Birthday cards are filled with condolences and cheeky reminders that we’re all sagging, lagging, and dragging. By the time most people hit a certain age-and it’s a different age for everybody-many would just as soon skip the reminder that Father Time is leaving his mark.
But I noticed something interesting in my ward this month. For whatever reason, we have more than a dozen converts who celebrate their baptisms in March. “This is my baptism month,” someone said in Relief Society. Five or six others chimed in, “Mine too.” And the same thing happened during Fast and Testimony Meeting this month when one brother said March was the anniversary of his baptism-suddenly several others took the opportunity to celebrate the same event.
Some have been members of the church for decades, others are recent converts of only a few years-or days. But March will forever remind them of the essential and glorious step they took to enter the waters of baptism. It marks the moment when they entered the gate on their path back to Heavenly Father. Wow.
I thought about my own baptism at age eight, umpty-ump years ago on a sunny September day in Logan, Utah. How many times do I think of September as my baptism month, not just my birthday month? Somehow, the folks who chose to join in adulthood see their baptism as an important anniversary, something that forever changed their lives. Its occurrence is huge and the month when it happened will forever shine in their hearts, whether it coincides with their birthdays or not.
So my challenge, to those of us born into the church, is to celebrate our baptism with the same excitement the converts have. Some of us were baptized on our actual birthdays, others a week or two afterward. We’re all converts, right? So let’s approach our next birthday not as a reminder that we’re simply aging, but as a marker of another anniversary of that wonderful, saving ordinance, and the promises we made to our Heavenly Father. Let’s look forward to that day as it rolls around each year, see it in a new light, and count our blessings, not just our years.
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