Columns Jeffrey Salkin: Martini Judaism Opinion

Hey, Mormons — leave dead Jews alone!

"Mormon tabernacle camp on their arrival in Utah," from Charles Mackay's The Mormons, or Latter-day saints: with memoirs of the life and death of Joseph Smith, the "American Mahomet" (1851)

(RNS) — They’re at it again.

They said that they would stop, but apparently, someone didn’t get that memo.

I am referring to the news that the Mormons are once again baptizing dead Jews — effectively making them posthumous Mormons.

That list of “new Mormons” comprises a veritable “who’s who” of contemporary Jewry. On the VIP list: the late Lubavitcher rebbe and his father; the grandparents of Carrie Fisher and Steven Spielberg; and the theologian Martin Buber.

Not to mention: hundreds of Holocaust victims, including Anne Frank.

I realize that this practice is rooted in Mormon theology, but that doesn’t mean that we have to like it any better.

Frankly, it is contemptible. It demonstrates an ongoing disrespect for people of other faiths and ethnic groups.

It teaches that the only way those people can achieve eternal life is to be (dead, unwitting, unwilling) members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

When it comes to Holocaust victims, it’s even worse — much worse.

Because there is already an ongoing debate on how many Jews died in the Shoah.

What happens when, in years to come, the numbers are diminished even further — because the Mormons now claim our dead as their own?

What happens, a century from now, when some less than competent researcher comes to believe that Anne Frank was actually Mormon?

Here is the really sad thing about this — at least, for me.

You see, for years, I kinda sorta admired the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

First of all, for nothing else, I admired their sense of humor about themselves.

If you have ever seen a production of the musical “The Book of Mormon,” you have to marvel at this — that it didn’t provoke acts of Mormon terror, or fevered articles in newspapers (at least, none that I saw).

Ask yourselves: if the show had been “The Five Books of Moses,” with the lampooning of Jews, Judaism, and Jewish history — how long do you think it would have taken before the ADL (rightly) got into the act?

I’m guessing: before intermission, on opening night.

So, that this group that falls outside of the mainstream of contemporary American religious life can take a joke as well as they did — well, that’s pretty admirable.

But, it wasn’t only their sense of humor. It was their history of persecution — a history that paralleled the Jewish experience in Europe, transplanted right here to America.

It was their sense of religious faith and commitment.

Some years ago, in New York, I shared a cab on a crosstown trip with a couple of Jewish women. One of them was a high school teacher. She was Jewish, and after she discerned that I was a rabbi, she started a conversation with me about two of her students, and how they had spent their summer.

“Those kids are Mormons,” she said, “and they worked all summer, earning money, which they then turned over to their church. Outrageous!”

“Hmnn,” I said. “Were the kids upset that they had to do that?”

“No! They did it willingly! How do you explain that to me?”

“It’s easy. It’s called commitment. It’s called sacrifice. That’s their religious culture. They work as missionaries for their church.

“You’re Jewish, right?” I continued. “Many Jewish kids go to Jewish summer camps.

“But, imagine if we had thousands of Jewish kids who were doing something in the name of Judaism — like building houses, or doing various social justice projects. We have our share, but imagine if we had as many as the Mormons do.”

The woman thought for a moment.

“Yes,” she said, that would be great. That would totally change the Jewish world.”

Bingo.

So, yes — I have admired that.

A second story.

Years ago, a colleague and I visited the LDS temple and conference center in Salt Lake City, Utah.

First, of course, I had to check out their genealogical records, which are world famous for their accuracy.

I found my late grandmother’s Social Security records (and if I ever find out that Harriet Jacobs Salkin is now a Mormon, I will go totally ballistic).

But then, we sat in the theater, and watched the infomercials that the LDS had created for late night television — infomercials on Mormon values, designed to woo people to the faith.

On the way out of the theater, I said to my colleague: “You know, we need commercials for Judaism.”

He said to me: “I have good news, and bad news.”

“OK, give me the good news first,” I said.

“The good news is — there are commercials for Judaism. They are already exist.”

“Oh,” I said. “So, what’s the bad news?”

“The bad news is — we’re the commercials.”

He was right, of course. All people of faith are essentially commercials for their faith — both for better, or for worse.

So, tell me please, my LDS friends:

How could it possibly be that baptizing dead Jews is a good commercial for your religion?

Please. Just. Stop.

About the author

Jeffrey Salkin

Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin is the spiritual leader of Temple Solel in Hollywood, Fla., and the author of numerous books on Jewish spirituality and ethics, published by Jewish Lights Publishing and Jewish Publication Society.

439 Comments

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  • A very important decision, such as baptism, should definitely be made only by the living, since the dead are not aware of anything at all (Ecclesiastes 9:5,10).

  • A large part of the issue is that Latter-day Saints believe you can only receive saving ordinances in this physical world. Therefore the push to “Save the Dead” takes on special urgency. The LDS believe that those who have passed on can accept or refuse these ordinances (which include Confirmation into the LDS Church, Ordination in LDS Priesthood office, as well as Temple Ordinances such as Temple Sealing (Marriage). The push to find names that you are related to creates a situation where names could be hard to come by so some industrious and well meaning folks look for lists, lists of those unrelated to themselves whose names they can submit for proxy work.

    Likewise some find names of those famous folks who they admire or love and submit those names. The Founding Fathers, Presidents and, I imagine, John Wayne have had their work done multiple times. Why? Because well meaning folks are trying to “save” people and posthumously give them the opportunity to enter the fold.

    Offensive? Doubtlessly.
    Intentionally so? Nope.

  • I do not for one minute believe that well-meaning Mormons are doing this. I think that those involved are most likely unbelieving, rogue members who have not yet left the Church, or group of such members. They are likely doing this to deliberately harm the Church and it’s relationships. The Church has clear policies, guidelines and checks in place to stop these types of proxy baptisms from happening.

    It is actually not part of LDS doctrine (or policy) that Jews in particular should be post-humously baptized and any member of the Church that believes otherwise is in my opinion wrong. The Jewish people, their history and their prophetic future feature distinctly in Mormon scripture and doctrine. In my opinion, no other religion is as aligned and respected by the Mormons. Mormons do not doctrinally have an need or scriptural command to baptise Jews posthumously.

  • LDS members are no longer allowed to perform these ordinances for any outside of their immediate close relatives. That has been a long-standing policy. Lists should not be submitted nor should they be approved.

    The millenium is the doctrinal time to complete any such works for ones own family lines where not done on the earth.

  • Calm down.

    “I am referring to the news that the Mormons are once again baptizing dead Jews — effectively making them posthumous Mormons.”
    1 – Reports, including the one linked to, suggest that it is not only dead Jews who are being baptized.
    2 – AIUI, the rather silly idea is that, through this action, the dead will get the choice as to whether or not to become Mormons.

    “Frankly, it is contemptible. It demonstrates an ongoing disrespect for people of other faiths and ethnic groups.
    It teaches that the only way those people can achieve eternal life is to be (dead, unwitting, unwilling) members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

    1 – as above – the “unwitting, unwilling” is questionable
    2 – It’s religious belief.
    a) Most religion teaches (directly or indirectly) disrespect for those who don’t believe the right beliefs – it goes with the territory,
    b) If you have a religious belief you surely think it more right than any other – presumably if you didn’t you’d change your allegiance.

    “How could it possibly be that baptizing dead Jews is a good commercial for your religion?”
    Do you think that promoting illegal settlements is a good commercial for Judaism – or electing Trump is a good commercial for Christianity – or killing gays is a good commercial for Islam?
    Probably No, No and No – but you aren’t the person doing these things are you? Those doing them aren’t promoting their religion, they’re promoting themselves to people who already share their views. By comparison kidding oneself that a ritual can offer dead people (people who by definition no longer have the ability to makes choices) a choice they didn’t have when they were alive is pretty small beer isn’t it?

  • Oddly enough Mormons are human and can ignore or not get the proper instruction. Human. Hence they sin both by commission and omission.

  • Although in my opinion Mormonism is a religion based on historical falsifications and its baptism theory and practice theologically nonsensical, this Mormon baptism doesn’t cause any actual, tangible harm. There are always things in a religion adherents of another religion don’t like and we have simply to live with that. It’s a free country.

  • I have watched this story develop over the past few hours and there is a lot of misinformation being disseminated about Mormons. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as decreed that members do not perform ordinances for deceased who are not their family members. There is no excuse for members violating this policy. But even if that does happen, what does it really mean? It certainly DOES NOT MEAN THAT THOSE PEOPLE HAVE BECOME MORMONS. Their names SHOULD NOT appear on church rolls. But even if it does, what does it mean? If you were a Mormon, you would know that each human being has their own free will or what we call AGENCY as given to them by Heavenly Father – whether they are alive or dead. So, individuals who have passed on to the Spirit World can decide for themselves whether to ACCEPT or REJECT any ordinances performed for them on Earth. We people here on Earth have no way of knowing what the deceased want to do. Maybe they will accept the ordinances, or maybe they won’t. It’s up to them. We people here on Earth cannot decide or speak for them, so the point is moot, isn’t it? In addition, just because your ordinances are done, that does not mean that you are ready to go to Heaven. There is a lot of individual work that must be done – on a CONTINUOUS BASIS – in order to make yourself ready for heaven. Even then, it requires God’s infinite Mercy and Grace. Recently becoming a Mormon myself, I can tell you that if someone goes to the temple and spends that much time, money (for gas/food), and energy to go to the temple (which could be hours away) perform ordinances for someone, you can believe that it was done out of love – not spite. That’s time, money, and energy spent which others would have probably spent going to the mall, sporting events, parties, bars, beaches, parks, etc., or just wasting away. It’s still no excuse, but let’s not be so nasty about it or easy to judge. Besides, Mormons are in strong solidarity with the Jews. Or maybe you have not read the Book of Mormon to know that Mormon was of Jewish descent. I believe that if you read the Book of Mormon then pray to Heavenly Father if the book is true, the Holy Spirit will testify of its truthfulness. Then you would not be so offended. Hey, you might even become a Mormon!

  • If these things are not so, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized for them? And why do we endanger ourselves every hour?
    I Cor 15:29 & 30

    Has Watchtower given you some mandate Fran to come here and try to save us?

  • You are quite the embarrasement to your faith if you are a Latter-day Saint.

    And what does this mean?

    …we are the Mormons you need to provide three generations worth of lineage to even join up…

  • Mr Salkin, I would have thought that you were more intelligent than this! Sorry that I was wrong and expected better/more from you.

  • Here’s an idea – only baptize those who are alive and can make the choice. This idea you can baptize those not there or deceased is honestly hogwash and heresy of the most outright form. Scripture leaves some mysteries there for us, since God felt those details weren’t important.

    “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:18-20

    NOthing in that passage or anywhere else that says go grab someone who is gone already and baptize them and teach them to obey the lord. You can’t teach someone something if they are passed on.

    Focus on the living – focus on what Christ said in Matthew as the Great Commission. There is plenty of work for us amongst those he has given us the commandment to go out for…

    I have respect for other faiths, and let’s be honest, let the Jewish or anyone of other faiths make their own choices.

    “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” – John 1:12-13

  • Dear Mr. Salkin, hey don’t sweat it. People live beyond this life. So they still have all their faculties including their ability to make choices. Which includes if they want to accept a vicarious baptism. It’s really no biggie. There are some naughty LDS folk who baptise people not of their lineage or who deceitfully declare at the checkbox of the temple-work authorisation that their ancestor is not a holocaust victim. So the checks are put in place. Please don’t tar the bulk of LDS Church membership with the same brush as those others. There’s still lots to admire about the LDS faith 🙂

  • Relax. Someone calling your great grandmother a Mormon doesn’t make it so. Didn’t your childhood friends ever call you names? Did that make you, in fact, a person who had poopy for a head?

  • I think the practice of baptizing the dead demeans the practice of Baptism. Baptism should be about making a conscientious commitment. Dead people can’t make such commitments. The practice becomes and has become one without meaning, as many commentators point out.

  • They can always return to Judaism, but no they are no longer Jewish.
    The idea that Mormons are the “reformed 12 tribes of Israel” is another form of super-sucessionism. That is also insulting to Jews everywhere. You are saying you are the new & improved version of the 12 tribes. I didn’t know about that until right now. Rabbi Salkin, do you have an opinion on this?

  • Baptizing dead people has a very important meaning. It says of the Baptisers that they are the best, the truest, the godliest people on earth.

    You can’t buy that kind of self aggrandizement.

  • The LDS insults the memory and souls of all those who were baptized as Christians along with those of other religions. Furthermore, if one believes Mormons are Christians, they should know that one baptism is enough and a second baptism might even be considered a sin. Even if the person is now in the lineage of a Mormon, there are other descendants who do not wish to have their ancestors insulted by this practice.

  • We have no way of knowing what the deceased want, but we know everything there is to know After people are deceased.

  • The best way is to die. That way, you can personally experience what all of the religions of the world tell you might be true, and select the one that works.

  • There is always a conspiracy to explain everything that isn’t agreeable. And the lack of evidence for the conspiracy is just further proof about how thorough the conspiracy is.

  • Will the silliness of religion ever end? this is the perfect example of it. Mormons baptize non Mormons posthumously, and then, when the newly minted Mormons die, they can always refuse these special bits of knowledge that they gain after they die?

    It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever to think so, or perhaps a better way of thinking about it, they make even less sense than the original propositions.

    Here is the exposition of this silliness. I am an atheist. I die. After I die, I wake up and there is Jesus standing in front of me. He says to me, “here’s your choice. Believe in me and go to heaven. Don’t believe in me and burn in hell for eternity, Or perhaps a bit longer if it’s the weekend.”

    Now, as a rational human being, am I REALLY going to say: “well, Jesus. I didn’t believe in you for my entire life because I didn’t see the slightest bit of evidence that you actually existed, or that believing in you, whatever that might mean, will result in my eternal life. And now that I see you standing in front of me, in all of your eternal glory, I’m still not going to believe it. I’m not going to believe the streets paved with gold, the millions of people standing around, or the evidence of your eternal glory and holiness. Nope, I’m gonna shut my eyes and declaim it ain’t true.’“

    Sure, that makes sense.

  • Jesus won’t say to you at that time. He gave you enough offers while you were here. He may ask you, what did you do for Me with everything that I gave you, but, otherwise, it’s too late by the time you reach that point Ben.

  • What I did for jesus?
    Why, I stood up against the kind of Christianity that you promote, of course.

  • Did Paul, himself, personally preach and teach and practice and advocate “baptism for the dead”?

    Or did he just merely note that there was a group of Christians somewhere that did? And from that fashion a very strange and bassackwards argument that, because they’re baptizing for the dead then people must therefore rise from the dead, or else why would they be doing it?

  • It actually should be easy to convince a half-way intelligent Jesus that his whole program was really pretty stupid and that it’s not too late for him to pull his head out and revise it.

  • Well, Jews didn’t “butcher the Messiah, but if you think we did, you should thank us. You’d be rotting in Hell if Jesus wasn’t executed.
    At least you’re an honest anti-Semite. This is all classic anti-Judaism. Someone whose name escapes me said that “Christianity has a theology of contempt” towards Judaism. You are a perfect example.

  • As Mr. Salkin ignores in his rush to indignation, the Mormon practice of baptism for the dead does not claim to rob the beneficiary of conscientious commitment (nor does it make them Mormon).

  • It would be strange for Paul to use a false and vain practice to support Paul’s thesis (that the dead will be resurrected).

  • The Church makes no claims to membership for proxy ordinances. The issue of membership in the Church or becoming Mormon is entirely separate from the issue of ordinances. No one is out there claiming that such and such deceased person is a Mormon because of this practice.

  • Exactly. The conservatives can’t take Paul (an Apostle of Jesus Christ) serieously when it suits their position and then dismiss him when it doesn’t line up with their beliefs.

  • Yep. Have you read the Book of Bob? An angel came here to America and gave new instructions to Bob that the instructions given by moroni were really a bad bottle of booze that Joey Smith drank. I believe that Steve Martin did a biographical movie about mormons – it’s called “Leap of Faith”.

  • Glad to hear you think theologues can be corrupt, nepotistic, and viperous as anyone else.

    I agree.

  • Not in the Montana Billings Mission where I faithfully served! Not in the Missions of where dozens of friends served. I received a Patriarchal Blessing without this requirement, as did everyone else in the stake in which I lived.

    You’re either badly informed about your faith or you made this up out of whole cloth, because it’s a lie, it isn’t true.

