LJWorld.com weblogs autie

Mormons and Jews


OK, I need some help to understand something I heard on the radio. I listened to a piece about the Mormon Church doing some kind of symbolic baptism of Jewish people that died during World War II at the hands of the Nazis. Apparently from what I gathered the Jewish community doesn't think much of this practice and I can understand that part. What I don't get is why do the Mormons bother with this practice? What do they hope to get out of it? Why does one group, wholly uninvited, conduct some symbolic ritual in the name of dead people from another group? Anybody?


Paul R Getto 6 years, 2 months ago

Hard to say except it's their doctrine to baptize all they can. I heard the Jews object, but the Mormons have responded something like: "If the dead soul rejects the Christian baptism, it won't stick, so it doesn't matter." More from the age of magic, I guess. Some interesting dialogue here: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20111108143434AAYThUr

Paul R Getto 6 years, 2 months ago

"But then again isn't all religion based in some weird self deception?" === True that.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 2 months ago

"claiming to have found some golden tablets"

You would not be the first to do that. See my posting below.

beatrice 6 years, 2 months ago

Mitt Romney is running for office, so all discussions of Mormon practices is now off limits? Sorry, but you are the first to bring up Romney. Give your politics a rest for two seconds.

beatrice 6 years, 2 months ago

As Rick Perry supporters already demonstrated, it is the right that is likely to be more jittery about Romney's mormonism than anyone else -- hence your bringing it up here, but not others. Again, are stories about Mormons supposed to be off limits now?

RoeDapple 6 years, 2 months ago

i gots babtased whin i wuz a lil frat. i thunked it ment i coud sang in the quire. i thinks ther wil be plenny of joos an moremens an babtizers an catheritters whare evr i ind up. maebee som hindews an som izlumses to. but no frenchies. ther be a speshul plaec for frenchies


Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 2 months ago

"Is that afterlife thing kind of like the after party after the club closes?"

You might look into some of the official Reform Jewish platform for some clarification. For instance, as the rabbi said recently in response to someone's question: "Most Reform Jews are uncomfortable with the idea of an afterlife."

Also, there was an interesting sermon some time ago which discussed this question: "Did the miracles described in the Bible really occur?"

"No, but you are free to believe they did if you want."

Judaism is all about ethics and morals, and the afterlife, if there is one, is seldom discussed. After a bereavement, a common thing to say to say is: "May his memory be a blessing."

The upshot is this: Judaism teaches that what is important is to lead a moral and righteous life while we are alive, because we are not here to worry about what happens to us after we die, but rather to life life properly while we are here. What happens to us after this life is not our problem.

Of course, not all Jews lead righteous lives, but the same can be said about the adherents of any religion.

And, Judaism teaches that there is no Hell, because it is not mentioned even once in the Tanakh. So if you want to be saved from it, go find another religion.

Mormons will have to speak for themselves, because I really don't believe that Joseph Smith dug up some plates of gold written in a language found nowhere else on earth near the village of Manchester, Ontario county, New York.

And that giant submarine that Jared and the Jaredites crossed the Atlantic ocean in way back in prehistoric times certainly does stretch my credibility. Cattle and all? Come on.

And why was it necessary to repeat "And it came to pass" so many times?

But, I do have to admit I wasn't there, so I don't know for sure.

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 2 months ago

There's actually verses to this that my dad taught me that aren't in the Elvis version. One that comes to mind is: Queen Elizabeth she fell dead in love with me We were married in Milwaukee secretly But I snuck around and shook her And ran off with General Hooker To shoot mosquitoes down in Tennessee.

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 2 months ago

Back to seriousness: I just wonder how the Mormon Church would take it if Jews began to "unbaptise" Mormons.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 2 months ago

Simmer on down, Autie; there will be a more harmonious outcome. I wonder too about Mitt R. Don't care if he's a Mormon or anything else; if he's elected, like any president, his policy proposals will concern me the most. I guess when the first Pastafarian is elected we'll know we are maturing as a country. Will people wear their sacred colanders to the fancy dances?

an_actual_mormon 6 years, 2 months ago

I believe you are thinking of Jehovah's Witnesses, not Mormons.

