Mormons apologize for posthumous baptisms of Wiesenthal's parents
Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal.
February 15th, 2012
04:21 PM ET

Mormons apologize for posthumous baptisms of Wiesenthal's parents

By Moni Basu, CNN

(CNN) - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has apologized for "a serious breach of protocol" in which the parents of the late Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal were posthumously baptized as Mormons.

The church also acknowledged that three relatives of Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel were entered into the genealogy database, though not referred for baptism.

Asher Wiesenthal and Rosa Rapp were baptised in proxy ceremonies in temples in Utah and Arizona, according to the database records discovered by researcher Helen Radkey in Salt Lake City.

The Wiesenthal baptisms violated a 1995 pact in which the church agreed to stop baptizing Jewish Holocaust victims.

"We sincerely regret that the actions of an individual member of the church led to the inappropriate submission of these names," said church spokesman Michael Purdy.

"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."

Mormons believe that they may be baptized by proxy for deceased ancestors who never had that opportunity.

Church members, however, are supposed to request such baptisms only for their own relatives, Purdy said.

The agreement over Holocaust victims came about after it was discovered that hundreds and thousands of names had been entered into Mormon records.

Jewish leaders said it was sacrilegious for Mormons to suggest Jews on their own were not worthy enough to receive God's eternal blessing. Radkey, who has been tracking Mormon genealogy records for a while for people who ought not to be there, said she inadvertently stumbled upon the Wiesenthal name a few weeks ago. Among others people she discovered had been baptized by proxy is President Barack Obama's mother, Stanley Ann Dunham.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center denounced the baptisms.

Wiesenthal's father died in combat in World War I. His mother perished at the Belzec concentration camp in 1942. Holocaust survivor Simon Wiesenthal died in 2005 after spending years hunting down Nazis.

"We are outraged that such insensitive actions continue in the Mormon Temples," said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, who participated in many of the high-level meetings between Jews and Mormon officials.

"Such actions make a mockery of the many meetings with the top leadership of the Mormon Church dating back to 1995 that focused on the unwanted and unwarranted posthumous baptisms of Jewish Victims of the Nazi Holocaust," he said in a written statement.

He expressed gratitude to Radkey for "exposing the latest outrage."

Radkey also found the names of relatives of Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor, author and Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

"In this case, the Wiesel family names were not submitted for baptisms but simply entered into a genealogical database," Purdy said. "Our system would have rejected those names had they been submitted."

Purdy said it was "distressing" that church members had violated policy and regretted that "an offering based on love and respect becomes a source of contention."

Radkey said the church makes such breaches possible because any member can submit a name not connected to their own family.

"There are way too many entries slipping through the cracks, including Jewish Holocaust victims," she said. "It's (the Mormons') belief to save the dead that is causing the problem."

Wiesel, meanwhile, told the Huffington Post that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who is Mormon, should speak to his own church and tell them to stop the practice of proxy baptisms on Jews.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Judaism • Mormonism

soundoff (2,053 Responses)
  1. Rabbi Meir Lichenstein

    Pitiful Goyim, how dare you transgress against the CHOSEN PEOPLE OF GOTTTT! *huff huff*

    February 16, 2012 at 9:52 am |
  2. Im Free

    Since this article has prompted a certain level of debate regarding Mormonism in general I am happy to stand and say I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon) and I am grateful for it. I live my faith to the best of my ability and it brings peace and blessings to my life. I believe that Jesus is the the Son of God and the Savior of the World and I am thankful that He has provided means that all may receive His promised blessings if they so CHOOSE.

    February 16, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • Lacking Evidence since 14 Billion BCE

      Great. Why do you think it's actually true?

