Saturday, February 11, 2012

So many temple trips and each one has been special in it's own way.  We've been able to experience with those who go to the temple for the first time, or returning after a long absence, that wonderful joy that can only be found when doing work for our ancestors who have not had the opportunity while on this earth.  February 4 was one of those extra special experiences.  We had the largest branch attendance since we have been here - 19 members of the Marion Branch (we consider us to be members of the branch).  It was our Stake baptism day for the youth.  Our youth consisted of 1 teenager, our newest member - age 23 - a giant of a man both spiritually and next to the rest of us, physically (6' 9" - not small in stature), 1 deaf mute, 2 downs syndrome (ages 29-41) a brother my age and a sister just younger than me - all so very young at heart. Only 2 of them had done baptisms before so it was an amazing experience watching them.

This is our group.  We didn't realize Sis. Weatherford
was still in the temple and Bro. Weatherford was in
his car taking a catnap, so they missed the photo shoot.
Now, for the workings of the spirit.  Sis. Page had a son take his own life 2 years ago this month.  Her health has not been good for a long time and many times we thought she was going to give up.  Because of some other circumstances, she had to get permission from the first presidency to have his work done.  The day she received the letter giving her permission and the temple card along with it, her health completely turned around.  She was able to go to the temple to witness him being  baptized and confirmed by proxy along with her mother and grandmother. The spirit was so strong.  We had a total of 58 family names to be baptized.  Pres. Harvey handed me the names to sort out according to priority in case we were unable to get them all done.  So, I put them in groups of 5 (that's all they wanted each one to do).  Sis. Page and Sis. Allen had come only to observe and Bro. Lane came to do his own family names so they were top of the list.  The rest were just randomly sorted.  Our new member had the privilege of being baptized for Sis. Page's son, and the rest were from the Hill family. As he was looking through the cards, he noticed that two of the cards were his ancestors - he didn't have time to get names for himself.  The Lord does work in mysterious ways.  And, all 58 were baptized and confirmed.  Sis. Allen and Sis. Page were able to get confirmed for their female ancestors. Elder Lovell did the endowments for Sis. Woodard's father while she attended the same session.  Four other endowments for family names were done.  Not bad for our small branch.  The spirit of Elijah is strong.
Bro. Allen, Ricky, and Bro. Lane waiting for the
group to gather
Sis. Page with Chris, her proxy son

Our group waiting for others to join us.

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