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Author Topic: Jewish agreement
jana at jade house
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I am just flabbergasted that Anne Frank's name has been worked for again.Just after last week another high profile Jewish name's work was discovered.
As much as I dislike Helen Radkey and her minions, it makes me even more irked that LDS who should know better still trespass the Jewish agreement.

Saints get it wrong just as often as other Christians do, but when it is something that is so provoking to the anti-crowd, why do they persist?

I don't like being called practitioner of necrophilia.

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Curelom
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I also am not crazy about Helen Radkey. [Big Frown] IMO, her motivates are 1) anti-Mormon (she was once LDS & has explored numerous other religious traditions, so I guess we'd call her a shopper) & 2) too much time on her hands. But in this case, she's on the right side.

Anne Frank, just days after Simon Wiesenthal's parents, has become a huge fuel source for Mormon-haters. Not that they need any excuses - a ball rolling downhill is gonna roll downhill. But Church members really need to understand the Church's position about this & show respect to everyone & everything involved: the Holocaust victims, the promises made by our leaders to Jewish leaders, & the authority of our leaders whom we supposedly sustain. If we persist in disregarding their instructions on such a sensitive matter, how can we claim that we sustain them?

One question has occurred to me while this has been in the news. It's tough to imagine that someone in the temple, either in the Family File office or during the ordinances, didn't spot these names & feel a bit uneasy. I don't know what Mr. Wiesenthal's parents' full names were, but I presume his father's name was Wiesenthal. That isn't a common name, especially in our temples, & most fairly informed people around the world have heard of Simon Wiesenthal. TBH, if I were an ordinance worker & saw it, I’d be curious & would want my supervisor to consult a presidency member. And Anne Frank? Seriously, not one temple worker recognized it? The office file clerk, 3 MP holders at the baptistry, & 3 at confirmation totals at least 7 people who saw that card or heard the name, & it got by all of them.

[ February 24, 2012, 06:04 PM: Message edited by: Curelom ]

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pnr
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I'm not sure Anne Frank is her actual dutch name. And one report I read said that in Santa Domingo temple it was misspelled.
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jana at jade house
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Annelies Marie Frank was born in Frankfurt am Main. She was German.

I was very careful not to implicate the temple or temple workers. For I do not know if indeed they created the problem, but surely the most serious blame goes on the person who submitted the name.

Since she has no personal lineage, her name could only be submitted by extraction. So it should have only ever been submitted once- but there are folks out there who just can't stop themselves from submitting all sorts of people even Hitler himself, if you believe the story. So some folks have been submitted all kinds of times.

They are welcome to help me with mine any day.

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CrowGirl
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Why wasn't the name caught? There are few that have truly unique names. Do people in the Dominican Republic really know who she is, either? Maybe they wondered about the name, but couldn't believe someone would be so prideful and disobedient as to do something like what was done.

I'm so tired of self-righteous members who think they know more about who should be given temple ordinances than the Prophet. I'm tired of people who can't be bothered with helping their friends with their family history, but go out of their way to baptize Holocaust victims or the mother of the sitting US president; thus making a sacred thing a mockery in bad press and disrespectful news articles.

I've been hearing admonitions from The Brethren to leave Holocaust victims alone for nearly 20 years now. And people wonder why we aren't getting new doctrine. We can't even respect what we have now.

Please. Just stop it. And go help Jana.

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Sweet William
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If you saw the name "Annelies Marie Frank" would you say "Hey, that's Anne Frank, of diary fame."

Not making excuses, because the submitter obviously knew what was up, but a Spanish speaker (from the Santo Domingo Temple) probably wouldn't even recognize "Annelies" as being the formal version of "Anne."

