Monday, June 9, 2008

30 BEST Years

The Baptism of Jesus Christ

30 years ago today Jim and I decided to be baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Since we are currently 60 that means that for 1/2 half of our lives we have been members. (Math whiz, huh?) It seems hard to imagine but then I cannot possibly remember life without the Gospel in our lives either.

Ever since Jen had been born we had been searching for some truth with regards to religion. I had had some bad experiences with a pastor in our former religion and so was really looking for something good for our family and a reconnection with Christ that I had always felt as a child. Being brought up in the Lutheran church was a good experience but not quite what we wanted for our family. Although it laid a foundation for me I realized there had to be more. There were just too many basic questions that were explained as being "the Mysteries of God". Jim was raised in an nondenominational community church and he too had plenty of unanswered questions.

Having Jen and becoming parents had a powerful effect on both of us and we knew that God lived and cared for us and our little family. I can remember feeling so happy during those early years of her life and just feeling spiritual a lot of the time and so grateful for her. We were really ready to learn and were teachable at that time.

We investigated the church and attended for two years before we decided to get baptized. Everyone was so wonderful, loving, and supportive during that time and no one ever pressured us in anyway to join. It was almost too comfortable to keep going along that way not making a commitment. Once we made the decision we didn't waste any time~our baptismal date was set for the very next day~June 10, 1978.

Our sweet friend, Garth, "just happened" to come for a visit, unannounced from Las Vegas the day we decided to be baptized. He was able to baptize us himself the very next day. It was a small really a big one ~since not one of us knew what was about to transpire and he appeared when we needed him with a recommend to baptize outside of his stake. It was perfect really, since he had been so instrumental in our introduction to the Gospel.

I will never forget the day we decided as it was the same day when things transpired in SLC that resulted in changes that inspired an addition to the Doctrine & Covenants~Official Declaration #2 following Sec. 138. It was instrumental in our decision as well.

Becoming a member of the church has affected our entire life since then~for the good. Nothing, not one thing, would I change from the experiences we have had and the spiritual enlightenment we have felt and continue to feel regularly. From that very day we have been blessed continually and neither of us have ever doubted the truthfulness of what we now know. I have found answers to all my previously unanswered questions and that has been so wonderful and peace filled. Our family committed totally to the teachings of Jesus Christ and we will never stop learning all there is to know. We have barely scratched the surface in all these years. There is still so much to learn, to know, to do. We are far from attaining the things we want and need to, but we have been blessed graciously in our lives, as have our children and their children.

One thing I believe is that spiritual things are not intellectual things. Learning to recognize the promptings of the spirit is a life long quest but it is worth seeking after. It is the Holy Ghost that testifies of truth in all things. Our church has satisfied all of our spiritual needs, we are surrounded by the best people and we have unity in our family.

There are no perfect people in the church although we know several that seem to be. They are kind and gracious and giving and wonderful to know. Most of the people in the church are just striving to do their best, looking for things in life that are virtuous, lovely and of good report, that uplift themselves and others and bring glory to God and Jesus Christ. The best thing is that it makes us all so happy and when troubled times come we have the faith and hope to endure them with God's help. The church does so much good in the world and we recognize what a privilege it is to be a part of it. None of us can imagine life without the joy and support and love the Gospel brings into our lives every day. So tomorrow is a wonderful day to look forward to and to celebrate a wonderful decision made 30 years ago!

June 10, 1978!


Miss Jen said...

Congratulations! This is a big month for you guys!

In the picture of the Oakland Temple, the fountain looks like a flying saucer. Seriously, I had to look at it for a minute to figure out what it was.

Bonnie said...

Yes, it is an amazing month of memories for us. You are right about that photo of the temple~it looked a little to Trekky so I replaced it!

Good eye, thanks!

Laura said...

Beautiful story and testimony---edifying for all of us!

Sara said...

How exciting! I am coming up on my 9 year anniversary of my baptism on June 12! It seems like yesterday and I feel like you that I have barely skimmed the surface of the Gospel and all I can learn from it. Congrats!