Did you have a beautiful, absolutely wonderful weekend, like we did?
I hope so!
We headed up to Palmyra to attend the temple and see some sites.
And because it was so late in the day when we went to the church historical sites, we had the place pretty much all to ourselves.
First we hit the Hill Cumorah, and my kids, of course, had it in their heads to climb up the front of the hill and roll back down. Crazy kids. I thought, I'll just take the path, but I realized I'd never catch them, so I ended up following them up the very steep face of the hill...in my dress shoes and Sunday clothes. We all have sore calves this morning, but it was a fun memory.
Scarlett was actually going to try to scoot down on her bottom, but I put a stop to that. Instead, she posed for me holding this picture of Jesus that we picked up at the Visitor's Center.
My ulterior motive in visiting the sites was to try to get a nice photo of Guy to use in his baptism invitation. I think the kids were a little too nutty at this point to get the ideal shot, but they had an amazing time and bonded over it, I think. They said it was an awesome trip and can we do it again next month?!!
At one point, the kids were tossing handfuls of gravel up in the air that was covering a path outside of the Sacred Grove (sigh) and after repeatedly telling them to stop, Steve finally said, "Guy, I need you to act your age!" At which point, Guy immediately started running wildly after his sisters.
I just laughed and said, "Well, he's acting his age all right...He's acting like a seven year-old, who is about to turn eight!"
I've been thinking a lot lately about Guy getting baptized and what that means for him. I have thought about something a friend of mine said on the day that her daughter was to be baptized. She said, "I'm afraid that she's too young to take on such big promises." At the time, I thought, of course she's old enough for these covenants, and I was sure she was prepared. But now that it's Guy's turn, I considered her comment anew.
Guy has been taught and instructed in the gospel from the day that he entered this life. He has been well-prepared. He has been taught how to work, how to serve others and the Lord. He has had his own personal experiences with following the promptings of the Holy Ghost. He has prayed. He has read The Book of Mormon. He has a testimony of his own.
In fact, he shared that testimony in Sacrament meeting yesterday. He went up to the stand while one of the missionaries was bearing his testimony. It was funny because instead of sitting in one of the empty seats to wait his turn, Guy stood directly behind the Elder at the pulpit. :)
When it was Guy's turn to speak, he said, "I'd like to bear my testimony that I know Heavenly Father and Jesus are real. I know that because when I think about Jesus, I feel the Holy Ghost. I know that the Book of Mormon is true, because when I read it, I also feel the Holy Ghost. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."
What pure, simple, and powerful words, from a pure, smart, and sincere boy.
As I watched him up there, bearing his own personal testimony, I saw a future missionary and a boy who is indeed ready to be baptized and to make and keep covenants with the Lord.
Can an 8 year-old be ready to take on these life-long commitments? I have a testimony that they can, and they can do so joyfully and knowingly, and of their own free will and choice.
I loved all of the advice given about preparing our children and ourselves to make and keep covenants (and to prepare for and understand baptismal covenants) in the Relief Society General Broadcast this weekend.
If you haven't listened to it, you absolutely must! And you can do it right here.
I plan on listening to it again and making myself a checklist from their talks of things we can do to prepare our children for baptism and to make temple covenants.
Ok, now I really must run. I need to play with my babies, do a mountain of laundry, and think of a way to thank Killian for saving Autumn's Mousie from the lost & found!
But first, you'll never guess who started standing outside of the Sacred Grove....THIS GIRL!