Sunday was Ellis' blessing day. I thought I'd write a little about it since my family in Texas and many of our friends weren't able to attend (here in Washington).
We blessed Ellis at the house, and most of the family was here for it, except the few that were out of town. It was wonderful to be surrounded by such love for our little man. Ellis rocked the white tux given to us by Tara and Byron, and he just looked snazzy.
Some of our friends and family may not quite understand what this blessing business is all about. In the LDS Church we do not baptize babies. Baptism is a sacred and important responsibility, one which should only be given to those who are ready to carry it. In the church, children are baptized, if they chose to be, at 8 years old- an age of accountability. To be baptized, one must have faith, and also repent of sins. We don't believe that young children are sinners. Look at this face:
I don't believe that if something were to happen to that little boy, and he were taken from this earth early, that Heavenly Father would turn him away, that he would be cast down, simply because he wasn't baptized. ["And I also beheld that all children who die before they arrive at the years of accountability are saved in the celestial kingdom of heaven" D&C 137:10] My child and no other child is tainted by original sin- he is a child of God, even created after His own image. Until Ellis is accountable for his actions, and can be tempted, he has no need to be baptized. When he is of the age to be able to take on the responsibility of not only bearing Christ's name (being baptized a Christian), but avoiding temptation and sin, then he will be baptized, should he chose so.
And so, Ellis was given a name (his name, Ellis Michael Demars, was 'announced' during the blessing - though everyone already knew it- and it was recorded onto the records of the church) and a blessing. The blessing part of the ordinance is where Damon, surrounded by his male family members, those holding the Melchizedek Priesthood, spoke a blessing onto Ellis. I did not write it down, but it was beautiful. I remember some specific parts, including
A blessing for Ellis to know of the love that his Savior has for him
For him to know of the support and love that his parents have for him
That he will be physically healthy and able to do all this which he desires to do
That he will serve a mission
That he will wisely chose a wife and be sealed to her in the temple
That he will care for his siblings and always be a good example to others.
The blessing was very spiritual, especially seeing my little boy surrounded by his older cousins, uncles, grandfather, family friends, and father, all worthy priesthood holders. I can't wait for the day that he himself will be able to hold the priesthood and bless the lives of others with it.
Here are a couple more pictures from the day
With his uncle Tyler
With his Daddy
(babies are usually blessed in church within the first 2 months after they are born- since we were in Spokane and had so much family, we did it at Damon's parents' home- there were over 60 people there. also they had to keep Ellis entertained and happy during the blessing, usually babies are young enough to just sleep through it, but Ellis babbled during the beginning before he probably was fixated on all the men's faces around him.)
Right before the Blessing