  • When you prove your god, or the Mormon god, exist—either one, it really doesn’t matter which— perhaps you can assume I’ve been factually knocked down,

  • Ben it makes a mockery of Baptism. Baptizing the dead turns a Sacrament into a Sacrilege. And it makes a mockery of Mormonism. Any religion that can only swell its numbers by baptizing dead people is in serious trouble!

    It isn’t about how they see the practice it is about how the rest of the world sees the practice that counts! This lesson applies to many other things as well!

  • Classic antisemitism starts with contempt & may or may not end up in rounding people up and killing them. Antisemitism can simply be believing certain stereotypes are true. Antisemitism goes back at least as far as the Middle Ages and probably farther. You know nothing about Jews or Jewish history.

  • I can’t disagree with you. As I often say to Christians who inform me that god will not be mocked, right after they make him out to be a bigger ahole than they themselves are…

  • As far as I can tell, the people who make such a claim are usually the last people I would accord that dubious honor.

  • There isn’t anything in what you say here or below that is the theology of the LDS Church.

    You need to have a conversation with your bishop or stake president, there is a lot of heresy in what you proclaim here as a Mormon.

  • Who marked you as my enemy? My you snowflakes are delicate. Can’t even go buy a sandwich without being fully armed, can’t go to church without thinking some
    One hates you.

  • But if you were ever in a position to appreciate the Mormon heaven, by on earth would you want to go to the baptist one? It’s not like they are in adjoining towns, and you could visit the one, and then the other, and decide which one you would like to spend eternity in.

    It just gets sillier and sillier.

  • You’re right. Most religions do, on the basis of no evidence whatsoever. Either none of them is correct, one of them is correct, or most theologically interesting, all of them are.

    Personally, I kinda liked the norsemen’s version. Die, and go to an eternal drinking party. Except that I don’t drink.

  • This lady Radkey apparently used another person’s account to check the temple records of the dead Jewish people. My question: how does she know that the vicarious rites were not performed by faithful LDS ancestors of the deceased? Does anyone know? This is within proscribed policy.
    Also, even Grandma Salkin or anyone else is not obliged to accept the rites done for and behalf of them.
    No one is forced by God, Jesus, or anyone to accept their covenants or promises, no matter how much any of us pray or wish it to happen. Don’t worry about LDS temple acts for the dead: they only work if the souls involved are willing to accept it, if it is true, after all.

  • So why do they do it! IF the person can get to heaven and say hell no I am not a Mormon, I reject everything they stand for, why do it? Why not wait until folks are standing before the pearly gates and at that point offer folks the option? That way there would be no doubt that they are making a conscientious decision.

  • I heard god’s word never changes. I guess it does. As for butchering Jesus, that was god,s ineffable plan, remember?

    But I do owe you an apology. You’re not a baptist antisemite. You appear to be a Mormon one.

  • And you are not holy, period. Made or otherwise. You are pretty nasty to someone who was being polite and kind in disagreement with you, but you have to call them a retard.

  • If Mormonism is an improvement, if Christianity was an improvement…

    Well, my mind is just boggled.

  • If Baptists wish to baptize me in name, once deceased, or alive for that matter, by no means am I offended. I am active LDS, and if the Torah and Judaism is in fact the way to God, sign me up please. These postumous acts are not hateful or meant to disrespect, but rather the opposite. They are meant to bless.
    God bless all of us, alive and dead. May we all feel God’s love.

  • Coming from a Mormon, that’s hilarious.

    But in your defense, coming from any religionist, it’s all pretty hilarious.

  • No, he absolutely did not. He referred to a “those” who were engaged in the practice. Period. That is all.

    However Christians or Christian Bibles hope to imply paragraphs, vs. 30 has nothing to do with what Paul stated in verse 29.

  • Paul could have been personally indifferent to the practice, and could have considered it neither false nor vain, without it being part of his own personal practice. The fact is, Paul does NOT personally preach or teach or advocate it.

    What is really strange about Paul for this one — and there are many things about Paul that are strange — is his bizarre, non-sensical reasoning, that just because this or that group of Christians are baptizing for the dead then, therefore, the dead must rise, else why would they be baptizing for the dead?

  • “NATIONS OF BEASTS Baba Necia 114, 6:” and etc, etc…

    Might you first please link to a credible, authoritative Talmudic source for all of your quotes?

    And then, for those that really do exist, might you also — as is necessary with Talmud — place those quotes within their full Talmudic context, discussion and resolution?

    Thanking you in advance.

  • I don’t think ANY Christians believe in it, other than as a show.
    and if god is beyond the human brain, then what on earth is religion for?

  • And according to every fundelibangelist on these pages on a regular basis, having as standard of holiness– whatever the hell that means– doesn’t put them in a position to judge the holiness– whatever that means– of others, either. Quite the opposite.
    But if, according to your previous posting, god is beyond the human brain, then the whole standard for holiness becomes even more meaningless than before.

  • Baptism for the dead — and the larger world of Mormon temple theology and ritual — is one of the two huge keys of Mormon success, and a sign of Smith’s enormous religious genius.

    And Smith was, indeed, a genuine and authentic religious genius. By taking a snippet of Paul and a snippet of Malachi, Smith created for Mormonism a gold mine of extraordinary power and seductiveness.

    Less successful was his invention of Mormon polygamy as something that was supposedly ‘approved of the Lord as it was of old.’

    I agree that Mormons doing baptisms for the dead for Jews — and especially for Holocaust victims — is despicable but Smith, at least, does deserve some credit.

  • “A good religion can be based entirely on fiction that enshrines eternal truths. ”
    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!
    you said it, not me.

  • Which truth? the truth that if you don’t love Jesus, you get to burn in hell forever? Or the hindu truth that there is no hell to burn in?

  • Of course, well before Order 44, Sidney Rigdon had already threatened his Mormon enemies with “…a war of extermination, for we will follow them till the last drop of blood is spilled, or else they will have to exterminate us…” https://archive.org/details/orationdelivered01rigd, http://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/cdm/ref/collection/NCMP1820-1846/id/2816

    It seems even Brother Brigham Young may have also been down on Sidney for inviting that one — “”Elder Rigdon was the PRIME CAUSE OF OUR TROUBLES IN MISSOURI, by his Fourth of July oration.” (Times and Seasons, p. 667, 1838) http://olivercowdery.com/smithhome/1886WWyl.htm#pg171a

  • An essential part of Mormon belief is that certain things must be done in mortality. The ordinance of baptism is one of those things. Proxy baptism allows for the ordinance to be performed in mortality on behalf of someone who has already died.

  • Perhaps for some things.

    For instance, the Mormon church and it’s missionaries are far more effective producing inactive Mormons than active, by more than 2:1.

  • Irrelevant to the point that Order 44 did not occur in a vacuum.

    In any case, Sidney Rigdon had far more to do with the invention of Joseph Smith’s religion, and with his BoA, BoMoses, JST and D&C and their Mormon doctrine and theologies than main-branch SLC Mormonism and its apologists likes to admit.

    Probably also with Smith’s Book of Mormon — a high level of skepticism is justified concerning the orthodox Mormon narrative of when Rigdon first connects to Smith.

  • It’s a letter, so no, usually folks don’t write letters and divide them into chapters and verses. Those were added so that groups of people can easily find the same passages quickly. At most folks number the pages of a letter so they aren’t read out of order.

    But the whole of chapter 15 is about resurrection; the resurrection of Christ, the resurrection of us all and finally the resurrected body. Verse 29 is part of Paul’s logic that there is a resurrection. He mentions two things that in his mind and argument would be a waste of time if there was no resurrection; baptism for the dead and the risks he takes daily to share the message of Christ. They are equally weighted in his argument that there is a resurrection of the dead.

  • There’s no question whatever that Paul believed in the resurrection. That’s nowhere the issue.

    There’s also no question that in verse 29 Paul does NOT personally teach or preach baptism for the dead as part of his own gospel and message.

    Not only would it be a waste of time in Paul’s mind, it’s also Paul’s bizarro logic in 29 that the practice, itself, is evidence for a resurrection.

  • Whether “justified” or not, the “extermination” of Order 44 followed the Mormon’s own threat of “extermination.”

    Your Godwin is noted.

  • The LDS Church’s theology of baptism is that it must be done by one holding the authority to baptize, that all other churches have fallen into apostacy and no longer hold that authority. There isn’t anything insulting intended by the LDS “rebaptizing” the dead of other Christian sects. You can choose to be insulted, but that’s on you.

    As to second baptisms, there are plenty of Christian churches that rebaptize folks and certainly don’t believe that they are committing sin.

  • Outdated service has nothing to do with the fact that the evidence fully supports negative conclusions about Mormonism — that it and its BOM, etc, and everything else about it is purely a man-made contrivance and the Smith was a fraud and con — albeit it also an authentic religious genius.

    There is no way to re-package a “missionary service” that changes that fact.

    The one thing the Mormon church could do with it’s missionaries and message is leave their silly BoM home and convert all of their missionaries into full-time service missionaries. Baptisms and retention would both see a bump. Mormons might even catch up with the SDA, JW’s and evangelicals in Africa.

  • Like I said, Mormons and their apologists don’t like to admit how heavily RIgdon was involved from the gitgo.

    Many of them are just clueless and simply swallow what they’re told.

  • All religions are cults. You are the pot calling the kettle black here. Perhaps you are trying to state that the LDS religion is of the occult? The occult is in the eye of the beholder. One person’s occult is another person’s faith.

  • Not at all. I can see you wanting to believe that, but it is not hatred to want to see people in a positive relationship with Jesus with an eternity with Him, in their future. What do you offer Ben?

  • As it states in Romans, they will be saved by the knowledge they had of Him at that time.
    Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,[g] in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

  • You are one of those LDS converts who knows enough about the LDS Church to be dangerous and who has been filled with a lot of misinformation. You appear quite gulible when it comes to what you will believe.

    Being owned by Mormons isn’t the same as being owned by the LDS Church. Ancestry.com was founded and is privately owned by Mormans who graduated from BYU Provo and is HQed in Lehi, UT. But is is not church owned.

    Yes, the LDS Church does store it’s church’s records, including its geneology files in the Granite Mtn Vault in Little Cottonwood Canyon. What was originally stored as microfilm and microfiche is now being digitized.

  • “Christianity is an improvement on Judaism.”

    What a joke. Jesus, himself, simply quoted Torah for the most important things of all.

    And were it not for the bs triumphalism of Paul and Christianity — the nonsense crap that “Every knee will bow and tongue confess that Jesus Christ is lord” — it’s very possible that Mohammad would not have one-upped Christianity with his own triumphalism.

    Were it not for the Gospel lies and polemic and propaganda about “the Jews” — particularly Matt and John — there never would have been a Holocaust. And there never would be Muslims today still using the Christian inspired “Protocols” to inform and justify their own anti-Jewish hatred and propaganda.

    That Christianity somehow fulfills or supersedes Judaism, or is the “new covenant” of Jeremiah 33, is a crock of triumphal Christian imagination, theology and invention.

  • So you also have poor reading and comprehension skills.

    In context, the “full-time” was obvious — full-time service missionaries, not proselytizing missionaries with their silly BoM.

    Your “monks and nuns” is not only stupid, it’s full blown non sequitur.

  • Disagree……………lots of snowflakes in 2017. Not sure what a ‘deplorable’ is. You’d have to give me an example.

  • And without those missionaries, the conversion rate would be almost zero. And there’s always the re-activation efforts.

    Something else to consider, in the US, according to Pew Research the LDS Church is losing seven people for every six that join — but this is balanced by a Total Fertility Rate of between 3 and 4, to result in an increase in the US LDS Church by around 50% in the next quarter-century. This compares well with mainstream Protestants and Catholics. And VERY well with Jews.

  • An interesting column, but IMHO a bit of an overreaction to the news that in the past five years the firewall the Church put up to prevent the posthumous baptism of Holocaust victims failed only twenty times (that we know of).

  • I don’t have the time or the desire to set straight all of your misconceptions, but you are way off base with your pronouncements about Jews, Judah, the twelve tribes and Mormons being the reformed 12 tribes. Not that I haven’t heard individual Mormons who thought that they knew everything espouse similar mishmash, but it isn’t official LDS Church doctrine by any stretch of the imagination.

    Original printings of Mormon Doctrine by the late Elder Bruce R McConkey is filled with such truck.

  • You’ve obviously never read the Book of Mormon, that LDS scripture doesn’t say anything about baptism for the dead. LDS baptism for the dead’s scriptural basis is 1 Cor:29.

  • Wow, taken so far out of context as to not even be humorous. I hope they don’t let you teach Sunday School classes!

  • Jesus, of course, was a failed, false messiah, and before and without Jesus, and certainly without Paul, pagan so-called ‘god fearers’ were already being attracted to the ethics and community of the synagogue, with no need to be circumcised or convert.

    Had Gentiles been smart, they’d have known they needed no such ‘arming.’ But it was power and control that was the real issue. And Constantine then conquered Christianity without firing a shot and made it an arm of the state.

    But Jesus had long since been lost, not least with Paul, and replaced with theology from intellectuals.

    Of course, just like you, Joseph Smith credulously just accepted the Christian Bible as reliable history and the word of a god. And Jesus as some sort of lord, savior and fulfillment of scripture, when any honest, non-apologetic study of the Bible and Yahweh clearly shows that he’s not. And that bloody human Jesus sacrifice was nowhere needed or wanted.

    I agree — the effectiveness of the BoM depends entirely on people believing the Bible is the word of a god and reliable history. If they can buy that, they can buy anything, including Joseph Smith.

    But that the BoM is “a more effective Bible” — well, that’s an assertion.

  • I was referring to the actual definition of the word cult. As opposed to the false definition given to the word by fundamentalist Christians to denigrate members of the churches of which they don’t approve.

  • The reality is, Mormonism has probably still not hit the basement of it’s declining activity rate, and whatever their total membership rolls, 25% or less is where it will probably end up.

    Besides which, Protestants and Catholics and Jews simply don’t have the issues which Mormonism and it’s Joseph Smith story and BoM has. And there’s nothing Mormonism can do about it.

    But you’re right — Mormonism will survive in some form for as long as it can adapt to to a Jesus who never comes back. They have at least a few centuries left at a minimum.

  • Jewish history doesn’t end at the end of what you call the”Old Testament.” Our Hebrew Bible ends with Chronicles II. The Christian “Old Testament” ends with Malichai. Jews continued to develop our religion under difficult circumstances and we’re still here!

  • I believe ‘deplorable’ to be code word for “white”. But they do love self-hating whites, however.

  • And?

    The reality remains — if Mormons converted all of their proselytizing missionaries to service missionaries, and left their silly BoM home, their convert and retention numbers would improve.

  • I’m not aware of any claim by the LDS Church that anyone is infallible. Remember that the Church as a whole during General Conference votes to accept or reject even revelations from God.

  • We all know dead people who didn’t do it. The effort to save them anyway is admirable and beautiful. The fact it is mentioned in the bible tells you the desire to save the dead is not a new thing.

  • We all know dead people who didn’t get baptised. The effort to save them anyway is admirable and beautiful. The fact it is mentioned in the bible tells you the desire to save the dead is not a new thing.

  • Rigdon was a lot of things. Including a substantive theological contributor to Joseph Smith’s BoA, BoMoses, JST, D&C, and very likely, to the BoM also.

    That Mormons and Mormonism chooses to remain willfully ignorant or in denial of his real role is no surprise.

  • The word cult comes to English by way of Latin and it referred to religious belief systems and their practices.

    I’m sure that the General Authorities hope missionaries don’t dump too many converts like you on the Church!

  • Brand of Mormonism? I’m sure the LDS Church hopes that there is but one brand. The rest are considered heretical offshoots.

  • Baptism for the Dead isn’t one of your most holy rituals, as my LDS sister has told many people, often. Name calling is still rude, and you were, while she wan’t. She has every right to find anything she wants offensive, as do you. You claim to be holy though, so the onus of actually being that, and discussing it, without calling people names, is on you.

  • As a gentile I have no right of return, of course. And Christians galore are happy to spill American blood for Israel because of their perverted views about both Christianity and Judaism. And Israel. And America.

    Why does your ET not surprise me?

