Jenny's blog

Holocaust victim baptism

We put in the last 100 daffodil bulbs plus the 50 “blue” bulbs I ordered. I cleaned out three of the raised beds. The fourth is covered with junk and the middle one has strawberries in it that I want moved. I may wait until spring to transplant them, since that’s when I’ll be cutting back the roses that are also there. I got the grass cut. It looks a lot better in front now that the new grass is coming up. The farmer put in some grass seed along the front where Jared hadn’t seeded yet. I’m hopeful that will be nice next year, too. The kids and I filled in a bunch of holes. Jared started work on a shed for the lawnmower. He had pulled up some of the stakes that were around the septic tanks so I mowed there for the first time. It looks so much better out there I could cry. There’s still much more to clean up, but it’ll have to wait til next year. I fell in a hole and got the lawnmower good and stuck. Jared got it out somehow. It’s a good thing he was there, or I’d have had to cover it and leave it there during all this rain.

The kids and I put up 14 quarts of kale on Tuesday. We went to Betty and Claude’s and picked about 3 bushels of kale. The washing is the hard part, and between the picking and washing and blanching and running out of quart ziplocs, it took nearly 6 hours to put it all up. Claude had put out some cress, too, so the kids threw in some of the cress to spice up the kale a little. I’m glad that the kids like to each such a healthy food.

The house was getting so bad I had to clean for over an hour yesterday to get it presentable for our presidency meeting. What a mess. I need a nice hallway runner rug for the living room and some crown molding, but that is a winter project. I have to get the yard in order first. I hope that Jared can help me some this weekend, but I have to put together the Thanksgiving baskets with the rest of the presidency. I’m missing the DAR meeting, but since they’re just visiting a museum, I don’t feel too badly about it. I have to miss the one in December, too, because the kids have a piano recital.

Today both halves of a mouse ended up on the rug in the big room courtesy of the cats. Ew. This was the first time I’ve ever seen a critter’s heart before, being as my high school teacher didn’t believe in dissection, and I took that “experimental” Biology class with no lab in college. It really wasn’t all that horrible. It must be all that House I’ve been watching. :)

Jared has been helping me with the website, but we’ve both been staying up too late. I had big hopes that I could take it live this week, but I’ve been so busy and not focusing my time well that I think that’s out. I’ve been so distracted trying to get Views to generate the right information that I haven’t gotten the Christmas ads done. Tomorrow is my day, I hope.

I’m still studying Isaiah and not hating it. I am getting a better attitude, but I’m not married to it yet. I hope to gain more insights though as I continue to study.

I went to the school for a presentation on what I thought was how to help your kids get motivated to study. Instead, they handed out a bunch of calendar blanks and taught us how to calendar. It wasn’t really what I needed, but I did get to talk to the school counselor who seemed very proactive about helping. She’s the one who helped DS when he was so upset that his friend had moved. She seems to be really good and anxious to help the kids. The “extra” staff people like her — counselor, librarian, FOCUS, etc. — seem to be really good at this school right now.

I’ve only been to the gym twice so far this week. Oh, “when will this mad whirlwind existence ever stop?”


I’ve always thought that the anger of Jewish holocaust victims over baptisms by proxy was a little over-the-top. After all, if Christianity is a crock, then so too must be it’s associated rituals. How on earth could what Mormons do in temples matter to any one else? Then I read the following comment to this post:

“There is, however, very sad tone deafness to the explanations given for those baptisms that have taken place or those that some would like to see continue to take place. Jews have lived a lifetime declining to be baptized by Christians and multitudes have, throughout time, died rather than be baptized at the point of a sword. Jews with even a rudimentary sense of history know the price their forbears have paid to be true to their faith.

“What may be a sacred rite to Mormons with respect to posthumous baptism of Holocaust victims is, nonetheless, a sacrilege to many Jews who lost loved ones in the Nazi horror.” (Harold Gershowitz)

Ouch. That’s me: Tone Deaf. I, too, was unintentionally not taking into account past history of Jewish peoples. My knowledge of Jewish history is limited to the Bible, and I had not considered that many Jews have died because they refused to be baptized. Mormons would never intentionally cause this type of offense, especially to members of a religious group that we feel so much (unrequited) brotherhood toward. The letter from the church to Ernest Michel regarding the matter sets out some specific ways that the church is willing to do what it takes to mend this most current of issues. I hope both sides can keep open lines of communication open.

Some links to information on the subject are found here:
Mormon Apologetics Board

Bridging a Jewish-Mormon rift: Grandpa’s baptism opens door

Posted by Jenny Smith

I'm Jenny Smith. I blog about life on the 300+ acres of rolling farmland in Northern Virginia where I live. I like tomatoes, all things Star Trek, watercolor, and reading. I spend most days in the garden fighting deer and groundhogs while trying to find my life's meaning. I'm trying to be like Jesus -- emphasis on the trying.