Taking Maude to the temple

My brothers, Drew and Trevor, stopped by on Friday. The boys love their uncles! Trevor just got back from training to be a combat medic for the Army National Guard. We are very proud of him.

On Saturday morning,  big Jed got home from work and we drove to Memphis, TN.

He was so tired. But we really wanted to go. Do you like his bow tie? We got that from a dear friend in California. Jed's getting pretty good at tying it!

When we finally made it there, I couldn't help but take pictures of the pretty flowers in the butterfly garden on the temple grounds.

The boys kept saying, oooh pretty! This was the first time we've taken them with us to the temple in Memphis. My dad helped watch the kids in the chapel next to the temple. Thank you, Dad!

We attempted to get a family portrait. This is as close as we got. Oh well! It works!!

We took a family name with us to the temple. Maude Wright. Technically she isn't family, I guess. James Joshua Pritchard (one of my great great grandfathers) was married three times. That I have record of. Maude was his first wife in 1893. I don't have any record of them having children together yet. They were married for no more than two years, because two years later after he married Maude, he gets married to Agnes Thomason. Agnes was only 20 years old. They had three children and were married for at least 15 years. And then in 1910, he marries Dot Etier. Dot was only 17 years old. That means that Dot was born the same year that James married Maude. Yep. James was 41, and Dot was 17. These were real people. They laughed, they loved, they made mistakes...

I come from James and Dot. Dot is such a cute name.

But back to Maude. She isn't my direct line, but she is still a person. Maude hadn't been baptized in this life. Maybe she hadn't heard of the gospel? Maybe she had, but wasn't in a position to join the church? I won't know until I meet her in the next life. But what I do know is that she has the opportunity to learn about the gospel of Christ now. And if she has chosen to follow Christ, she can still be baptized into the church. How? How can she be baptized in water if her spirit is no longer with her body?

That's where we come in. Just like Christ atoned vicariously for all our sins (meaning He suffered everything for me so I don't have to), I can be baptized vicariously for Maude.  I can do for Maude what she can't do for herself. It's a merciful plan, really. Can you imagine if Maude now knows that she wants to follow Christ, but can't do anything about it because she is dead? That would be heartbreaking. Eternally heartbreaking.

Baptism is so important. We believe that God's children can't return back into His full presence without being cleansed first with the waters of baptism. Because man has a fallen dark nature, we can't be in the presence of God's intense light and goodness. We believe that baptism wipes us clean. We can become pure, able to endure God's presence. Darkness and light can not occupy the same space.

If you have questions, you can learn more at mormon.org. On mormon.org you can read answers to common questions about the gospel of Christ. You can also chat live with missionaries for questions you have, similar to an instant messenger.

I'm grateful that Maude was able to be baptized yesterday, and I hope that she wants that ordinance for herself. I want her to be eternally happy. And it is only with God that we can have the purest joy and happiness. But, it's left up to her. She has to make that choice for herself.

I believe in Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for His example and sacrifice. Because of Him, I can return to live with God and my family forever. Maude, too. ;)  There is nothing I want more. Maybe sleep? No, I'm kidding.

Thanks for reading! Leave a comment with questions if you'd like.

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