Rookie Mormon

Why can't Jewish Holocaust victims be baptized in the LDS temple?

This question refers to the LDS practice of baptism for the dead. For some time, individual LDS church members had been performing these baptisms for deceased holocaust victims. To an LDS church member, this is one of the highest offerings that can be given to a deceased person. The deceased person is not "automatically" a member of the church; rather, the temple baptism means they have an opportunity to accept membership if they desire it.

The misunderstanding of this doctrine lead to many complaints from Jews, who felt that the holocaust victims were being disrespected or force-baptized into the Mormon church. While neither one of these is really true, the LDS church entered into a formal understanding with Jews in 1995 that temple baptisms for holocaust victims would come to an end.

Is this a big deal to Mormons? Do they feel frustrated by this decision? Why did the Church stop such an important practice? I believe the answer is in this quote by Russel M. Nelson, one of the Apostles of the LDS church:

Be we all reminded that, in the Lord’s own way and time, no blessings will be withheld from His faithful Saints. The Lord will judge and reward each individual according to heartfelt desire as well as deed.

While it's important to do what we can for people we respect and love, if it is impossible to reach those people, at some point the Lord will work it out. We also have many opportunities to grow personally as we build trust and friendship with those who do not share our beliefs.