Sunday, March 2, 2008


(Mom, JRB, baptized July 1989, Bonney Lake, Washington, USA)

I was the oldest child, and we did not live near any extended family, so I had never seen a family members baptism. I knew that getting baptized was the right thing to do, but I was nervous about it because I knew it was a big commitment and responsibility. I was a little bit scared. Nobody ever asked me if I wanted to get baptized--they all just assumed that I would. I DID want to, but I remember being very upset that nobody ASKED.
The bishop had to interview me first to make sure that I was worthy and ready to be baptized. Our ward had a softball team, and the bishop was on his way to a game when he stopped by our house to interview me. I didn't know he was coming--I guess my parents arranged the interview. The bishop was in his softball uniform! He said he had never done an interview in his softball uniform before! He went with me into my daddy's den and he sat on the desk and I sat on the office chair and he asked me some questions and I answered them, and then he filled out a little piece of paper and said I could get baptized.
A few days before my baptism, I climbed up to the high platform of our playground--it was about 20 feet up and I was always a little bit scared up there, but I wanted some privacy. My dad came up there after me and we talked for a while about baptism. He told me that I would be the very first person he baptized (he never actually performed a baptism on his mission). He was really excited about it. He told me about his baptism and how it was really big and impersonal, and that he was glad that mine would not be like that.
I remember that I really wanted Grandma and Grandpa M to come, and they were planning on doing so, but then just a week or so before my baptism Grandpa had some kind of surgery, and was not able to sit in a car for the 6-hour drive to come. I was really sad about that.
My mom was in the Young Womens program, and she was helping her girls work on their personal progress goals. One project they worked on was helping a child prepare for baptism by creating a story for them--mom made a little book for me about a little girl who wanted to be a bunch of different animals--a fish to breathe under the water, an elephant so the confirming hands wouldn't be too heavy, and so on. I don't remember all of the story, but I do remember my mothers very cute drawings.
I was baptized on August 5, 1989. I was baptized with one other person--a boy named Trevor. We each picked one song, one person to pray, and one person to give a talk. I chose "Come Listen to a Prophet's Voice" which was my favorite hymn at the time. I asked my dad to give a talk about the Holy Ghost, and I remember that he told everyone that he was there to talk to me and Trevor, and that everyone else could listen if they wanted but really he was just talking to us two. I don't know who the person was that Trevor chose to speak about baptism, but I thought she was really boring.
Trevor was baptized first. When he was done, I walked down the steps into the water. It was warm, like a bathtub, and it felt really weird to be in warm water with clothes on. My dad tucked my long braid inside my shirt so that it would not float up in the water, and he put his foot over my toes so that they would not float up when he dunked me. When I was under the water, it felt like a really really long time. I know it was only a couple of seconds, but when I came back up the first thing I thought was just that I was really glad to be out! I was also glad to be done because I didn't have to be nervous anymore.
My mom had made me a pretty dress with white eyelet and little pink flowers to wear after my baptism. I had picked out the pattern and the fabrics. I remember mom helping me get my clothes changed and that my long curly hair was all tangled up from being wet and it was really hard to try to comb it out to put the bow in. I thought everybody must have been waiting a really long time for me to come back out.
Trevor was confirmed first as well, then it was my turn. Some of the men from his circle stayed to be in my circle too (men from the ward). One guy I did not know started to go back to his chair, but then dad invited him to come back up. He was one of Trevor's uncles, and my dad knew him and I guess he thought I knew him too, but I didn't, and I felt very weird about him being in the circle. Now when I try to remember who was in the circle, the only people I remember are my dad and that guy I didn't know!
The confirmation blessing is a special chance for God to give you messages about what you should do or how you should live. I remember one line from my blessing--it stood out to me at the time and I have never forgotten it: "Remember that self control is very important." So I have always tried to follow that.
On the way home we all stopped and got ice cream at Baskin Robbins. I had never been there and thought it was so neat that they had so many flavors. I got berry cheesecake, which is still one of my favorite flavors.