  • What’s most striking about the death of Joseph Smith is that, once Joseph was dead, the Lord God instantly quit giving revelations to the Mormon church, directly, in the first person, like a deranged Wizard of Oz mindlessly stringing Bible jargon together…

    “Listen to the voice of the Lord your God, even Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, whose course is one eternal round, the same today as yesterday, and forever. I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God…. Listen to the voice of Jesus Christ, your Redeemer, the Great I Am, whose arm of mercy hath atoned for your sins; Who will gather his people even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, even as many as will hearken to my voice and humble themselves before me, and call upon me in mighty prayer…. Listen to the voice of Jesus Christ, your Lord, your God, and your Redeemer, whose word is quick and powerful…. Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you my servant Joseph, that inasmuch as you have inquired of my hand to know and understand wherein I, the Lord, justified my servants.… Behold, and lo, I am the Lord thy God, and will answer thee…Behold, I am Alpha and Omega. Amen…. Hearken, O ye people of my church, saith the voice of him who dwells on high.… Wherefore, fear and tremble, O ye people, for what I the Lord have decreed in them shall be fulfilled. And verily I say unto you.… What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself…For behold the field is white already to harvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul.… For a desolating scourge shall go forth among the inhabitants of the earth, and shall continue to be poured out from time to time, if they repent not, until the earth is empty, and the inhabitants thereof are consumed away and utterly destroyed by the brightness of my coming.… Behold, I am God; give heed unto my word, which is quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword, to the dividing asunder of both joints and marrow; therefore give heed unto my words.… Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I am the same that came unto mine own, and mine own received me not. I am the light which shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not.… etc…. etc…. etc…. ad nauseam.”

    So, if we know nothing else, at least we know that it was Joseph Smith just making that crap up.

    Or are you saying that it still could have been Sidney Rigdon writing that deranged, pseudo-scriptural garbage and pretending to be God?

  • Well, the good news is that you’ll get a chance to test your no-good hypothesis someday. In the immortal words of Scooby-Doo, “Rotsa Ruck.”

  • Jews, gay people, and surprisingly, farright wingers know a thing, or even two, about conspiracy theories. Just not the same things.

  • White racist Mormons. I’m sure the Church disowned that lot recently with a public statement from the GAs.

    Moving on now that I see your true colors.

  • You better check it again Ben. Hindus have 28 hells to watch out for; their generic name is Naraka. You don’t want no Naraka on your tail.

    Reincarnation is sort of a “Get-Out-Of-Naraka-Free Card” that eventually gets you out of Naraka. But even with that, “a few Hindu texts” STILL describe Hell “as a bottomless pit of darkness where souls are trapped for eternity and deprived of rebirth.” (Wiki)

    So God made sure that even the Hindus got some kind of warning about winding up trapped in the real, unpleasant, eternal Hell. Gotta take it seriously.

  • Because the author is a zionist (see his article praising trump’s unilateral decision regarding Jerusalem), it is fair to ask this: Hey, Jeff Salkin, don’t you think it’s far worse for the zionists of israel to be committing Apartheid and Ethnic Cleansing against Palestine?
    Your article would be better titled:
    “Hey zionists! Leave Live Palestinians Alone! Don’t Steal Their Land From Them!”

  • Thank you for bearing your testimony. Been there, done that.

    A just god or a just Jesus, especially one whose glory is intelligence, will not judge negatively if a well-studied, capable and honest person — with complete justification and consistent with all of the evidence — intelligently rejects the religion and its claims, doctrines, program, scriptures, theology, church or leaders.

    — Worst case scenario, Yahweh already knows that Jesus was a failed, false messiah and that Christianity and Mormonism are both pure contrivance.

    — Worst case scenario, Yahweh knows that Judaism has been right all along about Jesus and the NT and Christianity.

    — Worst case scenario, Yahweh knows that an honest study of the Bible shows that plainly to be the case.

  • Ok, so you see every column is an excuse to attack Israel & Zionism. I do criticize Israel, but I am a Zionist. It demeans me to have a discussion about this here & now though, if a rational discussion can be had with a rabid antii-Zionist.

  • You have been told repeatedly that it does not bless any Jews alive or dead.. It wipes out the dead’s religion and history. So why do you persist with this farce?

  • The Mormon church only owns Family’s schedule. Ancestry.com was founded by individual Mormons, I believe, but MyHeritage was founded by Israelis. There are dozens of other sites not owned by Mormons.

  • He doesn’t need to disprove God, a god, or any gods. The claim of one existing is a positive claim and thus it falls upon the person making the claim to prove it’s existence. Otherwise, with the lack of evidence, the default position is not one of belief.

  • No one needs to take her word for it. The LDS Church admitted the practice was still occurring and has invalidated the baptisms.

  • As a Mormon (LDS), I was adopted into the house of Israel and given a new Hebrew name. Now, I am baptizing for those who did not have that chance as mortals, because it is a requirement of the Lord, for entrance into the Kingdom of God. The Lord is in charge, not Mormons, not Jews. I serve only Him.

  • Are you under the impression anyone here is dumb enough to believe atheism did not exist before World War II?

  • You know I cannot reveal my new name, but it is found in the Old Testament, after one of the twelve tribes of Israel. ALL persons who are baptized in Christ’s true church and remain faithful are adopted into the House of Israel and receive new names. What do you mean “No thanks?” I have no need of your “thanks”…I serve the Lord.

  • I mean “no thanks,” no one is going to take you up on your “invitation” to become a Mormon in the afterlife.
    My understanding is that the new secret name given to Mormons is from the Bible, like Abraham, Moses, etc. Is that what you meant by Hebrew? It was also my understanding that the names can come from non-OT scriptural sources, like the Book of Mormon.

  • It seems you can’t have a conversation about Judaism without bringing up Israel and Zionism (which you can’t even bring yourself to capitalize). We’ll keep that in mind when you come back and whine “Hating Israel isn’t Anti-Semitic!!!”

  • Do you believe their temple rites will affect your dead ancestors? If not, what does it matter? If I were to start a religion and then claim I have communicated with the dead and have posthumously converted every last dead person to my religion, would you take it seriously? If not, what does it matter?

    Now, if you believe any of those things do make a difference, if you believe it does affect your dead, then the follow on would be: Why aren’t you Mormon?

    I know my grandmothers and grandfathers were baptized posthumously by the Mormons. Do I think it matters? No. Would expending my energy to change it make a difference? No. Use your energy for the living.

  • It’s disrespectful whether it’s meant that way or not. Your Church apparently realized that when they agreed to stop the practice. Or were they lying about that?

  • Ben, you can’t change if someone is going to respect your wishes or culture. You can fight the Quixotic fight but it changes nothing. Instead, make the change in yourself, and use your energy for the living.

  • For a measure of the growth of active Mormons, a good statistic is the number of wards (NOT the number of branches, since those can be anything from a handful of families to the minimum needed for a ward) since those Church units are based on participating members, and will be split if they get too large and consolidated if the numbers shrink. From 1991 to 2016, the number of wards in the US has grown by 53%. Another good measurement might be children of record, but I don’t have those numbers at my fingertips.

    As for the issues you mention, if you are able to accept as true at some level what the Bible says about Jesus and Moses — or overall for that matter — Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon isn’t really an impediment. And LDS doctrine has the advantage of being more in line with modern science, to the extent that there is any overlap.

  • Would it cause “tangible harm” if a Christian family had a Jewish friend over for a play date and decided to baptize him? This is not about actual harm. This is about respect, something Mormons claim they exhibit but that many of their comments on this board prove they don’t.

  • Actually, you are serving yourself.

    Unless, of course, you happen to have a verifiable letter of patent appointing you to the duties you have assigned and arroganted— misspelling intentional— to yourself.

  • The ancient celts believed that everyone and everything had a “true name”, and that knowing this true name would give you power over the person or object named.

    I guess old superstitions die very hard.

  • Sandi means exactly what she said. No, all religions are not cults. LDS isn’t necessarily a cult, but it scores high on some measures of cultiness.

  • No archaeological evidence, no genealogical evidence, no DNA evidence, no standard of proof (not even antiquity), gross historical errors (no horses), a planet called Kolob….

    Nope, not in line with modern science at all.

  • Considering that there is no such thing as “Baba Necia” and the Talmud is not cited as “114, 6,” I suggest you crawl back into your parents’ basement and find some better sources.

  • I am a Mormon and I feel that if posthumous baptism is offensive to the descendants of those baptized, then the church should respect that and stop. How would we feel if the Jewish community enacted rites to try and claim/convert our dead ancestors? It isn’t innocent and it does have consequences.

  • Don’t have the time to waste pointing out the answers LDS scholars have found or pointed out to all your points, and considering my own habit of skipping massive blocks of text on these comment boards I doubt many would read them anyway. But there are answers for anyone willing to investigate with an open mind.

  • One “revelation” they rejected: Galatians 1: 8But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!

  • As I said, plenty of answers, don’t see the point of wasting my time trying to explain them to you. Your own posts have made it clear where you stand.

  • Ms. Stein, This is diversionary, just like the article itself. If I were a religious Jewish person, like many of my friends, I would be distraught with the ongoing conditions of Apartheid and Ethnic Cleansing (and sometimes Genocide) that happen in israel routinely, just as my friends are distraught over these awful realities.
    I would not be writing glib diversionary propaganda (hasbara), as the author does. From what I can tell, he has never spoken out against the atrocities of zionism.
    Oh, israel just announced that they are building 300,000 illegal settler housing units in East Jerusalem (the Palestinian part of town). What is your opinion on that?

  • Do you really think an unlearned, 14 year old boy could possess the ‘enormous religious genius’ to pull off the foundation of ‘the most effective religion on earth today’? He was backward, he was awkward, he was poor, he was a no-one…and yet. There must have been at least some divine influence here.

  • Ms. Stein, It seems that you deleted the earlier version of your comment, and my response to it, so let me restate my reply. The author glibly writes this distracting article while he supports much worse crimes, such as trump’s unilateral statement that Jerusalem is the capital of israel.
    Now, if I were a religious Jewish person, as many of my friends are, I would be mortified by Apartheid israel’s endless atrocities against the Palestinians: Apartheid, Ethnic Cleansing, and sometimes Genocide–just as my friends are mortified by these things. While happily Jewish, they choose to praise Palestine’s efforts to defend itself, while decrying zionist racism in israel.
    The author of this article has never, from what I can see, criticized, even mildly, the atrocities of racism by the zionists of israel. Therefore, his articles are a form of propaganda (hasbara) that distract readers from some much more urgent matters of Justice.

  • I’m talking about today, genius. Or is “even in today’s day and age” a reference to Smith’s time?

  • Dear Editors,
    You have removed two of my replies to Ms. Stein. I don’t know why, as the replies were well within the bounds of orthodoxy. Could you please tell me what words and concepts we are prohibited from speaking, and I shall try to make an answer to her comment to the best of my ability.

  • Sometimes being right isn’t worth the argument. Sometimes being a good neighbor means respecting others’ wishes, even if those wishes are based on misconceptions. For holocaust victims, the accessibility of historical records is directly tied to an atrocity. It’s worth it to avoid looking like you’re somehow benefiting from or taking advantage of the atrocity.

  • I agree… anybody who can believe the Bible is reliable history and the word of a god can believe anything. Even Mormonism.

  • So you don’t really recognize the significance of authentic “genius.”

    Besides which, by the time Smith got around to finally dictating his story, the genius had already been developing it for 4-8 years in his head. He was by no means a 14 year old boy. And one needn’t be all that learned to plagiarize huge swaths of the Bible while introducing — or “restoring” — no substantive new doctrine, all in contrived, phony, pseudo-Biblical English in the style of Gilbert Hunt’s ‘The Late War.’

    As far as ‘the most effective religion on earth today,’ Mormonism and it’s missionaries are at least highly effective producing far more inactive Mormons than active. And producing an apologetic from FAIR and BYU-NMI that is persuasive only for Mormons who already believe it — but not even all of them.

  • The baptism of a Jewish friend would be obviously wrong and even invalid if it was against his or her own will, in the case of an “adult” (i.e. anybody from his 7th year on in canon law). But it would be entirely legitimate if the Jewish person freely entered it. It may be painful for the Jewish community if this happens, but if a Jewish person decides to become a Christian, it is his or her free decision. It is also painful for Christians if one of them decides to convert to Judaism.

    But Mormon Baptism of dead persons is an entirely different matter than actually baptizing a person by immersing him in water. No dead person is actually involved. It is not a baptism of a corpse. It is simply a by-effect of a regular baptism of a living person in the Mormon Church.

    If I’m well-informed, according to Mormon doctrine when a baptismal candidate of the Mormon Church is baptized, then implicitly all his ancestors are baptized. This happens automatically, according to this doctrine, by the very act of the baptism. Because Mormons are interested in the names of the ancestors implicitly baptized, they do a lot of genealogical research and keep records of the ancestors involved. But whether the names of these ancestors are known or not, doesn’t matter for the baptism itself. If a Mormon person gets baptized, then immediately and automatically all his ancestors are baptized with him.

    This is a fundamental doctrine of Mormonism, which can not be changed under any circumstances. It is part their very identity, in a similar manner as Catholic Trinitarian doctrine cannot be changed and the confession of the Trinity is part of what it is to be Catholic. Orthodox Jews could be offended by both of these doctrines of course, since Trinitarian doctrine implies the teaching that a certain Jewish individual, namely Jesus of Nazarath, is God. To Jewish ears this sounds as an enormous insult against Judaism, because according to Judaism no human person can ever be God, and certainly Jesus of Nazarth cannot be the God of Israel. Yet this what is taught by Catholic doctrine. Nothing can be done about it, because this Catholic doctrine has the status of dogma and therefore is unchangeable.

    There are lot of religious doctrines by which other people can feel offended, but it would be foolish to ask a relgion to change its doctrines for these reasons. What for example of the orthodox Christian doctrine that all non-believers in Jesus Christ will end in eternal torment in hell? Should this doctrine be changed because it offends others? The reality is that it is either true or not, and reality is not changed by window dressing to appear friendly to others. Freedom of speech and freedom of religion imply that people can feel offended by what others practice or teach. That’s their own childish problem.

  • The reality is, the Book of Mormon contributes absolutely nothing to our truly scholarly understanding of the Americas — not the archaeology, nor the peoples, cultures, civilizations, DNA, or anything else.

    LDS scholars are totally unable to publish any of their BoM archaeology claims in the only place that really matters—the top tiers of the professional, academic, peer-reviewed scholarly literature. That has nothing to do with any academic bias against BYU or against Mormons. Even John Sorenson publishes the parallelomania of his ‘Mormon’s Codex’ thru Deseret Book, not thru Oxford University Press or any other legitimate academic press.

    The legitimate, academic understanding of the Americas would be precisely the same if the BoM never existed. It would be precisely the same if the BoM were pure fiction or a pious fraud and hoax.

    The Book of Mormon narrative, were it true, suggests a very high likelihood that there would be archaeological artifacts that would be sufficiently unique and specific for the BoM as to be hard to explain without it. There are none. The BoM is not needed to explain anything in the Americas, nor does it increase our understanding of any of it.

  • No one is asking that doctrines be changed. The Mormon doctrine of baptism is theirs alone. What is being asked is that some things, like the memory of Holocaust victims, remain sacred. It is a matter of respect.

  • And how is this respect for holocaust victims to be expressed in this case? By not admitting to the Mormon Church persons who have holocaust victims as their ancestors? For if a person who has such ancestors is baptized in the Mormon Church, these ancestors are baptized with him, whether he intends this or not. So what is to be done? It escapes me how what you say can be put into practice.

    According to Mormon doctrine this baptism of ancestors is itself deeply respectful, since it leads to their salvation. Mormons would feel that they commit a spiritual crime by refusing to baptize persons who have Jewish ancestors or ancestors who were holocaust victims. For by doing so they would exclude these persons and their ancestors from eternal salvation. So your demand for respect in Mormon ears sounds itself like an act of deep disrespect to the Mormon religion. So what is more important, respect of Mormons for Jews, or respect of Jews for Mormons?

    As I said, I consider Mormonism as a historical falsification and a pseudo religion. But I will stand for their religious liberty, in the same manner as I stand for Jewish and Christian religious liberty. And it seems to me that in this debate Jewish religious liberty is not infringed by Mormon baptismal practice.

    As to respect to holocaust victims, I think this can be properly expressed by Mormons for example by attending Yom HaShoa ceremonies. Many Christians do this, and it is a very good thing to do.

  • On what possible basis would would you impose a complete separation between genius and fraud, falsehood & deception?

    I am assuming, however, that you at least don’t still equate an unlearned but religiously precocious 14-y.o. boy with the young man 8 years later in the full flower of his authentic religious genius.