Richard Payton 6 years, 2 months ago

Remember, Obama's guy Jeremiah Wright of Trinity United Church of Christ on Chicago's south side. He thought the US was to be blamed for 9/11.

Liberty275 6 years, 2 months ago

Yes, all religions are wacky. They have to be to attract people to the lie so some profit can be made. The practitioners are pretty wacky too, but no worse than those kneeling at the trough of The State and begging for a handout.

Kim Murphree 6 years, 2 months ago

Here's what I know from research on LDS baptism for the dead, which is what the original post is referring to...there is no "gain" for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints except an expression of their faith, the doctrine is a combination of the belief that baptism is a covenant with God that gives a person the opportunity to receive all the blessings afforded through Christ, the LDS doctrine says God is no respecter of persons (which means, if a person has not had the opportunity to hear the gospel, he or she can still accept Christ after death--the baptism for the dead was referred to by Paul in 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?) and a desire to perform that rite for those who have sufferend and passed away, in case they choose to follow Christ in the afterlife. This practice, that according to LDS doctrine, was restored to the earth when Joseph Smith Jr. received the Melchizedek Priesthood as part of a total restoration of the full gospel of Jesus Christ, which LDS members believe was distorted over the generations since Christ. When the LDS leaders heard from the Jewish leaders, they stopped the practice. That's all this is about. You will find LDS people of all political and philosophical persuasions these days--pro-choice--pro-gay-civil rights. Remember, Democrat Harry Reid is also LDS--not just Republican Mitt Romney. And singer Gladys Knight is also a convert. If you are not a person of faith, then none of this will really matter at all. Hope I answered the question that was posted originally.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 2 months ago

+1. Good stuff; thanks. All of this magic is fascinating to me and, I suppose, many others. Appreciate the research.

tolawdjk 6 years, 2 months ago

I thought Paul's baptisim for the dead was for those born before Christ? Or is this one of the interpretational differences between the LDS and other sects of Christianity?

And do they only do this for dead Jews?

Kirk Larson 6 years, 2 months ago

They did it to Mitt Romney's father-in-law who was an atheist.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 2 months ago

tolawdjk: Interesting point. My studies suggest they had lots of policy debates on these matters and others for generations, even centuries. I don't recall the baptism thing, but do recall periods where some of the great ESSENE's followers would dispute, sometimes physically and at great cost, the question: is 'he' 50/50 mangod, one drop god and the rest man; one drop man and the rest god? With these questions for motivation, small wars can start. We've carried on the tradition in a sense. "My god can beat up your god" drives much of foriegn policy.

Ceallach 6 years, 2 months ago

Sorry, guys, there are only 143,999 left -- I done been to the water!!

notaubermime 6 years, 2 months ago

I really don't see what the harm in this is? Whatever wacky reasons people want to do this, what exactly is it hurting. At worst, this is an expression of concern for the people who died in the Holocaust. Its not like they will be kicked out of the Jewish Heaven because some Mormon baptized them. As long as they are not being in-your-face about it, what is the harm in letting people express their sympathy?

Kendall Simmons 6 years, 2 months ago

It's not expressing sympathy, though. I mean, what kind of sympathy is being expressed by someone basically telling you "I'm very sorry for your loss, but your mother is going to hell because she didn't believe in my religion, so I'm going to convert her now that she's dead and can't stop me from doing it"?

It's arrogance, not sympathy, to deliberately pretend to be someone else so that you can pretend they are baptized into your faith...paying no mind whatsoever to what their faith/belief was or what they would have wanted. Paying no mind whatsoever to the wishes of the family whose loss it truly was.

notaubermime 6 years, 2 months ago

Wow. I couldn't help but laugh at your post. Do you honestly think that they are trying to gain converts post-mortem? Are you convinced that there is a history book somewhere in Utah that is claiming Anne Frank was a Mormon? That the Holocaust was an event where Hitler murdered millions of Mormons?

