Baptism Photo Shoots

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Snowdrop
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Baptism Photo Shoots

Post by Snowdrop » Sun Jan 08, 2017 6:35 pm

Lately my social media has been flooded with photos of beautiful children, which is something that I usually enjoy. However, this most recent wave has a serious handle on the creep factor. I'm seeing 8 year old kids wearing three piece suits or white dresses that closely resemble wedding gowns proudly clutching copies of the Book of Mormon. Maybe I grew up under a rock, but I don't remember these photo shoots being a thing when I grew up. Has the culture of the church gotten creepier in the last 20 years or was I just an insanely naive 8 year old?

Speaking of which, aren't all 8 year olds a bit naive to be making big life decisions? My understanding of being baptized was that I would never be allowed to do anything bad again, so I spent the afternoon before my baptism squishing spiders. (It was the most wicked thing I could come up with.). Wouldn't it be a good idea to wait for the kids to have the cognitive ability to understand good/evil before you dunk them? And maybe we shouldn't dress them up like they're marrying the church...

Anyhow, poorly written rambling complete. Thanks for giving ear.
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FiveFingerMnemonic
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Re: Baptism Photo Shoots

Post by FiveFingerMnemonic » Sun Jan 08, 2017 7:07 pm

It's a social media age phenomenon I think. Good thing you got your spider mashing in before the big day! :D

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didyoumythme
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Re: Baptism Photo Shoots

Post by didyoumythme » Sun Jan 08, 2017 9:04 pm

Snowdrop wrote:Speaking of which, aren't all 8 year olds a bit naive to be making big life decisions?
This has been on my mind lately as well. I want to teach my children good values and the ability to think critically about the world without indoctrinating them. It appears that many children are indoctrinated from a young age to believe what their parents believe. The scariest part is that their agency is removed as they are given ideas at such a young age that they can't critically analyze enough to make informed decisions. They are guided into a belief system and taught that questioning is bad. I see this in Mormonism as much as any other religion.

I recently watched the video linked below about this problem and I'd be interested in anyone's thoughts.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlbUw5hjeKI
When an honest man discovers he is mistaken, he will either cease being honest, or cease being mistaken. - Anonymous

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John G.
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Re: Baptism Photo Shoots

Post by John G. » Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:01 am

I have been noticing the same thing. Over the last few years I've been getting baptismal announcements in the mail for my 8-year-old relatives. The announcements usually also have a glamour shot of the kid and some other Church imagery. The family of the kid being baptized have also been hosting a family party after the baptism in the kids honor at their house. It all seems over the top to me.

It's great and all for the kids to have a special day. On its own, it seems great to have family coming-of-age type milestones for the kids to experience. What sucks for me being the apostate is the awkwardness of whether I will stand in the circle for the confirmation. Right now, I'm more known as a jack Mormon, (and not as the godless apostate that I am), so I face the issue of whether my lack of a temple recommend will be an problem for my participation. I've heard from this site and other ex-mormom sites that some bishops want to see the temple recomend of everyone in the circle, but that others don't ask. I also don't know if some of my TBM relatives will be concerned about the TBMness of the men standing in the circle. Let's just say that I have some pretty hardcore TBM relatives!

Anyway, so far I've avoided the awkwardness of the issue by living so far away from Utah that it's understood that it wouldn't be practicable for me to travel for the church service. (That and work is my excuse for missing temple weddings). What sucks is that by controlling significance family milestone traditions, for its own purposes, the church separates families!
Last edited by John G. on Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Brent
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Re: Baptism Photo Shoots

Post by Brent » Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:26 am

Apparently we grew up under the same rock. A couple of days ago my daughter who does excellent calligraphy, was contacted by her aunt to help design a baptismal announcement for my soon to be 8 niece. Weirded me out. I googled it and HOLY SH*T there's a lot of templates and services for sale! https://www.etsy.com/listing/266312592/ ... fgodbVwA3g

Being in Boise maybe this is just catching on but how prevalent is it in Utah?

Example:

Image

Creepy Example (at least in my opinion):

Image

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FiveFingerMnemonic
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Re: Baptism Photo Shoots

Post by FiveFingerMnemonic » Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:50 am

John G. wrote:I have been noticing the same thing. Over the last few years I've been getting baptismal announcements in the mail for my 8-year-old relatives. The announcements usually also have a glamour shot of the kid and some other Church imagery. The family of the kid being baptized have also been hosting a family party after the baptism in the kids honor at their house. It all seems over the top to me.

