Thomas Jefferson, Sally Hemings 'Baptized' in the Mormon Church

Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings were both baptized and "sealed" in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

It is widely known by historians that the third president of the United States and one of this country's founding fathers not only owned slaves but fathered children with them.

The Mormon Church has been getting considerable attention as of late due to their ritual of performing posthumous baptisms. The most recent example of this which came to light was that Jefferson was not only baptized, but he was also "sealed" to one of his house servants, Sally Hemings.

The Mormon ritual of "sealing" consists of connecting families in the afterlife. In an interview with Slate, Matt Bowman, author of "The Mormon People" explained the idea of "sealing."

"Mormons believe that heaven consists of a great network of families bound together through a particular sacramental ritual called sealing. Parents are sealed to children, spouses to each other, ancestors to descendants."

But Muller realizes that this can be seen as troubling given the relationships most often thought of when considering slaves and their reported masters.

"Sealing a slave master to his slave is at least as troubling as the baptism of Holocaust victims, the practice of which the LDS Church has officially condemned," Muller said.

Mormons did not perform the baptism of the dead on Hemings until April 1991, which was 13 years after the church reversed the long held membership ban on African-Americans.

This is not the first person the LDS Church has decided to posthumously baptize. Elvis Presley, Adolf Hitler, Anne Frank and Pope John Paul II have all been the subject of the ritual.

They have also performed the ritual on members of contemporary leader's family. Soon after Barack Obama won the Democratic nomination in 2008, his late mother, Ann Dunham, received a Mormon baptism, according to Business Insider.


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