      February 16, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • Im Free

      The evidence is the fruit the gospel has brought to my life. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them(MATT 7:20)

      February 16, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • The Deceiver

      You believe that Jesus was created. You have effectively loss all credibility with God (as God = Jesus). So tell me creature, how do you believe that the Creator created the Creator? Mormonism is nothing more a than a fancy lie conjured by Satan himself. Your works will not save you, but the right FAITH in Jesus can. How can you seriously believe a 200 year old religion?? LOL I pray that God moves you to find a sound biblical church that uses the NKJV. Everyday you choose mormonism, is another day closer to Hell.

      February 16, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • reality check

      The Deceiver, your name fits you as you are being deceptive. You claim that the "right faith" saves you. Mormons believe that "every knee shall bow and tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ" and covenant to such in their holy temples. Yet, YOU not Jesus attempt to disqualify that as insufficient faith. I say, YOU don't get a say in the matter.

      You falsely claim that Mormons don't believe that Jesus is God to which I say to you "do not bear false witness" as you are clearly doing. Again, in the temple which the mormons believe sacred and don't talk about it, they convenant that "every knee shall bow and tongue confess Jesus is the Christ." Does this covenant of works "save" them. No, as their faith does. They merely desire to perform works BECAUSE of their faith. Lying for the Lord is pretty ugly on your part.

      Regarding when Jesus was made: What does it matter, but that Jesus came and did as His Father in Heaven promised. Does that make Jesus lesser in your eyes?

      You do realize that the concept of the Trinity came about in 325 A.d. by vote and it wasn't unanimous.

      February 16, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • The Deceiver

      Reality...you sound like an apologist for Satan, mixing truth with lies. You act like you know about the mormon church, and yet you don't say exactly what they preach. So let me ask you a few questions...do you believe that good behaving mormons can become God? Do you really think Jesus is a separate God from the Father? Do you really believe that Jesus was created by a "Father and Mother" in heaven, and is the "elder brother" of all men and spirit beings including Lucifer? Why is there no eternal life outside of Mormon membership? Why do Mormons believe that Jesus death doesn't provide full atonement for sins?

      Everything above is what Mormon doctrine teaches. So if you can explain it to me without mixing truth and lies, then I will give you credit where its due. But the fact that you believe Jesus was created doesn't matter contradicts your entire argument for calling him Lord. I think it's you rather than me undermining the God of the universe. I don't lie for God, but I do stand up for the Word of God. The Word is clear, humans haven't had any new revelations from God since the Apostle John in year 30-34AD. Anything after this time, is false teaching. The apostle Peter teaches this http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Peter+2&version=NIV

      Lastly, the Bible says nothing about a "Trinity", but yet it's evident from several scriptures...GENESIS 1:26 Then God said, Let us make man in "our" image, in "our" likeness, and let them rule..." Here are some others too...Matthew 1:18, 28:18-19, John 10:30-38, Hebrews 1:1-14, 1 Peter 1:2, Deuteronomy 6:4, Isaiah 7:14

      February 16, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
  3. Frank Garrett

    And Joseph Smith found 4 gold tablets, dum dum dum dum dummmmmm

    February 16, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • think for yourself

      Everyone should see that episode of South Park.

      February 16, 2012 at 10:15 am |
  4. Don

    This 'CULT' needs to be tossed in the trash pile and sent packing. I believe in freedom of religion but when ONE religion violates the rights of EVERYONE else then it is time to put the CRAZIES on the crazy train and send them packing. They should be put under intense and constant scrutiny and made to be very transparent and highly visible because some of their practices are so highly held secret it is like trying to break into Nazi Germany.

    February 16, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • reality check

      All religions are cults. The mormons do this based on the New Testament verse, 1 Corinthians 15:29. Funny thing is that most professed christians have never even read their bible.

      “I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” —Stephen F Roberts

      February 16, 2012 at 9:50 am |
  5. jon

    Would those baptized souls have gone to the Planet Krypton, just like the rest of the Mormon followers?

    Say it with me, all you Romney supporters: TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER!

    February 16, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • be careful

      Isn't the planet Kolob?

      February 16, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • reality check

      Close but not quite regarding Kolob. So what if the mormon god didn't name his home heaven but said it was near Kolob? All religions are fairytale.

