Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Preparing my Boys for Baptism

I'm so far behind in 'family' type posts. I wanted to tell you about a great Stake Conference I went to that made me really want to create a Christ-centered home. Then I wanted to tell you about the new scripture study program I've started with my boys using the Preach My Gospel manual. I really ought to tell you how it seems that Xan might have broken his nose the other day (but we don't know for sure yet.)

But I just can't keep up on it all!

However, I will tell you about this plan we have to help our boys better prepare for their baptism in three months.

Sure, we've been doing Family Home Evenings on the subject, but we felt like our boys needed more. Something to really connect them with their Heavenly Father and help them to recognize the Spirit in their lives.

On a Saturday, David was packing up his mom's things and found his old Blazer banner from when he was a kid. He packed it up and brought it home, then didn't think much more about it.

Then the other day we were discussing our concern for the boys and their preparation. We knew we wanted to give them a pewter knight in armor to represent putting on the whole armor of God, but weren't sure how to work it in, or how to do it, really.

David felt the whisperings of the Spirit and felt that his mom was trying to tell him something. Following the prompting, he found his Blazer banner and brought it to me, telling me that he thought we should do something like it for the boys.

A Baptism Banner, where they have activities they need to pass off, earning small medallions of some sort along the way, culminating in their having earned the whole armor of God.

So I created it!

The first thing is the Belt of Truth. There are a few scriptures to read, and the boys have to memorize the first four Articles of Faith.

Next is the Breastplate of Righteousness. Again a handful of scriptures, then the boys have to repent of something specific, taking all the steps for full repentance.

Then, the Sandals of Peace. A few scriptures, then plan, prepare and present a FHE on Baptism.

Next, is the Shield of Faith. Again some scriptures, then the boys have to practice choosing the right for a whole day, write about it in their journals and then tell me or David about it.

The Helmet of Salvation is probably the most difficult because after reading a few scriptures, they have to know the baptismal covenant. We're not going to require them to memorize them all, but they need to be able to tell them about it generally.

Finally, the Sword of the Spirit. For this they need to give a talk or read a scripture in Primary.

For each item they pass off, I put two metallic stars on the banner. When they've earned all their stars, they can earn their pewter knight and they'll have put on the whole armor of God.

something like this, but the one we got has a shield too ...