Friday, September 7, 2018

Ready for Baptism ~ Part One

Every church Sunday that summer Simon, Nancy, and I joined the ministers in their little conference room while the rest of the congregation was singing. They would explain to us the eighteen doctrines of our faith. I tried hard to listen because I really did want to be a good person, but as they droned on and on in their boring fashion I always gave up and let my mind wander to things much more interesting than their boring  German recitation.

The third Sunday they told us they would be having a special meeting with all the members after church to tell them to watch us carefully to make sure we lived a life worthy of being baptized by fall. I wasn't thrilled about that and the rest of the summer was spent trying extra hard to make sure I didn't do or say anything that might be held against me when ever they voted whether or not to baptize me.

The Sunday before baptismal services they again had a special members meeting where they asked everyone individually whether or not they had noticed anything in our conduct that summer that would warrant being excluded from becoming a member of the church. There were a few small complaints, someone had seen one of us with a piece of gum on a Sunday evening before the singing. The bishop decided it wasn't important enough to put off baptismal services if the parents would talk to the guilty one and let him know gum was forbidden on Sundays.

On Saturday afternoon before Sunday services we had to meet with the ministers again. This time Daddy went along and we sat in the church house where the bishop got the Martyrs Mirror and started reading the first article of faith. Once he got done with it he tried to explain it a little more plainly and then passed the book to the minister sitting next to him. And so it continued all afternoon and into the evening until they had read all eighteen articles of faith. By the time they were done I was more bored than I had ever been in my life. And so very tired of sitting unmoving on the bench in front of them.  Just as we were ready to be dismissed they asked Simon if he can promise to be willing to be a preacher if the time should ever come that the church would vote for him. He answered with a yes. I was so happy that I was a girl and didn't have to make a promise like that.


  1. It must have been so difficult to sit for such a long time and listen to endless readings.

    1. I agree! One of the things they stress in seminary is that the brain cannot absorb any more than the backside can endure.

      When I was being prepared for confirmation in the Lutheran church, I went to classes every Saturday morning during the school year for two years. Each member of the class had to appear before the Board of Elders (the Vestry, more or less) and they voted, but that was private and only nine men.


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