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My 7-year-old: Preparing My Child for Baptism

I love my children so much.

I think most parents would say that about their children.

I think about the simplicity of my statement and acknowledge that the word “love” is thrown around in so many ways that it has lost some of its meaning. I am confident that most parents have a love for their children which is different than the “love” they have for anything else.

Having said that, I want the best for my children. And, by saying “the best” I mean I want to give my best to them as a Father and that I want what will be the best for each of them, individually.

My oldest daughter will be getting baptized in about a year. This is going to be a big deal for her (though she may not fully realize it now) as the first milestone – her first step on the path – of her young life within the Church. For the last couple of months, my thoughts have been occupied by with this “milestone.” They have been thoughts of excitement; at the prospect of being the one who gets to baptize her. I see the picture in my head of us together, in the hall of our chapel, me on bended knee with her next to me, standing there in her white jumpsuit with her hair in French braids.

My other thoughts have been of preparation: How do I (and my wife) prepare her to make her own decision? How much have we already been able to teach her and how much more does she really need to understand and grasp before she is ready. And by “ready” I mean, to know enough about what she’s doing to be able to, on her own, bare her young and growing testimony to the Bishop; that both will know that she comprehends what she needs to know at this point in her life to start “down the path” to exaltation. It seems to me that exaltation is where I need to start – with the end in mind – as I and my wife help to prepare her for day of baptism.

The process and teaching has already begun. We could cram it all into her just before she turned eight, but what good would that do? I’m going to detail the journey and the learning that takes place. I’ll talk about some of my thoughts and what I think will work. Then, we’ll see how it all works out in the end. I’m sure that some things will be the same for everyone, but on the other hand, my daughter will learn in her own way as well.

I look forward to the journey and growing together over the next twelve months.

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