Saturday, January 4, 2014

Baptism & Confirmation

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I am way behind on my blog again...
and yet, I could not go to sleep tonight until I blogged about our special day today.
Here is the invitation I had printed and sent out to our family who were invited to the baptism.

Aaron Jr was baptized and confirmed today.

It is actually a day I have dreaded for 6 years, ever since Aaron passed away.
I thought the only way I would be okay with today happening would be if I had gotten married again so that Aaron would have a Dad to baptize and confirm him.
Well, I am not married again, so Aaron still does not have a Dad here.
BUT... as the day approached, I realized that Aaron's Dad would be here... in spirit...
and that made today something to look forward to.

For about two years, Aaron has asked me randomly who would baptize him?
I would always tell him I didn't know and would then ask him who he would want to baptize him?
It was something that I could tell weighed heavily on his mind ever since the cousins close in age to him were getting baptized. It broke my heart every time he would ask that.
Well, a couple of months ago, we had a Family Home Evening lesson about baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost because his baptism and confirmation day was soon approaching.
We talked a little that night about who could perform the ordinances (as in... what Priesthood they would have to have in order to perform the ordinances).
Aaron seemed worried about who was going to baptize him... and that evening, he said something to the affect of:
"I wish you could just get married before then so I would have a Dad to baptize me."
I could tell he was really not wanting to have to choose anyone because he didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings by not picking them. Sweet boy, he has such a tender heart.

Soon after that, we were driving in the car and he asked me again about who would baptize him... so I told him that we would sit down that day and write all of the names down on a list... all the names of the men in his life who hold the proper Priesthood... and then he could pick.
He liked that idea, so we did that.
That day after he picked and had all of the names written out of the people he wanted to help with everything on his special day, it was as though a weight had been lifted off of his shoulders. He looked lighter... and he didn't seem so worried anymore. I asked him if he feels more peace now that he knows who is going to baptize him... and he said he did.
It made me so happy for him.

When all was said and done, we ended up switching around just a little bit from the original plan.

So, here is how the day went today:

This is the front of the program.
Aaron Jr drew the artwork and I put the program together.
I loved how the whole program turned out.

Uncle Robert, my brother, baptized Aaron.
We were so glad and grateful and his family was able to make it out here from Omaha for Christmas and were able to stay for the baptism. Thank you Robert!!!

Me with Aaron right before the whole program began.

For the musical number, Aaron wanted all of his 8 year old cousins, his cousins who were all born in 2005, and who were all baptized this past year, to sing with him.
They sang the songs: "When I Am Baptized" and "I Am a Child of God".
It was beautiful... and they are all so sweet.
Stella, Lily, Pearl, Malia, Allison, Aaron, Luke

Grandpa Harkness, Aaron's Dad Steve, confirmed Aaron today.
He confirmed him a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and Aaron received the gift of the Holy Ghost. It was a beautiful blessing. Steve said some inspired words to Aaron today. It was so neat. Thank you Steve! 

This is Aaron with all of the men who stood in the circle to help confirm him.
Grandpas, Uncles, and a cousin.
These are all great examples for Aaron to look to throughout his life.
I added in the person on the far left because he had left already to go to work before we took a photo... so I photoshopped him in... but I only had this much of him to work with from a different photo. Ha.
I almost feel like I should add a photo of Aaron into the photo because I know he was there in the circle helping... he had to be. We all felt like he was there with us today on Aaron's special day.

A few other things to mention:
My Dad, Grandpa Higginson to Aaron, and my brother Mark, Uncle to Aaron, were the witnesses for the baptism.
Aunt Sadie, a sister to Aaron, gave the talk on baptism.
And I gave the talk on the gift of the Holy Ghost.
The Grandmas gave the two prayers.
My brother's wife, Kara, Aunt to Aaron, played the piano.
And my niece, Caroline, cousin to Aaron, was the chorister.
And then everyone was a huge help with the meal afterwards.
We have amazing family and I don't know what we would do without them all!

Grandpa and Grandma Harkness with Aaron.

 Grandma and Grandpa Higginson with Aaron.

This is the drawing of Aaron's that was on the inside of the program with a couple of scriptures.

These are a couple of gifts Aaron received today.
He received other really nice gifts, but these two I wanted to talk about for a minute.
The tie pin is something I got him. It reminded me of Captain America's shield and I like what Captain America stands for... he stands for right and truth. This tie pin is called "the Shield of Faith".
The CTR ring, I have no idea who gave that to Aaron. Within a month after Aaron passed away, someone did the 12 days of Christmas for us. To this day, I still do not know who it was. On the 5th day of Christmas, they gave "5 CTR rings" for Aaron Jr. 4 of them were the green ones that are kind of cheap ones, and the 5th ring was this one in the photo. He was supposed to have it when he was 8, so I finally got this ring out and I was finally able to give it to him today, 6 years later, on his baptism day. It was pretty special. Thank you to whoever gave this to him.

Aaron also wore the belt / belt buckle that his Dad, Aaron, bought for him right before he passed away. We were going to give it to him on his 2nd birthday, but Aaron died two days before his birthday, so I gave it to him that year for his birthday. It still fits him... just barely. I had planned on Aaron wearing one of his Dad's ties today, but we were in such a rush before the baptism, I didn't have time to go searching through boxes to find them... that made me a little sad, so the belt helped make up for it.

When I asked Aaron if he had a favorite scripture, all he said was "a scripture about Aaron".
So, I put this scripture on the invitation and also on the program today:
"And now when Aaron heard this, his heart began to rejoice, and he
said: Behold, assuredly as thou livest, O king, there is a God."

~ Alma 22:8 ~
I just know that Aaron is going to be an amazing missionary like the Aaron in the Book of Mormon.
 Me with Aaron after the baptism and confirmation.
Aaron is wearing the new suit I got for him for his special day.
He is so handsome! 
I also got him some scriptures and a journal to write about his baptism.

It was a beautiful day today. The Spirit was strong. I was full of emotion. We felt the love of our Father in Heaven and the love of our Savior today. It was one of the best days of my life. We also felt Aaron there with us. It was a day when I got to watch my son follow in the footsteps of our Savior. It makes me cry... tears of JOY. My sweet boy made a good choice to follow the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized. He is such a good boy and he will do great things. I am grateful for everyone who was there to show love and support for Aaron today. We have such wonderful people in our lives. How can I not feel happy and joyful when I feel so loved and when I know that my son is so loved? We are both so loved. I love my sweet boy with all of my heart. My heart is bursting with gratitude, JOY, and love.
My cup runneth over... and over... and over...

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Mindy said...

Nothing can replace a dad, but Aaron's got such an amazing support system! It's wonderful that he has SO many people to choose from to help him in these important times of his life. You are a great mom. <3 I love you!

Ashlie said...

This is a wonderful story on a day when I needed some cheer. Bless you, Leslie, you are a wonderful mom. I'm so happy you and Aaron and your family have each other. Sending love and a prayer your way tonight.

The Walkers said...

What a wonderful beautiful day. He is such a cute kid. And you are an amazing Mom. You can do hard things with the help of our Loving Heavenly Father. Great day !!!