Look who is turning 8! …. in May.
So why am I writing about Crew’s 8th birthday this early?
Because when you are a Mormon, 8 is the age when we are generally baptized. We believe children know right from wrong and can make their own choices at this age. And Baptism is one of the critical choices. (Click here for several scriptures and resources on Baptism.)
Although Crew isn’t getting baptized for 8 months, it is my job as a parent to help him prepare for this important step.
And I take my job seriously.
So over the next 8 months there will be a more focused intention on preparing Crew for his baptism.
I plan on doing the same things I did with Elle to prepare her for her baptism.
Here are a few ideas that I tried. Hopefully, these tips can help other moms out there prepare their children for baptism too.
- Attend Baptisms. Have children attend as many baptisms of friends and family as they can prior to their baptism. This gets the kids comfortable with what will happen at their baptism and they are taught important doctrine from the talks. Plus, I have never been to a baptism where I haven’t felt the Spirit.
- Read Scriptures. Elle and I read every scripture in the New Testament and Book of Mormon that had to do with baptism. I went in her room at night for snuggles and we turned to the topical guide and looked up ‘Baptism’. We read a few scriptures each night for several months.
For Crew, I typed up a list of the scriptures, so we could cross them off when we finished them. (He inherited my appreciation for a good-ole check-off.) Here are a few check off lists for you to print if you are interested:
- Read Books. There are several great books out there on Baptism. Elle and I read two books that were on her reading level: “Baptism: Entering the Path to Eternal Life” by Chad Daybell and “Seven Years Old and Preparing for Baptism” by George Durrant. I got them at Deseret Book. They were easy for her to understand.
- Practice. Have dad go over the proper hold and the dip into the water so they are really familiar with the process. Do this as many times as necessary for your child to feel comfortable.
- Go on a Field Trip. Visit your Stake Center or the church where your child will be baptized. Check out the font and the changing room.
- Have Family Home Evening. Once a month for several months we held an FHE on Baptism with Elle. I plan to do 8 lessons with Crew starting this month. Here is our tentative outline penned at a Chili’s on a date night. (I may or may not post lesson plans for you depending on my mood and if the lesson is “blog worthy” or not.)
1- God’s Plan
2- Faith in Jesus Christ
3- Baptism: Overview
4- Baptism: Covenants
5- Holy Ghost
8- Endure to the End
(* For those of you that think repentance should come before Baptism, I purposely put this principle after Baptism. The kids aren’t getting baptized to wash away sins. They haven’t done anything wrong. They are getting baptized to obey a commandment from God. I put repentance after baptism because that is when they are old enough to sin and repent.)
- Invite Other Families Over. To help teach the doctrine we invited our grandmas and grandpas over for Family Home Evening and they taught some lessons. We also invited other families over that had 7 year olds turning 8 to share in our FHE lessons. It was nice to share our lessons with guests.
- Do the Packet. When I was Primary President I revised and compiled an informational and fun packet for kids who were getting baptized. The packet has coloring pages, activities, a wordsearch, crossword, plus lots of helpful information. I saved my file and printed Elle a copy when she was 8. Then I added a binding so she had an easy booklet to carry around with her. Here is a PDF of the packet.
Crew and I have already started reading books and baptism scriptures and going to baptisms.
And Crew has already read the Book of Mormon and the New Testament by himself. Last week I woke up early and found him on the couch with the iPad …. reading Exodus. I told him he just might be the first boy in the history of the world to finish reading the whole standards works of scriptures before he is 8.
I pretty much love him and am excited to help him prepare for his baptism.