Saturday, June 5, 2010
These are some beautiful pictures of my oldest grandchild, Abbie Grace Acker, taken by Carissa Brown (http://carissasphotography.blogspot.com). Abbie will be baptized on Friday, April 30, 2010, her eighth birthday. And she will wear the dress I made for her mother to wear when she was baptized, nearly 22 years ago.
I have thought a lot about my own baptism as I've prepared to give a talk at Abbie's. My father was in the Army at the time and we were living on Fort Shafter - which is near Honolulu, Hawaii. My father was doing his medical internship at Tripler Army Hospital and was gone from home a lot. My mother, who was dealing with 5 young children - including a newborn - and the beginning symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis, still took the time to make me a beautiful white dress. The fabric was dotted Swiss with eyelet lace. Once I was dressed she had me sit down and write all the events of my special day. I still have that paper, written in my childish handwriting, now a piece of my history. Then she let me go and show the neighbors how cute I looked. Finally it was time to go to the church. I'm not sure why - but we were locked out and I remember a few moments of horror - thinking that my baptism wasn't going to happen. But my father saved the day by climbing around a ledge to a back door or window and somehow got us in. I think it was his first time to baptize anyone, but he did a great job. And afterwards he and my mom took me out to dinner at a restaurant (a rare and therefore very special occasion). It was a beautiful day.
I've also thought a lot about Cathy's baptism. I was a busy mother too - with four children and pregnant with my fifth (Tommy, who is about to complete his mission to Uganda/Ethiopia in July). She was my oldest child and so we were all excited to have the first baptism in our family. We wanted her to be prepared so we challenged her to read the entire Book of Mormon before her baptism and she completed this goal with hours to spare. We gave her a set of scriptures with her name engraved on them. And of course I made her a beautiful white dress out of eyelet fabric. Her birthday came and we explained that the 'celebration' would be limited this special year because we wanted the focus to be on the baptism itself. Friends and relatives traveled to be with us. And then her father, who I know had some previous baptizing experience, baptized Cathy.
So on Friday when I attend Abbie's baptism, it will move this wonderful event into yet another generation. I am so thankful for Abbie and the joy she is in my life. I'm thankful for her righteous desires and good example to her younger cousins. When Butch asked her why she wanted to get baptized she said "Because Jesus asked John the Baptist to baptize Him and I'm supposed to do everything Jesus did." I thought that was a perfect answer. And I'm also thankful for Cathy and Ricky - for trying so hard to be good parents.
As John said, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." 3 John 1:4