Sunshine's Baptism

Jul 1, 2015

The entire week after getting home from Hawaii was a crazy one, but we knew that would be the case. We arrived home late, late Monday night, Wednesday was Sunshine's birthday and Thursday my family began to roll into town for Sunshine's baptism on Saturday. By Friday night we had a full house and things were a little crazy as we tried to get everything in order for Sunshine's big day.

Sunshine was baptized on Saturday March 28th. She was one of 4 children from our ward alone that was being baptized that day, with the total number from the stake was somewhere around 11 or 12. It was a little bit insane. In my 4 years as Primary President, I had never seen a baptism with so many children participating. Considering the large amount of people at the baptismal service, it went really smoothly and I couldn't be happier with the entire day!

Before leaving for her baptism, Bruce and I took Sunshine aside so we could give her a final birthday/baptism day gift. Bruce had chosen a strand of real pearls for her and he gave them to her explaining that they were to be worn on her baptism day, and then again on the day when she is sealed in the temple. Of course, she can wear them on Sundays and special occasions until then, but we wanted her to have something to link the covenants she made on her baptism day with the covenants she will make when she is one day sealed to a spouse for time and all eternity. It was a really sweet moment when he gave them to her and I definitely cried. Darn pregnancy hormones.

After giving her the necklace, we headed to the church for the 2pm service. Sunshine wore the dress that I was baptized in 22 years and 1 month previously. She looked so beautiful in it and I love that our baptisms are connected through that dress. So many people came to support her, including a lot of non-member friends and even her school teacher! Of all the people who showed up for her special day, I think having her teacher there meant the most to Sunshine. It was incredible to see how many people took time out of their busy Saturday to be there for her. She was grinning from ear to ear as she hugged and greeted everyone.

The baptism went great and the confirmation portion of the service ended up being really neat. With 4 children from our ward being baptized, I was really unsure of how to handle dividing up the responsibilities for the confirmation part. I wanted to involve every family, but didn't want to ask one family to provide a talk and the others to just pick a song or say a prayer. After a lot of thought, I decided to have one of the 8 year old Primary teachers give the Holy Ghost talk, then invite each of the other three families to ask someone to bear testimony of their experience with the Holy Ghost. I knew I would be doing the welcome from the Primary, so I kept that our family's contribution to the program and had my second counselor give the closing prayer. It ended up being a beautiful meeting. I truly enjoyed each of the testimonies that were born and the Spirit was so so strong. Each of the children were given beautiful blessings as they received the Holy Ghost and while I can't remember what was said in any one of the blessings, including Sunshine's, I remember thinking how amazing it was that each child was given a distinctly different, yet truly incredible blessing. Each blessing was so personalized and beautiful without any of them saying the same things.

When it was my turn to speak, and give the welcome from the Primary, I struggled. I knew I would. I had been told by the bishop several weeks earlier that I was going to be released, and this was to be my last act as Primary President. I'd served with these sweet children since they were little Sunbeams, fresh from nursery and it was difficult to stand before them and say all I wanted to say. But I made it through and hopefully did not disturb the spirit that had been brought in by all the others who participated on the program.

After all was said and done, Sunshine got lots of hugs and congratulations before we headed home to celebrate with family and a few friends who stopped by. We enjoyed a huge dessert bar and eventually decided to have dinner as well. It was a really wonderful day and I loved watching Sunshine make her first covenant with her Heavenly Father. She was absolutely ready to do so and it has been wonderful to watch her continue to mature in the gospel over the past few months since her baptism day. Bruce and I are truly blessed to be the parents of such a sweet girl who is so close to the Spirit and wants so badly to do what is right. She is most certainly a choice daughter of our Heavenly Father and it is such an honour to be trusted to raise her.

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