How to respond to believing spouse?

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stuck
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How to respond to believing spouse?

Post by stuck » Tue Apr 30, 2024 9:54 am

For those of us in mixed faith marriages-- How do you respond to your believing spouse especially when it comes to deciding whether to baptize your child as an unbeliever? I spoke with my bishop not too long ago about baptizing my son in a few months. My wife of course wants me to do so. She thinks if I didn't it would really hurt my son. My bishop wanted to know if I wanted to do so. I would kind of like to to make my wife and son happy but as a lover of truth, I think I would rather be true to my beliefs and not do it. Is it more important to follow the cult I mean crowd or to stand for my convictions? What say ye?

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Linked
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Re: How to respond to believing spouse?

Post by Linked » Tue Apr 30, 2024 3:47 pm

I went through this a couple times with my kids. Ultimately I recognized that they were going to be baptized regardless of what I did, and I would prefer that they have that memory with me instead of someone else. Doing otherwise felt like ceding my role as my kid's spiritual leader to others. So I decided to baptize my kids.

We told them that other people could do stuff too, and they picked me to baptize and other family members for the confirmation, so I didn't have to deal with any temple recommend requirements.

Rant - It is infuriating how the ward leadership inserts itself as a spiritual leader for our children in direct conflict with us. And our TBMs are generally incapable of seeing it.

Good luck Stuck!
"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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Angel
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Re: How to respond to believing spouse?

Post by Angel » Tue Apr 30, 2024 8:30 pm

My family wasn't at my baptism, or my wedding, just in-laws. It makes me sick looking back. I wish my parents were part of my wedding.

For graduation ceremonies, weddings, birthdays - it's not about the school they graduated from, its not about all the inlaws, its not the hospital they were born in - its not for any church, its for them. Talk to them, let them know its about them, their accomplishments, their commitments.
“You have learned something...That always feels at first as if you have lost something.” George Bernard Shaw
When it is dark enough, you can see the stars. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Palerider
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Re: How to respond to believing spouse?

Post by Palerider » Wed May 01, 2024 7:13 am

In 10 years it may all be meaningless because the church is beginning to falter. Or.....

On the other hand, in 10 years (if it doesn't collapse) the church will use your son's baptism as a bludgeon to guilt him into serving a mission and further enslave himself to the Corp via temple covenants. And they will do all this while pretending with a straight face that at 8 years of age, he knew what he was committing himself to.

Is there any way you could suggest to your spouse that you would like "Johnny" to be a little older before he makes up his own mind about baptism?

Answering my own question....."probably not without some heartache."

On the one hand, I would hate to be complicit in that fraud. And I wonder if "Johnny" would truly be disappointed or is that an emotion that my wife is projecting on to "Johnny"?

On the other hand I understand the desire to keep everyone smiling.

Knowing the truth does set US free but unfortunately our knowledge does not set free those around us who do not know the truth.

One sympathizes....
"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily."

"Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light."

George Washington

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Hagoth
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Re: How to respond to believing spouse?

Post by Hagoth » Wed May 01, 2024 9:07 am

Linked wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2024 3:47 pm
Ultimately I recognized that they were going to be baptized regardless of what I did, and I would prefer that they have that memory with me instead of someone else.
If that's the case with you too, Stuck, I says dunk him and then take him out for ice cream. Both activities will make people happy.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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Palerider
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Re: How to respond to believing spouse?

Post by Palerider » Thu May 02, 2024 9:38 am

For anyone dealing with this "Stuck" situation I would highly recommend you watch this recent podcast from Mormon Stories. It truly shows the damage that comes from living an inauthentic life.

But it also shows the peace and health that comes from having some courage. To live in fear is paralyzing and it gives victory to an evil entity that has deviously bullied us into giving up our own power.

Bullies are cowards at heart. Take back your power.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YgiqVODhg ... lnaHRtYXJl
"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily."

"Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light."

George Washington

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alas
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Re: How to respond to believing spouse?

