This past week my little sister, Elizabeth, got baptized! When I originally made the decision to stay for spring and summer terms, I was really upset that I would have to miss this special day and moment. I still wish with all of my heart that I could have been there in person to give her a hug when she came out of the water, to help do her hair, and to sing with her and the rest of my sisters.
This isn't what matters, though. What matters is that she made the choice to be baptized, to covenant with God to keep his commandments and to look after his other children.* And I, through the miracle of modern technology, got to see the whole thing. Yes, my dad skyped me from his phone so that I could participate in a little way even though I was 2,000 miles from them.
I am so grateful for my family, and for the sacrifices that they make for me to be here. I'm grateful for Lizzie and for her example, and for the love of our Father in Heaven.
*Just some background for any of you who are curious why Lizzie waited until she was eight years old to get baptized:
In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we believe that Christ's atonement, where he suffered for our sins and died on the cross and was resurrected, automatically covers the sins of all those who sin unknowingly. We also believe that He payed for Adam's fall, so we have no "original sin," and are therefore completely innocent until we are old enough to understand the difference between right and wrong. We believe that this ability develops around the age of 8 (a fact I actually heard scientific evidence for in my human development class, but can't remember who said it).
Understanding the difference between right and wrong is so important before baptism because it is not only a cleansing of sins, but it is an ordinance wherein we covenant, or promise, with God that we will keep his commandments, take our Savior's name upon us (we will do our best to be like Him and behave in a way that represents Him and reflects well on His church), and that we will always remember Him, in everything that we do. In return, the Lord forgives our sins and sends the Holy Spirit to be with us. Before we can be baptized, we need to be able to know and understand the covenants that we are making, so that we can keep them. This is why we wait until we are eight years old to take this step.
If you have any questions about this, or any of my other beliefs, feel free to leave me a comment! You can also click this link here. Have a lovely day! :)