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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Amara's Baptismal Interview

Amara's 8th Birthday
Amara is getting baptized this week, and this past Sunday she had an interview with the bishop.  She was sick with a nasty cold, so she didn't attend church, but bishop wanted to see her, so I ran home and we had 20 minutes til her interview, so I told her and Steve to get dressed, I brushed her extremely tangled hair, and we read a picture book about baptism.  She wanted to know what the bishop was going to ask her, and I told her that he'd ask her if she believed in Jesus.  The minutes flew by, and we packed up the car and headed out as a family to her interview.  
Amara gardening in her pajamas

When we got there, the bishop sat us down at the 4 closest chairs to the side of his desk.  Amara was the closest to him.  She tells me that she was only a little nervous.

Bishop spoke with us all for a few minutes, just catching up with our family.  Then he started the interview.

Bishop: Do you believe in Jesus Christ?

Amara: Yes.

Bishop: Are you kind to your parents and obey them? 

Amara: Um.  Hmmm... (looks at me for a clue with her tired, puffy eyes; 10 seconds of silence as she considers her answer, which seemed like minutes.) 

Amara: (quietly and nasal-y because of her stuffed up nose) Well... not really.

Bishop: (raised eyebrows and a grin) Not really!  Wow, I don't think anyone has ever answered that way before.

Me: She's just being honest.  But, she really does try.

Bishop: I see, so you try to be kind and obey?

Amara: Yeah.

Bishop: Ok, are you kind to your sister? 

Amara: Hmmm... (more silence as she contemplates, looks over at her sister, Lily smiles, she smiles back, Bishop smiles, more silence)

Bishop: I think this may be the most introspective baptismal interview I've ever experienced.  (We all smile)

Amara: (quietly and nasal-y) Sometimes I'm kind to her.

Bishop: Sometimes!

Me: She'll give you a straight answer.

Bishop: I can see that.  Sometimes huh?  But you try?

Amara: Yes.

Bishop: When you get baptized, you make a promise.  Do you know who you make that promise to?

Amara: Yes.

Bishop: Who?

Amara: Jesus.

Bishop: Ok, and who else?

Amara: Um. (silence) Heavenly Father.

Bishop:Yes, that's right.  And what do you promise to do?

Amara: (confidently and nasal-y) Keep the commandments!

Bishop: Yes, very good.  What else?

Amara: (raises an eyebrow and shrugs)

Bishop: Wow I love that she can raise one eyebrow that high.  Ask you mom.

Me: It's those same things we hear every week in the sacrament prayer, we take Jesus' name upon us.

Bishop: Yep, and one more, ask your dad.

Steve: (thinking)  Let's see, keep the commandments, take his name upon us, and...always remember Him!

Bishop to Amara: Very good!  And what does He promise you back?

Amara: That when you do wrong things, He won't remember them anymore when you repent.

Bishop: Very good, and that you will always have a special gift to help you.  What is that?

Amara: Umm...

Bishop: The gift of the...?

Amara: Holy Ghost!

Bishop: That's right.

Amara free as a bird
The interview ended after a few more questions.  I was impressed with Amara's understanding of forgiveness, that God forgets about our sins when we truly repent.  That principle of truth struck me that day.  The whole reason we get baptized is to accept Christ's atonement for us!  We allow Jesus to pay for our sins and in return, we try to live as He would.  Simple.  Beautiful.  What a precious gift to be able to take part in.  He frees us from our burdens and guilt and will remember our sins no more every time we repent.  

To become clean again, free again and again, how I love that!

1 comment:

Doralee said...

How sweet! Her honesty is so refreshing!