Because my perception is that in their minds it has a lot more to do with ensuring a place in heaven for these victims.

Liberty275 6 years, 2 months ago

"If Hitler had been a Mormon, I would understand the outrage."

He would probably be a Unitarian these days.

Kim Murphree 6 years, 2 months ago

To answer at least a couple of your questions, from what I discovered: 1) Post-mortem baptisms have to wait at least one year from the time of death--and in those cases must be submitted by a family member, 2) there are only rare occasions that people other than family can submit names--and those records are generally over 50 years after the passing of the decedent, 3) For more recent records, the permission of the next of kin is required, 4) Rituals are not necessarily secret, as they are limited to who can attend by virtue of the Temple reqiurements for living within specific parameters; such as the word of wisdom--no coffe or tea or addictive substances, no smoking; honesty, no abuse...etc. The rituals are mechanisms to "seal" families in family groups because LDS belief system says that families are forever. Other ordinances; including baptism for the dead are easily discovered at lds.org.

Liberty275 6 years, 2 months ago

DO NOT get weird with my effigy in your pool. Ewww.

Kirk Larson 6 years, 2 months ago

I say we find some agreeable Satanists and have them posthumously indenture Mormons into the service of Satan. See how they like that.

an_actual_mormon 6 years, 2 months ago

Not believing in the efficacy of posthumous satanic indenture, I can assure you it would not affect us in the least.

Kirk Larson 6 years, 2 months ago

It's just as effective as posthumous baptism. Believing something really, really hard does not make it true.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 2 months ago

A friend of mine used to say this quite often:

"Perception is reality."

Who's to say, really?

Mike Ford 6 years, 2 months ago

one faith turns Jack Abramov and Richard Blumenthal loose on indigenous peoples and the other claims that indigenous peoples are the lost children of the past and steals their lands and their children through black market adoption. Who needs organized religion????

Bob Forer 6 years, 2 months ago

You must be a Christian bigot, or merely a bigot. The indiscretions of Abramoff and Blumenthal had nothing to do with their religious beliefs.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 2 months ago

Your statement reeks of anti-semitism and should be withdrawn.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 2 months ago

You have to be on lysergic acid diethylamide to think that Jesus and Mary are even mentioned at all in Jewish religious books.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 2 months ago

Name the Mishnah or Gemara where these alleged mentions are, and I'll post a correct translation here.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 2 months ago

By the way, you should study up on proper grammar.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 2 months ago

Go read it. I have provided you with a link.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 2 months ago

"This is like conversation."

That's pretty funny, actually. Because not long ago a friend of mine that has been reading my postings compared my grammar here with my grammar and speech in person. I don't remember her exact words, but it was to the effect that the readers here probably don't realize that this is the way I actually do converse.

Liberty275 6 years, 2 months ago

If you supply the acid, I'll think Jesus and Mary are wherever you say. Try to get shrooms though as I'm attempting to live more organically.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 2 months ago

But it is true that Jesus and Mary are discussed in Islamic religious books. Perhaps you have confused Muslims with Jews.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 2 months ago

Dream on in your fantasy world. I actually did discuss that with the rabbi once, because I had once heard that baseless rumor also.

The name "Jesus" was mentioned maybe once, but that was a very common name, much as "Mike" or "John" is today, and was discussing someone else.

And I do not believe that you would ever be able to locate that alleged mention at all, considering that the Talmud is approximately the length of the Encyclopedia Britannica.

I suppose your next claim will be that 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion' is an authoritative reference work.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 2 months ago

That astounding and ridiculous claim brings up an interesting memory of something that happened a couple years ago.

