For reasons clear to anyone familiar with the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, late 2015, this is a difficult time to write a baptism talk to be given at a child's baptism. For those familiar with he Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at all, every time is a great time for a baptism.
Yesterday, Large S was baptized. It was beautiful and moving and important. It was clarifying. Baptisms are remarkable events and I'm so grateful.
The following is the talk I gave just before the ordinance.
Hey, Large S. I know you don't like things to be normal and so I'm going to start my talk with a scripture I've never heard at a baptism before. Ready?
This is D&C 68.25.
And again, inasmuch as parents have children in Zion, or in any of her stakes which are organized, that teach them not to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God, and of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands, when eight years old, the sin be upon the heads of the parents.So according to Jesus, my job as your parent is to teach you to understand faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism by immersion, and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. No matter what else is right or wrong in my life---and I'm sure you can tell everyone I'm not perfect---you understanding faith, repentance, and baptism is still my responsibility. Jesus said so.
Look: We all make mistakes. I was baptized over thirty years ago and I'll bet I've made a mistake every day since then. Some mistakes, I'm sorry to say, come very easily to me. Some mistakes come pretty easily to you as well. And you know what? Baptism doesn't magically turn us into different people.
But it will make you a new person.
See, when we get baptized, we promise that we will remember Jesus and try to live as he taught us to: loving everyone and acting out of love. And Heavenly Father promises to send the Holy Ghost to be with us. And that is how you're a new person---you act in new ways and you have the Holy Ghost to help you. And that's why the Church has always taught baptism is so important for kids like you. All of us need all the help we can get.
Jesus called getting baptized being born again.
What does that mean, that baptism is being born again?
What does it mean that in ten minutes you'll be a new person, even though you're the same person?
What does that feel like?
Here I'm going to pause to let the Big O tell you about when he was baptized and what it felt like.
///here his brother spoke about baptism
///followed by my testimony
///in which I made certain to cite the importance of the sacrament