Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Schwartz's vs Charlie's Blessing

Today Chris presented Charles to the body of the church to give him a name and a blessing.  While this is our third child, I've realized that I've never really explained what exactly this means and why we do it.  First we to do it out of obedience, in Doctrine and Covenants section 20 verse 70 we are told, "Every member of the church of Christ having children is to bring them unto the elders of the church, who are to lay their hands upon them in the name of Jesus Christ, and bless them in His name."  Chris, having the Melchizedek Priesthood is commissioned of Christ to act in His name.  Therefore, he has the right and privilege to present Charles and bless him according to the will of the Lord.  Second, we do it so that our children are "children of record" which basically means their names are on the roll of the church (though they won't officially be members of the church until they choose to get baptized after they turn 8).  

In LDS culture, the blessing of a baby is similar to what I know of other faith's baby dedications.  It is not a baptism, but more of a public declaration of our desire to raise our children in our Christian home and according to Heavenly Father's will.  

What makes it different from baby dedications that I've been to is it's a little more personalized in a way since the Fathers (or selected priesthood holder if the father is unable to perform the ordinance) are performing the act rather than the pastor.  So, Chris fasted and prayed before presenting Charles that he might know what blessings Heavenly Father wanted to bestow upon him at that time.  Then Chris, my father, my grandfather, and my Uncle Ken stood in front of the congregation and made a cradle out of their hands for Charles.  As they all held him, Chris presented him, named him, and then left the blessings that he was inspired to by direction of the Holy Spirit. 

I did record the blessing, I have recorded all of my children's blessings.  I thought about posting them here publicly since they aren't private blessings.  But since they are still of a sacred nature, I've always refrained from posting them.  Instead they are recorded in my private journal and pretty soon I'm going to add them to preserve them for future generations.

Charles, your blessing day was a special one.  We drove to Florida to bless you so that my dad could be included in the blessing.  I had mixed feelings about this because we could have blessed you when you were one week old when my dad came to visit.  I knew traveling to Florida would mean leaving out the rest of the family and was worried that we might offend people by our decision.  So I left it up to your dad and Chris chose for us to go and do it in Lakeland, FL.  And by doing so your day was just so calm.  I didn't feel the need to rush home after sacrament and put on a huge luncheon.  It was a calm and quite day and filled with love.  And because it was calm and quite for the first time ever we remembered to take a picture of the priesthood holders who stood in the circle to bless you.

Uncle Ken, David, Chris, Grandpa Sherwood

This picture made the decision to travel to Florida to bless you worth it.  This picture is dear to my heart for a very sentimental reason.  Charles, if you truly are the last child Heavenly Father intends for our family, then you complete us.  And these men who laid their hands upon you at the end of the growth of our family, were also the same men who were instrumental to the beginning of our family.  Grandpa Sherwood sealed (married) Chris and I in the Nauvoo Temple in 2004.  My dad and Uncle Ken were the priesthood witnesses of the marriage.  So it is sweet and fitting that these men who were there the day Chris and I became one, were also apart of the moment when Chris and I finished growing our forever family.  

I'm thankful for the gospel and the impact it has had on our lives.  Chris and I strive to have Christ centered home.  I hope that growing up in this environment will give you peace and comfort and allow you to learn and grow physically, intellectually, and spiritually.  I hope that you will live up to the pioneer lineage that you are named after.  That you will be steadfast in all things.  I hope that you will have a strong desire to serve a mission and that you will take the best attributes of both of your parents and be a force for good in this world.  But mostly, I hope that you get to experience true joy in this life, the joy that comes from following Christ and serving others.

We love you!

Chris and Charlie heading to church.

Grandma and Grandpa Smith with the family.

L to R
Aunt Sarah, Dave, Chris (with Charlie), Natalie, Irene, Grandma Pat, Grandpa Sherwood
Cody, Sarah

Dad, Chris, and Charlie

Great Grandparents with the Great Grandkids

Family of Five

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