Some family from Idaho came down for the baptism, including my cousin who just returned from serving an "honorable two year mission".
Above is his family (from left to right) - my cousin Crissy, my Uncle Bert (who performed the baptism), Papau, Elder Wray (my cousin Jeremy), and my Aunt Connie.
Steve and I were curious how we would feel about the baptism now being out of the LDS church. I was excited to attend because (adult) LDS baptisms are very intimate and reverent events. I personally have always loved them. True to form, it was a small gathering, we sang two hymns (one was my favorite - "I Need Thee Every Hour"), there were two talks given. One by my Papau about baptism and conversion and another about the Holy Ghost by Elder Wray (it is so weird to say "Elder" to my cousin).
Have you ever taken a communications or speaking class? After class, suddenly you hear every, "um" and "uh" and "like" someone says? That's how I felt while listening to the talks and testimonies during the baptism service. It was as if whenever they would say something (Biblically) untrue it would stick out so obviously in my mind. Like the "ums" and "uhs".
It was a beautiful baptism gathering - but afterwards Steve asked me, "Did you feel the Spirit?" I couldn't say yes. He shared that he did not feel it there either, but it was very obvious that those in attendance really believed what was going on and did believe they felt it. It seemed like out of all the women there, I was the only one who didn't cry. And I usually ALWAYS cry at LDS baptisms.
It is customary (atleast in the LDS church) to give a small gift or card when someone is baptized. Usually the first gift to be given is a quad (Holy Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price) and then perhaps new member books explaining the culture of Mormonism. As I tried to think of something to give her, everything seemed to have something in it that might hinder her from truely knowing God in the fullest. Finally, I settled on Stormie Omartin's "The Prayer that changes everything" that discusses how to be intimate with God through prayer. I gave her a New Testament study book and this month's copy of the Ensign along with a card that congratulated her on her choice to follow Christ. I didn't want to congratulate her on joining the LDS church - but rather on taking, what she saw as, a step in following the Savior.
It'll be interesting to watch her development in the LDS church. Her husband is sort of a "jack-Mormon" - holds the priesthood, been to the temple - but drinks alcohol and coffee. I think he's started attending block meetings again, but not entirely sure. However, perhaps with the recent heart attacks only months apart, he's been faced with his own mortality and is ready to seek God.