Baptism on the horizon

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
startpoor
Posts: 193
Joined: 22 Nov 2013, 13:43

Baptism on the horizon

Post by startpoor » 07 Feb 2015, 13:27

My son is approaching baptismal age. I don't know what I think about this yet. I do know at least this: I don't mind if he gets baptized and I would like to baptize him if he does it. And my wife is at a point where she will let me. We've moved from a point where she thought it would be some kind of mockery to one where she trusts that I am sincere. Which is not vain trust IMO--I have moved from a point of being mostly critical to a point of muting the critical side of myself and focusing on the parts of faith/Mormonism that I do believe in: prayer, blessings, being a teacher, being kind, doing service, being honest. She has seen that and opened up to me more. I hope to continue to earn her trust in this regard.

But I am fearful that this upcoming event will try us. Though I am fine with him being baptized, there are still so many things I don't care to promote.
1. I really don't like that baptism happens at 8. But I can let this one go as a compromise. I know he will get a lot of pressure from family members to get baptized, and when he starts asking me questions about it, I won't know how to answer him. He knows he can come to me for honest answers to hard questions. I don't know how to answer "why" he should get baptized. I am more than happy to tell him he can wait until he's ready, but I also fear that if he delays, I will be blamed for it.
2. I have very strong negative feelings for how the gospel is taught to our children at church. There are too many lessons about how true our church is and why our prophets are awesome than lessons about being good kids.
3. I have, like, zero testimony in the BofM. I don't think it's true, nor do I think much of it is good. Maybe this one doesn't matter too much, because I can just not read it with him. I don't have to tell him how I feel about it, and I can pick out some of the good stories from it.
4. I don't even know what is asked during a baptismal interview. He has told me several times "I know god isn't real." Which I think means he doesn't understand the concept of a person who is alive, but doesn't live on earth, and that which you can't see is therefore not real. (Ironically he very much believes in Santa Claus, but, by his thought process, he has seen lots of video of Santa, and Santa leaves him presents every year, so there's your proof) Anyway, I fear that if he doesn't pass his interview, I will, again, be blamed for it. For the record, I have never told him there is no god--I actually believe in him/her. And I pray with him a lot.

Also, for me personally, it will bring up conversations with family members that I just don't want to have. They will start asking me if because I'm baptizing him, does that mean I believe now? (I was outed by my wife to my family a while back, so while they know I am active, they seem to all believe I'm going to stop going at some point).

Simply, does anyone have advice who has gone through baptizing their child after a FC? I want to keep the peace, but when it comes to my children, I want to be authentic as well.
Happiness (n.) The state of being in compliance with Mormon norms, regardless of one’s actual resulting emotional state

George, Sr.: Faith is a fact. No, faith is a facet. I almost said faith is a fact.

Awakening
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Joined: 08 Nov 2014, 14:19

Re: Baptism on the horizon

Post by Awakening » 07 Feb 2015, 17:21

Hi Startpoor,

I am sorry for what you are going through right now! I was TBM and my hubby had his FC first. Sadly it took me awhile to come around but boy have I come around now. Fortunately I have had the support of siblings and my husband as we work through this together now. I must confess I was devastated initially. I wish I could talk to all those spouses who are like I was. How precious marriage and family although FC can shake everything up so much and the despair can be awful.

OK.....We have baptized our children (twins) and this started approaching when my FC was only barely beginning. I worried initially about my husband FC and his worthiness, willingness, heart being into, etc. when our sons were approaching their baptismal date. Fortunately another family member also going through FC with a child 6 months younger was also facing the baptism and yes, we both have sides of our families who would definitely not understand and we are not completely open and honest with those members. We decided to hold our own family baptism. We waited for the other child to turn 8 and then had it together on a different date than the stake baptism. It was beautiful, very personal. The only glitch happened at the end when the member of the ward who had to attend stood up and told the boys to remember that every single thing we tell you is absolutely true! YIKES!!!!

We have since moved out of state with another child turning 8 last summer. Again, the same family member who is also experiencing FC has a child turning 8 next month so we will again do the baptism together. I have come along way since then. I am no longer in denial about all the issues that are out there regarding our church. I know the ugly truth about them now. You know all that "anti Mormon" stuff! <----I'm being a bit sarcastic because that is what I truly believed at first and wouldn't even allow myself to be exposed. I have to confess that honestly I don't know what I really believe about the baptism but I am comfortable with it because my FC does not include not believing in Jesus Christ. Baptism has great symbolism but I for sure do not want my children to feel the kind of pressure of now feeling guilty or ashamed if they still make mistakes that we all know we will all do for always on this earth! We are taking a different approach and using the symbolism in a far more relaxed way. If that makes sense. We committed to from now on beginning with our twins, attend every interview our bishop does with our children. I don't send them off to the dentist of Dr. without being there and even though I loved our bishop and completely trust him I want to know first hand what is said so I am able to address any concerns or disagreements etc with my children. The baptism interview was very simple and sweet. Each boy went in without the other but mom was quietly sitting in the room. (Dad was out of town.)

