A Talk for Baptism

I’ve been thinking about baptism lately and just remembered that I have saved the talk I gave at my oldest’s baptism 3 years ago. I thought I’d share it here.

image of a gathering on a beach with an 8 year old in a camping chair and white baptism outfit and her mother in front of her giving a talk

Giving the talk at my daughter’s baptism, April 2016.

When you were 4 years old, you were learning the song, When I am Baptized for the primary program. It’s the one that starts, “I like to look for rainbows, whenever there is rain.” The second verse starts with “I know when I am baptized, my wrongs are washed away.” You came to me crying because it made you sad and you didn’t want your wrongs washed away. Do you know what I said to you? I said, “That song is wrong. First, you are 4 and you have no wrongs. Second, you sound sad because it sounds like a part of you will be gone. That’s not true. You are still you and you keep the memory of the things you do wrong so that you know not to do them again.”

After my sister was baptized, I did something wrong. When we were getting into the car, there was a fight and I teased her saying by saying she wasn’t perfect anymore. It was wrong of me to tease her. And I was wrong about being perfect. Being perfect is not the plan. That was the other plan we didn’t pick. You are expected to make mistakes. Your heavenly parents expect you to make mistakes and I expect you to make mistakes.

Now, what happens when we make mistakes? Well, people get hurt. Or they hurt themselves. So with everyone in the world making mistakes and hurting each other, what can we do?

In the Book of Mormon, there was a group of people who all decided to get baptized together. They said they’d promise 3 things because they also knew people made mistakes and got hurt. First, they promised to take on the name of Christ. Do you know what that means? Do you know when you got your name? It was when you were born. And sometimes people compare baptism to being born again. And you get a new name, Jesus Christ, but we aren’t going to call you Jesus. Instead, you are supposed to be walking around every day for the rest of your life as if you are Jesus and do the things he’d do.

The second thing they promised was to “mourn with those that mourn.” Do you know what that means? “Mourn” is a word that is used for how sad people feel when someone has died or if something they really hoped for didn’t happen. Mourning with those that mourn is to be sad with people who are sad. If someone is hurt or sad and you say, “Yeah, that makes me sad, too.” It helps them feel a little better.

The third thing they promised was to “comfort those that stand in need of comfort.” That means to take care of other people. There are a lot of hurting people in the world and at baptism you promise to take care of them.

Now, Margaret, you aren’t alone in helping the hurt. Everyone here who got baptized promised these, too. And I bet the people here who haven’t been baptized also want to fix the hurt in the world. We support you and are all on the same team and we’ll help you.

And in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.


TopHat is putting her roots down in the Bay Area with her husband and three children. She loves the earth, yarn, and bicycling.

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3 Responses

  1. Ziff says:

    This is excellent, TopHat. I think my favorite bit is the very end where you talk about there being a community of people around your daughter to give her help and support.

  2. Chiaroscuro says:

    “You are expected to make mistakes.” I couldn’t agree more

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