 p.m.

    Folks, the last thing I want is to sound preachy. That said, it would be good to carefully gauge what is said about our beliefs in the Church on these posts. It is important to be steadfast and bold in one's testimony, but remember that the Saints were kicked out of Missouri for a reason. It was the pride they had among themselves as well as the pride in their beliefs. Pride in their beliefs was manifest by wearing the truthfulness of the gospel on their cufflinks to people of other faiths and essentially condemning them at the same time.

    I would hope to be thoughtful as I address others in forums like this and consider how President Monson would address such a topic.

    What about baptism for the dead? The Lord will work things out for the best if we do our part and try to be diligent in living Christ-like lives, just as He always has.

  • A little more study...
    May 4, 2008 6:43 p.m.

    There are definitely a lot, many, non-scholars of the bible. I amazed at some of the simple minded statements and shallow arguments. Its becoming very apparent to me that most "christians" have no idea what the bible teaches. They created a life philosophy over a few scriptures and passages but have not taken the bible in its fulness. Ironically, without a complete knowledge of the Holy Bible they are trying to lecture the LDS faith on what they believe. An absolute demonstration of arrogancy.

  • Susan C.
    May 4, 2008 6:43 p.m.

    I am not Mormom. If I want to be a Mormom, I can get baptized while I'm alive. Anyone baptizes me after I die, I'm coming back to complain.

    Jed M. says the Catholics have no authority to speak for the dead; well, the Mormom church doesn't either.

  • Anon
    May 4, 2008 6:37 p.m.

    Did any one think that this is the reason why the prophets over the past many years have asked us to step up the temple and family history work - they saw this coming and I am sure there is more to come that will hamper the lords work for a season.

  • Not about Mormons
    May 4, 2008 6:30 p.m.

    This edict from the Vatican is NOT about the LDS church. Look at what the pope has been doing. He's returning the Catholic Church back to its traditions. Vatican II nearly destroyed the church. He is trying to give it an identity again, rather than following the whims of the world.
    This is just one more such step. He's saying, "We are not LDS. We are of the Catholic tradition. We have tried too hard to be like everyone else. It is time to take a stand."
    Some LDS are so full of themselves that they think this is an attack on Mormonism. It is not.
    Now, the good news...the parishes seldom listen to Rome!

  • PROOF!! against them
    May 4, 2008 6:19 p.m.

    "except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God"

    I read this on an earlier post. What an IRONY!!

    Say that the LDS church for sure is the only true faith of the one true God. If that was the case then the Catholic church is hindering millions and millions and only doing more to hurt people. Their history is full of this and they STILL WILL NOT CHANGE. What an evil thing.

    So rather than POSSIBLY hurting millions, you think they wouldn't want to take the chance.

    God didn't create man to hide the truth from him and give visions to a few and then stop.

    God is an unchanging God. He does not give Moses a vision and centuries apart give others visions. and more and more...then suddenly stop. After reading the Book of Mormon there is no denying that it is solid. It is truth. Joseph wasn't asking to fight everyone. He was chased down and stripped of freedom as the prophets of old.

    Are people so dumb that they believe that reading the book will kill them?

    Those who seek truth find it.

    James 1:5

  • Lynda T
    May 4, 2008 6:09 p.m.

    If a baptism is done for anyone after they are deceased, the baptism will only take effect if the deceased person chooses to accept it. No one is forced into anything.

  • If the roles were reversed...
    May 4, 2008 6:04 p.m.

    I honestly wouldn't care. I'm actively LDS and would have absolutely no problem if some other group out there decided to have baptisms done for me or my family after we're dead. I don't feel threatened by other groups. And even though I disagree with it, I have attended a number of baby baptisms because I love and support their families. The baby isn't harmed. :o)

    I do hope that this policy is changed, as it does present serious problems for many people -- LDS and non-LDS -- in trying to research their family histories.

  • Reader
    May 4, 2008 6:01 p.m.

    Ah yes, the Catholic Church covering all it's bases. Can't lose any more members after this life can they? Wonder why they're so concerned since they don't believe it anyway. Or maybe they do believe but won't admit it.

  • vaase
    May 4, 2008 5:59 p.m.

    Peace be unto you my brothers and sisters! Let not your hearts be troubled or be attacked. Surely I am so surprised at the good shepard's proclamtion on the matter[not!].

    I will surely bring forth this matter to the attention of the cardinals, and his highness for a round of discussions at our next meeting of very sound minds, for no one [un-hallowed hands]can siop the work of the Almighty. For the work of saving souls shall go forth.

    Until then...Hail Mary full of grace unto thee!!!

  • tlpick
    May 4, 2008 6:00 p.m.

    Mark no one has baptized Martin Luther. He is still Luthern. No one would re-write your history. If one of your desendents becomes LDS and choose to baptise you when you have passed on you have the right to choose that ordance or not. No one forces it on you.

  • here's my 2 cents
    May 4, 2008 5:57 p.m.

    So many LDS church members are saying here that they wouldn't mind having work for them done in other churches after they have passed on. I'm curious to know how they would feel if the Catholic church started re-baptizing people like Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and the rest...and then the Pope came out with an official declaration saying that God told him that these people have accepted the work and would now be referred to as "Catholic." I don't think it would go over so well.

    Also, what kind of cruel and uncaring god is it that the Mormons believe in...the kind who would damn his children to hell for not having had the chance to learn about the LDS church? That's what they're saying when they tell you that the temple ordinances are necessary for the dead.

  • tlpick
    May 4, 2008 5:56 p.m.

    Orin you simply don't understand what the LDS church does with records it gets from Catholic parishes. It takes one tracing their family line to be able to do any temple work for them. I nor anyone else cannot just take an entire parish record and do a baptism for the dead. The person you are doing it for also has to accept it. I personally would care if any Church wanted to take the LDS Church records and perfrom ceremonies for us that way I just might receive double the blessings.

  • Who is next?
    May 4, 2008 5:55 p.m.

    First the Jewish faith and now the Catholics. I think the LDS church is on the short end of the stick with this practice.`

  • to "Mom" & "DeseretratinNC" ....
    May 4, 2008 5:53 p.m.

    ...and other petty critics; if you don't want to discuss this subject, show some manners and just move on. The rest of us DO want to discuss it.

  • Talisyn
    May 4, 2008 5:51 p.m.

    the funniest comment i read was someone asking if the LDS church would mind if people took the records of those in polygamous marriages in the past went and divorced them all. honestly, the church doesn't ask what people do with the records they get in family history centers. it's conceivable that other churches are performing their own sacred ordinances with the names. i don't think the LDS church really cares. i know i don't. in fact, i would love to hear that my great-great-great-great uncle horace was baptized in the church of the hairless bunny last week. people are too touchy about religion. just relax, grab an ice-cold drink of whatever, and trust that God has a sense of humor.

  • flaggram
    May 4, 2008 5:47 p.m.

    I was born in a Catholic hospital in Pennsylvania. At that time their practice was to baptize all children born in case they died before receiving that ordinance. Therefore, I was probably baptized a Catholic before I was baptized at 8 years of age. It means nothing to me that I was baptized a Catholic. There was no authority or proper method. So do I worry about!! Therefore the Catholics should not worry about LDS baptisms for the dead if they don't think there is any meaning in it. Let it rest and allow people who want to search out their ancestors do their thing.

  • Re:Robert
    May 4, 2008 5:40 p.m.

    If you can't see the difference between praying for someone, and baptizing them without their permission, then you don't understand much at all.

  • re: Non Mormon
    May 4, 2008 5:38 p.m.

    Your childish metaphors don't apply. You're performing rituals for people who are dead and can't answer for themselves. You're taking on the right of deciding for them. You assume that your religion is the only true religion, that the religion they chose is meaningless. And you rationalize that by saying that you're giving them a chance at your one true religion. Now that is the definition of arrogance. But then, that's what happens when people come from a small, closed minded society, when they're told what to do, what to think.

  • Re: russ
    May 4, 2008 5:32 p.m.

    Nice straw man russ. It was especially useful for talking down to the others on this board. I especially like how you try to make it sound as though we believe in a higher being that is somehow different from your God - as though you and your God are a little too "big" for us.

    Anyway, here's the bigger picture - the LDS believe that performing proxy baptisms is a commandment from God. You don't believe that and that's fine. You don't see anyone here ridiculing you for that. But we believe that commandments from God aren't "silly" or "small" as you've tried to paint our beliefs. I'm sure it didn't seem right to Abraham that he should sacrifice Isaac but he tried to anyway because it was a commandment from God. I'm sure we don't fully understand all of the reasons why we need to perform proxy baptisms or keep records here on earth, but we do it because we believe it is a commandment from God. Pretty simple

  • Jeremy
    May 4, 2008 5:33 p.m.

    How sad are these little little kneebiter catholics and 'christians' as they attack the church through this post. We are authorized from god and I am sorry if you do not wish to believe but still the same we are authorized for this ordinance and furthermore hold up the one true church on this earth today. Thank you folks for you comments but gods work will carry on through the one true church on this earth and no naysayers nor false or corrupt religions will dictate how we do that.

  • Bocephus
    May 4, 2008 5:28 p.m.

    The Catholic Church said mormons can't have their records. Sorry. All of your whining and tantrums won't change a thing. The records belong to the Catholic Church, not to the LDS church. Do whatever you want with your own records, but leave others alone. Simple enough for ya?

  • Don
    May 4, 2008 5:24 p.m.

    Here we go again. Someone of another faith with the lack of knowledge to our faith and assuming the worst. That is called fear of the unknown. If they would truly try and understand the extent of what those records can be used for then there wouldn't be a problem. Knowledge is power, and obviously they are powerless, and look who they are hurting, not themselves, their own perishioners.

  • Shelley
    May 4, 2008 5:23 p.m.

