Mormon Church leaders apologized Tuesday after the parents of the late Jewish rights advocate and Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal were baptized by proxy in late January. Meanwhile, Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel said that Mitt Romney “should speak to his own church and say they should stop.” Is there any straightforward way to get your name on the Mormons’ “Do Not Baptize” list?
No. To avoid unwanted baptisms, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints largely relies on the discretion of its members. Church policy advises that members should not request baptisms for the dead except for their own ancestors. Since this policy is difficult to enforce, some Mormons do baptize more widely. To the extent that a “Do Not Baptize” list exists, it includes only the names of Holocaust victims. The church says it learned that such baptisms were occurring in 1991 and formally ordered a stop to them; when it received complaints from an organization of Holocaust survivors in 1995, it re-emphasized the directive and removed hundreds of thousands of names from genealogical records. Even so, members have disregarded the order again and again. A centralized database of those who have been baptized exists online, although only church members can obtain a login. Officials insist that the church has done its best to monitor these records so as to keep the names of Holocaust victims from being submitted, but some do manage to slip through.
Do you care if someone might get baptized in the Mormon church for you?