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Isak’s Baptism

October 7, 2008

When Johannes was baptized three years ago, Isak was watching with great interest. But when I asked him after the services if he also would like to be baptized one day, he answered: “Oh, no… I don’t want to get wet like Johannes.” But then he thought for a second, and added: “But if I’ll ever let anyone baptize me… it’ll be you, dad!”

Lately his excitement has grown to its fullest because of the upcoming baptism. It’s been a special treat just to watch him, seeing a boy who acts like Christmas is just around the corner. He has constantly been saying things like: “Soon it’s time!” or “I can’t wait!” But it’s not presents he’s been waiting for. About a week ago he had written this note for himself, and pinned it above his desk. It says: “I love my hevenly Fathe vary mush and (heart)”. We’ve noticed in just a short time how spiritually mindful he has become. Of course, he is still your standard boy who loves to play and perform crazy pranks. But yet… there is something different.

My wife and I have been very careful not to manipulate any of our children into getting baptized. Although most active LDS Christians let their children be baptized at age eight (minimum age limit), the children should not be forced in any way. Obviously we have taught the principles of Faith and Baptism in our family, and what it means to follow Christ, but that’s where it stops. The listener then has to make his or her own decision based on personal wishes and feelings of… how shall I put it… inner faith.

The day before his baptism I asked Isak why he wanted to do this. He responded with a sigh: “Ah Dad, you know why!”

“Well, yeah… maybe? But tell me anyway. I’d like to know… again.”

He looked at me and said: “I wanna do it because it’s the right thing to do! And in my life… I want to follow God.”

Wow, it’s that simple, isn’t it? I thought. He’s really got it! What is baptism if not a token of our desire to follow God.

These photos are taken just minutes before the baptism. The moment was very emotional and joyous at the same time (you know the feeling).

A big thank you to all who came and helped make this a memorable occasion for Isak and his family: to family and relatives, Church friends, and class mates to Isak, and their families (that Isak personally invited). You are all appreciated.

And to you, Isak, thanks for letting me have a special part in your baptism. I was truly honored. Your mother and I hold you so dear to our hearts. You are the peace-maker of this family, caring much for those around you. We are so proud of the decision you have made to follow God in your life. We know life won’t always be easy, but we hope you can often look back and gather strength from this moment. God cares for you. And He will never leave you. Never forget that.

Love,
Dad

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Jan Burnett-McKeown permalink
    October 8, 2008 14:04

    There were some lovely “father to son” words there upon Isak’s baptism. To Isak – congratulations on your baptism!

  2. October 7, 2008 17:50

    DEAR ISAK I WILL SAY GRATTIS WITH YOUR RESOLUTION TO BE BAPTISM WHEN I LOOK ON THE PICTURE OF YOU AND YOUR BEAUTIFUL FATHER I SEE HOW PROUD HE IS OF YOU . GOOD LUCK WHERE EVER YOU ARE GOING. FROM LENE MARIE HØGH DENMARK.______________________________ DEAR LOUIS THANK YOU FOR SHAREING THE BEAUTIFUL PHOTO FROM ISAKS BAPTISM. MY BEST WISH FOR YOU FROM YOUR FRIEND LENE MARIE

  3. Belle permalink
    October 7, 2008 16:52

    Dear Louis,

    I want to congratulate you and your family with the baptism of Isak! This is a very special moment!
    I have such a deep respect for you. Especially for the way you live, the way you share those things with us.
    You are an example for many of us!!!

    I mean this with whole my heart.

    x

  4. Anna permalink
    October 7, 2008 16:07

    Thank you so much for explaining! I knew LDS baptized at 8, but I had no idea why🙂

  5. October 7, 2008 12:16

    Thanks to all for kind words!

    Anna, about the question of eight years of age, I would say that a majority of Latter Day Saints who are raised in the Church since early childhood, and who are “active” members, they are usually baptized at eight. Having said that, there are many members in different stages of life of course, and it is not uncommon that children are older when baptized.

    Some ask: what’s the deal with eight? Well, I will get into that more in the future, but simply put: the age of eight is when the age of accountability begins (knowing right from wrong). This was manifested in what we believe to be a revelation (in the Doctrine & Covenants) dating to the mid-nineteenth century. What’s interesting is that today it is commonly accepted within the world of psychiatry that this very age is in fact the age of accountability (just to show we haven’t made it up).

    I remember well when I was baptized at eight. Of course, I didn’t know everything (who does) but I had no doubt in my mind what was right and wrong, and that my taking a step into the waters of baptism was the best way to show my love to God and promise, if you will, that I would always do my best to follow him. And because of that choice, my life has been blessed forever.

    Just to emphasize: we never baptize infants. To do this is a gross misrepresentation of everything baptism stands for. Because baptism is for the remission of sins. Jesus always said: Repent and be baptized. A small child has no sins to repent of, and doesn’t even know the meaning of repentance. Children, as they are born, come under the influence of sin as they grow up, but that’s totally different from saying they are “born in sin”, as became the doctrine of the medieval church and onward. It was never the doctrine of Christ, and cannot be found in the bible.

    Hope this explains my view point a little bit.

    Best wishes, Louis

  6. Anna permalink
    October 7, 2008 11:19

    Baptism is surely a one-of-a-kind experience! Especially when you know why you do it and have had time to think it over. The moment when you dare to stand up in front of others and say: “Yes, I am a beliver, and, yes, I wanna follow Christ, as much as my ability and understanding will let me.” To be clear on that, in front of God, in front of others, and (not least) in front of yourself! I remember my own baptism very well, and am always filled with gratefulness for the grace God showed to relieve Himself to me and let me follow Him. To you, Isak, my tenderest hopes that you will get to know and love God more and more throughout your life and eternity!

    Now a question: Louis, you wrote that 8 years old is minimum. Is it common that people grown up in LDS waits until they are much older?

  7. Karin permalink
    October 7, 2008 10:25

    This is so beautiful and emotional, I can imagine how proud Angelica and you must have felt.
    Isak,very much happiness in your life!

    Thank you Louis that you want to share these special moments and beautiful photos!

    Karin

  8. Angie permalink
    October 7, 2008 09:47

    Great pictures! Can’t believe Isak is 8 already, reminder again on how time flies!

  9. Petra M-L permalink
    October 7, 2008 06:42

    How wonderful boys! With parents who are such great examples, there is no question to why they wouldn’t want to have what you have. It is also such an amazing thing for an eight-year old boy to want to follow God, he is so rich to feel that in his young heart, truly. Wow! Good luck Isak, I hope you will always remember this day, it is just like a beautiful, shiny white diamond that you can keep close to your heart!

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