    Hey, I've got a compromise.

    Not so very many years ago, the Jews were offended to discover that some Holocaust victims had been given proxy baptisms. Out of respect for the history and feelings of those of another faith, the LDS Church no longer allows its members to perform proxy baptisms for Jews unless the member involved can show family ties to the ancestor being proxied.

    That way, we are showing consideration for the opinions and emotions of our friends of another faith, but the rights of people to provide what they see as a service to their beloved ancestors is also not being smothered. Why not do the same thing for the Catholics, if they feel offended by the ordinance of proxy baptism for the dead?

  • What?
    May 4, 2008 5:17 p.m.

    Someone above referred to God as "He or She"? Please read St John 15:18-21. If you don't know who God is, then what are you worshipping?

  • Just Curious
    May 4, 2008 5:13 p.m.

    What does the Mormon Church believe is the purpose baptism? I never thought about it until reading all these posts.

  • Ain't no thang
    May 4, 2008 5:10 p.m.

    I'm LDS, converted from Catholicism 8 years ago. This doesn't bother me or offend me at all. We should respect the wishes of the Catholic Church. To me it is akin to obeying the laws of the land.

    The plan of salvation, most specifically salvation for the dead, is what helped seal the deal of my conversion. I realized that if Jesus Christ and his Gospel truly is the way to salvation (John 14:6), then everyone would have to do the same exact things to be saved. And with the same ordinances being done for everyone, then all mankind will get the same exact chance to accept or reject it. That told me that God is completely fair.

    If indeed the LDS Church is the true church, and our doctrine is true, then God will not leave people hanging just because access to their records was denied. He will work out things fairly in the end. Let's trust in Him and move on.

  • it's rude
    May 4, 2008 5:07 p.m.

    It's rude and shows a lack of respect for people of other faiths to baptise their dead. Even though I don't believe it will do anything because I don't believe in anything LDS. I do find very offensive that a group would try to undermine a person who has made their choice about their god and their faith. You may think you are doing good but I find it offensive. Sorry that is just what I think and I think you should get the family's permission before doing anything with their dead loved ones.

  • I don't get it.....
    May 4, 2008 5:03 p.m.

    If the intent of the Catholic church is to prevent Mormon temple stuff from happening, then they are essentially saying the Mormon rituals have an impact on the dead. Are they saying the Mormon rituals make dead Catholics into dead Mormons? Sounds like fear is the culprit. Do whatever religious rite you want with my name when I'm dead. I believe Christ will be the judge so whether the Catholics, Mormons, Muslims, Buddists, or whatever faith does something with my name, I don't believe Christ will condemn me for anything they do. If Christ requires one of the religions to do something for me so I can be in heaven, then great, hopefully one of them is right and the things the others do won't negate what the one right one does. Ignorance breeds fear & hate.

  • re: Rob | 4:34 p.m.
    May 4, 2008 5:02 p.m.

    What are you talking about sinister plots? Thats bizarre. Did you even read the article? The Vatican clearly said why it did not want to deseminate the data:

    due to the confidentiality of the faithful and as not to cooperate with the erroneous practices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

    The Vatican does not want the confidentiality of any living members breached. Additionally, they believe like all other Christian churches that the practice of baptism for the dead is wrong and heretical, and the Catholics do not want to condone something that contradicts their beliefs. The LDS Church will not get the Vatican to back down on their statement...its clearly based in their theology.

  • PJ
    May 4, 2008 5:02 p.m.

    To Truth Sayers fans

    No, you're wrong again, you are now only removing all doubt as to whether or not you have any cognitive abilities. We get it, you don't.

    Fundamentalist's of any faith don't subscribe to baptisms for the dead. This is unique to Mormons.

    Again, John 3:5, 1st Corinthians 15:29.
    Available for all to see in every Christian bible.

    Look, when you still think Revelations was the last book written in the Bible, then there is not even a starting point with one, so ignorant.

    And to all who want the genealogical records for ancestry and ordinances performed, they are available on the Ancestral file and IGA, already.
    Again, moot points of concern.

    The Catholic ban is only for Mormons. If they do allow public access in the USA, it must be for all or none. The US constitution assures us of that.

    If anybody for any reason wants to perform a ritual for my soul, then have at it.

    Light me a candle, sacrifice a worm, pray to your 7 headed Deity, commune with aliens, channell the mystic beyond, whatever. I say to you, ta. I'm honored.

    If it's not fattening, immoral, or indecent, carry on.

  • Rob
    May 4, 2008 4:59 p.m.


    Your knowledge of the doctrine of baptisms for the dead is very weak. You obviously aren't aware it was taught and practices in early christendom and that the Bible supports it.

    God certainly is omnipotent, etc. but that doesn't mean he is going to snap his fingers and we are going to turn into good smart people. Even God is subject to certain rules. For example, omnipotent means God can do anything right? Well then can he make a rock bigger and heavier than he can lift?

  • Robert
    May 4, 2008 4:57 p.m.

    As an devout Latter-day Saint, I hold no ill feeling towards the pope and still respect him for the stand that he has made. He has made a decree for what he feels is the protection of those who trust him to protect the sanctity of the flock.

    It was an honest act upon his part in good faith. The pope has made many such proclamations that talk about defending what he believes to be right.

    Let us hope that he can see our efforts to make our records available to all people. It is our hope that others will feel like we are friendly and open to all walks of life to access records for the benefit of their families.

    I do make this plea, what benefit do we get out of doing this work for others if our work is for naught? Isnt that the same as priests going and praying over the dead? Even if we claim that ours is the true they not also do the same?

    Let us pray to work together. I work to respect others faith, I hope others respect mine.

  • Great Point, Russ
    May 4, 2008 4:51 p.m.

    The focus on the trivial trivializes the power of God. As though God spends all day keeping track of who was baptized by proxy...

  • russ
    May 4, 2008 4:40 p.m.

    I know this might sound... well... small... but if God is God, then wouldn't be kind of silly to think that God needs us to write out a list of anything, or baptize for the dead, etc. Wouldn't just a single prayer, group shot as it may be, cover everything?

    My God is the master of the universe. I don't know the size of yours. Mine is omnipotent. Omnipresent. The beginning and the end. He or She does not need us, we need him. When one believes that we have a mission to do things and without that being done, God's will will be thwarted ... is to prove that our God is too small.

    Get a bigger God. Relax about the baptisms for the dead. Good grief.

  • Rob
    May 4, 2008 4:36 p.m.

    As to people thinking its disrespectful to perform proxy ordinances of baptism, well that is understandable to. It's just because they don't understand the doctrine and they have been told things about the work that simply aren't true. For example, in high school my sister dated a guy that was not LDS. He asked her, "what's this dipping for the dead that your church does? Do you really baptize dead people?" Once she explained that we don't baptise dead people, what baptisms for the dead were, and why we do them he didn't have any more problem with it. Maybe this will all lead eventually to more openness and sharing of historical materials, and other churches will build their own geneological libraries that will be shared with the public.

  • Shadow
    May 4, 2008 4:34 p.m.

    Let me try to get through all of this with a scenario. Let's pretend that the Mormon faithful and their authorities are asked by the Christian Church of the Magic Wand to turn over their membership records, living and dead, so that the Christian Church of the Magic Wand, can do some ceremonies in which the little fingers of the dead turn into magic wands and that that will please God according to the Christian Church of the Magic Wand.

    Would Mormon authorities cooperate?

    And that is why the Roman Catholic Church has said no. It is about time.

    Note: I am not a Catholic but I certainly understand where they are coming from on this. Let's have a little respect for the dead... and for a Christian Church of more than a thousand years.

    The Shadow Knows

  • Rob
    May 4, 2008 4:34 p.m.

    We live in a digital age. It means there are new kinds of dangers. It's understandable if the Catholic or Jewish leaders think the LDS church has secret plans to use all this data they are collecting on people and families to do something other than what they say they are doing, which is performing proxy ordinances. I'm sure there are some people who think the LDS church's explanation for why they do geneology is just to hide some more sinister plot. The LDS church knows well the threats of someone else writing their history. But the solution is not for every church to shut their doors and try to keep people away from historical materials, but rather to create their own databases similar to the LDS churches vast geneological records so they can keep the LDS church or any other entity that they think may be a threat to them in check.

  • Surprised
    May 4, 2008 4:31 p.m.

    In answer to a number of commenters who wonder if an LDS member would be offended if the Catholic Church or FLDS decided to do ordinances or rituals for my deceased ancestors, the answer is no. I am not offended, but rather appreciative of their friendship when my Catholic friends have lit candles for my deceased mother-in-law. I simply refuse to let Catholic Church's position on this destroy the wonderful friendships I have with numerous Catholics. Though I am confused at the logic of Catholic Church's position, as an LDS member, I refuse to take offense at it. Hopefully, someday, sooner rather than later, there will be more of a meeting of minds between Catholics and Mormons on this issue.

  • Clark
    May 4, 2008 4:22 p.m.

    First the FLDS fiasco and now this. I certainly say the LDS church has an uphill battle in establishing legitimacy as a respectable faith.

  • To the Rev:
    May 4, 2008 4:08 p.m.

    You can proxy-baptize me into your church - doesn't mean I'm going to accept it, though.

  • response to Truth Sayer
    May 4, 2008 4:07 p.m.

    Good post!
    to "pj" who responded to it....spoken like a true fundamentalist. Bet I can guess your church affiliation.

  • G Jiles
    May 4, 2008 4:04 p.m.

    It is now official the LDS church and its practices are not christian. The Pope has spoken and so let this pass.

  • Rex
    May 4, 2008 4:03 p.m.

    I have no problem with any church performing any ordinance for my deceased LDS ancestors or Brigham Young. It is showing respect not disrespect. It shows love for their eternal souls. Free agency is a gift and God. Nothing is forced on anyone.

