LDS Pad: The Journey Back to Heavenly Father

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Ordinances

My 2nd Son’s Baptism

This last Saturday, I had the privileged of baptizing my 2nd son, Dylan.  It was quite a different experience than the other baptisms that I have been to.  This time, it seems like it was HIGHLY organized by our stake and there were so much people that it filled the entire chapel of the stake center.

This time around, each ward took turns at the font and split up into different areas of the stake center afterwards.  Since Dylan was the only one being baptized for our ward, we ended up in the small family history / employment center room.

I also found myself referring back to my posts: My Son’s BaptismA Convert’s Survival Guide: What to Expect BEFORE your Baptism and A Convert’s Survival Guide: What to Expect AFTER your Baptism to reference the prayers and procedures needing to be performed.

During the opening of the baptism service, I was impressed that my son was eager to answer all the questions by the speaker in the chapel for the service before the ordinance was performed.  The baptism had to be done twice because his toe poked out of the water.  The 2nd time I dunked him, I made sure to push him down to the very bottom of the font by his chest and knees.

Next during his confirmation, my heart was full of joy and I know my son felt the same way when telling him to “receive the holy ghost.”

I am thankful that my best friend Mike and his family could come and support Dylan in his decision.  Also glad that Mike was on hand for being a witness in the baptism and part of the confirmation as well.  I am glad to have the privilege to hold the priesthood and minister unto my family and those around me.

My son’s baptism has given me another person to look up to when living the gospel.  Together I know we will help each other grow closer to Jesus Christ.



Our First Time to the Temple

Earlier this month, my wife and I had the opportunity to go to the temple and get our endowments and sealed together…on the same day!

It was quite and experience and I tried to prepare by taking the whole prior week off to not worry about work and to read the Book of Mormon and spend time with my family. After all, I was thinking, that I will be able to spend time and all eternity with my children, who are gifts from Heavenly Father, to raise, love and teach the gospel to.

It was like a first wedding for ourselves as well. When we were younger, we tied the knot in a drive through wedding chapel in Las Vegas!

We had people from our ward there, the Brother and Sister who were there as Ward Missionary Leaders to host us and have the Missionaries teach us the discussions. Our Bishop, who I admire greatly for his example he sets and his hard work and love he pours upon the people of his Ward. Our friends that we’ve made in the 21 months we’ve been going to Church. Our friends that I have from work, who are coincidentally members of the church as well and instrumental to our growth in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The day was perfect for us. It was gloomy and rainy in Las Vegas, just how we’d hope our wedding day would have been. We met my friends, Joey and Sabrina, and Mike and Crystal. I felt guided the whole time I was in the temple, by the brethren who are there to make me feel welcomed and help me learn.

There was a lot to take in and we definitely need to go back many, many more times to figure things out. Because we were  doing our endowments and sealing the same day, we were whisked away to the Sealing room to be married forever just as soon as we made it to the Celestial room of the Temple.

It was a great feeling to be in the House of the Lord among friends, whom I consider family. I urge those who have not yet made it to the temple to go as soon as you can. There are blessings to be had by attending.



Going to the Temple

Since my last post, I’ve been doing great!  I feel that I have been blessed with a wonder wife, precious children and great friends.  About two weeks ago while thinking I was going to work through the night, I had the impression to call my wife up and ask her to go get our temple recommends.

We showed up unannounced at our church thinking it was going to take 15 minutes like I’ve also heard in Priesthood it would take.

Ooops!

It looks like if it’s your first time for a temple recommend the Bishop would take extra time to talk and meet with you about it.  We found that out as I waited for my wife for about 45 minutes with my kids.  We also had delayed a Bishopric meeting that they were going to have, but the brethren didn’t seem to mind too much as they were hanging out and having a good time.

After my wife came out of his office, it was my turn and it took about 20 minutes or so as he talked to me.  We have our temple recommends signed by ourselves and our Bishop and we now only need to meet with our Stake President.  Our Bishop also wanted to meet with us again to talk about things with us as a couple that Sunday.

That Sunday evening we met with our Bishop and talked about some wonderful things.  Afterwards,  I called on Sunday to make an appointment with the Stake President but never heard back from the Stake Secretary.

That Monday morning I spoke with my boss about getting a week off since I have been working non stop, six days a week, since the beginning of the year…and “I was going to get remarried to my wife…sealed in the Temple.”    I wanted to  spend time with my children, to study the scriptures and ponder things and concentrate on spiritual things.

My wife called on Wednesday to see if we could get a hold of him.  He told her that he would call her back on Friday so we could meet with the Stake President on Saturday.

It was a long week.

Friday came and gone without a call.  Saturday came and I anxiously awaited until about 10am.  I then called him and left a message.  I never heard back from him until about 6pm.  I was worried the whole day thinking he had forgotten about us and that we wouldn’t be able to go and get our Endowments and Sealing next Saturday.  And that I’d have a whole week of time off of work to feel disappointed.

