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'Rare to Cancel a Baptism'


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Last Saturday our ward baptized a family , and as you can imagine it was by invitation only so hardly anyone came for obvious reasons. It was moved from I can't recall when to saturday. I emailed everyone on our EQ email list saying it's been moved and happening but don't come. I got this email from this former Mission President in our ward, he told me that it's rare to moved a live ordinance or even cancel one. He wanted me to  I didn't respond but I was thinking what planet in this guy living on ordinances get cancelled, moved, all the time!!!! It's nice when you get advanced warning. Where would someone get the idea that live ordinances rarely get moved, cancelled etc.? For the record, I did none of the below and his first language isn't English

This is what he said, 

"The Stake President may in turn speak to Mission President, who I think will have up to date advisory on this matter from the Missionary Department, SLC.
As an important Ordinance, it’s rare for Baptism to be cancelled. Yet, these are unusual times."
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So he is thinking it will have to go all the way to Salt Lake because it was postponed?

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1 minute ago, Rain said:

So he is thinking it will have to go all the way to Salt Lake because it was postponed?

yuuuuup! crazy! 

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On 3/24/2020 at 12:31 AM, Duncan said:
"The Stake President may in turn speak to Mission President, who I think will have up to date advisory on this matter from the Missionary Department, SLC.
As an important Ordinance, it’s rare for Baptism to be cancelled. Yet, these are unusual times."

If you cancel a baptism, will you also cancel caring for those in need?

https://history.churchofjesuschrist.org/blog/sacrament-cup-influenza-epidemic-1918?lang=eng

https://christianchronicle.org/how-churches-of-christ-responded-when-the-1918-spanish-flu-killed-millions/

https://influencemagazine.com/en/Theory/How-Pentecostals-Responded-to-the-1918-Spanish-Influenza-Pandemic

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40 minutes ago, marineland said:

I'm thinking this was not related to covid since the baptism was rescheduled later and happened last Saturday.  "Cancelled" was the word used by the man who Duncan said English wasn't his first language 

And in my experience, baptisms are rescheduled or cancelled far, far more often by the person being taught because they are not ready and that probably goes along more with what Duncan is talking about since he mentions this happens a lot.  

So what was done in the past with Spanish Flu doesn't really relate.

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Quick question. I have been to a number of baptisms of eight year olds. It seems there is a big emphasis on getting them baptized as soon to their eighth birthday as possible, regardless of individual maturity. Are baptisms ever postponed until later if youngsters just aren't "ready?" I can't help but observe, thinking, would I have baptized that child at his or her level of maturity? Of course it doesn't matter at all what I would have done. I know that. There is a wide range of maturity at that age. 

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55 minutes ago, Navidad said:

Quick question. I have been to a number of baptisms of eight year olds. It seems there is a big emphasis on getting them baptized as soon to their eighth birthday as possible, regardless of individual maturity. Are baptisms ever postponed until later if youngsters just aren't "ready?" I can't help but observe, thinking, would I have baptized that child at his or her level of maturity? Of course it doesn't matter at all what I would have done. I know that. There is a wide range of maturity at that age. 

yes, I was born and raised in the Church and I was baptized at age 9, I was a convert baptism

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44 minutes ago, Duncan said:

yes, I was born and raised in the Church and I was baptized at age 9, I was a convert baptism

Thanks, so if a child raised in the church isn't baptized until 9 or 10, they are considered to be converts? That is interesting. 

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3 hours ago, Navidad said:

Thanks, so if a child raised in the church isn't baptized until 9 or 10, they are considered to be converts? That is interesting. 

I don't want to start a derail, but IMHO I believe most children and even myself, aren't fully knowledgeable of what they are promising really. And I've heard of stories of it causing anxiety to young children believing that they need to stay totally clean and free of sin since they've been washed clean when getting baptized. I wasn't that way, but some have those personalities. In cases like these, maturity would definitely help. But there is the weekly Sacrament that hopefully help them feel good that they renew the promises made. 

 

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12 hours ago, Tacenda said:

I don't want to start a derail...

Oh, but it would be a fun derail! :D 

12 hours ago, Tacenda said:

but IMHO I believe most children and even myself, aren't fully knowledgeable of what they are promising really. And I've heard of stories of it causing anxiety to young children believing that they need to stay totally clean and free of sin since they've been washed clean when getting baptized. I wasn't that way, but some have those personalities. In cases like these, maturity would definitely help.