  • Matter
    May 4, 2008 3:56 p.m.

    Is it not a matter of: I wouldn't mind if someone baptized me into their church but a matter of WOULD the LDS Church hand over your records to the Catholic, Lutheran, Muslim or of course the Church of Satan in order for the baptism (or other ordinances) of those contained within those records.

  • Most Hon. Rev. Finkelstein
    May 4, 2008 3:54 p.m.

    Wow! Look at all the LDS people who don't mind if some other church has them baptized into another faith after they die.

    Why wait? Line up! Let's do it now!

  • Plain and Simple
    May 4, 2008 3:49 p.m.

    I find it amazing that so may LDS people in this thread just don't get it. But then when you come from the point of view that only you are right, that only you do God's work, that only your religion is the true religion, I can see how that would happen. Here's how it is. Other religions use genealogical records to find out about family history. The LDS church uses them to get information to do baptisms for the dead, which is an insult to people who are not LDS and believe in their own faith. These are Catholic records. They have the right to withhold them from anyone they so choose, including the LDS church. LDS people are accustomed to having their own way in the small state of Utah. Please don't try to impose yourselves on the rest of the world.

  • Genealogist
    May 4, 2008 3:48 p.m.

    Most of the catholic records from germany have allready a "No circulation to family history centers in Europe." sign. As a german genealogist i`m used to this restrictions. It`s not a question of doctrines, it`s a question of money. It`s more expensive to visit a catholic archive than ordering microfilms in a "Family History Center". In my opinion theyre also afraid about the new digitalization project of the church and the possible loss of "customers" in their archives. But the letter from rome does not mean for us that they`re closing their doors, you just have to visit their archives in the future and the work for our ancestors will move forward.

  • Karl
    May 4, 2008 3:46 p.m.

    In many cases Catholic parish registers do not exclusively belong to the Catholic church. In many countries Catholic priests are paid by the government and one of their duties is to keep track of names and dates - birth, marriage, death, for the public record. Anyone is entitled to that information.

  • Howard
    May 4, 2008 3:42 p.m.

    The Catholics DO baptise the dead--I drove by their cemetery and noticed they had their sprinklers on.

  • Membership/ records
    May 4, 2008 3:41 p.m.

    Perhaps the Catholics should start their own genealogy society and charge for memberships just like ANCESTRY.COM , who as well have accesses to many world genealogy records. Will the Catholics cut them off as well? I certainly hope not, because I love

  • Bill
    May 4, 2008 3:32 p.m.

    The LDS church needs to learn respect for other religions. Until they do, they won't be respected.

  • I agree with you to a poing
    May 4, 2008 3:34 p.m.

    Marilyn. But that is not all the LDS are doing with the names. People have the right to object to the fact that they "baptize them" after death.

  • re;Matt Connelly
    May 4, 2008 3:32 p.m.

    "This action from the Vatican is completely out of line."

    What an arrogant statement. The Catholic church as well as the Mormon church have the right to set policy with regard to their own records. The arrogance and impudence with which you speak makes it clear why many people are offend by Mormons who think that they are so clearly "right", that it's never necessary to consider the views of others before opening a mouth and inserting a foot.

  • ??
    May 4, 2008 3:30 p.m.

    John 3:5 - Jesus answered, Verily verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

    What happens to those who die without Catholic baptism? What happens to those that died in ancient China or Africa that have never even heard of Jesus Christ? What happens to those that died long before Jesus was even born?

    For this reason alone, baptism for the dead is the most merciful doctrine and the only thing that makes sense. On one hand we know that baptism is required. On the other hand, there are so MANY that never even had a chance.
    This is just one of the very important reasons why the restored Gospel is the only Christian doctrine on the earth that makes sense.

  • Not to Worry
    May 4, 2008 3:29 p.m.

    There is no need for worry. God is able to do his work, in spite of the efforts of man to stop it. This work shall progress forward, and the names of the dead will become available. The church has barely made a dent in the overall work that needs to be accomplished. When the Savior comes again, during the Millennium, this work will move forth unencumbered.

    So in the mean time, we as latter day saints, should love our fellowman, and trust in the Savior, whose work this is.

    As the Prophet Joseph so eloquently stated, "No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly and independent, till it has penetrated every continent; visited every clime, swept every country and sounded in every ear; till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the great Jehovah shall say the work is done." (HC 4:540)

  • Catholic genealogists?
    May 4, 2008 3:25 p.m.

    You mean, no one who uses the Church's Family History Library, or any of its satellite Family History Centers around the world, is Catholic? What do Catholic genealogists have to say about this? Will they appreciate their own church muddying their genealogical waters? I'd be leaving my parish immediately if they made it hard for me to look up my ancestors.

    I'm LDS, and if any other denomination took up this cause and started microfilming and preserving these records to the extent that the Church has, for any reason - including baptizing them Catholic, Baptist, Jehovah's Witness - I'd say, let them go for it. Since their practices carry no weight or authority (to me), who's it going to hurt? In the meantime, valuable records are being saved for those who are interested in family history. I'd be grateful, not acting bratty.

    The Popes, Saints, and Mother Theresa all have the same choices in the hereafter that my ancestors have: accept the temple ordinances, or not. It's no affront to their beliefs to offer the ordinances to these people - as someone else said, it's an act of love. What are these Catholic church leaders afraid of?

  • Matteo85
    May 4, 2008 3:23 p.m.

    I respect the Pope's decision to do what he did, regardless of how mis-guided I feel it to be personally. Authority and "acceptablility" discussions aside, the Lord's Work will not be hampered by anyone or anything. If the Catholic Church is correct in its doctrines, then its sacraments will have power over the souls of men in the next life. The same applies to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints; if the Lord's Hand is in His Work, then His Hand will prevail, no matter what the Pope or the Prophet might do to the contrary.

  • Common' It's Simple
    May 4, 2008 3:20 p.m.

    Somone asked earlier if the Mormon Church would do for other religions what the Catholic Church is refusing to do for us. The answer is NO. We would not knowingly give our member records to other Churches for the purpose of doing their work for our dead. It's simple. Stop being hypocritical.

  • Agreed.
    May 4, 2008 3:07 p.m.

    The LDS church baptizing people are they are dead is arrogant. They are saying that the life these people lived were not good enough, and their life wasn't complete because they werne't LDS. Let people rest in peace. And yes, people can rest in peace if they are not LDS.

  • whatever
    May 4, 2008 3:07 p.m.

    The posts that claim that other churches are suddenly nervous or worried therefore proving the Mormon church is right, are funny. It never ceases to amaze how flexible the Mormon argument is.

    I think it has only been recently (esp. with the Internet) that other churches have discovered what Mormons do in their temples. While it was known that Mormons researched their ancestry, nobody really understood that they were out to baptize the world, dead or alive.

    Youre free to stick to your own religious faith, but leave everyone else alone.

  • Matt Connelly
    May 4, 2008 3:01 p.m.

    As a Mormon I find these comments from the Vatican not only extremely offensive, but also extremely uneccesary. Where is the spirit of love and understanding here? Words like "erroneous" and "detrimental practice" are not loving words but divisive and arrogant words. Didn't the Pope just come to America proclaiming the need for human love and tolerance of those who may believe differently? I find the highest degree of hipocrisy in this letter. Besides, let's get a couple things straight. First, Mormons are major geneaology buffs. Not all work they do is intended for post-humous baptism. Second, even if the records are used for post-humous baptisms, why does the Catholic Church care? Is this harming anyone? Is this disrespecting anyone? The answer, of course, is none of the above. Let me be clear. This action from the Vatican is completely out of line. Their words and actions go contrary to the spirit of love encouraged by Jesus Christ. They owe the Mormon Church and its members an apology.

  • F
    May 4, 2008 3:00 p.m.

    Some of the comments are extremely disrespectful to the Catholic church. They do have the right to keep their records confidential. As would the Mormon church if they chose to do so. As earlier comments suggested, it's true, baptisms for the dead don't bother some people. But they bother a lot of other people who believe it's disrespectful to baptize them to a church they were not affiliated with, nor wanted to be affiliated with. Like most of you who are very devout in your faith, some of these people that are chosen to be baptized were also very devout in whatever faith they chose. It's almost like the LDS church is saying the faith they chose when alive wasn't acceptable, but now they can rest easy. The Catholic church has a right to keep their files confidential. If people chose not to be baptized to the LDS church when they were alive, there is a very high chance, they and their familes, wouldn't appreciate you baptizing them now. Just like I'm sure many of you who are LDS would not want to be baptized a Catholic when you are deceased.

  • Hannahsrock1
    May 4, 2008 2:57 p.m.

    As an LDS member, this is one of those times when I simply say "If you don't believe in proxy ordinations, then why should you care if we do them?" If it's a matter of protecting parrish privacy that's one thing but if it's a matter of not sharing information which, in large part, is public anyway, that is another.

    This will strain relations between the two churches for sure and the LDS church will gather the information it seeks another way.

  • re: Non Mormon
    May 4, 2008 2:56 p.m.

    Yes, you are trying to speak for the dead. You are the one being arrogant here. Let's speak metaphorically. Imagine death is a big desert. nobody wants to go there but it's inevitable. everybody ends up in the desert either able to progress to a desirable destination or to suffer. But in order to progress they need food. We are placing food at the edge of the desert (we can't go into the desert without suffering death). They can take the food and move on or not. It's their choice. But the food has mushrooms and you find that offensive (because mushrooms are vile). So you are trying to compel us to not put the food out because it is disrespectful to those in the desert. The desert people are completely unaffected by our mushroom laden food unless they take it, but you don't even want to afford them the opportunity one way or another. We at least provide them a choice. You do not. It is you who is arrogant.

  • Kim Greenland
    May 4, 2008 2:50 p.m.

