If ye will lay hold upon every good thing, and condemn it not, ye certainly will be a child of Christ (Moro. 7:19).
Kristy Monson enjoyed being in the second grade. Every afternoon she rushed home to tell Mom about her day. On Monday, she bounced through the door, waving an invitation to the birthday party of her best friend, Debbie. On Tuesday, she brought home a new T-shirt she had received as a reward for reaching her goal in the school’s reading program. On Wednesday, she proudly modeled a construction-paper princess hat that she had made. On Thursday, she ran home as fast as she could and exclaimed that her class had traveled to the fish hatchery for a field trip.
Friday was different. A dark cloud hovered over Kristy as she trudged home from school and through the kitchen door. Her normal ear-to-ear smile was replaced by large tears that streamed down her round, freckled face.
Mom immediately set down the pan she was drying and wiped away Kristy’s tears.
“Oh, Mom,” Kristy sobbed, “today was the worst day of my life!”
After offering a few words of comfort, Mom led Kristy to the family room, where they sat together on the sofa. “Sweetheart, please tell me what has upset you.”
Choking back tears, Kristy explained, “Debbie was mad at me for playing hopscotch with Cindy during recess, so she told some of the other girls that I’m adopted and that I’m not really a Monson.”
Mom smiled and replied, “Of course you’re a Monson. The very first time I held you in my arms, I knew that you belonged with us. I’m sure that each member of our family will always remember the wonderful morning when we took you to the St. George Temple to have you sealed to us forever.”
Mom wiped a few tears from her own eyes as she continued, “Dad and I love you just as much as we do your brothers and sisters, and we feel that Heavenly Father helped us find you because He knew that we needed you in our family.”
“I do know that you and Dad love me,” Kristy said as her smile slowly returned. “And I’m very thankful to have such a wonderful family. Thanks, Mom! I always feel better after talking to you.” Giving her mother a hug and a kiss, Kristy skipped off to her bedroom to change her clothes so she could play.
Later that evening, Dad found Kristy sitting at her desk with a serious look on her face. “Mom told me what happened at school today. Do you want to talk about it?”
After collecting her thoughts, Kristy said, “I’m glad to be a member of this family. I love you and Mom very much, and I’m thankful for my brothers and sisters. I even forget that I’m adopted until someone reminds me. But, Dad”—tears welled up in Kristy’s eyes—“why am I the only one who was adopted?”
Dad smiled and hugged Kristy. “First let me remind you of how very thankful I am to have you as my daughter. I love you very much, Kristy.” His voice took on a reverent tone as he continued, “And you aren’t the only one who is adopted. In a very special way, your mother and I, and Jared, Josh, Kari, and Kelli have been adopted, too.”
A look of confusion spread across Kristy’s face.
Dad laughed softly. “Let me see—how can I explain what I’m talking about? I know—in family home evening we’ve been helping you to prepare for your upcoming baptism.”
“I know that baptism is so important that even Jesus was baptized,” Kristy put in with enthusiasm. “I can follow His example and be baptized by immersion. That means I’ll be completely covered by water.”
“That’s correct, honey. Do you remember the covenants you will make with your Heavenly Father?”
“I think so, Dad. I will promise to always remember Jesus and keep His commandments. And Heavenly Father will promise me that I can always have His Spirit to be with me.”
“You’ve done a great job remembering many of the things we’ve talked about, Kristy, and I know that you’ll continue to learn and understand even more. Do you remember whose name you will take upon you when you are baptized?”
“Yes,” Kristy quickly answered. “Jesus Christ’s.”
“That’s right. When you were adopted, you took upon yourself the Monson name. When you are baptized and take Jesus Christ’s name upon you—”
“Then I will be adopted into His family?” Kristy interrupted.
Dad smiled as he picked up Kristy’s scriptures. He opened the Book of Mormon and turned to Mosiah 5:7. “Maybe this scripture will help you to understand.”
Kristy read, “‘And now, because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you; for ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name; therefore, ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters.’”
“Wow!” Kristy exclaimed. “The more I learn about baptism, the more I see how special and important it is. I can’t wait until my baptism on Saturday!”
Saturday afternoon arrived, and the friends and family members of the children who were going to be baptized filled the chapel. Debbie sat down next to Kristy. Both girls looked beautiful in their white dresses.
“Kristy,” Debbie whispered. “I met with the bishop last night for my baptism interview. We talked about the importance of repentance and about baptism for the remission of sins. Before I’m baptized, I want to tell you how sorry I am for being mean to you the other day at school. Will you please forgive me so we can be best friends again?”
“Of course I forgive you,” Kristy quickly answered. “I’m glad that we’re best friends and that we’re both being baptized today.”
When the Bishop stood at the pulpit to conduct the meeting, Kristy was so excited that her stomach felt like it had butterflies fluttering around in it. She enjoyed the talk that Debbie’s brother gave about having faith in Jesus Christ, and the one her own sister, Kari, gave about the Holy Ghost. Kari shared personal experiences of how the Holy Ghost had helped her since her baptism. Kristy knew that after her baptism and confirmation, she could have the Holy Ghost as her constant companion if she always tried to obey the commandments and choose the right.
After Kristy and Debbie’s Primary class sang a song about baptism, the two girls quietly walked to the stairs by the font. When it was their turn, Kristy and her dad went down the stairs into the water. Then Kristy’s dad said the special prayer and gently lowered her under the water until she was completely immersed.
As Kristy came up out of the water, she felt warm and happy. Her bright, glowing smile matched the faces of her family and friends. This was a special day she would remember forever.
After the services, Kristy and Debbie talked together. “I feel really happy inside,” Debbie said. “I’m glad I chose to follow Jesus and be baptized. I really do feel clean and pure.”
Kristy nodded. “I feel exactly the same way.”
“And I’m glad you forgave me for saying those mean things about you,” Debbie said softly.
“That’s OK,” Kristy replied, putting her arm around her friend. “One of these days I want to tell you something special I’ve learned about being adopted.”