As I look back to the day that I was baptized, and look at Tatyana's baptism, I can't help it but to compare both days and notice the small differences. I mean the covenants are the same, just the circumstances were different. I was almost 10 years older than Tatyana, and I was baptized by a missionary, not a member of my family. I didn't have many of my family members with me that day... My grandma and my great aunt were there. And I think my mom was there too. None of my old friends were there, just the new friends that I had just recently met. The first counselor in the ward confirmed me a member of the church. I don't remember what was said, but I remember that it was beautiful and I could feel the spirit.
I am so grateful for that day. To be honest, I don't know if I had a full understanding of the decision that I made... It just felt right. I remember having a feeling of finally finding my place in this world.
I hope Tatyana doesn't take this day for granted. I hope she understands that it's a great privilege to be raised knowing the gospel and understanding the purpose of this life.
I think about the challenges that she will have. I am scared... As her mother, I just want to hold her and make sure that nothing bad will ever happen to her.
I'm sitting here laughing in my head thinking about that first boyfriend that broke my heart and I thought I would never get over that pain. I thought that greater love could never exist, it wasn't possible. Now, I look at my kids and I feel like my heart is going to explode, that nothing will ever compare to the love that I have for my family.
Elder Bradley D. Foster of the Seventy quoted President Joseph F. Smith last Conference: "The love of a true mother comes nearer to being like the love of God than any other kind of love". When I heard that, I thought: "I knew it!" It had to be right, because, just as when my first boyfriend broke up with me, I feel that there can't be greater love than the love that I have for my kids.
However, after I pondered about it for a little longer I realized that just because it was said that it "comes nearer to being like the love of God", it doesn't mean that it is anything like it. Heavenly Father does not have meltdowns, doesn't lose His temper, or regrets His actions. The love that Heavenly Father has for each one of us is perfect.
I hope she remembers that. I hope she remembers this day. Not because of the party, or the dress, or the pictures, but because this is what is right. This is the first step. I hope she can look back and think about how wonderful it is to have her family being raised in the church, learning the gospel when they are still young.