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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Guest Post: The Crystal Baptisiversary

In spite of his pretentious pseudonym, GMP is much like any other single, active, lifelong member of the Church. He enjoys reading and writing, working on his car, and finding new music to become obsessed with, in addition to jogging, camping, and snowboarding. Ladies, he's pretty much your dream guy, except in that he is a self-proclaimed homosexual. His blog, Gay Mormon Pioneer, is a window into the life of the Millennial gay Mormon, struggling to live in accordance with the Gospel and occasionally succeeding. There, he chronicles his struggles with pornography and his desire to enter the temple, serve a mission, get married, and raise a family, with bits of his boring daily life thrown in the mix. Check out GMP's first guest post here.

Photo by Asako Narahashi.

May 3rd was the anniversary of my baptism. Fifteen years ago, I unknowingly made the most complicated and confusing commitment I've ever made, one that will have implications on every other commitment I make in this life and the life to come.

Today, I was reflecting on that decision I made as an eight year-old tot. I tried to remember the feelings I had before and after the baptism, but aside from embarrassment at having my toe float to the surface and needing to be dunked again, I don't remember much. I remember snippets from my interview with the bishop, his unusually grave attitude giving me some pause about the choice I was about to make. But, as with most  eight year-old kids, I was ultimately excited to be baptized, and anyway, I didn't feel like I had much choice in the matter. I looked forward to being a member and receiving the gift of Holy Ghost, but it felt like I wouldn't be allowed to choose otherwise even if I wanted to.

Did my young, bespectacled self realize the deputation he was accepting? Could he have possibly foreseen the life he would lead? If he did fully understand what he was taking on himself, what was his motivation? And if he couldn't see what the future was to bring, would he have changed his mind granted that knowledge?

I was thinking about that when a scripture I heard this week came to mind. Found in Romans 8:16-18, it reads:

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

This scripture made me realize that today is a day of celebration. Little GMP made the choice to be baptized, and whether that choice was motivated by lemming-like imitation, a burden to please my parents and the primary president, or a genuine desire to serve the Lord and commit myself to His gospel, I'm grateful he was baptized.

Ultimately speaking, that decision could be blamed for all the internal conflict I feel, the pressure to do what others would have me do, and the anonymous rejection I sometimes experience from my friends and neighbors. But those unfortunate circumstances are more than offset by the peace and solace I find every day through the grace of the Atonement and via the comforting guidance of the Holy Ghost. The storms in my life are aptly calmed because of the good choices one kid made 15 years ago. He might not have had the ability to see the future, but if I had the ability to change the past, I wouldn't try to change his mind. Might warn him about his buoyant toes, though.

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