I was baptized October 21, 1990. In our family, my parents set up the requirement that we read the entire Book of Mormon before deciding if we wanted to be baptized. After all, they didn't want us to just get baptized because they wanted us to, or because that's what the other 8-year old children in Primary did. They wanted us to know why we were getting baptized, and to have a testimony of our own about the Gospel, no matter how small or new. It should be the same with any one considering baptism in the Church. They should never do it for anyone but themselves--and know why they are doing it.
I remember trying to get through. I think I finished just after my birthday. Not sure on the date. But I remember reading the end. I was with my mother. And she asked me to tell her what Moroni 10:3-5 meant after I'd read through it. I looked at it again, not quite sure. Then she explained that it said I was to ask Heavenly Father to know if the Book of Mormon was true. That it was important for me to do this for myself. I remember going to my room and praying about it. And as I prayed, I knew immediately not just that the Book of Mormon was true, but that I had always known it was true. I still do.
My baptism was scheduled almost a month after my 8th birthday because, at the time, I was the last child in the family. Some siblings had shared their baptisms with others. Mom wanted her last child and her baby girl to have her own special day. So we waited a few weeks because of Fast Sunday, General Conference, and other baptisms occurring. And I was able to pick the music, and the prayers, and the talks.
Mom got me a special, beautiful white dress to wear to church that day. I adored that dress. Mom still has the dress. I've seen nieces wear of it when playing angels in our family Christmas Nativity re-enactments. There wasn't a dress in the ward's baptism clothing closet. I almost had to be baptized in pants. Not that that is a bad thing. But I remembered seeing all my girl friends baptized in white dresses. And I was OBSESSED with dresses at that age. Rarely did I ever wear pants, so the idea of being baptized in pants seemed tragic. I know. Perspective and such--but I was 8. Fortunately, I have a loving Heavenly Father as well as loving earthly parents. And they found a girl in the ward who was willing to let me wear her dress to be baptized in. (I now know at least one reason why it is easier to be baptized by immersion in pants. :-) )
My brother and I sang "I am a Child of God" as a duet.
He started to sing the wrong words to the 2nd or 3rd verse and I smacked his arm with mine. As we were singing. I'm so loving like that. :-) I guess even then I never wanted mistakes when I sang. I still prefer that, obviously, but I'm much more accepting of mistakes. At least in the way of not beating myself or someone else up over them, then repenting of them and letting them go. What a great thing to know in life, too.
My parents also sang a duet. I wish I was more familiar with that song. It was called "To a Child." Not sure the artists behind it, but I remember seeing the piano music among our family's collection. I'd link to it if I could find it. One of the other songs we sang was new to us that year in Primary, and I absolutely loved it. It is called "The Church of Jesus Christ." The lyrics grace the top of this blog. Because it is all truth to me.
Another brother spoke. Not sure who the second speaker was. Possibly another brother? Because that left the two prayers being said by the last two brothers. My sister played the piano except for my parents' duet. Their accompanist was the mother of the crush I had at the time. In fact, before the baptism he and I were talking about it. He said he wouldn't come to mine because I didn't come to his. Well, I would have loved to have gone, but my family didn't stay for it. But I told him his mother was playing for it, so he had to come. And he did. Such importance. Again, I was 8. :-)
But there were many spiritual aspects surrounding that day for me. I loved having my family present. I loved being baptized by my dad. I was the last child he baptized (for their own ordinance, not for proxy in the temple) since my baby brother was baptized by the brother just older than me 10 years later. I loved the feeling of peace I had. And I felt that the Lord was very pleased with my decision. It was the best decision I have made in this life. It was the first ordinance of the Gospel and I had now entered into a covenant with Heavenly Father.
I have tried to keep this covenant for 24 years. It has given me guidance, direction, peace, comfort, and more as I have tried. No decision could be more important in my life, especially as it influences all other decisions, minor and major, for the rest of my life.