Mormon letter warns members to stop proxy baptisms

A letter to be read in all Mormon churches warns members to stop all unauthorized posthumous baptisms, including those of Holocaust survivors.

The First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the highest governing body of the Mormon church, issued a letter Feb. 29 that was to be read the following Sunday to its congregations.

“Without exception, Church members must not submit for proxy temple ordinances any names from unauthorized groups, such as celebrities and Jewish Holocaust victims,” the letter reads.

The letter follows the discovery in recent weeks that several prominent Jews have been baptized posthumously, including Anne Frank and Daniel Pearl.

Last month, Holocaust survivor and author Elie Wiesel called on Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to tell his church to stop performing posthumous proxy baptisms of Holocaust victims. Some members of the church reportedly had submitted Wiesel’s name for proxy baptism, as well as the names of Wiesel’s deceased father and maternal grandfather. — jta