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The Truth Behind The Underground Mormon Genealogy Database

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The Truth Behind The Underground Mormon Genealogy Database

Many people are aware of the fact that the Mormons are extremely productive genealogists, carefully collecting and cataloging records and documents about not only their own families, but the genealogy records of almost every family in the United States.

The LDS Church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) started the process of putting genealogical records like birth, death and census records onto microfilm in the 1930s.

By the 1950s, the church had already built up a library of 100,000 rolls of microfilm – archiving family records of decades of Americans. A massive “library of the dead”. The Church needed a large and secure location for its growing archive, and so decided to start blasting a cavern into the side of Little Cottonwood Canyon – burrowing nearly 700 feet into the massive granite cliffs.

Eventually, the blasting crew hit a rock that couldn’t be blasted as easily anymore – plus they struck water. The water became a resource that transformed the underground archive facility into a self-sufficient vault that could withstand a nuclear blast and provide running water to those inside. (1)

After over fifty years of archiving records to microfilm, the church boasts the largest genealogical collection in the world – a collection that the church is actively digitizing, and offering for free to genealogists on the Internet.

Mormon Beliefs and Religious Motives

While free access to genealogical records seems like a very charitable offering to the world, one must ask why the LDS church invests so many resources into collecting, archiving and sharing family records.

As is usually the case with most religions, the motives are typically spiritual rather than material in nature. This is certainly the case with this particular underground endeavor.

Mormon beliefs lead to something called vicarious or proxy baptism.

You see, Mormons believe that a family member can baptize a person as a Mormon, even if that person is dead. Mormons believe that by baptizing a deceased family member as a Mormon, you can ensure that both they and you will be able to enter the Kingdom of God. (2)

mormon baptism

Controversy Surrounding Mormon Beliefs

During the 1990s, an overzealous group of Mormons started the practice of baptizing a total of 380,000 Jewish people – drawn from names of victims that had died during the Holocaust.

The action made it into the media, and the public outrage forced the Church to remove the names of all Holocaust victims and survivors from the LDS Church archival records – and assured the public that the posthumous baptism of those Jews would not take place unless those Jews were the ancestor of a modern Mormon and had that family member’s permission.

That particular controversy reveals a much deeper (pun intended) and more sinister motive behind the underground collection of human death records. (3)

The reason that the LDS Church is so willing to invest time, money and other resources into constructing such a highly-secure underground vault and to actively collect the records of the world’s deceased is simply because the Church is clearly embarking on a massive effort to posthumously baptize as many dead people as possible.

underground cavern

Mormon Rituals in Underground Tunnels?

This reality of the motives behind the Mormon underground vault leads to additional questions. Is the underground vault really just a massive genealogical archival facility, or are the baptism rituals practiced in an underground temple alongside the storage vaults?

To test just how extensive the Mormon collection of records is, I searched for my grandmother’s name – a woman who was born in 1917 and lived in a very small Northern Maine town until her death.

In the Mormon digital archives at, I found a 1940 census of that town, detailing my grandmother’s marital status, birth year, name of husband, names of children and the fact that she had lived in the same house since 1935.

A devout Catholic, I can’t imagine that my grandmother would be very pleased to learn that her name was part of such a religious genealogy collection – part of a collection of names that the LDS church very likely hopes to posthumously baptize in its massive effort to help the world achieve what it surely believes to be passage into the Kingdom of God.

