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How have other dual faith families handled Baptism?


Wants2know

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Essentially - I was brought up to believe that babies get baptized. My daughter is 3 months old now. Her daddy is LDS, inactive, but believes in LDS theology and it's not completely out of the question that he may want to return to the faith one day. He doesn't want our daughter to be baptized in my church because we aren't completely committed to it (going every week). He believes that if a child is to be baptized, they should be brought up in that faith. I get it. But I can't help feeling a little queezy when I think of her not being baptized. Any advice from others in a similar situation??

Edit... or advice from others in general... Thanks! W2K

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Essentially - I was brought up to believe that babies get baptized. My daughter is 3 months old now. Her daddy is LDS, inactive, but believes in LDS theology and it's not completely out of the question that he may want to return to the faith one day. He doesn't want our daughter to be baptized in my church because we aren't completely committed to it (going every week). He believes that if a child is to be baptized, they should be brought up in that faith. I get it. But I can't help feeling a little queezy when I think of her not being baptized. Any advice from others in a similar situation??

Would an LDS naming and blessing ceremony be sufficient? It would meet the need for an official blessing (although not of your personal faith) and her father's concern about commitment, since it isn't the final commitment of baptism. Even though he's inactive, if he doesn't have family members willing or able to perform the blessing, there's always the ward you live in. I'm certain if you called the bishop (or a home teacher if you have one) he would be more than happy to perform the blessing.

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Wants2know:

It's a hard problem, but I'll give it a go.

In the LDS faith baptism before the age of accountability is a no no. At the very least it means nothing to the infant. OTOH it does mean something to you.

My suggestion is raise her up with an understanding and appreciation of both religious traditions. Then let her decide. The challenge for you is to honor, and respect that decision, even if it goes against your beliefs. The problem will be in if she reject both traditions.

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Would an LDS naming and blessing ceremony be sufficient? It would meet the need for an official blessing (although not of your personal faith) and her father's concern about commitment, since it isn't the final commitment of baptism. Even though he's inactive, if he doesn't have family members willing or able to perform the blessing, there's always the ward you live in. I'm certain if you called the bishop (or a home teacher if you have one) he would be more than happy to perform the blessing.

Thanks CC - What "exactly" does the blessing involve and commit her/us to? I think her 10 year old brother had one as a baby... I'll have to find that out.

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A LDS dh who was in your circumstance might have no objection to trading his agreement with you to let you baptize the child at birth in your faith, for him being allowed to baptize her in his faith when she is eight,so long as you knew that he didn't agree with the fact that you were infant baptizing. After all, LDS don't believe that the infant baptism, done by someone without authority, has any efficacy at all. And so long as the non-LDS baptism preceded the LDS baptism, it would have no effect on the efficacy of the LDS baptism.

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Wants2know:

It's a hard problem, but I'll give it a go.

In the LDS faith baptism before the age of accountability is a no no. At the very least it means nothing to the infant. OTOH it does mean something to you.

My suggestion is raise her up with an understanding and appreciation of both religious traditions. Then let her decide. The challenge for you is to honor, and respect that decision, even if it goes against your beliefs. The problem will be in if she reject both traditions.

Saint: I'm not opposed to letting her make that decision when she's able to, and honor whatever decision she makes. Do you, or anyone else, have thoughts and suggestions on raising her to understand both religious traditions? When she grows enough to ask about God.... what do we say... Mommy believes this, and Daddy believes that? Sounds so confusing. I mean... my gosh... it's taken me months to get even the barest grips on LDS doctrine! LOL.

I have sincerely "gotten" the part of the LDS faith that explains it's reasoning for Baptism, and I'm really trying to work this out for everyone. To see the face on her grandmother when I spoke of setting a date for a Baptism.... oh my. I'd probably be better of if I just let the whole thing go but I can't. I want her raised in faith. Which one... well... therein lies the dilemna. Thanks for your post.

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A LDS dh who was in your circumstance might have no objection to trading his agreement with you to let you baptize the child at birth in your faith, for him being allowed to baptize her in his faith when she is eight,so long as you knew that he didn't agree with the fact that you were infant baptizing. After all, LDS don't believe that the infant baptism, done by someone without authority, has any efficacy at all. And so long as the non-LDS baptism preceded the LDS baptism, it would have no effect on the efficacy of the LDS baptism.