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JennaDean
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I wonder a few things about things like this. First of all, there are only two places I recall hearing about the rule not to do work for holocaust victims: here at Nauvoo, and there's a screen that pops up and tells you not to on familysearch, if you click the right place. (It's probable that a letter has been read over the pulpit at some point in my ward, but I don't remember.) If there are people like me out there just getting started with family history, who are not regulars to Nauvoo where we've heard it hashed out again and again, it's possible they might not be aware of the hugely big deal this seems to be -- or even aware of the rule at all. Not the church's fault; I can tell that they keep trying to make people aware; but it's not exactly front and center of the things we are taught. And unless you read the paper religiously -- which a lot of us don't, it's too depressing -- you wouldn't hear about it. The ONLY place I have heard about either of these cases is Nauvoo. It's easy to be oblivious to the brouhaha.

Second, we're doing work for not just direct ancestors but for their families too --brothers and sisters and children. I mean that is the point, right? To seal families together? So just because someone doesn't have any descendants does not mean the work would not have legitimately been done. (I'm not necessarily talking about Anne Frank specifically, but in general. It could be that a holocaust victim had family members survive and have descendants, who are doing FAMILY history work, not just grandparent work.)

Third, just because a name like Weisenthal pops up, doesn't mean a person is going to recognize it. I had to google it. And living in North Florida is not exactly Jewish territory; it's possible to grow up not recognizing Jewish names as Jewish. I certainly didn't begin to until I was in my mid 20s. We have youth out there who would be unaware of those names.

I'm not making excuses for people who know the rule and flaunt it. I'm not even saying that's what happened in either of these cases. But the question keeps being asked, "How does this happen?" and I think there are ways things like this could happen completely innocently.

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palmon
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quote:
If you saw the name "Annelies Marie Frank" would you say "Hey, that's Anne Frank, of diary fame."

I would not. And I even read her diary in school and visited the museum created in her house. I've been doing genealogy long enough to know that you may think a name is a 'one of a kind' but chances are, there are dozens just like it - some even with birthdays, places of birth all very similar. It takes a bit of skill to separate who is who. And since I would not recognize a german jewish name from one that is not, my assumption - if I were to recognize the names - would be that is someone found a relative with a similar name not that they were just trying to baptize famous people.

That said, another assumption I wonder about: if people who are not authorized can get into familysearch to find the ordinance dates of the holocaust victims, could it also be that unauthorized people are getting in and submitting names that will cause embarrassment for the church?

If it is being done by members, the church will now do as some of you desired and those member will bare the sad consequences of their actions.

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CrowGirl
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Addressing this in the Washington Post.
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Dyany
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Jenna, if I have heard correctly, you have to go through some hoops on Family Search to submit the names -- it doesn't just let you submit names that are tagged like holocaust victims. You HAVE to know what you're doing is wrong.

Secondly, if this were an descendant, they could jump through some hoops, but it wouldn't be the same news story. It would be news, yes, but it would be something like 'descendant of Frank family does temple work for Anne' or something like that.

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TheOne
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This wasn't done by accident and from what I read it took some effort to get these names through. At least the Rabbi in SLC is thoughtful on the subject - just wish the rest of the Jewish community were.

quote:
For Rabbi Benny Zippel of Chabad Lubavitch of Utah, the whole issue is a tempest in a teapot.

"It's totally meaningless as far as I'm concerned," he said. "For someone to go into the water and say some words and be immersed — why does it matter? To me, it doesn't. I would just let it go."

Rabbi Zippel bases his feelings on the Jewish concept of conversion, which requires thorough research, intense study and approval by a rabbinical court.

"You cannot possibly have a person convert without their knowledge," he said. "So to me, when we're dealing with posthumous conversion, it's an oxymoron. If it is a conversion, it can't be posthumous; if it is posthumous, it cannot be conversion."

So as far as Rabbi Zippel is concerned, LDS baptism for the dead is "a non-issue."

"I'm not offended by it," he said, "because to me, it is meaningless. So why should I care?" - from the Deseret News



[ February 26, 2012, 01:35 AM: Message edited by: TheOne ]

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Curelom
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Addressing this in the Washington Post,

This was not the Post covering the story, but an op-ed from a Church spokesman trying to clear up public misconceptions & explain that the Church does not condone members bringing in names of Holocaust victims. No church can police the actions of every single member, & every church has folks who think they are wiser than the leaders, or policies & procedures are for everyone but them, or what they are doing is so righteous that it justifies ignoring the policies.