  • I wasn’t talking about Mormons, genius. Do you know what a hypothetical question is or did your mom not teach you that in home school?

  • Sorry Geoff. I’m not your buddy and the Christian version of hell is a torture fantasy that has no basis in truth.

  • If you can’t understand why it’s disrespectful– something your LDS superiors did understand — there’s really nothing more I can tell you. I suggest you speak to your bishop about it.

  • https://www.amazon.com/Reaching-Nations-International-Church-Almanac/dp/0979512123/ref=bseries_lb_0979512123

    Martinich & Stewart, both devout Mormons, have been meticulous demographers of Mormon growth and activity for years. I’m not totally sure what you thought was the purpose of my link to his 2016 report, or what your post is intended to address, but place 2016 if you wish as another data point in the trends documented in their almanac, and on Martinich’s long-running and expansive site… http://cumorah.com/index.php

  • You are a fraud and liar.

    If the some Lord is in charge, Israel and ancient Hebrews (or Mormons) would not be the only people contacted by the Kingdom of God. Everybody would have received a frickin Moroni !!

  • I don’t know why you would expect the Book of Mormon to “contribute to our scholarly understanding of the Americas,” any more than the Bible has to our understanding of the Holy Land. In both cases it’s much more the other way around — archaeology shedding light on our scriptures, helping us understand the context of what is written.

    True, it is much easier to do that with the Bible, thanks to the fact that the Holy Land has had millennia of continuous occupation, though even then there are still gaps (I believe 20% of Bible place names are still unidentified). But even as little as we know about Mesoamerican archaeology during the BoM period it can shed light on the BoM. A good example is how the custom of using marriage to cement inter-city trade networks sheds light on Jacob’s opposition to polygamy.

  • You could say exactly the same thing about definitions of bigfoot, unicorns, leprechauns and fairies…nobody can disprove them.

    Also, you are not describing at atheism…your are describing anti-theism. Atheism is not a claim about beings that “do not exist”. Atheism is the lack of belief in a diety(s). Nothing more.

  • Thank you, I’d forgotten I own the book. For the range it covers for the US for the number of wards, from 1987 to 2010, there’s a 55% increase. Which is about the same as the 53% I came up with.

  • No, God did the butchering. Not to worry– wasn’t much of a sacrifice for a god-man…and Mormons just profit off it !!

  • There has been and will continue to be plenty of dialogue. Or haven’t you been paying any attention?

  • BUT they are hateful, disrespectful, AND they are offensive! It isn’t how your group views the issue it is how others view it that matters.

  • There are plenty of answers, indeed….

    None of which stand up to any kind of actual scrutiny. The science of linguistics, for example, shows that many American Indian languages are not even related to each other, let alone are Semitic in origin. Yet linguistics can trace Polynesian languages back to its indo-malayan roots.

    Besides, I have it on the best religious authority, like Sandimonious and the baptist church, that Mormonism is a false religion, a religion of lies, a cult. The Roman Church has assured everyone for 2000 years that they possess the keys to the kingdom. How can you argue with authority like that?

    But not to worry! I think a large proportion of the claims that most religions make about the nature of god and his message to the world is just stuff they made up. For example, I have no doubt that Jesus existed, even if the actual evidence is pretty slight.

    So I’m not picking on the Mormons at all.

  • And do you also note their documentation of a continuing decline in activity to 30% or less, church wide?

  • If you want to apply the same to the Bible, it’s fine by me… go all the way.

    Nevertheless, all sorts of the independent attestation not only strengthen archaeological connections to points in the Biblcal narrative, but go well beyond and, combined with the Gospel accounts, even support a justified conclusion that Jesus was historical and was executed by Pilate.

    There is no such parallel for the BoM, no matter how weak or forced. While the BOM narrative, if were it true, with very high likelihood would almost certainly have left archaeological traces of convincing specificity. There are none, with no good reason to believe they’ll eventually be found, and excellent reason to believe they won’t.

    You flounder and drown anyplace other than a FAIR conference if you really pretend to invoke marriage-cemented networks — massively general and nonspecific in any and all cases — as an argument connecting to Jacob and polygamy and, therefore, somehow supporting BOM historicity. That’s more like a “Wtf??”

    Maybe also BYU-NMI in addition to FAIR, or even lesser apologetic blogs. At best, it’s desparate and fanciful parallelomania again.

  • Well, I guess I have to bring out the Big Gun. St. Paul inGalatians:

    6I am astonished how quickly you are deserting the One who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7which is not even a gospel. Evidently some people are troubling you and trying to distort the gospel of Christ. 8But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be under a divine curse!…

    Sounds like St. Paul has refuted the BOM, where even archaeology, genetics, and linguistics couldn’t.

  • But there are archeological traces that fit the Book of Mormon, there’s simply none that require the BoM to explain. And that makes non-Mormon scholars happy because acknowledging such would require acknowledging the BoM’s religious claims which is not going to happen. But strong connections such as can be found with the Bible is impossible due to the lack of continuous occupation and the absence of written documents from the BoM period — or any other period, for that matter, thanks to the Spanish Conquest. Archaeology can sometimes help explain the “what” but doesn’t do so well at explaining the “why.”

    And I didn’t say that the use of polygamy to cement trade networks in Mesoamerica supported BoM historicity, I said it SHED LIGHT on Jacob’s opposition to polygamy.

  • Except that Paul was specifically referring to the Galatians listening to those that insisted that they had to continue to follow the non-moral aspects of the Law of Moses, something that the BoM doesn’t teach. If you’re going to insist that Paul was referring to any doctrine or theology building on what he and the other apostles taught rather than doctrine that contradicted them, then Paul refutes all doctrinal/theological additions over the past two millennia from whatever source — including the Trinity.

  • You are either not a Mormon or are a Mormon who does not understand the doctrine. Baptisms for the dead do not “claim/convert” anyone’s dead ancestors. It is merely a ritual that is believed to offer the opportunity to those who have passed to the next life to accept baptism. If they do not want to accept the baptism performed on their behalf, they are not forced to. It is entirely up to them.

  • The decline is apparent if one follows Martinich’s comments over the years in the popular press. I suspect such a decline Is still preserved on cumorah.com unless he removes prior years numbers when posting the most recent. It’s an expansive site that requires some digging

    But If you want to argue that 30% is just the steady long-term Mormon norm, fine by me.

    Anecdotally, it was 25 years ago in Virginia when a highly respected and knowledgeable Mormon stake president informally indicated to me that overall church-wide activity was generally accepted to be 45-55% and even then, about 10% were more or less nominal or cultural Mormons.

  • A highly general and non-specific parallel “fit” means absolutely nothing to anybody except a person who already believes and is driven by apologetic necessity.

    It “SHED LIGHT” only on a credulous, faith-based assumption by the apologist who just accepts the existence of Jacob in the first place. It’s great for FAIR and that’s it.

    “Strong connections” to and for the BoM are impossible for a much more fundamental reason than any lame apologetic blame on Spanish conquest — the fully justified conclusion that the BoM is a fiction that never happened, and with never anything for the Spanish to destroy.

    Let me know when a non-Mormon scholar — whether happy or not — ever responds to a “scholarly” Mormon claim regarding BOM archaeology when it finally gets published in the legitimate, top tier, peer-reviewed scholarly lit. Otherwise you’re simply bearing your testimony to a choir of believers.

  • There are some interesting comments from a guy named Jeff Lindsay, who wants you to consider the evidence for the BOM.

    Contrary to the claims of our critics, there are many interesting findings that make it difficult to explain away the Book of Mormon as a nineteenth-century fraud from Joseph Smith. Such evidence is not “proof” but should encourage readers and seekers of truth to give the Book of Mormon a chance. These pages are maintained by Jeff Lindsay, a Book of Mormon aficionado, who takes full responsibility for the statements and opinions offered on this page. This page is neither sponsored nor endorsed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

    Another paragraph:

    The purpose of the Book of Mormon is to convince the world that Jesus is the Christ, our Lord and Redeemer. It was written by prophets anciently, preserved, and translated in our era by the power of God as a tool to bring souls to Christ. Intellectual evidence of Book of Mormon authenticity is an issue worthy of careful consideration. However, intellectual evidences on their own do not change lives and bring souls to Christ–that requires a spiritual witness through the power of the Holy Ghost. Nevertheless, intellectual evidences can be valuable in opening minds and strengthening one’s spiritual testimony of the truth. I am greatly impressed with the evidence of Book of Mormon authenticity, especially factors that seemed like laughable mistakes in 1830 that now have become powerful witnesses that the Book of Mormon is what it claims to be — an authentic ancient document that Joseph Smith DID NOT write. He translated it through the power of God.
    the whole thing goes on and on and on about the plausibility of the BOM, without actually providing anything beyond “could”, “ought to” and so on.

  • I learned to ignore Lindsay years ago. He seems popular and persuasive for Mormons who already believe with a burned bosom and their own apologetic needs.

    Mormoni 10:4 and it’s promise of the Holy Ghost manifesting truth & knowledge was the largest single stroke of religious (and psychological) genius by Joseph Smith. The whole thing is nothing but credulous assumption and cultural expectation confirming other credulous assumption. It’s hard to find much evidence of Mormons giving much critical thought to the “burning bosom” thing.

  • Credulity was the word I was looking for to apply to Lindsay. So much Gee-whizitis. It reminds me of CS Lewis talking about JEsus: either madman, liar, or king.

    There are other possibilities. Legend, amalgam of various real people (Judas the Galilean, for example, perhaps Bar Abbas), business model, allegory, popularized version of Essene mysticism.

    The conclusions are inherent in the assumptions.

  • 1. The rabbi would likely feel offended if someone wrote, “The Jews are at it again,” about misconduct by one or two people of Jewish descent. Yet, the rabbi does not see anything wrong with bigoted commentary toward another group. Shame. I say this because faithful members of the LDS Church are EXPRESSLY FORBIDDEN from doing what the rabbi accuses “the Mormons” of doing.

    2. I have scanned through many of the comments here and don’t find anyone contradicting the rabbi’s notable factual error, as discussed here. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/danpeterson/2017/12/hey-mormons-leave-dead-jews-alone.html So would the rabbi please, you know, get his facts straight before smearing another religious group? (Edit: there are some comments which pick up on this.)

    3. As mentioned, the LDS Church expressly acknowledged the sensitivity expressed here. But if would be nice if there were some understanding in return. Too much to ask? We are all sadly aware that the history of mainstream Christianity includes a history of really unpleasant anti-Semitism. Including Martin Luther but scarcely limited to him. So along comes a Christian sect that decries anti-Semitism and wants the eternal souls of all mankind to be seen as equals in the sight of the Almighty, even with respect to rites regarded as necessary to eternal progress but not performed in life. Jew and Gentile, black and white, bond and free, all are alike unto God, they believe. It is sort of the flip side of the dilemma the New Testament says Peter faced when the question was, was the gospel of Jesus for Jews alone? Mormons look at the words of Paul in 1 Cor. 15:29 as saying that the ordinance/sacrament of baptism need not have been performed in life for anyone, regardless of race, religious affiliation, or anything else. But as any Mormon would tell you (if the rabbi happened to ask, or to do any basic research, or to have even a hint of fairness in the article) there is never anything unwitting or unconsented to or coerced about it. If someone says, “I’ll leave a ticket for you at ‘Will Call’ if you’d like to attend,” I don’t think a reasonable person says, “how dare you! I am insulted that you would leave a ticket for me at will call.” No, the person either picks up the ticket or not, but doesn’t reasonably question the subjective generosity of the person who makes the offer.

    I really think that the rabbi should have thought a little more about the obligations of tolerance and respect, which I believe are held in common among most world religions.

  • Two things…

    1. Re: your excerpt from Jeff Lindsay — personally, in my mind “Jesus is the Christ, our Lord and Redeemer” fails out of the starting gate and dooms the BOM to failure long before getting to archaeology, elephants or steel. It’s both foundation and pinnacle of credulous assumptions, for all of Christianity, and the BOM doesn’t save it. Credulous 19th century Christians wrote their own Christianity and theology into the BoM in a transparently self-falsifying way and somehow Lindsay imagines a second witness is a good thing. It’s mind boggling.

    2. You’re right about C.S. Lewis. His false trilemma fails because, assuming that Jesus existed, it neglects the two far more likely options… 4) Jesus was just simply wrong, and 5) he never said it in the first place. Years ago I liked Lewis, may even still have a book or two,

  • The majority of mankind who are still sleeping in death, as brought out at Ecclesiastes 9:5,10, have the hope of resurrection back to life on earth (John 5:28,29; Acts 24:15, where the “unrighteous” who died will be given the opportunity to learn about God and make a decision to accept or reject him).

    Only 144,000 of spirit-anointed or “born-again Christians” from earth (Revelation 14:1-5) have the heavenly hope and “first resurrection” to rule as spirit persons with King, Christ Jesus (Revelation 20:4-6) over all meek mankind from God’s kingdom (Matthew 2:44) during its upcoming millennial rule (Isaiah 11:1-5).

    It’s throughout said rule that millions of persons will be resurrected back to life on earth, just as Jesus resurrected Lazarus (John 11:11-44); the daughter of an officer of the synagogue (Luke 8:49-56); and the only son of a widow (Luke 7:11-16) when he was on earth.

    It is impossible for me to save anyone; only God, his son, Jesus, and God’s kingdom can and will.

  • Wow, the eternal fate of your eternal soul is no more important than a theatre ticket! I knew that, but I so rarely hear anyone admit to it.

    Tolerance and respect? tell that to the True Christians (TM) on these very pages who denounced other True Christians for not being the right sort of Christians.

    Please. It’s not an invitation to confess to Mormonism. It’s a baptism, which you are calling an invitation, which cheapens the whole concept of a baptism as so many Christians have informed me is of the utmost sacredness. In every other context— but apparently this is one—you are performing a most personal, sacred, declarative-of-faith act. It’s very much a religious act. Ask the Jewish people of Spain in 1492 whether their forced baptisms— to refuse was death—were just an invitation.

  • “If they do not want to accept the baptism performed on their behalf, they are not forced to. It is entirely up to them.”

    Dead people have a really difficult time objecting to anything. You could bury them, and they still won’t complain.

  • Lewis very nearly led me into Christianity nearly 50 years ago. A healthy streak of romanticism and a burgeoning cultural world in music and poetry also may have contributed.

    I wrote a Paper for one of my classes. The gist of it was regurgitated Lewis. I had read nearly every one of his books except for his best scholarly book, Allegory of Love. I couldn’t get through that, though I tried.

    I was very proud of that paper. So I showed it to my dad. He read it, and said to me, “it’s good, but you don’t believe a word of this.” I realized he was right. John 3:16 was the key. I realize it wasn’t a promise, but a threat. I didn’t put it this way then, but would do so now.

    “God loves us so much that he became Jesus. And then he created hell, just in case we don’t love him back.”

    I still like his fiction, including the screwtape letters, but I got rid of all his regions books years ago. Wholly holy holey.

  • Now I just quoted that to DougH, and he claimed it only applied to the Galatians and no one else.

    Which one of you do I believe?

  • You be surprised, or maybe not, how many theists claim atheists all declare there is no god, and they willl even pull out their dictionaries to prove it.

    I have Known so few atheists who are also anti theists. I myself am an it-doesn’t-matterist. Try explaining THAT to a theist.

  • Let me rephrase it, Did WatchTower send you here to bring us the Good News according to their own translation of the Bible? I’m pretty sure that you are the only one here who believes what you espouse.

    BTW, those folks weren’t resurrected, most Christians believe that they later died again as do all humans.

  • Ditto his ‘Allegory of Love’ — I tried, too, but when I finally gave it away it years later it was still like brand new, like pristine.

  • Then you are welcomed to look all the Scriptures I cited in your own “version” of the Bible, as well as the many other translations that are listed on the Internet. I have 3 different ones at home that I access.

    Those persons whom Jesus resurrected did eventually die again, as we all do, but they are “again still sleeping in death,” as they did the first time they died. Again, they all have that resurrection hope for a second time in the future.

  • I haven’t reviewed all 372 comments (as of this moment), so this may have already been brought up, but…

    I think the good Rabbi is making a fundamental error and needlessly provoking a controversy that isn’t.

    Please correct me if I am wrong, my Mormon friends, but it is my understanding that the LDS practice of baptism for the dead is only an _offer_ for the those souls to accept the LDS faith in death, but doesn’t automatically convert them and move the tally to the LDS column out of whatever previous religious affiliation that soul affirmed in life, as the Rabbi suggests. The souls of deceased Jews still have free will and can reject the baptism, correct?

