The Naming and Blessing of Children Used to Be a Missionary Duty

Since we’re looking at childhood, children, and youth this month, I thought I’d look at the ordinance of “naming and blessing” children as practiced in Texas in the very early 1900s.

Baby blessings were a significant ecclesiastic duty for male missionaries. The mission kept formal records of only three ordinances: baptism, confirmation, and the naming/blessing of children. From 1897 to 1903 missionaries in Texas named and blessed approximately one child for every three baptisms they performed. [1] All six of the male missionaries in this study recorded performing the ordinance.

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