Yesterday Bean was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was a rich, warm, satisfying experience for me. We worked hard to prepare Bean for this. I didn't want him getting baptized just because he thought it was the cool thing to do, but I wanted him to really know what he was doing and willingly take upon him the covenants and obligations that go with membership in the Kingdom of God. As we conversed with him in the weeks prior to his baptism, it was clear that he has a remarkable knowledge of the Gospel for someone his age, as well as a budding testimony of his Savior Jesus Christ. When we gathered at the church last night for the baptismal service, I knew he was ready.
There was such a wonderful, warm feeling surrounding the entire event. The Spirit was poured out upon everyone involved in the program. I gave the opening prayer and as I poured my heart out in gratitude to my Heavenly Father for sending us this wonderful boy I got all choked up (and I don't cry easily.) My mother gave the talk and it was the best baptismal service talk I have ever heard. Her words were on a level that children could understand but she wasn't talking down to Bean-- her words were profound and full of the Spirit. One of the things that she said was that "the Holy Ghost manifests himself through loving relationships." Then our family got up and sang "I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus." As we sang, I had this amazing feeling like Heaven was smiling down on our family. Bean was just glowing. After he was baptized by his father and confirmed by his grandfather the Bishop asked him to get up and bear his testimony, which he eagerly did. Then my husband gave some wonderful and heartfelt remarks, followed by our Bishop. It was pretty clear that our Bishop thinks Bean is an exceptional young man. Here is a picture of Bean with our Bishop:
After everything was over, we went outside and took a family picture by the beautiful crape-myrtle bushes that are blooming all around the church. I think it turned out quite nice.
I hope you can see in this picture a little slice of the joy that our family receives from our commitment to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the reason we are a strong, happy family. I am so grateful that our journey has brought us to this point with Bean, and yet I also had a strong feeling last night that for him and for all of us, our journey is just beginning.