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

Gary Mokotoff

Gary Mokotoff, "The Mormon/Jewish Controversy: What Really Happened," AVOTAYNU, Summer 1995 (reprint)

Gary Mokotoff
J. Richard Clarke, Gary Mokotoff
Reading Public

Elder Clarke responded positively indicating that the act would cause specific changes in Mormon practice.

Dear Mr. Mokotoff:

Thank you for your letter. I sympathize with the feelings you share in your letter about temple ordinances performed for Jewish victims of the Holocaust without family members' knowledge or consent. I am hopeful this letter can help ease your concerns somewhat.

At the outset, I assure you that temple ordinances are generally performed at the request of a family member. We counsel members to obtain clearance from living family members before performing temple ordinances. Apparently this has not occurred in the cases cited in your letter.

In light of the concerns raised in your letter, we have reviewed our procedures regarding temple ordinances for the dead and have adopted the following refinements: first, that temple ordinances be performed only at the request of family members; and second, that family members wishing to perform such ordinances also have permission from the nearest living relative before proceeding.

Please be aware that, given the nature of computer databases and the number of temples and family history centers operational throughout the world, we cannot guarantee that no work will be done. We are reaffirming our procedures and guidelines and must then rely on our patrons to act in a responsible manner. Realizing that some inadvertent work may appear in spite of our best efforts to communicate with patrons, we do hope that future names will only be submitted in accordance with the above-mentioned directives.

Thank you again for sharing your concerns with us. We appreciate your friendship and hope that the changes outlined in this letter will help resolve the issue.

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