Tuesday, October 1, 2013

What Does Baptism Mean?

Last Saturday, the General Relief Society Conference was held and I felt I learned a lot about how to better teach my kids about baptismal covenants and what they mean, as well as how to remember my own promises and keep them.  Service is such a big part of that covenant and I never realized that's what it's about.  I always just thought of it as remember Christ and trying to be like him...but in what better way are we trying to be like him then when we serve others?  This is what the baptismal covenant is all about!  Service.  Love.

Being baptized means I'm promising to love and serve others.

It is so simple, and yet being explained this way completely transforms the way I feel about my membership in the church.  I know following the Savior is all about love.  Baptism is about being a member of the church and having my records there.  But combining them?  Being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints means I am supposed to love and serve others as Christ did and does.

It's a beautiful way to live.

On Sunday in Relief Society, the lesson was on service and sacrifice too, and I was struck by the word SECRET.  Keeping service a secret isn't a new idea, but somehow I understood this differently then before.

Now, let me just make things clear, I am horrible at keeping my own secrets!  Someone else has a secret?  I keep it to myself.  But my own secrets I'd blab to everyone and their neighbors.  I think it's some completely pathetically sad attempt I make to have friends or get close to other people, but it only succeeds in making me look like a desperate crazy person I think.  But it's SO hard for me to stop telling the world about my darkest secrets.  It's tragic.

But, keeping service a secret is a precious thing, I've realized.  Not only does it save your ego from getting bloated with the big announcement of "Look what I just did for you!" but it also erases selfishness in many other forms.

For about a week, I made a silent resolution to myself to serve my husband by doing EVERYTHING he wanted all week long.  (I had to limit it to a week so it seemed doable.)  I did it, and it felt so good!  I felt more affection and love for him as I silently served him just because I loved him and made little sacrifices for him.  It was HARD to keep it to myself!  It was sort of an inside joke with myself at one point as he asked me what I wanted to do and I said, "Whatever you want, really." and snickered to myself, trying not to tell him.  I got SO close to spilling my beans at that point but I didn't.

Then on Saturday I told him.  Biggest mistake EVER because immediately things changed!  Now, instead of this wonderful loving feeling I had from serving him, I would get resentful the moment he asked me to do anything because I would think, "You know I'm only doing this because I am putting you first right now, so why are you making me do it?"  It became selfish to the point of stubbornness and nothing was enjoyable anymore.  SAD!

So keeping service a secret is a good idea.  I really DO need to put my spouse first more often.  I really DO need to be more respectful toward him and be kind with my words and clean the house with my family in mind because when I do these things, I am serving my family.  Yes, it's quietly, and yes they may not even notice.  But that's better then announcing it to the world and expecting things back that won't come.  It feels so much better to just love other people.

And that's keeping my baptismal covenants.  That is trying to be like Jesus.

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