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Baptism Postponed By 'Concerned' Husband


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My husband just convinced my bishop to postpone my baptism. I am devastated. However I do believe God can do something amazing in this time. I know he will in me, he will in Noel if he allows God to do so. So three months to strengthen my testimony even more. I will spend time here and I will be blogging my processat the link below if you would like to participate. I will do an into about myself later tonight. Thank you for your support.

http://notaconvert.wordpress.com/

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A Bishop allowed your husband to make that decision?? That doesn't sound right.

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Does the bishop have the authority to do that without your consent?

Edit: I guess I should also say congratulations for your decision to join the Church of Jesus Christ and accept His gospel. May the Lord continue to bless you. :)

Edited by altersteve
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Iirc, a spouse has input on whether or not their partner gets baptized. If the bishop vetoed or delayed a baptism, it is possible that he was concerned it would put the marriage at risk.

Perhaps NAC can share some more info if she is comfortable doing so?

NAC, very sorry to hear of your problems, but your attitude sounds very positive. And there is of course reason to be positive as all things are possible for God.

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Hello NAC...

I'm sorry you've hit a snag so to speak... is your husband willing to read accurate info that you can provide him that will help him understand the Church and perhaps ease some of his "concerns." What are some of his concerns? That the Savior is the center of our faith/religion/life?... that we live the law of chastity, i.e., absolute fidelity within marriage and no fornicating before marriage?... that we believe the family is the most important thing to us, and that families/marriages can be eternal?... that we believe in charity and giving service to our fellow man and communities?... that we believe in daily prayer/scripture study?... that we believe in living a life of truth?... that we believe in living a healthy life, including the Word of Wisdom?... that we follow the Law of Tithing as in Malachi 3:7-10 (applies to members only)?... that we believe God continues to speak to his children through prophets, just as in ancient times?

If he is concerned about the temples, can you give him the booklet by Boyd K. Packer titled, The Holy Temple... or the special Ensign issue on temples with pictures of the rooms and a general description of the ordinances performed within the temples?

I'm always baffled by someone who fails to see that we are to live a life of highest standards of morality and personal behavior.

I do hope that the Lord will bless you both and that your husband will soon feel comfortable at the prospect of your baptism... in the meantime, it is my prayer for you both that he will read information you can give to him to help him understand your faith.

All good wishes from the beautiful central Oregon coast... GG

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The bishop feels that if my husband has initiated contact with him 3 times, that there is clearly an opportunity to further the discussion. He also knows I feel a tremendous amount of deception and control around this.

My husband's concerns are not traditional doctrinal concerns. He fears that the church will urge me to divorce him so I can marry a member and be sealed. I have talked to him about this. Unfortunatly when people are opporating in fear/insecurities there is frequently no adequate answer or response.

The bishop assured me it will not be bumped out a second time. This is my husbands opportunity to ask the questions he needs to.

I think it may be helpful for you to understand a bit of my spiritual process. I was raised early on mostly by my maternal grandparents who were very biblically educated and grandpa had seminary degree. His father came here as part of the German Evangelical Church before 1900 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prussian_Union_(Evangelical_Christian_Church). I do not know why grandpa stopped ministering. He was VERY scripturally educated but had some heated objection (I believe and am inferring) to some church structure/authority he butted heads with. That was my impression from grandma. Knowing my grandpa, he probably questioned something in how it was done, probably said something wasn’t scriptural and it got heated. I am speculating, but he was so very smart and well spoken (he communicated authority); I can see church authority figures being intimidated by him. When he voiced his opinion, it seemed like it was the law. I am guessing someone was offended, it was a blow up, and grandpa walked away bitter.

So we went to church when I was very little, in Burwell. That was the Congregational Church (each congregation independently and autonomously runs its own affairs). Once moving to Lincoln we became holiday church goers. But I would read the bible (elementary school); I would ask questions of my own accord, usually to grandma. In 7th grade I went to a Catholic school. I actually really liked the religion class; I thought I would hate it. I loved singing in church. I remember being fascinated studying the life of Jesus. I knew I didn’t agree with all of it (the Saints and such) but I liked studying it. So my erratic church and bible reading kind of started coming together there in 7th grade. I don’t think I really ever attached myself to the Catholic Church, but I do believe my love for Jesus began to take seed at this point. Something clicked, like the first two pieces of a puzzle fitting together.

So 8th grade (1988) mom and I move to Memphis. I went to a huge Baptist church (I think at the time it was the 3rd largest church in the US) several times with a neighbor. I remember this neighbor asking me to pray the ‘sinner’s prayer’ with her, which I did. I really didn’t get it though. I knew I loved Jesus, I knew I God, but maturity wise… I didn’t get it. I was becoming a very angry hurt confused girl and all ‘authority’ was uncomfortable at this point.