      February 16, 2012 at 9:57 am |
  6. JW

    Why is it that only this one religious group gets this sort of treatment, why don't Mormons respect all beliefs and all different religions, rather than just the Jewish faith? Not that it really matters, as it is all just nonsense, but still, it is the principle.

    February 16, 2012 at 9:47 am |
  7. Blasphemy

    The nice thing about religion is that all followers, be they Mormon, Jewish, Christian, or Muslim, are all pacifists.

    February 16, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • JW

      I take it you are saying that with sarcasm . . . we know for a fact that they are not pacificsts.

      February 16, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • Blasphemy

      They all claim to be. If we can't take that claim serious how are supposed to take any other claims serious?

      February 16, 2012 at 9:51 am |
  8. reality check

    The Mormon church has told its member NOT to submit names that aren't family members. In every religion there are those that are fundamentalist and don't listen to reason. This is one of those cases. The husband and wife that submitted names have been banned from any more submissions for failing to abide by this policy.

    February 16, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • Don

      Whooppee, as if they are the ONLY ones doing this. Maybe we need to pass a law that this CULT will understand. You ONLY have the RIGHT to baptize yourself, NO ONE ELSE. Think the brain dead can begin to understand THAT? Somehow I truly doubt it but it NEEDS to be done ANYWAY.

      February 16, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • Travis Mundy

      The Mormon church is a deceiving one. It was created by Satan through Joseph Smith to deceive "most people" into thinking that ALL religions are fanatical. The world of religion is a melting pot for Satan's lies and demonic activity. There are so many churches and religions that faithfully lack the presence of the Holy Spirit. If Jesus were to return today (and it's possible according to Biblical Christianity), how many of these fake churches and religions are going to be choke slammed into the lake of fire?? If you want a good church with sound biblical teaching (that of the early christian church)...check out http://www.ccjasper.com or http://www.southeastchristian.org/ or http://marshill.com/

      Let me give you a little bit of history about Mormonism.

      1. It was created 1800 years after Christ's death.
      2. The Book of Mormon is not a new revelation from God but rather a lie from the Angel of Light – Satan.
      3. Mormons believe that Jesus is a separate God from the Father, and that Jesus was created. The Truth: He has always been and is part of a collective God-head of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Read the Bible, you can't confuse this if you are even remotely intelligent.. read John 1.
      3. Mormons believe that Jesus was married to more than 1 wife. Christians believed that Jesus is ONLY married to the church body.
      4. Mormons believe that Jesus death on the cross doesn't provide full atonement for all sin, but does provide everyone resurrection?? What LOL?? That is the most ridiculous thing i have ever heard. Jesus died so that no-one should perish but EVERYONE to come to repentance. (2 Peter:3:9) Jesus is willing to save anyone will believe in Him.
      5. The Holy Spirit is not God according to Mormons. Which is a fundamental belief of all Christians and the one unforgivable sin according to Matthew 12:32 "Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come." Again they are imposters!
      6. Mormons think we are saved by Works, Christians KNOW we are saved by Grace. HUGE difference! Again more lies..
      7. Mormons believe they are the only "religion" who will see eternal life. Christians believe that any man or woman that accepts that Jesus is the Christ, is baptized, and obeys his commandments, they will be saved by grace through Faith. John 14:16 – Jesus is the way, the truth and the life...and no one gets to the Father except through Him.
      8. Mormons fundamentally believe that every person will go 1 of 3 separate heavenly kingdoms with some people actually becoming God themselves. Now this is just crazy and nothing more than Satan thinking He could become God, and everyone knows how that turned out... The Bible is clear...there are only two places to go, Heaven and Hell. If people don't turn from Satan his lies and deception in the Mormon church, they will end up on the other side of the line that God drew in the sand. God says, " you are either with me or against me. (Matt 12:30)
      9. Mormons believe they can BAPTIZE THE DEAD. Christians know that once you are dead...that is the end! Period. At that point your spiritual body or soul is in the hands of eternal Creator. What he does with you is based on your acceptance of Jesus (as Lord and Savior) in your human life and the opportunity he gave you OR your rejection of His Son and the eternal death sentence that awaits you.

