Forgive me if this is too personal.
I'm supposed to baptize my son on Saturday.
Those bored people who have followed my brief career as a fabulously overpaid writer of essays and blog posts probably know that much of my writing time is spent trying to figure out why my relationship with the Church seems to much more complicated and painful than it's advertised to be.
If the scriptures were to define me as forgivingly as possible, they'd say I am the kind that lives by faith. I don't know anything about the divinity of Jesus, the prophethood of Joseph Smith, or the correctness of the church they supposedly established together. All this is beyond me.
That's OK when life is normal, when you can live at arm's length from the ideas and institutions that have consumed you for so many years. But when you find that you are expected to initiate your very own son into that labyrinth of doctrines and covenants you have been painfully negotiating for years, I think you need to decide if what you're being asked to do is a good thing.
In a way, I feel like I'm walking onto a puppet stage, and that strings will come down to attach to my arms and mouth. Then they'll make me say the prayer and lower my very own son into the water. And the whole time my mind and soul will be wondering, just what is going on here?
Are ordinances moments that take us over, dance us around, and leave us to interpret them for the rest of our lives? Or can they be a language helping human beings connect with each other?
Right now I feel like I'm putting my son in the care of a rich uncle that doesn't really like me and whom I don't quite trust.
I don't want to feel like this. I want to feel that baptizing my son is a good thing. But doctrine and theology aren't going to help.
What I'm hoping is that you nice folks out there in Blogland can tell me your stories of being baptized or baptizing someone, where the baptismal act meant something to you beyond getting your soul saved. How some of you, perhaps in my same position, were able to construct a story that helped you make the baptism meaningful.