“The Best Gift I Could Give,” Liahona, December 2019
When my family and I started attending The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I felt in my heart that my mom had guided us there.
Mom had died unexpectedly on Christmas Day two years before. She was an incredibly faithful and humble follower of Jesus Christ, but she had never learned about the restored gospel. After 11 months of learning about the Church, my husband, Navid, my daughter, Katie, and I were baptized on Christmas Day. What had once been a day of sadness because of my mother’s passing would now be a day of happiness for our family because of our new life in the gospel.
Many people attended our baptism. I was shocked to see over 100 people there at 10:00 a.m. on Christmas morning! We couldn’t have felt more loved.
Before our baptism, the stake temple and family history consultant helped me prepare my mother’s name and the names of several other deceased ancestors to take to the temple for baptism.
Twenty-five days after our baptisms, on January 19, 2018, my mom’s birthday, we made our first trip to the Newport Beach California Temple. I was nervous and didn’t know what to expect, but when I walked into the temple, I felt so much serenity. It was like nowhere else I had ever been. Our group gathered at the baptismal font, where the temple president explained the importance of baptism for the dead and the blessing it holds. I sobbed for joy thinking of how these baptisms would bless our family.
After Navid was baptized for some of the male members of my family, he baptized me on behalf of some of the female family members. The first person I was baptized for was my dear, sweet mother. When I heard the words “who is dead,” I wept. Hearing it made her death so real that it hurt. But then I thought, what greater gift could I possibly give my mother on her birthday than the gift of baptism in the temple?
I look forward to many more trips to the temple. I am grateful to know that I can help provide blessings to those who have gone before me through the ordinances of the temple. What a wonderful gift!