An Associated Press article about the Anne Frank incident had a deceptive & inflammatory statement that she was baptized by proxy “by the Mormon church.” This is hogwash. It’s the equivalent of saying, “The Catholic church molested thousands of children” or “Islam flew airliners into the World Trade Center.” When the media says such things, considering all the information that exists & the multitude of sources to find actual facts, it’s hard to believe it was a mistake. When that story appeared on sfgate.com (San Francisco Chronicle website), there was a flood of hate mail on the reader forum, which is no surprise for San Francisco. Many of them ended up deleted, since even a forum with mainly Bay Area participants has to appear to have a sense of decency.

The linked articles in Bro. Otterson’s essay are for Jewish voices that were trying to promote harmony, & appreciating the Church’s position. Through a friend who used to live in Idaho, I know of Rabbi Zippel. He is Chabad Lubavitch, a modern branch of orthodox Jews, and would have every reason to be offended by the Anne Frank episode. But he and Brad Hirschfeld are taking a high road, acknowledging that every church has rogue members whose actions shouldn’t indict the whole church, & suggesting we all give each other the benefit of the doubt. In fact, the two of them seem to be minimizing the reactions of some Jews, saying they don’t see why it's such a big deal. They may not, but many Jews do, & we need to recognize that. We also need to thank people like Rabbi Zippel & Mr. Hirschfeld for their charitable attitude. To them, Jesus Christ is not the Messiah, but they are showing forgiveness & turning the other cheek as He taught us to do.

As for the benefit of the doubt, I’m less inclined to give it to Church members who really, really should know better but persist in disobeying the clear instructions we’ve been given about submitting only our own family names. I don’t remember where I said so, but I don’t think it’s excessive to suspend their FamilySearch privileges. I also don’t think it's excessive to suspend their temple recommend after repeated violations, until they can learn to sustain Church leaders & be honest in all their dealings with their fellow man, including our brothers & sisters who perished in the Holocaust.

[ February 26, 2012, 02:04 AM: Message edited by: Curelom ]

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stevet
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The key to stopping this is real penalties.

Frankly, those who do it think they are doing what the leadership secretly wants them to do.

So, time to bring the hammer down.

First time discussion with local leader.

Second time disfellowship.

Third time excommunication.

A few high profile disciplinary actions would end this for good.

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stevet
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Roper,

These are folks who are bringing the Church into disrepute.

The Church signed agreements that Jewish Holocaust victims would not be submitted for temple work except by immediate family members.

These recent incidents have disgusted millions of Americans. Do a Google search on this topic. There have been news stories and editorials. The general theme is that Mormons don't keep their word.

Of note, it sounds like the Church itself is moving the direction I suggested with some kind of substantive discipline besides turning off Family Search access.

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quidscribis
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It isn't just recent events that anger Americans - it's pretty much ever time something like this hits the news, and it's been going on for years.

Back when I was still on Hatrack, threads would pop up every now and then about Mormons doing baptisms for the dead and why we have no right and why it angers everyone else. And people like me and others who know about how the family history program is supposed to work would have to jump in and explain why what happened shouldn't have happened and why the person who did it was wrong and going against the LDS church's policies and procedures. And they inevitably became very very long threads filled with a lot of anger from people of other faiths. And that's just one forum.

Doing baptisms for the dead for holocaust survivors or famous people or, really, for anyone who is not related to you is a problem.

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FlyByNight
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quote:
Please tell me you're joking. Punish people for submitting names for temple ordinances? That's a sin worthy of disfellowship or excommunication? Equal to adultery?
The church has limited things it can do to discipline someone. Could be that this is a repeat offense and the disfellowship is only for a minimum of a month.

So, the punishment may not be equal. However, even in the legal system punishment is not equal to offense.

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Jacaré
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My understanding is that a person can theoretically be excommunicated for anything. Remember just a few years ago a man was ex'd for creating and selling a calendar with pictures of RM's with their shirts off. Context is everything.

