Can a child be blessed or baptized if not attending home ward?

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kcowley1
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Can a child be blessed or baptized if not attending home ward?

Postby kcowley1 » Thu Aug 20, 2020 1:55 pm

My daughter and son-in-law moved into a new ward last fall and after a few months decided that they wouldn't go back due to some things the bishop and other members had done/said. They decided to go back to their previous ward where they felt at home. They're already struggling with some church policy issues and I think it's better that they go to a ward they feel comfortable in vs. just going completely inactive. Under these circumstances, will their newborn daughter be allowed to be given a name and blessing (could this be done at home with the current pandemic) or be baptized when she's old enough if they're not attending their home ward? I understand they won't be able to have official callings while attending their previous ward which is a shame because they're both very talented people and the ward they're now attending is quite small.

russellhltn
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Re: Can a child be blessed or baptized if not attending home ward?

Postby russellhltn » Thu Aug 20, 2020 2:13 pm

Someone else can answer the questions about ordinances, but I wanted to point out the General Handbook 33.6:
Membership records are to be kept in the ward where the member lives. Exceptions, which should be few, require the consent of the bishops and stake president(s) involved and the approval of the Office of the First Presidency. To request an exception, the stake president(s) sends a letter to the Office of the First Presidency for approval.

I'd imagine they could attend a different ward as guests, but they could never get a calling or receive a temple recommend from that ward unless the membership records were in that ward.

While uncomfortable, it seems the best route is to deal with the issues that make them uncomfortable in their new ward. Perhaps talking with a member of the stake presidency, since that's the starting point for any exception.
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sbradshaw
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Re: Can a child be blessed or baptized if not attending home ward?

Postby sbradshaw » Thu Aug 20, 2020 4:07 pm

There's some flexibility in where ordinances are performed, but not as much flexibility in who is able to authorize those ordinances to take place (see the chart in the General Handbook, 18.3). The keys delegated to a bishop only allow him to authorize ordinances like naming and blessing children and baptism for members of his ward, which by current Church policy is determined by geographical area. Exceptions require First Presidency approval because they are responsible for how priesthood keys are delegated.

The General Handbook says that exceptions "should be few," but it does provide a process for requesting exceptions, so it wouldn't be unheard of.
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