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Baptism Postponed By 'Concerned' Husband

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I haven't read the entire thread, but bishops do not hold the keys to convert baptism -- the mission president does (the exception is re-baptism, which isn't technically convert baptism). I'm not necessarily stating an opinion on what happened, just stating facts as they relate to the scenario.

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I am all for a Bishop and his concern, however I am with the poster (silvermoon383). The handbook is very clear on the matter. Convert baptisms fall under the keys of the Mission President, in which they are extended to District and Zone Leaders (are authorized by the MP) for baptism interviews. I have never heard of a Bishop delaying a convert baptism, I have heard the Mission President doing so.

However I wish you take opportunity of this time to learn more about the gospel and not to give up hope.

Edited to say Judd has beat me to it.

Edited by Anijen
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Although I don't face the family issues you face I thank you for posting your story. It serves to recall some memories of the conversion process that are familiar to most all of us. I very much appreciated your post.

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I haven't read the entire thread, but bishops do not hold the keys to convert baptism -- the mission president does (the exception is re-baptism, which isn't technically convert baptism). I'm not necessarily stating an opinion on what happened, just stating facts as they relate to the scenario.

No but Bishops hold the keys of counsel with those in his stewardship(all within his ward boundries). This was obviously done as counsel to try and make this trasnsition easier in this household.

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A few years ago, I worked with a guy whose wife converted to the Hare Krishna religion. Even though his wife did everything possible to ease his concerns, and my coworker did everything possible to support her, it was a very stressful time in their marriage. I know they stayed together for at least the next few years, but I haven't seen him recently so I don't know the long-term effect this had for them.

I say this only to remind us that we don't know how the husband is experiencing this. Obviously, from our side of the situation we see no cause for concern, but to a non-Mormon things can look very differently. Joining the LDS Church involves lifestyle changes, and commitments of time and money. Obviously, in a perfect world the husband would be fully supportive, or become converted himself. But it is perfectly understandable for a spouse to have reservations about such a drastic change.

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I was a convert rather late in life (in my 50's) and had already been married for almost 30 years. I told my husband that I was joining this church and why, but I didn't ask for his permission...that never even occurred to me. I knew I had to join the church, no matter what. He asked some questions, but mainly he asked me not to expect him to join me in that decision. I told him, of course not (even though I really did want him to join me :)), but I figured I had plenty of time to work on him. :) So, anyway, the idea that a Bishop would actually postpone a baptism, at the request of a spouse, just kind of struck me as...wrong. If that were the woman's decision (to postpone), I would totally understand. But, leaving it to her husband?

Edited by Libs
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Cinepro, I agree, it can be very strange for a non-member spouse...and I think even more of a concern, if there are children involved.

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I truly believe that the bishop is doing this out of respect for my husband, but because of his request... I trust his discernment and authority over our ward. As difficult as that is for my ego to hear, I am grateful and understand that the bishop does recognise what the issues truly are at the root and that they do not have direct correlation to the church.


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Dearest Sister Notaconvert:

Wow! What a choice daughter of God you are! It is thrilling to see how the Holy Ghost is teaching you meat understandings! Isn't this a most joyful experiencing of God??? Your story is quite similar to my many year's past history. I think that your Bishop was doing the right thing and that he did it in accordance with the guidance of the Holy Ghost. You are an inspiration! I also cannot get enough of studying scriptures! I thirst and hunger and rejoice continually. Isn't our Heavenly Father oh so awesome?!!!! Sometimes when I consider and ponder our Father and our Beloved Savior, Jesus Christ, I can scarcely catch my breath!! We are so blessed to be on the earth with so much Truth being made available to us!

Much love, encouragement and prayer being sent your way.

Sister jo

Edited by jo1952
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When did bishops get to have input in convert baptisms? When I was on my mission all they got to do was meet the investigator. They don't do any interviews or anything beyond a chat in the hallway until after the baptism.

Yes, that is the rule. The bishop does not the authority to say yay or nay on this. It is a mission responsibility.

On the other hand, if this sister's husband is opposed I can imagine that he could "lay down the law" to her such that she would acquiesce -- it's not the Bishop's right to decide, however.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am new to this board but I read this had to comment. I was a Branch Mission Leader in a smalll branch in Wi. The missionaries were focused on baptizing an individual who was an ALCOHOLIC AND HAD ONLY BEEN SOBER FOR A WEEK! I found this idiotic and told them to re-think baptizing him as he would only be a drain on the branch. They baptized him, we didn't confirm him. Missionaries can baptize bishops control confirmations.