What really goes on under that mountain lair, the world may never know. The LDS church provides online digital tours of the records vault, but that tour likely doesn’t show all of the rooms that are tucked away inside of that secretive underground facility. (4)

References & Image Credits:
(1) Deseret News
(2) Wikipedia
(4) Legacy News
(5) Wikipedia

Originally published on

  • Adorg

    It seems like you should hire writers that are less motivated to smear, or degrade an organization just for a website. I myself take pride in learning facts and not worrying about why my grandmother is in the records. As of this year every single year census is in the records, why, well i’m not telling you, all Catholics have a hair up their ass about LDS and you’re just another one. Your little side note on what Mormons believe is made up shit. I spent years in Intelligence and fact gathering and you need a lesson. I also will not argue Religion until you get some facts researched, and training. You’re one of those guys that will be carried out of his house after violating a federal law, screaming a conspiracy, who will listen then? No one just like the many before you. Also those federal laws you broke, could be planted on this website at any time. So see facts and not lies get you further and better credit the lies you’re spreading you can find on hundreds of sites, that we hack daily.

  • Dirtbag

    Wow. What a great piece of modern media. Idiot.

  • river

    …..Maybe you should try writing this more professionally. I am not a good writer, but I like to read. This was demeaning and it ruined any information I would have wanted to glean.

  • It appears that our Mormon readers have arrived. 🙂

  • Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, it appears that you are somewhat delusional – since nothing you’ve written here is based in any sort of reality about what we do here at TSW, which is essentially to research and report the truth. You may not like what that entails, but the end product is still the truth.

  • Thanks – but I’m afraid you may not understand the difference between not liking the writing, and not liking what stance an article portrays.

  • dan

    thanks…this was a bit more info than I had acquired when I
    studied the subject in the 70’s. I thought you handled it objectively…good journalism.

  • Tony

    Someone does not need to be “Mormon” to see your bias in this article. You infer that some “secret” rituals are going on, but you present no proof. I think the LDS Church made clear how members should handle the “baptism” of non-family members in future cases. As far as your family being in a religious genealogy collection is odd. It is just a list of names yet you seem to want us to believe that Mormons are sitting in the shadows waiting to “turn them” when your family is not looking. Your comment, “That particular controversy reveals a much deeper (pun intended) and more sinister motive behind the underground collection of human death records.” So what is so sinister about it? Sorry, but your article could have been more informative and less than an attempt to smear. (From a Southern Baptist)

  • M

    I think you are the one who needs to fact check. If you are a mormon, and are clearly peeved about the information you have found on this website about mormons, then maybe you should do a little non-LDS supported research about this church. You will find that everything this website has to say about it is true, and that the LDS church has a lot to hide from its own members….Before you judge others for not gathering enough information maybe you should remember some of those lessons you learned while working in Intelligence….

  • M

    Although this article is extremely biased, the mormon church is notoriously secretive. Just ask any mormon about what goes on in Temple ritual. They will not tell you because it is wrong to speak about “sacred” things. Mind you, there is nothing wrong with talking about sacred things… Jesus is sacred, the Holy Spirit is sacred, the Father is sacred, and it would be against everything a Christian is purposed to do to not talk about them..

  • There would be no need to perform the rituals in the vaults, that’s what Temples are for…140+ and counting. You are correct that posthumous baptism is an LDS ordinance…you overlook the fact that we believe the ordinance has to be accepted by the person it was carried out on behalf of.

  • How exactly does a dead person “accept ordinance”?

  • Quite simply, their spirit can accept or reject the ordinance, that’s what the LDS believe. The point is getting baptized by proxy isn’t where it ends otherwise the entire focus of Personal Agency manifest in the LDS tradition would be undermined.

  • Their spirit. Right….enough said.

  • Their spirit. Right….enough said.

  • You’re censoring my posts now?

  • Any links in posts are auto-blocked until I have time to manually review them and approve. People often attempt to spam links. I assume you must have written a comment with a link.

  • Darren


    I thought your article was well written and objective until you started guessing, and using words like “sinister motive”. That’s where you’re credibility starts evaporating.

    After reading what you wrote I decided to see what others had written. I found the following link:

    …where a man (a non Mormon) who had been asked to speak at BYU asked for a tour of the vaults and said the church was very “gracious” about accepting his invitation. He reports that he thought it would secretive and cryptic but found it very friendly and open as they showed him through the entire system of vaults. You might find it interesting if you want a non-Mormon perspective of someone who has actually seen it firsthand–without any speculation or personal postulation needed.

