Proxy Baptism

I have removed my commentary from this post previously titled “Posthumous Mormon Conversion”.  See the correction I posted as well as the comment provided by Jettboy below.  To be clear, I find the practice of Proxy Baptism to be distasteful.  However, I concede that whatever my person beliefs on religion and myth, I should not use this space to call out others for the practice of their faith UNLESS that practice causes actual harm to actual living beings.

The links from my original post:

Maureen Dowd in the New York Times: Anne Frank, a Mormon?

Gary Mokotoff in AVOTAYNU:  The Mormon/Jewish Controversy: What Really Happened

John Cook on Gawker:  Did Mitt Romney Convert His Dead Atheist Father-in-Law to Mormonism?

John Cook on Gawker:  Yes, the Romneys Converted Mitt’s Dead Atheist Father-in-Law to Mormonism

The following is a statement issued by LDS leaders and The American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants:

Joint statement by Jewish and LDS Church leaders:

Goodwill and friendship have marked the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Jewish people. The support that the state of Israel has given the Church in helping establish the BYU Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies is appreciated and continues to foster greater understanding between us.

Over the years, survivors of the Holocaust have pointed out to the Church that its practice of posthumous/proxy baptism has unintentionally caused pain due to the inclusion of names of those who perished in the Holocaust. As a result of dialogue and extraordinary efforts of the Church, computer systems and policy initiatives have been put in place that resolve this issue, which is greatly appreciated by The American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants, the result of which will be felt throughout the world.

It is gratifying that the good faith efforts undertaken over the years to deal with an important issue of sensitivity to the Jewish Holocaust survivor community have eliminated a source of tension between our two groups, enhancing our ability to cooperate, including important programs of humanitarian aid across the world.

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2 Comments on “Proxy Baptism”

  1. Jettboy says:

    Tasteless? Perhaps, but at least get the facts. You do realize Mormons don’t believe they have converted anyone for doing this don’t you? The only ones who think they do are not Mormons. Basically to a Mormon the act is doing the paperwork so that the person it was done for has it ready in case they do convert. The “conversion” would only happen on the other side of this life and if they sign (agree to) the document (ordinance).

  2. JLFuller says:

    Readers should be aware that the ordinance is strictly an offering. It makes no demands on the departed. A living person performs this ordinance at the request of a relative of the dead person or, if they are LDS, the relative performs the ordinances (there are four) themselves.

    A departed soul makes the decision about whether to accept or reject what the living have done on his or her behalf. Nothing is forced. It should also be made clear that the dead are not carried on the records of the church as a member. In fact the only record kept is that the ordinance has been performed and such things as the date and location.

    It is roughly analogous to Catholics praying a dead person out of purgatory although the theology is much different.


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