It's great and all for the kids to have a special day. On its own, it seems great to have family coming-of-age type milestones for the kids to experience. What sucks for me being the apostate is the awkwardness of whether I will stand in the circle for the confirmation. Right now, I'm more known as a jack Mormon, (and not as the godless apostate that I am), so I face the issue of whether my lack of a temple recommend will be an problem for my participation. I've heard from this site and other ex-mormom sites that some bishops want to see the temple recomend of everyone in the circle, but that others don't ask. I also don't know if some of my TBM relatives will be concerned about the TBMness of the men standing in the circle. Let's just say that I have some pretty hardcore TBM relatives!

Anyway, so far I've avoided the awkwardness of the issue by living so far away from Utah that it's understood that it wouldn't be practicable for me to travel for the church service. (That and work is my excuse for missing temple weddings). What sucks is that by controlling significance family milestone traditions, for its own purposes, it's just another way that the church separates families!
I baptized my Daughter last year without a recommend. One of my fellow awakened brothers participated and was a witness, the other chose not too, no checks for them. It's leader roulette for sure. My bishop acted like he just wanted to get that interview over with as fast as possible and get my kid baptized. The winning statement for me was saying "I'm ok with the concept of baptism", and the fact I still payed tithing (surplus via billpay method) helped. He kept saying "we just need to make sure you're not "anti" like my business partners brother." :D
Last edited by FiveFingerMnemonic on Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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alas
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Re: Baptism Photo Shoots

Post by alas » Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:58 pm

The importance of the child, as opposed to the importance of the church, has been slowly shifting ever since the baby boomers were all dunked and children became individuals rather than a herd. When I was baptized, there were just too many children for any individual attention for any of them. Back in the 50s & 60s, the kids were dunked in an assembly line and a dinner to honor the child was unthinkable because, well, that would go to the child's head and Heaven forbid a child might feel special for one day of their life. This period of time was worse than the old adage that a child should be seen but not heard, because during the era of too many children to deal with, the adults didn't even want to see us. Nope, children were a dime a dozen and they must never think it was about them.

To give an example of this, I was baptized in 1960, and 40 children were baptized from the stake that night. It started at about 5:00 and went till they finished and kids were dunked about as fast as they could say the words and get another kid into the font. About the only individual attention was reading the kid's name as announcement, saying their name in the prayer, dunk, next! None of my relatives thought it was important enough to even show up to, let alone take time off work to come on a Sat night to do the dunking. Of course, with 20-40 kids, sitting on a pew in the stake primary room, there isn't room for more than one or two adults each. My mother drove me to the stake center, I was dunked by a stranger, and confirmed by another stranger and Mom drove me home. No more important to anyone than me going to song practice. The only thing that mattered was getting it done before I turned nine so I would be on the records of the church. It was all about what was easy for the church.

Personally, I never considered myself baptized because I was rather forced into doing it for the convenience of the church. But I am a crest baby boomer, born too late to be celebrated as the new generation after WWII, and born right at the peek of the boom, and suddenly the world went from "make as many babies as possible to make up for the years the men were gone and to replace the ones who died," to "Gack, how the hell are we going to raise and educate all these kids?"

After the boom passed, and as families started having fewer children, each child was more special and parents and other relatives had more time to dote on each child. So baptisms and other events started to be celebrated.

Now it has evolved to the point where it is a bigger deal than a wedding was back in the day of too many kids. Kids go in for a professional photo shoot to go an a formal announcement, and they get a new suit or fancy dress, plus the actual clothes they will be baptized in, plus the biggest party of their lives, with gifts from all the relatives, with the relatives competing to out do the other families in a big show of out-righteous-ing each other.

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wtfluff
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Re: Baptism Photo Shoots

Post by wtfluff » Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:45 pm

As others have shown, the fancy "Photo Invitations" have been happening for quite some time.

