Lie? & Baptize My Son Unworthily?
By harjac1
1/22/2015 5:08:26 PM
A short history---Hey I have a bad pornography and masturbation addiction that I have been struggling with for 15 years or so now. I am married with 4 kids. Anyways I meet with the bishop every couple of weeks and tell him how things are going. I have made a ton of improvements from where I was in the past. I also attend LDS 12 step meetings one or 2 times a week as well. I have been serious trying to get myself clean (according to our stake's definition clean means sober for 3 months) for the past 12 months so that I can baptize my son that turned 8 back in the fall. I was clandestinely addicted for 10 years nobody knew about it. 5 years ago I realized that I was addicted and I needed help. So I fessed up to my wife told her about my addiction and started attending LDS 12 step. She was relieved that she had finally discovered what my problem was. ( I had all the signs of a porn addict, isolation, stayed late at the office, disinterested in family, etc) Since then I went 2 periods of 6 months of sobriety. Longest bout of sobriety that I encountered for over 10 years. After that I have had 113 relapses and I pretty much told my wife and bishop about all of them. I also went a period of 9 months going to marriage counseling.

My son is currently 8 1/2 years old. My bishop says that I need to keep myself clean for 3 months in order to baptize him. I have a tendency to go 1 to 2 months before I relapse. I just had a bad relapse this week and now I am wondering if I should just lie to everybody and baptize my child? According to church policy the baptism is still valid. I am the one that will receive condemnation for it. I have already made lots of bad decisions in my life and that is why I am addicted to porn. My mind tells me what's another lie? I have been lying off and on for the past 15 years already anyways. I already feel damned anyways. My wife told me that she thinks that I am ruining my child because of my lack of worthiness to baptize. She has a picture of both her and her dad at her baptism. I have a picture of both me and my dad at my baptism. She strongly believes that it is important for fathers baptize their sons.

By the way my wife knows about every relapse I have and all the addiction related problems I have because I willingly told her. My child looks up to me, idolizes me and thinks I am the coolest dad around, he wants to be just like me. In the past I lied about being worthy and just did the ordinances anyways, so I am already screwed up on being a lier, hypocrite and done some condemnable deeds already. So what should I do? Another way I am possibly viewing this is...I can always lie and plan to repent later....I know I shouldn't but it is a temptation....would the atonement still cover me? Should I hold up my sons baptism and tell everybody to wait until I am worthy? My wife and I are feeling lots of pressure from ward members and family members that ask us all the time about when we are going to baptize him. My wife gets emotionally upset every time someone in the ward gets baptized and the big publicity that is made about it. Should I tell my kids about my addiction? Should I see what my son wants me to do?..........any advice would be appreciated.


Don't Lie    
"While the fact that you are willing to be (supposedly) damned for your child's sake is incredibly noble (and it shows that you love your son a lot), it is unnecessary. Your wife is wrong. No matter how addicted you are, you are not a bad example to your son. You love him enormously and are fighting against your addiction because you love him. I think an even purer way to show your love is to show him how much you honor the sacredness of baptism.

Yes, having the father baptize his son is a good tradition. It's not the end of the world if it doesn't happen. You can have a family member (uncle etc) or a ward member baptize him. Explain to your son that his dad loves him so much, but is going through a hard time and needs to sort some things out. Lying about it will alienate your wife, bishop, and eventually your son when he is older."
posted at 17:44:45 on January 22, 2015 by intothewest
"I am going to be a jerk for a second and make this about me. It is a source of frustration for me when Bishops give a due date for sobriety. I get it. Sometimes that might be exactly what a person needs... A goal and a quantifiable date. Three months, one month, two weeks. Ya, I've heard it all. But not knowing the specifics of your situation is just triggers stuff for me that I hate when it comes to dealing with Bishops in my past. I have felt these indiscriminate numbers thrown at my husband before and they become meaningless in recovery (for us). Sometimes I feel like no one sees the real goal and we are just slapping at the symptoms. 'Don't look at porn for 90 days and then you can....(fill in the blank)' Really? Is that what we are about here?

Ok so I am done being selfish and projecting my drama on you.

Now to you...welcome to the site btw.

Don't lie. No. Matter. What. That is your job and you need to do it perfectly. From where I am standing, I am in a place right now that, to me, giving your child the gift of an example of a father with integrity is more important than a father that baptizes him any time soon. Some people might disagree with me, but that is my opinion after raising a handful of boys and a hubby with porn addiction. I've been through the baptism/ordination struggle like your wife is right now. I know the pain. In fact, I think my first post on here and the reason I searched out this site was because of this situation in our family years ago. By showing your son how to be honest you are giving him a diamond. Chances are that he will trip up in his life. SHOW him how to live. Be honest.

