“After the talk, our first baptism today will be Alison’s,” the bishop’s counselor announced, smiling at me and my dad.
“Oh, we’d be happy to go last,” Dad joked.
Uncle Calvin gave Dad’s shoulder a friendly punch. “You’ll do great,” he whispered.
Just a few months before, my dad had been ordained an elder in the Melchizedek Priesthood. This would be his first time performing a baptism. I felt proud of him and happy as we sat together in our white clothes.
Soon my dad and I stepped into the baptismal font. He gave me a wink. I held his arm and plugged my nose while he said the short prayer and lowered me into the water. He did a great job! As I stood up, I felt the warm water streaming off my face. The warmth of the Spirit whispered to me that I’d made the right choice.
Not many months later, Mom and Dad had some exciting news. Our family was going to be sealed in the temple! My sister Shaelyn and I clapped and jumped up and down, we were so happy.
I soon learned that because I was now eight years old and had been baptized, I would need to have an interview with my bishop before I could go to the temple. I liked Bishop Jex a lot, but I thought that an interview for a temple recommend would be very important, and that made me nervous. What if I answered some of the questions wrong?
Mom came with me to the church for my interview. Bishop Jex shook my hand. “So you want to go to the temple, young lady?” he asked.
“Not many people have the opportunity to be interviewed for a temple recommend so soon after they are baptized,” he told me. Then he took a binder from his desk and flipped it open. Inside, he pointed to a white piece of paper with some lines on it and lots of places to write information.
“This is a limited-use recommend,” he explained. “Your name goes here, and my signature goes here. You’ll give this to the temple workers, and they will know you are worthy to be in the temple.”
Bishop Jex asked me about the things I do to keep the covenants of baptism—going to church, treating my sisters kindly, repenting when I make a mistake. “Keeping our baptism promises is what we do to be worthy to make temple promises,” he said. “It sounds to me like you are working hard to do everything you promised God you would do.” After we talked for a few more minutes, he wrote my name on the paper and handed it to me. I had my temple recommend!
After my interview with Bishop Jex, I met with the stake president because he needed to interview me and sign my recommend too. Then I was ready to go to the temple! On the day of the sealing, we drove to the Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple. My sisters and I were introduced to the temple workers who would take care of us and help us get ready. The workers took us to a room where my baby sister, Breanna, colored pictures and played with blocks, and Shaelyn and I watched a movie about what being sealed would be like. I felt warm and peaceful in the temple.
We changed from our church clothes into white dresses, and then the temple workers took us to the sealing room. When we walked in, there were our grandparents, lots of aunts and uncles, and of course our mom and dad. Everyone who looked at us started to cry—even my big, tough dad.
“You three look just like angels,” Mom said.
“Do you girls know what we’re doing here today?” the temple sealer asked.
“We’re being sealed to our parents,” Shaelyn said.
“And what does that mean?” he asked.
“We can be together as a family forever,” I said.
“Right,” he said. “Together forever, if what?”
“If we keep the commandments,” I said.
“Exactly. You do as you promised at your baptism—to follow Christ. And your parents keep the promises they made today in the temple to follow Christ. You should work hard each day to love and help each other. Someday, you girls will come here again and make the same promises they have made. Heavenly Father promises that when you all return to live with Him, you can be together as a family.”
After the sealer said the words of the ordinance, everyone gave us hugs. “We’re so proud of you,” my grandparents told me. “We love you so much!”
The warmth of the Spirit that I felt when I was baptized whispered to me again. I knew our family had made a good choice. I felt so happy that we could promise to follow Jesus Christ. I know He will help us live so that we can be together for eternity.
“Our baptism and confirmation is the gateway into His kingdom.”
“The Covenant of Baptism: To Be in the Kingdom and of the Kingdom,” Ensign, Nov. 2000, 9.
Illustrations by Dilleen Marsh