Much of the mormon experience is about the facade, and out-mormoning your neighbors. It's all part of "Keeping up with the Jones's".
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moksha
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Re: Baptism Photo Shoots

Post by moksha » Mon Jan 09, 2017 4:13 pm

Got to remember that the LDS are a very prophetic and entrepreneurial people.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
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MerrieMiss
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Re: Baptism Photo Shoots

Post by MerrieMiss » Mon Jan 09, 2017 4:15 pm

I think it's the new way of parenting. I really don't like it, but I worry if I don't participate in it, my kids will feel bad.
alas wrote:To give an example of this, I was baptized in 1960, and 40 children were baptized from the stake that night. It started at about 5:00 and went till they finished and kids were dunked about as fast as they could say the words and get another kid into the font. About the only individual attention was reading the kid's name as announcement, saying their name in the prayer, dunk, next! None of my relatives thought it was important enough to even show up to, let alone take time off work to come on a Sat night to do the dunking. Of course, with 20-40 kids, sitting on a pew in the stake primary room, there isn't room for more than one or two adults each. My mother drove me to the stake center, I was dunked by a stranger, and confirmed by another stranger and Mom drove me home. No more important to anyone than me going to song practice. The only thing that mattered was getting it done before I turned nine so I would be on the records of the church. It was all about what was easy for the church.
I was in the Primary presidency a few years ago and our Stake does a group baptism. Some parents didn't like that, and I remember wondering why it mattered. No other ordinance is treated this special. You get the same new name as everyone else who goes through. I guess you do get to wear a special piece of paper pinned to your chest that tells everyone you have no clue what's happening. For temple ordinances you're just one of the crowd. No one sends out invites and takes your picture and makes it special. Sealings are a little different since there are wedding photos, but it's like an assembly line just to get those young people married. Get the kids used to assembly line ordinances when they're young...

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moksha
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Re: Baptism Photo Shoots

Post by moksha » Mon Jan 09, 2017 4:48 pm

moksha wrote:Got to remember that the LDS are a very prophetic and entrepreneurial people.
Are you thinking what I am thinking?

Baptismal auditoriums and reception centers complete with catering and optional live entertainment. Now that Branson, Missouri is shut down, I can think of one musical family that could supply the entertainment for such a gig. Call me and I will pitch some other ideas at you.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
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Zadok
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Re: Baptism Photo Shoots

Post by Zadok » Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:29 pm

moksha wrote: Are you thinking what I am thinking?
The Osmond center for the dunking arts, featuring live recordings of Donny & Marie singing "I'm a little bit country, I'm a little bit rock-'n-roll".
If I'm a bird, why can't I fly?

Korihor
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Re: Baptism Photo Shoots

Post by Korihor » Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:58 am

Zadok wrote:
moksha wrote: Are you thinking what I am thinking?
The Osmond center for the dunking arts, featuring live recordings of Donny & Marie singing "I'm a little bit country, I'm a little bit rock-'n-roll".
Osmond center for the dunking arts

Features an youth font resting on the backs of 12 young oxen.
An adult font resting on the back of 12 apostles.
Attendee seating in round 360 deg with doomed ceiling observation mirrors.
We can host services for up to 1200 guests.

Package A:
Includes services for up to 50 guests, include standard white baptismal jumper for adult and youth. Refreshments include water cups and mint cups

Package B:
Includes services for up to 100 guests, includes upgraded none see-thru material for baptismal jumper (no need for extra underwear!), Refreshments include water cups, honey glazed ham and our signature Potatoes du Mort. (1) 5x7 commemorative photo

Package C:
Services up to 200 guests, includes white suit for adult and white suit/dress for youth in our signature fabric (Made by Beehive Clothing!!!) Refreshment include Martinelli's, honey glazed ham and our signature Potatoes du Mort, and green jello. Entire event recorded on our HiDef CCTV system and you are given a copy (we edit out the actual dunking)
Reading can severely damage your ignorance.

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Unendowed
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Re: Baptism Photo Shoots

Post by Unendowed » Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:03 am

moksha wrote:Got to remember that the LDS are a very prophetic and entrepreneurial people.
Bingo!

It's not just baptisms, missionary photo shoots are a huge thing now as well. The photo shoots are not done by professional photographers though. Any mormon mom out there that owns a decent camera is now a photographer and there are plenty of opportunities to make a buck.

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AzCommando
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Re: Baptism Photo Shoots

Post by AzCommando » Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:49 pm

Snowdrop wrote:Lately my social media has been flooded with photos of beautiful children, which is something that I usually enjoy. However, this most recent wave has a serious handle on the creep factor. I'm seeing 8 year old kids wearing three piece suits or white dresses that closely resemble wedding gowns proudly clutching copies of the Book of Mormon. Maybe I grew up under a rock, but I don't remember these photo shoots being a thing when I grew up. Has the culture of the church gotten creepier in the last 20 years or was I just an insanely naive 8 year old?

