Monday, July 28, 2008
Talk - Baptism (for 8 year olds)
Here is a talk that I have used when I have spoken at Stake Baptisms for 8 year olds.
[Address person being baptized] Do you know that you are just about to participate in your very first saving ordinance and make your very first official promise to Heavenly Father?
Today when you are baptized you will promise Heavenly Father that you will remember and follow Jesus and keep all of His commandments. Our Heavenly Father loves us so much that whenever we make a promise to Him, He makes a promise right back to us.
Today Heavenly Father also will make you a promise. He promises you that He will forgive you if you make mistakes and do something wrong - if you are sorry for what you did and get on your knees and repent. He also promises that you can have the gift of the Holy Ghost with you and that you can obtain eternal life someday.
When we make a promise to Heavenly Father and He makes one right back to us, those promises are called covenants. Heavenly Father never breaks His promises to us, and we need to try every single day never to break our promises to Him.
Let’s go over once again what you will promise today:
1. To take upon you the name of Christ (D&C 18:21-25)
2. To bear one another’s burdens that they might be light (Mosiah 18:8)
3. To stand as a witness of God at all times, in all things, and in all places even until death. (Mosiah 18:9)
4. To obey the commandments of God and to serve him (Mosiah 18:10)
1. To accept you as a member of his Church
2. To forgive your sins if you repent
3. To give you the gift of the Holy Ghost
4. To bring you into the kingdom of God in heaven if you remain obedient for all your earthly life
Being baptized and confirmed is your key to living with Heavenly Father in the Celestial Kingdom for ever and ever.
All of Heavenly Father’s children need to be baptized. Being baptized is the only way there is for us to return and live with Heavenly Father after we are finished with our turn on earth. Being baptized, and then receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, washes away guilt and makes you completetely clean. And only people who have participated in these ordinances can live with Heavenly Father.
Even though you are only eight years old you know how hard it is not to make mistakes, don’t you. Mistakes like not telling the whole truth, or being mean to someone and laughing about it. It is hard for everyone to choose the right every single minute of every single day. Heavenly Father knows that. So on this day He gives you another great gift - the gift of the Holy Ghost. Someone else will talk about this wonderful gift after you are baptized. The Holy Ghost will help you choose the right.
You have chosen to be baptized because all of God’s children who are 8 or older need to be baptized in order to be able live in Heaven after we leave this earth.
Adam was the first man on earth, and he was baptized. Alma in the Book of Mormon was baptized. Jesus also needed to be baptized. Even though Jesus had never sinned, he still needed to be baptized.
[Show the picture of Jesus and John the Baptist]
Every Sunday you have a chance to remember the covenant you made this day. That is what people do when they bow their heads during the Sacrament. They remember the promises that they made to Heavenly Father and the promises He made to them. They think about what kind of person they were during the week between Sundays and if they have been obedient. They also make a decision on how to do better the next week. But most importantly they remember that Jesus died and was resurrected that they might live again some day. And that he suffered in Gethesmane to atone for their sins so that they could live with Him and with their forever family some day if they choose the right, read the scriptures, always say their prayers, and obey the commandments.
Remember that this is the first day of the rest of your life. After you are baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, you will be absolutely clean in the eyes of your Heavenly Father. It is my prayer that you will always remember your promise and do all you can to keep yourself spiritually clean like today.