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Botched Murder Plots, Unwritten Dress Codes, and Morning Yoga

By Sandra Clark

The night of my baptism I went to sleep disappointed I hadn’t been murdered. I figured showing that I was big enough to demonstrate my devotion to God and also the absolution of a life cut off early, unburdening me of the hard work of actually living out my devotion seemed like the best option. …

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Rippled Surface

By Kessia Robinson

Water has a skin, a membrane thick enough for gods to walk on but delicate and cold as cloud hide. To enter the world of water, to swap terra firma for the enveloping mystery, you must break the skin, puncture and plummet and be lost to all you knew. Change is always thus— to break, to wound, …

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Accountability

By Christie Rasmussen

When I started my new job six weeks ago, I took it as a given that I would have a manager. Due to some unfortunate timing (a cross-country move and a promotion), I began my position without both a manager and my manager’s manager. While usual protocol meant that I would be observing and training …

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Redeemed Vessel

By Saundra Hall

“Can I come in?” Teetering on the edge of another emotional breakdown, I refused to answer. It was impossible to speak; even to utter a simple “no” would have been an invitation for unwanted tears, and I hated the tingly sensation of a constricting throat. I won’t cry this time. He slowly pushed the door …

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Mercy Water

Today’s guest post comes from Heather Kole, who is a full time American student living in Scotland. She spends her free time writing on her tiny mediocre blog, writing lists & running around in general panic. You can find more of her writing at http://honeybeau.blogspot.co.uk.

It was cold in the chapel. As I stepped into the shallow pool and looked at the Elder waiting for me in the water, I grew nervous. “This is the mercy water,” the tiny voice in my heart said.  An instant calm took over my body and my clenched fists relaxed. I took in a deep breath and stepped into the water, feeling the tingling all the way down to my toes. The warm water washed away any and all sins committed before that day, and will continue to do so until I meet my Heavenly Father after mortal death. The Elder held me under to make sure every part of me was under the water, was washed clean. I mused for a brief second while beneath the surface. “This is the mercy water.” That single phrase stuck in my head and repeated itself over and over again that night as I lay in the spare room on my borrowed school dormitory bed. I was wiped clean of sin by immersing myself in that deliciously warm water and dedicating my life to my savior and my Heavenly Father. The water erased everything and created hope.

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Silver Lining

By Sandra Clark

Eight years old, wearing a thin white dress not quite keeping out all the cold of a metal chair, I sat as attentively as I could listening to the story behind the silver dollar held out to me. It was my baptism, and Sister Eshrich was speaking just to me.  She held up the coin and told me how it had been given to her as a little girl, bright and shiny, but over time had dirtied and tarnished. It was true: the coin was grey, dimmed and dull. She then reached into her pocket and pulled out another coin, its twin, but brighter, radiant and clean. Sweet Sister Eshrich then handed that coin to me, still warm from her pocket and told me when things become dull they can be shined up again like new: me and my new coin. I couldn’t believe my luck, owning something so beautiful.

*     *     *

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An Anniversary: This Pilgrim’s Progress

By Linda Hoffman Kimball

June 16 is the anniversary of my baptism, the day I became a Latter-day Saint. It was 1971, three days shy of my 19th birthday. (Do the math; the upcoming birthday is a big one about which I am in deep denial.) For 2 years before my baptism I was an active, participating dry member of my college ward in Massachusetts and my Illinois ward when I was home with my (Protestant but not particularly religious) family.

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Jesus is Here

By Lisa Meadows Garfield

I am sixteen years old.  It’s Christmas time–December 23rd, to be precise.   I am in the car with my boyfriend, Matt, driving to the Santa Rosa stake center. I’m getting baptized tonight. I can’t stop smiling. I feel enveloped in a bubble of peace as deep as that of the first Christmas night. I’m getting baptized tonight!

When we arrive at the stake center, I find that many of my seminary friends are already there.  I am surprised to see so many. People I don’t even know crowd the edges of the room.  It’s my first Mormon baptism. The missionaries have explained the process, but still, I don’t know what to expect. I don’t really know much at all about the details of Mormon doctrine, but I know this: Jesus is here. This is His church. This is my path.

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What He Sees

By Brooke Benton

I love people watching and have convinced myself that I’m a pro: my sunglasses hiding the direction of my gaze or the incognito peering from behind the pages of an uninteresting library find. Inevitably the words hold little sway to the treasures of humanity beyond the pages and the assurance of real, live social graces and interaction and nuance and emotion are just too much to bear, and I watch:

Where he slips his hand across her knee. Where she puts her head upon his shoulder… First date? Old lovers? They are too quiet with one another to be new, and her hair seems askance and he seems calmed by her easy way. They must be married.

Where a mother fusses over a baby hidden in an expensive carriage, and how suddenly a fleck of a hand blooms above the tuft of swaddling blanket and visions of a redhead baby boy bloom in my head, unbidden… Simply because the hand was pale, and his mother was a ginger.

And my mind wanders with them all day, these people/characters filled out by my mind, apparent only in face. They are reduced to their mannerisms and accessories, taken out of context, in five seconds of one day.

It seems unfair. But in my defense I usually give them an imaginative vignette worthy of their most astonishing feature.

(Good or bad.)

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Welcoming outsiders

By Heather Oman

I didn’t serve a mission. When I was 21, I took a job working as a personal care attendant for 2 quadriplegic teenagers. I lived in their home, took care of them at night, and, if there was no nurse, during the afternoon as well. It wasn’t what I expected to find myself doing at 21, but I’ve since learned that life is full of the unexpected.

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