Ok. But what's and LDS "dh"... I'm in baseball mode and all I can think of is designated hitter. Go Yankees :P

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Saint: I'm not opposed to letting her make that decision when she's able to, and honor whatever decision she makes. Do you, or anyone else, have thoughts and suggestions on raising her to understand both religious traditions? When she grows enough to ask about God.... what do we say... Mommy believes this, and Daddy believes that? Sounds so confusing. I mean... my gosh... it's taken me months to get even the barest grips on LDS doctrine! LOL.

I have sincerely "gotten" the part of the LDS faith that explains it's reasoning for Baptism, and I'm really trying to work this out for everyone. To see the face on her grandmother when I spoke of setting a date for a Baptism.... oh my. I'd probably be better of if I just let the whole thing go but I can't. I want her raised in faith. Which one... well... therein lies the dilemna. Thanks for your post.

Having her baptised is not going to ensure that she will be raised in faith. That job is up to you and her father. To ease your mind a bit LDS theology teaches that if a child dies before the age of accountability (baptism age) then that child is automatically saved/exhaulted before God. Little children are special before God and Christ. From the Book of Mormon 3 Nephi 17:23-24.

23 And he spake unto the multitude, and said unto them: Behold your little ones.

24 And as they looked to behold they cast their eyes towards heaven, and they saw the heavens open, and they saw angels descending out of heaven as it were in the midst of fire; and they came down and aencircled those little ones about, and they were encircled about with fire; and the angels did minister unto them.

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Having her baptised is not going to ensure that she will be raised in faith.

So true. Our belief systems are that IF we were to baptize her in a faith, then we would raise her in that faith. We just can't seem to come to a collaborative decision on that faith. And, it's not a concern of his until she's 8. But it is a concern of mine. It's complicated. I'm not pushing it to be my faith - or his. I understand that under LDS, she wouldn't be accountable until 8. But it is hard to erase what you've always been taught to believe.

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Here's my personal thoughts on this subject.

As an LDS I don't believe in infant baptism. I don't believe it has any more bearing than non-LDS believe baptism for the dead does. So, if it makes YOU feel better to have your baby baptized then the hubs should consider it. IMHO, baptism of infants is for the adults. Why not? I have no problem with it.

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So true. Our belief systems are that IF we were to baptize her in a faith, then we would raise her in that faith. We just can't seem to come to a collaborative decision on that faith. And, it's not a concern of his until she's 8. But it is a concern of mine. It's complicated. I'm not pushing it to be my faith - or his. I understand that under LDS, she wouldn't be accountable until 8. But it is hard to erase what you've always been taught to believe.

I don't know the dynamics of your relationship with your husband but if you think it is going to be important to him when she is 8 then you are (in my opinion) left with two choices. 1) you are going to have to be satisfied to wait untill she is 8 to reach a decision or 2) you are going to have to convince him to address the issue now.

If you decide to go the LDS route the commitment to raise her LDS is going to require effort on your part. Starting at age 3-4 taking her to primary and primary activities up through youth activities as a teen. It can be time consuming but it is neat and fun to watch the developement.

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Hey wants2know, maybe you said it already and if so i'm sorry to have missed it, but what about not having her baptized makes you queasy? Is it that you fear for her soul should something happen to her before she is baptized, or something else.

:P

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Thanks CC - What "exactly" does the blessing involve and commit her/us to? I think her 10 year old brother had one as a baby... I'll have to find that out.

Others are probably better equipped to actually answer this - but here goes.

In a blessing a priesthood holder (elder or high priest) gives the child a name (you choose the name) and a blessing. The blessing generally includes spiritual gifts and promises for her life, such as health or patience. Someone recently mentioned being blessed with a love of music. Ideally the individual giving the blessing is following the direction of the Holy Spirit.

What it commits you to is having her name listed on church records as having received a blessing. Most likely when she's primary age the primary presidency will occasionally contact you to see if she wants to attend primary, or at least primary activities. But not always.

My mother and her baby brother were both blessed despite coming from a non-member family. That was it. As far as I know, the church never contacted her about it or anything. (How she came to join the church is a whole 'nuther story.)

