Rabble-rouser Helen Radkey 

Keeping tabs on proxy LDS baptisms

Pin It
click to enlarge Helen Radkey - ERIK DAENITZ

Ex-Mormon Australia native Helen Radkey is a spiritual consultant and educator, soul reader, past-life therapist, prayer therapist, marriage celebrant, writer and researcher, but is best known as that rabble-rouser who’s been keeping close tabs on the LDS Church’s temple ordinances for the past 18 years. City Weekly caught up with Radkey to find out what she's been keeping tabs on lately.

Why do proxy baptisms matter to people who don’t believe in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

Alive or dead, people deserve to be treated with respect. Proxy baptism is a disrespectful attempt to reframe a person’s life and negate the religious choices they made when they were alive. Jewish Holocaust victims were killed by Nazis because they were Jews. They should always be memorialized as Jews. Ideally, Mormons should not be treating the memory of murdered Holocaust victims as though Judaism is a halfway house to God. Mormons claim they are only offering the dead person the option of becoming Mormon. However, the wording of the baptismal rite itself says nothing about choice, and the subsequent confirmation declares the deceased is now a member of the LDS Church.

Every couple of years, it’s reported that the proxy-baptism dispute between Jewish leaders and the LDS Church has come to an end. How accurate is that?
News media reports on the Mormon-Jewish controversy are usually not accurate. As far as I know, the failed 1995 Mormon-Jewish agreement was never kept on the Mormon end. The key element in that arrangement was the LDS Church’s promise to cease the improper posthumous baptisms of Jews, with special emphasis on Jewish Holocaust victims. That never happened. Even the newer pact between Mormons and Jews—which was announced on Sept. 1, 2010, and is little more than a year old—has been violated. LDS officials say they have “fixed” the problem of the posthumous baptism of Jewish Holocaust victims, but this is not the case.

LDS temple workers conduct proxy baptisms and endowments based on genealogical data submitted via a Website, New FamilySearch. How secure is it?
Only Mormons can enter names for temple rites for the dead in New FamilySearch. Outsiders cannot access it. New FamilySearch appears to offer few safeguards against illicit submissions of Jewish Holocaust names. Claims that this relatively new program offers surefire security measures against the wrongful submissions appear to have been exaggerated—it does not appear to be working anywhere near as well as claimed.

What are your top three favorite entries you’ve found in the proxy database?
Jesus Christ, Mickey Mouse and Ted Bundy. I’d also like to mention the 9/11 hijackers. I found most of their names in New FamilySearch. These discoveries freaked me out, and I began muttering that the submitter should be deported from the USA.

What else have you been up to lately?
Since December 2010, I have been researching the polygamous ancestry of Mitt Romney. I have added Jon Huntsman’s polygamous ancestry to the mix (Huntsman shares some common ancestors with Romney). But most of my focus is on Romney. Plural marriage was the chosen lifestyle of many of his Mormon ancestors—yet Romney has tried to distance himself from polygamy, calling the practice “bizarre” and “awful.” If he is sincere, Mitt Romney should acknowledge that polygamy is still an inherent part of the Mormon faith. 

Pin It


More by Brandon Burt

Latest in 5 Spot

  • Q&A with Elif Ekin

    Those going through divorce often find themselves blindsided by problems that could have been avoided had they been more prepared.
    • Oct 26, 2016
  • Q&A with Cree McNulty

    How did you get from being a high school drop out to becoming gainfully employed and nearing completion of your BA?
    • Oct 19, 2016
  • Q&A With Mystery Author Gerald Elias

    He's been associate concertmaster of the Utah Symphony, taught at the University of Utah and was a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
    • Oct 12, 2016
  • More »

Comments (64)

Showing 1-25 of 64

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-25 of 64

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • Lee & Lona Earl of Top Hat Video

    Bountiful video-rental shop is alive, well and stocked with classics
    • Mar 11, 2015
  • Holi Festival of Colors

    Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple President Caru Das Adikari on the festival's colorful history
    • Mar 25, 2015

© 2016 Salt Lake City Weekly

Website powered by Foundation