Welcome to the World and the Ward

But giving a child a name and a blessing also gives the community responsibility. Being one of us means being someone for whom we are explicitly responsible. We are responsible to help the baby's parents live full and productive lives. We are responsible to see that the child can receive what was promised in the blessing. That means working in the Primary organization for our young children or in the Young Men or Young Women programs for youth from 12 to 18. It means doing home and visiting teaching. But it means more than meeting these formalized obligations. It means relating to the child as a proud and loving uncle or aunt, or at least a cousin.

So when Brother Ruiz named and blessed his baby last Fast Sunday, many things happened: he and his wife formally announced to the congregation that their family has increased, we welcomed that child among us, and he pronounced the blessings on the baby that he felt inspired to give, implicitly committing himself publicly to take responsibility to bring those blessings to fruition. With our "amen" we joined him and each other member of the congregation in that announcement, welcome, and commitment.

7/13/2011 4:00:00 AM
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  • James Faulconer
    About James Faulconer
    James Faulconer is a Richard L. Evans Professor of Religious Understanding at Brigham Young University, where he has taught philosophy since 1975.
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