I was at Phoenix on Sunday. The Chapel is right next to the JAG office. As I was walked up I noticed a crowd of people gathered around a wooden box. The Chaplain and a young woman were standing in it in their PT clothes. As I stopped to see what was happening I realized that she was standing in a makeshift baptismal font. Of course I had to stay and witness this sacred event along with about 30 others.
It was obviously very different from an LDS baptism but still something special to witness. As they stood in the font, the Chaplain asked her if she was willing to accept Jesus as her Savior. She said “yes.” He asked her if she was willing to deny Satan, his influences and the evil ways of the world. She said “yes.” He read several scriptures about baptism and its importance. He read a scripture about humility and asked her if she was humble. Again she said “yes.” He then had her kneel and said “In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost I baptize you unto life.” He then had her kneel forward to immerse her under the water.
Those of you of the LDS faith will know the thoughts that went through my mind so I won’t share them here. What I will say is that it was a beautiful experience. To think that this young lady had a desire to reaffirm her faith in Jesus Christ and was willing to do so in a very public baptism, in a war zone, was such a cool thing to witness. I thought of the faith she had to go through with this sacred ordinance. I felt blessed to witness the expression of her faith and it made me think about my own faith. It also caused me to reflect upon my own covenants that I made at baptism and to feel gratitude for the knowledge and testimony I have of this sacred ordinance. It was a cool thing to witness on the Sabbath.