Of course they aren't fully knowledgeable. As you suggest, there are plenty of adults whose understanding seems quite suspect, too, and I might include myself in that group, for all that I sometimes think I have it all figured out. That's no reason for not doing it, however.  We let people get drivers licences at age 16, and until they have a few years experience behind the wheel they are a menace to society -- but without the experience they'd never not be a menace.  

I was 14 when I was baptized and I remember thinking I needed to get in some last minute sinning before I had to give it all up!  What a nut I was. As if it were possible to give it all up.

The point of baptism at the age of accountability is the capability of forgiveness because at that point one suddenly will be being held responsible for one's sins. There's a reason why we don't baptize children unable to be responsible: Christ's atonement covers them automatically until they reach that state of accountability. 

12 hours ago, Tacenda said:

But there is the weekly Sacrament that hopefully help them feel good that they renew the promises made.

Yep. Something that people seem to miss sometimes is that partaking of the sacrament worthily is just like being baptized anew. If one is fully repentant, one's sins are forgiven in that moment.

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16 hours ago, Navidad said:

Thanks, so if a child raised in the church isn't baptized until 9 or 10, they are considered to be converts? That is interesting. 

I think it is along the lines of a catch-all. Perhaps this could be taken as a "child of record" baptism (a checkbox on the baptism recommend?) if the parents/bishop delayed the baptism due to a feeling the child had not yet reached accountability.  But in the interest of not turning it all into a bureaucratic tail-chaser they just say anyone 9 years old or over is a convert baptism is accurate enough for most purposes.  The vast majority of children of active members (and even some inactive members) are baptized before age 9.  The few who are exceptions don't really make much of a difference, statistically. And it doesn't particularly matter anyway, since there's no operative disadvantage to being baptized at age 9 as opposed to 8.  It's just that the Lord asks us to baptize at age 8.

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18 hours ago, Navidad said:

Quick question. I have been to a number of baptisms of eight year olds. It seems there is a big emphasis on getting them baptized as soon to their eighth birthday as possible, regardless of individual maturity. Are baptisms ever postponed until later if youngsters just aren't "ready?" I can't help but observe, thinking, would I have baptized that child at his or her level of maturity? Of course it doesn't matter at all what I would have done. I know that. There is a wide range of maturity at that age. 

I think some might be concerned that an 8 year old, no matter how mature, is not really completely compos mentis anyway, so how dare we put that level of responsibility on them?  But it isn't we who are putting it on them:

From a revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Hiram, Ohio, November 1, 1831: 

25 And again, inasmuch as parents have children in Zion, or in any of her stakes which are organized, that teach them not to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God, and of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands, when eight years old, the sin be upon the heads of the parents.
26 For this shall be a law unto the inhabitants of Zion, or in any of her stakes which are organized.
27 And their children shall be baptized for the remission of their sins when eight years old, and receive the laying on of the hands.

DC 68:25-27

It is sufficient for the child to be able to understand the difference between right and wrong, since knowing the difference and doing the wrong despite that knowledge is the definition of sin. And those capable of sinning need to be instructed how to repent and receive forgiveness. And since forgiveness is only possible through the blood of Christ, therefore the child needs to be given the means for receiving it. Baptism is the first step in receiving it.  Therefore it is provided at the earliest age when it will be useful to them.

Full understanding of the atonement is not necessary. How few adults, even, ever achieve that understanding?

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On 3/28/2020 at 11:52 AM, Navidad said:

Quick question. I have been to a number of baptisms of eight year olds. It seems there is a big emphasis on getting them baptized as soon to their eighth birthday as possible, regardless of individual maturity. Are baptisms ever postponed until later if youngsters just aren't "ready?" I can't help but observe, thinking, would I have baptized that child at his or her level of maturity? Of course it doesn't matter at all what I would have done. I know that. There is a wide range of maturity at that age. 

There was a child in a ward on my mission (in the Eastern US in the early 1990s) who waited until they were 9 because they thought they weren't ready.  Of course, the fact that they were mature enough to think that makes me think they were more ready than most 8-year-olds, but they didn't ask me.

