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After Anne Frank baptism, Mormons vow to discipline members
A picture of Anne Frank, perhaps the most famous victim of the Holocaust.
February 22nd, 2012
05:11 PM ET

After Anne Frank baptism, Mormons vow to discipline members

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - Reacting to a report that well-known Holocaust victim Anne Frank had been baptized by proxy in a Mormon temple, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says it is committed to disciplining members of its church who conducted such baptisms, which violate church policy.

Word of the Frank baptism came a week after the issue of Mormon posthumous proxy baptism of Jews attracted national attention. This controversy surfaced after it was reported that the dead parents of Jewish Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal had been baptized in a Mormon temple.

The church apologized for that baptism, blaming it on a technical glitch in its system for submitting names for posthumous proxy baptism.

“It takes a good deal of deception and manipulation to get an improper submission through the safeguards we have put in place,” LDS Church spokesman Michael Purdy said in a statement Tuesday, responding to the report about the Anne Frank baptism.

Explainer: How and why do Mormons baptize the dead?

Though the church regularly conducts proxy baptisms for dead, in what it calls an attempt to give everyone a chance to accept salvation through Jesus, it has a 1990s-era policy against conducting such baptisms for Holocaust victims.

The policy was adopted after complaints from Jewish groups, which said it was offensive to conduct Mormon baptisms for Holocaust victims who were killed because of their Jewish faith.

“The Church keeps its word and is absolutely firm in its commitment to not accept the names of Holocaust victims for proxy baptism,” said Purdy in his Tuesday statement.

The church said it is “committed to taking action against individual abusers by suspending the submitter’s access privileges,” the statement continued. “We will also consider whether other Church disciplinary action should be taken.”

According to Helen Radkey, a former Mormon who tracks Mormon posthumous proxy baptisms, the one for Anne Frank was conducted on Saturday in the Dominican Republic.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Judaism • Mormonism

soundoff (1,379 Responses)
  1. Dee

    As if it has any effect at all. Let them baptize who they want, it's meaningless.

    February 28, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • MormonKid

      .... and your Jewish 'Baptism' isn't? Explain to me how it is.

      February 29, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  2. Timothy

    What is the difference if the Mormons would just go out to the graves and paint Swastikas on the Jewish headstones?

    It is the same desecration.

    NoMormonInWhiteHouse

    February 28, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • MormonKid

      Lol U MAD BRO!?

      #MittRomney4President

      February 29, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  3. Truth

    I don't agree with what happened at all. But I don't get "disciplining members of its church" How can you discipline church members other than kick them out of the church. I would never go back to a church that was going to "discipline" me.

    February 28, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Timothy

      You can't discipline someone who didn't break any "inside" rules.

      Mormons need to feed names to their Mormon God in their Mormon Temples, like natives used to throw vir gins into the volcanoes.

      When caught, they apologize, pinky promise, and then continue to feed that volcano, and six million names – come on – easy pickin' for Mormons – six million names – it will take years to feed the volcano.

      NoMormonInWhiteHouse

      February 28, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
  4. ARthur

    Mormons are a dangerous cult who believes in multiple wifes and aliens from space!

    February 28, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • MormonKid

      Actually it's illegal to have more than 1 married spouse. So prove how what you said is true? Yes, it was true in the 1800's, but definitely not now.

      February 29, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  5. GeorgeBos95

    LOL – the ARROGANCE of these people. Tell you what, I'm going to baptize by proxy all the LIVING Mormons ... into a life od service to SATAN.

    Heck, it's just as effective as what they claim to be doing... and just as silly. But then, it's always fun until someone ends up on Satan's doorstep, then all hell will break loose.

    rotflmao

    February 28, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • MormonKid

      Go ahead since we now your 'Baptism' doesn't mean anything to us. LOL good try though.

      February 29, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  6. Barbara

    So, what does a Hebrew convert do with his Jewish ancestors? Can he not connect his family the way everyone else does?

    February 28, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  7. Truthship

    If you want to view a worthy proxy baptism view The Colbert Report on line. A proxy baptism was preformed live three days ago. There was also one on THe Bill Maher Show you can google on line.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
  8. Truthship

    So glad the Mormon Church apologised to Jews for Baptizing their dead. Now how do I get that same consideration? Speaking of apologies, if Romney wins Republican nomination it would be interesting if Obama asked Mitt how he explained his support for the black mans Mormon ‘Mark-of -Cain’  when he was on his LDS mission in the 1960’s.  Google ‘Mark of Cain’. Its high time the LDS church and Mitt apologised for that racism.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
    • DrCole

      Don't forget about the rest of Christianity believing the same thing...guess you only want the Mormon's to apologize, but not the rest of anyone else that uses the Old Testiment...shucks, don't Jews/Muslims and many other religions use variations of the Old Testiment???...I guess that everyone should apologize then.

