Friday, November 13, 2015

Why won't "Mormons" bless and baptize some children?

(Find link to whole address at bottom of this page)

Yes, "Mormons" do not bless and baptize all children who would like to be baptized. Minds clouded with fear cry, "Unfair!" They assume we are trying to punish or reject the child or the parents. While grudgingly admitting all our work to grant same-sex people equal legal rights in employment and housing, they fill the air with strident shouts of "prejudice!"  They think the reasoning for our actions is "obvious." They claim that we have suddenly changed our position, but have we?

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) believes in living the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are trying to help people live lives of goodness and love. Our Humanitarian work is known around the world. It would not be consistent with the teachings of the Gospel to act out of hate and fear.

People claim that there can be no other reason for our actions. Perhaps to people who only know a world filled with hate, it is hard to see the deep love behind this long standing policy. In a permissive society where "loving" children is equated with immediately giving in to their every demand, our actions may seem "mean", but lets look more closely at the situation.

A child of parents who live a life that rejects the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is in a difficult position. If that child wants to join the Church, what will happen? They will be assigned Home Teachers who will come to their home to teach the beliefs of the Church. Even if they are just blessed as a baby, a Church membership record will be made even though they are not yet official members of the Church. The blessing indicates a willingness to become a member of the Church when they are older, and Home Teacher will be assigned to guide them along this path. Will parents really appreciate their child being taught that their chosen lifestyle, whether it be polygamy or same-sex marriage, isn't right? Some parents may tolerate their child being taught in the church building, but not in their home.

All minors, and anyone who is living in a dependent situation, must have permission for baptism from their parents or guardians.  Even adults need permission from their spouse to be baptized. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not want to cause contention within a family.

I had to wait until I was 19 to be baptized. Even then, they asked my mother's permission. Of course, like everyone who wants to, I could attend all the Church meetings and activities and receive Priesthood blessings for guidance and healing.  But I could not become an official member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints until I was no longer dependent on family support.  As a baptized member of the Church, I covenanted with God to keep all His commandments.

Think about the possible conflict that a dependent person might experience if they are living beliefs different from their parents. Support could be withdrawn and the child could be driven from the home. I experienced considerable stress even at 19, because I wouldn't drink coffee, tea, or alcohol and instead of taking rides, I wanted to go to church on Sundays.  I wasn't acting like "part of the family".  It takes a great deal of strength and commitment to follow beliefs different from your family. It seems to me that the stress would have been almost unbearable if I had to live in a family which was living in a way that was strongly against my personal religious beliefs.

Adults should provide wise and loving care for children. We must consider what is best for the child and for the family. Love isn't simply giving someone what they want when they want it. It is holding fast to what is right even when others loudly accuse you of being "bad", "mean", or "unfair".  Love is considering the consequences of actions and not giving the child something that may cause them pain and suffering. Love is having the child wait until a "safe" time for them to join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Love means to act with a responsible heart.

From the official Missionary guidelines Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Missionary Service,

Do I need permission to baptize a minor child?

Before you can teach and baptize an investigator who is under legal age, you must obtain permission of the parent(s) or legal guardian(s), preferably in writing. In addition, you should have good reason to believe that the child understands the baptismal covenant and will make every effort to keep it through obedience to the gospel, including faithfully attending Church meetings.

Do I need permission of the spouse in order to baptize a husband or wife?

Yes. Do not baptize a married person without the consent of his or her spouse.

If the father in a family is not ready for baptism, should I baptize the family or wait until the father is ready?

If the father of a family is not ready for baptism and confirmation but other family members are, you may tell the father you prefer not to baptize the family without him because the Church respects the head of the home and because family members will progress in the gospel best as a family unit. If the father continues to decline, you may baptize and confirm other family members with his consent.
For more information about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' policy concerning same-sex attraction and marriage:
  1. Go to Families and Individuals menu on
    1. Hope and Help
    2. Same-sex Attraction (available in several languages)

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