LDS Pad: The Journey Back to Heavenly Father

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Conversion

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.



My Preparation for the Temple: Are you kind to your family?

At times I questioned myself if I can answer those temple recommend interview questions with no issues.  I remember the last time I went for a temporary temple recommend interview back in March for Baptisms for the Dead.  I caught myself being harsh when asked questions.  I attribute it to judging ourselves and we are our own worse judge.  My Bishop agreed.

I often find myself self-interviewing on one particular question:

Are you kind to your family members?

Am I?  What does that mean?  It means, do I treat them as Christ would during the good times and the bad times?  Do I display patience with my family at all times?  Am I a good Father and Husband?

For a while, I was in a cycle of confusion and this is how it went:

  1. Despair

    I feel like I am in a deep hole, looking upwards at the sky and that I can’t make it out.I feel that my family deserves better than I have given in the past.  I have only been at it for over 18 months and I thought I was changing.  I’m not sure sometimes.  At times I feel like I really have changed.I am not always patient or soft spoken in stressful situations.  I seem to let the worst come out of me only in front of my spouse and children.   In my early twenties, I picked up the bad habbit of swearing.  My language has cleaned up over the past 18 months but I have those moments of relapse.

    I expect so much from my family (from expecting the same strictness that I had to follow when I was younger) at times that it only leads me to anger and fits of yelling when things aren’t going well.

    I’ve been taught that true conversion happens over time.  Am I converted?  Am I converted enough?

    Could I stand tall with my fellow brethren who are temple recommend holders?

  2. Hope

    Every Sunday, I feel energized and I believe that I can climb my way out of this deep hole.I realize to myself that I cannot be perfect and Christ-like at all times.  That is why we have the atonement.I am thankful for the atonement and the fact that Jesus Christ took upon himself my sins, my sadness and my pain.  I am thankful for the ordinance of Sacrament where I can renew my baptismal covenants and be forgiven for my short comings.   During Sacrament, I feel true sorrow and pain.  I then feel forgiven and my burdens lifted away.

    I love the feeling of being clean and renewed for another week.

    I pray for long suffering, patience, being a good example for my children and to be a better Father and Husband.

    I love feeling I can start over with myself and my family.

  3. Confusion

    I feel like the moment that I slip, no matter how high I have made it I fall to the bottom of that deep hole and I have to start over.  Maybe I’ve raised my voice to my kids or handle a stressful situation very poorly.  When growing up, my parents were very strict and always yelled.  I see myself doing that sometimes.  I see my oldest son yelling at his brothers sometimes and I see myself in him and I become deeply saddened.With the atonement comes repentance.  I truly feel sorry for the mistakes and actions that make me feel like I am not kind enough to my family.  But true repentance means taking steps to not do it again and then, not do it!

    But when I falter I feel like I have failed at repentance.  I take my prior transgressions from the week before and add it on to this week as well.  That deep hole is getting even deeper.

    What if it has been months that I feel I’ve been doing a good job and then I mess up by losing my temper and swear up a storm and scream and yell?

    When do I become better?  How long do I go without slipping before I can answer “Yes” to the question “Are you kind to your family members?”   It can’t be one week.  A Month?  Two Months?

    How can I live higher laws if I cannot live these lower laws?

    Am I ever going to make it to the Temple?

    Go to back to Despair

I feel like I have finally broken out of this confusing cycle by realizing that during this journey of life every day we build ourselves up to be much more righteous and when we falter we have the atonement and repentance to lift ourselves up and try again.  As long as we are on the upward climb we are doing well.

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times that by doing in faith the following: Daily prayer, scripture reading, and keeping our minds constantly on the Savior Jesus Christ and the Savior make a very, very large difference.




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