I’m a Mormon, So…

I’m a Mormon; so I agreed to be baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints shortly after my eighth birthday. After baptism, I received the gift of the Holy Ghost.

We LDS believe a person is accountable for his/her behavior beginning at eight years old. After a person reaches this ripe old age, s/he may choose to be baptized.

[Children] are not to be baptized until they reach the age of accountability, which the Lord has revealed to be eight years of age (see Doctrine and Covenants 68:27Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 17:11).

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Gospel Topics

Baptism involves being fully immersed in the water by a man who holds the appropriate priesthood authority (more on that, later). This is usually the person’s father. The process is symbolic; it’s a physical demonstration of one’s willingness to take Jesus’ name upon oneself -to behave as He would approve of. Baptism is also the first step to make one an official member of the LDS church.

The ceremony takes place most often in a baptistry font at a larger LDS meetinghouse we call a stake center. The person being baptized and the person baptizing wear all white, say a specific prayer, and perform the baptism while two witnesses watch and confirm whether all of the person went under the water.

Immersion is symbolic of the death of a person’s sinful life and the rebirth into a spiritual life, dedicated to the service of God and His children. It is also symbolic of death and resurrection. (See Romans 6:3–6.)

LDS Gospel Topics

After drying off and changing back to ‘church clothes,’ a man who holds the appropriate priesthood rests his hands upon the head of the newly-baptized person and says a prayer to grant that person membership and the gift of the Holy Ghost. Other men who have come to support the baptism and also hold the appropriate priesthood join the person saying the blessing, placing their right hands on the blessing-receiver’s head and their left hands on each other’s shoulders. This forms a circle in which the receiver is in the middle -usually seated.

I spoke about the Holy Ghost, before. He is a sacred gift and one that I use almost daily. He guides in times of trouble, comforts in times of need, and is the medium through which Heavenly Father aids us or provides revelation.

After baptism and confirmation, the person is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Those Mormon missionaries all over the world work to teach and baptize those who wish to join the LDS church. Baptism is considered the first covenant we make in a series of covenants, and a first step toward a life dedicated to returning to our heavenly Father in the end.

Those who are baptized enter into a covenant with God to take upon themselves the name of Jesus Christ, keep His commandments, and serve Him to the end (see Mosiah 18:8–10Doctrine and Covenants 20:37). Church members renew this covenant each time they partake of the sacrament (see Doctrine and Covenants 20:77, 79).

LDS Gospel Topics

©2022 Chel Owens

……

We Mormons are officially members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are to drop any name but that. Since many still run with the nickname of ‘Mormon,’ however, I will keep pace.

My other note is that I will keep to official doctrinal practices. I will add my own application of them, especially in response to comments.

My final note is that I LOVE discussing anything I write. Don’t be rude, obviously, but any and all queries or responses are welcome.

My final note beyond the final note is that I do not seek to convert anyone. I ought to, but am motivated by forming connections, answering curiosity, and straightening pictures. So, you’re safe.

38 thoughts on “I’m a Mormon, So…

  1. Frank Hubeny February 21, 2022 / 11:04 am

    I like the tradition of the person’s father being the one who performs the baptism. With the baptism of the Holy Ghost is speaking in tongues expected to be evident afterwards?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens February 21, 2022 / 1:50 pm

      No, not evident. Speaking in tongues is a spiritual gift some experience in their lives. I have not, though I haven’t had need for it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Annette Rochelle Aben February 21, 2022 / 11:07 am

    Thank you for sharing about being a Mormon. I love the learning experience and brings me closer to you as a person. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens February 21, 2022 / 1:51 pm

      ❤ Thanks, Annette. I sincerely appreciate the kind reception.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens February 21, 2022 / 4:56 pm

      Only men may hold the priesthood.

      Like

      • Richmond Road February 21, 2022 / 5:01 pm

        Yes, I see. That does not strike you as sexist?