There were visitors at a Jewish Temple where I happened to be attending Shabbot services. They mentioned their religious background, I forget what it was, but it was one of the Protestant denominations. Every once in a while, Christians attend in order to see how Jesus would worship, if He were alive today.

They examined the hymnal with amazement. There was the Hebrew script and the transliteration of it, but no translation of the prayers that they express. And, there's no music in the hymnal either. After attending for a while, you're expected to know the melody. It's really not difficult.

They quietly asked me and my friends a couple questions. The first, referring to the Hebrew script, was "Can you read that?"

That one was easy. No, at my educational level, I know only a few of the characters of the Hebrew alphabet. But that's not a problem, because the transliteration is right there. A complete understanding of לשון הקודש is not at all necessary to participate in the prayers.

Then one of them asked: "What do they say about Jesus?"

Our jaws dropped. How do you answer a question like that? You shouldn't laugh, because any question that is asked in earnest deserves an answer that is not accompanied with ridicule.

There were a few moments of silence. I was the one to break the silence by explaining the truth to them:

"It's simply never mentioned."

And, Mohammed, Buddha, Zeus, Apollo, or Joseph Smith are never mentioned either, for that matter.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 2 months ago

Here's an online translation of the Talmud for you to start looking for your reference: http://www.sacred-texts.com/jud/talmud.htm

Maddy Griffin 6 years, 2 months ago

Wasn't Romney's Dad baptised Mormom after he was dead?

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 2 months ago

Genesis Chapter 3, verse 19: "In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return."

There are two types of baptism recognized by Christians. One is immersion, which is borrowed from Judaism in which case it is a ritual bathing that is considered to be purifying, and the body of water used is called a Mikveh (the transliterated spelling is variable).

The other type of Christian baptism is done by sprinkling only a few drops of water.

So since there is rain once in a while, and there are floods once in a while, if you're buried or your ashes are scattered, you're going to be baptized after death, whether you like it or not.

purplesage 6 years, 2 months ago

The practice of baptism for the dead is tied to some basic tenents of Mormon belief - ones which set it apart from Christianity. "True religion" is held to have disapperared from the earth when "white and delightsome" Nephites were defeated by Laminites, whose descendants are American Indians, South Pacific Islanders, etc.. BTW - Laminites can get a free education at BYU.

When Joseph Smith allegedly discovered the golden tablets, true religion returned to the earth in the form of the Mormon church. Thus, for around 1500 years, no one was baptized in the true religion of Mormonism. Hence, the genealogy, to be baptized for the dead in one's family and, for those who may have perished.

They also believe that Mormon men become gods and summon their wives - both actual and "spiritual" into resurrection. And, the Mormon eschatology holds that the Council of Twelve save America at the last minute from doom and run the country.

Come to think of it, Mitt Romney DOES need to talk more about his Mormon beliefs.

an_actual_mormon 6 years, 2 months ago

What, pray tell, is a "spiritual" wife? My one actual wife and I would be interested in knowing who these other spiritual wives are.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 2 months ago

I know the answer to that one, and I'm not even a Mormon! But, I have known quite a few Mormons and have read some on the subject. (And, my sister and her family converted years ago. But they certainly do not practice their faith at all.)

A "spiritual wife" is the second or more "wife" of a male member of the The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS Church). Unlike the other denominations of Mormonism, they practice polygamy today.

Since polygamy is illegal in the United States, the "first wife" is the only one that is legally married to him. All the others are "spiritual wives" and are not legally married to him at all. They just live with him.

There are various protocols associated with the practice that are not worth going into here, but that's the essence of it.

The television series 'Big Love', which was aired rather recently featured it. I watched many episodes of it, and it certainly did illustrate many of the difficulties that the members of the FLDS Church face. And, it's a very good illustration of why polygamy is such a difficult practice.

Many people do not seem to be aware that there are several denominations of Mormonism. It's rather interesting to visit Temple Square in Independence, Missouri where there are three major Mormon churches or cathedrals, each representing a different denomination.

