Mormons Ordered To Stop 'Baptisms' of Jews

By JTA

Published March 04, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

letter to be read in all Mormon churches warns members to stop all unauthorized posthumous baptisms, including those of Holocaust survivors.

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the highest governing body of the Mormon church, issued a letter on Feb. 29, which was to be read Sunday to all of its congregations.

“Our preeminent obligation is to seek out and identify our own ancestors. Those whose names are submitted for proxy temple ordinances should be related to the submitter,” the letter read. “Without exception, Church members must not submit for proxy temple ordinances any names from unauthorized groups, such as celebrities and Jewish Holocaust victims.”

The letter comes after the discovery that several prominent deceased Jews were baptized posthumously in recent weeks, including Anne Frank and Daniel Pearl.

Earlier this month, Holocaust survivor and author Elie Wiesel called on Mitt Romney, who is running for the Republican presidential nod, to tell his church to stop performing posthumous proxy baptisms of Holocaust victims, after it was reported that some members of the church had submitted Wiesel’s name for proxy baptism, in addition to submitting the names of Wiesel’s deceased father and maternal grandfather.

Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League welcomed the letter, calling it “an important step by the LDS Church to further educate its worldwide members about the Church’s policies regarding posthumous baptism, particularly its prohibition of baptizing Jewish Holocaust victims.”

Foxman and the ADL called on the church to “reconsider” the practice of posthumous baptism and “to increase its monitoring and education to ensure that the proxy baptisms of Jewish Holocaust victims are stopped. Church members should understand why proxy baptisms are so offensive to the Jewish people, who faced near annihilation during the Holocaust simply because they were Jewish, and who throughout history were often the victims of forced conversions.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Sigal Samuel's family amulet isn't just rumored to have magical powers. It's also a symbol of how Jewish and Indian rituals became intertwined over the centuries. http://jd.fo/a3BvD Only three days left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • British Jews are having their 'Open Hillel' moment. Do you think Israel advocacy on campus runs the risk of excluding some Jewish students?
  • "What I didn’t realize before my trip was that I would leave Uganda with a powerful mandate on my shoulders — almost as if I had personally left Egypt."
  • Is it better to have a young, fresh rabbi, or a rabbi who stays with the same congregation for a long time? What do you think?
  • Why does the leader of Israel's social protest movement now work in a beauty parlor instead of the Knesset?
  • What's it like to be Chagall's granddaughter?
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.