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. jon

    Ladies and gentleman, your next President, Mitt Romney!!!!!

    Hey I just saw a flying pig outside my window!

    February 23, 2012 at 9:32 am |
  2. Tom

    If the Mormons keep tweaking their religion, maybe some day they'll get it right. I'm just glad I have the freedom to not be a Mormon.

    February 23, 2012 at 9:32 am |
    • Ichoosefreedom

      That is just the point. If you don't beleive Mormon doctrine is true, then what's the problem? It is then all without relevence. It only has import if you beleive in it. I have to wonder why this is becoming an issue in this election year.

      February 23, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • NM

      Everything about the Mormon "religion" contradicts traditional Christianity, meaning everything that Christ Himself gave and taught us, the Mormons deny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      February 23, 2012 at 10:13 am |
  3. Miss Peg

    I just saw this heading. Second one of this nature this week. It dawned on me...is CNN covering Mormon news like this because CNN has another motive? Isn't it a coincidence that a GOP candidate is Mormon? Are they trying to cast doubt? Never posted before but this was a good one I couldn't pass up. Be careful little eyes what you see. Be careful little minds what you decipher.

    February 23, 2012 at 9:32 am |
  4. Greg

    So they get to go through the holocaust and go to hell when they're done because the mormons don't have strong enough convictions about their doctrine...I don't believe God fathers spirit babies on planet Kolob but this makes no sense...if you believe it gives them a chance to 'accept Christ' (I think He needs to accept us through repentance and faith, but I digress) then stick to your convictions! Isn't their soul worth bucking the system??

    February 23, 2012 at 9:31 am |
  5. The Veteran

    Sounds like somebody is poking at Mitt on the sly.... They're coming for you Mittens.... Look out...

    February 23, 2012 at 9:31 am |
  6. Saliba

    Anne Frank was a wh0re who had s=e=x with men

    February 23, 2012 at 9:30 am |
  7. Ann

    After a person has been baptized by proxy, they have a right to either accept or reject that baptism. This is not something that is forced on them. We believe in Free Agency, which means that we are free to choose. The work is being done for them out of love for our fellow beings. No other reason.

    February 23, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • Billy

      I guess you don't see the grave insult in making that OFFER in the first place. Maybe when you understand how disrespectful and insulting to the dead this is...you MIGHT begin to understand one of the reasons the rest of the world has a problem with your religion.

      February 23, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • Doc

      No, this "work" is being done out of intolerance. If you truly believe in God and the power He has, you would know that God doesn't need you to assist. Back off.

      February 23, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • Jeremy

      How does one accept or decline baptism-by-proxy after death?

      February 23, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • nobull4u

      Converting dead Jews into Mormons is just plain tacky, whatever your motives. Put yourselves in the other persons shoes and think this through. At a time when Mormons are gaining lots of good PR (the Presidential race, for instance), you're just hurting yourself.

      February 23, 2012 at 9:39 am |
    • Tess

      What part of the person being baptized is already dead don't you get? Do you have some bazaar picture in your mind of them standing just inside some fantasy pearly gates saying " no, really, unbaptize me" ? Are the people who perform this nonsense so unable to convince living people to join them that they will get their quota of souls any way they can. For the record, I am not holding all Mormon responsible for this anymore than I blame all Muslims for 9/11 or all Christians for the Jim Jones tragedy in Guyana.

      February 23, 2012 at 9:39 am |
  8. koga

    I don't see what the big deal is since both (all) religious systems are crap and therefore will have no bearing on either life or post-life activities.

    February 23, 2012 at 9:29 am |
  9. coder

    like all religions
    people do stupid things in the name of a man made faith, not their own

    if the prophets were ever real – they certainly should be ashamed of their followers now

    February 23, 2012 at 9:29 am |
  10. nanna

    The churches, religions and etc., want people to live in FEAR to control and clean out your bank account by making you feel guilty about giving to God when you are just making people in the church rich. There is so much abuse in religions and how they love you to be their slaves. All because of the fear factor. Why don't people just help others in need when they can and not feel all the guilt that goes with churches. I dislike mostly the big churches that are run like a corporation and hauling in tons of money and asking for more.