I did start to go to church when I lived in Ukiah so 1995-1996. At this point I truly knew I needed God, but I had no idea where to begin. I knew I had a need, that was about it. I knew I felt empty, sad and alone. I knew that people seemed to like me, I seemed to accomplish what I set my mind to, but few relationships seemed fulfilling and everything seemed kind of pointless. Then… I had Wyatt. I think he was about 9 months old and I had the sudden realization that I had to provide a foundation for right and wrong. I was not enough. People are people… I remember thinking through this whole process of ‘are ethics and morals negotiable or are they absolute’. As rebellious as I had been for many years, when I sat and thought that out I decided at the core/foundation basic issues (10 commandments) are absolute. Why, why would most people have the same moral code inside them? Not that people are truly good… but we all seem to be born with a sense of right and wrong. Those that are not are eventually deemed criminals or insane. Why? The ONLY reason I could come up with was God. Then I did question Christianity. I always deemed myself a critical thinker. Did I really believe in the death and resurrection of Christ? I wasn’t sure intellectually at this point, to be honest. But I looked at my options, and the phone book… I wasn’t Jewish or Buddhist or…. So I decided to start going to church. I ended up at the Evangelical Free Church, interestingly related to both the Covenant and the Congregational church.

This is where another piece clicked. I relearned Christ’s life, starting learning how to study and break down scripture. This is really the first time I started to get the idea really of Christ’s sacrifice. At this point most of my study is in my head, intellectual. I occasionally have a scripture click into place. But I often am wondering ‘how does this apply to me’. This was a young congregation, pretty contemporary, but looking back not a whole lot was really sinking in to the heart. I also was spending quite a bit of time in Lincoln at this time and going to the Lincoln Berean Church. This is the church that helped me start to internalize, I little. I think it was during this summer of 1999 that I ‘accepted Christ’. I knew I loved the Lord, believed his sacrifice and knew following him was the key to my Salvation and eventually my success and happiness. I think the Spirit started to work in me that summer of 99.

I moved to LA, I know the thing that hit me was studying the book of Acts & Paul’s letters. This stage of my spiritual growth I believe I finally started to really grasp and apply some scripture, my prayer life started to blossom. I started talking to God. We moved to Sacramento and began going to Bayside. Although Bayside may have many faults, they taught you to study and pray. I did! This is the first time I start reading and praying quietly DAILY. This is when my relationship with God started to bloom, I am getting ‘it’ more and I am hungry, I can’t get enough scripture. I HAVE to have that time. I actually start reading Old Testament and New Testament and the prophecies about Jesus and see how it all ties together. This is when I first started to really LOVE Christ. My relationship with God started to become personal here. I started praying for others; prayer was finally becoming a communication with God.

In about 2003 I experienced personal revelation for the first time. It was a blessing and truly got my attention. I think it served at that point to give me inspiration to really grow spiritually and know I was not in the right church for me long term. 2 I think it was about the temple being built here locally (this was prior to). 3 I think it has something to do with the ‘gathering of Israel’ but I haven’t studied this enough to discuss it confidently, I just know there is more to it than I have understood now. So I start researching personal revelation, I ask about it because it is NEVER discussed in our church, even though it is documented multiple times by the early church. I can’t list all the people I asked. A lot of people said once Christ came we no longer needed additional revelation. That didn’t make any sense based on John 16 or the book or Acts and many other revelations from the early church. I asked people if God ever spoke to them directly they all said ‘no’. I knew Jesus, and I knew I had heard from God directly. I wasn’t 100% sure of the how or why… but, if no one’s answer at my current church made sense it seemed obvious something was off.

So I eventually investigate more charismatic churches. The fact that these church seemed ALL about public revelation seemed off too, just the other extreme. It shouldn’t be ABOUT that, it should be about Jesus… Never in a million years did I think I would end up a Mormon! Ha-ha, I would have laughed if someone suggested it then. Time moves on, we end up at our current church. But I made a cluster of female friends quickly beginning in 2004 and found out they were all LDS. What the heck? I went to the Temple open house seriously looking for something spooky, and found nothing. It was beautiful and… I liked it. This left me puzzled. I was at a point of serious introspection. I was frustrated in my marriage, had just had another child, something suddenly seemed to shift. I was struggling with patience. I was restless.

