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Friday, February 24, 2012

Researcher Finds Evidence Mormons Posthumously Baptized Anne Frank

A former Mormon is claiming that she’s found yet another Holocaust victim who’s been baptized posthumously into the Mormon faith, something Mormons call proxy baptism, and this time, it’s Anne Frank.

The news comes on a day when potential Republican vice presidential candidate, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, revealed in his upcoming memoir that he was a Mormon when he was a child–though he is currently a practicing Catholic.

In 1995 and again in 2010, the Church of Latter-day Saints agreed to not baptize Holocaust victims.

Last week researcher Helen Radkey brought to light the fact that the parents of Holocaust survivor Simon Wiesenthal were posthumously baptized by church members, and the church apologized.

In response to Radkey’s claim about Anne Frank, the church released this statement:

The church keeps its word and is absolutely firm in its commitment to not accept the names of Holocaust victims for proxy baptism.

It takes a good deal of deception and manipulation to get an improper submission through the safeguards we have put in place.

While no system is foolproof in preventing the handful of individuals who are determined to falsify submissions, we are committed to taking action against individual abusers by suspending the submitter’s access privileges. We will also consider whether other Church disciplinary action should be taken.

It is distressing when an individual willfully violates the Church’s policy and something that should be understood to be an offering based on love and respect becomes a source of contention.

Guest:

  • Helen Radkey, former Mormon and a researcher who’s followed posthumous baptisms

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • BHA in Vermont

    The Mormons REALLY need to start respecting people who do not choose to follow their religion.

    Stay out of their death records, stay off of their doorsteps.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1197655407 Lori Loveland Gilchrist

    There is a disconnect here. Mormonism teaches that the only way to salvation is through having your temple work done but they are told not to do baptisms for holocaust victims/survivors or of Jewish ancestry. Of course you are going to have the rouge Mormon who will do this for what they feel is the “greater good.” It’s what they’ve been conditioned to believe. There are many famous people who have been baptized post humousley in LDS temples. LDS leadership has bragged about having personal revelation to baptize the founding fathers-this is still part of LDS lore. 

    This is the computerized age-there should be a way to stop this from happening. The truth is the LDS church is doing this to millions of deceased people every day without any prior consent. Why do you think they concentrate on genealogy and collecting names? 

  • SF

    And why do you think the Mormons own Ancestry.com? 

    It is so they can eventually baptize all individuals to their religion, dead or alive.

  • Not bothered

    What possible harm can it do?  Unless you believe in this superstitious  nonsense, you know that a religious ritual has no effect on the dead. Why get upset about it…. let them play their silly games.

  • KL

    I am a busy mother of 3, chauffering kids here and there, working on the PTA board, volunteering in their school, etc. Sometimes my only source of news (and grown-up programming) is NPR while I’m on the road. I have long been a listener to NPR, as are many, many of my fellow moms and friends. In the past I’ve even contributed (as the budget would allow) to the local NPR station. I am now a stay-at-home mom by choice and a former teacher. I love to hear differing opinions and explore other points of view. All that said, you cannot begin to imagine the sadness and disappointment I felt as I listened to (yes, I listened to every last word) your program about mormons baptizing holocaust victims. After hearing this, I do not feel I can support a radio station which produces such prejudicially slanted, negative, one-sided reporting. You see, I am a mormon-(that’s okay-I’ll pause while you gasp in horror) have been most of my life.  I try to be kind, contribute positively to my community and teach my children to be responsible citizens of this great country. Yes, we believe that everyone should be offered the ordinance of baptism, but we NEVER, EVER force anyone into baptism, living or dead! We believe one of the greatest, most important gifts all humans have been given by our Father in Heaven is free agency. Just as the living have the choice of whether to be baptized, those precious souls that have gone before us can either accept or reject that proxy baptism.  The lady you interviewed for this piece was a former, excommunicated mormon. I would hate for anyone to interview someone about me who is obviously not a friend of mine(to say the least). Perhaps most hurtful throughout the program was Robin Young’s failure to use the correct name of my church. It is not “the church of Latter Day Saints” or even “Mormon”-a common nickname. I am proud to say that I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.” Please don’t leave our Savior out of the name of my religion as He is very much a part of my life.  I know since governor Romney is in the news so much it seems like open season on “Mormons”, which is just sad. If you reported in such a way about any other religion, race or ethnic group,  there would be widespread public outcry! Lest you think I missed something, I did, in fact, hear you read the statement from church leaders, however, this brief aside did not balance out your report. You’d be better served to report on the millions our church members who are quietly contributing so much in their communites here and around the world (we don’t really talk about it that much). In closing, I do apologize for the long-winded nature of my comment, but I wanted to let you know about me and how I feel. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints,  an educated woman, a mother, a wife and a person with actual feelings, and there are millions out there just like me. So, while you criticize, demean and make fun of us “mormons” we’ll be busy  respecting your right to freedom of religion and trying to make the world a little bit better for ALL of us (including you)!

    KL (NOT speaking for the Church, just for myself!)

    • Robin

      Dear KL,

      I’m sorry this segment upset you, and with your permission I’d like to contact you by the email we have.  As we said, there are plenty of hurt feelings on this issue to go around.

      In the meantime, just a couple of points. You are absolutely right that I misspoke on the full name of the Church! My apologies.

      We’ve done very respectful reporting on the Church, in fact I believe we are the only program alllowed into a Temple (before it opened of course!) for an audio tour. Quite something.  And without getting caught in that
      “some of my best friends are….”  trap, I want to assure you, I know and am fond of several Mormons, including a tenant, several colleagues, and my boyfriend’s relatives in Utah.  I do not gasp in horror!   

      But I have one quick question.. I will ask friends as well, but I am curious, how do the deceased reject the proxy baptism? Is it on a spiritual plane? I am truly curious.

      Sincerely
      Robin

      • Kevin C. Fortney

        I live in southern Utah and appreciate the chance to listen your program.  I was sad that your reporting came from the bias of a person of “Expertise” and that you made no reference to contacting an official from the church.  If you did not; then perhaps there is an incomplete picture or worse.

        I was also dismayed by what seemed an obvious incomplete declaration of the church’s name.  I wonder sometimes if  you may forget how much influence your program can wield on the minds of the listening public.  Your general reporting is thoughtful, insightful and enlightening to so many of us.  Please know how much value you render in our daily lives.  

        Cordially
        Kevin

    • Roy Davis

      Dear KL,

      I have been perusing this site for other reasons and saw your letter.  Robin seems to be a lovely lady, but she is clueless about how her commentary, tone of voice, and short shrift to opposing viewpoints is hurtful.  This is particularly true when she ventures into subjects touching on faith and morals.  By calling her clueless above, I mean no insult to her; on the contrary, it is the only explanation I can come up with why such a “nice” person can be so cruel.  On the other hand, I do suspect she picks the topics and the guests, and she certainly frames the discussion…

      I sympathize with your hurt, and I heartily support your decision to not contribute to NPR.  I made this same decision a few years back.  NPR is heavily biased against traditional values.   Individual NPR personalities may not be, but organizationally it is clear they are.  Unfortunately, I suspect you pay taxes and some of that money goes to NPR without you having any say in it.

      I have known many Mormons and, while I don’t hold to some of the tenets of your faith, I have the utmost respect for you and your family-centered values.  Thank you for standing up and for commenting, and may God bless you.  

      I suspect Robin’s private response to you will be less than satisfying, but I know you, like me, won’t give up on her because you have a charitable heart.  A bit of advice from a faithful, orthodox Catholic:  if you don’t have a lion’s heart and a steel stomach, don’t read many of these comments because they’ll keep you up at night!  

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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