Photo Title: LDS Baptism age 8 pressure, guilt, shame...
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Mormon LDS age 8 Baptism - Be Baptized and Be Happy. Choose not to and be a huge disappointment.
Posted by: jsmith
Religion
Apr 09,2021 @ 02:28 pm Ranking (0)
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Added On Apr 09, 2021 @ 02:28 PM

"Will you follow the perfect example of Jesus Christ and be baptized?"

The sister missionaries of the LDS church had popped the question I had proposed many times, a decade or two ago as a missionary - but this time it was my two oldest being asked, me as a wilful bystander and father. 

"At what age was Jesus baptized?", my oldest and only son replied to the sisters. 

Taken aback somewhat by this questions, they looked at each other, then replied, "He was baptized at age 30". 

My son, in a kind and thoughtful voice replied, "Shouldn't we wait until we are 30 then, like Jesus, when we have enough knowledge, let alone the ability and true accountability to choose for ourselves, and make such an important decision that could ultimately save or damn us?"

The sisters didn't know what to say. Neither did the other pairs that would visit our home for the next few months. 

Utah culture has it's own specialness if you will, especially within the LDS church. It is expected that children get bapitzed at the age of 8, which according to LDS teachings, is the age of accountability.

When I was nearing 8 years old, I was as naive and ignorant as all get out. I knew I didn't want to go to hell, i knew I was supposed to follow Jesus, at least that's all I knew from birth, I was able to dictate most stories from the Book of Mormon more than other kids, and I did feel some specialness about my being baptized, but if I could go back and talk to my 8 year old self and show me the next 30 years of hell that would follow from that one, uncoincious, heavy-traditional choice, I'd tell myself to wait.

I'd lovingly say something as follows, "Wait until you are 30, then make this choice. Wait until you weighed things out and learn how to have peace no matter what your culture throws at you. Wait until you are away from your parents and culture long enough to know for certain that not only is baptism what you are willing to commit to, but that you don't have the thousands of uncessary traditions, fears, guilt, shame, etc. that will come from being baptized into this "one and only true church" religion." 

I'm confident, had I said no to baptism back then, I would have been a huge dissapointment, possibly even physicaly shaken into submission, denied priveledges, and so much more. Fear seemed to dominate the culture I grew up in, where love and faith were to be the guiding forces behind the one and only true church.

I cannot attribute such negative reactions (which have happened to thousands) to people as a whole in this culture, but as a father who loves his children, I would never want my 8 year old to make such a decision under the pressures of this culture.

The question I think we all should answer for ourselves is if we fear tradition and react more than we practice love with those in our spheres of family, friends, and influence. 





 

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Tags:

lds, mormon, baptism, age of accountability, age 8, baptize at 8, jesus, christ, church, utah, mormons

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