Since he finally called back,  tomorrow morning at 9am we have an appointment with our Stake President and I am excited that we are a step closer to things.

I am glad that I am writing this post, because it just occurred to me that it would be a good idea to bring our recommends in for him to sign!

I am greatful for the blessings in my life.



Going to the Temple

I can’t remember the last time I felt the spirit so strongly.

I am so excited. My ward has been planning a trip to the temple to do baptisms for the youth and new converts. When I first heard about this, I was kind of leary about going yet. There are so many things that made me want to wait and I thought I was going to do just that. I even planned on working on the Saturday that was planned.

I believe that the hand of the Lord was influencing things today as I attended Church today. We made it just as church was beginning today. We were able to sit through and take sacrament together as a family. It was ward conference and there were sustainings and a message from our bishop.

The Bishop had a message about how we are not perfect, but if we are willing we can improve every day and also the importance of us sharing the gospel with everyone.

The new stake president (the man who asked me to speak in another ward last summer) also delivered an influencing message. How we should stop concentrating on the temporal things such as having that large home or car or watching TV and focus on our spiritual needs and how to put our Heavenly Father first.

We had a combined meeting for 2nd hour – and one of the stake councilors spoke about the importance of family and the plan of happiness / plan of salvation.

The third hour we had a combined priesthood meeting and we spoke about the needs of our significant others.

Before third hour, the brother that had baptized me approached me about going to the temple next Saturday. I thought I had already made up my mind and kindly told him I wasn’t going to. But then a feeling came over me that I should go anyway. After talking with him shortly I decided it was something I should do. Everything fell into place from here.

I was found by the Bishop’s secretary and had an appointment for after church for the temple recommend interview. I was beaming with joy at this point.

The whole day so far made me realize many things:

  • How much I love my wife and children and how I want to be with them forever.
  • The joy that comes from coming to church every week.
  • This church has brought nothing but goodness to my life.
  • This church is ABSOLUTELY the Church of Jesus Christ.

After third hour, I met up with my lovely family and asked them to wait while I talked to the Bishop.

It was a wonderful meeting, full of the spirit, I was bursting at the seams with joy. My interview went well, with the usual questions which are similar if not exactly what we are asked for our baptism interview or priesthood interviews.

There is one question that is different that came up and I was waiting for it. The Bishop asked me “Are you worthy to go to the temple?” This seems like a simple question but it is not. I realize that no unclean thing can be before the Lord, let alone enter his house. I had the feeling I should have just said yes, but with trying to be honest to myself and the Lord I said “…pretty much, 95% sure.” And why did I answer this way? Because I am not a perfect person. However, the Bishop again started to explain that part of being worthy is to be willing (note the keyword willing) to be obedient to the Lord. And I do believe I am.

“We are our own worst judge.” I said, and then I said that I am indeed worthy to enter the temple.

The Bishop also mentioned that he has noticed a change in my countenance and I was glad to hear that. I felt a change in the past few weeks. I felt a change because I’ve been doing what they always say:

  • Keep the commandments.
  • Study the scriptures daily.
  • Have family home evening.
  • Pray together as a family.
  • Pray while alone.

I testify that these things make an absolute difference. I’ve tried to follow the advice before.

Trying was bringing change and happiness in my life.

Doing, however, has brought immense joy and peace.

Even though I said I was going to work on a Saturday, I have to say that I am not. To make up for it, I will work late on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Friday, I will rest and prepare to enter the temple and on the coming weekend I will dedicate it completely to spiritual things, which absolutely take importance above all temporal issues.

I am anticipating being dunk again. The feeling of being baptized is like none other. I was thinking since I was an Elder I could help by doing the baptisms, but I there is a policy that I have to be a member for a year and have a full temple recommend as well as being an Elder to do so. I am fine with that, I just want to help anyway that I can.

I am excited to enter the House of the Lord.



Gordon B. Hinckley

hinckley_medium.jpgIs it weird that I am not saddened?

The President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Gordon B. Hinckley has died at the age of 97.

Being less than a year into this, I can’t say that I’m too affected by it. I have only really heard him speak once during the Semi-Annual General Conference. I enjoyed what he had to say in October and was looking forward to him this April.

I realize the progress this Prophet made for the church during his presidency and admire his works. The world went from 56 to 224 temples? Amazing!

So is it weird that I am not saddened by his passing?

No. I am happy for him!  Happy because of the plan of Salvation.

I found out last night when my friend Mike gave me a call.  I said a prayer for his family to have peace and comfort.  I wasn’t saddened really, just  a little surprised.  I thought he was kidding around when he said he was hoping to make it to April’s General Conference.

He had lived a great life. I know where he has gone. He is with our Father in Heaven, his wife and his other family. And he will get his reward:

His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. (Matthew 25:21)




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