    The work for the the ancestors is a great work. It has to be done now or later. When the Mormon church only amounted 1 million members after the II ww they went to the European countries and got permission to microfilm the churchbooks. In return the countries received a copy. At that time the Mormon Church was a curiosum.
    When the Church now as a visible actor in religion seeks permission with the big religions there is an opposition. They must be nerveous in one way or another to condone the principle. Even it is a principle for concern for those who have lived without beeing ex. baptized in the past.

  • Anonymous
    May 4, 2008 2:49 p.m.

    I'm LDS and if some other group wanted to rebaptize me after I am dead (Church of Satan or FLDS or whoever), go ahead, it won't mean anything. Only baptism by the proper authority has meaning. So the argument that the LDS would get mad if someone else were doing the same to us is invalid.

  • Alan
    May 4, 2008 2:45 p.m.

    Being LDS, I don't agree with the Catholic church's position on this matter. However, LDS people need to be careful before being offended at this action. LDS baptism for the dead basically says that baptisms performed by other faiths are less than valid. That's taught specifically by the LDS church, based on the concept that one must have authority given by God to act in His name. Perhaps the Catholic leadership feels that giving names to LDS people undermines the weight of Catholic baptism. (In the LDS Church, we have policy and tradition that makes sure nothing takes the place of or replaces a temple marriage, for the same reason.)

    If we react angrily towards the Catholic church, then is baptism for the dead in temples really the gift of love we claim it is? We, like those we believe are waiting for work to be done on their behalf, may need to exercise patience, faith, hope and tolerance.

  • re: yes or no
    May 4, 2008 2:22 p.m.

    I think you know the answer. The Church would not want to knowingly assist the efforts of a cult to baptize LDS members.

    I wonder if all these people who say they wouldnt mind if another church baptized them posthumously would feel the same way if the Catholic Church made it a practice to send priests to the deathbeds of LDS people to perform baptismal rites without consent, as an expression of love and faith.

  • DRJ
    May 4, 2008 2:17 p.m.

    So what...who cares? There are a lot more important things in the world to worry about right now than who's baptizing whom. Religion is all faith based. No one from any religion can show absolute irrefutable proof that any one religion is the "true church of god." It's all about what each person believes. As long as you're comfortable with what you believe, then so be it. Just don't try to force your beliefs on others who are not interested.

  • zzman
    May 4, 2008 2:13 p.m.

    Use the records for family history/geneological research and stop insulting the dead. The Mormon Church oversteps on this one. Stop insulting people by performing Mormon ordinances and respect the dead--be they Jews, Protestants, Catholics or whatever. It's pretty simple! Seems that a few Mormon posters above understand how insulting this is.

  • Anonymous
    May 4, 2008 1:59 p.m.

    what gives the mormon church the right to do anything with these records other than to make them available for genealogy. the catholic church is well within their right do say and do what they want with their records. it is an invasion of privacy. i was raised catholic then became a mormon. their marriages are for time only. maybe they don't want the prospect of an eternal marriage. that is their right. how would mormons feel if some church from russia decided to butt in like the mormons do. my experience of the church is, mormons can only see what view point, theirs.

  • Yes or No? Love an Answer
    May 4, 2008 1:47 p.m.

    I am LDS and do not have the answer to this question but honestly wonder:

    If the LDS Church were asked to provide copies of identifying deceased member records (birth, blessing, marriage, sealing, death, etc.)for the purpose of FLDS plural marriage sealings, or similar Scientology or Wicken ordinances, WOULD THE CHURCH WILLINGLY AND KNOWINGLY PROVIDE THOSE? I know the Church would not make an issue of that occuring in general without their assistance - but would the Church actually provide records and documents to knowingly assist in that? The Catholic Church is not demanding that baptisms for the dead stop. They are simply requiring that records not be provided to actively assist in the ordinance. Rather than the defensiveness I am reading, I would love to hear whether we believe the Church would actively and knowingly assist in FLDS, Scientology or Wicken cermonies for LDS deceased? (and rememeber, the Catholic Church veiws us no differently than we view those groups)

  • I wouldn't mind
    May 4, 2008 1:35 p.m.

    I wouldn't mind if someone from another faith posthumously baptized me. I personally believe it wouldn't make a difference one way or another. A few on here have claimed the LDS church would make a big deal if another church did what we do. We wouldn't care. Try us. We believe our baptism is done with the proper authority and anything else would be a gesture of love, but take none effect.

    We also believe the deceased will choose for themselves to accept or reject the ordinance. Therefore, we are not making decisions for them. We are simply giving them a chance to receive something they weren't able to receive during their time on earth.

    This doctrine may sound strange, but I won't apologize for it. I believe it's true, and I believe it shows the mercy of an all-loving Father in Heaven.

  • The Afterlife Difference
    May 4, 2008 1:35 p.m.

    I think much of the problem with this lies in the LDS belief that everyone (minus the very few who become Sons of Perdition) will have an opportunity to accept the Gospel after this life. Even those LDS who were baptized and fell away will continue to have opportunities to repent and progress after death. This is without a doubt my very favorite LDS doctrine and I believe is an extremely compassionate doctrine reflecting a compassionate God. We do not believe our final reward is based soley on this life. We believe this life is in reality only a blip in comparison to the pre-existence and afterlife - both of which include decisions and progression that affect what we are to eventually become. I have always struggled with the alternate belief that this life is all one has - what a narrow belief desregarding individual circumstances that only God can judge. But this difference is largely at the heart of this dispute. LDS believe they are assisting deceased of all backgrounds in their CONTINUING journey and decisions. Others believe the journey and accompanying eternal decisions have been made while on earth and are complete. How to bridge that is key.

  • Carol
    May 4, 2008 1:34 p.m.

    When my LDS son was dying of cancer some years ago an elderly non-LDS couple came to him in his place of business asking if it was alright if they placed his name in their church prayer circle, My son's response was yes they could. He said to me later, "Mom, faith is faith and I thought it very touching they cared enough for me to do that"

    And in response to an earlier post- would I care if the FLDS rebaptized my deceased family members? Nope- I would not consider it necessary but I would also know it would not do any harm.

    And regardless of what faith or none at all, I am grateful the FHL archives are open to any one who wants to know about their heritage.

  • pj
    May 4, 2008 1:32 p.m.

    Nice try truth sayer!

    Your argument is weak and you still cannot explain,
    John 3:5 with 1 Cor. 15:29, let alone Malachi.

    The hearts have been turned to the Fathers and the Fathers to the children. It's rolling forth, baby.

    Just relax in your ignorance and don't you fret one iota, for even you will have your work done and you will be able to exercise your own agency to choose.

    Oh, and one more thing, Faith without works is dead and we are indeed saved by grace, AFTER all we can do.

    good day PJ

  • ajarizona
    May 4, 2008 1:21 p.m.

    I suspect the Catholics greatest backlash will not come from the Mormons, but from those Catholics who will also be shut out from doing their family
    trees. Most will find it difficult to take trips to Italy, Germany, Poland etc. to search records.

    If you want to have a ceremony for my soul, by whatever means, spinning three times, bouncing a ball off your head and eating rice cakes, on and off
    for three days, or whatever, and you feel by doing so you are helping my eternal soul, well, then, knock yourself out.

    To me, I may feel you're wasting your time, but I am certainly not going to be offended. Rather, I would be flattered that you cared enough about me to
    care, misguided as I may find you to be.

    The names to the Genealogical data-base are not automatically submitted for Temple work, families must submit them.

    People from all over the World use this data base, a free gift from the Mormons to anybody who needs to use it, for whatever reason, and they do, by the millions.

    Catholics, Jews, Protestants etc. hold conventions in SLC to use this great data base.

    Grow up, Rome.

  • RE: Anonymous
    May 4, 2008 1:21 p.m.

    "Vatican Officials need to mind their own business''...

    Are you joking?

  • just wondering
    May 4, 2008 1:14 p.m.

    So, If Mormons believe in the resurrection, why don't you guys wait till the dead rise to decide for themselves if they want to be Mormons?

  • Truth Sayer
    May 4, 2008 1:12 p.m.

    The Apostle Paul never taught baptism for the dead and "endless geneologies" were also condemned because there was no point in either practice. Why? Because Christ's supreme sacrifice negatated the laws and rituals of the Cld Covenant---all such practices were a waste of time!

    The atonement of Christ is all we need for Salvation--religion just adds to God's word more unneeded laws and rituals.

    This is what separates true Christianity from "religion" (as opposed to Christianity). In Christ, "it is finished." With religion it's an endless (and pointless) treadmill of works.

    Just accept Salvation through Christ folks---baptism for the dead is just one of many "dead works" that help no one! Do your research (very easy to prove that baptism for the dead was only practiced by cults and sects that were not true Christianity.

    Believe what you wish about baptism for the dead, but if you would stop being spoonfed by religious bondage and do your own research on the topic, you will easily find out that the practice was not a Christian practice at all!

  • Jon
    May 4, 2008 1:04 p.m.

    I wouldn't care if Catholics or Mormons started praying for my soul or doing ordinances for me after I die. I could use all the help I can get. By making an issue out of this, all the Catholics are doing are legitimizing the practice.

  • LdG
    May 4, 2008 1:02 p.m.

    Freeman, you aren't LDS are you? Because I don't think that BYU (of recent years) really stands a chance in that contest. :)

  • Freddie
    May 4, 2008 1:03 p.m.

    >>I Corinthians 15:29 Baptism for the dead, If is the most glorious subject, why did Paul exclude himself by saying "they" practice it and not "we" or "I" practice it? He was addressing an early cultic practice to prove the Resurrection. no second chance(Hebrews 9:27)

  • Anonymous
    May 4, 2008 12:57 p.m.

