on attending baptisms

Posted by on October 3, 2011 in Acceptance, Belief | 11 comments

Our little family (husband, son, and I) have not been to church in quite some time now.  We’ll, I take that back, son and I have been attending the local Friends meeting off and now for almost a year, but we have not been to an LDS church in a good while.

This past month one of my friends contacted me to let me know that they had recently re-activated in the church and were going to be baptizing their children. This, perhaps, was a difficult thing for her to approach me about; we had both transitioned out of activity together with some mutual issues with the church.  But things had changed and they decided that re-activating was the best thing for them.

This is something that happens:  little glitches in relationships regarding participation in a religion.  (This particular friend had difficulties with one side of the family when they went inactive and again with the other side of the family when they re-activated.)

What remains, what should be constant, is friendship.  And support.

And so that is what we did.  On Saturday we got dressed in our Sunday best (disclaimer: I dressed in nice business slacks and blouse) and went to join them for the baptism.  Yes, I was nervous, our son is approaching baptismal age himself.  I worried about peer pressure, I worried about awkward questions.  I worried about being targeted for re-activation. Etc.

The baptisms were lovely.  My son, unaccustomed to LDS-style reverence applauded and cheered for his friends as they went under the water.  I had a few good catch-up conversations with some people I had not seen in a while.  And later we went to our friend’s home for some BBQ.

Just friends.  Being together.  Doing what we can to supporting each other.  In whatever paths happen to work best for us.

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11 Comments

  1. I love this, G. Faith journeys can test friendships, and the ones that emerge stronger are worth everything.

  2. Isn’t it sad that friendship ties can be stronger than family ties when religious differences arise?

  3. Deborah & Course Correction ~ thank you! this has been a process for me: right now, I am putting special attention on supporting my loved ones. even if their course is different than my own.

    (Course Correction~ yes. I think, especially in family situations, it can be difficult. hoping friendship can be a balm to ease that.)

  4. Thank you for this G. I’m coming to see baptisms as more of an opportunity for community support and a coming of age ritual for our own tradition, much like a bar or bat mitzvah, and less like something that should represent one way to God and one way only. I do like the symbolism of a fresh start though and beginning a mindfully spiritual path, and it’s what we tried to focus on with our own daughter’s recent journey into the water.

  5. It’s so great that you were able to support your friend! It would have been very easy to be “too uncomfortable” to go and just stayed home; go you!

  6. This is lovely! I think people forget how to be basic friends when religious differences arise. I am glad you were there to support them, and I hope they are still there and will continue to support you.

  7. I love that your son applauded and cheered when his friends went under water. I think all baptisms could use more levity. :)

    I’m so glad it went well.

  8. thanks ladies!

    EmilyCC~ I must admit, I was personally delighted at my son’s enthusiastic support for his friends. :)

  9. Cheering at a baptism?! Why didn’t we think of that before? How immensely appropriate. I say we start a new tradition. Maybe I would’ve remembered my dunk in a more celebratory fashion, rather than associating it with the dress sucking to me as I climbed up the steps.

    • I am so going to do this at my childrens’ baptisms. :)

  10. Kimberly had a similar, good piece at FMH:

    http://www.feministmormonhousewives.org/?p=6636

    There, her son was baptized. And, her situation was also not stress free, by any means.

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