Sunday, May 15, 2016

Callie's Baptism

We are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. And so, we try to live our life as disciples of Jesus Christ. Are we perfect? No. Not close. But we do believe that through Jesus Christ we can be perfected. It's a life long process. We believe that children are born innocent and pure. They don't have the ability to sin and they don't carry any sin into this world with them. Because Christ was perfect and followed all of His father's commandments, so must we. We need to follow his perfect example and enter the waters of baptism...and as we do so, we enter the gate that is mentioned in the scriptures. We make a covenant when we are baptized to be like Him, with the knowledge that we will continually need His help and will need to live of life of constant repentance, starting over, making small improvements each day, just doing our best. He knows we aren't perfect, nor does He require that of us right now. But what He does require is our heart and our desire to try and to do. That's what baptism represents to me. That commitment, that covenant, to constantly try, in His name, to do our try to live up to our divine nature and heritage.

We are baptized when we are 8 years old, or older. I don't remember my baptism details. I remember after being baptized, I wore a white dress with a pink ribbon around my waist. I thought that dress was beautiful. I remember my Aunt Geri gave me a gold necklace with a cross on it, and I cherished that necklace. I remember eating cake in a room in the church afterwards. But the rest is a blur. What isn't a blur is what that day has meant to me in my life. Because I was baptized, I have made different choices in my life than I wouldn't have made otherwise. I did stupid things still, but I always decided to do better next time, to turn back to God. That one decision to be baptized transformed my life. And I'm grateful for it.

Before Callie turned 8 years old, we talked to her about baptism. We really wanted this to be her decision, and if she didn't want to do it or didn't feel ready, then we wanted her to know that was ok. Sure we hoped she wanted to be baptized, but more important to us was that she was making this choice on her own. At one point, she didn't want to be baptized. Later she told me she didn't want people to look at her. Well, we could keep the baptism private with just family...but did she want to partake in that sacred ordinance. For months we had no idea what she really wanted. And then one day she said she wanted to...and she wanted Daddy to  baptize her.

On Saturday, February 6, 2016, Callie, along with her friend, Leo, was baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The room was packed with people who love these two kids so much. We all felt the Spirit fill our hearts and it was a beautiful day.

Since Callie's baptism, I've seen her spiritually progress. In fact, I've seen her understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ advance more than it ever did for me at this age. It's a confirmation to me that these children have been set apart for this time...a time when we need stronger spirits, more determined to follow truth and light...that she is here to be a defender of truth and righteousness and to raise her family in love and light. She makes me a better person. I love Callie so much and I'm so very blessed to have her in my life. I would be incomplete without her.

Playing with cousins in the parking lot before the baptism. 

Aw, sweet Hayley.


Sammy and Micah weren't so compliant, but it was still a beautiful day. :)

Callie and Daddy

Micah seriously refuses to be in any picture. I hope this phase doesn't last too long.

I love my girl.

Callie was baptized by immersion...and before doing so, Marcus took his black socks off. ;)

Callie and Leo
Buds getting baptized together.

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