baby blessing


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All priesthood blessing are located in the back of the current priesthood manual.

LDS.org - Melchizedek Priesthood Chapter Detail - Performing Priesthood Ordinances

Naming and Blessing of Children

Under the direction of the presiding authority, only brethren who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood may participate in the ordinance of naming and blessing children (see D&C 20:70). Worthy fathers who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood should be encouraged to bless their own children.

When blessing a baby, brethren gather in a circle and place their hands under the baby. When blessing an older child, brethren place their hands lightly on the child’s head. The person who gives the blessing:

1. Addresses Heavenly Father.

2. States that the blessing is performed by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.

3. Gives the child a name.

4. Gives a priesthood blessing as the Spirit directs.

5. Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.

Edited by Hemidakota
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Daniel Ludlow added this to the latest Encyclopedia of Mormonism 4 vols....

Blessings

The term "blessings" is used in two different ways in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In a broad traditional sense as used in many cultures, the word applies to all good things that come in a person's life-the wonders of nature, the joys of family, the benefits of liberty and education-anything and everything that enriches life. Such blessings are often pointed to as a manifestation of God's love for his children. Latter-day Saint writings are interspersed with this usage. In more specific terminology, blessings refer to ordinances performed under priesthood authority.

A priesthood blessing may be given only by those who have been ordained to the Melchizedek Priesthood. In the Church, most boys at the age of twelve have the Aaronic Priesthood conferred upon them and are ordained to the office of deacon. At age fourteen, they are usually ordained teachers, and at age sixteen, priests. If the priesthood bearer continues to show faithfulness and worthiness, then at age eighteen, or anytime thereafter, he may receive the Melchizedek Priesthood with ordination to the priesthood office of elder. An elder in the Melchizedek Priesthood has authority to perform most priesthood functions in the Church, including giving priesthood blessings.

Each priesthood ordination, from deacon to apostle, is a type of priesthood blessing and is characterized, as are all priesthood blessings, by (1) the laying-on of hands by those in authority, (2) an invocation of the authority of the priesthood and the name of Jesus Christ, and (3) such words of blessing as follow the impressions of the Spirit.

This third element, that of spiritual impressions, is vital for any priesthood blessing. A fundamental doctrine of the Church is a belief that a worthy priesthood bearer, when giving a priesthood blessing, will receive promptings from the Holy Spirit regarding what is to be spoken-not necessarily the exact words, but ideas or thoughts that he will then express as clearly as he can in his own words. This is the essence of a priesthood blessing, and distinguishes it from a prayer. A prayer seeks to communicate with God, either vocally or silently, and is rooted in the faith that God will hear the words or the thoughts and feelings and then, in his infinite wisdom and power, will respond. A priesthood blessing is based on trust that the priesthood holder, while speaking the blessing, will receive spiritual promptings regarding what is to be spoken and thus his words represent the will of God.

In the Church, formal priesthood blessings include the following:

BLESSING OF CHILDREN. When babies are just a few weeks old, they are usually given a priesthood blessing for the special purpose of conferring a name by which the baby will be known and bestowing promises based on spiritual impressions regarding the baby's future life. A quality of prophecy attends this process. If a baby's father is a worthy holder of the Melchizedek Priesthood, he will usually pronounce the blessing, but it may be given by a grandfather, a family friend, or any other qualified priesthood holder chosen by the baby's parents. Babies are usually blessed in the presence of the congregation at a fast and testimony meeting. However, the blessing may be given at other times and places, such as in a hospital or home, if there is a special need.

CONFIRMATION FOLLOWING BAPTISM. Two ordinances are required for admission to Church membership. The first is baptism. The second, confirmation, is performed shortly following baptism and is a type of priesthood blessing. Two or more men who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood place their hands on the head of the person who has been baptized and, with one of the men serving as voice, the baptized person is confirmed a member of the Church and given the gift of the Holy Ghost. Additional words of counsel or admonition are then expressed according to spiritual promptings.

SETTING APART TO CHURCH ASSIGNMENTS. Customarily, whenever any person is called to serve as a teacher or officer in any of the Church organizations, and always when a person is called to be a missionary or temple worker, persons holding proper priesthood authority place their hands on the person's head and the individual is set apart to the assignment. One of the priesthood bearers pronounces the blessing and expresses whatever counsel or thoughts he is impressed to say.

ADMINISTERING TO THE SICK. Blessings of health or comfort are given to one who is sick or injured. Two Melchizedek Priesthood men normally give this blessing in accord with James 5:14. The head of the sick person is anointed with a few drops of olive oil consecrated for this purpose. The two priesthood bearers then gently place their hands on the head of the afflicted person and the one sealing the anointing expresses promises of healing or comfort as he is impressed. Many incidents of dramatic and even miraculous healings have been recorded in Church history. Any worthy Melchizedek Priesthood bearer, when requested, may give such a blessing.

