What Baptism Means
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“What Baptism Means,” New Era, Nov. 2010, 48

What Baptism Means

Hannah G., Texas

The main reason I went to church my junior year of high school was because my parents never gave me any other option. But I had an experience that changed my life. One Sunday a new girl was in our Sunday school class. I felt prompted to slide over a few chairs and introduce myself. As we talked, I realized that Kristeen was very shy, so I took it upon myself to introduce her to our class. I assumed she had just moved into the ward, and she and I became fast friends.

A month and a half after she joined our class, I received a phone call from our ward mission leader. He told me that Kristeen and her mother were getting baptized and that Kristeen wanted me to speak at her baptism. I was floored; I thought Kristeen was a member all along. I also felt like I was the wrong person to speak on baptism, but I accepted the invitation.

To prepare for the talk, I used some scriptures on baptism, the fourth article of faith, and a good-sized chunk out of True to the Faith and called it good.

The day of Kristeen’s baptism was beautiful. She looked so confident and cheerful. I could tell she was excited and ready for baptism. Then it came time for me to speak. I’ve always felt comfortable speaking in front of large groups, so the talk seemed cohesive. Things were going well until I read Romans 6:4: “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”

I could feel the Spirit, and I knew that I had not been keeping my baptismal covenants fully. I started crying and did my best to finish my talk. I was jealous of Kristeen, that she was going to be baptized and have the slate of her life wiped clean and renewed. But I was even more overcome by feelings of happiness for her and for her strength. She wanted to follow Christ.

How wonderful it is to know that we can be made pure by baptism and that if we fall even a little short, we can repent and be made whole again through the atoning sacrifice of Christ. I am so thankful for my Heavenly Father’s plan and for Jesus Christ and His eternal sacrifice for me. I know that if I keep trying my best and continue to repent, I can also “walk in newness of life.”