        Like

        • Chel Owens February 21, 2022 / 6:18 pm

          No. Only I get to make babies, for example.

          As you know, this is a big issue for many. I’m not bothered by it. I don’t feel like men get a superpower and are therefore better. I look at it more like they get to do those jobs and I don’t have to worry about them! 🙂

          Like

          • Richmond Road February 21, 2022 / 9:34 pm

            Hmmm …. the traditional baby making technique does actually involve males, I think!
            And sure …. it’s good that you don’t have to do jobs that you don’t want to do – but what if YOU DID want to? It’s not as if a man is better genetically qualified for the job.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Chel Owens February 21, 2022 / 9:44 pm

              What if he is? 😉

              Like I said, not an issue for me at all. I can understand why it is for others.

              Like

              • Richmond Road February 21, 2022 / 9:48 pm

                Ha ha …. even if he is, you know, wink wink …. it still works apparently (but not as much fun from his perspective, I suppose). And you make a valid point. There are enough issues in the world without worrying about the one’s that don’t bother you.

                Liked by 1 person

  3. robstroud February 21, 2022 / 1:31 pm

    Thank you for your first person sharing of this event. Very interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens February 21, 2022 / 5:00 pm

      Well… ish. I’ve been baptized, but am sharing what the process is for anyone.

      Like

  4. Matt D February 21, 2022 / 3:52 pm

    My uncle is Mormon and I got to watch a couple of my cousins get baptized. Interesting to say the least.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens February 21, 2022 / 5:01 pm

      It is. Funny how commonplace it is for me, surrounded by it.

      Like

  5. CarolCooks2 February 21, 2022 / 4:41 pm

    I wish there was more sharing of faith like this Chel as I’m sure it would make for a more inclusive world in so many ways…x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens February 21, 2022 / 6:16 pm

      Agreed. I would love to read about others and their experiences!

      Like

  6. petespringerauthor February 21, 2022 / 8:34 pm

    Raised Catholic, one of the sacraments of Catholicism is baptism. Though typically babies are baptized, adults can also receive the sacrament. I attended the baptism of one of my Mormon students. I believe he was eight years old, and it was a complete immersion, such as in the photo.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens February 21, 2022 / 9:40 pm

      I’m (obviously) more familiar with the Mormon baptism; they are always completely immersive. That was very nice of you to attend and support your student.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Nope, Not Pam February 22, 2022 / 3:13 am

    I find it insightful that baptism occurs from the age of 8, ok side track, can you get baptised later than that age? I mean what is you haven’t grown up within that religion, is it allowed to convert? Ok back to age 8, is there a lot of preparation for the children so they understand what is happening. My two probably wouldn’t have got it in truth

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens February 22, 2022 / 8:07 pm

      8 is the minimum age, so even someone who grows up LDS can choose not to be baptized yet. You may be baptized at any age although are not supposed to be baptized again unless you are disfellowshipped (leave the LDS church officially, by choice or by serious sin as determined by a council).

      As to the preparation: we attend church every Sunday. The children have a special meeting we call Primary in which they learn many gospel lessons. Baptism is one. Even then, I feel the parents (or those talking to a potential member) need to make sure s/he understands the commitment. I tell my children as best as I can, also stressing that choosing baptism into the LDS church provides the first step toward a solid foundation in their lives -even if they decide to walk a different path as adults.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nope, Not Pam February 23, 2022 / 1:19 am

        It sounds like they’re well informed, which is great

        Liked by 1 person

        • Chel Owens February 23, 2022 / 10:32 am

          No one’s perfect, but we try to answer their questions.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens February 22, 2022 / 8:07 pm

      There are many followup lessons throughout life, at church, as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Ian Kay February 22, 2022 / 4:04 am

    Very interesting, Chel.

    I wonder if the complete immersion is symbolic of death by drowning. Water itself is regarded as a powerful element in many religions but the complete immersion must have more significance in its symbolism.