Post by alas » Thu May 02, 2024 10:25 am

I agree with the idea of “don’t make it about the church, make it about the child.” If your child was receiving a diploma from school and the tradition was that the father hand him the diploma, you would be happy to follow tradition, even if the school wasn’t your alma mater. If he was getting a driver’s license, and the tradition was the father takes him to DMV and out for ice cream, you would be happy to follow tradition. If he was receiving Order of the Arrow, and the tradition was the father pins it on, you would do it. Or if your daughter was marrying a Catholic in the Catholic Church, you would still walk her down the aisle. Not that you agree with her joining the Catholic Church and marrying there, but because you support her in her choices and it is tradition. So, make it about the child and what they want. It doesn’t *have* to mean you agree with the child or you really believe God gave you magical power to grant the child salvation. If you don’t believe in the magical power, you can still do it because you believe in the supporting and loving your child and go along with the tradition of this rite of passage.

From someone who did not have a relative that loved me enough to do it, well it HURT. Not just that my dad wouldn’t swallow his pride and do it as a doubter, but that none of my other relatives cared enough and I ended up being dunked by a stranger. The feeling I had was one of nobody loved me enough to take the time to do it. I didn’t care about the baptism as far as the church was concerned, but it was a necessary rite of passage, expected of me. Something was *wrong* with me if I didn’t have it done and done by someone who loved me. I wasn’t a convert who didn’t have family in the church. I was 6th generation from pioneer stock on all ancestors, but I didn’t have family willing to do it?!? The tradition for members of the church is they have a loved one do it, preferably the father.

So, my recommendation is you do it as tradition, even if you want to explain to the child that you do not believe, but are doing it out of love of them. Then there is no inauthenticity because you are completely open about your reasons, and nobody thinks it means that deep down you “know it is true”.

stuck
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Re: How to respond to believing spouse?

Post by stuck » Thu May 02, 2024 11:54 am

Thanks for all of the wonderful responses! You guys are awesome!

I think I may need to be honest on this one and so it may come down to me not being able to baptize my son. However, I think my father in law that he likes would do it or my dad. And it would give me a good opportunity to speak with him about it and explain to my family why I won't be participating in the ordinances but will be there to support him. I lost my faith about 10 years ago and so I think there are a few like my parents and in-laws that know, but it will probably be a shock to my son and maybe some others. Our ward was just split and I have a new bishop however and so perhaps it could go another way--we'll see. I'll keep you guys and gals up to date on it and thanks again for all of your support.

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wtfluff
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Re: How to respond to believing spouse?

Post by wtfluff » Thu May 02, 2024 11:55 am

alas wrote:
Thu May 02, 2024 10:25 am
...
So, my recommendation is you do it as tradition, even if you want to explain to the child that you do not believe, but are doing it out of love of them. Then there is no inauthenticity because you are completely open about your reasons, and nobody thinks it means that deep down you “know it is true”.
What the frog said.

I haven't had to deal with the "fun" discussed in this post - when I came close, my attitude was what the frog said: Follow the tradition, but be truthful with the kid that I didn't believe.
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

IDKSAF -RubinHighlander

You can surrender without a prayer...

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Red Ryder
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Re: How to respond to believing spouse?

Post by Red Ryder » Thu May 02, 2024 6:58 pm

I adopted the catholic approach.

Meaning, if I wasn’t Mormon I would be catholic. What do Catholics do? They go to church and sit by their families. They baptize as part of the tradition. They celebrate the family togetherness and milestone.

Throw your definition of integrity out the window and redefine it. You have enough integrity to see that baptizing your kid is a family affair. You are the father of your children. It doesn’t matter if you believe or not.

Just believe in families first! 8 year olds don’t understand what “Dad no longer believes Joseph Smith was a super duper prophet and the church is twuuuuuu!” means.

Baptize the kid. Go out for ice cream. 8 year olds can understand ice cream.

Then fast forward 10 years and smile when the kids have found their own way because you loved them, trusted them, and taught them to think critically.

Then fast forward 17 years and take your wife shopping for underwear because her Mormon dream fell apart when her kids became inactive and she fell down the rabbit hole.
“It always devolves to Pantaloons. Always.” ~ Fluffy

“I switched baristas” ~ Lady Gaga

“Those who do not move do not notice their chains.” ~Rosa Luxemburg

stuck
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Re: How to respond to believing spouse?