    Vatican Officials need to mind their own business and allow this work to continue. That also includes Pope Benedict; He needs to mind his own business.

  • Freeman
    May 4, 2008 12:48 p.m.

    I say we settle this on the football field: BYU vs. Notre Dame. The winner gets the rights to the records.

  • Vernal Roid
    May 4, 2008 12:39 p.m.

    So much Hate over religion. Hummmmmm

  • Clark Larsen
    May 4, 2008 12:38 p.m.

    PEOPLE! PEOPLE! Let's all just calm down for a second and take a deep breath.

    Okay, now let's try and look at this calmly and objectively. The fact is, the Catholic Church, like any religion, has a right to keep their records confidential. No one should dispute that. To my fellow LDS Church members, let's give the General Authorities and Family History leaders time to work out the details of this request.

    I seriously doubt this will bring Family History work to a hault. Of course, things will have to be altered, but let's not hit the panic button, okay?

    To Catholic 12:11 - Thank you for your comments. My only response would be this. If, as a Latter-day Saint, someone from another faith were to baptize my deceased family members in their temple, I would honestly NOT BE offended. It would in no way take away from the good name of my ancestors, and why should it? And if someone from another church wanted to baptize me, after I died, why would I care? I'm dead.

    Some people may be offended, but I simply would not be.

  • DeseretratinNC
    May 4, 2008 12:38 p.m.

    Blah Blah Blah!! Mormon v. Non-mormon. Anything to call one another a name or start an arguement. I've watched it for 50+ years, like 2 children on the playground fighting over a toy. Sad it is I say, sad it is!

  • Plausibility of baptising all
    May 4, 2008 12:32 p.m.

    Someone earlier mentioned that it was implausible for the church to baptize for the dead everyone who ever lived. Estimates of this number are on the order of 50 to 100 billion people, so MATHEMATICALLY speaking, if 100 billion people needed to be baptized, and each temple could do 100 ordinances per hour, then in order to get the ordinances of every person ever lived done in the time period of ONE CENTURY (100 years) then it would require a mere 1140 temples each working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 100 years. Tweak that number to about 120 per hour and only 6 days a week gets roughly the same number, if you're worried about keeping the Sabbath day holy. :-) Interesting thought-experiment. This is assuming, of course, that all these records are available and that members of the church are willing to put the time and effort into working at the temple.

    Regardless, I believe it is a very important and needful thing, equally needful to helping the living. God knows all the precise reasons, but it's important for each member to receive this testimony for themselves.

  • Marilyn
    May 4, 2008 12:28 p.m.

    I am LDS. I have a friend who is Catholic and suffering with MS. In 2000 I went to Israel with my husband. While visiting the Wailing Wall, I wrote my friend's name on a piece of paper and pushed it into a hole in the wall, just as others were doing. A prayer is a prayer is a prayer. God hears them all. It was a labor of love and of faith. When I told my friend what I had done she was grateful. Baptism of those who have passed on is another demonstration of love and faith. The Church is blessing people, according to their (our) beliefs.I believe the Pope needs to rethink his decision.

  • mom
    May 4, 2008 12:27 p.m.

    I think the majority of responders are missing the point. The mormon practice is disgusting and appears arrogant. I am not Catholic, but I don't believe I have ever heard of them attempting to convert dead mormons by baptising them. Why should the Catholics (or ANY self respecting entity) assist mormons in this bizarre practice?

  • AZLDSGuy
    May 4, 2008 12:22 p.m.

    agree - What Rights??? hmmm the same God given rights that you have and share. The right to choose and to speak freely. I respect your choices please be an adult and share the same respect.

  • Gain some clarity here people
    May 4, 2008 12:15 p.m.

    What if Huckabee went around converting dead momons.

    Why can't we let the dead rest in peace.

    Surely a fair God will allow those who have passed through the veil a chance at the gospel and all it's rites and rituals if someone on earth forgot to do it?

    Quit sweating the politics.

    The Catholic Church sees us a kooks anyway.

  • Kaitlyn
    May 4, 2008 12:14 p.m.

    Travis is completely correct. They have the right to withhold their records if they like; it'll slow things down for now, but it's not that long until all records and all history will be open to us. Everyone will be offered the chance for baptism, some are just going to have to wait longer because of this. The work will go forth, no matter who tries to stand in its way.

    And no, the Church doesn't release the records of /living/ members, because those records can be abused to harrass people. However, the records of our dead /are/ available, for anyone to access . . . on our family history websites . . . funny coincidence there . . .

    (count me among those who wouldn't be bothered if I were rebaptised -- or unbaptised -- after my death)

  • Catholic
    May 4, 2008 12:11 p.m.

    Have to agree, by the look of these comments many LDS dont understand.

    1. Sharing church records for those who wish to learn about their ancesters is wonderful, but the purpose of LDS research is to re-baptize members of another faith into Mormonism...just in case. LDS claim the right by saying the dead are ancestors (even if remotely related), but what about the concerns of the direct descendants? The Jewish people were profoundly offended, and I cant blame them.

    2. For those who claim that they are not offended if a Catholic lights a candle for them or prays for them, then great. Were not offended if you pray for us either. But there is no comparison. Baptism is an ordinance, not a prayer.

    3. Paul didn't say what shall we do which are baptized for the dead, he said they, and his point was not to advocate the practice, but to illustrate the point of resurrection. Paul wasn't performing baptisms for the dead. Baptism for the dead was a heretical practice performed by at least one apostate group (Marcionites @150 AD) from the mainstream Catholic faith. Do you still not undertand why it is offensive to Catholics?

  • Agree
    May 4, 2008 12:11 p.m.

    I agree with Mike A. 11:50 a.m. After all, what right do the Mormons have to express their opinion on subjects related pertaining ligious practices, especially on the Deseret News website?

  • Wyman
    May 4, 2008 12:09 p.m.

    How unfortunate for all the genealogists in the world, most of whom are not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Even though information on these individuals can be found in many other data bases, it is unfortunate that this specific information will not become part of the growing, interconnected, worldwide data bases that help people find their ancestors in their quest to understand more clearly who they are, and know more about their family history. If the Catholic Church believes itself as being Christs official representative instution on earth, what other people, as believers also in Christ, do with their family genealogy information should be of no concern to the Fathers of the Church, even if they dont believe in the practice of baptism for the dead as mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15:29, a practice which apparently did not stop Paul from preaching his understanding of the Gospel of our Lord, and using this practice as an example of how important it is to make sure everyone hears Christs saving message.

  • Ernie
    May 4, 2008 12:01 p.m.

    Non Mormon, No one is forcing anything on anybody. If by chance the LDS Church is true, where is the harm? You emphatecally call us arrogant for trying to help other? If you claim that you know we do not pocess the truth, who then is the arrogant one?

  • AZLDSGuy
    May 4, 2008 11:59 a.m.

    I am a former Catholic and a grateful convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I have not a single negative thing to say about the Catholic Church in any way. As an ex-member it would not be appropriate. However being LDS, I understand both sides of the debate and can see how those less learned would make disparaging comments.

    If some one decided to try to baptize me posthumously it would mean nothing, they lack the proper authority for it to be recognized by myself or the Lord. So I say go for it.

    As for closing the records it seems like a double standard from those outside of the Church. If we closed our records, then we would be attacked no matter the reason. However, we are attacked because the Catholics chose to close their records to us. This is a very typical double standard from those in the world. We are attacked for the actions of others.

    I will go and do.. not sit and stew.

  • Sue
    May 4, 2008 11:55 a.m.

    I have to admit that I was saddened by the news story this morning. Up to now I have been grateful that a partnership between LDS microfilming and Catholic granting access has blessed the entire world. Without LDS microfilming the parish records, they would have been lost forever. Without the cooperation of Catholic officials, the great genealogical work would not be accomplished.

    In our Family History Center, the patron who utilizes the German parish registers the most is a Catholic priest who does genealogical research for others. Perhaps the Catholic church could microfilm their own records and make them available to the world--bypassing the LDS church?

    European ecclesiastical history may confuse the baptism issue for some, where non-believers were forced to become baptized for face death. Simply having a proxy baptism in the temple, does NOT make the deceased person a MEMBER of the LDS Church! The dead have a CHOICE to accept or reject this ordinance. All that is recorded is that the ordinance was performed, not whether it was accepted. We have an obligation to baptize those of our ancestry, but this does not to force them to be members..that is their choice.

  • Re: to Julie
    May 4, 2008 11:52 a.m.

    The problem with your argument is that many of these records are hundreds of years old. It's not like we're talking about the Church of Satan baptizing Grandma Beth or Uncle John (as far as I understand it the only way that a deceased person can have this work done for them is if an actual FAMILY MEMBER submits the name). And I don't think that very many people would really care too much if some fanatical "cult" were digging up old records that are hundreds of years old and performing religous ordinance for them. I have an interest in MY ancestors even though I'm not catholic.

  • Bill G
    May 4, 2008 11:50 a.m.

    Decider of Dominator: "Turn that around: what gives Mormons the right to make a religious decision for those who have died and were not of the LDS faith, especially if one did not choose to be part of the LDS faith when alive?"

    Nobody has given mormons, or anyone else, the right to make a religious decision for those who have died. What makes you think this? It is clearly stated that anyone baptized posthumously must either accept or decline it. It is their own free will to choose. No living or dead mormon, catholic or anyone else can make that decision for them.

  • Mike A.
    May 4, 2008 11:50 a.m.

    Clearly after reading many of these posts you can see that the D News is LDS owned and the vast majority of its readers are LDS. That is why I only look at the high school sports online DNews. They clearly offer better coverage in high school sports. I just happened to see online coverage on this topic and had to laugh as I started to read the posts. I'm wondering why all you LDS people are online this sunday morning. Probably having a cup of coffee as you browse the net!!!!

