Baptism Discussion With My Son

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Linked
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Baptism Discussion With My Son

Post by Linked » Fri Feb 01, 2019 11:02 am

Last night DW and I sat down to talk with our son who is looking forward to be baptized soon. At his "It's Great to be Eight" meeting one of the presenters rhetorically asked the kids if they wanted to be baptized, and then why they wanted to be baptized. So DW and I asked him if he had thought about it at all.

He quickly turned the question around on us, asking us why we were baptized. Then when we struggled to answer that question he reframed it for us, asking how being baptized had made our lives better. It was awesome. I was so proud of him for totally owning a discussion with 2 adults. But then I had to figure out how to answer. So I told him that it was the beginning of the path that lead me to DW and eventually to him and his brother, and that I am very glad I have them. And I told him I got baptized because I thought it was the right thing to do. DW answered pretty similarly.

Then for his answer he spent a bit of time talking about how he was excited that baptism would cleanse him, washing his sins away and allowing him a fresh start. I pried a bit about if he is worried about his sins and he didn't seem to be, so maybe he just likes the symbolism.

We also discussed who he wanted to perform the ordinances. He said he wanted to think about it, but that he was leaning towards having me do one and a grandpa do the other. He seemed to like the idea of spreading the participation around.

He's a good kid. I hope his baptism will bring him joy and that it won't end up being an albatross around his neck.

ETA: He is also excited to receive the Holy Ghost. I suspect that one will be disappointing.
Last edited by Linked on Fri Feb 01, 2019 11:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
"I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order" - Kurt Vonnegut

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Red Ryder
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Re: Baptism Discussion With My Son

Post by Red Ryder » Fri Feb 01, 2019 11:25 am

Congrats! A big decision for all involved. As much as I distaste the emotional turmoil of Mormonism, they sure know how to bring families together when everyone believes the same stuff.
Then for his answer he spent a bit of time talking about how he was excited that baptism would cleanse him, washing his sins away and allowing him a fresh start. I pried a bit about if he is worried about his sins and he didn't seem to be, so maybe he just likes the symbolism.
This always confused me because doctrinally kids under 8 are not accountable so therefore technically don't have any sins to wash away. Yet every baptism talk I've ever heard talks about kids getting their sins washed away. I would rather see the conversation focus on baptism as symbolic of choosing to follow Jesus rather than focused on sin. But what do I know I'm just an angry apostate!
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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Linked
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Re: Baptism Discussion With My Son

Post by Linked » Fri Feb 01, 2019 11:48 am

Red Ryder wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 11:25 am
Congrats! A big decision for all involved. As much as I distaste the emotional turmoil of Mormonism, they sure know how to bring families together when everyone believes the same stuff.
Then for his answer he spent a bit of time talking about how he was excited that baptism would cleanse him, washing his sins away and allowing him a fresh start. I pried a bit about if he is worried about his sins and he didn't seem to be, so maybe he just likes the symbolism.
This always confused me because doctrinally kids under 8 are not accountable so therefore technically don't have any sins to wash away. Yet every baptism talk I've ever heard talks about kids getting their sins washed away. I would rather see the conversation focus on baptism as symbolic of choosing to follow Jesus rather than focused on sin. But what do I know I'm just an angry apostate!
Thanks RR! My wife has actually put a ton of emphasis on baptism as symbol of a commitment to trying to do/be good, similar to following Jesus. I have really appreciated that.
"I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order" - Kurt Vonnegut

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Red Ryder
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Re: Baptism Discussion With My Son

Post by Red Ryder » Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:05 pm

Give her a big hug and kiss and tell her that!

My wife doesn't feel she gets enough credit for her religious efforts with the kids. Probably because my lack of effort makes her effort exponential. Hugs and validation bridge that gap. They also confuse her too! :lol:
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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græy
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Re: Baptism Discussion With My Son

Post by græy » Fri Feb 01, 2019 1:52 pm

Linked wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 11:02 am
He's a good kid. I hope his baptism will bring him joy and that it won't end up being an albatross around his neck.

ETA: He is also excited to receive the Holy Ghost. I suspect that one will be disappointing.
A week before my son's baptism last year he shared with us how excited he was to have the Gift of the Holy Ghost. In his words, it would be like "a friend who is always there, who won't make fun of me, or take my toys, who I can always talk to."

Hearing that nearly broke my heart. As expected, the baptism occurred, I laid my hands on his head and said unto him "receive the Holy Ghost!" Also as expected, nothing changed. His brothers are still occasionally mean to him. Other kids are still occasionally mean to him. And he is still occasionally mean to them back (he's not picked on more than most other kids his age are). He doesn't hear voices in his ear/head/heart. He has no constant invisible companion hovering around him.

It hurts to know how much this must have let him down.

I've told him many times that I will always be his friend, and I will always be on his side. But I'm sure its not the same as what he hoped for.
I'm better than dirt... well most dirt. Not that fancy store bought stuff, I can't compete with that... full of nutrients and everything. -Moe Sizlack

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slavereeno
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Re: Baptism Discussion With My Son

Post by slavereeno » Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:01 pm

Wow, having my FC when my youngest was 11 I haven't had to cross this bridge personally, and yet these stories are emotional to me.

Nice job navigating that situation Linked.

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Re: Baptism Discussion With My Son

Post by FiveFingerMnemonic » Fri Feb 01, 2019 4:09 pm

slavereeno wrote:Wow, having my FC when my youngest was 11 I haven't had to cross this bridge personally, and yet these stories are emotional to me.

