Forbid Them Not


Excerpt from a March 30, 1899 article by George Q. Cannon, ‘The Blessing of Children’: 1


The question has been raised several times as to the proper manner of blessing children. This subject has been written upon before in this paper, but it seems proper that the matter be again referred to. A correspondent addresses the editor in these words;

“Is it right in blessing children to confer on them all the powers and blessings of the new and everlasting covenant? I observe Elders doing this sometimes in our fast meetings, and in one instance the Elder conferred all the keys and powers and blessings of the new and everlasting covenant upon the babe he was blessing.”

The blessing of children is a very simple matter and it should not be surrounded at all by forms. The bestowing upon a babe of the blessings and powers that pertain to adults and that are only pronounced upon people of more advanced years and experience, is entirely unsuitable and improper. It is a departure from the simplicity of the beautiful ordinance of taking the infant, bestowing upon it a name, and giving it a blessing. Certainly the use of such terms as our correspondent refers to is improper, for this reason if for no other, that there is, or should be, no necessary distinction between the blessing conferred upon children whose parents do not belong to the Church and those whose parents do. In some minds there seems to be an idea that there should be a different form of blessing for children born of non-members and for those who are identified with the Church; and it is from such sources that in the case of children belonging to members of the Church “the blessings of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob” and all the attendant favors are frequently conferred upon the child. This is all wrong. If we take the example of our Lord and Redeemer, who is our pattern and whose example we cannot too closely follow, we find that He blessed all who were brought to Him. We have no hint that He asked whose children they were, or the standing or faith of their parents. His remark was, “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven;” and He laid His hands upon them and blessed them. All little children, no matter what their parentage may be, are innocent in the sight of heaven, and they should be received as such and blessed as such. We repeat, the ordinance is one of beautiful simplicity. Those who officiate ought to guard against extravagance, either in language or promise.


Handbook 1: Stake Presidents and Bishops, 16:13:2

Children of a Parent Living in a Same-Gender Relationship

A natural or adopted child of a parent living in a same-gender relationship, whether the couple is married or cohabiting, may not receive a name and a blessing.

A natural or adopted child of a parent living in a same-gender relationship, whether the couple is married or cohabiting, may be baptized and confirmed, ordained, or recommended for missionary service only as follows:

A mission president or a stake president may request approval from the Office of the First Presidency to baptize and confirm, ordain, or recommend missionary service for a child of a parent who has lived or is living in a same-gender relationship when he is satisfied by personal interviews that both of the following requirements are met:

The child accepts and is committed to live the teachings and doctrine of the Church, and specifically disavows the practice of same-gender cohabitation and marriage.

The child is of legal age and does not live with a parent who has lived or currently lives in a same-gender cohabitation relationship or marriage.