    In the Genesis verses you’ve linked to, it says 8 years old is the age by which children begin to be accountable to God. This implies that up to that age, children are unaccountable for their actions or, in other words, innocent of wrongdoing. But then you’ve included the bit where baptism is seen as the death of a sinful life, (though here no age is specified). Is there a conflict here?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens February 22, 2022 / 8:12 pm

      Excellent observation (you’re right about the symbolism!) and question, Ian! My recently-baptized son had a similar one since the “sins washed away” angle is one explained to the children in their youth classes at church. Obviously, no, as you’ve pointed out, an eight-year-old would not have sins to wash away. That ties more into the fulfillment on the new member’s part of his/her covenant with God, one renewed (and, therefore, used to forgive sins) at partaking of the Sacrament each Sunday during church.

      An older convert would use the benefit of sins being washed away.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Jules February 22, 2022 / 2:08 pm

    There are many different ages where a child is considered an adult. I wonder is there a reason for age 8. Sometimes children have to grow up too quickly in difficult situations from the time they can walk or talk (3-5), and have little or no childhood freedoms. Other faiths have 7 or 8 as that mature number, and still others have 13 as that magical age.

    “The Amish, a subsect of the Anabaptist Christian movement, intentionally segregate themselves from other communities as a part of their faith. For Amish youth, the Rumspringa normally begins around the ages of 14–16 and ends when a youth chooses either to be baptized in the Amish church or to leave the community. 10–11  For Wenger Mennonites, Rumspringa occurs between ages of 17 and 21.” I’ve included this information because there is a large Amish community where I live.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens February 22, 2022 / 8:20 pm

      You are right! Eight is a good approximation for when children can reason and grasp abstract concepts. Some of mine have been more ready and better able than others at 8. They aren’t being permanently set in stone, though; they always have agency. 🙂

      I hadn’t even heard of Rumspringa till I was in college. It’s an interesting idea but I think my boys would discover hours of video games and never come back…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jules February 23, 2022 / 7:29 am

        I think the Amish hope that their children are so indoctrinated that they have no desire to become ‘English’ – which is what anyone who isn’t Amish is called by them… At least here in the states. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Jim Borden February 22, 2022 / 9:00 pm

    thanks for letting us know about this; it sounds like a beautiful ceremony…

    Liked by 1 person

  11. willowdot21 February 23, 2022 / 8:19 am

    Hi Chel I did find this all very sensible and interesting. I am a Christian but I do not hold to any church,which makes me agnostic I assume.
    I was brought up catholic and they baptize babies. I am not sure why because they see 7years as the age of accountability. Ref. ‘Give me a child till he is seven years old and I will show you the man. ‘ said by Ignatius Loyola, The founder of the Jesuit Brotherhood who was way ahead of his time.
    Anyway I am a lapsed Catholic but I am not a lapsed Christian and I can appreciate the reasoning of all religions and creeds as long as they do no harm . Let’s face it there are more similarities than differences. May God bless you 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens February 23, 2022 / 10:36 am

      Thank you, Willow. I would still name you a Christian, as I would me. I don’t believe one church is the best; attending a religion has many many benefits (including the group working toward a concerted goal) but the underlying important bit is what we are supposed to attain from the religion.

      We need community, love, support, and a connection to God.

      Like

      • willowdot21 February 23, 2022 / 11:35 am

        Yes that’s so true and I do feel close to God 💜

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Priscilla Bettis February 23, 2022 / 10:10 am

    I think baptisms are beautiful, both the dunking kind and the sprinkle kind. Oh, and the pouring kind, too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens February 23, 2022 / 10:38 am

      There’s a wonderful spirit to be felt in seeking happiness and a new life.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. bereavedandbeingasingleparent February 23, 2022 / 7:16 pm

    Thank you for sharing this. We often spend too much time in our own rooms and never step out to see the other rooms, step into the hall where we share many things in faith.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Chel Owens February 23, 2022 / 8:41 pm

      ❤ I like that analogy.

      Like

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