Turning 8 is a big deal in our family. You see, we are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. And when a child reaches this age, he or she is now at the age of accountability. This means that they are old enough to know right from wrong. And they can choose whether or not they want to be baptized.
Makinley met with our Bishop a few days before and he asked her questions to see if she was ready and willing to be baptized. He asked her is she believed in Jesus Christ. He asked her if she believed in a living prophet, Thomas S. Monson. And if she wanted to be baptized. We believe that we all have free agency. Which means we have the right to choose. And we wanted Makinley to know that it was her choice to be baptized...not ours. Although it makes us super happy. I think this made her feel a little grown up. And she liked it. To make a choice for her and nobody else. That's pretty huge.
Makinley, we are so pleased that you have chosen to follow the example of your Savior and be baptized. We know that He lives and that He loves you. We know that by being baptized, you have entered the gate of the straight and narrow path. We know the Holy Ghost is a powerful member of the Godhead and will always be with you to testify of things that are true. We know that we aren't perfect. We know that it's really hard to be good all the time. But we know that we can repent of our sins and be clean again. Repentance is so important. If we sin and then repent, we will be able to live with our Father in Heaven again. He has given us repentance and we must use it or we can not live with Him. I am grateful for the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Makinley, I know that your Heavenly Father is pleased with your decision to be baptized. I know that our Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers. He loves you. And wants you to be happy.