Monday, March 19, 2012

Preparing for Baptism

I like to look for rainbows, whenever there is rain
And ponder on the beauty of the earth made clean again.
I know when I am baptized, my wrongs are washed away
And I can be forgiven and improve myself each day.

I want my life to be as clean as earth right after rain.
I want to be the best I can and live with God again.

"When I am Baptized" - Children's Songbook #103

After Boo turned seven last year, and we cleaned up the streamers and balloons and polished off the last of the cake, I began thinking about her next birthday. Eight. In our church, children at the age of eight have reached the age of being accountable for their own actions and decisions, and can qualify for being baptized into our church. It's a big decision. It's an ordinance. It's a covenant.

I've felt anxious about my responsibility as a parent to properly prepare Boo for this big decision. Although she has wonderful support from her primary teachers, I felt this resting squarely on my own shoulders. We want her to understand as best as she can, to comprehend what the covenant means, and what the principles of the Gospel are, so she can make the choice herself to be baptized. I consulted other mothers, looked online for guidebooks, prayed and pondered and prayed some more. But the teacher in me wanted some sort of outline, some sort of sequential progression that I could follow. Then one day, what can only be considered inspiration and an answer to my mother-prayer, I realized how it was going to be done for us.

Boo's teacher has challenged their class to memorize the Articles of Faith. Boo, as with every challenge, has taken it in stride, and has already memorized five of them. I decided that as a family, we can study the doctrine behind each article of faith in our Family Home Evenings. Each month we introduce a new Article of Faith, and we spend a month talking about and studying the topic, taking time to have special lessons at Christmas, Easter, etc. I spend time finding stories, scriptures, object lessons, activities, coloring pages to teach the concepts that are contained in each one at their level.

I finally made each of the kids these keychain cards with a picture reminder of the article of faith, and the text on the back. has been a great resource. I search under the article of faith or the principle being studied and create a fitting lesson.

I also think it would be wonderful to read the Book of Mormon together cover-to-cover, just the two of us! We have started reading excerpts of it coupled with the Book of Mormon reader as a family, and Boo can even read the difficult words by herself.

It's been a great exercise for me to get to know the Articles of Faith again. I'm sure I memorized them at one point, but I've forgotten many of them, and always nice to brush up on the doctrine that we believe to be able to share with others who would like to know.

It's been fun and engaging to study, prepare and teach, and I hope I'm doing okay. It feels like I am. Any tips, ideas or suggestions you have, I'd love to hear!

1 comment:

Taylor's said...

okay you need to share more of your ideas . . . our oldest is getting baptized the day before Mother's Day. I swear, I can use all the help I can get!