Be honest and throw out the comments of everyone else. Their questions don't matter. Their judgements don't matter. Dont be mad at them, they are all just broken sinners just like you and I and so we need to give them grace like we want. But you want to fear God more than man.

Part of the pain of addiction is living a double life, a split life. Give yourself permission to be whole and one person with one life. There is no shame in being an addict. None. Only what we bring into it. That doesn't mean you have to tell your business to the crowd. In fact quite the opposite. You don't owe them any explanation at all. "Why hasn't little Timmy been baptized yet." can be answered with "We are waiting." Most people will drop it then but there is the occasional person who will keep pressing and it is fine to tell them "Ordinances are important and they are also very private and personal." and let them chew on that. Trust is really refreshing to let go other people's issues and stand with your head held high despite them. It is sort of fun actually.

This is a test in your recovery and as I see it it is a test of hope. Have hope. Believe in both yourself and believe in the Atonement. You aren't damned. So start acting like it. Don't give up to the temptation that tells you that you are.

As far as telling your son, we have chosen to tell our kids at different times that their dad struggled with pornography and masturbation. Telling my oldest boy was so hard but it's not anymore. It is natural and helps open up the conversation with them. My younger son seemed relieved when we talked to him about it because he was looking at porn and starting down the masturbation road. It isn't for all kids and it certainly isn't for all ages so talk to your kiddos carefully and prayerfully if you choose to do it at all.

Seriously, you can lie and repent later, but imagine how hard it is to stop looking at add on to that. Ya.....those are some thick chains, so don't do it. As I see it this is a big part of your recovery. Let this go and I bet the porn will become that much easier to deal with too.

Good luck and keep us posted!"
posted at 09:49:02 on January 23, 2015 by maddy
"Make it about the worthiness of the child and his willingness to follow the Lords example and enter into that ordinance. That he is willing and able. Do not make it about you. I have 5 children they all were baptized..only the youngest by her father. 4 are endowed and the boys served missions are active contributing members of the church all except the one whom he baptized. I do not think that has anything to do with anything. The most important issue is your son and his willingness to be baptized and his parents being obedient to the counsel that your children be baptized at the age of 8. Addiction thrives in secrecy. Be a real man and fess up that you have some issues and that you are working on them and would not want to postpone this very sacred ordinance.

I agree with Maddy, show him how to be honest and have integrity. That is most important. Invite your son to pray for you too.

My $.02
posted at 23:04:01 on January 23, 2015 by Hero
be honest    
"Lead by example. Don't live in secrecy"
posted at 03:25:51 on January 24, 2015 by Anonymous
Please Don't! Please Please Please!    
Please don't. As the wife of an addict, my husband unworthily baptized 5 of our 6 children. The 6th he had my oldest son baptize to cover up his unworthiness. Also, this will all come out one day and your children will know. One of the hardest moments in this was hearing one of my children say, "Dad, am I really baptized?" 1 year, 10 years, 20 years or whenever, the truth will come out and the adversary will make sure that it comes out in the worst possible way to do the most damage. This addiction will not stay still. I applaud you for your efforts in seeking recovery, but something is missing. The desire to lie and cover up certainly fuels the addiction. Work on complete, rigorous honesty in EVERYTHING! It is hard because lies are the lifeblood of addiction! But it is possible and it is worth it. When this is shouted from the rooftops, your son will be so grateful that you waited until you were in real recovery. You can do this. My husband with a 30+ year addiction will reach 3 years of sobriety in March. YOU CAN DO THIS!"
posted at 06:23:10 on January 25, 2015 by 1stepatatime
my opinion    
"as a father who was not able to baptize my daughter in September i would suggest that you be honest and be willing to step aside. i see now as i have struggled over the years honesty has been the key to begining to make a full more completete recovery. Each day for me has continued to be a battle, a struggle to stay focused on the Savior, but by being willing humble to step aside to swallow my pride and follow what the Bishop felt was appropriate i see my heart has changed. Previously I felt that it was my right to baptize my daughters, while yes that is ture, if I was not willing in this last September to step aside i would not have made the progress that i have in the last five months. i have a lifetime battle ahead of me, but just a simple step like this i believe has helped me in my recovery."
posted at 18:11:18 on January 25, 2015 by sjanderson

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"If it were possible to make your road very easy, you wouldn’t grow in strength. If you were always forgiven for every mistake without effort on your part, you would never receive the blessings of repentance. If everything were done for you, you wouldn’t learn how to work, or gain self-confidence, or acquire the power to change. "

— Richard G. Scott

General Conference May 1990