SALT LAKE CITY, Aug. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An AJC delegation met this week with senior leadership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) at the church's world headquarters in Salt Lake City. The two-day visit included a VIP tour of a newly completed LDS Church Temple and a high-level briefing on advances in mitigating Jewish concerns regarding the issue of posthumous baptism of Holocaust victims. Additionally, AJC and LDS leadership discussed Jewish and Mormon approaches to preserving religious identity in an age of secularization and advocacy in behalf of religious freedom.
"AJC's longstanding relationship with the LDS Church is based on mutual understanding as a foundation for cooperation and respect. In approaching faith communities, AJC makes every effort to understand them as they understand themselves," said Rabbi Noam Marans, AJC's director of Interreligious and Intergroup Relations. "Visiting Salt Lake City advances our leadership's knowledge of the LDS Church. We were warmly received by LDS Church leaders with remarkable hospitality."
Jerry Biederman, chair of AJC's Interreligious Affairs Commission, together with Rabbi Marans, led the 15-person group from across the U.S., AJC's largest national delegation to visit the LDS Church headquarters. AJC's interreligious team has traveled to Salt Lake City a number of times over the past several decades, and earlier this year hosted at AJC headquarters the LDS Church New York representative. AJC has initiated LDS-Jewish dialogues in multiple regions throughout the US.
The AJC delegation was given a private tour of a newly completed Mormon Temple in Brigham City, Utah, prior to its dedication in September and visited two of the church's centers for humanitarian aid and welfare services.