Nice job navigating that situation Linked.
Consider yourself fortunate, although I'm sure you may get to deal with the next milestones as they come. My son is turning 8 this summer and it is looking like Grandpa will have to take my place. I wonder if the bishopric will highlight that unfortunate substitution when they announce it during sacrament meeting.

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Re: Baptism Discussion With My Son

Post by Wonderment » Sat Feb 02, 2019 1:08 am

Then for his answer he spent a bit of time talking about how he was excited that baptism would cleanse him, washing his sins away and allowing him a fresh start. I pried a bit about if he is worried about his sins and he didn't seem to be, so maybe he just likes the symbolism.
This is what the church has to sell, and they start early - relief from sins. They start in on the 8 year olds with the sin shaming -- Don't you want your sins to be cleansed? You're full of sin. It's filthy. You should want to be cleansed of that filth. Don't you feel guilty? You should feel guilty. Satan has a mark all over you, and anyone contaminated by Satan is worthless." Etc. But, the baptism is not lasting, because then the church is on to the need for boys to take on the priesthood -- Don't you feel filthy and sinful ? Satan has his hands all over you. You need the priesthood. Girls need to be in YW -- to keep the sin away. This is what the church sells -- sin relief, the same way that loan sharks sell debt relief. They'll give it to you for a little while, but then it wears off, like a vaccination wears off, and you'll need a booster shot. That's what they sell -- everyone is filthy, covered with sin, ensnared by Satan, and the only way out of it is to pay through the nose and sign yourself into debt peonage with the church.
How debased can they get? They start the sin-shaming with 8 year olds, FFS. Would you buy a used car from these people and their constant threats? - Wndr. :roll:

Reuben
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Re: Baptism Discussion With My Son

Post by Reuben » Sat Feb 02, 2019 6:40 am

You can push back against sin shaming by teaching salvation by grace at home. It's well-supported by both the New Testament (especially modern translations of Paul) and the Book of Mormon - much better, in fact, than the confused works-flavored salvation taught in the church.

In this view, baptism only signals that you're willing to follow Jesus. After that, depending on conditions that aren't too well-specified but have to do with remaining willing, God regards you, right now, as being as spotless as Jesus. For you, the final judgment consists of being remade into the person you've always wanted to be.

Under salvation by grace, baptizing an 8-year-old makes perfect sense. It has nothing to do with completely cleansing past sin in that case, and everything to do with completely covering future sin.

I loved this doctrine as a believer. I still think it's far superior. I credit it with freeing me further to think for myself. It removed the fear of making errors that had chained me to orthodoxy. It took the stick out of my hand that the church had taught me to beat myself with. It removed all incentive to judge other people. It took away the excuse that I wasn't righteous enough when following the church's formulas didn't work - and when I stepped back to try to figure out what had gone wrong, I found that the formulas were false.

IMO, if someone is going to be a member no matter what, grace is the #1 thing they need to protect themselves from well-meaning people who exert control by spreading their own fear and shame.
You were born to trust, not fear. It is your birthright.

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Linked
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Re: Baptism Discussion With My Son

Post by Linked » Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:46 am

Thanks for all the comments. I agree with the disgust at sin shaming a 7 year old. I think my TBM DW also agrees with that disgust. We briefly talked about it and she seemed to agree that he shouldn't feel like he is a bad kid that needs to be cleansed for his evil deeds. I will talk to him about how I don't think he needs to be cleansed, now or ever, but that I do believe it is good to make a commitment to do good.

My son has decided he wants me to perform the baptism and his grandpa to perform the confirmation. My son and his grandpa are pretty close, so I think it's great that he wants his grandpa to be involved. It is fortunate that performing the baptism part requires less scrutiny from the bishop than performing the confirmation, so I expect no issues with getting church permission for me to perform the baptism.
"I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order" - Kurt Vonnegut

Tudor_Princess
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Re: Baptism Discussion With My Son

Post by Tudor_Princess » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:09 pm

My son is getting baptised on Sunday. All his choice, hes excited and looks gorgeous in his suit. We havent really said or talked about the whys and wherefores of it. Ive kept it pretty simple and said hell be an official.member of the church and is following Jesus' example. That's how I see it. Thy have a lot of love and support at church and in would hate for them to have that taken away from them. It's just tricky navigating the teaching and belief side.

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Linked
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Re: Baptism Discussion With My Son

Post by Linked » Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:22 pm

Tudor_Princess wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:09 pm
My son is getting baptised on Sunday. All his choice, hes excited and looks gorgeous in his suit. We havent really said or talked about the whys and wherefores of it. Ive kept it pretty simple and said hell be an official.member of the church and is following Jesus' example. That's how I see it. Thy have a lot of love and support at church and in would hate for them to have that taken away from them. It's just tricky navigating the teaching and belief side.
Congrats to your son on a big milestone, I agree that if the kid is steeped in the mormon culture then it would be worse to withhold baptism than just baptizing them. It is tricky on the teaching and belief, it's such a messy situation.

My son came home from church once and complained that he felt stupid because he didn't know as much as the other kids at church, and I felt bad that I hadn't prepared him to excel in church classes, but I don't want him to excel at church classes. I have started working with him on doing little research projects on the internet so he is comfortable and confident in his ability to find a credible source. Hopefully that helps him avoid getting too deep in any crazy stuff.

Have a nice baptism!
"I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order" - Kurt Vonnegut

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