Blessing of Babies
During a revelation on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ organization and government, the Lord Jesus Christ commanded, “Every member of the church of Christ having children is to bring them unto the elders before the church, who are to lay their hands upon them in the name of Jesus Christ, and bless them in his name” (Doctrine and Covenants 20:70).
The ordinance of baby blessings enables compliance to this commandment. This is not an ordinance of salvation, for “little children are holy, being sanctified through the atonement of Jesus Christ” (Doctrine and Covenants 74:7).
Components of a Baby Blessing
1-The child’s parent or guardian meets with the local ecclesiastical leader to schedule the child’s blessing. The child is generally an infant.
2-On the appointed day, the child is brought before the congregation at the beginning of “fast and testimony meeting” (the first Sunday of the month when all in attendance can choose to share their faith and testimonies from the pulpit.) In cases of special need and with proper approval, the child may be blessed at another time and/or place.
3-The priesthood-holder pronouncing the blessing holds the baby in his hands. Other participating elders gather around the babe in a circle, holding the baby with one hand and placing the other on the shoulder of the elder next to him.
4-A person ordained to the Melchizedek Priesthood pronounces the blessing on the child. When possible, this person is the child’s father, grandfather or other family member. Family friends or other members of the congregation can also perform the blessing.
5-The blessing, given as prayer to God the Father and concluded in the name of Jesus Christ, consists of: -giving the child a name by which he or she will be known on the records of The Church -vocalizing the child’s talents and spiritual gifts as guided by the Holy Spirit -revealing attributes of the child’s future life as prompted by the Holy Spirit
6-After the meeting, a clerk records the child’s name and prepares a certificate recording the blessing date and stating who blessed the child, which is signed by the ecclesiastical leader.
- See also Mormon Special Occasions.