PATRIARCHAL BLESSINGS. Each organized stake in the Church has one or more Patriarchs called to give patriarchal blessings to stake members. Normally this blessing is given just once in a person's life, usually when a person is young, most often in the teenage years. However, the blessing may be given at any age from childhood to advanced years. The patriarchal blessing is a lifetime blessing of guidance, warning, encouragement, and reassurance. Men serving as Patriarchs are spiritually mature high priests in the Melchizedek Priesthood who have been ordained especially for the sacred calling of giving patriarchal blessings.

FATHER'S AND HUSBAND'S BLESSINGS. Every Melchizedek Priesthood bearer who is a husband or father has the authority, through worthiness, to give a priesthood blessing on special occasions or in times of special need to members of his family-a husband's blessing to his wife or a father's blessing to a son or daughter. Such blessings may be suggested by the husband or father or requested by the one desiring the blessing. They are blessings of love, counsel, and encouragement. Like all priesthood blessings, these are given by the laying on of hands on the head of the one receiving the blessing.

SPECIAL BLESSINGS OF COUNSEL AND COMFORT. All priesthood officers in the Church, from General Authorities through stake presidencies and ward bishoprics to home teachers, have authority to give blessings of counsel or comfort to Church members within their jurisdiction. These are official priesthood blessings given in the same manner and with similar spiritual promptings as other priesthood blessings. Persons desiring such a blessing usually request it of one of the local priesthood officers in the area where they reside.

Bibliography

Brockbank, Bernard P. Commandments and Promises of God. Salt Lake City, 1983.

Kimball, Spencer W. Faith Precedes the Miracle. Salt Lake City, 1972.

McKay, David O. Gospel Ideals. Salt Lake City, 1976.

Monson, Thomas A. Pathways to Perfection. Salt Lake City, 1973.

BRUCE B. CLARK

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I hope I'm not out of line on this but all the blessings I have seen usually start out something like this.

Address Heavenly Father

By the power of the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood which I hold, I give this baby a name and a blessing..The name he/she will be known by on the records of the Church is: Then full name.

Then proceed with your own personal blessing on the child.

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I hope I'm not out of line on this but all the blessings I have seen usually start out something like this.

Address Heavenly Father

By the power of the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood which I hold, I give this baby a name and a blessing..The name he/she will be known by on the records of the Church is: Then full name.

Then proceed with your own personal blessing on the child.

The proper phrase would be "By the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood." Just a technicality. If you say power no one will say anything.

If you want to throw the seasoned members who have heard hundreds of these for a loop, you can give them a phrase they've not heard before. I used something like "By the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood we come together to give this child the name [full name]." and then I went into the blessing.

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I have heard that one used before too MOE. Okay sheesh..power, authority...I've heard the word power used many times. But thanks for correcting me. What do I know? I don't hold the Priesthood and have never given a baby blessing. lol

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The way I have done it and the way it makes sense to me is after giving the name seek a blessing on the child from Heavenly Father. Continue to address Heavenly Father in the things you request that the child be blessed with.

To me it seems odd to address Heavenly Father and then in the middle of addressing Heavenly Father you begin to address the child. Just seems odd to me.

Ben Raines

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I love baby blessings:) Always such a strong spirit there. I'm having my kids blessed in the next few weeks, I'm so happy... .It's about time! They are 4 and almost 2.

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  • 1 year later...

Here is something that has worked for me. A couple weeks before I give the blessing, I sit down and prayerfully write out what I'm going to say. Then I memorize it and repeat the blessing from memory when I give it to my child. Doing it that way may seem like "cheating", but it takes away a lot of the nerves that come when you are afraid you won't do the ordinance correctly, because you have that part memorized along with the blessing you give to your baby.

By the way, if anyone is looking for LDS blessing dresses for girls or LDS blessing outfits for boys, check out Maylee's Boutique.

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  • 1 year later...

Pardon me for pointing out the obvious but why would a person pray to God when blessing a child? It's a blessing not a prayer. If someone prays for God to bless a child that's fine but priesthood authority is not needed for a prayer.

A Patriarch does not pray to God when giving a blessing, though they typically offer a prayer prior to pronouncing a blessing. No one prays to God when blessing a person with the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Why would you talk to God when blessing a child?

Does anyone address God when giving a father's blessing? Maybe but why? A blessing is not a prayer and a prayer for a blessing is still not a blessing. It's a prayer.

State your authority, and pronounce the blessing in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. When is the body of the priesthood going to step up and start exercising the authority given to them. Again if you think a prayer is a blessing then you don't need priesthood. The mother of the child could just as easily give the "blessing" as have the father pray to God. It is a sad day when we deny the authority and power given to man in these last days.

