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Baptism At 8 / No Baptism


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Does anyone have any experience with children growing up in the church that chose not to get baptized at age 8 for whatever reason? What was their social experience with not getting baptized?

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Does anyone have any experience with children growing up in the church that chose not to get baptized at age 8 for whatever reason? What was their social experience with not getting baptized?

 

My own child.  He wasn't personally ready.  No one noticed.

 

On the other hand I home taught a young woman of 11 who converted with parental permission, but lacking parental understanding of what the church was, and the covenants she was making.  She was not supported by her parent when it came to keeping the covenants made in her decision when it came to the word of wisdom and chastity she experienced several years of difficulty which led to her being estranged from the church and falling away.  This was despite the efforts of the entire ward to accept her and love her as we would our own.

 

This certainly colors my view of baptism for social reasons.

 

It also colors my feelings about the age at which a child should be baptized depending on the support system in place to help them grow in the covenants they have made.

Edited by KevinG
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I hardly believe their are any 8 year olds that are ready to make a lifetime commitment. The vast majority of 8 year old baptisms are just a right of passage in the church. True understanding of what they have covenanted comes later.

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My son insisted on waiting "until he was ready".

He decided he was ready at 9 and a half.

Only a year and a half, but I was proud that he made his own decision. The delay was noticed but I backed him up at every turn.

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I think age 8 is the baseline of when baptism can occur.   That does not mean it must start there.  The age of accountability is set at 8 but I think that is a general number. Not all kids mature at the same pace.  Some might not be accountable to God until 10.  God knows the circumstance for each kid but just gives the 8 year as the limit.  Don't baptize before 8.   Without a baseline, people might start baptizing earlier and earlier until babies are being baptized.  God knows the habits of human beings and what they will do if certain boundaries are not established.

Edited by carbon dioxide
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If a child is not baptized at eight, do they then have to take the missionary lessons before they can be baptized latter on?

 

Yes, any person age 9 or over must complete the missionary lessons before baptism and is then considered a convert rather than a child of record.

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My own child.  He wasn't personally ready.  No one noticed.

 

My son insisted on waiting "until he was ready".

 

We recently had a baptism in our ward of a young man who refused baptism at age 8. Like Kevin wrote, no one had noticed.

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The vast majority of 8 year old baptisms are just a right of passage in the church. True understanding of what they have covenanted comes later.

 

I used to feel this way ... until I taught a class of 7-year-olds in America. I was blown away with how understanding and prepared most of the children were, though one in particular was clueless.

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When I was a ward mission leader an active member family chose to delay the baptism of their 8-year-old, thinking he was not ready. He was a fine boy, and I thought their decision singular, but we honored the family's wishes.

Because he was over age 8 it was technically a convert baptism, so it fell to the full time missionaries to teach him, supported by us stake (ward) missionaries. I arranged the baptismal service and conducted. It was a very nice affair.

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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Yes, any person age 9 or over must complete the missionary lessons before baptism and is then considered a convert rather than a child of record.

Thank you.  I thought that might be the case.  As I missionary, we taught several children from part member families, and as I recall our mission counted them as convert baptisms.

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With more and more children being raised as precious little snowflakes who's parents do anything to not have them melt, I think Bishop's should be much more cautious in red stamping many baptisms of young children.

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My son insisted on waiting "until he was ready".

He decided he was ready at 9 and a half.

Only a year and a half, but I was proud that he made his own decision. The delay was noticed but I backed him up at every turn.

I think it is wonderful that you did it this way,

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My son insisted on waiting "until he was ready".

He decided he was ready at 9 and a half.

Only a year and a half, but I was proud that he made his own decision. The delay was noticed but I backed him up at every turn.

 

Well, of course he rebelled against the norm, being raised in a house of relativism ;)  (just poking fun at you, as always)

 

Yes, any person age 9 or over must complete the missionary lessons before baptism and is then considered a convert rather than a child of record.

 

Mark, did your son have to take the missionary lessons?

 

ETA: I think he should proudly tell everyone that he is a convert to Mormonism :)

Edited by MiserereNobis
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No close personal experience, but I've seen some parents chose not to baptize their children because they have various mental/developmental issues and I've see some chose to baptize their children in spite of developmental issues.

 

If it were me, I'd likely choose the latter if I were in their shoes simply because I think it's a net negative for these children to grow up with yet another difference from the rest of their peers.

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I think it a great idea to have even children raised in the church to receive the missionary lessons before being baptized, even if at 8.

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I think it a great idea to have even children raised in the church to receive the missionary lessons before being baptized, even if at 8.

My wife and I are both returned missionaries. With each of our kids we taught them together the missionary discussions before they were baptized.

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