Having stated this NotAConverts problems run far deeper than her husband not wanting her to join the Church. I believe she stated there were some marital problems and divorce was discussed. I think he sees her joining the Church as furthering the chasm and he won't be able to cross it. I don't think he is worried about her leaving him so much as he would have to leave her as this would be the final straw. I could be wrong having never met the gentleman but this is how I see it. She has changed to the point he doesn't know where their relationship is going.


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That is an interesting story. If he has made and is responsible for the covenants and shows up on your church rolls as a member though baptism, why in the world would a branch president refuse to confirm to him the gift of the Holy Ghost which has the only hope of facilitating the change he was presumably looking for? Reminds me of the Stephen Robinson story about the biker lady who was baptized to the disapproval of a ward, and finally qualified for a TR after ten years of work to overcome bad habits, and the question of when she qualfied for the celestial kingdom --- which was the day she was baptized so long as she was doing her best and quickly repenting the atonement immediately closes the entire gap between objective perfection and our current lives, no matter how small or large that gap may be.

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Hi Not A Convert,

Welcome to the forum. I am sorry that you are in such a complicated situation.

I am an Evangelical and my wife is LDS and can at least sympathize that interfaith marriages have their own special set of difficulties that go with them.

We had a similar situation regarding her desire to receive her Endowment. She became inactive in her youth but became active after our marriage, so she never had gone through it.

Several years back, two of her younger brothers who had also been inactive in their later youth became active and gotten theirs done. Shortly after she expressed that she would like to do so as well, but according to LDS leadership, she could not do so unless it was something I was okay with. I asked her what exactly it was, what happens during it and so forth. She didn't know much in the way of details other than it was something I could not be present for, because it was in the Temple and that it was something she wouldn't be able to talk to me about after it was done. I told her to give me some time to think on it.

I felt very uncomfortable about it, given that she was doing something that I could not be privy to. It is painful to realize that your spouse wants something they can't share with you. I did some cursory research and the sites that do offer information aren't geared to express it in a good way. I felt even less comfortable.

After a few days, I told her that I didn't think it was anything I could support. I wasn't primarily operating from a fear of loss, as it seems your husband may be doing. But in some sense, I can sympathize because potentially loosing that little piece of her that couldn't share all that with me was loss. Mainly, I felt I was given an opportunity to protect her from something that was not beneficial to her, based on my understanding.

That was the end of it, in that she never expressed to me a need to go through with her endowment again. However, I struggled with it for several months.

It was wrong of me to try and hold her back from something she believed in. It took a bit, but I changed my mind on the matter. One day we had a quiet moment together and I expressed what my reasoning was behind my discomfort with her endowment in the first place and explained that I had reached a point where it was fine with it.

I suppose, I am surprised in some respect, that she hasn't followed through with it. It's been a number of years and she lives her life in a "Temple worthy" fashion. We don't talk about it, but I speculate she somehow feels compelled to wait for a day that we can go together. I think in a lot of respects we both do a lot of waiting for God to work, both knowing that all things work together for good for them that love Him.

It sounds like with your husband, that there is an underlying issue of trust that must be dealt with. Not that you are untrustworthy, rather that all this is challenging his security in your feelings. He is afraid of anything that might take you away from him. The CoJCoLDS can appear to be just such an instrument, to a non-LDS.

I wouldn't be angry or devastated about it. His expressions are flattery to just how important you are to him.

Nevertheless.... you formally joining the CoJCoLDS is 400lb gorilla in his room. I would think he sees it as you choosing your beliefs over him.

I think you would do well to love him with all your heart, pray for him and pray most importantly that God's will be done in your marriage. Perhaps over time he will come to realize a few things and eventually be cool with the whole thing. Have the patience of a farmer that has just sown his seeds.



Edited by Mudcat
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If a person is baptized and not confirmed in 30 days, the baptism is nullified. It takes both to be recorded on Church records. This is why we wouldn't confirm him until he could stay sober longer than seven days. The missionaries were very tight lipped about his alcoholism. I asked in Branch Council how long he had been sober after the individual had "born testimony" and it sounded like an AA share. This shocked the companionship but it was very evident.


What your husband needs is an understanding you are not changing to the point that he feels he has to leave.


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