Holocaust Victims and Baptisms for the Dead

47 Primary Sources

Aug 15, 1840

Simon Baker states that Joseph taught baptism for the dead at Seymor Brunson's 1840 funeral.

Oct 1840

Joseph preaches baptism for the dead at October 1840 GC.

Oct 6, 1840

Phebe Woodruff writes to Wilford about Joseph preaching baptism for the dead (1840).

Oct 11, 1840

Vilate Kimball writes to Heber Kimball about Joseph preaching baptism for the dead (1840).

Nov 5, 1840

Thompson writes to Kimball about Joseph preaching baptism for the dead (1840).

Sep 7, 1842

JS describes ordinances for the dead as creating a welding link "between the fathers and the children."

Aug 24, 1872

Brigham Young highlights role of genealogy in temple work.

Sep 5, 1887

Wilford Woodruff urges caution in allowing baptisms for the dead.

Jun 1992

Gary Mokotoff finds Jewish Holocaust victims in the International Genealogical Index.

Jun 1992

Mokotoff contacts Mayfield (Director of the Family History Library); tells Mayfield it is insensitive to perform proxy baptisms for these victims.


Elder J. Richard Clarke responds to Gary Mokotoff with listing of "refinements" to Family History procedures.


Gary Mokotoff, with approval of Rabbi Stern, writes to Elder J. Richard Clarke, protesting proxy baptism of Jewish Holocaust victims.


Gary Mokotoff publishes protest letter in AVOTAYNU (a Jewish Genealogical Journal).

Jul 1994

Thomas Daniels tells Gary Mokotoff the Church will not remove the names of Jewish Holocaust victims from IGI.


AGJH and Church leaders agree to remove Holocaust victim names from IGI, and remove any future submissions.

Apr 24, 1995

Church and Jewish group sign agreement re: Jewish baptisms.

Apr 29, 1995

New York Times reports on the Church re-issuing a ban on proxy baptisms of Holocaust victims.

May 3, 1995

Gary Mokotoff details the May 3rd agreement between the Church and AGJH.

May 6, 1995

Lost Angeles Times quotes the Church on baptizing Holocaust victims.

Dec 20, 2002

Helen Radkey offers Church names for $30k.

Apr 12, 2005

Peggy Fletcher Stack reports on reaffirmation of 1995 agreement with Church and Jewish leaders.

Feb 9, 2008

Helen Radkey maintains Church failed to uphold 1995 Holocaust baptism agreement.

Sep 27, 2008

Helen Radkey writes report on agreement between Church and Jewish leaders re: Holocaust baptisms.

Nov 10, 2008

Jerusalem Post reports on Holocaust survivors efforts to negotiate with Church.

Nov 10, 2008

D. Todd Christofferson reaffirms the 1995 accord with the AGJH.

Nov 10, 2008

D. Todd Christofferson defends Church baptisms for the dead, preclusion of holocaust victim.

Nov 10, 2008

D. Todd Christofferson explains reasons for baptism policy: to honor one's ancestor in the "most sacred expressions of faith."

Nov 10, 2008

DTC explains that the church has procedures to remove names they find that have been submitted contrary to the policy.

Nov 10, 2008

D. Todd Christofferson explains baptisms for the dead are not considered binding, no name is added to the membership rolls of the church.

Mar 11, 2009

Stendahl and Madsen discuss "holy envy" for the practice of baptism for the dead.

Sep 2, 2010

Church and The American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants sign joint statement concerning proxy baptisms of Holocaust victims.

Sep 2, 2010

Deseret News prints the Church's and The American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants joint statement that states the Church had "unintentionally caused pain."

Feb 12, 2012

Deseret News reports on Anne Frank's posthumous baptisms.

Feb 14, 2012

Church spokesman Michael Purdy expresses regret that individual Church members submitted a Holocaust name.

Feb 14, 2012

Church issues statement on Elie Wiesel name submissions.

Feb 14, 2012

Huffington Post reports on Mitt Romney and Elle Wiesel's comments on proxy baptisms for holocaust victims.

Feb 16, 2012

The Washington Post reports on Helen Radkey engaging in Church baptism of Holocaust victims.

Mar 2, 2012

TFP statement on proxy temple ordinance policies.

Mar 9, 2012

Derek P. Jensen reports on HR being blocked from seeking data.

Oct 2012

Richard G. Scott says Church members have to claim the blessings of temple work, including proxy baptisms.

Dec 22, 2017

Rabbi David Sandmel of the Anti-Defamation League says the Church is doing what it can to enforce its policy on baptisms for the dead.

Dec 22, 2017

Rabbi Marvin Hier explains why baptizing holocaust victims posthumously is offensive.

Dec 22, 2017

Gary Mokotoff explains why posthumous baptisms for Holocaust victims are offensive.

Dec 22, 2017

Eric Hawkins details the process the church uses to prevent unauthorized posthumous baptisms.

Dec 23, 2017

Josefin Holstein reports that Helen Radkey believes there are hundreds of Holocaust victims baptized.


The Church teaches that baptisms for the dead have to be received by the dead's agency.

Sep 25, 2023

FamilySearch explains when temple ordinances can be performed for victims of the Holocaust.