Waiting for the baptism program to begin:
Dylan, Ryan, Shera, and Jacob (Chris and Sarah behind them)
We had a beautiful pair of baptisms at 9:00 this morning when my stepson Ryan and his new wife Shera chose to forever change their lives and enter the waters of baptism. I'm so proud of them and the decisions they've been making to improve their lives and begin following Christ.
I was also quite proud of my sons Dylan--who baptized Ryan--and Jacob--who baptized Shera. I love to see my boys exercise the priesthood they hold in the service of others. Soon Ryan will also have the power to bless others through the priesthood.
Programs on the table for guests as they entered
We had a great turnout, filling the Relief Society room with friends and family who came to share this important event in Ryan and Shera's lives. The program began with an opening song chosen by Shera, "Teach Me to Walk in the Light," and then Sister Knight gave the invocation. The program was conducted by ward missionary Dirk Gardner.
We enjoyed a talk on baptism by family friend and home teacher Robert Holden, complete with memorable visual effects. After the baptism, the sister missionaries who've been teaching Ryan and Shera, Sister Knight and Sister Wallace, spoke about the First Vision and how the Lord restored His church to the earth in these latter days.
Shera and Ryan with their beloved sister missionaries,
Sister Knight (left) and Sister Wallace.
Our former bishop, Dirk Gardner, spoke on the gift of the Holy Ghost and how to keep His presence continually in our lives. Bishop Gardner then invited Ryan and Shera to bear their testimonies of the gospel. Ryan went first, followed by Shera. They were both nervous, but their simple and heartfelt testimonies were eloquent in spirit. There wasn't a dry eye in the house.
When they finished, Bridgette Blake (our Relief Society president) spoke briefly and welcomed Shera as a new sister in the Relief Society. Bishop Trace Wengert concluded the program with remarks about keeping our feet firmly on the path of righteousness despite life's trials.
After our concluding song, "I Believe in Christ," I gave the benediction and then we all enjoyed the amazing homemade cinnamon rolls Bridgette Blake baked for our refreshments.
Jacob and Danielle
Ryan and Shera will be confirmed and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost at 9:00 tomorrow morning before the entire congregation at sacrament meeting. Then they will officially become members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
It was such a privilege to attend the baptisms of these two amazing young people whom I've come to love as my own. I know they will accomplish further great things in their lives as they continue to follow in the footsteps of our Savior. Congratulations, Ryan and Shera!