      This is about as nice and loving as I can put it...The truth will set you free. Mormons, please stop and think about religion that you are a part of. 1. It doesn't make sense 2. It contradicts the Word of God written over 2000 years ago. It's not to late to get out and become a part of the church body that exists to edify and glorify God through Jesus Christ. Mormonism exists to glorify self and to become God. This is nothing more than pride and a scheme by Satan.

      February 16, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • reality check

      Travis Mundy, I am amazed by either your sheer ignorance or willingness to Lie for your Lord.

      Mormons covenant in the temple: "Every knee shall bow and tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ."
      Mormons don't believe that only mormons get into heaven, but believe that you still get a chance even after death. Effectively you must desire NOT to get into heaven to not get in according to mormon doctrine.
      Mormons believe that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are three personages in one Godhead. So your claim regarding the Holy Ghost is a lie.
      Mormons believe that faith gives you the gift that Christ gave with his sacrifice but with Faith comes the desire to go works.
      You claim mormonism stated in the 1800's, well Christianity didn't start until 325 a.d. and by vote which wasn't unanimous, this includes the doctrine of the Trinity which again WASN'T unanimous.
      Regarding baptism of the dead: 1 Corinthians 15:29

      Seek forgiveness for bearing false witness

      Thank you for giving me more reason for abiding by the following belief: “I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” —Stephen F Roberts

      First post seemed to have not posted or was deleted.

      February 16, 2012 at 11:26 am |
  9. Joe T.

    My hope is that all people in all brain-washing cults are able to wake up and free themselves from the mental shackles that these cults have you trapped in. Some of you will wake up. The rest will waste their time and their life for a cult that doesn't really care about you and only wants your money.

    February 16, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • reality check

      All religions are cults.

      “I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” —Stephen F Roberts

      February 16, 2012 at 9:47 am |
  10. Messianic Jew

    All Jews will go to hell and suffer unless they accept Christ as their Lord & Saviour!

    February 16, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • think for yourself

      You better be good, or Santa will not bring you any presents!

      February 16, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • reality check

      Awesome! You are stating that Jesus didn't die for ALL sins then. He sure wasted his time then

      February 16, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • reality check

      FYI "messianic jew" you are christian and not a jew. They are mutually exclusive. Please read jewsforjudaism.

      February 16, 2012 at 9:43 am |
    • pj

      FYI "reality check", the term "jew" can apply to those of a certain religion OR those of a certain bloodline. Messianic Jew is obviously of a Christian religion and also a Jewish bloodline.

      February 16, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • reality check

      DJ you are wrong. If you convert to Christianity, your grandchildren cannot have right of return to Israel as Jews since they are no longer considered Jewish. "Messianic Jews" are just another genocide, but performed on ignorant jews by their own doing.

      February 16, 2012 at 11:04 am |
  11. John

    USA is a Christian country and Non-Christians should not be allowed U.S. citizenship nor green card!

    February 16, 2012 at 9:34 am |

      John your an idiot. What you just said is unamerican and goes against everything the consitution stands for. The USA is a melting pot and the make up changes overtime. What we see now in terms of race, religion and other attributes changes over time. Get of your high horse and be American and let others live and practice as they believe.

      February 16, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • Seattle Sue

      John, you are a bigot, or maybe just crazy.

      February 16, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • Bill the Cat

      I'm a Christian, and even I realize that this nation is not a Christian nation.

      February 16, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • TXpresby

      The U.S. is not a Christian nation. It is a nation founded upon freedom of religion which means our laws protect all religions.

      February 16, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • Frank Garrett

      Are you John the Nazi?

