Wednesday, 29 October 2014

My Baptism: A Journal Extract

An extract from my journal after my baptism. How far I've come.

Baptism Day (08 December 2013)

The day I'd been waiting for most of my life had finally come - and I was able to do it wholeheartedly, without any doubt (when listening to my heart). I was accompanied by two others, Lloyd and Shamir, who too were being baptised and I was fortunate to have the people who cared for me most support me (save it be my grandparents).

The day started with a white one-piece overall and a glimpse at Elder Tew's whites. Despite the horror of the one-piece, we continued with photos; photos with the family, the Farquharsons, the elders and the converts. Once we were done, we headed off to the baptismal service.

Dylan opened with a prayer and the congregation followed with hymn 180, Father in Heaven, We Do Believe, chosen by Shamir. It was a very appropriate song, considering I did (and still do). Elder Zulu then gave a talk on baptism which heightened my spirits and Letta (Shamir's fiance) gave a talk on the Holy Ghost (the greatest gift in all of existence). Both talks were highly inspirational and left me with a spirit of peace.

It was off to the baptisms and I was both nervous and excited. First was Shamir being baptised by Kevin... the words were spoken and Shamir was immersed in water (a photo of evidence exists). Next was Elder Tew and me. He stepped into the font and I followed. At first, I was worried, but the moment I grabbed hold of his wrist - and he mine - I was at ease. He called out my name (after asking what my full name was) and called the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. He dipped me into the water and I felt a rush.

As the water beneath me washed over and engulfed me, I felt something more than words could even describe. I knew that I was only under for a couple of seconds, but it felt like I was under for longer (like a dual experience of time). My chest warmed up and I felt safe. A heaviness washed away and as Elder Tew pulled me out, I felt my surroundings revert. As Lloyd said after he followed with his baptism, "It felt like I was in a different place."

The water may have been cold, but I was warm on the inside (burning out). More photos were taken (unfortunately none of me immersed in the water) but I was happy, comforted and at ease. Elder Tew said the Spirit was strong (as Zulu said) and I could feel it. As we headed back to the service after changing, I recall saying it felt like I'd left something behind. Tew said it was my past transgressions and pain. I'd never been so content with any other answer before.

Back at the service, testimonies were given. Shamir and Lloyd glistened with truth as they spoke. I went up and spoke from my heart, mentioning hope and faith. I recall the words "seven months, six missionaries" and maybe I was waiting for Elder Tew. I mean, if I were to be completely honest, I knew I'd ask him to baptise me from the moment we met.

We sang the closing hymn, 219, Because I Have Been Given Much. Never been truer words. Members welcomed us to the ward and said they enjoyed my testimony. It was a joyous occasion. 

Brother Shaun told me that he recalled his baptism and that he didn't feel much different until his confirmation. I now understand what he meant. Now, I hold on to what I felt on Sunday. I hold fast onto my ability to relive a memory and I can feel the water washing over me. I remember the Spirit that warmed me and I can't wait for this coming Sunday when the Spirit comes to stay.

Afterwards, though - during eats - I felt something pull at me (something wrong). I fought the urge to follow and Elder Tew said that I should run from those pulls (literally, if I have to). I will hold strong to those words and remember the truth as evil fights to change my mind. Elder Zulu gave me a blessing of comfort and ended the day on a high note.

I am eternally grateful for the missionaries. I am eternally grateful for the Farquharsons. I am eternally grateful for the Spirit in my life and the atonement made possible by Jesus Christ. I am grateful that Elder Tew was the one to come into my life, baptise me and will be the one to confirm me. Maybe it's coincidence that his name is David, maybe it was meant to be.

Thank you Father for all you blessings, guidance and protection.

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