Monday, June 08, 2020

Baptism memories and baptism music

My dear friend Diana posted a beautiful picture of her baby book where her mom had collected signatures for Diana of her parents and grandparents. It looks like kind of a fun thing to have. Names, written in their own hand. Two important things. Anyway, someone commented and said that's why she says it's important to write things down in scrap books and things—rather than type everything—so that your progeny can see your handwriting. 

So I have some handwriting samples for you this evening! For Family Night I challenged everyone to write down some memories of their baptism day (and those who had not yet been baptized were welcome to draw pictures while everyone else wrote). We reference briefly Elder Anderson's talk from the last session of conference as well as Alma 5, to emphasize the importance of writing things down. And, interestingly, when we began to share what we had written we began to remember more

Here is what Andrew had to say:

I remember that we had to go to a different church building from our normal one, and it was darker and not very familiar. We didn't have any family come (maybe?) but there were lots of friends from our ward and lots of primary friends. The water was warm, probably? It was, um, unremarkable.  
My dad baptized and confirmed me and I got a set of scriptures from my parents and something else from the primary president. 
I remember that I felt important and calm and warm and happy that I had made a good and important decision, and I felt supported by everyone. I was glad I had made a good choice.
The kids thought it was interesting that the "dark and unfamiliar" church building was our beloved Berini building in Durham! So Rachel and Andrew actually were baptized in the same font, which, statistically speaking is kind of a big deal for our family.

Here is my baptism story:

When I was baptized they had forgotten to fill the font so they had to fill it really fast. The water heater couldn't handle it so the water ended up being really, really cold.  
My Sunday School teacher, John Strachan, gave a talk where he used a glove and his hand to show resurrection (the spirit leaves the body and is later reunited) and redemption. I don't recall who gave the other talk, though I'm inclined to say it was Sister Walker (from the primary). 
My dad baptized and confirmed me. I remember feeling special and hopeful. And clean.
I don't really remember who was there. I don't think many people came. I know my whole immediate family was there, including Kelli. I wasn't sure that she would come because she was still in her constantly-running-away stage. But she did come and brought her boyfriend...Farret? Farrin. They both were dressed so funny—in black Goth-like clothes—I was embarrassed. I shouldn't have been so embarrassed.
It was a lovely summer day. I remember playing around on the church grounds after while the grown-ups visited.  
I think I borrowed my friend Emily's dress to be baptized in and wore my pink "mini" dress from Grandma Layton afterward. 
I added that I was given a journal—which I wrote in that very day and which I filled up and just kept on writing and writing and writing—a photo book, and my dad later helped me buy my own copy of The Book of Mormon (we paid on a tithing slip and I think it was something like $2). Anyway, I hadn't thought to write down the gifts I received at my baptism. Everyone else did.

Here's Rachel's memories:

In no particular order:
  • Jordan, Mr. Alban, and Mrs. Reeves came and supported me even though they all went to a different church, which was nice.
  • The water was nice, but I remember that I didn't like the feeling of the wet clothes clinging to me when I got out.
  • It was storming while we were driving to the church.
  • Grandma made a book cake for after the baptism, and we had other treats as well.
  • I was really happy when I got out of the water because I was happy to be baptized.
  • A lot of the ward came to the baptism, and I was really happy because it made it seem special.
  • Brooke Newhart gave a talk, and so did Lauryn Green
  • I felt the spirit the whole time
  • Mom's friend Suzanne gave me a journal
Here are Miriam's memories:

My baptism was a shared baptism because our ward was so big. My baptism was in the stake center. Water was pretty warm and pre-filled. After, I remember being so happy because I was an official member of the church. After I was confirmed I ran right back to my seat without shaking anyone's hand. I was pretty ashamed [of forgetting to shake hands]. After my baptism Alexander had his baby blessing. For refreshments we went back home (58 seconds away, yo) and had soup. I got a scripture case that was a pretty shade of blue and large black scriptures with my name on it in curly-cue lettering.
Benjamin was boasting about how easy it was going to be for him to remember his baptism day (since it was all of two days ago) but then he had trouble buckling down to get complete sentences out. Which is kind of his jam. But he did eventually get a few things written down.

I only had nine people. 123456789. It was during COVID-19. I felt very good when I was blessed. I got a baptism towel. Meme's talk was about the baptism rainbow.
 Zoë surprised us because instead of drawing a picture, like I had suggested, she wrote down a few things herself. Not that I should have been very surprised. This child is drawn to the written word like flies to honey.

At Ben's baptism ben got dunked under the water and I loved that.
She didn't love it so much, though, when she started thinking about getting dunked under the water, herself. Then she realized that getting baptized might actually be a little bit scary and asked if we could have a little more swimming time before it was her turn to get baptized (and we told her that since we have three years to practice our swimming skills we think she'll be ready for a good dunking by the time she gets baptized).

I am a little bit afraid to get baptized.
Alexander did a whole lot of writing. Sometimes he will write actual letters and show them to us (he was particularly proud of a "big D" he had drawn the other day) but today it was just scribbles. He told us his paper said, "Benny's baptism was...Benny got baptized."

And here are Benjamin, Rachel, Miriam, and I singing Baptism, A New Birth together (the song my grandma wrote). We're probably taking it a little slow, but that's okay.

The ukulele music for it is below:


  1. Two things: 1. It WAS Sister Walker!! I have tried to remember who gave the other talk at your baptism, and could not. But when you said that, I remembered that it was! 2. Did you mean the pink MiniWorld dress? (Those are MiniWorld dresses.)

    1. Yes! Those dresses. I couldn't remember what they were called. I just remember that they were so frilly and twirly! :)

  2. These baptism memories were fun to read! It's nice that you recorded them in your handwriting as well. I remember it was a bit stormy the day of Rachel's baptism because I hesitated about driving to Durham in case it stormed. I don't mind driving, but I really don't like driving on the interstate in rain if I can help it! But I'm glad I came as it was a good memory. I remember Zoë was so little, sleeping in your arms. And that's the night I met Karen which is a good memory, too!

  3. I was informed you dropped the name of a very important person on your blog. So I came to read it 😂 Nice post. One of the best I’ve read this year 👍🏼