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. The command is to bless the children not pray for them. It's pretty clear, isn't it?

How should you adderss the child prior to a name being given? How about, Oh thou son of God, or thou daughter in Zion. Or, you beautiful child you, you grand and righteous soul, etc. There is not set verbage. State your authority and bless the child in the name of Jesus. Pretty simple.

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Nice necrothread!

Pardon me for pointing out the obvious but why would a person pray to God when blessing a child? It's a blessing not a prayer. If someone prays for God to bless a child that's fine but priesthood authority is not needed for a prayer.

A few possible reasons:

  • Because people are unfamiliar and uncomfortable with the format of a blessing
  • Because they are used to petitioning the Lord for blessings rather than standing "in his shoes", as it were, and speaking for him in pronouncing them
  • Because they do not have the confidence to step up to the plate (so to speak) in offering a blessing
  • Perhaps because they consider themselves unworthy to speak for God but still feel pressured into giving the blessing.
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Pardon me for pointing out the obvious but why would a person pray to God when blessing a child? It's a blessing not a prayer. If someone prays for God to bless a child that's fine but priesthood authority is not needed for a prayer.

Depends on which kind of blessing you are talking about.

According to instructions given here

Duties and Blessings of the Priesthood: Basic Manual for Priesthood Holders, Part B Lesson 5: Performing Priesthood Ordinances

There are two ways to begin priesthood blessings... Either by calling the person by name or by Addressing our Heavenly Father.

Here is how it breaks down

Calling the Person by Name

Baptism

Confirmation

Conferral of the Priesthood and Ordination to a Priesthood Office

Administering to the Sick

Father’s Blessings and Blessings of Comfort and Counsel

Addressing our Heavenly Father

Naming and Blessing of Children

Consecration of Oil

Dedication of Graves

Sacrament

So if you are talking about Naming and Blessing Children (as in the OP) then praying to God is the correct way to do it. If you are talking about Father's blessing of his children for Comfort, Counsel or Sickness... then in those cases addressing them by Name is the correct method

Edited by estradling75
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estradling75

I realize there are many things published in church manuals. I would rather defer to holy scripture though. The command in the scripture is to have the elders of the church bless the child.

I'm uninterested in what the CES committee thinks about procedure. In my opinion we need to listen to the word of the Lord as uncomfortable as that may be. It's better than following guidelines written by a committee.

Vort - You offer some viable excuses why some priesthood holders do not bless children but rather pray to God for a blessing. It is a sad commentary on the body of the priesthood as a whole. Would to God that we learn our duty and act in the office in which we are appointed.

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estradling75

I realize there are many things published in church manuals. I would rather defer to holy scripture though. The command in the scripture is to have the elders of the church bless the child.

I'm uninterested in what the CES committee thinks about procedure. In my opinion we need to listen to the word of the Lord as uncomfortable as that may be. It's better than following guidelines written by a committee.

Vort - You offer some viable excuses why some priesthood holders do not bless children but rather pray to God for a blessing. It is a sad commentary on the body of the priesthood as a whole. Would to God that we learn our duty and act in the office in which we are appointed.

You asked the question on why it was done... While Vort ideas on the matter I think have merit, I found my experience was quite a bit different. So I felt his answers were incomplete.

I have seen hundreds of baby Naming and Blessings in my life time, I have personally done four. The ones I did all, and all the others that I can recall began by addressing our Heavenly Father. This was done not because of fear, not from being unfamiliar, but because that was how the Church taught me and showed me (and others) that it was done.

Therefore I felt that obedience was a better answer to your question.

Now if I am understanding your position correctly you are stating that the Church as a whole and been doing and teaching it wrong for years. That is a bold claim, and if this is your position then the burden of proof falls to you. If this is not your position then please refine what it is you have a problem with.

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Does anyone address God when giving a father's blessing? Maybe but why? A blessing is not a prayer and a prayer for a blessing is still not a blessing. It's a prayer.

A few years back the ward I am currently in was under the impression that a baby blessing is a prayer.

In the old handbook it actually states "Address your Heavenly (as in prayer)", and as a result members, even GA's (Seventies), interpreted this as a baby blessing is a prayer, and Heavenly Father should be addressed throughout the whole prayer. However, the newly revised manual no longer adds "(as in prayer)".

When I blessed my first baby, my son, the second counselor in the Bishopric took me aside and said that people have interpreted a baby blessing incorrectly, and that you do not address Heavenly Father, except in the beginning of the blessing.

