There is something magical about turning eight years old.
You can think for yourself. You can ride a bike, swim, do math, read, make goals and most most importantly, have self-control. You are practically a grown up, except that you haven’t yet forgotten how to have fun.
In the scriptures the number 8 symbolizes new beginnings. Think about it . . . Jewish babies were circumcised at 8 days, there were 8 people on the ark, and there were 8 Jaredite barges that travelled a new land in the Americas. (If you are unfamiliar with that Bible story, don’t worry. There are a lot more where that one came from.)
So in the Mormon church we believe 8 is the age when a child can make decisions for herself. She has faith in Jesus Christ. She understands how to repent. With this knowledge she is ready to be baptized.
We do not baptize infants because infants they are too young to be accountable for the things they do. Small children are innocent and guiltless, and there is no need for baptism, for their salvation has already been paid for by the Savior’s atonement.
After she is baptized with water she will be baptized with fire. That is, she will be given the Gift of the Holy Ghost. If she keeps herself clean and worthy the Holy Ghost will be a constant companion and friend who will teach her the truth of all things. Did you catch that? I said: The Truth of All Things.
Baptisms are significant. They are a “saving” ordinance, meaning you cannot be saved without it. Many people come to watch this great event in your life. Grandparents travel across continents and you get to invite your best friends.
Even your little brother gets all dressed up . . .
. . . for a little while, at least.
(By the way, the tie has been found, and the reward will be given.)
Grown-ups get a little excited about baptisms and they do all kinds of nice things for you. Like your mom might ask all your aunts and uncles and cousins to send you their testimonies.
So thanks for being born, Naomi. And thanks for turning 8. We are proud of you.
Now you can stop growing up, okay?