Today family gathered to the Pleasant Valley 6th Ward for the blessing of Aurora Willoughby. With all the babies being blessed and extended family in attendance it was virtually standing room only in the chapel. For my readers unfamiliar with the naming and blessing of children I will explain. Under the direction of the presiding authority (in our case today it was Bishop Scott Hill), brethren who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood may participate in the ordinance of naming and blessing children (see Doctrine & Covenants 20:70). When blessing a baby, brethren gather in a circle and place their hands under the baby. Normally the father follows these steps:
- Addresses our Heavenly Father.
- States that the ordinance is performed by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.
- Gives the child a name.
- Adds words of blessing as the Spirit directs.
- Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.
There were five babies to be blessed. The order was alphabetically by surname so Aurora was last. I stood in the circle along with 10 to 15 brethren from Aurora’s extended family. Aurora’s father, Steven, gave her a name and blessed her that she would feel the love of family and that as she grows the Spirit will be with her. Among other things, Aurora was blessed that she would benefit from going to the temple and that she would be a servant of the Lord.
Aurora was attired in the same dress that Adelaide wore when she was blessed. Aurora was quiet throughout as were all the other babies that were blessed. At the conclusion of the blessings and passing of the sacrament there was twenty minutes left for testimonies.
After the meeting we relocated to Steven and Adelaide’s apartment for some much needed sustenance. It reminds me of the question:
Question: How can you tell it is Fast Sunday?
Answer: The guests eat twice as much food.
Fortunately we had three times the food and everyone was able to get into the apartment, which was quite large. It was a happy day for all.