My stake president explained that there are basically three reasons for Church discipline:

1. To protect the reputation of the Church.
2. To protect the innocent.
3. To bring sinners to repentance.

If a person, by willfully violating Church policy brings disrepute upon the Church, and after counseling with priesthood leadership refuses to change their ways, then it would seem to me that some kind of discipline would indeed be warranted. It's not my place to say if excommunication would be appropriate, but if the local leadership, after due diligence determined that to be the proper course, I could certainly understand the reasoning.

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stevet
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The problem with this whole issue is that many think the Church's agreement was merely a PR sham, that doing work for everyone is the real preference.

Unfortunately, many of the comments made here and elsewhere support that thesis.

That is, in my mind, why public discipline is necessary.

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Zeta-Flux
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The Church's statement- including possible extra action
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Dyany
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quote:
The problem with this whole issue is that many think the Church's agreement was merely a PR sham, that doing work for everyone is the real preference.

Unfortunately, many of the comments made here and elsewhere support that thesis.

I have no idea where you are getting the ridiculous idea that comments made here support the idea that doing work for everyone is preferred and that the Church's agreement was a PR sham. EVERY SINGLE COMMENT MADE here shows anger and ire over the idiots who keep pushing these names through. The only thing you can possibly stretch to fit your statement is the idea that excommunication or disfellowship might be harsh, and that in no way supports the idea that the Church's agreement was a PR sham. Just because someone doesn't agree with you completely doesn't mean he supports the complete opposite viewpoint. Sheesh.
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stevet
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Dyany --

I should have softened that a bit. My reference was to comments arguing it wasn't worthy of serious discipline. On some of the other sites, it is clear that many members don't thing the agreement was really serious. In retrospect, I agree with your take of this forum.

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Dyany
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Steve- thanks. Sorry I got defensive.
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Zeta-Flux
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Dyany,

Unfortunately, it might be the case that it isn't "idiots" who are submitting these names. Some speculate that the lady who keeps discovering these submissions also is the one submitting them (using other people's accounts--she has been kicked off computers at the church Family History Center for using people's accounts when they forgot to log off).

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Jean Valjean
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In my mind, it's pretty simple. The Brethren have made a solemn agreement that we wouldn't baptize Holocaust victims unless the member doing the baptism is a direct descendant of the victim being baptized. Which is a situation so rare as to be nonexistent.

We as members have no excuse whatsoever for ignoring that agreement, any more than a bishop has any business ignoring the rules and calling a person to work with youth before he's seen their Church membership record. Both are rules which, if ignored, could lead to enormous damage to the Church. In fact, given that there are folks regularly scrutinizing our records to find violations of the Holocaust victims agreement, it's far, far more likely that performing such a baptism will do enormous damage than will the failure to ensure that a new member in a unit isn't a pedophile before trusting the kids with him. After all, most new members moving into a unit aren't pedophiles.

Understand what's at stake. The folks scrutinizing our records to find violations aren't doing it to pressure us to keep the agreement. They don't give an airborne crude metaphor about that. They are trying to create sufficient bad P.R. to keep us from being able to continue building and operating temples and to foil our efforts to collect genealogical records from around the world. If these kinds of things keep happening, and, at this point, maybe even if they don't, it's only a matter of time until we are blocked from building a temple at some place where it's badly needed because of bad publicity over baptisms for the dead.

Isn't that obvious?

Up to now, to my knowledge, no one has ever been disfellowshipped or excommunicated for breaking the agreement. Until recently, no one was even barred from Family Search; the recent case was the first I've heard of. But notice has been served. When I read the Church's press release on the recent incidents, I detected a an edge of anger there I haven't often seen in Church press releases. And, if anyone isn't getting what I'm saying already, the anger isn't directed at the Jewish rabbinate, you know what I mean?