Interestingly, my whole life, I have had a sense of purpose, value and worth. This contradicts messages I may say to myself, or hear replaying... But, there has always been a persistent sense of purpose and value. At times of serious discouragement, it would occur to me that I was created and blessed for something more than where I was at the time. Yes, my grandparents loved me very much and truly gave me some gems of wisdom. But between being abandon by my father, having an alcoholic mom and being molested and then raped at 12 I have no earthly explanation that I am not only sane, but carried this consistent internal sense of some aspiration I couldn’t quite grasp.

I called a local LDS friend here locally, Trisha, and asked her what she was studying. We were studying Sampson in Judges, she was studying him too. I think we met once a week for a month, and by the end of that I knew she wasn’t crazy, it was a great study and we saw eye to eye on most everything. I started asking questions of all the LDS friends I knew. I met with missionaries a couple times. I went to church with my friend 2 or 3 times. That is when my husband voiced discomfort. I tried to deny the truth I had found, I put it away for awhile. Finally I just plunged into research. I pulled up all the anti Mormon stuff I could, another book I had, looked stuff up online and went through scriptures looking for contradictions or something to say ‘aha’. I asked God to make it obvious (I feel spoiled by God, when I ask God for clarity, or to be obvious, He usually is). I just got so many confirmations and revelations, and a sense of peace and purpose spiritually.

The number one thing that makes me so confident that the church is true (results!) is all of my investigative studying brought Jesus from my head (in the attic) fully and completely into my heart. One of my growth issues is I tend to keep things intellectual (less emotional). Well Jesus wants ALL of me, he wants my heart no matter how sad, angry or discouraged I am. I take such joy in studying the scriptures now, in digging to the meat, studying the origins of words etc. My studying is worship because I LOVE IT, I FEAST on it and praise Him for what He provides. I worship and grow in my heart and that has been a HUGE celebration and relief, like I have been waiting to allow Jesus really into my heart, for years.

Jesus wants us to desire to obey; God is glorified when our hearts DESIRE to obey Him. It think that was the tipping point for me, when my heart surrendered to God, truly submitted in trust and faith. It is a relationship of willingness to God, sensitivity to the Holy Spirit and blessings from our willingness. God does not want blind obedience out of fear or ignorance or duty. He wants complete devotion from knowledgeable, humble, educated men and women who are hungry for a closer relationship with Him. That is the transformation that has happened in me. It is a passion, I have come into the purpose, the intention I always felt was waiting for me. Now I know what it was, and God has prepared me all these years for this time.

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Thanks for sharing.

Will write more later, but just wanted to say that if your husband has done any searching on Internet he has likely come across claims that the Church split up someone's marriage so his fears may not just be his own creations and it is even possible that someone he is confiding in is encouraging him to feel that way. Hopefully this is not the case.

The Church of course does not have a policy official or 'under the table' of attempting to split up marriages as I am sure you well know. It is unfortunate that 'mixed marriages' (spouses are of different faiths) are known to have many problems and have a high failure rate, one of the reasons why our church leaders do promote getting to married to someone who shares one's faith, but this is very different in a marriage that has already taken place; in that case they promote being open and supportive of each other and each other's faith.

In the long run, if the Church is helping you become a better person or to feel more joy in your life, this can only improve your marriage if your husband is open about it and happy for your happiness.

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From what I have read, it appears that the Bishop is just delaying the baptism so that the marriage doesn't face extra issues if possible. This sounds reasonable to me. If the weeks of the delay help put the husband at ease and make this a better experience for the poster that is fantastic. It is so much better to go into the waters knowing everyone is supporting you when you come out rather than knowing your home might have a hostile tinge to it.

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Bishops frequently take into consideration the feelings of a spouse before doing something. It happens when someone wants to go to the temple, when someone get's a calling, and when someone wants to be baptised.

Temple is somewhat different, as new "attire" comes into play. I had a friend who's wife would not share a bed with him for a number of months. Also a non-member cannot see what goes on and their is so fear of the unknown. With Baptism, all or welcome.

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The bishop feels that if my husband has initiated contact with him 3 times, that there is clearly an opportunity to further the discussion. He also knows I feel a tremendous amount of deception and control around this.

My husband's concerns are not traditional doctrinal concerns. He fears that the church will urge me to divorce him so I can marry a member and be sealed. I have talked to him about this. Unfortunatly when people are opporating in fear/insecurities there is frequently no adequate answer or response.

The bishop assured me it will not be bumped out a second time. This is my husbands opportunity to ask the questions he needs to.

Sorry this is happening to you, but as to my highlighted portion of you post. This will never happen, Bishop's do not urge divorce.

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Temple is somewhat different, as new "attire" comes into play. I had a friend who's wife would not share a bed with him for a number of months. Also a non-member cannot see what goes on and their is so fear of the unknown. With Baptism, all or welcome.