  • “The Mormons are once again baptizing dead Jews — effectively making them posthumous Mormons.
    I realize that this practice is rooted in Mormon theology, but that doesn’t mean that we have to like it any better. Frankly, it is contemptible. It demonstrates an ongoing disrespect for people of other faiths and ethnic groups.”

    I would have sworn the Mormons promised to stop doing this in 1995, as it is contrary to church policy.

  • I’m not sure where to interject this viewpoint into this particular exchange but this seems as good a place as any. As interesting as it may be on an intellectual level, the debate over the archaeological, linguistic and genetic evidence for the literality of the BoM is superficial to the inner life of the faith. Anyone that depends on the literal truth and historicity of their faith has a very shallow faith indeed. Here I am considering faith not as a will to believe but in Paul Tillich’s sense; trust in an ultimate concern. This meaning of faith, I think, is far deeper and richer than the common usage.

    In my opinion it would serve my Mormon friends well to emphasize the ultimate values and concerns of their faith and how the narrative of the BoM provides the mythic structure that informs and illustrates those values. The historicity does not matter. Again, from Tillich, faith does not affirm or deny any knowledge of the world, faith rests on the certitude of one’s own being in relation to something ultimate and unconditional.

    On that note, I find Doctrines and Covenants and The Pearl of Great Price far more interesting, from a theological perspective, than the BoM, which gets too much attention as the basis for how the Mormons I know actually live their lives.

    Of course this approach can be applied to any faith tradition and thus promote greater ecumenism, tolerance and understanding, reducing the needless friction we see today as an increasingly interconnected world brings different religious (and non-religious) paths in contact with each other.

  • So, it doesn’t matter if the BOM is actually the word of god, about the nature of god and an exposition of his message to the world. It doesn’t matter that as an explanation of the nature and structure of the universe we live in it has no more relevance than a work of absolute fiction, like Harry Potter or The Brothers Grimm.

    All that matters is that you believe it.

    “faith does not affirm or deny any knowledge of the world, faith rests on the certitude of one’s own being in relation to something ultimate and unconditional.” something which ultimately may not exist, and which is unconditional, including the condition of actually existing.”

    Even though I believe that everyone is entitled to their metaphors to explain the world, I could not have made a better argument that religion is not the way to accomplish it.

    From the Wreckage of Agathon, by John Gardner: “what matters is not so at much that which is true, but that which is entertaining.”

  • Come at me bro. Just keep in mind Alt Righters like yourself aren’t the only ones with Second Amendment rights.

  • You continue to have a lot of odd ideas. What risk is there to take? What about theists offending atheists by claiming we have no morals? What about Christians of your sort claiming hat they have the one, the only, the true Word o’ God.

    It’s all very juvenile and pretentious.

  • That’s what is in the press kit, yes.

    Except for that bit about the nature of baptism, and wat it means. This policy simply downgrades it to an e-vite.

  • Actually there are often, though not always plenty of worthwhile exchanges of thoughtful ideas. There are a lot of people that just want to “gab” or sound off, without contributing to the topic at hand, as you seem to do!

  • Look in the Bible for yourself.
    Paul was hired by Christ to teach the gentiles. I don’t believe any of the Bible is written to any specific church, as Paul was selected to teach all of the church. Acts 9:15 – “…. he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.” So I don’t believe any scripture is specifically for a certain church. The Bible doesn’t teach that it is either.
    I don’t claim to speak for God. Most times, I let Him speak for Himself by submitting scripture (I hope).
    Galatians is in the New Testament
    Acts is in the New Testament
    a good Biblical search engine is Biblegateway.com

  • Well, Ben, I do hear you. For most of my adult life to date I had been quite hostile to religion. And I still am to the fundamentalist/literalist interpretations.

    Religion is not ultimately about explaining things like a textbook but to facilitate a relationship between oneself and the Ultimate. What matters is not that you believe it as literal truth but that you value it and gain some sense of guidance and inspiration from it. Sacred texts, even the BoM, can serve as the nucleus around that which really matters can form, a community with shared values, mutual concerns and reverence for a unifying idea. Where religion differs from a Brother Grimm or Harry Potter bookclub is a concern with the Ultimate or what is also called Tao, Brahma, Ma’at, Rta, Wakan Tanka, Sila, Logos, Ipsum esse. The Ultimate reality behind the symbol we call God. If one’s idea of God is one being among other beings, a superbeing of some kind, then that God is too small and too limited to be the Ultimate. So it is entirely possible one’s current ultimate concern is not truly ultimate or even does not exist, as you suggest, in which case one is engaged in an idolatrous practice and the effort is to recognize such and seek a deeper experience of the holy. It is an experience that transcends all religious symbols.

    Let me put it this way, if someone with religious convictions expresses counterfactual nonsense based on their interpretation of sacred texts like, say, the Earth is only 6,000 years old and people lived along side dinosaurs, you and I both agree we are within bounds to take them to task for being scientifically ignorant. But if someone says their religious life gives them a sense of purpose, guidance, a community of support, sense of continuity with history and a cultural identity, I don’t see there is much there to argue about. That is their own subjective experience.

    If you, Ben, follow a purely non-religious, humanist path, more power to you, may it serve you well and entertain you while you endure the absurdity of life (with a nod to both John Gardner and Albert Camus).

    I certainly don’t pretend to have the answers, but I realize whatever it is that I call “me” is part of the flux of time and the ongoing creative process of the Universe. I am part of the process, with a brain whose cognitive abilities are conditioned by the particular evolutionary history of my species, so I do not have the perspective to know the Whole or Ultimate. But as long as anything exists, then there is an Ultimate to existence. And this I lean to in faith. My belief system is ever-evolving and always will be, striving towards the Ultimate. I hold nothing I can conceive as absolute Truth because the Ultimate is beyond human conception. I am not a Theist, I am not an Atheist, I am just a journeyman in the flow of Being.

  • Their concept, not mine. I am just irritated at the whining of this rabbi. Sometimes, to speak to children you have to speak like a child.

  • We are actually very much in agreement, beginning to end.

    Though I have toyed with religion, I am an atheist, in that I have no belief in god or gods. (Or unicorns, Santa, or pookahs, either). I don’t claim there is no god, and I don’t think the question means that much, as you imply. I also don’t think it particularly matters what I believe, as the Ultimate is not dependent upon what I think of him/her/it/them.

    Even though I am an atheist, I have no objection to whatever it is people want to believe. We all need our metaphors, and some people need the religious one. My objection is the same as yours- what they do with those beliefs, and how it affects other people. As a gay man especially, and as an atheist, I especially object to religion being used as a blunt instrument against others.

    And thus we come to my objection to this practice. It’s not respectful to what other people believe, and if Jews in general don’t wish to be baptized into someone else’s faith, that should be respected, especially given The place baptism has in christian faith. It’s a highly religious act, and I can’t see it as merely a harmless invitation. Why would not a prayer to Heavenly Father to offer the Mormon faith to all Jews passing from this world to the next (which strictly speaking, Jews don’t believe in) be every bit as sufficient and efficient as a baptism, which is again a central act of Christian faith?

    How would Mormons feel if Catholics or baptists posthumously baptized Mormons into a faith which their own faith says are false? Would they call it respectful?

  • Except that most Christian denominations actually practice infant baptism, which seems far more disingenuous. At least the dead tend to be above (and beyond) the age of consent. I have to say the friggin BAPTIST denomination actually seems to make more sense on this by practicing adult baptism.

  • Well, I’m just glad it’s an opt-in scheme and not an opt-out. Any idea on the return policy? If the dead Jews go to Mormon heaven and don’t like it, what then?

  • I’m sorry, I’ve had enough. This is not an adult conversation. This is just childish. I can’t believe people are seriously discussing some people’s pretend world skimming folks from another group’s pretend world like a game of Red Rover.

    Mormons: “Red rover, red rover, send Saul Goldstein right over! Yay!”
    Jews: “Hey, that was our guy, give him back!”
    Mormons: “Make us!”
    Jews: “No, he needs to eat kosher. You got a kosher deli on Kolob?”
    Mormons: “No, he’s one of us now. He can eat pork. He just can’t drink wine or coffee.”
    Jews: “No! Mormon heaven is Jewish hell!!”

    *sigh*

  • Bottom line: Mormonism is a business/employment/investment cult using a
    taxing i.e. tithing “religion” as a front and charitable donations
    and volunteer work to advertise said business. And the accounting books
    are closed to all but the prophet/”profit” and his all-male
    hierarchy.

    Tis a great business model i.e. charge your Mormon employees/stock holders a
    fee/tithe and invest it in ranches, insurance companies, canneries, gaudy
    temples, a great choir and mission-matured BYU football and basketball teams.

    And all going back to one of the great cons of all times i.e. the Moroni
    revelations to Joseph Smith analogous to mythical Gabriel’s revelations to the
    hallucinating Mohammed !!!

  • Mormon theology regarding baptism is not at all like Catholic theology. We do not ever baptize infants. No person, living or dead can be made a Mormon without their consent. This means that an individual has to be at least 8 years old and actually want to be baptized. In the case of deceased persons, we perform the baptism but it is 100% without effect unless the person on the other side of the veil decides to accept that ordinance. We don’t know if a person accepts it or not. It is up to them to do so. We offer it out of love for all and a sincere desire for all to be happy in the next life. That is our doctrine. It has always been our doctrine.

    Therefore, the number of Jews who have become Mormons posthumously against their will is exactly zero. If you want to pray for my ancestors, go ahead. If you want to light candles for them or do anything for them that you believe will help them be happy in the next life, go ahead. If you are right, I and they will thank you. If you are misguided, your actions have no effect but they were done out of the goodness of your heart. To those who ask for that ceremony not to be done, we respect that. But personally I wouldn’t want myself or my ancestors to pass up something that either has no effect or helps them be eternally joyful.

  • Science is science. Religion is religion. The Bible itself states that God’s thoughts are higher than man’s thoughts and that the things of God appear foolishness to man. Science of today would appear foolishness to people centuries ago.

  • You are right. That is not the purpose of the Book of Mormon. The purpose of the Book of Mormon, stated write in its beginning pages, is to convince both Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ. As for its proof, turn to the end where it asks the reader to pray to God to find out if its true. Millions have done so and found the answer. If you want to study archeology, find an archeology book.

  • The burning bush. Delivery from bondage. The God who created the world is fully capable of calling prophets to write scripture, to perform miracles of any kind, to answer prayers. To send dreams and visions. To heal, to forgive. Those are not matters of “critical thought” but matters of faith. It is only logical that a being who created the world and worked miracles in the past can now.

  • Yes, I know — the burning bush, the delivery from bondage, and the God who created the world are just as mythical as Joseph Smith’s “first vision,” the gold plates, and Lehi and Nephi and Sam. And just as mythical as the miracles of Jesus, the empty tomb, and Jesus dying for your sins.

    And even if they weren’t, the Book of Mormon would still be false.

  • But Jesus was not and is not the Christ. He’s dead. As honest and sincere, non-apologetic study of the Bible will show.

    I agree — Moroni 10:4 is the biggest single stroke of religious (and psychological) genius by Joseph Smith, and the single biggest key to the success of Mormonism.

  • That’s funny, I thought you people were the ones saying the Holocaust only happened because Germany banned guns. It’s okay, go ahead and try it again. I’ll be waiting for you. Like I said, come at me bro.

  • Still waiting for those sacred and eternal truths of Mormonism.

    And indeed society can exist without religion or demons of the demented aka devils and the jinn. There are now over one billion non-believers in the world.

  • Almost a billion global citizens today no longer believe in gods or demons of the demented and are surviving quite well.

  • I have better things to do with my time then follow Twitter! You should try getting involved in other things, it just might help you become a better person!

  • People who are not working in pest control or daleks should not use the word exterminate. It makes them look silly.

  • Thanks, Ben, for the good exchange here. You have given me good grounds to reflect and refine my thought process. Understanding you come from the perspective of being both an atheist and a gay man, I can empathize with your point of view and your animosity towards what I would call your perception of religious insensitivity in the matter. It makes sense and I respect that, even if I don’t share the same degree of offense at this Mormon practice. For me, I am wary of any erosion of the right to free religious expression and the exacerbation of bi-lateral intolerance. I’m not saying I condone the practice or think it’s a good idea, the Mormons will have to work that out with the Jewish community themselves. I have immense respect for the Mormon way of life even though I can find little common ground with their theology. As an outsider, I don’t see their practice as being malicious or intentionally provocative but you have shown me where it can be seen as insensitive. Thanks for that.

  • “Society cannot exist without religion.” Society can exist quite well without religion.

    “Ultimately, only those religions that enshrine the greater good produce people willing to die for the faith. ” It would take a religionist to call that a social good. The jihadists are willing to die for their faith. The 9/11 bombers were willing to die for their faith. 200 years of protestant-catholic wars were fought by people willing to die for their faith. The crusaders were willing to die for their faith. ISIS is willing to die for their faith.
    I practice good. I don’t worship it.
    .

  • Thank you. I try very hard to be reasonable and respectful, though I can’t always manage the latter with people whose idea of respect is “obey.”

  • There is an interesting site by a LDS scholar on the relations between the Nazis and members of the LDS church in Germany prior to and during the war. He writes about a Helmuth Hübener who was the young German teenager that was executed by Adolf Hitler for treason. Hubener was excommunicated by the LDS church. The LDS genealogy records were regularly examined for members to check whether there was any Jewish ancestry in their genealogy See https://gospeltangents.com/2017/12/26/hubener-story-didnt-know/.

  • Smith wasn’t a genius, he was a fraud and a liar and a sex offender. You glory in the size of Mormonism today to prove his genius but there are many religious leaders who started religions far more successful than Mormonism. Seventh-Day Adventism comes to mind. Was started in roughly the same time period but they have over 20 million members. Mormons love to claim 15 million but there are really only around 5 million who consider themselves Mormons. Baptizing the dead is just a dumb waste of time that is logically incoherent. It is impossible for the Church to perform baptisms for literally everyone who ever lived. When I joined the Church and was on my mission I pointed this out but was told, “Oh, God will figure all that out after the second coming.” Huh?

  • You totally miss the point… there was no “glory’ even implied, and ascribing whatever success Mormonism has to human genius rather to “God” is not a complement. The 30% activity level is well documented by Martinich & Stewart — two devout Mormons.

    Harold Bloom is not the only person to recognize an authentic religious genius in Smith. Which genius, of course, doesn’t preclude fraud, liar and sex offender.

    Shabbat Shalom.

  • Sorry you lost the faith, brother. We could use more good LDS, but God will in fact answer all in the end. There are tons of mysteries, no? We do what we can.
    And I hope your life is happy without practicing this form of religion. God bless.

  • 1. God exists.
    2. He sent Jesus to redeem and save us, and we are their children, spiritually.
    3. We will live with them again.
    4. We should obey God’s commandments, and forgive one another.
    5. We should follow Christ and be kind and generous.
    6. Families are forever.
    7. Women and men are designed to be gods and goddesses.
    8. The Holy Ghost can convince you of these things and will confort you.
    That’s good stuff. Very LDS.

  • By this logic of yours that I am trying to follow, then if German Nazis are feeling that Jews, Gypsies, and Catholics are disrespectful, hateful, and offensive, they are justified in stopping those minorities in their functions of worship and ritual?
    I think your argument is wrong. And yes, Third Reich Nationalists were really wrong to persecute and kill religious and ethnic communities that they felt offended by.

  • It may be 2:1 in many Western nations, point taken, but in some places like in Africa it may be like 1:5.
    Jesus has never lied: the first will be last, and His Restoration continues to progress.
    Those who have ears to hear, listen.

  • The LDS maintain the largest genealogical library collection in the world. 100 years from now when a descendant of a Holocaust victim researches an ancestor, a record will be found that the ancestor was baptized Mormon. How much information will be available to the researcher is debatable. LDS members have more access to the ordinance records than non-LDS, but the baptism will be visible and will be part of the permanent record in that library which so many throughout the world today rely on and use for family research. All arguments of souls, choices made by the deceased in the afterlife and such are of little concern. The problem affects the living and is akin to anti-Semites who destroy headstones in cemeteries, altering the record and creating confusion over the Jewish ancestor’s beliefs and faith.

  • Some things you just have to figure out for yourself, my friend. I understand what you are trying to do here but you will have to step outside your positivist framework for what Geoff is saying to make any sense. It is not a matter of propositional logic. By sacred and eternal truths, I believe he is referring to the testament found in sacred texts to man’s finitude, his relationship and duty to himself, to his society, to his environment and to the Ultimate. It refers to the life-death cycle, perpetual resurrection and ongoing creation, of covenant and promise, or what we might call potentiality in modern times. It is the framework and perspective that calls us to humility and reverence for the Universal process we are part of. These things that have not only been with Man and the body of Life since the beginning but are an integral part of Being. But even the phrase “eternal truths” is but a symbol for the great mystery behind it that is beyond words. It is not something that can be listed but is to be experienced.

    Religion in some form has always been part of the human experience since deep into the Pleistocene. I doubt that will ever change. The trick is for our religious traditions to grow and adapt to our changing conditions and experience as a global society.

    What Mormonism offers, in my view, is one culturally conditioned mythic structure to imperfectly express and manifest the numinous, which cannot be directly experienced by finite creatures.

    Additionally, I don’t think there are over 1 billion non-believers in the world. Everybody believes in something. Everybody has a perspective. Everybody has an ultimate concern, and that ultimate concern becomes your God. And everybody’s God is but a symbol for that ultimate concern. Choose well.

  • 1. If you’d study your Bible more carefully and seriously you’d recognize that neither Yahweh, nor his creation, nor Jewish scripture, has any need or use or interest in Jesus, whether dead or alive. Not for lord, and not for savior, messiah, son of God, or bloody human sacrifice.

    2. You’d see what a contrivance Christianity is in converting a failed, false and dead Jewish messiah into the Christian messiah.

    3. Joseph Smith credulously bought the basic Christian myth and so did you.

    4. Meanwhile, honest and critical study of the Bible shows very plainly that Judaism’s been right about Jesus and the NT and Christianity all along.

    5. And one needn’t even be Jewish to see it.

    6. Mormonism is self-falsifying right from the starting gate.

    7. Although, Moroni 10:4 and Mormon temple theology & ritual were HUGE strokes of religious genius by Joseph Smith. Very LDS.

  • Mr. Salkin, if I indeed am your LDS friend, it is possible that LDS descendants have conducted proxy baptisms for deceased Jewish ancestors since the agreement in 1995. This is permitted according to the terms. But even so, there is no obligatory conversion, so take no offense!
    The Church of Jesus Christ, like Jesus Himself, have ruffled some feathers throughout the ages.
    It is part of who we are, like Jesus was a fulfiller of the Law of Moses and made many angry for being a heretic.
    We. Won’t. Stop: Baptizing all people to have a chance to be saved and exalted in all ages.
    If Jesus and baptism is all false, if Christianity is wrong on most or all accounts, you need not worry. If it is wrong to do all this, just focus on what you know and your friends the LDS will be nice to the living and dead.
    Your friend,
    Ed

  • Interesting assertion about Jesus, Sh’lama. LDS believe in the literal resurrection of Jesus Christ, as in He and His body are perfected and never to die again. This is what He promised to all of us.
    See you on the other side whether you believe it or not.
    And, God the Father is already an embodied perfected being. We will see them again.
    I could be wrong, but as Chris Hitchens or another published atheist states, being convinced as an atheist or deist is equally based on unkown factors, and we all fall in that spectrum of 1 to 7, both extremes being extreme (1 and 7). Maybe you’re a 3 and I’m a 5 (can’t recall which way goes more non- believer) but in the end, if you are right and Jesus is heresy or simply false, then this was just a grand fantasy. But if it is true…
    Yeah, we’ll see.

  • Lotta unknown factors for sure, but one thing is certain — an honest and critical, informed and non-apologetic study of the Bible shows very plainly that Judaism has been right all along about Jesus and the NT and Christianity.

    Which still leaves the endlessly fascinating issue of how the Christian myth was created from out of the Jewish life and Roman death of Jesus.

  • There has been official dialog between leaders of Judaism and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They have both stated their cases that they can agree to disagree to the extent that members of the Church will not target to do proxy ordinances in our temples when the people of Jewish faith have no LDS descendants. It is different when LDS have blood ancestors that are Jewish, however. This was part of the dialog.
    Do not fret, the vicarious temple ordinances give the souls of the deceased an opportunity to accept Jesus Christ, but it does not erase or diminish their history as a Jew, Hindu, or other Christian. If anything, it helps cement their histories. And legacies.
    We never want to forget or disrespect the memories of the millions of martyrs of God and humanity of WW II or the other dark ages that took so many innocent lives.
    These ancestors of all faiths are our heroes and we are here today in large part because of them. We owe them as conscientious LDS Christians to give back.
    We rob or force no one, that is the plan of the Devil, the Adversary. God is in charge of this program, it ends up being redemptive and beautiful.
    It brings all of the human family together as much as possible, not to forget them, not to lose them. By any name under God it is great and powerful, and Elohim and Yahweh are still in charge.

  • You can refuse and reject, ignore the truths offered by the restored Church of Jesus Christ and its leaders, missionaries, members. That’s fine for you and many.
    Christianity as a whole, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and other world belief systems offer many answers or at least methods and approaches to make life more meaningful and better.
    The Book of Mormon is one major key to figuring out if this faith is meant to be the culminating Kingdom of God as it is believed. Watch how the Church and its people prosper. It fails in many ways, like any organization. But it will fulfill its “destiny”.
    As all true prophecies will happen, coming from the Divine.
    Best of luck and God bless.
    And yes, there are more, many more truths and blessings that the LDS belief system offer, which you can deny. But first and foremost Jesus loves you and will redeem you. The Bible is true.

  • As clear a statement of the self privileging of some religious belief over the beliefs of others as could be asked for.

  • I hope you had a fun and safe holiday!

    You seem to be under the misapprehension that Mormon scholars should be trying to prove the truth of the Book of Mormon through archaeology, in non-Mormon publications. As with other Christian scholars investigating the Holy Land, Mormon scholars have done a good deal of work in Mesoamerican archaeology and published their findings in non-Mormon publications. How they might apply their findings to the BoM is entirely separate. The example that immediately springs to mind is Brant A. Gardner, an author of a number of books about the Book of Mormon and Mesoamerica — but he also has published on classical Nahuatl kinship terminology, ethnohistoric investigation of Coxoh in southern Mexico, and the Aztec Legend of the Suns with the New World Archaeological Foundation and the Institute for Mesoamerican Studies.

    The only question that really needs to be answered is, knowing what we know about preclassical Mayans, is the BoM at least possible? And answer to that is “Yes.” For more than that — to actually know whether it is true — requires honest, heartfelt prayer per James chapter 1 and Moroni chapter 10.

  • I’m under no misapprehension about “prove” or anything else about Mormon scholars and the BOM.

    The simple reality — and not a misapprehension — is that *IF* Mormon scholars want to be taken seriously concerning archaeology as it specifically relates to the BOM, and taken seriously as serious scholarship as it supposedly confirms or supports the BOM, there’s only one place to publish it that makes any difference: in the top tiers of the academic, peer-reviewed, scholarly literature.

    Neither the professional publications by Mormon scholars do that, nor either do Gardner’s books. Nor does anybody at BYU-NMI nor FAIR nor any other Mormon apologetic. Legitimate scholarly contributions to legitimate Meso-American archaeology by Mormons scholars is NOT the same thing as supporting the BoM.

    That the BOM “is at least possible” means next to nothing — it’s simply stating the obvious, that a ‘negative cannot be proven’, therefore it remains theoretically possible. Just the same as a vast number of other scenarios that cannot be disproven are also “at least possible.”

    But there are sound alternative explanations for the archeology and DNA of the Americas that safely and completely ignores the BOM, knowing that it contributes nothing.

    Meanwhile, the absence of specific BOM evidence in the archaeology bellows loudly. Plus, it also seems like we don’t even know who the “Lamanities” actually are, or how to identify them with any certainty. Is skin color helpful? DNA? Or are all of the haplotypes perfectly explainable — and better explained — without the BoM?

    “For more than that — to actually know whether it is true — requires honest, heartfelt prayer per James chapter 1 and Moroni chapter 10.”

    — That’s not only a cop-out to cover an absence of any positive, specific evidence, it is also nothing but assertion and the bearing of your testimony. Plus, it’s entirely dependent on credulous assumptions….

    Including, first, about James 1 — the assumption that it’s the word of a god, and that it’s a true and legitimate pathway to “actually know”.

    And, second, identical credulous assumptions about Moroni 10:4, too. And that a “burning bosom” — or any other common religious or “spiritual” experience — is the “Holy Ghost” bearing gifts. Which, of course, also first requires the credulous assumptions that the “Holy Ghost” is actually a thing, and that it actually performs according to belief.

    The Mormon “know” rooted in Moroni 10:4 is a bogus cultural epistemology, and the cultural misapplication of “know” when it is really nothing but belief + ‘feelings.’

    The conclusion that the BoM is a complete fiction —even a pious fraud and a hoax — is entirely justified by and completely compatible with the evidence. It’s an honest, informed and wholly legitimate conclusion of humble and serious study in search of the truth. And it doesn’t depend on ghosts nor heartfelt prayer.

    You actually hit upon a powerful aspect of Mormon self-validation with your ” requires honest, heartfelt prayer.”

    — When you got your “burning bosom” confirmation — or whatever else is your favored spiritual witness — you also confirmed yourself to be ‘honest and heartfelt’ and therefore “worthy.” That’s very heady stuff, and a powerful inducement in a church which puts such a high premium on the personal ‘worthiness’ that implies.

    Ditto — hope your holidays were safe and pleasant and fun, hopefully with family and friends!   : )

  • SH: “Ben it makes a mockery of Baptism. Baptizing the dead turns a Sacrament into a Sacrilege”

    Nice glib little quip. Trouble is, we don’t baptize the dead; we baptize the living on behalf of the dead.

    SH: “Any religion that can only swell its numbers by baptizing dead people is in serious trouble!”

    Just as well we don’t count dead people among our “numbers” then. Whew! So glad we dodged that bullet!

    SH: “It isn’t about how they see the practice it is about how the rest of the world sees the practice that counts!”

    Actually you’ve got it exactly backwards. To all non-bigots, without exception, the only meaning that can be ascribed to a religious practice is the meaning ascribed to it by those who practice it.

  • As the ellipses clearly show, you are the one who strung that stuff together, from multiple separate passages, then presented it to your fellow bigots as if it were a representative sample of LDS scripture.

    Which, as you perfectly well know, it is not.

  • Sidney Rigdon was a Campbellite in Ohio when the Book of Mormon was translated and published in New York. The first time he ever laid eyes on it was when Parley P. Pratt brought it to Ohio. The claim that he had anything to do with its production is an utterly discredited conspiracy theory that makes Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion look credible by comparison.

  • If you don’t believe in life after death, then you don’t have any coherent basis on which to claim that posthumous proxy baptism could have any significance.

  • That’s the standard, orthodox Mormon narrative, yes, I know.

    There’s good reason to be skeptical, the expected Mormon apologetic notwithstanding.

    http://www.thedigitalvoice.com/enigma/pdf/roper%20rebuttal.pdf... Even ignoring the Spalding component, your imagined Mormon apologetic discrediting of Rigdon is left wanting, with skepticism highly warranted. And with new info since then, still to be published.

    Your invocation of the “Protocols” was more foolish than a Godwin.

  • TR: “Mormons are hijacking history. In a hundred years, who will know the true facts about you and your heritage? Who will know anything about your family? No one. Very possibly no one! Because in a hundred years the record will apparently show that they were allegedly converts without making clear that it was by no act of their own.”

    No. It won’t.

    Your demagoguery is as dishonest as it is cheap.

    “The record” will only show what you claim if (1) the only records left are LDS ordinance records, and (2) it is only being read by people too idiotic to know how to compare two dates.

    Does that describe you?

  • Sorry, but the “ellipses” — including the four (4 )”…. ” plus the space — clearly indicates longer gaps.

    Your silliness does not obviate the much greater silliness — that it’s all verbatim quotes, from the D&C, of the ridiculous, first-person, Wizard of Oz pronouncements by the goofy Mormon “Lord God” who seems to think foolish Bible mumbo-jumbo makes himself sound rather grand.

    And it’s a mere sampling, probably from no more than 1/4 of the D&C. The bozo god just couldn’t shut it off. At least not until Joseph Smith died.

  • Yes. The Church removed a whole bunch of names from the database, at a cost of approximately $500,000 and implemented various safeguards around the submission system. Someone has worked very hard to circumvent those safeguards; so much so that a whole twenty names! were submitted in the last five years that should not have been.

    By a strange coincidence, those names were “found” by a notorious hacker and publicity hound.

    According to Rabbi Greenbaum, the Church is doing a pretty good of keeping its word. And he, unlike most of the opiners here, is in a position to know.

  • And yet the established fact is that names are submitted for Temple ordinances by millions of individual members all ostensibly researching their own family lines.

    A second established fact is that the name submission process has various safeguards around it to ensure that the names submitted are actually connected to the person submitting them, and that Jewish Holocaust victims in particular are not among the names submitted.

    A third established fact is that the tiny proportion of inappropriately submitted names were found by a notorious hacker, provocateur and publicity hound.

    Whoever submitted those names had to find ways to circumvent the safeguards around the process. Who do we know that has the skills and the motivation to do that?

    This isn’t a conspiracy theory. This is just joining the dots.

  • Why, congratulations. You’d be 100% right if that were my point, but it’s not.

    Unlike so many people who think they actually have the whole goddish truth, I actually respect people’s religious beliefs…

    Except when they use them for dominionist tendencies.

    Except when they hide behind them to justify harming, disrespecting, and disenfranchising others.

    Except when they use them as weapons against people they have decided don’t quite measure up to their god’s demands. Well, not their god’s demands, but what they call their god’s demands to either justify their own bad behavior, or to assert their wholly imaginary superiority over others,

  • I don’t have a religion. I simply believe in one less god than you do.

    Oh, wait, you’re a Mormon. There are just gods all over the place.

  • SL: “That’s the standard, orthodox Mormon narrative, yes, I know.”

    IOW, it’s established historical fact. That’s right.

    SL: “Even ignoring the Spalding component, your imagined Mormon apologetic discrediting of Rigdon is left wanting”

    Pardon me for having the temerity to imagine that I might possibly know more about my own position than someone whose idea of interfaith dialogue is to assume that all Christian believers are ipso facto dishonest, but I’m not the one trying to discredit Rigdon. Among other things, I am relying upon his own testimony, maintained throughout his life and repeated to his (at the time) skeptical non-Mormon son on his deathbed.

    SL: “Your invocation of the ‘Protocols’ was more foolish than a Godwin.”

    I might have hoped that a Jew might be sceptical of hate propaganda directed at an unpopular soft-target minority, but I have become accustomed to disappointment in that regard.

  • SL, just so you know: It takes absolutely no talent, no originality and – especially – no integrity to cherry-pick some context-free snippets and string them together with the intent to mock them. As your performance amply demonstrates.

    Can you give me one good reason to conclude that you are anything other than a cheap demagogue, happily pandering to the nastiest prejudices of a few like-minded bigots?

  • BiO: “Except when they use them for dominionist tendencies.”

    Dominionism is defined as the tendency of politically active conservative Christians to try to control government.

    Baptism for the Dead has nothing to do with “dominionism.” You are merely throwing that word around as a meaningless pejorative, aren’t you?

  • There is abdolutely no context possible in which Joseph Smith’s “I, the Lord God” in the D&C doesn’t sound like a contrived, artificial, made-up, pretend, blithering, idiot Wizard of Oz phony god, trying really hard in the 19th century to sound sorta like a pseufo-Biblical god for credulous believers.

    Or even get away with it in the 21st century for equally credulous believers suffering from a Moroni 10:4 burned bosom.

    It would make no difference if each section of the D&C was studied from a correlated manual, or in chronological or numerical sequence. .

  • Oh. by all means, go by Rigdon’s own testimony.

    lol

    I might have hoped that you’d not foolishly mis-identify me as Jewish. But I’d obviously over-estimate you and be disappointed in that regard.

  • You’ve just claimed that it isn’t possible to study the Bible, believe in any form of Christianity and be “honest.”

    That is bigotry writ large.

    Best case scenario, Yahweh isn’t taken in by such a transparently manipulative trick, but chooses to forgive you anyway. Large numbers of mediocre minds have assumed that all honest people must agree with them.

  • There is abdolutely no context possible in which Joseph Smith’s “I, the Lord God” in the D&C doesn’t sound like a contrived, artificial, made-up, pretend, blithering Wizard of Oz phony god, trying really hard in the 19th century to sound sorta like a pseufo-Biblical god for credulous believers.

    Or even get away with it in the 21st century for equally credulous believers suffering from a Moroni 10:4 burned bosom.

    It would make no difference if each section of the D&C was studied from a correlated manual, or in chronological or numerical sequence. .

  • Your reading and comprehension skills are either very poor, or else you’re just dishonest, because that’s not what I said at all, didn’t even imply it.

    I made no judgment in that statement about people who either conclude or believe in the affirmative, nor about the affirmative conclusion or belief, itself.

    Sorry.

  • SS: “You have been told repeatedly that it does not bless any Jews alive or dead..”

    In the opinion of those who do not believe as we do. Those who share our beliefs – including, but not limited to, the LDS descendants of many of the Jewish dead – strongly disagree with you.

    SS: “It wipes out the dead’s religion and history.”

    I’m sorry, but that assertion is false. It is an obvious and cynical bit of demagoguery.

    “So why do you persist with this farce?”

    Who is the “you” in that sentence?

    Fact: The Church has published clear guidelines that members are to submit names only for their own deceased relatives, such that nobody who is using the system in good faith can possibly be ignorant of them.

    Fact: When it was found that this system was being abused, the Church, entirely at its own expense, developed safeguards around the name submission process to prevent such abuse.

    Fact: Only 20 names of Jewish Holocaust victims have been found to have been wrongly submitted in the last five years.

    Fact: Rabbi Greenbaum, who liaises with the Church on these matters, believes that the Church has kept its agreement, and that the failure rate of its safeguards is minuscule.

    Fact: Everyone who disagrees with you about this is better informed on the subject than you are.

    Does this tell you anything?

  • Really?

    Then what about this one?

    “Lotta unknown factors for sure, but one thing is certain — an honest and critical, informed and non-apologetic study of the Bible shows very plainly that Judaism has been right all along about Jesus and the NT and Christianity.”

    Or this:

    “1. If you’d study your Bible more carefully and seriously you’d recognize that neither Yahweh, nor his creation, nor Jewish scripture, has any need or use or interest in Jesus, whether dead or alive. Not for lord, and not for savior, messiah, son of God, or bloody human sacrifice.
    2. You’d see what a contrivance Christianity is in converting a failed, false and dead Jewish messiah into the Christian messiah.”

    Or this:

    “But Jesus was not and is not the Christ. He’s dead. As honest and sincere, non-apologetic study of the Bible will show.”

    So what you really meant to say is that it is entirely possible to honestly study the Bible and still believe that Jesus was resurrected, ascended into Heaven, and lives today?

    I’m glad to hear it.

  • SL: “There is abdolutely no context possible in which Joseph Smith’s ‘I, the Lord God’ in the D&C doesn’t sound like a” [snip pile of spiteful adjectives.]

    Actually you are wrong. It doesn’t sound like that to large numbers of non-bigots.

  • You mean – like you did with your bunch of cherry-picks from the Doctrine and Covenants?

    Is the above an example of a double standard, or just good old-fashioned hypocrisy?

  • “…and non-apologetic study…”

    The other keys were “careful and honest” which together also indicate “non-apologetic” study, absent the massive confirmation bias that attaches to the apologetic necessity of the believer.

    What we do know is that virtually nobody enters into their Bible or Christian belief in the first place based on the conclusions of serious, informed and critical study of the Bible.

    That’s true for you, it’s true for Dan Peterson, it’s true for Blake Ostler, it’s true for every scholar on Dan’s mormonscholarstestify.org, and it’s true for every GA in the history of the Mormon church, every member of FAIR, and every faculty member of BYU/BYU-NMI.

  • Hardly cherry picked — it’s not even low-hanging fruit.

    That Wizard of Oz crap litters the ground and runs rampant thru the “revelations” of Joseph Smith in the D&C.

    There’s no context and no discussion that saves it from the laughable, phony-Bible and phony-god garbage that it is.

  • And it’s true for you, too. And every other rabid, ranting anti-Mormon.

    You seem to rather foolishly imagine that bias against something, since it’s not bias in favour, is somehow impartial.

    The kindest thing I can say about that silly assumption is that it is hopelessly naive.

    The casual assumption that “apologetics” is something qualitatively different from “scholarship” is nonsense. You are every bit as much of an “apologist” for your POV as Dan Peterson is for his.

    His having the advantage of not being terminally spiteful.

  • That doesn’t speak very highly of your poor abilities to recognize what is very obviously the mindless stringing together of self-aggrandizing Bible jargon that is so often massively unrelated to the message at hand.

    Nor is it surprising that it overwhelmingly applies to BIC Mormons, and to converts who entered into their own original Christianity in the first place either thru their childhood inculcation or else while they were still profoundly ignorant of the Bible itself… seeing as we already know that virtually none of them entered into Christian and Bible belief in the first place based on the conclusions of serious and informed, critical study of the Bible.

  • As I said before: large numbers of non-bigots disagree with you.

    Your spiteful jeers merely tell us something about yourself, and nothing at all about the target of your venom.

    And all you’ve done is double down on your hypocrisy. I agree that Geoff should allow competent Jewish authorities to expound the Talmud, and not cherry-pick context-free snippets; and all honest critics of Mormonism, if such there be, will take the same approach with LDS scriptures.

  • You misinterpret as “spite” what is only the following of wise Mormon counsel: ‘Whomever has been warned it behooves to warn their neighbor.’

    A wide range of beginning biases can and does lead to the conclusion that the Bible is neither reliable history nor the word of a god. Prior disbelief is NOT by any means a pre-requisitie to conclude in the negative. Indeed, many people who get there began as believers. (Just exactly as it is for Mormonism.)

    But, for a person to conclude in the affirmative for the Bible and Christianity, prior belief is virtually a pre-requisite.

    And the reason is too obvious to mention… there is virtually nothing in or about the Bible that requires a god for explanation.

  • GE: “When you join the Mormons they request at least three generations of information regarding your lineage. They want to know who your parents were, who your grandparent’s were, and who your great grandparents were.”

    Umm, Geoff? Where do you get this stuff?

  • SL: “That doesn’t speak very highly of your poor abilities to recognize what is very obviously the mindless stringing together of self-aggrandizing Bible jargon that is so often massively unrelated to the message at hand.”

    You choose to view it that way. But at some level you must know that others won’t unless you load the dice for them. That’s why you engaged in some “mindless stringing together” of your own, isn’t it?

  • You’re at least right about that… you were foolish, indeed. And bigoted.

    One needn’t at be Jewish to read the Bible honestly and critically and non-apologetically.

    Curious secularists and even atheists with an interest in the Bible, (which is endlessly fascinating in its own right), are perfectly capable of studying Tanakh and the Christian Bible, both, and concluding about what’s obviously there and what’s not.

    And recognizing the promiscuous Christian “proof-texting” of Jewish scripture yanked totally out of context to manufacture and “fulfil” Jesus as the messiah.

    Same as folks can study Harry Potter and conclude correctly about people, places, themes, events, messages, morals, etc. There’s no more need to “believe” in the Bible than there is to “believe” in Harry Potter to see what’s there.

  • Lame. It doesn’t matter whether or not folks with burning bosoms and blinded by their own need to believe disagree.

    That Wizard of Oz in the D&C is laughable every time he shows his head. Which is just about every section that Smith “received.”

  • SL: “You misinterpret as “spite” what is only the following of wise Mormon counsel: ‘Whomever has been warned it behooves to warn their neighbor.'”

    SL intoned, smugly.

    But why did you put that bad paraphrase into quotes? Were you too lazy to get it right, or do you perhaps not know quite as much as you assume you do?

    SL: “But, for a person to conclude in the affirmative for the Bible and Christianity, prior belief is virtually a pre-requisite.”

    Thank you for bearing your un-testimony. Been there, done that.

    Despite your rather desperate bit of wishful thinking, it does in fact go both ways.

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but there it is.

  • The only loading of the dice is by believers and their burning bosom.

    It’s a total crock that either the Jesus of the Bible, or any reasonable reconstruction of a historical Jesus — or any Lord God whose glory was intelligence — would talk like that Wizard of Oz crap in the D&C.

    Joseph Smith just loaded into his mouth random, grandiose-sounding stuff from out of the Bible, much of which wasn’t even spoken by the Jesus of the Bible.

    “Listen to the voice of the Lord your God, even Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, whose course is one eternal round, the same today as yesterday, and forever. I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God…. Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God…. Thus saith the Lord your God, even Jesus Christ, the Great I Am, Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the same which looked upon the wide expanse of eternity, and all the seraphic hosts of heaven, before the world was made; The same which knoweth all things, for all things are present before mine eyes; I am the same which spake, and the world was made, and all things came by me. I am the same which have taken the Zion of Enoch into mine own bosom”

        roflol

  • They’re not Jewish statements at all.

    Assuming that Jesus even existed in history — which I do — they’re totally neutral statements, not Jewish.

    You have Jews on the brain. Oh, that’s right… I forgot…. you DO have Jews on the brain.

  • Incidentally, I’ve read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. It doesn’t use language at all like the Doctrine and Covenants. You should find some other spiteful stereotype to use in your cheap demagoguery.

  • If you see Jews behind every rock and bush and tree, what can I say?

    Oh… that’s right… you do.

  • SL: “It doesn’t matter whether or not folks with burning bosoms and blinded by their own need to believe disagree.”

    And it doesn’t matter how many bigots with burning malice and blinded by their own obsessive need to find fault agree with you, either.

  • lol…

    You mean, my statements lead you and your Jews-on-the-brain fetish to misidentify me as Jewish?

    Who’s fault is that?

  • Your premise goes both ways, my premise does not. Sorry.

    Formerly believing Christians–beginning with the bias of a believer–frequently come to that negative conclusion about the Bible when they finally indulge its truly serious and critical study.

    The opposite virtually never happens.

    Disregarding bogus cases like Strobel and McDowell, the very few legitimate exceptions — if there are any — either just prove the rule or are damnation by faint praise.

    Ditto the Mormons — from the critical study of Mormonism, previously believing Mormons are numerous in the steady train of fully justified ‘apostasy not seen since Kirtland’ admitted to by Marlin K Jensen.

    While, on the other hand, virtually nobody is joining the Mormon church because of their critical study of the Book of Mormon, FAIR apologetics, or those exceedingly lame “essays” by the Mormon church.

    There’s an excellent reason why Mormon missionaries don’t begin their missionary discussion with a critical, in-depth study of those essays.

    People join Mormonism and Christianity either thru childhood inculcation, or else for emotional reasons, not based on the conclusions of any serious, informed study of their history or texts.

    And they’re certainly not going to join Mormonism by seeing a picture of Joseph Smith with his face shoved into a hat.

  • It’s not my fault that at least 70% of Mormons are inactive, a number that appears to still be growing.

    And it’s not my fault the Mormon missionaries and Mormon church are so much more effective at producing inactive Mormons than active.

    I have nothing to do with the documentation of that steady decline in Mormon activity by Martinich & Stewart–two devout, practicing Mormons and long time demographers of Mormonism.

    Once again, you mistake as burning malice and blind obsession –and smug and spite and jeers — what is merely the following of wise Mormon counsel.

    It’s not my fault that you’re overly sensitive about the pompous, self-aggrandizing Wizard of Oz in the D&C who gets off on mindless Bible jargon. It is rather endearing though… I’m flattered by your attention : )

    But you should look into why it is that you’re so irritable and hyper-defensive.

  • kiwi57, the quote is not my words, it comes from the link I sourced it to in my original post. https://www.jewishgen.org/infofiles/ldsagree.html

    It is from an affiliate of the Museum of Jewish Heritage – a Living Memorial to the Holocaust. You have just called Jews associated with the Holocaust cheap dishonest idiots. Whether that is the position of your church or just a reflection of your own disgusting apologist methods of belittling and attacking others is a matter for another discussion.

  • http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html

    Religion…………………………Adherents

    Christianity ……………………..2.1 billion

    Islam…………………………… 1.5 billion

    Irreligious/agnostic/atheism…… 1.1 billion

    Hinduism 900 million

    Chinese traditional religion 394 million

    Buddhism 376 million

    Animist religions 300 million

    African traditional/diasporic religions 100 million

    Sikhism 23 million

    Juche 19 million

    Spiritism 15 million

    Judaism……………………………………..
    14 million

    Baha’i 7 million

    Jainism 4.2 million

    Shinto 4 million

    Cao Dai 4 million

    Zoroastrianism 2.6 million

    Tenrikyo 2 million

    Neo-Paganism 1 million

    Unitarian Universalism 800,000

    Rastafari Movement 600,000

  • And more about the updating of the human experience:

    The Apostles’ Creed 2018: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of
    historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    ShouldI believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus’ story was embellished and “mythicized” by
    many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
    and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity including Mormonism
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen

  • Got it WRONG. It is how the Jews, Gypsies and Catholics viewed what the Nazis said and did that mattered! As I said above it isn’t how your group views the issue it is how others view it that matters. This is partly what the “Golden Rule” or as Confucius calls it the Ethic of Reciprocity tries to teach us. If you wouldn’t like others to do to you what you are doing to them, don’t do it.

  • You seem to do a lot of accusing others of homosexuality. Psychologists call this projection. My understanding is that the LDS Church says it’s okay to be gay. Is this more heresy on your part, or are you just conflicted?

  • Do you no one remembers you getting owned on this when you brought it up a few days ago and had to admit the source for this claim was from neo-Nazi sites that even you were too cowardly to go to?

  • You chose your screen name as a method of belittling and attacking a certain LDS defender, didn’t you? I really think you should try to avoid drawing attention to your own hypocrisy.

    The fact is that the rhetoric you cited (and yes, I acknowledge that you don’t have any original thoughts of your own) is overwrought to the point of hysteria. It reflects no facts, only a kind of moral panic.

  • Abbas just said that “Jews are good at lying and counterfeiting a connection to Jerusalem.” Notice he didn’t say Zionists or Israelis, he said Jews.

  • Thank you, Ms. Stein, for informing me of what zionist puppet Abbas said. Please answer the question, however: What do you think of the 300,000 illegal new housing units, in Palestinian East Jerusalem, that the zionists recently announced?

  • Susan, I feel like we are in kindergarten here. I WOULD like all Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and even atheists to pray and bless and do ordinances for me.
    The Golden Rule is great!
    Doing LDS temple rites for people do nothing but good for all. And if it is not not true, nothing at all.
    Reciprocity. It means at least two sides are considered, as you have made the point. Thanks.
    It’s how BOTH sides feel about the correctness of something. Not giving the dead a chance at blessings of the temple is pretty selfish and wrong for Latter-day Saints. The German Nazis stopped millions from worshipping their conscience. Let’s not start that up again, please.

  • Okay, what this sounds like is that the missionaries were trying to get you started on researching some of your own family history. Not that they are gathering information about you for the Church. The chart you’ve described sounds like one of the FamilySearch tools.

  • The LDS Church has clearly stated its policy not to intentionally baptize anyone that is not in the direct genealogical line of someone. The vast majority of Mormons adhere to that policy. But genealogy is a web and there will be cases where mistakes are made even with the best of intentions. This is a non-story. I find it interesting that people who don’t believe in mormonism care given they think the whole process is nonsense to begin with.

  • Smith was a genius especially when you think that he took a snippet of Malachi which has now become a global multi-billion dollar genealogy industry. And it is growing with DNA etc. Genius or prophetic?

  • The fact is that a record of Jewish Holocaust victims gets made to include Mormon baptisms. And the archive library for those records has become the largest in the world, used by LDS and non-Mormons alike for researching one’s family history. The Jewish concerns expressed in that link I provided are valid, as much so as when headstones were destroyed to erase Jewish identity. As for a type of Mormon apologetics known well for its particular nasty and personal ad hominem attacks, one only has to read kiwi57’s comments.

  • Genius.

    Smith was an end-times prophet. and he failed at that just as did John the Baptizer, Jesus and Paul.

  • TR: “The fact is that a record of Jewish Holocaust victims gets made to include Mormon baptisms.”

    No, that’s not a fact, that’s a falsehood.

    Which you evidently prefer.

    The Church’s genealogical database is not “a record of Jewish Holocaust victims.” It’s the Church’s genealogical database.

    LDS ordinance data is not made available to non-Mormons. Try not to crick your neck when you immediately swivel around to accusing us of trying to “hide” something, but the fact is that non-Mormon researchers aren’t going to find those details. And therefore those details aren’t going to confuse anyone too silly to compare two dates and realise that an LDS ordinance was recorded 70 years after someone died.

    Especially since the Church continues to remove those records whenever they are found.

  • No investment, just curious and honest, not least about the invention of Christianity — and the Christian myth — from out of the Jewish life and Roman death of Jesus. And you can’t get there without the Jewish scriptures.

    What’s odd is the profound lack of curiosity by Christians about the origins and reality of their Christian myth.

  • Shabbat Shalom is merely “Sabbath peace.” I exchange it every Sabbath with my Jewish neighbors. Don’t you?

    It’s also a healthy online reminder for Christians although, for many — just like you — it goes right over their heads.

  • Indeed.

    Are you telling me that you don’t exhange ‘Sabbath peace’ with your Jewish neighbors? And you’re offended that I extend it generally online?

    Why am I not surprised?

  • I could not care less how many wives you have, although I suspect that number would be zero unless the women are forced into it.

  • Of course you did when you said “The Church’s genealogical database is not “a record of Jewish Holocaust victims.” I never said that it was.

    I simply stated that a record of baptism is made and attached to the names of Holocaust victims and is maintained in the worlds largest repository of genealogical data, a library used by non-Mormons and Mormons throughout the world for researching family history.

  • Did you read what you posted? If a person asks to be baptized in the Mormon temple it would be wrong to deny that person such a sacrament, whether they fully meet all the obligations of your church or not.

    TO baptize someone without their consent, is WRONG. EVEN IF it makes their relatives feel better. It is about what the dead person wants NOT what the living think they may want because it makes them feel better.

  • Any dictionary. An example: Webster

    “Definition of cult

    1: a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious (); also : its body of adherents
    the voodoo cult

    a satanic cult

  • TR, you previously said: “The fact is that a record of Jewish Holocaust victims gets made to include Mormon baptisms.”

    And now you try to weasel out of that by whining:

    “Of course you did when you said ‘The Church’s genealogical database is not “a record of Jewish Holocaust victims.’ I never said that it was.”

    In which case your previous claim was a conscious lie.

    Since the Church’s genealogical database is the only record that gets updated with LDS ordinance data, and since you now admit that that database is not a record of Jewish Holocaust victims, then it follows that there is no “record of Jewish Holocaust victims” that “gets made to include Mormon baptisms,” is there?

    And as I pointed out above: LDS ordinance data is not made available to non-Mormon researchers. And if by any chance they should get their hands on it, all that’s actually recorded about it is a date. Now I don’t doubt for a minute that you and your fellow anti-Mormons are intellectually incapable of comparing two dates and figuring out which one came first, but I rather expect that competent historical researchers can.

    Any other questions?

  • Still trying to burn your straw man. I never said that the church’s genealogical database is a record of Jewish Holocaust victims. Of course you fully understand my meaning that a record of baptism gets attached to Holocaust victims names and then archived in the library. True to your nasty apologetic mannerisms you are still trying to twist it while throwing in a couple of ad hominem insults to boot. Keep up the good work kiwi, more of the decent LDS folks and investigators need to see what you and your kind are really like.

  • TR, you previously said: “The fact is that a record of Jewish Holocaust victims gets made to include Mormon baptisms.”

    And now you are thrashing around trying to get out of it when you say:

    “I never said that the church’s genealogical database is a record of Jewish Holocaust victims.”

    But the Church’s genealogical database is the only place where the LDS ordinance data is recorded.

    So, since the Church’s genealogical database is not a record of Jewish Holocaust victims, and since the Church’s genealogical database is the only place where the LDS ordinance data is recorded, it rather inescapably follows that there is no record of Jewish Holocaust victims that gets made to include Mormon baptisms.

    Capiche?

  • You have done nothing but throw personal insults and build straw men, even calling Jewish writers affiliated with the Holocaust memory cheap dishonest idiots. Your type of apologetics is well known for making nasty attacks, twisting meanings to fabricate arguments as well as many various other tactics. Those who have read kiwi’s interaction with me here ought to keep in mind the fact that LDS members in Hitler’s Germany used genealogical records to out Jewish people who subsequently were killed. One young LDS teen individual member stood against Hitler, was excommunicated from the Mormon church and was executed. Mormonism has a very ugly history with WWII in Germany. So it should come as no surprise that the likes of kiwi speak out here to try to weaken the voice of reason.

  • First of all, thank you for admitting that you can’t refute what I wrote. There is no record of Jewish Holocaust victims that gets made to include Mormon baptisms. That point is settled.

    For the rest: even if I were as bad as you say, at least I don’t lower myself to the kind of vicious demagoguery that you have here engaged in. Helmuth Huebener was a believing Latter-day Saint who acted according to his religious beliefs. He was also a better man than you are.

    And his excommunication was cancelled as soon as Germany was back in contact with Church HQ. Were you going to mention that, or do facts have no place in your spiteful hate propaganda?

  • You know full well that baptism records get attached to names of Holocaust victims and get archived in the world’s largest genealogical library. That you have twisted things to argue perhaps to detract from my point is just what your brand of apologetics does. The LDS church suppressed the play about Helmuth. And how about J. Reuben Clark. A certified anti-semite. Now all can read kiwi57 calling Jewish writers affiliated with the Holocaust memory cheap dishonest idiots.

  • TR: “You know full well that baptism records get attached to names of Holocaust victims and get archived in the world’s largest genealogical library. ”

    And you know full well that the baptismal details in question – nothing more than dates and places – are not made available to non-Mormon researchers.

    TR: “That you have twisted things to argue perhaps to detract from my point is just what your brand of apologetics does.”

    Says the bitter anti-Mormon who relies upon vicious falsehoods, cheap demagoguery and spiteful ad hominem.

    TR: “The LDS church suppressed the play about Helmuth.”

    Call for references, please: when and where did this happen? I say that this is one of your typical lying accusations.

    TR: “And how about J. Reuben Clark.”

    How about him? He’s not part of this discussion.

    You’re just throwing mud to see if something will stick, aren’t you?

    TR: “A certified anti-semite.”

    And is that worse than being a certified anti-Mormon?

  • LOL. Did you just CFR me? This isn’t the MAD board kiwi! OMG. Your mother should have swallowed you. For everyone else, just google to learn that the LDS church suppressed the play about Helmuth and that J. Reuben Clark was anti-Semite. And never forget that kiwi57 called Jewish writers affiliated with the Holocaust memory cheap dishonest idiots.

  • Sh’lama: “Oh. by all means, go by Rigdon’s own testimony.”

    Yes. I do.

    That’s how actual historical research works, you see. Direct testimony from a primary source is evidence; agenda-driven opinions are not.

    Rigdon’s testimony was given, shortly before his death, to his own son. It was a dying declaration. People not blinded by hate recognise that such declarations carry rather a lot of weight.

    Yes, I assumed from your Hebrew screen name that you were Jewish. I agree that it was foolish of me to rely upon how you choose to represent yourself, and I unreservedly apologise to any Jewish readers whom I might have offended thereby.

    Having seen you in action, I’m guessing Universal Life Church is probably more your speed?

  • lol… Rigdon’s alternative was to admit it was substantially a scam all along in which he was a principal, but that he and Smith still thought their pious fraud was actually channeling “God.”

    It’s not hard — given Rigdon’s “restorationist” agenda — to figure out why a person like Rigdon would do exactly like he did in his “dying declaration.”

    No Rigdon agenda, huh? lol… that’s rich. He had a restorationist agenda while he was still a Campbellite. He never gave it up.

    Btw, it’s Aramaic, not Hebrew.

    “Universal Life Church” — strike three. Although that would be a step up from the silliness of Mormonism. Which ultimately reduces to credulous assumption confirming credulous assumption. …The Bible is the word of God? The “Holy Ghost” is real? The burning bosom is the Holy Ghost? ….Why Sure, the Mormons, for absolutely no good reason, just credulously accept it because they’re told they believe it. So they just do.

  • Sh’lama: “It’s not hard — given Rigdon’s ‘restorationist’ agenda — to figure out why a person like Rigdon would do exactly like he did in his ‘dying declaration.'”

    And it’s not hard – given your anti-Mormon agenda – to figure out why you would continue to privilege your own evidence-free assumptions over the direct testimony of an actual participant.

    Rigdon’s dying declaration didn’t serve his supposed “agenda.” His son John didn’t join Rigdon’s church; he joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints instead.

    Sh’lama: “Why Sure, the Mormons, for absolutely no good reason, just credulously accept it because they’re told they believe it. So they just do.”

    I love they way you confidently announce these “just so” stories of yours, as if you were some kind of “expert,” even though you continually demonstrate that you are not well informed at all.

  • Rigdon’s agenda at that point was two-fold — including to preserve and not totally destroy his own legacy.

    What Rigdon’s son did is irrelevant beyond just a reflection of his own extreme gullibility.

  • It doesn’t take an expert to see there’s nothing in or about the Bible that requires a god for explanation. It also doesn’t take an expert to see that childhood religious inculcation can be powerful and durable.

    There’s a reason why FAIR and BYU-NMI concentrate on uniquely Mormon apologetic and not the Bible — because Mormons just simply and credulously accept that the Bible’s the word of a god. Period. That’s it. That’s the sum total. (Whether or not “translated correctly is irrelevant.)

    Neither BYU much, nor Mormon Sunday School at all, nor the abysmal BYU “Professors of Ancient Scripture” on KBYU even indulge serious, critical Bible study.

    And my 35 years as a devout, believing BIC Mormon gives me all the “informed” I need.

    Among other things, it makes clear that neither you nor any GA in the history of Mormon church — nor any apologist at BYU-NMI or FAIR — ever entered in the first place into their acceptance and belief in the Bible based on the conclusions of honest and informed, serious critical study of the Bible. Nor either did a single scholar on Dan Peterson’s mormonscholarstestify.org

    “For no good reason” is deadonballs, and you have no non-credulous, non-circular rebuttal for it. Not even your burning bosom, nor Blake Ostler’s bogus ‘gustatory & vibrational’ epistemology. It doesn’t matter whether you’re BIC or whether you’re a convert to Mormonism.

  • Susan: how do you know what the dead person wants? Yes, I know I what I said and what I believe. Trying to explain:
    If the deceased person does not want to accept these blessings for them, they are not forced to oblige. Free will. No coercion.
    Have you ever said a blessing for say, all Americans? Or Europeans? Or Chinese? Same concept, really.
    Sorry if that offends you, I am not trying to antagonize but simply explain: these temple actions are not obligatory for those they are done for, like a Chinese person or American does not have to accept my prayer for them.
    Make sense?
    LDS cover for everyone, just in case. No offense meant, only blessings.
    And if you don’t believe in any of it, just ignore. No offense.
    Again, I’m sorry, but none of us know what the deceased person wants. It is wrong to presume that we do, yes. Either way. But for LDS to withhold this blessing would be the worse sin.
    Like offering cookies to your neighbor. There is a chance that they are angry and reject your kindness, but we always make the offer. Just in case that they would like some cookies!

  • If the deceased person wanted to be Baptized as a Mormon they would have chosen to do so when they were alive. OR they would have written something into their will.

    Obviously Mormons have no respect for other people or for their beliefs.

    Offering cookies to a neighbor is NOT an analogous situation. Offering pork to a Muslim would be.

  • If the dead person wanted to be baptized as a Mormon they would have done it while he/she was alive. OR they could have left a message in their will instructing their heirs to baptize them posthumously.

    Baptizing them after their death, without their consent, is to show total disrespect for who they were.

    I don’t offer blessings to people, I am an Atheist. I do wish them good luck!

    Offering prayers or blessings to someone you know is an Atheist is disrespectful! It also makes you look foolish! Saying “in Jesus name we pray” after a public invocation turns what could be a general call for respect into a disrespectful action. Not everyone prays in Jesus name, Many don’t pray at all.

    Offering cookies as an example is ridiculous. A more appropriate comparison would be offering pork to Muslims or simply serving pork as the main dish at a party where you invited Muslims. It shows a total lack of respect.

  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS Church)(know as Mormons) is the ONLY true church of Jesus Christ on the earth. Jesus Christ is at the head of this church as the name implies.

    Living, modern Prophets receive authority and direction from Jesus Christ for all church members. Christ requires that all persons MUST be baptized into HIS TRUE church to receive Eternal Life.

    So, we MUST do baptisms for the dead, because CHRIST requires it. No deceased person, however, has to even acknowledge or accept this baptism in the hereafter.

  • Most Muslims would be kind enough to graciously decline pork and thank you for the offer. Like me when someone offers a smoke or booze. I guess that is how we are different. Kind offerings are not insults. These temple acts are not offensive unless taken that way. It is nothing but good will, and possibly the will of God.

  • No. Offering anything is kind, unless MEANT to insult. Muslims would be cool enough to understand, I am afraid you as an atheist are quite thin skinned and I am sorry you feel that way. But no offense is meant, it is potentially life saving. But if you are right, shake it off, no biggie.

  • Susan, just so we’re aware of what Latter-day Saints believe, we are sure of what Jesus said through the Bible, dozens of prophets in the Book of Mormon, and living witnesses of Him today, most especially Joseph Smith, Junior, who received the Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price.
    Mormons are sure of His words as we are sure of baptism necessary for all. If you search this out through study and prayer you will find out it is true.
    That’s a cordial invitation, no obligation involved.

  • Mormon baptism for the dead has about as much efficacy to those who don’t believe in it as the Catholic practice of lighting a candle and praying for the dead.
    Would you consider a Catholic lighting a candle for a deceased non-Catholic friend to be disrespectful, or would it be an act of love and compassion for a missed companion?
    I believe Jews have a similar candle tradition.
    I can understand people being upset who think their loved ones have been posthumously and unwilling been turned into Mormons – but that isn’t what happens at all. An offering is simply made on their behalf. If it is effective – and the deceased person so chooses – then it means a great deal. If it is not – then it means nothing.

  • You are right kind offerings are NOT insults. Baptizing dead people against their will is NOT a kind offering.

  • False analogy. When I light a candle for a yortzheit, it is MY act done in memory of someone I knew. It has no theological significance whatsoever. It is about me, my memory, my friend or relative, our relationship. I don’t light candles for complete strangers who died before I was born.

    When people get a candle lit as the most significant act and representation of their induction into a faith, please let me know.

    If it means nothing to baptize someone into a faith, then perhaps you can just stop doing it.

    Maybe you can light a candle instead, since apparently, that means even less.

  • Its only a false analogy if you want to make it one.
    1. I didn’t compare baptism for the dead with yortzheit – I merely mentioned it in passing. My comparison was with Catholics lighting a candle and praying for the deceased.
    2. Baptism for the dead as practised by the LDS Church is also not for complete strangers. The practice is for deceased relatives – and in more recent times that practice has been quite vigorously enforced and limited only to direct ancestors. Some people have had to go to pretty imaginative lengths to get around that restriction.
    3. Technically baptism isn’t inducting anyone into a faith either – that is normally reserved for confirmation (which is also occurring, but doesn’t seem to attract the same attention).
    4. I didn’t say the baptism meant nothing. I said that if it is ineffectual then it is meaningless, and if it is effective then it means a great deal.
    If someone wants to perform a religious ordinance on my behalf after I die that they think increases my chances of making it to heaven, I wish them well. Clearly it is an act of service – whether I think it is misguided or not – that changes me not a whit.

  • Well for a start I am so sorry for a lot of people… I have been Mormon most of my life. It has been a blessing to me and now I work in the temple before I leave to be a missionary and get to see God’s love to his children. I am not purfect and have a lot to learn.

    And about this artical, I have no intentions to fight or get angry about this artical because I know the church is true, and it is all because of this. I find it funny that everyone fights over the LDS faith. If you don’t like us then why can’t you just let it go? If I know anything as being a Christian and knowing Christ is that he did not tell us to hate each other. I love you guys and respect what your beliefs are. I hope you can respect what I believe in as well.

    I also know that a lot of people are going to get upset because it happens. So I want to say one last thing; I know this church to be true. Although I also know that your church that you believe in is true to you. So don’t take my word for it! Look for yourself with a open heart and a contrite spirit and you will find your answers.

  • Hey Jeffrey,

    Why would you even give this a second thought? You Jews believe that you’re the true religion, is this not so? Then why would you care about people performing rituals that they think is helping you get into what the call Heaven?

    I couldn’t care less that they want to baptise me because in all honestly I don’t believe it’s true. Now if they’re a cult that requires me or other people to be sacrificed for their God then I’ll object.

    Give it a rest nutty.

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