I only recently (in the last few years) became aware that the church handbook prohibits women from holding their babies while babies are being blessed unless the bishop wants to make a case-by-case exception. In our Singapore ward, all women held their babies while the babies were blessed. That’s the last time I was in a ward with multiple baby blessings. Our present ward does not do this. From a poll done in 2014, the following finding indicated that women holding their babies while the babies are being blessed was not only uncommon, but discouraged in many cases:
Most wards do not invite women to hold their babies during blessings, and 15% specifically told women who asked that their request was inappropriate! Only 2% reported being in wards in which women have held their babies during blessings
A favorite children’s book is “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.” The book takes the reader through a series of increasingly far-fetched consequences of giving a mouse a cookie. It got me wondering what kind of mouse-cookie thinking is at play with this strange policy. Let’s see where it leads.
If you let a woman hold her baby,
She’ll want a comfortable chair to sit on.
If you give her a comfortable chair to sit on,
She’ll relax while she’s on the stand. Maybe she’ll never want to leave.
If she never leaves, you might have to ask her to leave.
If you have to ask her to leave, people might wonder why more women aren’t sitting on the stand.
If you explain that only men can lead and give blessings, your arguments might sound ridiculous and flat to people who are used to egalitarianism.
If your arguments sound weak to others, eventually they might sound weak to you and you might start doubting their validity.
If you start doubting that, you might start doubting everything, your very reason for being at church.
If you doubt your reason for being at church, you might decide life is short and so you might as well live it up.
If you decide you might as well live it up, you’ll probably go out, get drunk and have an extramarital affair.
If you go out, get drunk and have an affair, you’ll probably figure a woman would do a better job leading the congregation.
So you’ll have to invite her up to the stand. And if she comes up to the stand, she’s going to want a soft chair.
And she might even want to bring her baby.
Any other examples of mouse-cookie thinking you’ve seen? Provide your examples in the comments.