      February 16, 2012 at 9:50 am |
  12. Biff Tannen

    Why is ANYONE baptising DEAD peopel??? That makes no sense

    February 16, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • reality check

      They aren't literally baptizing dead people, but by proxy. The idea is taken from a verse in the New Testament.

      February 16, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • Joe T.

      reality check, please name the verse.

      February 16, 2012 at 9:43 am |
    • TXpresby

      @ Reality Check – What verse in the New Testament? Are you sure it isn't in the Book of Mormon instead since Mormons seem to be the only religion doing this?

      February 16, 2012 at 9:43 am |
    • Lacking Evidence since 14 Billion BCE

      It's some stupid mormon thing. Who cares, doesn't actually do anything anyways.

      February 16, 2012 at 9:44 am |
    • reality check

      1 Corinthians 15:29 I am Agnostic. I find it amusing that so many professed "christians" know so little about their own bible.

      February 16, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • Frank Garrett

      Cuz Mormons are fricken idiots, they worship a guy who claimed to have found 4 gold tablets that no one else ever saw.

      February 16, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • Vlad

      1 Cor 15:29 – "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 16, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • reality check

      Mormons don't worship Joseph Smith any more than Lutherans worship Martin Luther.

      February 16, 2012 at 11:05 am |
  13. Reality

    Only for the newbies:

    Since there never were an Adam and Eve, Garden of Paradise or talking serpent, there never was any original sin i.e. baptism is a silly supersti-tion that even the Catholic church is slowly coming to grips with.

    From the white board notes of a Catholic Professor of Theology:

    "The story of Adam and Eve is only symbolic.

    Yes, this story was composed in the 900s BCE and functions as an etiology (explanatory myth) . In the 900s Israel was self ruling, under King David and Solomon. The people were no longer at war and the question" Why are we not happy?" may have been asked. The short answer is sin. (Look at 1 Kings 11 for some clues into why the story depicts Eve sinning first and then tempting Adam [Solomon]).

    Original sin is therefore only symbolic of man's tendencies to sin.

    Yes, I teach Original Sin as symbolic of the sins of our origins – in our
    families and in the broader society, both of which affect each person
    profoundly. The "sins of our origins" approach helps to account for certain
    patterns of sin in particular families and societies.

    Baptism does not erase original sin since the sin does not exist. Yes, the old "laundry of the soul," approach to Baptism is no longer accepted.

    Infant Baptism is only a rite of initiation and commits parents and godparents to bringing up the child in a Christian home.

    Yes, but, since baptism is now celebrated at Sunday Eucharist, all the members of the parish family are encouraged to pledge their support and care for the faith life of the newly baptized. (A manifestation of this is
    persons volunteering to teach other people's kids the basics of Catholicism.)"

    As per National Geographic's Genographic project:

    " DNA studies suggest that all humans today descend from a group of African ancestors who about 60,000 years ago (added note: bible time has Adam living about 6000 years ago) began a remarkable journey. Follow the journey from them to you as written in your genes”.

    "Adam" is the common male ancestor of every living man. He lived in Africa some 60,000 years ago, which means that all humans lived in Africa at least at that time.

    Unlike his Biblical namesake, this Adam was not the only man alive in his era. Rather, he is unique because his descendents are the only ones to survive.

    It is important to note that Adam does not literally represent the first human. He is the coalescence point of all the genetic diversity."

    February 16, 2012 at 9:32 am |
    • Bill the Cat

      And MY professor of Theology taught that Adam was literally the first man.

      See? I can appeal fallaciously to authority too!

      February 16, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • ......

      Best response to reality?hit report abuse on all of its posts and move on

      February 16, 2012 at 9:39 am |

    Independents stop listing to this Religion Bashing!!! It is only in an attmept to discredit Romney. His religion has no bearing on this Election. Vote for the only man that can beat Obama.

    February 16, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • Joe T.

      Realist, religion is the last reason we are discrediting Romney. There's so much other stuff to choose from.