Temple Square itself is a smooth, grassy field, with nothing built on it at all. It is the location that Joseph Smith himself prophesied that Jesus Christ would return to Earth. There's quite a story about the history of the ownership of that particular parcel of land, but today it is owned by one of the denominations that has no intention of ever selling it.

purplesage 6 years, 2 months ago

The Mormon church has disavowed polyamy (i.e., the Salt Lake City Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) since the late 1800's - bowing to the demands of the federal government to facilitate Utah statehood. Mormon men can still "marry" women to whom they are not legally married in this world. These marriages are sealed in the Temple and are for eternity. And, after all, if "as man is, God once was; as God now is, man will one day become" is to be fulfilled, and a human male who has met the requirements (mission, tithing, marriage, etc.) to become a god over his own planet, he needs wives to bear spirit children with which to populate said planet.

Mormons promote large families because of the belief that spirit children are born and waiting in the spiritual realm for physical bodies to be available. (Orthodox Christianity does not believe in the pre-existance of human spirits, taking one of two positions. Either, God created the spirit at conception or the ability to pass on the spiritual is part of the nature of htis world.) Psalm 127 says a man is blessed if he has a quiver full of children. The number of arrows in such a quiver was either 7 or 9, my memory fails.

From my years in the southwest, I assure you, polygamy is a very active practice among various Mormon sects. And, in the spiritual sense, it is still a belief of "mainstream" Mormons as well, though not widely publicized.

PapaB 6 years, 2 months ago

A couple corrections for you:

Mormons are law-abiding citizens, they are committed to follow the laws of the land. Mormons are only allowed to be legally married to one person in this life, per US laws. Mormons still allow polygamy after this life, SO, this occurs when a wife dies and the husband remarries - He is now legally married to his living wife and spiritually married to 2 women. This is the only condoned type of polygamy in the Mormon church. Mormons believe we have the potential to become like God, having everything he has, so there is no limit on the amount of worlds, so its not just one planet each... Mormons promote large families because they believe the command given to Adam and Eve to "multiply and replenish the earth" applies to all mankind. Going on a mission is not a requirement to become like God. Marriage is, Tithing is, having the Priesthood is.

I think I'll stop there with the corrections, but I hope people will just go to Mormon.org and see what Mormons say they believe instead of believing what someone says on a message board.

Yes, I'm Mormon.

Kim Murphree 6 years, 2 months ago

My understanding is that there is still choice in the afterlife...even people who are "sealed" or married will have the opportunity to choose, and that NO members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can practice polygamy today and remain an active member. As far as the potential to "become like God," my understanding is that God is regarded as male and female together and is an all-loving being--that people as children of this being can grow over milleniums of time to become more like that. So the goal is actually to become more loving...isn't the term "the pure love of Christ" or "charity"?

Mike Ford 6 years, 2 months ago

actually, I'm a grown preachers kid and and I'm Choctaw and the Abramov and Blumenthal references deal with Jack Abramov using the similarities between Jewish people and Native Americans as he did when he hoodwinked the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana out of millions of dollars in lobbying fees (Casino Jack movie with Kevin Spacey which he still hasn't paid pack even after a court order and prison). Richard Blumenthal made a career fighting the Pequots, Mohegans, Schagticokes, and Paugusset tribes in Connecticut as the state attorney general. Mormans blamed Shoshones and Paiutes for the Mountain Meadow Massacre and got an exemption from the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 so they still try to adopt Native American children and replace their tribal identity with a Morman one. You name a denomination and I name atrocities and land theft and molestation. No denomination is innocent and I say this as a preachers kid and a Choctaw person. I'm not a bigot. I simply state real history you don't want to acknowledge about protestants, catholics, mormans, and other denomination who exploited indigenous peoples for lands and identity.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 2 months ago

