|Each baby is a precious GIFT!
As I'm sure any of my readers can guess, my children and I really admire the Duggar family. We love to watch their show on DVD, and I have learned many organizational and parenting lessons from Jim Bob and Michelle. As a mother of a large family, I am always trying to learn how to be a better homemaker and parent, and they are a great example to me!
I was so sad to hear that Michelle recently miscarried their twentieth baby-- especially so far along in her pregnancy! (She was due in April.) I have had SIX miscarriages, myself, and I know the heartache and disappointment that happens as a result. (Though mine were all in the first trimester.)
Though I have been sad and disappointed-- and sometimes even devastated-- by the loss of one of my babies, I have found great peace and comfort in my knowledge of the Restored Gospel. I know, through the witness of the Holy Ghost, that each one of the babies that haven't made it belong to me and my husband. And will for all eternity!
I also believe that our Heavenly Father is merciful, and that He has a plan for each one of us. I can trust in His plan, again through the peace that comes from the Holy Spirit.
I believe that all children are born innocent, and that they are not required to be baptized until they reach the age of accountability (about age 8). Little children who die before baptism are taken back to be with God, because the Atonement of Jesus Christ covers all of the mistakes they make in their little lives.
As it states in The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Christ:
"And their little children need no repentance, neither baptism. Behold, baptism is unto repentance to the fulfilling the commandments unto the remission of sins. But little children are alive in Christ, even from the foundation of the world; if not so, God is a partial God, and also a changeable God, and a respecter to persons; for how many little children have died without baptism!" Moroni 8:11-12In the LDS Doctrine and Covenants, discussing the writings of Paul in 1 Corinthians 7:14, it says:
"But little children are holy, being sanctified through the atonement of Jesus Christ;" Doctrine and Covenants 74:7And in The New Testament:
"And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18:3-4, KJV
Some of my ancestors in Sweden felt the same way. In fact, the reason they were open to learning about the LDS Church way back in the 1800's was because of the loss of one of their children. Here is the story taken directly from my family history:
"One winter day little sister Emma came to brighten their home. When she was about two months old, Father took the baby to the minister who lived some distance away, to be baptized or sprinkled. The baby died of pneumonia resulting from the exposure. The couple readily listened to the Mormon missionaries who taught that babies need no baptism as they are without sin."
I also have a testimony that life begins at conception, so babies who are miscarried in their mothers' wombs of course need no baptism-- they are innocent-- alive in Christ. And I know that the Lord's Atonement is great enough to cover the lives of innocent children who are still learning the difference between right and wrong.
I have always found the doctrine above, and that of eternal families, to be of GREAT comfort to me when I lose an unborn baby. I have great hope that through the suffering and sacrifice of the Savior, I will again have those tiny ones that I have lost.
My thoughts and prayers are with the Duggar family at this difficult time, as they are with ANY who have lost a tiny one all too soon. The Lord will make up the difference and bring us hope and joy, even through such difficult times.