      February 28, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  9. gf

    Do you know what is awful and disgraceful? JONAH. I mean he's the worst example of a person. Not that he ran away from God, but that he went to Ninevah. He should have just left them alone and not gotten in their business. Jonah even went further than the LDS church, he actually went to Ninevah, to their streets, and condemned them verbally, in person, in front of their own houses. The LDS church at least did it at their own home in their own temple. Jonah should have minded his own business and not gotten in their business.

    Should a Jewish person strike that from their scriptures and the awful example set of getting into someone else's business?

    Note: I'm not LDS, I'm only approaching this with somewhat of an open and objective approach. Obviously any Jew would say it's a good thing – for Ninevah – that Jonah went and got in their business.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  10. arminta

    I agree that posthumous baptism is just an imaginary exercise for those that believe, but I find it interesting that Mormon Kid thinks that the Jewish reaction is justification to kill all Jews. FYI you anti-Semitic ignoramus- Mormon Kid- Hitler would kill the Mormons, too. Also, I wonder how, per your church, the dead can get "a chance to accept salvation through Jesus." They're DEAD. They are in no condition to either accept or reject salvation or anything else.

    February 27, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • MormonKid

      If he would have killed the mormons.. then why didn't he? There were plenty of members in Europe at the time.. maybe not in Germany.. but still? He probably could have if he would of wanted to.

      Also.. you don't know what the dead can do. You don't know what's in the afterlife. I think Judiasm is a really dumb religion... but you don't see me bashing your religion, do you? Besides the hitler thing I haven't... I'm defending my religion. Go ahead bash it if you want... it doesn't make it any less true no matter what you say or think.

      February 27, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
  11. gf

    I find it peculiar how the LDS church will so quickly change its stance of what it thinks is right based on how other people respond, especially something that's not directly affect other people. Or, to change a belief because of being swayed by common opinion and then say it's because of "new revelation". I say stick to it if you believe it ... or don't do it at all. If you believe it's right and should do it for others ... do it ALL the time or not at all. These exceptions are ridiculous.

    As a member of the human race, I don't want them to baptize for any of us. Would they listen? It's not actually something done, to my understanding, as a means to degrade or criticize others, but from their view of what is right or loving. So do it, or don't do it at all.

    And what's the deal with the holocaust groups taking offense at this? It's not in their face, but removed, private, and part of their own religious activities, not directly affecting anyone. I say let them be free to do whatever they want in private, and don't feel the need to give up that freedom just because a group whines and complains about it – no matter if the group is historically one of the most persecuted groups or not.

    February 27, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • MormonKid

      Actually the leaders of the LDS church can't help what some members do... especially some members all the way down in the Dominican Republic. Just like the jewish leaders can't help it if some member did something terribly wrong and gave them a bad name for it.

      February 27, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
  12. Norma

    For those of you reading, please open the link found in this article; "Explainer: How and why do Mormons baptize the dead?" It is important that when we are making an opinion, it should be an informed one. Thanks:)

    February 27, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
  13. Mormonkid1994

    I find it funny how after 1 mistake... everyone gets all upset. Seriously? Can you say hypocrites? I also find it funny how you guys can bash a religion, but when someone bashes yours, you all throw a hissy fit. Grow the **** up people and stop being a hater. Geez... no wonder why Hitler wanted to kill all of the Jews. XD

    February 27, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Sorry Mormonkid, it has happened more than once.
      The LDS pinky-swore never ever to do it again around the time you were born – but it is now obvious that they've never stopped.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • MormonKid

      lol that's funny cause it's NOT the ones in charge doing this... it's the people thinking they can do what they want. The leaders can't control all of the members. I believe it even said someone did it from the DR. That says a lot right there... So stop hating over the LDS religion when you can't get over a little incident.

      February 27, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
  14. hlangerhans

    The Jews should have a big ceremony to posthumously convert Joseph Smith to Judaism.

    February 27, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • MormonKid

      lol it won't even mean anything since Judiasm isn't even a true (or real) religion. XD

      February 27, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • jdub1983

      That's laughable kid, since Judaism existed for thousands of years before Joe Smith had his acid trip in the woods...Also, since Mormons accept and believe in the Bible (including the old testament), Mormons must acknowledge the Jews as God's original chosen people correct? It's funny how ignorant people can be, even about what they claim to believe. People like you give religion a bad name.