I understand totally the feelings of how the gospel is being taught to our children. We have stepped back quite a bit while we continue to figure out how we will go forward. Believe me, he will be just fine in his interview. Go be with him. It's very precious. You know, DBMormon on this website was a bishop and could tell you specifically what questions will be asked and even your primary president can tell you that.

It seems like a lot of your stress is also coming from the lack of unity you probably feel with your spouse right now. It is so hard to not be on the same page somewhere. Most of us didn't go looking for our FC's. It's shocking, depressing and devasting to go through. I am so amazed at the people that go through this from the get go together! How lucky they are to have each other to talk to and bounce thoughts off of.
+
As far as other family members go...maybe you can be prepared with a short statement and a way to change the subject. After all the day is about your child's baptism not your FC so maybe you will be able to let others know you would like to keep the conversation in that area.

I don't know if any of this helps, but hopefully it helps to just know that there really are many others (probably in your own ward too!) that understand how you feel. We are here for you!

Roy
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Re: Baptism on the horizon

Post by Roy » 07 Feb 2015, 17:58

Hi Startpoor,

Do you have a TR? If you do then there should be no problem with you performing the baptism. If you do not then the church handbooks says that a TR is not strictly necessary but leaves it ultimately to the bishop. Thus the possible need for some advance preparation.

I have some experiences navigating that if it is applicable.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

Awakening
Posts: 37
Joined: 08 Nov 2014, 14:19

Re: Baptism on the horizon

Post by Awakening » 07 Feb 2015, 19:26

FYI...my hubby's TR was expired and he had no problem. Baptism was fine. Also the other family member who baptized his child at the same time ... his recommend was also expired. We are from different wards

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Baptism on the horizon

Post by Curt Sunshine » 07 Feb 2015, 19:52

Just do it. It will mean a lot to a lot of people, and there is no reason you shouldn't, IMO.

Keep it that simple. Don't complicate it.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

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DarkJedi
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Re: Baptism on the horizon

Post by DarkJedi » 07 Feb 2015, 19:52

One of the greatest regrets in my life is that I did not participate in some of the ordinances of my children because of my faith crisis and doubts. You and I are in very similar places concerning our faith and the church. Don't let your doubts hold you prisoner. The damage done to relationships is hard to repair, the wounds are deep.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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LDS_Scoutmaster
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Re: Baptism on the horizon

Post by LDS_Scoutmaster » 07 Feb 2015, 23:45

I agree with Ray about just doing it. Also with DJ.

There Were times When I wasnt sure ahat I would do as far as ordinances but in the end I am glad I did them, and I make the decision.
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6311&start=70#p121051 My last talk

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NewLight
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Joined: 04 Feb 2014, 05:18

Re: Baptism on the horizon

Post by NewLight » 08 Feb 2015, 07:43

Definitely do it – it's part of our LDS culture and is a great symbol of simply making a decision to follow in Christ's footsteps. All bishops who truly care want fathers to fill that role.

I am Awakening's brother and went to the baptism for her twins – it was very nice and lacked the fear and orthodoxy that I have seen at times in other baptisms. Even though the member of the bishopric gave the “just remember, it's all true” talk at the end, to me, that wasn't even that big of a deal. The other talks and even the confirmation blessings that were given were more about being Christlike in our actions. Besides, the boys were so active that day, I can't think they heard much of that talk.
It was nice to have the separate baptism, and having served in a bishopric five years ago, I know that we would have done what we could to accommodate a baptism the way a family wanted/needed it.

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On Own Now
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Re: Baptism on the horizon

Post by On Own Now » 08 Feb 2015, 09:02

Some threads from the past that you might find interesting... not to replace this current discussion, but to give you some thoughts that have been expressed here before:

viewtopic.php?t=4210

viewtopic.php?t=4555

viewtopic.php?t=4935
"Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another." --Romans 14:13

Awakening
Posts: 37
Joined: 08 Nov 2014, 14:19

Re: Baptism on the horizon

Post by Awakening » 09 Feb 2015, 09:02

NewLight wrote:Definitely do it – it's part of our LDS culture and is a great symbol of simply making a decision to follow in Christ's footsteps. All bishops who truly care want fathers to fill that role.

I am Awakening's brother and went to the baptism for her twins – it was very nice and lacked the fear and orthodoxy that I have seen at times in other baptisms. Even though the member of the bishopric gave the “just remember, it's all true” talk at the end, to me, that wasn't even that big of a deal. The other talks and even the confirmation blessings that were given were more about being Christlike in our actions. Besides, the boys were so active that day, I can't think they heard much of that talk.
Thanks Bro. Newlight! I should have pointed out that the "just remember, it's all true" statement really wasn't a big deal. I winked at the other mother getting her child baptized! The boys had a great experience.....we all did! ;o)

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