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Hello W2K...

I don't recall any scriptures referring to baptizing infants... what I do find in numerous scriptures is evidence of how Christ loved little children and found them to be innocent, teachable, trusting...

In Matthew 18:3-6 are the familiar: "Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Whosoever therefore shall humble oneself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.

But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

And Mark 9:36-37:

And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them, and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them.

Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me; and whosoever receiveth me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.

Again, Mark 10:13-16:

And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them; and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.

But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of God.

Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.

And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.

As has been stated, LDS belief is that little children are innocent in the eyes of God, and until they reach the age of accountability... revealed through Joseph Smith to be eight years old... and can understand the concepts and ramifications of right and wrong, it is not necessary to be baptized.

Can you cite a biblical scripture where it was commanded that babies needed to be baptized?

GG

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Hey wants2know, maybe you said it already and if so i'm sorry to have missed it, but what about not having her baptized makes you queasy? Is it that you fear for her soul should something happen to her before she is baptized, or something else.

:P

Yes Bluebell... it's about fearing for her soul if something should happen to her before she is baptized.

GG: I don't know of any scripture involving infants being baptized. I'm rather scripture illiterate.

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wants2know:

In LDS belief infant baptism is a no no.

Moroni 8:10-21

10 Behold I say unto you that this thing shall ye teachâ??repentance and baptism unto those who are accountable and capable of committing sin; yea, teach parents that they must repent and be baptized, and humble themselves as their little children, and they shall all be saved with their little children.

11 And their little children need no repentance, neither baptism. Behold, baptism is unto repentance to the fulfilling the commandments unto the remission of sins.

12 But little children are alive in Christ, even from the foundation of the world; if not so, God is a partial God, and also a changeable God, and a respecter to persons; for how many little children have died without baptism!

13 Wherefore, if little children could not be saved without baptism, these must have gone to an endless hell.

14 Behold I say unto you, that he that supposeth that little children need baptism is in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity; for he hath neither faith, hope, nor charity; wherefore, should he be cut off while in the thought, he must go down to hell.

15 For awful is the wickedness to suppose that God saveth one child because of baptism, and the other must perish because he hath no baptism.

16 Wo be unto them that shall pervert the ways of the Lord after this manner, for they shall perish except they repent. Behold, I speak with boldness, having authority from God; and I fear not what man can do; for perfect love casteth out all fear.

17 And I am filled with charity, which is everlasting love; wherefore, all children are alike unto me; wherefore, I love little children with a perfect love; and they are all alike and partakers of salvation.

18 For I know that God is not a partial God, neither a changeable being; but he is unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity.

19 Little children cannot repent; wherefore, it is awful wickedness to deny the pure mercies of God unto them, for they are all alive in him because of his mercy.

20 And he that saith that little children need baptism denieth the mercies of Christ, and setteth at naught the atonement of him and the power of his redemption.

21 Wo unto such, for they are in danger of death, hell, and an endless torment. I speak it boldly; God hath commanded me. Listen unto them and give heed, or they stand against you at the judgment-seat of Christ.

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Having been raised Catholic I understand your concerns. I disagree with them, but I understand the emotions. I suppose you are thinking: "If the (insert denomination name here) are right, and my child really DOES have "original sin" on his/her soul, and something happens, he/she will go to (insert unfavorable option here)

But I know for the Catholic church, there is the belief that in an emergency, anyone can do a valid baptism by pouring some water on the child's head and saying the proper prayer.

So if I were you, I would look at 2 options:

1- Do the baptism yourself if your beliefs permit it.

2- The baby is young enough, have the baby baptized in your church, but then raise the child as you wish, giving the child the option to become LDS.

Hopefully your husband would understand and realize that from an LDS pov the baptism would be of no effect, yet your worries would be gone.

The only consequence from an LDS pov would be that your baby, if baptized LDS at age 8 would be a "convert baptism" instead of a "bishop's baptism" which is totally transparent for you but the administrative paperwork would be run through the missionaries instead of through the ward. It really would be not big deal from an LDS pov.

Additionally, God forbid something happens to your child before he/she turns 8, from an LDS pov your child goes straight to the celestial kingdom regardless of the fact that he/she was baptized in another faith.

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