We had a good week this week. The weather was beautiful (but hot! never goes under 80 degrees and moves into the 90’s during the day), and had interesting things to do.
Typical sunset from the balcony of our apartment On Saturday we had a young man baptized. His mother (a member) decided she wanted him to be baptized in the Ocean. We traveled to Le Gallion beach, on the French side of the island to perform the service.
This is a public beach that has a small bar and restaurant, but not much else. A few people gathered together to witness the baptism Terri and the missionaries sit and wait for others to arrive before beginning the baptismal service Elder Mills, the young man Ken, Elder Broadbent (who performed the baptism) and Ken’s mother They waded out until the water was deep enough With a few moments of prayer, he was put under the water, and brought forth out of the water.
For those who don’t know, Mormons (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) believe in baptism by immersion: we believe it is necessary to be baptized to gain salvation, and that the form of the baptismal rite must be by immersion. Christ, though perfect, was baptized, to show us the way; and He commanded all who follow Him to be baptized in the same manner.
The reason we baptize by immersion is that the act of baptism represents the future resurrection of the mortal body from the grave. Just as our physical body goes under the earth, and at the resurrection comes forth out of the earth, in perfection, a person is baptized by immersion: after saying a prayer, the body is taken completely under the water and brought forth out of the water.
This act of cleansing the body is also symbolic of the cleansing of the spirit that comes from the Holy Ghost as we continue to keep the commandments, serve God, and endure to the end.
A few words were said by Brother George (of the Branch Presidency) and a closing prayer. It was a short service, but very fulfilling. Sister Hodge, Sister Robinson, Elder Glover (Elder Glover and Elder Pape had waded into the water to act as witnesses to the baptism), and me. On another day Terri and I were searching for a short-cut to the French side of the island, and thought we had found it…but it turned out to be a dead-end. The steep road went up the side of the mountain, and started down the other side, but then stopped (they had not finished the road). But we got some good pics of the island! At the top of the mountain we found this sign! Perhaps Terri’s family had relatives living on St Martin !? The roads were VERY steep (you felt like the truck would fall backwards!), but it was fun to explore.