Friday, March 13, 2009

Through Small and Simple Means

Last weekend we baptized our eighth child. He was so excited for his baptism.

We planned the baptism and included most members of our family. Our youngest son wasn’t formally on the program, but we knew he’d be loud enough to participate in his own way . One of my daughters spoke on baptism. I was very proud of her. She brought some visual aids to complement her talk, including a tube of diaper rash cream to symbolize the pain relief that repentance brings. She also showed a white paper that represented no sins, a paper that had lots of squiggles on it to represent mistakes we make, and then told us that after baptism our sins are washed away and through repentance we can have the white paper represent our lives. She also showed a fuzzy white blanket and likened it to how the Holy Ghost feels—warm and soft. It was an excellent talk.

Another son spoke on the Holy Ghost and how it can help us in so many ways, including protecting us and teaching us the truth. He shared some quotes. I was proud of him for preparing his talk, too.

Two of our daughters sang, Scripture Power, and other daughters gave the prayers. My son was baptized by his oldest brother, who returned from his mission to Italy last summer. My husband then confirmed my son and gave him the gift of the Holy Ghost. It was such a spiritual meeting. The bishop was choked up a bit when he asked my son to stand and bear his testimony. My son said, “Being baptized feels great. I’m so happy I could be baptized.” It was such a sweet experience.

Unbeknownst to me, my son had invited his elementary school teacher. She is not a member of the Church, but she really likes my son and decided to attend because it was important to him. She actually arrived an hour early because we’d miscommunicated the time (she lives more than 30 miles away from us). As she entered the building, my children and their cousins accosted her because she’d taught some of them last year. They all snuggled up to her during the service.
My son was thrilled to see his teacher and gave her lots of hugs to prove it. I’m sure he will always remember she attended his baptism. I was impressed that she made such an effort to come. After the service, we were visiting in the foyer about the baptism. I thanked her for coming and she said, “I was glad to. You could just feel something in there.” Then it clicked. She’d felt the Holy Ghost witness to her the truth. She’d felt his presence. From a simple child’s invitation to his baptism, she experienced the Holy Ghost. What will happen from here? I don’t know, but I do know she felt the Spirit. Attending my son’s baptism was a good experience and, perhaps, it will ignite a desire in her to learn more about the gospel. At the very least, she will remember this experience with a warm feeling.

Through small and simple means, like an invitation to a baptism, great and powerful things can happen. Of course, I hope she’ll want to know more and discover the pure joy and happiness that only the gospel can provide, but for now I’m thankful she felt the Spirit. Even more, I’m so grateful my young son was inspired enough to invite her.

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Tulsi said...

Little children teach us so much. It is so cool that the teacher came and was loved so much.

Danyelle Ferguson said...

My oldest daughter was just baptized in January. It's so awesome to see the first generation of kids born into the church making the choice to be baptized and follow Jesus.

Can't wait to see you in April!

Patty B. said...

What an exciting time. We love baptisms; the spirit is so strong and the kids' participation is priceless. Congratulations to your newest member!

Della Hill said...

What a great meeting.
It's no surprise that the teacher felt the spirit, there must have been a wealth of it.
You should have your son give her a book of mormon.
My youngest is turning 8 this month. We are excited for his baptism, but we are putting it off just a couple months so my brother who is in Iraq can be here for it.