When I moved into the ward I am now in, my Bishop, with my daughters blessing, took me aside and said you bless your daughter addressing Heavenly Father the whole way through. You are not blessing the child. They were under the impression that a child, a baby, is not able to comprehend a blessing, so you don't address the baby, you address Heavenly Father.

Talk about confusion. I obeyed the Bishop and addressed Heavenly Father the whole way through. It was uncomfortable for me.

As I have researched this I read an article that was posted in the Ensign regarding this. I have found this to be the most wise counsel.

The individual mentioned that a baby blessing, is a priesthood blessing like any other priesthood blessing. When we give blessing we don't address Heavenly Father, we bless. However, the counsel I really enjoyed is that when giving a blessing we should do so as the spirit directs, yet, sometimes a father may feel he would like a particular blessing to be pronounced on his child, but does not necessarily feel it is prompted by the spirit. At this time, the author suggested, it appears appropriate at this time, since the blessing begin with addressing Heavenly Father, to address him again, more as a Father's plea, if God be willing, to grant a Father's sincere desire for his child.

When I blessed my daughter last year, I felt strongly about a certain blessing, but did not feel as if the spirit was directing it to be said. I addressed Heavenly Father, more as a plea to bless her, if it be his will.

In my minds eye, this is appropriate, and I don't see anything wrong with it.

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It is a sad commentary on the body of the priesthood as a whole. Would to God that we learn our duty and act in the office in which we are appointed.

I think I would prefer to refrain from judging the way a man uses his priesthood merely because of the grammatical form he utilizes for his blessings.

We know that many priesthood ordinances - both the words and actions associated with them - have evolved over time. Read the account in Mosiah of Alma baptizing Helam - that's not the modern baptismal prayer. It isn't even close. Both the words and some of the actions in the post-restoration temple ceremony have evolved over the past century-and-a-half.

We follow set forms - at the sacrament table, in the temple, and, to a lesser extent, in other priesthood ordinances - as a token of our commitment to obey Him perfectly. I don't think you'll go wrong following the manuals (written by committees, yes--but committees of apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ); but if you want to do something different - hey, whatever floats your boat, so long as the presiding officer at the meeting doesn't object.

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  • 1 month later...
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i have to give my son a baby's blessing sunday. what am i supposed to say? how do i phrase the blessing? ive never seen one done. thanks.

The below answers have been very thorough so I will simply say that after you have gone over the formalities to be used in the beginning of the blessing, pause a moment to collect a few thoughts and feel after the spirit to allow the rest of the prayer to be directed. Not too general, right?!? I haven't ever given a blessing before but I have had to give talks and give prayers in public, etc. I find it helpful to say a personal prayer to myself before doing so for extra help. Try it.

Also, <a href="http://babyblessingboutique.com/category.php?id_category=10'>http://babyblessingboutique.com/category.php?id_category=10">boy blessing suits</a> can be hard to find and your blessing is super close, however <a href="http://babyblessingboutique.com/">Baby Blessing Boutique</a> does have a lot to choose from and they have a couple Irish outfits too (Calvin is one of them)

Congratulations on your new family addition and I wish you the best on the blessing.

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  • 1 year later...

It says in the handbook to give the blessing as if uou are speaking to the person or child in this case. It makes sense really, as you are blessing them and using your faith that these things will happen.

"Those who give priesthood blessings speak words of blessing (“I [or we] bless you that …”) rather than saying a prayer (“Heavenly Father, please bless this person that …”)."

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I read somewhere (I think on lds.org, but I don't feel like taking the time to find it), that for baby blessings when we feel inspired to bless the child with something specific we do so directly, i.e. "I bless you that . . . ". It also mentioned that there may be times where we are not inspired to directly bless but to ask HF that they may be blessed, i.e. "HF we ask thy to bless (baby) with xyz".

I think both forms are acceptable: in one case we are basically issuing a command (if we feel inspired to do so) and the other we are asking for something.

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  • 1 year later...

It's been more than a year since a post, but I just came across this thread while doing some general research before performing and naming and blessing of my first child.

 

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned this actually. Both sides of the discussion are correct, because the ordinance is a plural. All of the others on the lists used are singular. They are one thing. This is a Naming AND a Blessing.

 

For the naming of the child you are the priesthood holder bringing the child before God to present them to Him and give them a name, so you address Heavenly Father by the authority of the Priesthood. Once the naming part is done, YOU, the Priesthood holder, give a blessing to the child as directed by the spirit, the same as any other blessing (healing, father's, etc). If it is you by yourself, it is proper to say I, if there are more in the circle, it is proper to say we as it is by the authority of the group at that point, even if you are the only one speaking.

So while it may feel weird to some to switch mid ordinance, it is because you have switched who you are talking to. For the first part you are talking TO God, for the blessing you are speaking FOR God to the child.

 

I hope this clarifies it a bit.

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