Friday, July 26, 2013

Baptism and Rainbows

Many Latter-day Saints grew up singing the song, "When I am Baptized," more commonly known as "I Like to look for Rainbows." Recently two beautiful girls sang this at Elena's baptism.

I like to look for rainbows whenever there is rain
And ponder on the beauty of an earth made clean again.

I want my life to be as clean as earth right after rain.
I want to be the best I can and live with God again.

I know when I am baptized my wrongs are washed away,
And I can be forgiven and improve myself each day.

Elena with Ellie and Hannah at her baptism

Mormons' beliefs about baptism come from the Bible: "Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." (John 3:5). The Savior was baptized to fulfill all righteousness. The Book of Mormon clarifies this phrase:

       "And now, I would ask of you, my beloved brethren, wherein the Lamb of God did fulfill all righteousness in being baptized by water?
      "Know ye not that he was holy? But notwithstanding he being holy, he showeth unto the children of men that, according to the flesh he humbleth himself before the Father, and witnesseth unto the Father that he would be obedient unto him in keeping his commandments." (2 Nephi 31:6-7)

Baptism is a commandment and an ordinance where we make a COVENANT, or a two-way promise, with Heavenly Father.

What do we commit to when we're baptized?
  • To Remember our Savior, Jesus Christ
  • Take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ
  • Keep His commandments
A church magazine for children explains simply that to take upon yourself the name of Christ means "to put His work first in your life and do what He wants instead of what the world wants." 

What does Heavenly Father promise us in return?
  • A remission of our sins
  • Being born again
  • The constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, which we receive by the laying on of hands shortly after baptism. 
What a deal! We are definitely receiving so many more blessings for baptism than we are committing to. I'm grateful for my Savior and that I can be clean every time I repent and take the Sacrament. I, too, "want to be the best I can and live with God again." 

See also: 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Blessed and Happy

"And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it."

This is the scripture I chose for my mission; that is, it has been my "theme" scripture for the last 17 months. Why did I choose it? I believe it sums up God's plan for us. In the second lesson that missionaries teach we explain our purpose in this life, which is to "have joy and prepare to return to God's presence." Heavenly Father wants us to be happy! He gave us commandments so we can have true joy and return to Him! It sounds ridiculously simple, and it is! Life is not easy, but the commandments help us choose liberty and eternal life .  

In the back of our Hymnbooks at church is a list of scripture references where we can look up our favorite verses and find hymns that correlate with them. I had never thought to look up my favorite verse until yesterday, and I found one hymn that references Mosiah 2:41! 

"We'll sing of his goodness and mercy.
We'll praise him by day and by night,
Rejoice in his glorious gospel,
And bask in its life-giving light.
Thus on to eternal perfection
The honest and faithful will go,
While they who reject this glad message
Shall never such happiness know."

How fitting that a verse about happiness in following Jesus Christ is found in a hymn about prophets! I am grateful to know that God loves ALL His children and would not cease to speak to them through his prophets (Amos 3:7). God continues to be a God of miracles and He has a mouthpiece on the earth to lead and guide us in these Last Days before the Second Coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

What is God's prophet telling us right now? Read here!

Learn more here!