Monday, February 20, 2012

Church Statement on Jewish Names in Genealogy Database

Dear Madame L,

I know you're not a leader in the L.D. S. Church, and I appreciate what you wrote about the fuss over some genealogical work being done by the church for people whose friends or descendants didn't think they would appreciate it. 

But has your church come out with a statement about this issue?


Thinks It's Important

Dear Thinks It's Important,

Madame L thanks you for your question. At the time she wrote her answer to your question about this issue, in her post titled "Baptisms for the Dead and Elie Wiesel," she wasn't aware of the Church's position on the issue. 

Reading your new question, however, prompted Madame L to go to the Church's official website,, to see if there was such a position statement, and there is.

In the statement, Church leaders reiterates, "Proxy baptisms of Holocaust victims are strictly prohibited...In this case, the Wiesel family names were not submitted for baptisms but simply entered into a genealogical database.  Our system would have rejected those names had they been submitted...In a few instances, names have been submitted in violation of policy.  Whether this is done by simple error or for other reasons, the Church considers these submissions to be a serious breach of protocol."

The statement concludes, "It is distressing when an individual willfully violates the Church’s policy and something that should be understood to be an offering based on love and respect becomes a source of contention.  The Church will continue to do all it can to prevent such instances, including denying access to these genealogical records or other privileges to those who abuse them in this way."

Madame L thanks you again, Dear and Gentle Reader, for asking this question, giving her a chance to learn more about the Church's policy for herself as well as you, so she can answer her friends' questions about this.


Madame L

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