Making a Mormon?: Peacemaking in U.S. Press Coverage of The Mormon Baptism for The Dead

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In the Mormon doctrine of posthumous baptism, people can be invited into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) community through baptism even after their death. When it was reported that the LDS had baptized Jewish Holocaust victims, this caused an uproar in the American Jewish community. The American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Victims deemed the Mormon practice disrespectful and inappropriate. This study analyzes the news coverage of the negotiations between the group and the Mormon church. While such negotiations would typically be ripe for conflict-privileging coverage, news coverage of these negotiations actually emphasized peacemaking. Using the lens of narrative theory, this study found that, in reporting on negotiations between American Jews and Mormons, the press attempted to mend relations rather than emphasize conflict.

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Journal of Media and Religion, v. 16, issue 4, p. 141-152