Just three weeks in and I have already participated in the baptism. Two investigators who we have been teaching were baptized on August 20th. Their names are Bridger and Savannah. Bridger is 16 and Savannah is 9, which is a bit of an age difference.
My mission has been great so far, and I’ve learned so much as I have been teaching, and trying to find people to teach. The work has been mostly finding people to teach, as there are not a lot of non-Mormons here in Utah.
Since I’m on the subject of baptisms I would like to share a few thoughts on that subject.
First off, I would like to explain how we perform baptisms. My LDS friends and family reading this blog will already know this but I’ll explain anyways. We baptize by immersion, which means we fully dunk the person getting baptized under water. They have to be fully immersed in the water, if only for a moment.
Now the real question some of you might be asking, why do we preform baptisms and why is it such a big deal?
It’s simple really—Jesus Christ was baptized and because he was baptized so are we. Then why was Jesus baptized? Because baptism is an extremely symbolic act that shows devotion to God. When we are baptized we promise to take upon us the name of Christ and act as he would act. Of course nobody is perfect like Jesus, but it is important that we try to be the best we can be and as Christ-like as possible. Baptism is also symbolic of death and rebirth; we are buried under the water to show the death of the old life we had, and are taken out to show the birth of the new life we are given. Ultimately baptism is how we show God that we want to follow him and want to live the way he wants us to live.
Many might think that as missionaries all we are concerned about is getting baptisms. And while we focus a lot on baptism, as it is the first step in God’s plan of salvation, we don’t force people to be baptized. In fact, to be baptized into our church is not easy. You have to follow commandments that God has given us, and you have to be interviewed before you are baptized. And most of all you have to want to be baptized, and your family has to want you to be baptized. If all of these requirements are not met the church will not baptize you.
At the end of the day baptism is extremely important to us as Latter-day Saints. And as we live our lives, we have baptism and the promise we made as a constant reminder of who we should be like.
In the name of Jesus Christ, the perfect example. Amen.