Post by stuck » Fri May 03, 2024 7:45 am

Great responses wtfluff and RR! It seems the consensus is focus on the child and treat it as a tradition. This makes sense and seems to be the most peaceful route to go. My sticking point was do I believe Jesus is our savior? I don't think so, so maybe that's going to be a problem. But if I don't emphasize it much with the new bishop and in my own mind say I'm doing this for my son and it's not a bad tradition if I think it's just a ritual to show that he is trying to follow a good person--Jesus right?

dogbite
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Re: How to respond to believing spouse?

Post by dogbite » Fri May 03, 2024 10:19 am

This is the child's event, not the parents. Do what it takes to serve the child's interest, even down to skipping baptism if so chosen.

As to your part, if baptism is chosen, do what the church says you can as a non-believer. If that's nothing, then there's the answer. If that changes your child's opinion on baptism, even better.

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wtfluff
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Re: How to respond to believing spouse?

Post by wtfluff » Fri May 03, 2024 1:07 pm

Something of note that hasn't been mentioned:

Baptism is an Aaronic Priesthood ordinance.

Any zit-faced 16-year-old MORmON has the "power" to baptize. ( Nothing against zit-faced 16-year-olds - that was me at that age, AND I was a red-head! :shock: )


Just a little something to keep in the back pocket if any bishop or otherwise questions "worthiness" to baptize...
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

IDKSAF -RubinHighlander

You can surrender without a prayer...

stuck
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Re: How to respond to believing spouse?

Post by stuck » Fri May 03, 2024 3:44 pm

dogbite wrote:
Fri May 03, 2024 10:19 am
This is the child's event, not the parents. Do what it takes to serve the child's interest, even down to skipping baptism if so chosen.

As to your part, if baptism is chosen, do what the church says you can as a non-believer. If that's nothing, then there's the answer. If that changes your child's opinion on baptism, even better.
I agree. I believe that he wants to to it, but will ask him to be sure. The church says if the bishop approves then I can do it. I'll have to see what questions the bishop asks.

stuck
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Re: How to respond to believing spouse?

Post by stuck » Fri May 03, 2024 4:26 pm

wtfluff wrote:
Fri May 03, 2024 1:07 pm
Something of note that hasn't been mentioned:

Baptism is an Aaronic Priesthood ordinance.

Any zit-faced 16-year-old MORmON has the "power" to baptize. ( Nothing against zit-faced 16-year-olds - that was me at that age, AND I was a red-head! :shock: )


Just a little something to keep in the back pocket if any bishop or otherwise questions "worthiness" to baptize...
It's interesting how religions like to keep you in a "bubble" right? I'm sure that those of us on this forum knows more about the church and it's history than 90% of bishops out there with the exception of Graey.

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Palerider
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Re: How to respond to believing spouse?

Post by Palerider » Fri May 03, 2024 7:36 pm

dogbite wrote:
Fri May 03, 2024 10:19 am
This is the child's event, not the parents. Do what it takes to serve the child's interest, even down to skipping baptism if so chosen.
D&C 68

42 "For all men must repent and be baptized, and not only men, but women, and children who have arrived at the years of accountability."

D&C 18

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."

Do children, eight years of age, really need a remission of their sins??? Even in our governmental culture, an individual is not considered fully accountable until they reach 18 years of age. 21 years of age in some areas of the law.

As one can see in the above verses it is the parents who suffer the consequences for not having their children instructed and baptized at the ridiculous age of 8 years. So if the child is accountable at that age, one might ask why the parents would bear the sin?

So I respectfully disagree that this is the child's event. If the rest of the kids were being baptized, by their own choice at age 12 or 13 as in the Jewish faith, (barmitzvah/batmitzvah), would the child be coming to the parent asking to be baptized at age eight??? I highly doubt it.
This false doctrine of baptizing children at age eight is all about:
1. Enabling the church to capitalize on getting children into the cult system early.

2. Using intimidation to scare parents into avoiding the sin of not having their children controlled by the church/Corp.

This "event" is all about the adults. It has very little to do with children who cannot fully understand the "covenant" they are supposedly making. There is no informed consent because a child cannot give informed consent.