But the issues are still the same, which are, how is the home life and marriage going to be affected with a spouse who is completely against the other spouse making a life altering change? How successful will the wife be if the husband refuses to support her new faith? How happy will the husband be if the wife refuses to support the new faith and is actively working against the husband's success in his new life?

I don't think it's wrong for a bishop to take such things into consideration and to error on the side of caution when he feels that's the right thing to do. He's not saying she can't get baptized until her husband agrees. He seems to be saying, "wouldn't you rather wait three months if there is a chance that your husband will decide he can support you in your choice rather than do it now and know that you could alienate your husband and make it so that he will never support you."

I can certainly understand Not A Convert's sadness at having to wait-and i think her attitude is awesome! But i think it's kind of weird that so many members, who know how the church looks at marriage and the importance of being equally yoked (even to the point that they won't extend callings if a spouse doesn't support it), thinks the bishop is out of line for asking NaC to wait three months so that her husband's concerns can have more time to be cleared up.

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The same thing is done for callings. The spouse(husband or wife) is asked if they can support their spouse in the calling being extended. If they can't then the calling is postponed until the concerns are addressed.

When I was called to my present calling the Stake Presidency came to our home and extended the calling and the first thing they did after telling us why they were there was to ask my wife if she would/could support me in this calling.

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Hello again NAC...

Now this is something I have experience with... when I was 20, I had come home from BYU and took a summer job with the intention of returning to school in the fall. However, that summer I met a wonderful... and I mean wonderful... non-LDS man. Against my parents' wishes I did marry him, and soon found that I was drifting away from the Church because it is true... being "unevenly yoked" is real. On weekends my dear hubby would want to travel somewhere, or other activities that took me away. Soon I was inactive, though my heart remained faithful. My inactivity broke my folks' hearts but they had come to love and respect my dh for the person he was...

I continued to pray and read my scriptures, etc. All through the years from time to time I would receive promptings to return to Church... that yearning was always in me... in my heart. I missed not just the Church, but my relationship with my Heavenly Father and Christ. I missed taking the sacrament.

Anyway, years pass... just over 30 to be exact... and I was watching April 1995 general conference, and I went out and told my husband that I was really feeling the need to return to Church, and he encouraged me to do so if I felt that strongly about it. He had always respected my folks and had had a really good LDS friend, etc.

The next August while bringing my folks up from So Cal to Oregon for a visit, my mom had a massive heart attack and could not be saved. I went back to Rialto with my dad and stayed with him for a month. It was during that time that I worked closely with the Rel Soc pres and bishop in regard to helping dad, and with clearing out her things, etc. I attended Church with dad... the first time in over 30 years. And I knew... knew... I just had to return. And when I got back home here to Oregon I walked into my Lincoln City ward here on the coast, and I've never looked back. I started all over again at square one, studying, praying, fasting... and my testimony came roaring back stronger than ever.

My poor husband, I don't think he was quite prepared for the depth of my reconversion... but bless his heart he was so very supportive of me... even though he would never join me in attending church.

Never in that first year, nor during the years that followed until his death three years later, did the Church ever... ever... try and persuade me to leave my husband, nor did they speak against him or our marriage in any way (and I held numerous callings, including in Rel Soc presidencies, RS teacher, etc etc... and my dh always supported me). In fact, when I decided to go to the temple to receive my endowment, the bishop asked my dh to write a letter giving his "approval" so as to be sure our marriage would not be adversely affected by my temple attendance. He did so gladly... and when I would subsequently go to the temple and take several sisters with me, he would clean my van inside and out and make sure all was in order so we would have a good trip (180 miles round trip). He'd stand in the driveway and wave good-bye to me... I was able to go off for a lovely day at the temple with a happy, peaceful heart, ready to receive the blessings that are so special in the temple. And the fact that I wore temple garments was not even an issue.

But... I must tell you this... I always had an ache in my heart because my husband was not with me in Church, and particularly because he was not with me in the temple. I would see other couples together in the temple, holding hands as we would walk to the endowment room... or sitting together in Church, the husband's arm around his wife's shoulders. I yearned for that and felt an emptiness. But, I was thankful too that he was so supportive of me, even though he would not receive the discussions or attend.

So, yes, it is possible to be active in Church, and be married to non-LDS... many do it... I did it. But I must always caution that there is a certain loneliness when your loved one is not with you in Church or temple...

I wish you well... and encourage you to continue building your testimony of the restored gospel, and then to stay strong, but loving and supportive of your husband... it goes both ways...

from the beach on a fall day that has tinges of winter approaching... sigh... GG

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The church is not in the business of breaking up families, and there can be good reason to wait (though I wonder about a dh who makes that bargain with a bishop rather than a wife), and a bishop who makes it with dh rather than convert.

