I was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when I was eight years old in Everett, Washington. I can’t remember all of the details, but I certainly remember some. I remember that my grandma came from out of state, I received my first copy of the Book of Mormon signed by my bishop, my family went out to eat at Round Table Pizza afterwards, my dad went to church the next day, my mom had written a song about Baptism and sang it with the other mom whose daughter was baptized that day; I remember that when I received my first set up scriptures I opened them up to the very page that had the verse that was on my baptism program. At the time, that was special to me. Most of all, I remember how I felt so happy on that spring day in 1986.
We believe in baptism by immersion, fully immersing our bodies under the water. This symbolizes the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. In the Bible we learn this is how John the Baptist baptized Jesus.
Through baptism, we receive a remission of sins, we gain membership into
the Church and we make it possible for us to return to live with God.
Baptism is the first saving ordinance. An ordinance is a sacred, formal
act performed by someone who has authority from God. When we are
baptized, a covenant is made. A covenant is a promise made with God.
At baptism, we promise to keep His commandments, always remember Him and
take His name upon us. He promises to forgive our sins and He allows
the Spirit to always be with us.
I have had the privilege of witnessing three of my own little 8 year olds take this giant step in their lives. With each one, I have wondered if they were old enough to understand the implications of the covenant they were making with God. I certainly didn’t want them to take this step because I was forcing them to do it. I wanted it to be from their own free will and choice. The past several months we have been preparing our son, Luke, for baptism. We’ve tried to teach him the importance, what it means, and how it can bless his life. On Friday night, I found some alone time with Luke and I sat him down and told him, “Luke, you know you don’t have to be baptized tomorrow.” He looked at me like “who are you and what have you done with my mom?” I told him this was an important decision that he was old enough to make on his own, but if he didn’t want to do it, it would be okay. He said in return, “I want to be baptized. I want to live with Jesus again.”
His baptism was yesterday. He was so happy. He felt special all day long. Many people came to support him. I’m not sure what he’ll remember of it when he’s my age, but I hope he remembers how he felt, because I know he felt so much happiness and love. These feelings are such a testament to why I believe as I do.
This morning, I was reading in my bed and Luke came running into my room and jumped on my bed. He said, “Mom, when do I get to make my second covenant?”
He felt so good with the first promise he made to Heavenly Father, he can hardly wait for the next. My own heart was filled with joy.
Because I am a Mormon, I believe in baptism by immersion by the proper authority. It is sacred. It is a reminder of a personal commitment to Jesus Christ. And now, for Luke, he has his own reminder. I hope he never forgets.