The purpose of our trip up to Washington in June was to give T1 his baby blessing. We chose to go up to Washington for it because we wanted to be in a place where the circle of men performing the blessing would be filled with family, and if we blessed him in our current ward in Texas only my parents would be able to make it down. Because we blessed him in Washington the circle was made up of my husband, father, brother-in-law, two uncles, cousin, and two grandfathers. What a beautiful site it was to see the men in my life father around, placing their right hand on T1 and their left hands up on each others shoulders, forming a circle of love and support that T1 will be able to turn to in times of need for years to come.
The Church website describes the ordinance of naming and blessing a baby in this way:
Men who have the priesthood can bless babies, usually a few weeks after the babies are born. They must have the permission of the bishop or branch president to do this. The baby’s father can bless the baby if he has the Melchizedek Priesthood. If he does not have the Melchizedek Priesthood, he cannot bless the baby or be in the circle with men who bless the baby. He can ask someone who holds the Melchizedek Priesthood to bless the baby. The father, if he holds the Melchizedek Priesthood and is worthy, or another person who holds the Melchizedek Priesthood, holds the baby in his arms, assisted by others who must also hold the Melchizedek Priesthood, and says a prayer.
The blessing follows this format:
- Addresses our Heavenly Father.
- States that the ordinance is performed by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.
- Gives the child a name.
- Adds words of blessing as the Spirit directs.
- Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.
I’ve witnessed many baby blessings over the years, some long and some short, though TH’s was the most succinct I had ever heard. He asked me beforehand if I would be sad if his blessing wasn’t long and detailed. I told him that I wasn’t looking for a performance. All I wanted was a worthy husband, a Melchizedek Priesthood holder, holding his son in his arms, naming him before the Lord and in essence declaring publicly that we plan to teach and raise him with our beliefs. T1 will have the opportunity to hear about his future directly from the Lord when he receives his Patriarchal blessing someday when he is older.
It was important to me that T1 wear all white, as I consider this to be the first of one of many Priesthood ordinances he will undergo in his life while wearing white. Soon enough there will be baptism, temple attendance, endowment, and sealing. It was a bit warm for him to be wearing it, but I dressed him in a white sweater my grandma knit for him specifically for the baby blessing. I washed and put it away for other babies down the line to wear as well.
The whole experience was beautiful, brief but special, just the way I wanted it. My mom had three different people transcribe the blessing while it was being pronounced, and I plan on typing it up and storing it for him to read when he is older.
Our family is slowly growing! Thanks to my mom and dad for hosting us that week, and to Shay and her husband for driving up to be present for the blessing. We miss you so much already.