Granted, in the church, the baptism of children has become more of a fun tradition (all my friends are doing it!) than a serious commitment that should be taken with solemnity. So it's easy to see why many would see it as a child's carefree, fun time event.

But in truth? It's all about the adults...
"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily."

"Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light."

George Washington

Cnsl1
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Re: How to respond to believing spouse?

Post by Cnsl1 » Sat May 04, 2024 8:55 pm

Good thoughts.

I baptized all my kids but the last one was dunked a bit before I no longer believed. It was not an issue.

Fast forward, all my kids are adults and are all out. My wife is not completely out but not 100% in either. Our oldest child's oldest child was baptized almost 3 years ago and at that time, both parents were mostly in. Next child is just 3 and idk if baptism is in their future or not. It's not been discussed. Our second child, however, has addressed it directly with everyone. Their 4 year old will not be baptized at 8 years old, but can make that decision as an adult if they choose. We're obviously totally cool with that and support the parents 100% but the in-laws were disappointed. All 3 grandkids were blessed, however, so I guess they're all on the rolls.

It's so nice to be mostly out of the church. All my siblings are out, but wife's siblings are all in so it makes it tough on her. Also, I still feel the pressure to stand in circles whenever wife's family has ordinance things. I try to avoid them when possible.

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moksha
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Re: How to respond to believing spouse?

Post by moksha » Sun May 05, 2024 5:56 pm

Tell your believing spouse to have a happy Cinco de Mayo.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

stuck
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Re: How to respond to believing spouse?

Post by stuck » Tue May 07, 2024 3:18 pm

Palerider wrote:
Fri May 03, 2024 7:36 pm
dogbite wrote:
Fri May 03, 2024 10:19 am
This is the child's event, not the parents. Do what it takes to serve the child's interest, even down to skipping baptism if so chosen.
D&C 68

42 "For all men must repent and be baptized, and not only men, but women, and children who have arrived at the years of accountability."

D&C 18

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."

Do children, eight years of age, really need a remission of their sins??? Even in our governmental culture, an individual is not considered fully accountable until they reach 18 years of age. 21 years of age in some areas of the law.

As one can see in the above verses it is the parents who suffer the consequences for not having their children instructed and baptized at the ridiculous age of 8 years. So if the child is accountable at that age, one might ask why the parents would bear the sin?

So I respectfully disagree that this is the child's event. If the rest of the kids were being baptized, by their own choice at age 12 or 13 as in the Jewish faith, (barmitzvah/batmitzvah), would the child be coming to the parent asking to be baptized at age eight??? I highly doubt it.
This false doctrine of baptizing children at age eight is all about:
1. Enabling the church to capitalize on getting children into the cult system early.

2. Using intimidation to scare parents into avoiding the sin of not having their children controlled by the church/Corp.

This "event" is all about the adults. It has very little to do with children who cannot fully understand the "covenant" they are supposedly making. There is no informed consent because a child cannot give informed consent.

Granted, in the church, the baptism of children has become more of a fun tradition (all my friends are doing it!) than a serious commitment that should be taken with solemnity. So it's easy to see why many would see it as a child's carefree, fun time event.

But in truth? It's all about the adults...
I would agree mostly. However, it was sort of a memorable experience for me. I remember after getting baptized one of the counselors remarked, well it doesn't look like it washed your freckles away. It was kind of funny at the time, but now I'm like what's wrong with freckles? Then afterwards I did get to get a triple decker ice cream cone with my best friend. Then I remember trying to be a good person after that so I didn't sin which lasted for awhile. But as far as my parents go I think they were just doing what the church expected them to do. There is definitely a lot of peer pressure in the church to do what the church wants you to do right?

stuck
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Re: How to respond to believing spouse?

Post by stuck » Tue May 07, 2024 3:23 pm

Cnsl1 wrote:
Sat May 04, 2024 8:55 pm

It's so nice to be mostly out of the church. All my siblings are out, but wife's siblings are all in so it makes it tough on her. Also, I still feel the pressure to stand in circles whenever wife's family has ordinance things. I try to avoid them when possible.
That's why I think it would be good if I am not able to baptize my son because then I could explain to my family that I won't be participating because I lost my faith 10+ years ago. I think some know but it seems that it would just clear the air to let others know where I'm at.

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