Has a Choctaw person ever done anything bad? If the answer is yes, does that make you culpable?
Let's be clear, people of every race, every ethnicity, every religion, every everything have done bad things to other people in the name of the race, ethnicity, religion, etc. It's equally true of Christians, Jews, Muslims. Equally true of blacks, white, brown, yellow. Equally true for every group. The problem arises when you keep picking on one group to the exclusion of other groups. Or you pick on a variety of groups to the exclusion of your own. The very act of telling a half truth is to be telling a half lie. And if you repeat your half lie again and again, and interject race, religion, ethnicity into your half lie, then you become a bigot.
Indigenous peoples are no better and no worse than any other group. They fought each other just as Europeans fought each other, just as Africans fought each other, just as Asians fought each other. And when the various races came into contact with each other, they continued to fight. No culture has been immune. Not mine. And not yours.

JayhawkFan1985 6 years, 2 months ago

I don't think groups like the Quakers and Amish have ever committed atrocities...

Kim Murphree 6 years, 2 months ago

I've interviewed alot of LDS Native American people, and they do not bear the animosity that you do specifically toward LDS people. Some are converts, some have been raised by parents who are converts, but all are believers. A very powerful and interesting set of interviews from those who continue with their tribal culture, but have incorporated their LDS (Mormon) beliefs.

beatrice 6 years, 2 months ago

I think I missed something, but did the mormon and the jew walk into a bar, or didn't they?

Mike Ford 6 years, 2 months ago

actually, jhawkinsfb....Choctaws have been at the side of the US since day one. Pushmataha ran off Tecumseh and Tenskwataweh, the Shawnee leaders, when they came south from Prophetstown in modern day Indiana to get the Choctaws to side with the British in the War of 1812, Pushmataha told them to leave. Pushmataha and Choctaw warriors fought Red Stick Creek warriors on the side of Andrew Jackson and fought along Andrew Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans against the British forces. Pushmataha went to DC after the Doaks Stand Treaty of 1820 and died in DC and was buried in the Arlington National Cemetery as a hero. For all of the loyalty to America, the Choctaws were backstabbed by Andrew Jackson and 85 percent of them were removed with threats of force to Oklahoma by boat and foot through snow dying by the thousands, Choctaw soldiers were code talkers in World War One and the Choctaw Nation gave money to the Irish Government during the Potato Famine of the 1840's and the Irish people still pay homage to the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Choctaw soldier Joseph Oklahombi was the Choctaw Alvin York capturing hundreds of German soldiers in a three day battle earning the' Croix De Guerre medal in the process. You may give your simple answer to negate the actions of denominations. You have the luxury of being an oblivious american. If I didn't mention the stuff above...what would you know?

jhawkinsf 6 years, 2 months ago

You're correct in that I would have known little of what you mentioned. It's a history of your people and I would expect you to know it better that I. On the other hand, I suspect I know a lot more about the history of my people. That's just the way things go. Yet you failed to address the point I made. If a Choctaw does something bad, are all Choctaws culpable? If a Jew, Christian or Muslim does something bad, are all Jews, Christians and Muslims culpable. Blacks? Asians? Africans? There is an obvious answer to all these questions, in my opinion. That answer is no. From your comments, I get the sense that you would like to extend culpability for the actions of individuals to entire groups of people. You want to extend culpability for the actions of great-great-great grandfathers to the great-great-great grandsons. I say no thank you.

beatrice 6 years, 2 months ago

I would like to know if Santorum believes the world is 6,000 years old.

JayhawkFan1985 6 years, 2 months ago

We all be required to believe that if Santorum is elected...

JayhawkFan1985 6 years, 2 months ago

Do you actually believe that Santorum is tolerant?

Mike Ford 6 years, 2 months ago

naw....santorum's playing to the base of crazies....

oldbaldguy 6 years, 1 month ago

Depends on what fairy tale you believe. I do not know anymore. It is just as likely we are some experiment of an off planet civilization.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.