Thursday, January 2, 2014

Looking Back at 2013......Sam's Baptism

On the 29th of October, 2013, Samuel turned 8.
In our church  children are baptized when they reach the age of 8.
Jim and I had lots of discussions about whether Samuel should be baptized.  Baptism is important to us, but, so is Samuel understanding the ordinance and being accountable. 
Over the past year we have prayerfully looked for the answer and have tried to prepare Samuel so he could make this important decision. 
The sister missionaries from church have been coming to our classroom nearly every week and give Samuel a little lesson that is baptism related.  One of Samuel's favorite parts is playing Candy Land!!!!  Though, the sisters have caught on and usually have a game as part of the lesson!  We have had Family Home Evenings on the topic of baptism, and have talked to Samuel about it repeatedly.  Probably one of the biggest impacts on Samuel was actually going to his friend's baptisms.
One day I asked Samuel the following question.
"Samuel, why do you want to be baptized?"
Samuel replied.
"Because Jesus was baptized and so are my friends."

Invitations were sent.
Samuel had a baptism interview with our Bishop, Bishop Crosby.
The program was planned.
Samuel's baptism program was a bit different from the "usual".  We wanted it to stay focused on the ordinance of baptism, but also wanted it to reflect Samuel's personality and why he was being baptized.
Samuel is ready!!
The sign-in table is ready!!!
 Samuel's favorite teacher from Sydney's School came.  Samuel was so surprised and happy to see her.  Sam ran up to her, gave her a hug and said, "Ms Marcia, I have missed you so much."
 Ms Mary also came!  She taught the other pre-school class at Sydney's School and had a lot of interaction with Samuel.  We were so glad to see them.  Samuel is not the only one who has missed them!!!!
Samuel and Dad
Samuel, Mum and Dad
The program is ready!!  
We just hope that people were ready for the program!!

"I am a Child of God" is Samuel's favorite song.
We all need to remember the message of this beautiful children's song.
Whitney Gunder sang "Teach Me To Walk".  This song has special meaning to our family and it seemed right to have it sang at Sam's baptism.
Of course, the most important part was Samuel's baptism and confirmation.  
We are grateful for everyone that came to share this day with Sam.
We are also grateful for an understanding and compassionate Bishop who let us deter from the "norm".
Church has, and still isn't, easy for our little boy.
But, through the help, love and caring of many, Samuel has come such a long way in a few short years.
Mum, Dad, Jessica, Joshua, Courtney and Sam
Samuel's first choice of a closing song was, "Once There Was a Snowman".  I encouraged him to pick his 3rd favorite song.
I was going to encourage him to pick his 4th favorite, but, "If You're Happy and You Know It" seemed some how appropriate.
Everyone was smiling.
Samuel insisted on saying the closing prayer.
We were a little worried........
especially when the first words out of his mouth were, "Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to my baptism!"  Samuel then proceeded to close with a heartfelt prayer.


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