Cost $5,000 to try to schedule my son's baptism

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
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willpb
Posts: 3
Joined: 03 May 2024, 12:05

Cost $5,000 to try to schedule my son's baptism

Post by willpb »

Just spent 5 hours trying to have a mediation for the sole purpose of scheduling my son's baptism. Total cost ran easily to $5,000 after mediator and lawyers got paid. Both parents want it to take place. One parent has to travel in from out of state and was only given 8 days notice during the mediation and only given the option of one day on which to hold the baptism. What does Jesus think about that? Would he want parents to have to pay that much just to schedule a saving ordinance? Is that part of the plan of salvation? At the end of the day nothing was resolved and no baptism was planned. What's wrong with this situation? I really tried to resolve things. I'm just the respondent to spurious legal action trying to cut me off from my own children.
Roy
Posts: 7237
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Cost $5,000 to try to schedule my son's baptism

Post by Roy »

I am so sorry to hear of your experience.

It sounds like you are going through a difficult custody related battle.

As far as the church as an organization is concerned, I know that there would never be a charge to schedule or confirm an ordinance. Although, you might make a case that the church/bishop requires tithing compliance in order to become "worthy" to perform the ordinance. (I know that you never made that claim, I am just stating this for the benefit of lurkers that might misunderstand your post)

I'm not sure from your description who it was that only gave you one day to choose from for the baptism. Parents always are the ultimate and final deciders of whether or not their kids get baptized. However, once the decision is made to baptize then it becomes a council together with the Bishop for scheduling and "bishop roulette" can kick in. My own bishop allowed us to hold the baptism on my children's 8th birthday (As a missionary, I had read some old prophetic counsel to do it on the 8th birthday and that's just how I had been planning it) but I understand that in some wards they only have one day a month when all the children coming of age that period are baptized.

Still, it sounds like the bigger problem is with the custody related battle and that makes everything soooo much harder.

We are here to offer some support, friend.
"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
Minyan Man
Posts: 2254
Joined: 15 Sep 2011, 13:40

Re: Cost $5,000 to try to schedule my son's baptism

Post by Minyan Man »

willpb, I too am sorry for the situation you find yourself in. Also, I know what it is like to go through a divorce.
It is not easy regardless of the issue, problem or experience. I didn't get to be present at my daughter's baptism.
I couldn't afford the expense. My conclusion was, I'm glad she had the experience of going through with the
ordinance.

What would Jesus think of this situation? Life isn't going to be easy. (A cliché I know.) It worked for me. But, it took
time to gain an understanding & acceptance.

I wish you the best in this situation & the others that come along.
willpb
Posts: 3
Joined: 03 May 2024, 12:05

Re: Cost $5,000 to try to schedule my son's baptism

Post by willpb »

Thank you for your messages and support in this situation. I think more could have been done and should have been done to involve the other parent in this process. The parent being excluded here from this ordinance and important moment in his child's life reached out back in February trying to schedule the baptism. Spoke in person with the child's bishop and also sent two messages through the proper channels. The two messages sent were ignored and not responded to. I feel this is being proceeded with improperly and almost anything will be done or said to add another number to the membership rolls.
Roy
Posts: 7237
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Cost $5,000 to try to schedule my son's baptism

Post by Roy »

I hear you, Will.

From what I can find through Google, it sounds like the church requires consent from a custodial parent/guardian before moving forward with the baptism.

It also sounds like you do consent to the baptism but not the particular baptism date.

That sounds difficult, friend. I pray for you to have the patience of Job throughout your custody issues and relationship with your ex. I can only imagine that getting frustrated and showing your temper will only make matters worse.

Roy
"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
willpb
Posts: 3
Joined: 03 May 2024, 12:05

Re: Cost $5,000 to try to schedule my son's baptism

Post by willpb »

Thank you for your response. The baptism was postponed as it was scheduled without my involvement. I didn't find out about it being postponed until 5 minutes before it was supposed to take place. I had family members going to three different stake centers looking for stake baptisms. I had a friend who made an hour drive so he could livestream it for me since I'm out of state. I'm just glad I didn't waste 15 hours traveling for something that wasn't going to happen anyway. There was no communication from the other parent. My children were then told that it was I who cancelled the baptism and they were upset at me for that, when all of this confusion was caused by the other parent. I want to do what's best for the children involved as they are the victims of this divorce that was not my decision or theirs. I had no chance whatsoever to reconcile anything and very little consideration was given to how the decision to go through a divorce would affect the children.
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DarkJedi
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Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: Cost $5,000 to try to schedule my son's baptism

Post by DarkJedi »

It's unfortunate that you and your child are being subjected to this kind of treatment by your former spouse, although it's likely the child's perspective is somewhat different from your own. Nevertheless, the real victims of divorce are usually the children except in extreme abuse situations.

I'm glad the this has at least temporarily worked out. In my experience most church leaders are reasonable people and don't want to create conflict. They are only hearing your ex's side of things, so unless they're hearing from you they have no idea. I honestly don't like church policies about stake baptism days, but I also live in an area where those don't exist. For my own children, their baptisms were special individual experiences in which they had a say in the program (songs, speakers, etc.), and I'm inclined to believe all baptisms, including converts, should be personal and intimate experiences.

The bigger issue here seems to be your relationship with your former spouse, and that won't get better without both sides wanting it to. Again, unfortunately the children are left in the middle. From what you have said, it sounds like the ex has full custody or is it that visitation/custody is difficult since you live so far away? I'm sure there are many factors involved with why you live so far away, and employment is probably a main concern. The only suggestion I have for you, other than continuing to work with the church leaders in question, is that you find a way to be closer to the children. You can try, but you are never going to have the relationship you seem to want without being much more involved in their lives - like daily. I do know a couples/family therapist who specializes in separation/divorce issues and she says literally move in right next door - that's the only way to make it work.
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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Carburettor
Posts: 119
Joined: 10 Jul 2023, 01:49

Re: Cost $5,000 to try to schedule my son's baptism

Post by Carburettor »

You're angry and/or frustrated, and I can appreciate that.

I must say, however, that the title was a bit like clickbait. The $5K had nothing to do with the Church; it was the result of unreasonable people. If everyone were reasonable and devoid of pride, there would be no divorce and no issues like this.

Sadly, pride is a default human condition.

Sorry you got stuck in the crossfire.
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