Notice has been served. Next time someone tries to pull this kind of stunt, there will be a disciplinary council. If it doesn't end with in a curt press release declaring that the member is no longer in good standing, and why, it will be because the member is given "mere" probation in return for agreeing to make a trembling, tearful, apologetic appearance in front of a battery of hot press lights to explain how he thought the Brethren's direction didn't really apply to him, but Now I Realize The Brethren Really Were Serious About Their Promise To the Jewish People. I point out that the Brethren don't have to wait for local leaders to act when a member misbehaves in a way that affects the whole Church. They can convene a general disciplinary council in such cases. They did with those five apostates a few years back. If you don't think deliberately flouting a clearly enunciated bright line of such consequence deserves such punishment, you don't get it yet.

What is at stake is our ability to continue our temple work. If a mamber thinks gratifying his pride by being baptized for someone famous is more important than that, then he deserves excommunication. Though, the Lord being merciful and all, He may be satisfied with the klieg lights thing. But don't think the Lord isn't willing to make an example of someone pour encourager les autres. When the only alternative was a people dwindling in unbelief, Laban's head was not too high a price.

Yeah. I'm feeling a white hot edge of anger here, too.

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Jean Valjean
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I suppose it is remotely possible that these submissions were deliberately done to embarrass the Church, by hacking the software or otherwise gaming the system. I can almost hope so, because the discovery that the Church was the target of such a deliberately hateful act might create a bit of sympathy for us.

But I can't quite bring myself to believe that, and in any case, if the Church tried to tell the world (truthfully) that we were the ones being victimized, there would be howls of outrage from some quarters at the idea that the Church was the victim. If you leave a door ajar, and someone comes in and beats up your house guests, you're not going to get a lot of sympathy from pointing out that they stole your silverware as well.

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stevet
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We need to put the hacking argument to rest. I heard that claim today at Church.

Completely bogus.

The guilty have been identified. Their Family Search privileges have been suspended.

The only question is what else will happen now . . .

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CrowGirl
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JeanValjean,
[Clap]

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Jean Valjean
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Roper,

I never suggested or thought that this was the action of any but a few rogue members. stevet reports that he's encountered members at other sites who think sneaking names past the safeguards is just hunky-dory; I accept his statement but still believe these are a few rogue members.

I do not have any clear idea whether the Jewish leaders who are screaming bloody murder over this lead a very large fraction of Judaism. Clearly there are significant numbers of Jewish leaders who give it all a big "Meh". I haven't discussed it with my orthodox Jewish friends; waiting for them to bring it up first, I guess. My suspicion is that their response will be a big "Meh" followed by some snark about the political motivations of their fellow Jews raising the stink, but I could be completely wrong about that. Their motivations are irrelevant to me; the action of the few rogue LDS doing this remains completely unacceptable.

I should be clear that I do not believe the motivations of these Jerwish leaders is to shut down our temple work. I'm thinking of the particular bitter ex-member who has been in the news lately. Yes, I'm generalizing from her to a larger group who regularly scrutinize our records. No, I don't have hard proof such a group exists and this is their motive; that's an educated guess. But I still think it's a good one.

I don't believe anyone here at Nauvoo has or would submit names improperly. I do share stevet's concern about anyone here dismissing this with a "Meh." And I agree with stevet's dismissal of the possibility the Church was hacked. This was the work of rogue members, not of embittered ex- or soon-to-be-ex-members hacking or gaming the Church's system.

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Sweet William
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quote:
Remember just a few years ago a man was ex'd for creating and selling a calendar with pictures of RM's with their shirts off. Context is everything.
Just to set the record straight, he was not excommunicated for the calendar. He stated in public interviews that he had been involved in sexual sin.

quote:
Understand what's at stake. The folks scrutinizing our records to find violations aren't doing it to pressure us to keep the agreement. ... They are trying to create sufficient bad P.R. to keep us from being able to continue building and operating temples and to foil our efforts to collect genealogical records from around the world. If these kinds of things keep happening, and, at this point, maybe even if they don't, it's only a matter of time until we are blocked from building a temple at some place where it's badly needed because of bad publicity over baptisms for the dead.
I could not agree more. In fact, access to genealogical records may have already been denied us in a few instances. I have heard anecdotal stories of individual members doing research who were not allowed access to family records or records held by other churches, because of opposition to our doctrine and practices.