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On 3/23/2020 at 9:31 PM, Duncan said:

Last Saturday our ward baptized a family , and as you can imagine it was by invitation only so hardly anyone came for obvious reasons. It was moved from I can't recall when to saturday. I emailed everyone on our EQ email list saying it's been moved and happening but don't come. I got this email from this former Mission President in our ward, he told me that it's rare to moved a live ordinance or even cancel one. He wanted me to  I didn't respond but I was thinking what planet in this guy living on ordinances get cancelled, moved, all the time!!!! It's nice when you get advanced warning. Where would someone get the idea that live ordinances rarely get moved, cancelled etc.? For the record, I did none of the below and his first language isn't English

This is what he said, 

"The Stake President may in turn speak to Mission President, who I think will have up to date advisory on this matter from the Missionary Department, SLC.
As an important Ordinance, it’s rare for Baptism to be cancelled. Yet, these are unusual times."

When I was a bishop I noticed a definite tendency for mission presidents to be touchy about local control issues, sometimes not disclosing previous morality problems with bishops on matters the bishop should have known about, and other things as well

 

 

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On 3/28/2020 at 11:52 AM, Navidad said:

Quick question. I have been to a number of baptisms of eight year olds. It seems there is a big emphasis on getting them baptized as soon to their eighth birthday as possible, regardless of individual maturity. Are baptisms ever postponed until later if youngsters just aren't "ready?" I can't help but observe, thinking, would I have baptized that child at his or her level of maturity? Of course it doesn't matter at all what I would have done. I know that. There is a wide range of maturity at that age. 

At age 9, my son decided for himself that he wanted to be baptized.

All our kids made their own decisions, the girls felt they were ready at 8.

The whole point of baptism is to make sure that the child is mature enough. Otherwise we would baptize babies. 

What is the point of waiting until a kid is 8 if the kid doesn't feel ready to make the decision?

It defeats the whole purpose of waiting until he/she is eight.

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On 3/29/2020 at 6:01 AM, Stargazer said:

I think it is along the lines of a catch-all. Perhaps this could be taken as a "child of record" baptism (a checkbox on the baptism recommend?) if the parents/bishop delayed the baptism due to a feeling the child had not yet reached accountability.  But in the interest of not turning it all into a bureaucratic tail-chaser they just say anyone 9 years old or over is a convert baptism is accurate enough for most purposes.  The vast majority of children of active members (and even some inactive members) are baptized before age 9.  The few who are exceptions don't really make much of a difference, statistically. And it doesn't particularly matter anyway, since there's no operative disadvantage to being baptized at age 9 as opposed to 8.  It's just that the Lord asks us to baptize at age 8.

And so then some missionary interviews them, instead of the bishop.

Great idea.

(NOT!)

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On 3/28/2020 at 11:52 AM, Navidad said:

Quick question. I have been to a number of baptisms of eight year olds. It seems there is a big emphasis on getting them baptized as soon to their eighth birthday as possible, regardless of individual maturity. Are baptisms ever postponed until later if youngsters just aren't "ready?" I can't help but observe, thinking, would I have baptized that child at his or her level of maturity? Of course it doesn't matter at all what I would have done. I know that. There is a wide range of maturity at that age. 

I can think of another important token of covenant that takes place on the eighth day after birth. Are those babies mature enough to know what they are doing? Maybe they should wait until they are more mature. :unsure:

Or maybe not. https://biblehub.com/genesis/34-25.htm. Ouch.

Edited by Bernard Gui
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22 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

I can think of an important token of covenant that takes place on the eighth day after birth. Are those babies mature enough to know what they are doing? Maybe they should wait until they are more mature. :unsure:

Or maybe not. https://biblehub.com/genesis/34-25.htm. Ouch.

Actually that is a prophecy about the effects of social distancing  ;)

Get 'em while they're down. :)

 

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On 4/1/2020 at 6:48 PM, mfbukowski said:

And so then some missionary interviews them, instead of the bishop.

Great idea.

(NOT!)

Not entirely clear... we're you disagreeing with me? Cuz I was just describing the current policy in my own words.

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34 minutes ago, Stargazer said:

Not entirely clear... we're you disagreeing with me? Cuz I was just describing the current policy in my own words.

No, I agree with you. 

I understand the purpose of the policy. There has to be a cut off somewhere.

