Thursday, February 18, 2016

Elie Wiesel calls on Mitt Romney to make Mormon Church stop proxy baptisms of Jews

Baptism for the dead, (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. II, p. 141). This is a practice of baptizing each other in place of non-Mormons who are now dead. Their belief is that in the afterlife, the "newly baptized" person will be able to enter into a higher level of Mormon heaven.

Elie Wiesel calls on Mitt Romney to make Mormon Church stop proxy baptisms of Jews

By Peter Wallsten and Jason Horowitz, Published: February 14

Nobel-laureate Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel and a top official from the Simon Wiesenthal Center said Tuesday that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney should use his stature in the Mormon Church to block its members from posthumously baptizing Jewish victims of the Holocaust.

Their comments followed reports that Mormons had baptized the deceased parents of Wiesenthal, the late Holocaust survivor and Nazi-hunter. Wiesel appeared in a church database used to identify potential subjects of baptisms.

A spokeswoman for Romney said his campaign would not comment, directing all inquiries to church officials.

Posthumous baptisms of non-Mormons are a regular practice in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Members believe the ritual creates the possibility for the deceased to enter their conception of Heaven.

Individual members can submit names, usually of deceased relatives, for proxy baptisms. The church has tried to improve its technology to block the process from including Jewish Holocaust victims. In this case, officials blamed an unidentified person.

“We sincerely regret that the actions of an individual member of the Church led to the inappropriate submission of these names,” spokesman Michael Purdy said in a statement. “These submissions were clearly against the policy of the Church. We consider this a serious breach of our protocol and we have suspended indefinitely this person’s ability to access our genealogy records.”

The practice of baptizing Holocaust victims has long been offensive to Jews. After years of negotiations, Mormon officials have prohibited posthumous baptisms of Jewish Holocaust victims.

There is no indication that Romney has ever been involved in the proxy baptism of a Holocaust victim. Asked if he had ever participated in posthumous baptisms, Romney told Newsweek in 2007 that “I have in my life, but I haven’t recently.”

The controversy could put Romney in the uncomfortable position of having to directly address Mormon theology, a topic he has so far avoided in his current campaign. Many evangelical voters have expressed skepticism about Mormonism, and Romney, a former lay leader in the church, has rarely discussed his experiences in the church.

Romney “is now the most famous and important Mormon in the country,” Wiesel said. “I’m not saying it’s his fault, but once he knows, morally he must respond. . . . He should come out and say, ‘Stop it.’ ”

Wiesel, 83, is one of several Jewish leaders who have directly negotiated the issue with the Mormon Church since the mid-1990s.

Not all activists on the issue agree with drawing Romney into the fray. Gary Greenebaum, a Los Angeles rabbi who has served as the lead mediator between Jewish organizations and church officials, said he greatly admired Wiesel but felt it was “important to not make someone who happens to be an adherent of one religion responsible for everything that religion does.”

As a young man, Romney served as a missionary in France. After marrying in the Mormon temple in Salt Lake City and attending Brigham Young University, Romney stayed active in the church while pursuing graduate degrees at Harvard, occasionally taking buses with other Mormons to the closest temple, in Washington, to perform temple ordinances.

As he climbed the corporate ladder, the church called on him to serve in increasingly prominent lay clergy positions, ultimately becoming the authority responsible for much of the Boston area.

Romney played a pivotal role in building the Mormon temple in Belmont, Mass., a hub for area Mormons who can now perform the proxy baptisms, marriage sealings and other covenants that are a part of their faith.

Purdy said members believe “they may be baptized by proxy for deceased ancestors who never had that opportunity.”

Church policy, Purdy added, is that members can request baptisms “only for their own ancestors” and that proxy baptisms of Jewish Holocaust victims “are strictly prohibited.”

A Salt Lake City-based activist and former Mormon, Helen Radkey, discovered the Wisel and Wiesenthal records in recent days, and her findings were subsequently reported by a variety of news outlets, including the Huffington Post and NPR.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center, said that while Romney was not responsible for the decisions of the Mormon Church, he could play a crucial role in settling the matter.

“It would send a strong signal, not just to every Jewish voter, but to every American, that when he feels it’s appropriate, he can have different views and have an impact on decision-making,” Cooper said.

Staff writer Philip Rucker contributed to this report.

Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel is demanding answers from Mitt Romney over the Church of Latter Day Saints' practice of baptizing deceased Jews.
Wiesel learned that his name (along with that of his father and maternal grandfather) had been submitted to a restricted Mormon website indicating he was ready for such a baptism. Of course, the 83-year old Wiesel is very much alive, well and is quite annoyed.
These proxy baptisms have long been sticking point between Jews and Mormons. It is estimated that 650,000 of these proxy baptisms have been performed on those who perished in the Holocaust. Despite an agreement by The Church of Latter Day Saints to stop the practice back in 1995 (with the exception of Jews who were ancestors of Mormons) the baptisms persist. Just today, the Church of LDS apologized for the proxy baptism of the parents of the late Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal.
Wiesel wants to know if Romney is aware of this practice and if so to call upon the Church of LDS to stop it. For his part, Mitt Romney said in a 2007 interview with Newsweek that he had performed proxy baptisms although it isn't clear if he's performed them on Jews who perished in the Holocaust.
When The Huffington Post asked the Romney campaign to comment on Wiesel's query, they received a reply intended for another Romney official that the query be ignored. Not good.
Now one could make an argument that Wiesel could also direct this question to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. However, if Elie Wiesel asks you a question then you had better well answer it. Romney would be wise to pick up the phone and personally invite Wiesel for a one on one meeting and put this matter behind him.

