Saturday, March 22, 2014

Ryan's Baptism!

On Sunday, February 23rd, Ryan was baptized!

Here's a little bit about what we believe concerning baptism.  In our church, we believe that once you turn 8, you have reached the age of accountability, where you understand the difference between right and wrong, and at that age, you can choose to be baptized.  When you are baptized, you promise to keep the commandments and follow our Savior, Jesus Christ.  After being baptized by immersion, by one holding the Aaronic Priesthood, the person is then confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is given the gift if the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands by one who holds the Melchizedek Priesthood (basically a special prayer is said as hands are placed on the person's head by the one performing the ordinance).  We believe that as you make good choices, and as you repent when you make wrong choices, the Holy Ghost will then always be with you to guide you and comfort you. I actually was asked to give a talk in our Sacrament Meeting in church a couple of weeks ago.  Here's the transcript of my talk, if you're interested.

So, Ryan decided that he wanted to be baptized, and we are so excited for him!  It was a very special day, and I made sure to spend a lot of time with Ryan in the days and weeks leading up to it to try and make sure he understood what he was about to do.  I wanted to make sure he knew that it was a real commitment he was making, that he would really have to try his best to live up to.  It was sweet and tender talking to him about these things, and I loved it.  He is just so grown up. 

So, in honor of his big day, Grandma flew in (Grandpa was sadly in the hospital, like I said in my "Dad" post), Aunt Danica and her boyfriend, Zack, DROVE in from PITTSBURGH (!!!), Grandpa Moore drove down from Ironwood, and AnnaMarie, Tyler, the kids, Kelly (sick with flu symptoms, but came regardless!  She did ask if I wanted her there.  I did.), Ken and their kids all came as well.  In addition to our wonderful family members, we were joined by friends, neighbors, Ryan's school teacher, and others.  Ryan felt so, so loved!  Thank you all so much for showing him your love and support.  It meant so much to him!

Ryan had planned out the entire program.  He chose "Baptism" for the opening song, and he had asked Grandpa Walton to give the opening prayer, but when he was unable to come, Ryan asked his cousin, Luke, instead.   Then Grandma Walton gave a beautiful talk about baptism and repentance, and then it was time for Ryan to be baptized.  Michael holds both the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthoods, so he baptized Ryan, and later gave him the gift of the Holy Ghost.

It was such a special moment for me, watching him.  He was so happy, and so sure of himself and of the choice he was making.  I remember his face as he came back up out of the water.  He was just so happy, and it was such a special, joyful experience.  I went and helped him get all dried off and dressed back up in his nice clothes.  I asked him how he felt, and he said "I feel really warm and really happy inside."  I hope he recognizes that that is how the Spirit usually speaks to us--through a warm, peaceful, happy reassurance when we are doing what is right.

After being baptized, while Ryan was still getting ready, Luke, Evelyn, Lily, Katie, Jane, Calvin and Sophie all sang a special song, "I Feel My Savior's Love".  I so wish that I had a recording of it, because it was so sweet and so touching.  They sang like little angels.

Next was a talk on the Gift of the Holy Ghost, by Grandpa Moore, and then Michael performed the confirmation and bestowing of the Gift of the Holy Ghost.  In the blessing, Ryan was told that he would have the strength to stay on the path he was now on, and the strength to find his way back if he should step off.  He was also blessed that he would be an example to others, and be able to share his testimony with them.

After that, Bishop Pattberg spoke briefly and then we had a closing song, "I Am a Child of God", and a closing prayer by my sister, Danica.  It was a beautiful service, and Ryan was so very happy.  He felt so loved by those who attended, and by those who sent their love in other ways.  It was a beautiful day, and one I hope that he will always remember.

I didn't take too many pictures, and I really wish I had been able to get a picture with everyone from our family who was able to come, but I didn't!  But here is sweet Ryan and Michael, just before the baptism:

And our family of 6:

Ryan's teacher, Señora Fors, came to support him.  It was so sweet!

Ryan with Grandpa Moore:

Ryan with Grandma Walton:

 A couple of pictures of Ryan: 

Ryan's favorite color is gold.  He asked for a gold 8-layer cake.  So he got it!  I'm pretty proud of it, actually!

Ryan with Danica and Zack.

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