      February 28, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • John

      Steven Colbert converted all dead Mormon's to Jews on his show last Thursday. Funniest thing I've seen on TV in years.

      February 28, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  15. Daniel

    This is awful, as a Jew who has Holocaust survivors as grandparents, I am disgusted that a religion could offend so many people by doing this disgracful act. Mormans and Christians as a whole need to learn to get the hell out of our business.

    February 27, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • gf

      What's so disgraceful? They're not shoving it in your face. They're not making you watch. They're not doing it in front of a synagogue or temple. They're not physically baptizing a Jew here. They should be free to do what they want.

      Your Jewish scriptures say to let it be known throughout the earth that God has done excellent things, praising him (Isaiah 12:6). So if you do that, and somebody else doesn't like it ... is that disgraceful to others? Or rather, can you not say that your praise of God should be public, and that by telling others they can learn about your wonderful God? From that point of view, it's actually a great thing.

      For the record, I am not LDS and I think the LDS religion is a false religion, especially in that they believe God was once likely a sinful man, and that sinful men can become Gods ... but I also recognize their motivation for doing what they do, that it doesn't directly affect anyone, and that in the United States they have the freedom to practice their religion in such a way.

      So leave them alone and don't take it so offensively just because you have family members or friends who were Holocaust survivors. Yours is simply another form of intolerance. Unless you believe there should not be freedom of religion ... perhaps you're for forced religious practices and beliefs? Is that what you're saying?

      They're not "in your business". They're in their own temple. They're on a completely separate continent than where the Holocaust occurred. And they're part of the nation that was probably the single-biggest factor in the liberation of the persecuted Jews. Though they believe something differently (and falsely), they're not your enemy.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • Chris

      actually, gf, you should read the article more thoroughly. The 'baptism' was performed in the Dominican Republic.

      I can understand how people might feel offended by this act.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • MormonKid

      Does it actually matter where it was performed? Can you Jews just stop crying about it? Really a little mistake and everyone starts crying about their Ann Frank. If I was a Jew I wouldn't be worried cause I would have the mindset that my religion was true and that other baptisms aren't real or whatever. I mean if a Jew did the same to Joseph Smith I wouldn't care... cause it wouldn't mean anything to me, with me being LDS and all.

      February 27, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
  16. Dakota2000

    What a vile and disgusting 'religion.'

    February 27, 2012 at 3:09 am |
  17. toronto girl

    i wonder why others such as Mormoms feel that we jews are up for grabs. That we are not content with what we are. That this is something we would desire. why don't you just mind your own damn business??

    February 26, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
  18. Thomas Harless

    Corinthians 15:29 (This is not from the Book of Mormon)

    February 26, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • Mormonkid1994

      Incase you weren't aware... Mormons also follow the Bible. Old and New Testament.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Norma

      Paul speaks to the Corinthians these words; "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?"

      February 27, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • MormonKid

      Ok, so? You know how many times the bible has been translated? Plus LDS only follow the King James version, not the BS version.

      February 27, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
  19. DisgruntledGirl

    How about you kock it the f*k off? Ok Mormons? Your credibilty is shaky as it is considering how often you straddle the line between religion and cult.

    February 26, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • Dakota2000

      In what way to they straddle the line. They are a cult.
      They are certainly not Christian.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:08 am |
    • Mormonkid1994

      And the Jewish religion isn't a cult?

      February 27, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  20. Dana

    You know, if you're really angry about this, but you're turning a blind eye while Christian missionaries go to developing countries with food in one hand and a Bible in the other, you're a load of hypocrites. This is nothing but an imaginary-game exercise that affects nobody except those Mormons who believe in it. Yes, it's tacky. Yes, they're jerks. But it's still an imaginary game, and clearly a lot of you commenting are atheists, so you know this and I don't need to tell you. If you really want to stop bad Christian behavior, though, this is not the place to do it. Go to the developing countries and stop them from converting everyone through starvation. THAT is where they are a big problem. Why don't I see any atheist groups in those countries feeding the poor with no strings attached? I mean real atheist groups now, not just ones with no official religious designation. Where are you? I'm agnostic but I'd really like to know.

    February 26, 2012 at 1:38 am |
    • DisgruntledGirl

      Word to Dana! Yes if anything the Mormon Church can look at the older Christian Church and yell "I learned it watching you!"

      February 26, 2012 at 11:34 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.