  • Reality
    May 4, 2008 11:47 a.m.

    This is one of those areas where there should not be a seperation of church and state. The state should impose laws against church infringment on personal name and indentity rights. Many people have worked hard to earn their name recognition and its representation of their person. It is unjust for others to modify it by putting their imprint on it.

  • Bill G
    May 4, 2008 11:46 a.m.

    Mark: "I was baptized Lutheran, and chose to be Catholic, and don't want any revisionist history written about me after I die."

    No revisionist history is being written about anyone, so you can rest easy here. I see a common theme of lack of understanding about what these records are used for. They are microfilmed and added to a freely available public database to make it easier for you Mark to trace your family history. Adding these records to this database does not rewrite history nor make you a mormon, nor does any baptism for the dead make anyone a mormon. One other thing that is being misunderstood is that just having your name in this database does not qualify you for baptism of the dead. YOUR family members MUST submit your name separately and independently for baptism of the dead.

  • Bill G
    May 4, 2008 11:46 a.m.

    Cuts Both Ways: "Would it bother mormons if let's say the FLDS were re-doing the temple ordinances because they figured the mainstream LDS had gone astray."

    Not at all. If what they are doing is not true, what does it matter?

    orion: "I would think there would be a cry of outrage among the LDS folk if Catholics suddenly baptized deceased, life-long, temple worthy, LDS members. How about church prophets? How about those who died while in service of the LDS Church?"

    There would be no outrage at all. Once again, If what they are doing is not true, what does it matter?

    Anonymous: "I wonder how you would feel if a group that you thought was a cult, say The Church of Satan, baptised your family into their Church. Would you like it???"

    No problem at all. If what they are doing is not true, what does it matter?

    Jason: "Mormons want to be left alone to worship how they want and should leave others to do the same."

    Which is exactly what they are doing. I don't see any mormons going into other churches and shutting them down saying they are not allowed to worship that way.

  • Re:Ernie
    May 4, 2008 11:43 a.m.

    I don't speak for the dead, I let them be. Your religion should do the same instead of assuming through your arrogance that you have the right to force one of your religious rites on them.

    May 4, 2008 11:40 a.m.


  • Paul DeBry
    May 4, 2008 11:36 a.m.

    The Mormon Church does not baptize the dead INTO their church. They make that baptism AVAILABLE to that person in the spirit world. The baptism is valid only if that person accepts it. The Mormon Church believes than no one in the spirit world is forced into any church, including the Mormon Church. For that baptism to be valid in the spirit world, the dead person must accept the teachings of the Mormon Church. If they do not accept those teachings, the baptism is not effective and the person does not become a member of the Mormon Church. Free agency applies there just as it does here. It is silly to think otherwise.

  • More ExCatholic/Now Mormon
    May 4, 2008 11:35 a.m.

    On many occasions I've had personal Spiritual proof of the joy that my dead relatives felt when their Babtismal work was done for them.

    People should spend more time serving others and doing good rather than finding fault in people with different beliefs than theirs. We Mormons do our best to love God, our families, our country, and try to do good to all men, including our kindred dead, having old-fashioned values that we live by.

    Our Church sends Humanitarian Aid all over the world -- school kits, hygiene kits, infant kits, quilts, food, etc. Our people help clean up after disasters. A while back people in an area of the Southeastern US thanked two Churches for their great help -- the Mormons and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Hmmm -- they are both the same Church! I'd say, "By their fruits ye shall know them." Matthew 7:20

  • Microfilming
    May 4, 2008 11:33 a.m.

    I recently asked not too long ago how far back in death records the LDS church goes with microfilming- they don't index any names of those who have been dead less than 45 years. The reason for my asking this is because my parents work had been done in the 1990 and the person who submitted their names claimed they had no children. There are children - 7 of them. I'm the oldest and the only member.

    Need to make sure you have all your ducks lined up in a row before do the work.

  • Ernie
    May 4, 2008 11:33 a.m.

    To NON Mormon. Where do you get off speaking for the dead? First, the baptism is a choice. Isn't it better to give them the choice? Maybe the choice was not presented to them during their lives. In the Bible we are directed by God to spread the word. If you don't believe in the LDS Church, that is OK. But, if you believe in the Bible, it is a bit hypocritical to bash Mormons for trying to do the will of God.

  • ExCatholic/Now Mormon
    May 4, 2008 11:30 a.m.

    I've been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for 31 years. Our Church teaches that he realized the Churches of his day were wrong and he was trying to get back to the original Church of New Testament times. He couldn't have been a Mormon. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was established in 1830, long after his day.

    Also,to "my questions:" You mentioned wondering why people don't think God is "god" enough to save people without Baptism, etc. Jesus Christ insisted on being Baptized "to fulfil all righteousness." Matthew 3:15. Why would He do that if it wasn't necessary?

  • AZLDSGal
    May 4, 2008 11:29 a.m.

    This may be a little set back for those on the other side but we all know in the end that everyone that has ever lived and those that have yet to live will be baptized and will have the choice. That is the one good thing about the Lords true church and that Heavenly Father will always help his children find the light. There will always be a way....

  • JP
    May 4, 2008 11:25 a.m.

    My favorite part of this article is the pararaph describing how baptisms for the dead work, as though it's common knowledge.

    "A practice in which the names of the deceased are baptized into the LDS faith so that they may be united in the afterlife with LDS families, if they so choose."

    Shouldn't this be prefaced by something indicating that only Mormons believe in this wacky afterlife footnote? I know the DN is generally pretty objective considering that they are owned by the church, but come on.

  • Anonymous
    May 4, 2008 11:21 a.m.

    To Fredd -- You obviously know nothing about the LDS archives. You claim that the LDS don't share the records in their vaults, which is completely not true. The Family History Library itself is proof that they're sharing. As is the new Church History Library currently being built.

    I understand the concern here. But I also agree the Catholic Church having potentially selfish reasons for allowing the LDS to microfilm. For one, I have heard it said that parishes in Europe have been happy with microfilming because it then means they don't have lots of people trampling through and asking to see records, many of which are old and fragile. Additionally, the potential for records to be destroyed is such that it would always be nice to have a backup.

    Join a genealogy group on the web and you'll notice by a far majority most of them are not LDS. And they are grateful to have the LDS records available. I research Poland, in which most people were Catholic. Most of the people in my research group, descendants of Polish immigrants, are probably still Catholic.

  • Anonymous
    May 4, 2008 11:21 a.m.

    I can't believe the number of responses to this forum that see no harm in taking these records for baptism for the dead. It is NOT just about geneology... I am LDS and would be outraged to be baptized Catholic after I die. Even though I don't believe there would be any impact, I believe LDS doctrine and have made my choice--it would be offensive to have it be undermined or challenged in any way. Don't be so self-centered people!

  • to Orion
    May 4, 2008 11:20 a.m.

    Personally, i would have no problem with the catholics doing their thing after death. Why? becasue even in the next life, we will have our free agency to choose.

    Yes, it does cut both ways.

  • AJ
    May 4, 2008 11:19 a.m.

    We're all descendents of Adam and Eve, and therefore, not only spirit children from the same God but literally blood relatives as well.

    How is it, your claim to dead ancestors is any greater than mine? We're all related!

    Mormons are charged with doing saving ordinances for all who have lived before. 1 Cor.15:29 John 3:5. That is their faith, and they are free to practice it.

    This does not put Catholics on to the Mormon rolls with membership. Nor does it bind anyone in the hereafter. Every individual has their freedom to choose.

    Quesiton: Who is anybody to tell anyone else, they can't listen to new ideas in the spirit world?

    Between the crucifiction and the resurrection, Christ went and preached to the spirits in the spirit world.

    Really, to what end?

    The implication being, there is still much work to do, even after death.

    To Catholics, this is all nonsense anyway. So where's the beef?

    The idea of one Church trying to thwart the harmless practices of another is a tad condescending.

    Look, fellas in Rome, it's not the the 3rd-16th centuries anymore. Take down the stakes and put out the fires.

    Compulsion is passe', choice rules.

  • Deborah
    May 4, 2008 11:18 a.m.

    After reading the story three times and going over some of the comments posted here I've come to the conclusion that the story lacks depth and accuracy. In other words something is missing in the information provided by the news article which has triggered a defensive reaction from the mostly Mormons who have posted a commentary. I say let's research this issue further and, meanwhile, stop all the Catholic bashing.

  • Re:Aguia
    May 4, 2008 11:16 a.m.

    "We know that all eventually will have the opportunity to make their choices." believe they will, but you don't know.

  • Non Mormon
    May 4, 2008 11:13 a.m.

    You LDS people just don't get it, do you. Your practices are offensive when it comes to baptism for the dead. These dead people can't speak for themselves now, but they made their choices in life. So regardless of your argument that you're just giving them the chance, or that family members want it, neither you nor their family members have the right to speak for them just because they can't speak for themselves. You're just another arrogant religion that starts with the belief that you're right, and everyone else is wrong, just like every other religion. You're not special. So take some advice. Lead the way by example. The example of minding your own business instead of trying to force your beliefs on others, or sell them to others through TV ads and going door to door like some insurance company.

  • Aguia
    May 4, 2008 11:09 a.m.

    It's a question of perspective.

    LDS see baptisms for the dead as an act of love.
    Others see it as disrespect.
    Neither is really going to convince the other that their perspective is wrong.

    I can understand the Catholics thought process on this restriction; even though i may not approve of it. I think it will hurt those who are researching their geneology for a multitude of reasons.

    Whatever may happen now. We know that all eventually will have the opportunity to make their choices.

  • Bill
    May 4, 2008 11:08 a.m.

    I would think the Pope should re-consider this policy if only for selfish reasons. Just think what would happen if he were able to completely shut down genealogy work. All those LDS senior citizens who spend so much time and effort in this work would be unleashed on the world in search of the living!

