Here is the talk I gave at my sons baptism.
Today is a very important day for you. How are you feeling? Are you excited? I am so excited for both of you. This is a very important day. One in which I hope you will remember forever.
In primary this year, you are learning about choices. You are each making a very important choice today. Today, as in the days of Jesus, there are certain principles and ordinances of the gospel that we must learn and obey. Those are big words, huh? A principle is a true belief or teaching. An ordinance is a ceremony. The 4th article of faith says, we believe that the first principles and ordinances of the gospel are first faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, second repentance, Third baptism by immersion for a remission of sins and fourth the laying on of hands for the gift of the holy ghost. So, we have faith and repentance, which are principles. Then, we have Baptism which is the first ordinance of the gospel. One of the instructions Jesus gave His Apostles, found in Matthew 28:19-20 was, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.”
Jesus was baptized, wasn’t he? Even though He was perfect, He chose to be baptized to set a perfect example for us. You are following in His footsteps by being baptized.
A long time ago, you made your first “big” choice or step in leaving our Father in Heaven and coming to Earth with the intention of returning to Him someday. (Show first foot step)
Today your baptism is another “big” choice/step on your path back to your Heavenly Father. (Place footstep far away) Now, do you think you can make the jump in one try?
It would be kind of hard wouldn’t it? Do you think a few baby steps in between would help? Of course, you didn’t come to earth and get baptized right away, you have had several years/ baby steps to help you along the way and prepare you to make this choice. Steps such as: learning to pray, love your family, scripture study, primary, faith, honesty, going to church and learning to obey your parents. With these baby steps do you think you can make it to your baptism now?
Each of these steps has prepared you to make the choice to be baptized today.
When we are baptized we make a covenant. Do you know what a covenant is? That’s right, it is a promise that you make with our Father in Heaven.
Do you know what you are promising today?
Alma taught “Behold, here are the waters of Mormon. … And now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, … what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?” (Mosiah 18:8, 10). The people clapped their hands for joy and said it was their desire to be baptized. Alma baptized them in the Waters of Mormon. (See Mosiah 18:7–17.)
1. You are promising to take upon you the name of Christ. When you are born, you are given at least 2 names. Your first name is the name that others call you and your last name talks about the family that you belong to. Just like you want to be a good example of a Lopez or a McMillan or Blythe, you want to be a good example of our Savior. When others find out what your last name is, you want them to know that you are being honest and kind and doing what is right. When you take the Savior’s name upon you as you are today, you want others to know that you following the Savior and that you are living a life like the Savior.
2. You also promise that you will keep His commandments. You will try to do all that He asks of you.
3. You are also promising to Always remember the Savior. You want to think of Him each day and remember what He has taught each of us.
4. Finally, you are promising to help others. When Jesus was on the earth, He went around and served others a lot, didn’t He? He helped them to feel better when they were sick, He taught them the gospel, and He loved them. By following in His footsteps, you can serve and help others each day.
When we are baptized and keep our promises, we get some neat promises from the Lord.
1. He will Forgive our sins. When we make mistakes, as we all do. We can repent and be forgiven. It is such a blessing to know that we can be as clean as you are today throughout the rest of your life by repenting and renewing our covenants when we take the sacrament. When we prepare to take the sacrament, we have an opportunity to think of the week we had and ponder on the good choices and bad choices we made. Then we can ask forgiveness for the things that we did wrong and repent. In the sacrament prayers, if you listen, you will hear the same three covenants you will make today. Heavenly Father helps us in so many ways and he will always be there to help you remember your covenants.
2. He will bless us with His Spirit more abundantly or more often.
3. He will give us daily guidance and the help of the Holy Ghost which Bro. Mardo will talk about soon.
4. Finally, we will be able to return to live with him and with our families as long as we keep all of our promises.
I can still remember the day that I was baptized. What I remember most of all was how I felt as I came out. I felt the spirit and I remember feeling so clean. I am so happy for the 2 of you and for the step you are making to draw closer to our Father in Heaven. Bear testimony.