Thursday, December 07, 2006

A Name and a Blessing

Knowing that shortly after my son is born I will want to give him a blessing before his back surgery, I have been wondering if I should give the child a "name and a blessing" before I give him a healing blessing.

I asked my bishop about it and he opened his scriptures to D&C 20:70.
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.

It is interesting to note that there is no mention of giving the child a name. The requirement seems to be that at some point we present the infant before the congregation for a blessing. This verse also seems to argue against doing baby blessings in the home.

Anyway, the point of the instruction from my bishop was that it would be perfectly acceptable (and encouraged) that I give my little boy a blessing while he is in the hospital and then later present him in the church for a "name and a blessing." This goes along with what I had felt intuitively. It felt good to have it officially confirmed by my priesthood leader. My bishop is a good man and it is good to have his spiritual direction.


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  • It is also appropriate to pronounce a healing blessing during the naming and blessing, although, you wouldn't anoint.

    The Handbook of Instructions allows for naming and blessing of a child to be done other than in Sacrament Meeting, when parents wish or the situation warrants it. You still need approval from the bishop.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/08/2006 9:15 PM  

  • Two points:

    We give blessings to people who have not been "named and blessed" all the time: every time a non-member is blessed. Your son is no different (well, actually there are differences with being born in the covenant, but you get the point).

    A correction on what reach upward said: your bishop should have shown you in The Handbook where it instructs that very sick newborns can be named and blessed without first notifying the bishop.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/09/2006 10:43 PM  

  • I'm aware that we are allowed to bless children in places other than sacrament meeting. We blessed our second child in the Relief Society room in a meeting with our family at the same time a cousin was also blessed. This was a great help for the families who need to travel that day. I was just interested to note that the scriptures don't seem to provide for this exception even though our current practice does.

    BrianJ, I wasn't aware of the explicit exception in the handbook for sick infants. I'll have to see if I can check it out. Thanks for the tip.

    By Blogger Bradley Ross, at 12/10/2006 8:42 PM  

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