Handbook 2:
Administering the Church


20.2 Naming and Blessing Children


General Guidelines

“Every member of the church of Christ having children is to bring them unto the elders before the church, who are to lay their hands upon them in the name of Jesus Christ, and bless them in his name” (D&C 20:70). In conformity with this revelation, only Melchizedek Priesthood holders may participate in naming and blessing children. Priesthood leaders should inform members of this instruction before their children are named and blessed. While preserving the sacred nature of the blessing, leaders should make every reasonable effort to avoid embarrassment or offense to individuals or families.

Children are normally named and blessed during fast and testimony meeting in the ward where the parents are members of record.


Instructions for Naming and Blessing a Child

    When blessing a baby, Melchizedek Priesthood holders gather in a circle and place their hands under the baby. When blessing an older child, brethren place their hands lightly on the child’s head. The person who gives the blessing:
  1. 1.

    Addresses Heavenly Father.

  2. 2.

    States that the blessing is performed by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.

  3. 3.

    Gives the child a name.

  4. 4.

    Gives words of blessing as the Spirit directs.

  5. 5.

    Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.


Blessing Record and Certificate

Before a child is blessed, the ward clerk prepares a Child Blessing Record. After the blessing, the clerk ensures that this form is complete, and he processes or distributes it according to instructions with the form. The clerk also prepares a blessing certificate. The bishop signs the certificate, and he or the clerk gives it to the child’s parent(s) or guardian(s).

If a baby is born out of wedlock, the name on the membership record and certificate of blessing should match the name on the birth certificate or civil birth registry. If a birth certificate or civil birth registry does not exist, the naming conventions of the local culture are used.