“Who Will Baptize Me?” Friend, June 2016, 18–19
“Margo, who do you want to baptize you?” Mom asked as we drove home from church.
Dad! I thought. I want Dad to baptize me.
But I knew that wasn’t an option. So I just shrugged. “I dunno,” I said.
Dad isn’t a member of the Church. He reads the scriptures and prays with us, and he believes in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, but he’s never been baptized. He doesn’t have the priesthood, so he can’t baptize me.
“You should decide soon,” Mom said. “Your baptism is only a few weeks away.”
“I’m still thinking about it,” I said.
But what I was really thinking about was how sad I was that Dad couldn’t baptize me.
When we got home from church, I saw my cousin Collin in the living room with Dad. Collin was going to college nearby and liked to come for dinner on Sundays.
Dad got up to help Mom in the kitchen, and I plopped down on the couch next to Collin.
“Hey, Margo!” Collin said. “I can’t wait to come to your baptism. Are you excited?”
I looked down at my feet and shrugged.
Collin frowned. “What’s up?”
“I don’t know if I want to get baptized!” I blurted out.
“Because Dad can’t baptize me,” I said. “All of my friends’ dads baptized them, but mine can’t, so it won’t be as special.”
Collin nodded slowly. “That would be hard,” he said. “But that doesn’t mean your baptism won’t be special.”
I just shrugged again.
“Let me ask you something,” Collin said. “Do you know why we get baptized and confirmed?”
“Yeah,” I said. “We talked about that today. We make promises with God and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
“That’s what God promises us,” Collin said. “But we make promises too. Do you know what you promise God at baptism?”
I counted off on my fingers. “To take the name of Jesus Christ upon me, to keep His commandments, and to remember Him.”
“Right,” Collin said. “So when you get baptized, you make a special promise with Heavenly Father. That’s all that matters. Your baptism is between you and Heavenly Father, so it will be really special, no matter who baptizes you.”
I guess that did sound pretty special.
“You know, by getting baptized, you’re also setting a good example for your dad,” Collin said.
I perked up at that. “Really?”
“I know your dad is proud of your faith and your decision to be baptized. Maybe seeing how important baptism is to you will help him start thinking about getting baptized too.”
Collin reached in his pocket and pulled out a small box. He opened it and pulled out a necklace with a pretty gold charm.
“Here,” he said, handing it to me. “An early birthday present.”
“Wow!” I said. “Thanks!”
That night, as Mom and I did the dishes, she asked if I had decided who would baptize me.
I touched the gold charm around my neck. “I think I know.”
A few weeks later, I stood in a white jumpsuit and looked down into the font. There was Collin, reaching out his hand for me.
I looked at the people in the room and saw Dad. He was smiling at me. I walked into the water to be baptized, and I thought about my Heavenly Father. I was excited to make this first covenant with Him. I bet He was smiling too.