      February 16, 2012 at 9:44 am |
    • Dan

      Um, independents aren't likely to be swayed by something as trivial as this. We could care less that Romney is a Mormon, and in all honesty, we find Santorum's crazy intolerant brand of Catholicism much more disturbing. Romney's problem with independents is not his religion, it's his complete lack of understanding of the middle/lower class and his apparent lack of conviction on any topic. Obama is looking better and better.

      February 16, 2012 at 9:44 am |
    • Lacking Evidence since 14 Billion BCE

      His choice of religion says to me that the man has no idea how to evaluate evidence and make decisions based on facts.

      February 16, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • The D

      None of them has a chance to beat Obama, sorry.

      February 16, 2012 at 10:28 am |
  15. Makli

    Holocaust is awesome!! I hope we get another Hitler but now kill all 14 million, not only 6 :/

    February 16, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • Bill the Cat

      Fail. Utter fail...

      February 16, 2012 at 9:32 am |
  16. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, B.A., J.D., S.P.J.

    Now the birthers have the most solid of issues. If Obama's mother was posthumously baptized a Mormon, then he is a Mormon and not a Moslem. So if Santoram's people can latch onto this one, perhaps they can use it in the former Confederate states to prevail over Romney in the primaries and then to win against Obama in the general election. Karl Rove is working on the TV Adds as we speak!

    February 16, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • Bill the Cat

      It's spelled MUSLIM.

      February 16, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • Ronald Reganzo

      President Santorum won't like it.

      February 16, 2012 at 9:38 am |
  17. xeno

    People are saying, "Hey, Mormons! Stop this! We don't want it, you are hurting us." Instead of listening and stopping, instead the church just says, "Oh, it's really no big deal," and continues on. Again, people say "No, really, you are hurting us, we are asking you to stop," yet church members continue on defending what they are doing. That is disrespectful and arrogant at best. If you wonder why there is so much Mormon bashing on here, that is why. You are not listening to other people, you are not respectful of other people, no matter how you want to spin it.

    February 16, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • reality check

      The Mormon church has told its member NOT to submit names that aren't family members. In every religion there are those that are fundamentalist and don't listen to reason. This is one of those cases. The husband and wife that submitted names have been banned from any more submissions.

      February 16, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • Joe T.

      So reality check, I guess that means that ancestors whom you don't know the name of, are you just SOL right? No salvation for them, right?

      February 16, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • DianeL

      This is what religion does. It makes people believe they are right and everyone else is wrong. I don't have a problem with people who have faith there is a god but I do have a problem with people shoving their beliefs down everyone's throat. To me faith and religion are two different things.

      This article somewhat confuses me. At first it seem to say the Weisals were baptized and then it seemed to say they were just put into the Mormon genealogical database. Is this database just for Mormons? These writers always seem to leave something out that would make things a little more clear.

      February 16, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • Joe T.

      So reality check, I guess that means that ancestors whom you don't know the name of, are just SOL right? No salvation for them, right?

      February 16, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • reality check

      According to mormon doctrine, even those whose names aren't known will be fine and the very reason the Church isn't terribly concerned that the "work" isn't being done.

      February 16, 2012 at 11:29 am |
  18. I = rubber, U = glue

    It is good to know that even if you weren't Mormon during your life time, they are concerned enough to try and save your soul after you die. Unlike most Christian comments on this blog that can't wait for athiests to die and burn in hell for their disbelief.

    Thanks Mormons. I don't plan on worshipping your Joseph Smith while I'm alive, but after I die please go ahead and baptize me in case i was wrong. I wonder if after my dead body gets baptized, if my soul is burning in hell and then i just blip into heaven. I'll be like, "What the deuce?"

    February 16, 2012 at 9:23 am |
    • reality check

      You don't have to "worship Joseph Smith" since mormons don't do that either.

      February 16, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • Bill the Cat

      Mormon belief teaches that only those who were never given the chance to accept Christ will be allowed to accept the posthumous work, so you are screwed if that's what you are planning.

