Recent/Significant Posts:

We often refer friends to our post(s) on our experiences with Ben's Tuberous Sclerosis Complex, as of yet these are:
--- Our introduction to this disease and basic timeline February 2012 through July 26, 2013.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Great to Be Eight!

This spring Michael and Emily both turned 8 years old. In our church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that is when children can be baptized. Both were looking forward to this important opportunity. We coordinated dates so that family from out of town would be able to attend....

Grandparents Maggie & Cy Higgins drove out from Utah; grandparents Brenda & Elliot Haroldsen flew out from Pittsburgh, and Jen's sister-in-law, Mary Haroldsen, flew in from Oklahoma. (We wish all of our siblings could have come but jobs and such wouldn't permit such a grand reunion this time....)

Michael and Emily dressed in white for baptism
In the LDS church we believe in baptism by immersion; those to be baptized and the person performing the baptism dress in white. After being baptized, the participants are given a special blessing confirming them members of Christ's church and granting them a special gift of the Holy Ghost to guide them in their lives. In the United States most baptisms are in small fonts in normal church houses. Baptisms are held separate from other church meetings, with friends and family in attendance. There is usually a small program with a couple talks and some songs and such.

Michael and Emily each chose a favorite song for the program ---- "When I Am Baptized" and "If I Listen with My Heart" --- and they decided to ask their Sunday School teachers, Ami Donich and Katie Sura, to give talks. Sister Donich spoke on baptism and reminded us that as baptism washes us clean from sin, the atonement of Christ is what makes this all possible. She assured the children that although we all still make mistakes, the atonement allows us the opportunity to repent and Christ will make things right. Sister Sura spoke about confirmation and the Holy Ghost. She reminded the children about the things they've been taught about the Holy Ghost --- that he is a special messenger of Christ and speaks to our hearts in many ways... He can guide us in decisions, warn us of danger, and comfort us during tough times.

Emily and Natalie also wanted to perform a special song (and Esther had to be in on the action, too). They love the song "O My Father", especially the arrangement by Sally Deford which sets the lyrics to the tune most commonly associated with "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing".

(Grandpa's Camera battery started complaining so he only filmed the first 2 verses --- this will take you to a lovely mp3 of the whole song as sung by Becki Madsen)

Michael and Emily were baptized and confirmed by their father (Matt), with their grandfathers, Cy Higgins and Elliot Haroldsen standing as witnesses. While the participants were drying off and getting dressed, we played a DVD of some of the kids favorite "Mormon Messages" videos. I think the audience only got to the third story or so, but the full playlist is on my YouTube channel.

The whole evening was wonderful. We're so glad so much of our family, many of our friends from church, and a couple of the kids' friends from school came and joined us. We really appreciate Jan Fannon for playing the piano for the event, Gayle Donich for interpreting into sign language, and for voicing (from sign language) for Ami Donich's talk, and Laurie Ellsworth and Melinda Boschi for providing refreshments after the meeting. We have the best friends and family!

We are so proud of and happy for our Amazing Duo!

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