  • Not really. It’s difficult to get a tour, and most areas inside are off-limits to anyone, including workers (based on interviews of a number of former workers/church members), and tours that are given are very, very tightly controlled. As mentioned in the very blog post you mention. “Our first lesson was learned for a space we might build into solid rock: anything under a rock cliff is on borrowed time. We were asked not take pictures beyond this point.”

  • Annie

    There is a lot of ridiculous things that former and/or disgruntled members will say that are not only untrue, but viciously so. As far as the Temple goes there is a difference between sacred and secret. Sacred means ~connected with God (or the gods) or dedicated to a religious purpose and so deserving veneration. Veneration meaning ~ great respect or reference. What we do in the temple is not a secret. There are sites where people (current members) will discuss what we do, among baptisms for the dead, we do sealings for ourselves to our spouses and children as well as by proxy for the dead, as well as Temple endowments which are simply making covenants (promises) with God. The parts that we don’t talk about aren’t because they are strange or deviant as you would suggest, we don’t talk about then because they are spiritually personal and they are very important to us and we actually can and do discuss most things in the temple amongst each other. It’s also insulting for you to conclude that all member are idiots as if only non members are capable of doing their own research outside of church on Sundays. It’s just that we are smart enough to tell the difference between someone who is angry for being excommunicated, (because of breaking rules they are fully aware of such as adultery, or breaking covenants made in the temple) or a member wasn’t nice to them or “judged” them as they themselves hide behind a computer screen and cast judgment as a means of revenge. Then there are just your every day run of the mill wack jobs with no greater purpose in life but to slander a group of people that they know absolutely nothing about.

  • You are not being entirely truthful. You know full well that even some church members themselves are not even allowed unless they are deemed worthy. “If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.” ― George Orwell, 1984

  • katiyana

    The 1940 Census record is from the 1940 US Census and is also available at Ancestry and other research sites.

  • logicrules

    Mormonism from conman J Smith, but it’s religion. Whoop-la.

  • shalamabobbi

    Is it sufficient for Mormons to work their genealogy back to the common ancestor between humans and chimpanzees?

  • Caliyesca

    Do you think the LDS and NWO are in league together? They both seem to like under vaults no one is allowed into.


    When I read comments like this one, some of it makes me really sad in my heart, because as a former evangelical and a convert to the only True Church of Christ on the earth, because is the only Church in which the Gift of the Holy Ghost and the Power of God which is His Priesthood and quickens the human soul are found, I have the testimony of Jesus Christ that this is His Church. Because of this testimony that I received I desire to shout to the four winds of Heaven and of the earth “stop, you have no idea of what you are doing, plain persecution against Jesus Christ”. No one is doing nothing “vile or secret”. Since you mention your religious preference, please go and investigate and find out in what amounts is the financial help that this Church that you so reviled helps the poor of your church, and in many other things. Also, let me share with you a story, w/o mentioning any names. Many years ago, I met a woman, a convert to the Church, from catholicism , her mother was the leader of the daughters of Mary, when the Restored Gospel came into her life. Her daughter (the woman I met) was her assistant in such a large organization of catholic women, and almost got a heart attack when she was told by her parents that they were leaving the roman church for the true church, and were inviting her to their baptism. Since they had such prominent calling, the first thing the daughter thought was to run to the highest authority of the roman church in their beloved nation. The meeting was granted, she sat in front of the authority, and explain to him what was happening, and to please do something to stop her parents. To her surprise, she almost fell off the chair when he gave his answer: “Leave, follow your parents, for that is the True Church. For us in the clergy, we can’t leave , is too late for us (which is not), we can’t change traditions that have been thought for so long, but you can leave and go with your parents and live the Truth “, and -she said- I did, I received the testimony of Jesus Christ, and I and my whole family are happy since then” Our ordinances for the dead are the restored ordinances established by Jesus Christ for the Restored Church, a much correct and refined ordinance for the dead than that practiced by the catholic church or the Jewish church, and moreover, there is no charge for doing the work of bringing a beloved one or a neighbor out of the Spirit Prisons (Bible) in the Name of Jesus Christ, or advancing them in the spiritual levels of eternity. Martin Luther was not against the ordinances for the dead, He was against the business enterprise done by it. When a record is asked to be removed for whatever reasons, I truly believe that the mortal information might be removed, but the eternal record remains active in the archives of Heaven if the one who had received the blessing in the Spirit World desire it so. Also, we will know all things, that is why the Millenium is for, no secrets shall remain secrets, all shall be uncovered and shout to the four winds of heaven from the terraces (the bible), secrets of evil doings from all members of all religions, including the lds religion, remember that the true Church, is made up of wheat and weeds, only God knows the weeds, and they will be expose then, all works of the Borgias, etc, etc., all secrets. I am not speaking in behalf of any religious organization. This is my own personal opinion.