      February 16, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • Lacking Evidence since 14 Billion BCE

      See, then why don't people just keep jesus to themselves so we don't have to hear in and therefore have a need to rejected the utter BS that it is.

      February 16, 2012 at 9:51 am |
  19. Abinadi

    Baptism for the dead? Is that a Christian doctrine?

    In the Epistle to the Hebrews we read about the forefathers of the faithful, and then the author declares “that they without us should not be made perfect” (Heb. 11:40), showing a definite relationship between the salvation of the living and the dead.

    Many peoples believe in some form of vicarious work for the dead and burn candles or say prayers in their behalf.

    The atonement of the Christ himself was a vicarious work. He died for us, that we might live. His suffering atoned for our sins. His was a vicarious sacrifice. “… God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16.)

    “He was wounded for our transgressions … with his stripes we are healed.” (Isa. 53:5.) He gave his life as a ransom for us (Matt. 20:28), a vicarious offering. His blood cleanses us of all sin. (1 Jn. 1:5–7.) By his being slain, he redeemed us. (Rev. 5:9–10.) (Mark E. Peterson)

    February 16, 2012 at 9:23 am |
    • Bill the Cat

      Wow...such complete distortions of historical Christianity and orthodox biblical doctrines...

      February 16, 2012 at 9:32 am |
    • reality check

      Hey Cat, "historical christianity" was voted on in the 300's for Political reasons only. Read of Arianism, not to be confused with aryanism.

      February 16, 2012 at 9:39 am |
    • Im Free

      Makes sense to me.

      February 16, 2012 at 9:39 am |
    • Bill the Cat

      ROFL!!! Sorry, but that's just plain nonsense. It existed at the beginning of the Apostolic era.

      February 16, 2012 at 9:43 am |
    • Barry G.

      In the Apostle Paul’s first New Testament epistle to the Christians at Corinth, he mentions the issue of being baptized for the dead. (Note: He does not approve of this or endorse this.) Much to the contrary Paul’s teachings on baptism in each of his epistles are always consistent with that of the Christian church, and he never approves of baptizing the dead or being baptized for the dead. In fact his rejects this and refutes this.

      Paul teaches that every person (Jew and non-Jew [gentle]) is a sinner and is therefore under the curse of sin. He teaches that everyone is lost and dead in their sins, until they receive the forgiveness that only comes through the blood, which Christ shed on the cross for all of us.

      Each person must recognize that they are a sinner and are lost, and without God’s forgiveness; they must confess their sins and state that they believe that Jesus is the son of God, and that he was crucified for their sins; and they must be baptized (immersed) in water, in order to be united with Christ in his death, in order that they may be united with him in his resurrection from the dead.

      This brings us back to the point of the resurrection of the dead, which is the issue that prompted Paul to acknowledge that some were being baptized for those who had died. Paul mentions this, because some were denying that Jesus was resurrected from the dead, and by Paul’s mentioning the fact that some were being baptized for the dead shows that even these individuals who were engaging in this unauthorized and illegitimate practice of baptizing for the dead recognized that there was a resurrection.

      Paul’s position is clear and is consistent with what Jesus taught: The end (death) and eternal judgment will come for each of us suddenly and unexpectedly, and it only comes once; therefore, be prepared. Stop living in sin, accept the forgiveness that can only be obtained through the blood of Christ, and do this before you die and it’s too late!

      For a discussion of this point see:

      February 16, 2012 at 9:59 am |
  20. LightenUP

    "Among others people she discovered had been baptized by proxy is President Barack Obama's mother, Stanley Ann Dunham"

    Oh my, does this mean that Obama is Mormon, or Jewish? Was he actually born in Utah? Was Romney the one who submitted his mother's name? Quick....let's take another look at that birth certificate. Oy Vey......pass the aspirin please.

    February 16, 2012 at 9:22 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36
About this blog

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.