Speaking of which, aren't all 8 year olds a bit naive to be making big life decisions? My understanding of being baptized was that I would never be allowed to do anything bad again, so I spent the afternoon before my baptism squishing spiders. (It was the most wicked thing I could come up with.). Wouldn't it be a good idea to wait for the kids to have the cognitive ability to understand good/evil before you dunk them? And maybe we shouldn't dress them up like they're marrying the church...

Anyhow, poorly written rambling complete. Thanks for giving ear.
Great thoughts!

You are not rambling. Excellent Post. I have Granddaughters doing Photo shoots and yep.....

Creepy and Cultish. Granddaughter is dressed in the mini version of Bridal/Temple dress.

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dareka
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Re: Baptism Photo Shoots

Post by dareka » Tue Jan 10, 2017 1:20 pm

I'm surprised no one has commented on the porn shoulders in the photo of the little girl. Gasp! ;)

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MoPag
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Re: Baptism Photo Shoots

Post by MoPag » Tue Jan 10, 2017 2:07 pm

Korihor wrote:
Zadok wrote:
moksha wrote: Are you thinking what I am thinking?
The Osmond center for the dunking arts, featuring live recordings of Donny & Marie singing "I'm a little bit country, I'm a little bit rock-'n-roll".
Osmond center for the dunking arts

Features an youth font resting on the backs of 12 young oxen.
An adult font resting on the back of 12 apostles.
Attendee seating in round 360 deg with doomed ceiling observation mirrors.
We can host services for up to 1200 guests.

Package A:
Includes services for up to 50 guests, include standard white baptismal jumper for adult and youth. Refreshments include water cups and mint cups

Package B:
Includes services for up to 100 guests, includes upgraded none see-thru material for baptismal jumper (no need for extra underwear!), Refreshments include water cups, honey glazed ham and our signature Potatoes du Mort. (1) 5x7 commemorative photo

Package C:
Services up to 200 guests, includes white suit for adult and white suit/dress for youth in our signature fabric (Made by Beehive Clothing!!!) Refreshment include Martinelli's, honey glazed ham and our signature Potatoes du Mort, and green jello. Entire event recorded on our HiDef CCTV system and you are given a copy (we edit out the actual dunking)
But we have to turn this in to and MLM pyramid scheme or TBMs won't respond to it. You have the lady in your ward that sells Osmond center packages and you can become a consultant too. It is a totally legit job.


As far as the photo shoots/announcements, I remember my Catholic friends sending stuff like this out for First Communions. So it really just reminds me of that. I actually think it's kind of funny that they are being like the Catholics and they probably don't know it.
...walked eye-deep in hell
believing in old men’s lies...--Ezra Pound

Servant
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Re: Baptism Photo Shoots

Post by Servant » Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:55 pm

This sort of conduct is an indictment on human intelligence.

It's raising cannon fodder.

Institutionalised children being taught not not listen to their own soul.

Makes me sick.

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document
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Re: Baptism Photo Shoots

Post by document » Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:13 am

I grew up in Richland, Washington. I never saw anything like this.
I moved to Pasco, Washington (sister city in the same metropolitan area) in 2004 and I saw this often.
I moved back to Richland, Washington in 2007 and never saw anything like this from then until my apostasy in 2012.
I just messaged a friend (young, 3 children) in the Richland stake who said that he's never seen anything like that.

I wonder if it catches on in some circles but not in others.

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shadow
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Re: Baptism Photo Shoots

Post by shadow » Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:28 am

We recently sent invitations for my son's baptism. Granted, we're doing it while visiting family in a different state, so we wanted grandparents, etc. to know when it was. I think the picture part is more a result of digital photography and the ease of making these invitations yourself. Our house has some nice forested land, so we went out there and took my son's picture to put on the invitation.

I don't know if it's cultish (maybe posing in front of the temple is). I just think it's easy and people like to see pictures. (I'm not on facebook or instagram, so maybe I'm missing out on the righteousness competition.) I also don't think it's just a mormon thing. When we went to find an easy template at Walgreens or Costco to throw the picture in, nearly every one for baptism (and there were many) had a cross on it. (That may not acquit it of being cultish, but at least we're not alone.)
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