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When I think of the famous story of John Taylor wondering who to seal himself to, and getting the surprising answer to seal himself to his own father, I wonder if the anyone in Nauvoo had the doctrinal background to recognize that a child was "born in the covenant." They certainly weren't bothering to seal living children to the eternal marriage, so the fact a child born after the sealing didn't need that ordinance would be quite unnoticeable.

That said, wasn't Zina Diantha seven months pregnant when sealed to Joseph Smith? Her first husband Henry Jacobs witnessed the marriage sealing. Henry was the father of the child, but was there any idea at the time that the child was born in the covenant as Joseph's child?

Well, the Woodruff's sure felt that their first child in the covenant was a big deal. As Wilford mentioned in the babies blessing the child was "the first fruits of the Priesthood unto thy parents since there endowment." Obviously Joseph's first in the covenant was a big deal (David).

I do think that the idea of "child of record" is a bit anachronistic though. Seymour B. Young talks about in general conference how he wasn't baptized until he was 11. There was no primary or children's activities. I think the church was who was baptized...that said there were a lot of folks who were ordained to the priesthood as children, before they were baptized in the early Utah period.

While flipping through Journal History I found that the first "white person" to be born in Utah was a Steele, but ultimately married a Stapley. I forget her name now, but that is another kind of first.

Re question 1: Lewis Brunson, who was born in late January 1831, is a possibility. His father joined the church earlier in the same month (I don't know about his mother).

Re question 2: it may be Rhoda Ann Richards, who was born in September 1843 to Willard and Jenetta Richards.

Re #1: It would seem that one could go through the family records of the earliest members (e.g., the Smiths, Whitmers, Rockwells, Jollys, Knights, Poormans, etc.) to try to find children born in the early 1830s. Susan Easton Black's 50-volume set on early church membership also might provide the answer.

What on earth does it mean to be "a Mormon baby"? A baby can't be anything until it has been properly indoctrinated to become either a "Mormon baby", a
"Muslim baby", or anything else. It is just a baby.
There are those who think it is child abuse to so name a baby. If that "mormon baby" were born in a different place, say Kandahar, that same baby would certainly become a muslim.

...head for the mountains of Duff, beer!

I thought a post that took us in an entirely stupid direction warranted an entirely stupid response.


Yes, that was an entirely stupid response. If the OP wants to speculate about the "much-celebrated 'Mormon baby,'" I reckon comments about it are as on topic as any and even more so than yours.


The comment on labeling children based on religion could be considered on topic, the part about 'properly indoctrinated' and 'There are those who think it is child abuse to so name a baby.' didn't add much.

With enough luck the discussion will lead us to address how evil it is to teach religious values to minors and continue to 'indoctrinate' our children, though I doubt that was the intention of the author of the post.

You're right, Jon. I really didn't have a direction with the post, other than seeing if anyone else had any input on the inquiry about who the first "Mormon babies" were. It's not a topic I typically post on.

And I'm not sure why the term "Mormon babies" is controversial for some people compared with a longer, clumsier phrase like "infants born to Mormon parents." I'm sure I could use "American babies" as a gloss for infants born to American parents, or "human babies" as a gloss for infants born to human parents, without difficulty.

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