Friday, October 25, 2013

My baptism and confirmation

I can't believe I forgot to mention this before. I had no serious doubts going into my baptism. Even if my bishop had asked me my thoughts about the Creation and the Flood, I know my 8-year-old self would have shrugged the question off and pushed for baptism anyway. Not that I would have had to push, usually Mormon adults take care of all the required pushing.

I was told that I would feel the burden of my sins be lifted (which is odd considering Mormon doctrine teaches that we are incapable of sinning until we reach eight years old, the age of accountability), that I might possibly feel physically lighter, and that I would feel overwhelmed with God's love and know that I was accepted by Him. What I actually felt was quite different. I felt like it was over so fast that I didn't even know what happened. When I came out of the water I basically felt the same as before, just a little more embarrassed than usual because everyone was watching me and my underwear was probably showing through the wet white jump suit I was wearing. I felt hurried in the changing room and weird about the other boys and their fathers all changing together (I was raised a prude). I felt like I had missed something, but I was sure the good feelings were waiting for me around the corner. 

I also felt nervous that now everything I did could count against me. Everyone told me I would screw up and sin and it was bad but it was also okay because Jesus suffered and died for all our sins so we can repent, but keep in mind that repentance is hard and painful, so just don't screw up, okay? Okay.

Admittedly there was one more thing about my baptism that I wasn't too keen on. The font wasn't very cool. It was just the typical tiled box with stairs that you see above. What I really wanted was to get baptized in a natural body of water like Jesus in the River Jordan or all those converts in the Waters of Mormon. This baptism picture still kicks the shit out of any baptism I've ever seen.

My confirmation was very much the same experience. I had been told marvelous things about being confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and so I had a few expectations. I specifically expected to feel the Spirit come over me and confirm my decision to join the Church. I remember trying so hard to open up and tune in. I wanted to do it right. It was serious business. What I felt that Sunday morning was the nervousness of having all eyes on me and a sincere desire that the dudes confirming me would lift their hands a bit more because the weight of all their arms was making my neck tired. Please, dad, lay off a bit or wrap it up! Name a Jesus Christ AMEN!

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