I have realized that the gospel is all about progression and the quest for perfection. Every element and piece of doctrine that we have has a purpose. And in the end, that purpose tends to be progression. Take for example, having commandments to obey, making covenants, the inevitability of sin brought on by our mortal state but the need to overcome the natural man, .... There is a lot of thinking that could be done about this. The perfection of the gospel alone testifies of its truthfulness.
That is even why we are placed in families. Because it is an environment where we can learn correct principles to help us progress. Everything that happens to us is about us coming closer to Christ.
There is a very wonderful relationship between each of the steps in the doctrine of Christ. The doctrine of Christ is: (1) Faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, (2) Repentance, (3) Baptism by immersion (And I am going to add by proper authority) (4) Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and (5) Enduring to the end. You could pick any two of them and discuss how they balance, motivate, and complete the other.
For example, we must have faith. (I have learned so much about faith this week. I will tell you more about faith next week) Faith is incredible. Faith is more than believing in Christ. It is believing that we can repent of our sins and actually be forgiven. Faith in Jesus Christ as our perfect older brother and Redeemer makes us want to have his approval and will motivate us toward repentance. We know that the process works and our faith grows love for the Savior and our Heavenly Father (Charity). Faith again motivates the baptism. Baptism seals the repentance process. The first time we really repent, we have to finish it with our baptism. All the times of repentance after that I would guess are sealed with a prayer to Heavenly Father, or more finally, the sacrament.
All of this is theoretical and doesn't mean much unless you apply it to Solomon.
After listening to Solomon talk and talk, I finally realized what his problem is. When I said it, I think he realized that everything he was feeling was pretty much summed up by that statement. Solomon is afraid baptism because he is afraid of breaking a covenant with God. Let this suffice: he understands the gravity of covenants. Here he must either not understand repentance fully or faith, though he can explain the doctrines and tells us he has much faith. We have repentance for before baptism, but more for after baptism. The doctrine of repentance allows us to feel comfortable making covenants with God. Maybe we understand this concept on paper, but if we don't understand it internally, that is when we need to have faith that the atonement of Christ truly is infinite. This is a discussion for a long night over hot chocolate. :)
I think Solomon just needs to understand that this baptism is just the first of many that we can experience weekly for the rest of his life. Why procrastinate in sin when we can be cleansed and begin down the path of perfect rectitude?
I love you! I am so grateful that you: Peter, Heidi, Sam, Skib, and Nate are part of my family. We are very richly blessed. There is nothing greater than having an eternal family and having all of safely buffered from the affects of the devil. It is hard to find a family here where all the members of the family are Mormon and are acting that way. Almost no parents that are married are even sealed. There are so many more women in these wards than priesthood holders. Anyway, I love you and I know that the gospel is true. I know that it is the only way we can be together after this life. I know that all of us are strong enough to choose the right even when the wrong is easier. I know that we can make it and we will make it. I know that developing family relations is the most valuable thing we can do in this life. I know that Satan will attack the family because that is our greatest source of and for happiness. He is evil and tries to hurt us in the ways that seem too low to stoop to. Please have family home evening because Heavenly Father will help our family be strong.
I love you.