Sunday, August 26, 2007

Caleb's Baptism

We had a wonderful experience yesterday. As many of you know, we baptized Caleb yesterday during our family vacation to California. We were so honored and happy to have so many of our family with us and grateful that they shared that experience with us.

Earlier this year when Katie and I started to discuss Caleb turning eight, we were unsure if we would baptise Caleb this year or not. Caleb isn't nearly as comfortable in the water as Caitlyn is and we wanted to try and make the experience a positive one for him. We decided earlier this year that we would proceed forward with everything and began talking about baptism in detail during our Family Home Evenings.

The day before the baptism, we were able to spend some time in a swimming pool at Mari and Chris' house where Caleb and I were able to do some practice runs. I quickly discovered that the best way to do the baptism was to wrap my arms around Caleb and have him hold on to me then whisper "1-2-3" in his ear and sit down in the water until we were both submerged. With his arms wrapped around me, he had the confidence to actually let his head go all the way under the water.

The day of the baptism went very smooth. We prepared a simple program that you can see HERE and ran a few errands. We got Caleb dressed in the suit that I purchased for him about 6 years ago while I was in Mexico (I had no idea about kid sizes back then) and he was looking sharp! While he was getting dressed, he started to get a little nervous and was unsure about everything, but we pressed forward. When we got to the church, Caleb's nerves had increased to some serious anxiety, but he was still hanging in there. I showed him the font and gave him a quick run-through of everything.

We got Caleb dressed in his baptism clothes and Jeremy got dressed as well. Jeremy was going to be in the font with me to help make sure that all of Caleb made it under the water the first time and we were very grateful for Jeremy's willingness to get wet to help us out! Since I was conducting the program, I didn't get changed at first. We began the service with a song, prayer, and a simple talk by Grandma Tomsik (see program). During the talk, I slipped out and changed into the baptism clothes and was amazed just how good looking I was even in a 1960's white jumpsuit with a moderate case of camel toe. :-)

After getting dressed, I headed back to the primary room where Mom Tomsik was just finishing her talk. From there, we proceeded to the baptismal font. Caleb got really nervous at this point. He was hesitant to get in the water and I was afraid for just a moment that all this attention may be too much for him. I stepped in the water, and with a firm grip on Caleb's hand, I guided him in the water and as soon as he felt that the water was warm, he relaxed a bit and joined me in the font. Upon reaching the bottom of the stairs, all our training kicked into gear and Caleb started putting his own head under water and I had to tell him a few times that he needed to wait for the prayer!

The baptism went very smoothly, we only had to do it one time and Caleb did a great job. It was such a relief to have had everything go smoothly, I hope he will carry positive memories from the experience, I know I will.

After the baptism, we got dressed again and Caleb was noticeably relaxed and in a very good mood. We rejoined the group in the Primary room and finished the program with another talk by Grandma Carver and the confirmation of the Holy Ghost. It was a very spiritual program and I think everyone in attendance was edified, I know I was at least.

After the program, we all went to the gym to have dinner and celebrate the August birthdays in attendance. It was a great end to a great day. Thank you to everyone for your support and prayers on Caleb's behalf, he is so lucky to have the family that he has!


Caleb is looking sweet in his new suit!!!

A quick group photo before starting the program. You can see from Caleb's face that he is a little anxious.

Mom and Dad Carver were there to support the baptism of their first grandchild.

Chris and Mari made the drive as well and it was great to have them there. We were so glad we were able to use their pool to practice with Caleb, it really made such a difference!

Here we are just before the beginning of the program. Caleb really is nervous right now, but he was hanging in there and doing great!

Here is Joshua opening one of his presents; a Diego helmet!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Stand for Something

Well, I have been working on another "soap box" post in all my free time (believe it or not, I do actually put some thought into those things), but the Daily Gems email from the Church had one of my favorite quotes from Elder Uchtdorf and I decided that it was definitely worth of a quick post.

"When we bear testimony, we declare the absolute truth of the gospel message. In a time when many perceive truth as relative, a declaration of absolute truth is not very popular, nor does it seem politically correct or opportune. Testimonies of things how 'they really are' (Jacob 4:13) are bold, true, and vital because they have eternal consequences for mankind. Satan wouldn't mind if we declared the message of our faith and gospel doctrine as negotiable according to circumstances. Our firm conviction of gospel truth is an anchor in our lives; it is steady and reliable as the North Star. A testimony is very personal and may be a little different for each of us, because everyone is a unique person."

As we progress down the road we are on as a society, the fear of absolutes will only increase. Absolute truth is intimidating, it is a hard pill for some to swallow, it eliminates the gray area where justification and rationalization of wrong thrive. Because there is no gray area, a person really must decide who they are and what they stand for. You can't fence sit and this often makes people feel uneasy.

Having the courage to stand for something, to not succumb to the cultural pressures to conform to a world of relative truth, will be increasingly more important as the years pass. Having values and standards is not elitist, it is not wrong, it is not something that we should ever apologize for in any way. These same standards and values that make us a peculiar people are our anchor point that holds us firm in a world thrown about by the volatile whims of special interest groups and an increasingly unreliable and unbalanced media.

Ok, I have to go catch my plane. Hope everyone is doing well!