What Does Mormonism Teach?

We will give the top ten (10)
The doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) are very interesting. Most of the 'odd' ones are not initially taught to potential converts. But they should be. Instead, "they are revealed later as one matures and gains the ability to accept them."  The LDS Church tries to make its official doctrines appear Christian but what underlies those Christian sounding terms is far from Christian in meaning.
Following are the teachings of its officials throughout the years.  Please note that these teachings are documented from Mormon writers, not anti-Mormon writers.
Finally, many Mormons respond that most of the citations below are not from official Mormonwritings, as if that disproves the doctrines they teach.  If they are not official, fine.  But, if not, then why have the Mormon apostles and high officials taught them, written them, and why are their books sold in Mormon bookstores?  The truth is, the following is what Mormons are taught.
  1. Atonement
    1. "Jesus paid for all our sins when He suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane," (Laurel Rohlfing, “Sharing Time: The Atonement,” Friend, Mar. 1989, p. 39.).
    2. "We accept Christ's atonement by repenting of our sins, being baptized, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and obeying all of the commandments," (Gospel Principles, Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1979, p. 68.).
  2. Baptism
    1. Baptism for the dead, (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. II, p. 141). This is a practice of baptizing each other in place of non-Mormons who are now dead. Their belief is that in the afterlife, the "newly baptized" person will be able to enter into a higher level of Mormon heaven.
  3. Bible
    1. "We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly. . ." (8th Article of Faith of the Mormon Church).
    2. "Wherefore, thou seest that after the book hath gone forth through the hands of the great and abominable church, that there are many plain and precious things taken away from the book, which is the book of the Lamb of God," (1 Nephi 13:28).
  4. Book of Mormon
    1. The book of Mormon is more correct than the Bible, (History of the Church, 4:461).
  5. Devil, the
    1. The Devil was born as a spirit after Jesus "in the morning of pre-existence," (Mormon Doctrine, p. 192).
    2. Jesus and Satan are spirit brothers and we were all born as siblings in heaven to them both, (Mormon Doctrine, p. 163).
    3. A plan of salvation was needed for the people of earth so Jesus offered a plan to the Father and Satan offered a plan to the father but Jesus' plan was accepted. In effect the Devil wanted to be the Savior of all Mankind and to "deny men their agency and to dethrone god," (Mormon Doctrine, p. 193; Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, p. 8).
  6. God
    1. God used to be a man on another planet, (Mormon Doctrine, p. 321; Joseph Smith, Times and Seasons, vol. 5, p. 613-614; Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses, vol. 2, p. 345; Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p. 333).
    2. "The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s..." (D&C 130:22).
    3. God is in the form of a man, (Joseph Smith, Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, p. 3).
    4. "God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens!!! . . . We have imagined that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea and take away the veil, so that you may see," (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 345).
    5. God the Father had a Father, (Joseph Smith, History of the Church, vol. 6, p. 476; Heber C. Kimball, Journal of Discourses, vol. 5, p. 19; Milton Hunter, First Council of the Seventy, Gospel through the Ages, p. 104-105).
    6. God resides near a star called Kolob, (Pearl of Great Price, p. 34-35; Mormon Doctrine, p. 428).
    7. God had sexual relations with Mary to make the body of Jesus, (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 4, 1857, p. 218; vol. 8, p. 115). - This one is disputed among many Mormons and not always 'officially' taught and believed.  Nevertheless, Young, the 2nd prophet of the Mormon church taught it.
    8. "Therefore we know that both the Father and the Son are in form and stature perfect men; each of them possesses a tangible body . . . of flesh and bones." (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 38).
  7. God, becoming a god
    1. After you become a good Mormon, you have the potential of becoming a god, (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 345-347, 354.)
    2. "Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them," (D&C 132:20).
  8. God, many gods
    1. There are many gods, (Mormon Doctrine, p. 163).
    2. "And they (the Gods) said: Let there be light: and there was light," (Book of Abraham 4:3).
  9. God, mother goddess
    1. There is a mother god, (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 443).
    2. God is married to his goddess wife and has spirit children, (Mormon Doctrine, p. 516).
  10. God, Trinity
    1. The trinity is three separate Gods: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. "That these three are separate individuals, physically distinct from each other, is demonstrated by the accepted records of divine dealings with man," (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 35). source:

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