Miracles at the Water's Edge
We're rounding out the week with more experiences courtesy of the IMOC. Yesterday, we asked you to pinpoint the common thread shared by all three experiences. It was that all were immediate, on-the-spot healings. Today, we're not going to make you guess the common theme. It's baptism. Here are two powerful baptism experiences — share yours for Miracle Monday next month!
On a warm Sunday morning, visiting brothers from the U.S. gathered in a rented schoolroom for worship services. Only the ministry had white plastic chairs to sit in, everyone else brought woven mats for their family to sit on. The morning was filled with energetic singing and great joy.
After the preaching, the resident elder Bro. Wilson, asked who desired to be baptized, knowing that some had requested baptism earlier in the week. A few hands were raised and then slowly, a few more hands went up.
One woman, sitting on the ground with her children raised her hand, yet for the entire meeting, she never sang, never smiled, in fact showed no excitement, emotion or expression at all. It seemed odd that she would raise her hand to desire baptism, but within minutes, all the candidates were gathered together and began making their way to the stream.
Everyone followed and in an orderly manner, the candidates formed a line at the water's edge. Each was asked in their native language if they repented of their sins and if they promised to serve God all the days of their life. One by one, each was baptized.
Finally, this woman, who was almost expressionless, entered into the water. No smile, no excitement, no tears of repentance or joy, nothing. Even some of the visiting missionaries wondered about her condition... maybe she had limited understanding? Maybe limited intelligence? Maybe the resident elder was making a mistake? Because everything was performed in their native language, it was difficult to completely grasp the situation and the spirit constrained all of the visiting missionaries from saying or doing anything to stop or question the baptism.
But when this candidate came up out of the water, she raised her hands in the air with a shout of joy! Her smile was overwhelming and she began singing praises to her risen savior! It was as though everything was bottled up inside her until her sins were washed away!
Later the visiting brothers asked Bro. Wilson about the situation. He simply said, "...that was the spirit of oppression on her. I discerned the evil one placed her into a trance-like state. I've prayed for her many times, but it took the power of Christ and the remission of her sins, to finally release her."
In May of 1988, the initial baptisms took place at the mission in Guatemala City. During the baptisms, several people witnessed a man dressed very humbly, without shoes, standing at the waters' edge. He was touched by the baptisms and was weeping uncontrollably. He helped dry each of the new converts as they came out of the water.
Following the baptisms he disappeared from the crowd. A woman who was on her way to witness the baptisms arrived late. As she was driving a few yards from the water, the man dressed humbly approached her car. She looked at him — his eyes reflected peacefulness, and he indicated that he was pleased.
He started to walk away from the car. She turned around in her seat to speak to him, but he had disappeared.
A later experience confirmed this visitor to be one of the three Nephites who had come to witness the first baptisms on this land in almost 2,000 years performed by the hand of authority that believes in The Book of Mormon and the Bible.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.