[ February 27, 2012, 10:46 AM: Message edited by: Sweet William ]

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Susan
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In this age of computers, isn't there a way to find out who the member was who submitted the names of Jewish people to have there work done?
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trooperswife
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I think the reason why this could be a matter of church disipline falls into the "honest in all our dealings" part of the temple recommend interview.

It seems dishonest to me to continue to do something that the head of the church has publicly stated we are not supposed to do, and promise not to do. Unethical, and dishonest.

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Sweet William
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quote:
In this age of computers, isn't there a way to find out who the member was who submitted the names of Jewish people to have there work done?
Yes. You have to have an account on new family search to submit names. In one of the most recent instances, the account of the "rogue" member has been deactivated.

I do not know if some of the temples in the less-wired countries still allow one to trundle up to the door with a four-generation sheet on paper. [Dont Know] That is the only slightly redeeming possibility that I could see in the Santo Domingo Temple work for Anne Frank. But even if the patron does arrive with paper records, I think someone at the temple still has to type the information into New Family Search for the patron, before the name can be cleared for work.

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Susan
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quote:
Yes. You have to have an account on new family search to submit names. In one of the most recent instances, the account of the "rogue" member has been deactivated.

That sounds like the person knew that they were doing something that they shouldn't. I can't imagine an active member doing that. Am I just naive?
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Josh
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What happens if you have Jewish ancestors?
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FlyByNight
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Everybody gets to do and is supposed to do their ancestors.

Also, I suspect that a very large part of the Jewish population simply doesn't care. However, as people who don't care they don't speak up one way or the other unless they are asked.

The people that cause problems are the ones trying to thwart the work, and those that do care. They are the ones speaking up. A minority are just as able to cause problems as a majority.

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Curelom
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Helen Radkey strikes again. Guess who she "rescued" this time.

This was not done last month, but in 1996. But what's wrong with digging up a little 15-year-old tidbit if it helps you Make Your Point? Which is, IMO, what Helen Radkey is really all about, not love for Jews or others but animosity toward the Church & a desire to embarrass it. IOW, what Valjean said, [i]"Understand what's at stake. The folks scrutinizing our records to find violations aren't doing it to pressure us to keep the agreement. They don't give an airborne crude metaphor about that. They are trying to create sufficient bad P.R."/i]

[ February 27, 2012, 05:45 PM: Message edited by: Curelom ]

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stevet
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Curelom --

Ms. Radkey clearly has an agenda.

But, the evidence is provided by those who submit these names. If names were submitted in accordance with proper procedure, she'd have little to complain about.

We really need to avoid dismissing the messenger (because we don't like them) or the agreement (Ah, only a pr thing) or the importance (only a few care about this issue) or imply victimization (done by hackers).

I think the Church gets how important it is to stop this. Now. And, completely. The entire message is that Mormons commit to do things -- and then do the opposite. Not good at all.

I fear that some of the members don't realize how bad this is.

[ February 27, 2012, 06:00 PM: Message edited by: stevet ]

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quidscribis
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roper, some of the loudest people in that thread over at Hatrack complaining about LDS people baptizing Jewish people were orthodox Jews. To paraphrase what I was told (from my memory, so hopefully this is close enough) by these people, when we do something like baptize people for the dead, it affects their soul in the afterlife and they have no control over it, and that's why it's so offensive to them. We're forcibly baptizing them and ignoring their wishes, ie to be Jewish. That's according to their beliefs.

I'm not going to say that all Jews believe that, but enough of them do if those threads on Hatrack are anything to go by.

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rayb
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Did anyone catch Colbert Report, where he converted all Dead mormons to Judaism? He used his intern as a proxy, and performed a circumcision on a hotdog.

I thought it was kinda funny, and I didn't get mortally offended and demand all the pope (colbert's catholic) excommunicate him.

Honestly, getting offended about this is a lie. No one cares--except to make it a political issue--an excuse to throw tar on the Mormon candidate.


--Ray

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quidscribis
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I don't get it, either, to be honest.

I think it has a lot less to do with it being done in the name of Jesus Christ and a lot more to do with it just being done.

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