Mormon apostles make historic visit to Jewish group

The Salt Lake Tribune/February 20, 2014

By Peggy Fletcher Stack

Two Mormon apostles made history this week in New York.

L. Tom Perry and D. Todd Christofferson became the first LDS apostles to visit the American Jewish Committee’s world headquarters, reports the PRNewswire.

The aim of Tuesday’s meeting: how to boost relations between Jews and Mormons.

Those ties have been strained at times, particularly over the LDS temple practice of vicarious baptisms for the dead. After much negotiation, the Utah-based faith agreed to remove Holocaust victims’ names from this ordinance, except for those directly related to current Mormons.

"We regularly communicate with the church about and receive updates on the church’s serious commitment to prevent posthumous proxy baptisms of Holocaust victims," said Rabbi Noam Marans, AJC’s director of interreligious and intergroup relations, according to the PRNewswire.

Marans said Perry and Christofferson are "good friends" of the AJC and noted that the parties engaged in a "spirited conversation regarding the AJC-LDS relationship and mutual concerns, including religious liberty, humanitarian disaster relief, sustaining religious identity, among others."

The AJC delegation was led by led by the Jewish advocacy group’s president, Stanley Bergman.

National AJC officials visited Salt Lake City in 2012 and 2013 to meet with leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, according to the story.

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