Nicolas Ulmer, who lives in Switzerland, was doing some research about his ancestors and realized that one of them was baptized as a Mormon after his death… even though he had nothing to do with the Church. (It was big news a few years ago when people found out Mormons conducted “posthumous proxy baptisms” on Holocaust victims to give them a chance to be “saved,” a practice the Church says it stopped in 1995.)
Since the Mormon Church won’t answer Ulmer’s questions, he wrote a letter to the editor, now published on the Salt Lake Tribune‘s website:
I have no known family members who are, voluntarily, Mormon. I believe that Johannes would be outraged to learn that he has been retroactively “sealed” as Mormon — but he was never asked and would not have known what a Mormon was.
Is the frustrating runaround I have received on this issue symptomatic of how uncomfortable Mormons are with legitimate inquiry?
… They cannot simultaneously be mainline and ritually secretive.
I should not have to write to a Utah newspaper to provoke an answer. It is not I who have given offense.
Ultimately, the posthumous baptisms have no real effect on anything. But it’s still a symbolic dick move warranting an apology.
Justin, an ex-Mormon, says this is par for the course:
When I was a young Mormon boy, I was baptized by proxy for many, many, many, many, many deceased individuals (all male, BTW. It’s important to God that in proxy baptisms, the genitals match).
At the time, I sincerely believed I was doing those people a great favor; giving them the gift of God’s salvation. Seeing it from their perspective now, I see just how offensive it could be.
(Image via Shutterstock)