Friday, January 17, 2014

A January Baptism

The first Saturday in January, President Tye and I attended two baptisms. There was ample time to visit both if we left the first baptism as soon as it was over and hurried to the second. But as is common in the Philippines, the baptism did not start on time. Actually it ended up an hour behind schedule. Because of this we walked into the second baptism just as the last talk was ending. But people are so loving here that we were still treated to hugs, kisses, and handshakes. Amazing, beautiful people!
But I would like to share the experience that I had during the first baptism we visited that night. When we arrived the font was being filled. Sometimes dirty water comes through a water line and can make a font look dirty and unclean, but tonight this font was beautiful. As I stood watching the water slowly filling the font, I noticed two candy or gum wrappers floating on top of the water. I pointed them out to Elder Roberts who was standing next to me. The next thing I know, he is stepping over the protective glass barrier, wedging his slippery shoes against the glass and with his knee on the 4" ledge he reached in to the font to pick up the small pieces of paper. I was impressed that Elder Roberts understood the importance of having a clean baptismal font to preform this sacred ordinance. Even to the extent that he would put himself in that precarious position just to remove these two insignificant pieces of floating garbage. I was touched by his concern for sacred things.
 Elder Calaunan, Elder Roberts, Elder Matina, and Elder Banawan have a picture with the young baptism candidate and his family. 
The next experience I had at this baptism had to do with the little fellow that was baptized. Elder Roberts helped him into the font, completed the ordinance, but after he finished, the young boy did not immediately go up the stairs to get changed into his dry clothing; he just stood there and didn't move. He looked out at everyone who was attending and just smiled the biggest smile ever! I saw pure joy in this young boys face and instantly I thought of the people gathered at the waters of Mormon who after Alma asked them to take upon themselves the covenant of baptism they, ". . . clapped their hands with joy, and exclaimed: This is the desire of our hearts." (Mosiah 18:11) It was such a sweet experience for me to witness.
The elder I stood with at the font and the young 'new member' of the church taught me that joy can be found in every detail of the gospel. Keeping sacred things clean and pure, and being baptized a member of the church of Jesus Christ should be the greatest desire of our hearts!

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