    I would think he would rather keep them engaged in what he perceives as a worthless effort.

  • uncannygunman
    May 4, 2008 11:08 a.m.

    As an atheist, I hereby unbaptize ALL souls, past, present, and future, of any faith whatsoever, so the poor dead folks can rest in peace. Problem solved and amen.

  • My View
    May 4, 2008 11:07 a.m.

    Additional Thought:

    Cultural and idealogical differences are contributing to the bad feelings here. It seems that 1) those of the LDS faith don't completely understand the backgrounds, cultures, and beliefs informing the outrage felt by members of other faiths at the idea of baptism for the dead. And 2) members of other faiths don't completely understand the background, culture, and belief that make baptism for the dead by ANY religion unoffensive and important to members of the LDS faith.

    Clearly, more non-confrontational dialog between all groups is needed--along with a bit of willing effort to understand by all groups.

  • A European
    May 4, 2008 11:01 a.m.

    The family history centers in the ward buildings in Germany are frequented more by non LDS people than LDS people. They benefit from the work the LDS church has done by collecting records. They open the doors for all others to use the records.
    Why doesn't the Catholic church do the same? Invites a lot more people to also look into their churches that are so scarcely visited even on Sundays now.

  • Not Mormon
    May 4, 2008 10:58 a.m.

    Hey Mormons.......the catholic church doesn't want you. Get over it.

  • Clare
    May 4, 2008 10:57 a.m.

    I'm not happy at all with this situation. I just found out that on my birth side (I am adopted), there is a very strong possiblity that my ancestors were Jews who converted to Catholism. I want to know who they were. What happened? Were they coherced into it or did they join willing? Were they even Jewish? I'm dying of curiosity. These records are in Poland or what was once part of Russia. It's not fair that I can't find out about them. I can only hope that the church has gotten some on microfilm before this ridiculous statement by the Vatican. What are they afraid of?

  • None of your business
    May 4, 2008 10:54 a.m.

    It bothers people because it is meddling in the lives of people who either don't like having their dead relatives information involved in another religion or who just don't like mormons. It's really pretty simple. If other religions and their members don't what you nosing around in their business, then please have the decency and respect to butt out.

  • Adam
    May 4, 2008 10:54 a.m.

    I'm LDS and while I think the Catholic church's decision is unfortunate based on my beliefs I also recognize that it's important to respect their decision. We did the same thing for the Jews with regard to their wishes for Holocaust victims. Even if we disagree with the stance of the Catholic church on this issue, and can't see why they should be upset by something they don't believe in... I think the takeaway lesson is that by making this decision and the Jews making a similar request in the past, that obviously it DOES bother them. In this case we might be better off respecting their wishes. That's not to say a dialogue shouldn't begin to try to increase understanding on the topic, but expressions of outrage regarding this decision followed by dismissals of their feelings as invalid... that might not be the best approach.

  • Concerned Researcher
    May 4, 2008 10:52 a.m.

    I was saddened to read this article this morning. I have absolutely enjoyed researching my ancestors, to see who and how they lived, and garner treasures of their lives that ultimately help me to understand my own makeup.

    However sad this may be, let us take courage that the works of God will go forward, "boldly, nobly, and independently." Let us be patient, and faithful. The Lord will open doors that have heretofore been closed, soften the hearts of those who have concerns regarding these sacred ordinances. The words of Nephi come to mind in setbacks and trials such as these, as stated in 1 Nephi 3:7 (in the Book of Mormon), "I will go and do the things which the Lord has commanded, for I know the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, SAVE HE SHALL PREPARE A WAY FOR THEM TO ACCOMPLISH THE THING WHICH HE COMMANDETH THEM."
    Let us always be found being kind in word, thought, and action to everyone around us, despite what they may think, do, or say about us or this work.

  • Baptism by Proxy Doctrine
    May 4, 2008 10:48 a.m.

    For those of you unfamiliar with our doctrine: Baptism for the dead does not mean they are automatically saved, they have the option to accept or reject the ordinance. Christ was perfect and yet he was still baptized. This is a mandatory ordinance to enter the kingdom. We as mormons believe that we are doing a service in this baptism by proxy, giving those whom we are being baptized for a chance to accept or reject it. And as for doing things for the living, just google the words "mormons and katrina" or "mormons and san diego fires" and you'll see that it was the mormons who were there first for the living and wounded.

  • Understand the doctrine
    May 4, 2008 10:45 a.m.

    The LDS doctrine of baptisms for the dead (mentioned in the New Testament) does not take away the right for anyone to choose. Just as in this life, anyone who is baptized (regardless of faith) have the choice to practice their religion or not. Our belief in baptizing for the dead simply gives them the opportunity to accept the ordinance or not. That's all. It doesn't force anyone to become a Mormon. We don't believe in forcing decisions at all, simply giving opportunities to choose.

  • Let's Be Honest
    May 4, 2008 10:46 a.m.

    I am LDS, and I'm sure none of us would be overlly concerned to learn that the FLDS, Wickens, Scientologists or even more mainstream religions were performing certain religious ceremonies on behalf of our deceased LDS ancestors. BUT, would the Church willingly and knowingly hand over our records for that purpose? I highly, highly doubt that. And what if they even provided some additional, tangible service in return (like we are by putting names on microfilm)? I'm still not sure we would willingly hand over baptismal, blessing, birth, or temple sealing records for Wicken cermonies even if some other beneficial service were provided as a part of the process. And let's not fool ourselves, the Catholic Church looks upon the LDS Church as no less a cult than we do FLDS, Scientology or Wickens.

    Also, as an active member of the Church, I have never quite understood the need to put in literally millions of hours for the work of the dead. A work that we acknowledge will never end up reaching all who have died. Only a tiny fraction actually. The rest will require heavenly intervention anyway. Therefore, perhaps those millions of hours could be put toward the LIVING?

  • Live & Let Live
    May 4, 2008 10:32 a.m.

    Sorry but I do NOT want my Catholic church records given out so I can be baptized as LDS. You can go on and on about the value of geneology records but TRY to understand and REFLECT about why many find these baptisms offensive. To brush it off as "well what does it matter if they don't believe in our doctrine anyway" is unacceptable. Come on if the Catholic or any other church began a massive undertaking to baptize all Mormoms you can bet an uproar would follow. How would YOU feel? And please realize that geneology does not hold an equal importance to all religions.

  • Morena
    May 4, 2008 10:31 a.m.

    Orion- My thoughts exactly. LDS would be offended in a big way if the reverse were going on. If a Protestant denomination took all the LDS names and did this re-baptism for the dead (which was mentioned in the bible but not practiced by the one mentioning it or encouaged)then the LDS would be offended. You all need to read your Bibles and seriously learn the scripture...who said it, did he practice it(NO) and then you would understand why this is so disrespectful. Congrats to the Catholics!!! Hope the Protestants follow suit!!!

  • I am for the living
    May 4, 2008 10:27 a.m.

    Let's live and help the living and forget about the dead who are with God anyway...Do you believe that Mother Theresa is in limbo waiting for one of us to baptise her?
    Instead copying records, let's go to Chad, Laos, Haiti and other places where there is so much suffering. They need our help now not when they are dead.

  • RGG
    May 4, 2008 10:26 a.m.

    I'm not so sure LDS folks would be "outraged" if other churches or cults or sects were to perform their religious ceremonies for deceased LDS members.

    We believe that an individual's agency prevails, whether here in in the afterlife. Just as we hope those who are baptized by proxy will accept that baptism, we also hope those who are already baptized would choose to stay baptized. However, the choice is theirs, and we certainly don't have any illusions that our desires for them will override their choices.

  • My View
    May 4, 2008 10:23 a.m.

    As a member of the LDS faith, I would not be offended by any member of any other faith or group performing a baptism in my behalf or my family's behalf while I am living or dead. I believe such action to be an act of love from them to me and an attempt to follow gospel referred to in the Bible. I also believe it is sanctioned by God only when both proper authority from God is used and when my personal choice affirms the action. It certainly doesn't rewrite my personal history or preference.

    To those who are offended by the doctrine of baptism for the dead, I say you simply do not fully understand it. Find a friend who is a member of the LDS faith and ask them about it.

    To those of us who are members of the LDS faith: hard words, pointing fingers, derision and outrage won't solve this challenge. Continuing kindness, reaching out, faith and prayer might avail much.

  • Wake up!
    May 4, 2008 10:15 a.m.

    All these hypothetical situations a few are putting forth about other churches unbaptizing LDS, etc., show the author is not aware that it wouldn't matter. You are trying to project your own fears on the LDS.
    No LDS would raise a stink. The church wouldn't worry -- unless we believed those other churches actually had God's real authority. We'd actually just shrug and say thank-you for the good intentions.
    Obviously the 10 who have posted such fears haven't read the 60+ comments that already made this point.
    Or they haven't awakened yet this morning.

  • Re: Questions and others
    May 4, 2008 10:12 a.m.

    God's ordinances do not "hamper" his ability to save. He is all-powerful. However, God is a god of justice, not mercy alone. Without justice, there could not be any mercy. Baptism and other ordinances are commanded by God so that the law night be satisfied. While He is a god of mercy, we must also obey certain laws since he is also a god of justice. As far as this article is concerned and the several comments that have been made, I am not worried. While I respect those friends of other faiths and feel strongly that we should allow them to worship how, where or what they may, I also feel we should be allowed the same courtesy. This returns us to mercy and justice. If baptism is the gate to heaven then truly God is merciful to permit this saving ordinance to be performed for all of His children. Is it merciful to say that because one who has never known God or ever been able to even know His gospel and dies that they are eternally damned? Where is the mercy in that? God is in charge not man and everything will work out.

  • Fredd
    May 4, 2008 10:11 a.m.

