Ella Sophia turns eight and is baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
As she prepared for baptism, we reflected upon her many gifts from our Heavenly Father. One of her gifts is a great love and empathy for people. In the Book of Mormon, the prophet Alma speaks to a group of people wanting to be baptized and gives very clear directions what is expected of a follower of Jesus Christ: be ” willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light…willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort (Mosiah 18:8-9).” As early as she could communicate, Ella Sophia has displayed these virtues.
Another one of her gifts is her ability to assimilate her environment and aptly apply it to her thoughts and feelings. We moved from Newbury Park, CA after living very near our Jaggi cousins. It was a story-book experience. Our children saw their cousins almost daily at school, church or extra-cirricular activities. Needless to say, it was difficult to leave. After saying good bye to her California cousins, Ella Sophia burst through the front door and collapsed into my arms sobbing. After a couple of minutes she stopped. Enlightened, she remarked: “Now I know how Oma felt when Opa died.”
Ella Sophia, this great sensitivity that Heavenly Father has blessed you with will only increase with the companionship of the Holy Ghost that you received after you were baptized. I know that the next time you read the beautiful counsel of Alma, your natural desire to comfort and lift those around you will only be enlarged.
Stewart turned twelve and received the Aaronic Priesthood. This enables him to serve others in the church every Sunday. He passes the sacrament to the congregation with other priesthood holders. Taking the sacrament and recommitting our will with the Lord’s will is the most important part of our church experience each Sunday. It is beautiful to see Stewart grow and find satisfaction in serving people. As he continues to serve others throughout the week, he will bless the lives of many and find continued happiness.
On the day Stewart was ordained, he chose to wear the former tie of his Sunday School teacher who had passed away a few months earlier. It was a moving tribute to witness.
Turning twelve also means Stewart is able to go into the temple and do baptisms for those that didn’t have an opportunity to get baptized while they lived on earth. His favorite temple is the SLC temple so we set up an appointment and invited his Utah cousins, aunts and uncles to join us. While waiting to begin, we heard the voices of the Prophet and 12 apostles walking down a neighboring hallway on their way to their weekly Thursday meeting. We also were greeted by the Temple President and Matron, President and Sister Alldredge who were former neighbors of Lizzy.
Afterwards we celebrated with Belgian waffles at Brugges. We highly recommend the Torpedo waffle stuffed with dark Belgian chocolate.
Stewart is wise and deeply spiritual. He has the ability to relate with and entertain children years younger than he is while also engaging in deep, meaningful conversation with adults on a variety of topics. We sometimes forget that he just turned 12 and not 22. We love you Stewart and love your companionship!