Monday, September 15, 2014

8 is Great!

In the LDS church, children are baptized at the age of 8. Caleb turned 8 earlier this year and made the choice to be baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Practicing our religion in China is a unique experience for us. China permits freedom of religious belief, but it requires all religious activities in China comply with relevant laws and regulations.  Consequently, we are not permitted to discuss our religion, in any way, with anyone who does not hold a foreign passport. Our church does not have any proselyting missionaries and we cannot distribute any religious materials. That said, as foreign nationals, we are unrestricted in our own religious practices, including performing baptisms.

We are grateful to the Chinese government for allowing us to practice our religion while we are living here, so we are committed to following the requirements and parameters they have established for religious activities. However, since we cannot share our religion with Chinese nationals, we have to be very careful about overt demonstrations. Consequently, when it was time to baptize Caleb, we had a particular challenge, where to do it?

Our meetinghouse (the fourth floor of an office building) used to have access to the pool in the health club on the fifth floor of the same building, but they recently remodeled and removed the pool. We have a pool in our apartment building, but the US embassy has a very good relationship with our building management and we didn't want to do anything to compromise that relationship or to put the building staff or ourselves in a difficult position with regard to religious activities. So, we used the bathtub. That's right. Caleb was baptized in our master bathroom, in the bathtub. I used to think my baptism story was pretty awesome, after all, I was baptized in the Pacific Ocean. But, I think his experience trumps mine.

We are very proud of Caleb and the choice he made to be baptized. We feel very lucky to be his parents and to have him as a member of our family.

Kenny baptized and confirmed Caleb.
Grandeur and Grandest came for his special day.
The bathtub.  It's pretty deep, but we still had to practice ahead of time to make sure
Caleb could be completely submerged. Our bathroom has never been cleaner!


robin marie said...

That is so interesting. And amazing! A bathtub baptism!

Adrianne said...

HE totally trumps you. Sorry. Did you invite others into your bathroom to witness it? Did you have a mirror over the bath tub? I need more details.


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