    Is not about secrets, it’s about sacredness. That’s why St. Paul, was almost lynch by the Jews of his time, for bringing a gentile to the grounds of the Temple, which according to their knowledge it’s blessings were exclusively for Judah in the House of Israel. They disregarded the history of a righteous man name Job, that existed before their time in Abraham’s time, and the Bible teaches, how this righteous Gentile (the shaving of his head as sign of mourning tells that he was a Gentile descendant of Japhet son of Noah), a convert to the Hebrew Church(descendants of Shem) of his time, was constantly offering sacrifices unto God in Temples set up in high places that were consecrated for that purpose, but he was a CONVERT, not just any gentile. Now to St. Paul’s knowledge the Gentile he brought to the grounds of the Temple, was standing before God a qualifier to enter the Temple as Job was, because of his conversion unto Christ’s Church. Christ was the only reason why this Temple was regarded by the Primitive Church as holy during and after Christ was gone (see N.T., Bible). Anything or any one Christ touches, becomes whole or holy. He constantly thought in the Temple in the court yard of the women, never in the court yard of the men. He charged the priests with the sin of Apostasy, not women.In the name of Jesus Christ, this is my personal opinion. Amen

  • Bruce

    Dang. We’ve been outed. I can’t believe he found out what dark and “sinister” things we’ve been doing. I’ll give you some more: We’re dating your grandma by proxy, too. And we’re inviting her to the prom, and going to second base.
    Nice investigative journalism.
    Ps, Americans we went to the moon.

  • Bruce

    Ask anyone who died before Christ lived how they accept the atonement.

  • Omnis Odium

    Keeping records on people you have no LEGITIMATE reason to be keeping records on, even if they are dead, is fucking surveillance, and not even the state should be doing it, much less some theological institution.

  • Omnis Odium

    These are people who tear away the Jewish identity for themselves. They deserve to be demeaned.

  • James

    Some nice topical info but seriously… no one should care if they are baptizing deceased people. They’re nuts but those dead people aren’t going to care and civil records are civil records. 😛 You couldn’t make your own vault in the mole hill of the mountain you’re making out of nothing.

  • disqus_YtdtnALjNk

    Totally agree! It is truly appalling and an outrageous breach of privacy that the morman church can post everyones’ genealogies willy nilly, irrespective of whether the families (whether alive or dead) in the posted genealogical trees totally do not want their private details widely publicised. Now Hitler’ s dream has come true for targeting particular racial groups…all thanks to the disrespecting depts in the Mormon church who arrogantly post these genealogies even when specifically requested not to do so by their own members (now ex members) due to the very obvious inherent dangers and breaches of privacy. Their excuse is, anyone can access these details anyway so why should this stop them publicly posting genealogies? This is a complete false premise and should be challenged legally en masse as they put everyone’s lives at risk.

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