    February 23, 2012 at 9:29 am |
  11. McDonald

    I am sick and tired of listening to the dam.n holocaust. GET OVER IT AND CONCENTRATE ABOUT SOMETHING MORE IMPORTANT! Who cares if 6 million Jews died..... right now they make up their "lost" population by having 10 kids and forcing their cr*p lifestyle to their kids. Jews worship S.A.T.A.N with their big nose

    The holocaust is FAKE FAKE FAKE

    February 23, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • Doc

      You are an idiot.

      February 23, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • coder

      indifference like yours
      is what created religion in the first place
      Though jews do lay claim to the holocaust – they were not the only victims – You seem to have forgotten that

      February 23, 2012 at 9:31 am |
  12. Michael

    These Mormons have absolutely 0 respect for other religions.

    February 23, 2012 at 9:29 am |
  13. Pickngrin

    Mormonism: It's not just for the living anymore. Seriously, this is beyond moronic,and particularly egregious given that the Franks lost their lives for being Jewish. I hope it is true that this violates the LDS church policy.

    February 23, 2012 at 9:28 am |
  14. ryan

    worthless Jew Trash??? How can you be so hateful? Sorry if this sounds like scolding a child but, Shame On you!!! On behalf of human beings, I am deeply sorry that someone could actually say this garbage.

    February 23, 2012 at 9:28 am |
  15. Church of Suicidal

    Maybe we should start un-baptizing dead mormons.

    February 23, 2012 at 9:27 am |
  16. Joe T.

    I am not religious. I despise religion. I do not believe in any Mormon or Christian baptism hocus-pocus.

    That being said, in my opinion, this is a matter of principle and for that reason I cannot stand this practice.

    February 23, 2012 at 9:24 am |
  17. Drew

    1 Corinthians 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 23, 2012 at 9:24 am |
    • coder

      which person made that up?

      February 23, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • Markus


      February 23, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • Joe T.

      You should probably look up the context of that verse and you will feel very foolish... as all people who believe the Bible is 100% true, usually do.

      February 23, 2012 at 9:30 am |
  18. Jesus our Lord and Savior!


    February 23, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • think for yourself

      Jesus has been dead for 2,000 years. Get over it.

      February 23, 2012 at 9:28 am |
    • Doc

      That's fine for you, and for many. Me too. But it's not for you to decide for anyone else. Mind your own Ps and Qs, and let the rest of the planet deal with whatever form of God they choose in their own way, without interference from you. God doesn't need your help anyway.

      February 23, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • Carl

      Believing in Jesus is entirely your choice and your right. But you have NO RIGHT to impose your personal belief on anyone else, least of all on those who were brutally murdered because of their own deeply held religious beliefs. This is an abhorrent practice which demonstrates deep contempt and disrespect for the values and beliefs by which others lived and died, NOT love.

      February 23, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • Wraith

      Oh good. More zealotry. Just what the world needs.

      February 23, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • Shalomit

      That may be your belief, but it is not to be forced on anybody. Are you aware that one of the main reasons the United States came into being was persecution for religious belief in other countries? This is outrageous, not only to me, but to any person of any form of belief or non-belief other than the LDS who MADE A DECISION TO JOIN. Where do you get the chutzpah to do this not only to the dead but to the survivors of the Holocaust in particular, along with any Jews or those of other faiths? This is a form of anti-Semitism/racism and and somehow takes back our freedom of religion when we die. I'm sure this has caused a lot of pain for not only the survivors of those 'chosen' – by Hitler and his followers, not in any other way – but it must bring back the horrors for any other victims of the Holocaust who are still alive, to the survivors' families, and to all who CHOOSE beliefs other than yours. Personally I feel fear of another Holocaust when I read things like this. Not only was I born after the war, but I was born with First Amendment rights. and stories of my family members who were in the camps. I fail to see how the LDS can baptize in absentia or do anything that pushes their beliefs on others still with us or not,

      Is your next step yellow arm bands w/ Stars of David on them?

      February 23, 2012 at 11:13 am |
  19. us1776

    Religion. The scourge of the human race.


    February 23, 2012 at 9:21 am |
  20. chazzz

    Sound like a good opportunity to mind other peoples business...

    February 23, 2012 at 9:21 am |
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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.