But on the other hand, in an example of a child who is not quite ready, and needs gentle guidance, in conjunction with the, parents , and you give that advice to them and speak to them a number of times over a few months, and then you turn them over to a 19 year old stranger for the interview.

Just seems odd. But I do understand the need for the policy. It is good to have an objective third-party make the final decision in such cases.

You just hope the missionary isn't stern and impressed by his own new-found authority, and the desire to have another convert baptism on the list.

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On 3/28/2020 at 1:36 PM, Navidad said:

Thanks, so if a child raised in the church isn't baptized until 9 or 10, they are considered to be converts? That is interesting. 

There is no need for baptism because they cannot sin, because they "know not what they do" if they are still "below the age of reason".

We are not baptized for the sin of Adam and Eve- that is, no "original sin" and so one is only baptized for one's own sins.

After the age of 8, or actually when the child is mature enough to understand they are doing something deemed "wrong", one becomes capable of sinning.

And so a mechanism needs to be postulated whereby those sins can be taken away, and that is baptism.

In baptism, one takes upon oneself "The Name of Jesus Christ" and thereby becomes part of his family- because he/she has made a covenant to do so, now being of age to take on such a covenant.

This I suppose would be the time one could be seen as "saved" in a Protestant/Evangelical way, because one in effect is accepting Christ and His atonement in one's life and promising to "always remember Him".  At that point then, one is "saved" from death and hell and the effects of sin.

AFTER baptism, one WILL commit sins.

The mechanism for removal of those sins is repentance.  And at every sacrament meeting we pray for forgiveness and help in repentance, thereby "renewing our covenants"

I think in virtually every baptismal service I have attended, there is a talk on repentance explaining all this to the child, theoretically, but a child who has been taught properly will already know how this works.  The talk is just a reminder

So sins after the age of reason- whenever that may be individually- but before baptism- before on takes upon oneself the atonement-  forgiven through baptism, and after baptism, are forgiven through repentance, 

So as the saying goes we are "saved " (but not exalted) by grace "after all we can do"

"All we can do" BEFORE baptism is get baptized, but we are still saved by grace- by the fact that Jesus died for our sins.

"All we can do" AFTER baptism is doing all we can to correct the sin- by repenting of it, and/or making restitution, etc.   Still all of this is by the grace of God through Christ's atonement of course.

And again remember we are talking about "salvation" here in a Protestant sense, not about exaltation which is like further "crowns of glory" one may receive.

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2 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

There is no need for baptism because they cannot sin, because they "know not what they do" if they are still "below the age of reason".

We are not baptized for the sin of Adam and Eve- that is, no "original sin" and so one is only baptized for one's own sins.

After the age of 8, or actually when the child is mature enough to understand they are doing something deemed "wrong", one becomes capable of sinning.

And so a mechanism needs to be postulated whereby those sins can be taken away, and that is baptism.

In baptism, one takes upon oneself "The Name of Jesus Christ" and thereby becomes part of his family- because he/she has made a covenant to do so, now being of age to take on such a covenant.

This I suppose would be the time one could be seen as "saved" in a Protestant/Evangelical way, because one in effect is accepting Christ and His atonement in one's life and promising to "always remember Him".  At that point then, one is "saved" from death and hell and the effects of sin.

AFTER baptism, one WILL commit sins.

The mechanism for removal of those sins is repentance.  And at every sacrament meeting we pray for forgiveness and help in repentance, thereby "renewing our covenants"

I think in virtually every baptismal service I have attended, there is a talk on repentance explaining all this to the child, theoretically, but a child who has been taught properly will already know how this works.  The talk is just a reminder

So sins after the age of reason- whenever that may be individually- but before baptism- before on takes upon oneself the atonement-  forgiven through baptism, and after baptism, are forgiven through repentance, 

So as the saying goes we are "saved " (but not exalted) by grace "after all we can do"

"All we can do" BEFORE baptism is get baptized, but we are still saved by grace- by the fact that Jesus died for our sins.

"All we can do" AFTER baptism is doing all we can to correct the sin- by repenting of it, and/or making restitution, etc.   Still all of this is by the grace of God through Christ's atonement of course.

And again remember we are talking about "salvation" here in a Protestant sense, not about exaltation which is like further "crowns of glory" one may receive.

I wonder why they didn't use this logic before the overturning of the blacks not getting the PH, they shouldn't have been punished because of the curse on Cain and his descendants.

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