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Call me Ignorant, but your husband seems that he doesn't respect you in postponing your baptism. It is a lack on information on my part. He can't force you not to join any church or make you do anything that you don't want to do. Also you can't make him do anything he doesn't want to do.

My advice only, talk to your husband and your bishop to address your husband's problems in you joining the church. It does sound like you love your husband. Also you sound like you would be a good member if you do join the Church and a good role model for your husband.

Also encourage your husband to pray with you and do church related stuff with you. Don't force it.

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Oh, I did not expect to have such a response! Thank you so much for all your support. I understand the passion and emotion that this brings up for me, but did not expect it here.

I don't think it is that the bishop allowed my husband to make this decision. My husband and I were seperated, for very different reasons, this summer. He approached me on this faith topic, after extensive discussion on other matters. Because he seemed accepting with this, on top of progress in other areas, I chose to reconcile. We had some initially good discussions, but about a month and a half in I could see his attitude towards the church shift again. But then after announcing my baptism date it got worse. I made the bishop aware of this through the process. Once my husband reached out, this week, is when It... changed. He feels there is a chance to reach my husband since he reached out to the Bishop 3 times. I can't argue with that, although it is difficult to swallow now. My gut reaction was 'I am a 36 year old adult woman who has spent... 3+ years researching the church! I didn't sit down with the missionaries last month and walla! If you remove my ability to make my own decisions then you end our relationship because we are no longer equals.' Deep breath, the bishop wants to take advantage of the opportunity to reach my husband and will not allow it to be delayed again. He recognises that there are a ton of other issues and that this is really a convienent distraction.

Yes, respect is a huge issue here. Clearly I would love it if my husband joined me. I can see that this could be lonely, but honestly, it is anyway. The fact that he does not want to try to understand hurts the most. I feel rejected because he doesn't want to what is important to me, what has touched my heart on such a deep level.

We do pray together a lot. When we can't talk (which is most of the time) we pray together, which is one big step.

I feel that i have waited so long! But the fact that my husband would go to the bishop in a 'power play' instead of talking to me... that hurt.

I know the church would never try to break up the family. But the bishop will be the perfect person to address this concern.

Thank you all.

http://notaconvert.wordpress.com/

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What a difficult time you are having. Very complicated situation.

I would be so angry and hurt myself if I was in your place. It hits us in our most sensitive spots when we feel we are not being valued, when it seems the things that are most important to us are ignored and discounted by the very person who if he cared for us like he should would place a high value on those same things simply because of what they mean to us. If we feel that something completes us, it is so hard to understand why someone who loves us isn't working as hard to get it for us as we are....especially if we've tried to help him get what he values in the past. Instead one is treated almost like a child where our other makes decisions for us, sometimes even claiming he is doing it for us when it quickly becomes obvious that it is primarily for his own benefit, to protect himself.

I don't know whether your husband did his "power play" out of fearof losing you to the Church or a demonstration that he was in control or a need to try and stop the changes in his life long enough to catch his breath and see if he could make sense of them or something else entirely. Probably it was a combination of many things and maybe he doesn't even know why he did it.

I do know that if you can continue to approach it with your positive attitude, putting your self in the hands of the Lord, no matter what happens, no matter how hard it gets, you will be blessed for your willingness to make this sacrifice for your husband and you will count these next three months as a time of growth, feeling you have gained much and lost nothing by your sacrifice.

Hopefully in time he will come to understand just how great a sacrifice it is and it will open his eyes and soften his heart.

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Good morning NAC...

Just wanted to give you a sisterly "hello" and encourage you in your efforts. When the gospel is in our lives, there seems to be a "glow" about us because we are more positive and happy ourselves. I guess that's what we mean when we say to "let our light shine," i.e., the light of Christ that is within us.

So, tomorrow is the sabbath... I hope you will be able to attend Church with a happy, peaceful heart.

All good wishes... from the beach... GG

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We've come a long way then...

Regardless of that verse, i don't think Jesus would ever condone a father abandoning his wife and children to follow Him. Likewise, i don't think postponing a baptism for a few months automatically equals 'not forsaking' the world for Christ.

In my mind, there's a difference between doing all you can to keep a family together and unified while trying to follow Christ and choosing your family over Christ.

:)

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And let us not forget 1Cor 7:12-16 which has the specific instructions not to divorce an unbelieving spouse and to continue in the marriage with the hope of leading the unbeliever to belief, thus NAC is following scriptural instructions by doing what she can to soften her husband's heart toward the gospel.

Edited by calmoriah
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