The LDS Church Puts Up a Virtual Firewall to Access of the Names of Holocaust Victims

The following is an excerpt from an AP article posted in the March 8, 2012 edition of the Palm Beach Post News:

SALT LAKE CITY — Mormon leaders have put up a virtual firewall in their massive genealogical database to block out anyone who attempts to access the names of hundreds of thousands of Holocaust victims the church has agreed not to posthumously baptize.

The move comes amid criticism that the Salt Lake City-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints hasn’t done enough to live up to commitments to stop its members worldwide from performing the baptism ritual on Holocaust victims and other notable Jews.

The new system will immediately block church members’ access should they try to seek out names of Holocaust victims or other notable figures that have been flagged as not suitable for proxy baptisms. The church said the move is aimed at ending the practice.

But critics say it merely serves to block anyone from monitoring whether the posthumous baptisms continue.

“By not allowing public access to the records, it creates the illusion they have something to hide,” said Jewish genealogist Gary Mokotoff, who was involved in negotiations with the church over ending the practice for the past two decades.

Read the full article.

Author: Leland Meitzler

Leland K. Meitzler founded Heritage Quest in 1985, and has worked as Managing Editor of both Heritage Quest Magazine and The Genealogical Helper. He currently operates Family Roots Publishing Company (www.FamilyRootsPublishing.com), writes daily at GenealogyBlog.com, writes the weekly Genealogy Newsline, conducts the annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour to the Family History Library, and speaks nationally, having given over 2000 lectures since 1983.

3 thoughts on “The LDS Church Puts Up a Virtual Firewall to Access of the Names of Holocaust Victims”

  1. While I fully support being able to find one’s ancestors and cousins, I am not in support of proxy baptism for anyone, and in particular of myself. This practice should be stopped, and not just for those of Jewish faith.

  2. As much as I do not beleive in the practice of proxy baptism, if you look at it the way the Mormon’s believe, I don’t think it is the huge deal everyone is making of it.
    They believe that the person being proxy baptised has the CHOICE in the afterlife whether or not to accept the baptism. Therefore, it is not really a baptism, more an offer to be baptised.
    These are people just trying to do what they think is correct to save the souls of their people. Believe in it or not, the uproar is a little bit silly.

    Also, it is a bit hypocritical for people to be protesting the beliefs of this religion, yet using the fruits of their labors to perform rituals of said beliefs for their own genealogy. If you think it is so wrong, don’t use LDS sources.

  3. I can understand your position on these records and I respect your beliefs, but you also need to realize how vital these records are to some people who would like to know about their ancestors no matter what their race or religious beliefs are.

    Might I suggest that you make your records available to the public through another historical library considering your position? Just because this is your belief, you should consider the pain that a lot of folks are going through by not knowing what happened to their ancestors, a lot of frustration that could be soothed by folks just knowing their family history.

    I personally don’t think it is morally right to surpress these records from folks who might need closure.

    Please don’t take this as a bias opnion or be offended, I do respect your religious beliefs, but knowing about what happened to these people seems to sooth hurt and pain in knowing the facts of what happened to them. I have personal reasons for making this suggestion and hope that you can find a way to make these records available to the public without going against your beliefs.
    Thanks, K

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *