Dear Members of Together,

I am very sorry about the baptism of your ancestors who died in the Holocaust by the Mormon Church. My prayers are with you.

I am Catholic and I really have not had a chance to read all sides on the issue of Pope Pius XII. However, I deeply apologize for any offence any Catholic at any time has caused even one member of your faith, to which we owe our own heritage.

Sincerely,

Gay Davis, Ph.D.
Dean’s Office
College of Engineering
North Carolina A&T State University
*****

Dear Mr. Michel,

My name is Michael Robertson and I thought I would write to you to see if
you could look at something from a different perspective.
But before I begin, I want you to know how much I respect you. I know that
the written word sometimes comes across completely
different than what the writer intends it to and so I hope with all my heart
that this does not come across in a different way than it is intended.

I can’t even begin to think that I could ever comprehend what you have been
through. It breaks my heart to even think about it. I have such deep
respect for you and all those who went through what you did. And although I
am not Jewish, I have many friends who are. I have studied the Torah,
and one of my friends sends me the weekly Torah Portion and I have enjoyed
reading and learning from a different perspective. I believe that we both
believe in the same G_d. I believe we both worship the G_d of Abraham,
Isaac, and Jacob. And that we have far more in comon than not.
The reason I tell you this is, again, that I don’t want this to come across
in any way that might be offensive to you.

Now, with all that being said, I will tell you that I am a member of the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I know that you have
serious issues with my religion and what we believe, and I can fully
understand your concerns. However, I hope I can give you a little different
perspective that you might ponder upon and consider.

First off, let me say that if we are wrong in our beliefs, then nothing we
do or say matters or has any consequence at all. But, if we are right, it
could
have major implications that would all be for the benefit of those who have
passed on before us. Let me briefly state one of our beliefs. WE believe
that when we die our souls go to a waiting place that is either Paradise or
Spirit Prison. Some call this Heaven and Hell. I have heard that Spirit
Prison
would be similar to Gehinom in your religion I believe. And we also believe,
like you, that a soul can advance out of Spirit Prison to a place of peace
and joy and happiness called Paradise. We believe that there is one main
requirement to do that, and that is baptism. Baptism is a key, if you will,
to unlock the gates of Spirit Prison and move on to the other side. It is an
ordinance that G_d has mandated for us to preform before we can enter into
Heaven. It is a covenant, similar to Brit Milah. Without it, we have to
remain in Spirit Prison. There is much more, but I think this is very close
to your beliefs that we can continue to repent and learn the law of G_d and
learn to practice it and move on to Heaven, a place where Satan has no more
power over us and a place where we will dwell with our loved ones and those
who are striving to keep G-d’s commandments.

Now, why do I write this and what significants does it have to each of us?

I know you are very upset about members of the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter Day Saints doing baptism for those of your faith who went through
the terrible ordeal of the Holocaust, and I can understand that. But let’s
look at it from a different perspective. If what we believe happens to a
soul after they leave
this life is happening, then those souls who lost their lives in the
Holocaust and even those who survived but have now passed on are still in a
place where those
who subjected them to such atrocities are still in their presence and can
still have influence over them. They are still in a Prison so to speak. The
key to escaping this prison is the covenant of baptism. The only thing we
are trying to do is liberate these very deserving souls from this prison so
they can go to a place of peace and love and beauty that they so much
deserve. Think back upon you time in the camps. Would you have questioned
the religion of anyone who would have came to liberate you? Or would you
have been grateful if they would have done so? Well, in a sense, it’s the
same today. All we are trying to do is to liberate them so they can receive
all the blessings the G-d would have them have. I might be wrong, but I
think the most deserving thing we could ever do for these people who have
suffered so much is to help alleviate their suffering and let them leave
this Spirit Prison and move to Paradise.

Now again, if we are wrong, absolutely nothing we would do would ever be of
any influence one way or another to their station and standings with G-d,
but if we are right, what will you say when the time comes for you to meet
again those who have gone on before about why you took away the key from
those who were liberating them from this place?

Please consider this and I hope you will take it in the spirit it was
intended. As I only want to honor those brave souls who gave so much at the
hands of tyranny and should be able to receive the greatest blessings G-d
has for his children. I wish to honor their memory, and take nothing away
from their great sacrifice. The world must always remember them, that it may
never happen again.

Sincerely,

Mike Robertson

**************
As a fellow Jew today I read with distaste on CNN.com about this practice of the Church of LDS. I had not heard about it before. I offer a simple suggestion: Set up a “registry” of deceased mormons, staring with relatives of current church leaders, that declares these ancestors are forgiven for their mistaken religious path, are welcomed back into the “foundation religion” of judaism, and are hereby declared posthumously members of the Jewish faith. It makes total sense since, if I’m not mistaken, Mormons believe they originated with a lost tribe of Israel that found its way to the new world, or something along those lines.
I can’t wait to see the reaction.

Sincerely,
Phil Dix
********
My Esteemed Jewish Friends,

I understand you are now “turning to the court of public opinion” in your exasperation at not getting satisfaction from the LDS Church over the Jewish temple baptisms issue. I have read accounts of your concerns before, and can sympathize with your feelings.

There is one thing that has always stuck out as strangely peculiar – I perceived it then, and I continue to do so now – a certain failure on your part to fully grasp the LDS understanding of the nature of man, especially as it pertains to the hereafter. My goodness, after 14 years of dealing with the LDS Church leadership, you still miss the point!

How well have you been listening with your hearts to the other side? How can you possibly expect to carry out intelligent talks when your perceptions and understanding of your co-conversants are faulty? How can you say you have done all possible when you have failed to achieve proper and accurate understanding of the other side? Why quit? Your work isn’t done!

My point is this: we LDS view mortal man as a dual being, composed of an immortal spirit housed in a physical body. At death, the spirit leaves the body behind, but continues to live on as a cognizant being, capable of, among other things, thinking, feeling and exercising personal volition.

This means that in the case of the LDS Church performing temple rites in their behalf, the spirits of the deceased still have their own final, issue-ending say in the matter. What they say goes. If they don’t want the rites, they are under NO obligation to accept them. God values the agency of man so much that he will NOT force on them anything they don’t want. He will force no man to Heaven, he has the right to impose punishment on violators of divine law.

I have detected no trace of this understanding in your formulations of position vis-a-vis the LDS Church. I think you seriously under-estimate your deceased forefathers’ ability to fend for themselves. Even if you disagree with the LDS viewpoint, your continued “comprehension indigestion” can not help but diminish your own status as intelligent, well-informed participants in talks that should be building bridges of mutual understanding and greater respect, that should be clearing ground for mutually beneficial cooperation, between both parties. It is one thing to focus on one single issue, and quite another to place it into a larger context, which will then determing the over-all significance of that issue within the bigger picture.

May the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob bless the Jewish people, as well as the rest of the House of Israel, forever!

Nolan Doxey
Columbia, Maryland
****
I am a longtime Utah resident of non-LDS faith. I have long been troubled about the LDS church proxy baptism practice. The American Jewish Committee of Holocaust Survivors recent publicized meeting in New York with LDS church leaders has prompted me to write this letter.

I write this letter to ask your organization to please broaden your efforts of the request to remove non-LDS members from LDS church baptism records to include not only the Jewish community but all others with similar concerns.
The LDS church is protected by the Constitution, the right of freedom to practice its religious doctrine of proxy baptism, therefore non-LDS members should also have the right to exercise their religious freedom to not be included in LDS church baptism records.
I would like to suggest the following be included in your negotiations with the LDS church leaders. If your committee efforts fail, I would like to see your committee leaders and other church leaders’ band together to work toward some version of the following guidelines for the LDS church:
The LDS church leaders should be required to provide a public request system for removing the names of deceased persons from the LDS church baptism records.
This system should allow a representative of the deceased to submit a written notarized request.
The notarized written request should be a sworn statement of the volunteer representative. The representative can be a close/distant family member or friend who was familiar with the deceased person’s belief system. Religious or not.
The notarized written request should be a sworn statement indicating if the deceased person were alive today, s/he would likely be making the same request to have his/her name removed from LDS church baptism records due to conflict of beliefs.
This blank printout form designed for notary signatures should be made available for downloading, pickup, faxing, or mail.
This blank request form should be made readily and easily available and free of charge by the LDS church through its multiple worldwide websites and offices.
The request form should indicate a reasonable turnaround processing time for the request.
The volunteer representative should be free from any indirect or direct persecution by LDS church leaders or members (especially those living or working within close proximity of a LDS church member), for having submitted the highly controversial removal requested.
LDS church leaders should encourage it church members to respect the rights of any volunteer representative who should chose to make a request of name removal of the deceased from proxy baptism records.

I am writing this letter in behalf of my deceased parents. Two people who took ceremony of baptism into a religion very seriously, and who did their best to practice their religious beliefs. Both my parents would be very heart broken today to learn they had been baptized into another belief system to which they did not chose. I would appreciate anything you can do to represent all individuals faced dealing with your same issues.
Sincerely,
Carol Landgraf
****
Judaism is religion of hate now?
I have to say, I am appalled at all the crying over the Mormon Church baptizing members in behalf of victims of the holocaust. It comes down to this:
Either a), the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the true church of God upon the earth, and they should be shown the utmost gratitude for that saving ordinance for those who never had the opportunity to do it themselves. The Mormon Church believes that no baptism is forced upon anyone. They (those who no longer live here in mortality) simply have the opportunity to accept or turn down an ordinance they can receive no other way, not that they have to accept it.

Or b), the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is a false and misguided religion, however well intentioned, and only think they are providing a caring and essential saving ordinance. In which case they are remembering those who suffered and died so needlessly in one of the world