Monday, January 21, 2008

How I Became a Mormon--Part 13

You’re in the Army Now

A week after being baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, my wife and I were confirmed as members in a sacred ceremony that took place at the Waikalua chapel in Kaneohe, Hawaii where our ward met.

Confirmation, just like baptism, must be done by a worthy adult male who holds the higher priesthood, known as the Melchizedek priesthood (the lesser priesthood is called the Aaronic priesthood). Confirmation involves the laying on of hands. To illustrate, what happened in my case was that a selection of priesthood holders, about a half dozen or so, formed a circle around me as I was seated in a chair and laid their hands on the top of my head in a sacred priesthood ordinance. Each one contributed to a united gathering of inspiration and spirit. One of the “brethren” was to be the speaker. For my confirmation, it would be my high school buddy Ted, who I had invited to do the honors. Ted, along with his wife and children, had flown in from the Big Island and were in our ward that day in support of my wife and me.

My wife was also confirmed in a similar manner. During the confirmation, we received the gift of the Holy Ghost, who, we were told, would always attend to us and guide us and lead us as long as we kept the commandments of God. In addition to the gift of the Holy Ghost, we also received other blessings as confirmed by the spirit given to the priestholder giving the blessing.

I will admit that all this laying on of hands was strange and different to me, but I will also admit that I felt a comforting warmth and calmness inside. This, I have learned, is the spirit.

After the confirmation, I was asked to stand before the gathered congregation of the Kaneohe 1st Ward. At that point, the Bishop of the ward, Matthew Corry, addressed the congregation and asked them to sustain me as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints by raising their right hands. As far as I could tell, all people in attendance, both young and old, raised their hands. Then he gave them the opportunity to raise their hands if they were opposed to me being a member of the church. To my relief, none did, so the “vote” was unanimous for the affirmative. My wife also received a unanimous confirmation.

Since that day, I have been in attendance for confirmations of other new members of the church. In some cases, these confirmations are held right after the baptism. In the case of my wife and me, we were confirmed a week later during a sacrament meeting.

1 comment:

chronicler said...

Mahalo Bro. Turner for your testimony. It was just what I needed tonight.