My oldest daughter has been friends with a young man since they began high school. He's become friends with my other kids (my 5-year-old plans to marry him at some point and tells everyone that they're "dating") and has spent time at our home. He's also friends with other LDS kids and the director of the performing arts group that he and my kids are in is a member of our ward.
We've been waiting for him to commit to baptism and I think he went through at least 13 missionaries before finally decided to get baptized. He made the decision after he heard the talks in sacrament meeting a few weeks ago (my oldest daughter was one of the speakers).
Sunday he was baptized. It was amazing. The Spirit was so strong. The director of the performing arts group (who is also one of our seminary teachers) spoke with such power and the Spirit bore witness of her words. My oldest daughter sang, "When I am Baptized," and I don't think I've ever heard her sing so sweetly and so full of the Spirit. Another young woman in the ward who he's dated also gave an incredible talk about the Holy Ghost and then the Primary kids in the audience were asked, spur of the moment, to sing, "I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus," and one of my younger daughters was asked to sing the second verse as a solo. She did an excellent job.
At the end of the service, unbeknownst to him, all of his friends from the performing arts group, most of whom are not LDS, sang, "I Heard Him Come." It sounded as if angels were singing in a heavenly choir. I can hardly describe the way those kids sang and the feelings that welled up inside of me as I listened to them. Most of these kids live very different lives and most aren't religious, but they came together to support this young man and to show their love for him. We'd be lucky to have friends like these kids.
It was an emotional service and one that will stay with all of us who attended. The Spirit testified that it was right. All whose hearts were open felt that witness. The only word I can think to describe this baptism is: glorious.
Attending this service and witnessing the outpouring of the Spirit reminded me that we are all God's children and how He must rejoice when we come unto Him. How He loves each of us. How He wants all of us to experience the joy that comes from the gospel. And, most importantly, we never know who we might influence. If we stand in judgment of others and their lifestyle choices, we will not be able to influence them or show them the light of the gospel. We never know who is searching for the truth or when we can be an instrument in the Lord's hands unless we learn to listen to the Spirit and love those around us.
I'm truly thankful for this experience. It changed me and will ever be part of me.