    Am I banned from posting? How the LDS church which has volumes upon volumes of documents in its vaults it won't share with anyone, and calls its temple sacred not secret can criticize anyone for withholding offcial documents is truly the pot calling the kettle black.

  • family history worker
    May 4, 2008 10:10 a.m.

    In the 35 years I have served in family history centers, very few of the people who have researched catholic records were LDS. Most of them are genealogists, who, when they find their ancestors records are so happy. And so disappointed when the records are not available. The people I know are not doing the research for Temple Work. These people do not have the means or ability to go to the parish to get the information. With lack of family input or even knowledge, they would have to search several localities. To cut the records off for them will make their research impossible.

  • Joan
    May 4, 2008 10:09 a.m.

    If other churches wanted to take my records and baptize me into their church after I died, I wouldn't care because it would have no meaning to me. When we do baptisms for those who have passed, the work is done and then those on the other side have a right to accept or reject the work. It is not automatic. Satan's church could do my work and I wouldn't care because upon death, it would have no meaning for me whatsoever. The work is a gift, waiting to be given and if it's not accepted, so be it. At least they were given the chance. It is a gift of love.

  • tigerlily
    May 4, 2008 10:07 a.m.

    to No lds should be upset: the scriptures tell us that there is no need for baptism til the age of 8, babies are perfect and have no need for baptism. when we are doing are family history, we are entitled to those records that the catholic church has if our relatives are catholic

  • Kelly
    May 4, 2008 10:04 a.m.

    Well folk, What did the Pope observe while visiting the USA 2 1/2 weeks ago? Think about it. He probably thought the LDS church and FLDS were two of the same. The Pope was here while the raid in Texas was going on. The FLDS church is going to cause us lots of problems. The Catholic church probably thinks of us HERETICS!

  • whocares?
    May 4, 2008 10:03 a.m.

    lithophysa1 - I could care less. If it isn't true, then why would it matter? Why do people get so worked up about baptisms for the dead - if they don't believe it is true, then does it really matter?

  • Mary
    May 4, 2008 10:00 a.m.

    I would like to make two points:
    First, while I was doing my family research in Poland a few years back, the Catholic Priests were the only church officials who had to be PAID for me to see the records of my great-grandparents. In Belgium, the other churchs were gladly opening the records, so I could trace my family roots. So, I guess if you want to PAY for your own family records, I guess the Catholic don't object.
    Secondly, my Mother is devout Catholic and relished in the idea, when she broke her hip, that her LDS daughter put her name on the prayer roll, her Jewish niece had the members of the synagogue praying for her, her Cahtolic sister lit a candle on her behalf, her Protestant sister-in-law had her name included in the weekly service prayer list.
    This problem with the Catholic church is from the leaders, not the members. The members don't care, the priests want their bribe money, and the adminstration wants to be devisive.

  • Anonymous
    May 4, 2008 9:55 a.m.

    Imagine for a moment that you are at a great feast where every food imaginable prepared by the greatest cooks ever. Many of your friends and relatives are there with you but many more are not.

    They are on the other side of a huge fence. On their side the "feast" consists of chips, dip, sandwiches, cookies and water. Okay but not great.

    The only way for people on the other side of the fence to get to your side is if someone on your side unlocks one of the gates. But this gate is weird in that you can unlock it fron your side but you can not open it. The person who you unlock it for must open the gate and pass through. It is a two step process. Once you unlock the gate for that person they can pass through at any time but it has to be thier choice, if they choose not to pass through it is thier right.

    Babtism for the dead works the same way it does not automaticly make some one Mormon any more than grabing a person of the street saying the prayer and pushing him under the water would.

  • Catholic III
    May 4, 2008 9:54 a.m.

    I think the Catholic church is going to back WAY OFF from friendly associations with LDS because they probably associate the LDS as being like Muslims and the FLDS religions. This is not good to the rest of the world.

  • Mormons Not Only Ones in Heaven
    May 4, 2008 9:51 a.m.

    For you non-Mormons, I would like you to baptize my dead ancestors. It is a great lesson that members of your faith are not the only ones that will go to heaven. I realize that officially Catholics believe that I am going to hell. So the actions of the Pope make sense. Also realize that Mormons can baptize for the dead, without names, it is the lesson of turning our hearts to our fore-fathers that is helped by having the names. So, don't believe that withholding records stops the work done in Mormon temples. It does make me think that the current Pope is petty and small minded.

  • Re: Just Me
    May 4, 2008 9:50 a.m.

    We're giving many the opportunity for membership in the LDS church who were not given it here on this earth. There is no harm in that.

  • MetricWrench
    May 4, 2008 9:50 a.m.

    This merely shows that baptism for the dead must be a good thing and that there are powers that are always trying to frustrate the work. Everyone knows that the adversary is continually working to slow that which is good and true, even if we all don't agree on what is good and true.

    If any other group wants to go to the genealogy library and get some info on my ancestors so they can perform some kind of posthumous ceremony then by all means be my guest. If it is something performed out of love of God and fellowman then I am honored. If it is anything else then who cares.

    BTW if the individual who is dead doesn't want to accept the baptism then they can remain a catholic, even on the other side. At no point does God force us to believe anything against our will.

  • To AKL
    May 4, 2008 9:52 a.m.

    to akl and all of you who keep calling the money given to humanitarian aid "our money" Remember that the money was given to help people. So it's actually being used in the right way. We aren't trying to buy any favors.

  • sjc
    May 4, 2008 9:44 a.m.

    Joe are incorrect in asserting that the Catholic Church does not release baptismal information. They won't allow wholesale copying of their registers, true.

    However, many other Christian churches recognize the validity of Catholic baptism and vice versa. If a baptised Catholic later joins say the Methodist or Lutheran church, he or she is not rebaptised, and it works the same way in the other direction.

    In such cases, Catholic parishes will release a baptismal record or certificate as proof to the person's current church that he or she is already baptised. The Catholic Church does not recognise LDS baptisms, but neither does the LDS Church recognize any other baptisms.

    PS I am neither Catholic nor LDS.

  • To Julie
    May 4, 2008 9:41 a.m.

    This is one of the biggest problems with mormon public relations that the church shows so little respect for others believes of feelings. Would you feel offended if your dead relatives were made members of the Nazi party or other disreputable organizations, maybe Hell's angeles. Why don't we all just mind our own business and not try to make others liken unto our selfes, especially when we too are so imperfect.

  • Common Sense
    May 4, 2008 9:40 a.m.

    Luckily God's will can never be frustrated, regardless of the decisions of man.

    Also, as the Catholic church does not recognize Mormon baptism, then in their view they have in essence condemned all deceased Mormons.

    The Mormon faith desires to offer a blessing to all, which they can freely accept or reject. A significant contract.

  • Voice of reason
    May 4, 2008 9:38 a.m.

    Seems to me that the LDS church should remove all strings from the process of collecting family names. That the church only collects the research and provides research, and hold true to its own statements that it will not do work for these deceased people unless requested by family members. The change may be subtle but from the perception of outsiders it maybe enough.

    Maybe all it would be required is develop PAF like programs where they don't mention LDS information. And then educate the world that we want to only collect the information out of love and honor for the dead, and that addtional services will only be at the request of relatives. If the LDS church does this they may get more approval and assistance in this area.

  • Keri
    May 4, 2008 9:36 a.m.

    I was raised in the Salt Lake area and lived there until I was in my 30s. I have never heard the one about Martin Luther.
    Go ahead and baptize me into another religion after I'm dead. I can accept or reject it according to my own conscience. My mom died 8 years ago. Baptize her into your church. She will decide to reject it, no harm done as far as I'm concerned. (Except, are there any other churches that do baptisms for the dead? I'd really like to know.)
    The Church quit performing the Jewish baptisms on a large scale because they were requested to do so.

  • orion
    May 4, 2008 9:29 a.m.

    Some of these comments are like the pot calling the kettle black. Why has the church created a new genealogy site for LDS only? It sounds like public access to records is being phased out not just by Catholics.

  • true blue
    May 4, 2008 9:27 a.m.

    The church doesn't get the names and submit them for baptism for the dead. They put them on film and the families research them and submit the names. The LDS church is very sensitive to this to the point that if a closer living relative is alive permission from that individual must be granted first. And when the jewish people asked us not to baptize their names we quit doing that.

    To orion: God is all powerful and grants mercy and salvation to anyone of any faith that he sees fit. Contrary to popular belief Mormons don't believe that only Mormons make it to heaven. We just believe that God has given us an opportunity to serve and assist in his work.

  • Mona
    May 4, 2008 9:23 a.m.

    Decider said: "what gives Mormons the right to make a religious decision for those who have died and were not of the LDS faith, especially if one did not choose to be part of the LDS faith when alive?"

    LDS don't force conversion on anyone. We believe each individual lives beyond the grave. We provide the ordinance. Each individual may accept or reject it.

    100% of my ancestry is either Roman or Byzantine Catholic, and I have been researching them for 35 years. I have also done research for many other people curious about their roots. Up to this point each Catholic parish has had their individual policy concerning their records. Many have given me open access which I humbly appreciate. Others have refused to even crack open the books, proclaiming that even a deceased person's personal information should not be looked at by anyone, period. This new policy will be devastating. The value of someone learning about their family can make all the difference in how they see themselves and how they progress in their own lives. I have witnessed marvelous miracles.

  • LVIS
    May 4, 2008 9:10 a.m.

    To Orion at 6:19--Actually, you're wrong. I could not care less if the catholic church decided to baptise my dad by proxy. I don't believe it would be of any validity, so why should I care? It would just be a waste of time on their part, with no bearing on what I believe. In fact, Orion, I'm going to start a movement of my own. I'm going to write your name (Orion) in red ink in a notebook I keep. Because, for your information, that means you are