As you may well now be aware, there is not much individual information which actually gets recorded by the Central Recorder. Now I don’t want to give the idea that I’m just sitting here twiddling my thumbs, because when I multiply what is recorded for one name by a couple of thousand others, I keep pretty busy. But for each individual there is only recorded here, Last name, middle name, first name, and year baptized, and that’s it. But should that be all that is recorded? For me the answer is yes. For you, the answer is no.
Baptism for most is a very special event.
Many times, it’s a very spiritual event, highlighted by intense feelings of gratitude, love, and a connectivity with heaven. Many times there has been an intense preparation for the occasion. For others, their spouse or beloved children have been left home not caring to partake because of unbelief. There are feelings of elation, grief, sorrow, and gratitude that span a spectrum of many other emotions driven by our individual circumstances.
Special friends have been invited, and there may be a special bond with the baptizer asked to perform the ordinance.
There are many locations where the baptisms are held, which are breathtakingly beautiful, and wonderfully symbolic things have taken place. Perhaps doves have made an appearance, or eagles have flown above, or geese and ducks have made spectacular takeoffs or landings. Some have been baptized in driving rain, and have felt blessed because of it, and for others the weather has cleared miraculously allowing the beauty of the sun to magically appear through thick clouds. Some have broken the ice and have felt an icy death as they were laid under, while yet others were baptized in balmy 103 degree water coming out anew into 20 degree air, brisk and enlivening.
Many times a specific date for our baptism has been chosen, perhaps coinciding with birthdays, solstice, equinox, or other phenomenon, that will forever engrave in our minds the occasion.
Many times instruction has been given which bolsters faith and drives testimony of the occasion. Sometimes there seems a ethereal strangeness because of our traditions which require white clothing, formal witnesses, and full names to be given, when instead we are baptized in cutoffs, wet suits, and various other garb, while at times it is only us and the baptizer, and other times there are dozens to observe; and all the baptizer wants to use as our name is the name we think God would call us if He was speaking directly to us. And to top it off, the prayer is different.
There are these and so many more things no one but ourselves can know about us, and what we feel about this occasion. All of these things should be recorded, and there is no one who can do it justice except you.
And this is not all:
“Now the nature of this ordinance consists in the power of the priesthood, by the revelation of Jesus Christ, wherein it is granted that whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven…or, in other words, taking a different view of the translation, whatsoever you record on earth shall be recorded in heaven…”
“It may seem to some to be a very bold doctrine that we talk of–a power which records or binds on earth and binds in heaven. Nevertheless, in all ages of the world, whenever the Lord has given a dispensation of the priesthood to any man by actual revelation or any set of men, this power has always been given. Hence, whatsoever those men did in authority, in the name of the Lord, and did it truly and faithfully, and kept a proper and faithful record of the same, it became a law on earth and in heaven, and could not be annulled, according to the decrees of the great Jehovah. This is a faithful saying. Who can hear it?”(D&C 128: 8-9.)
What I record will generate a record in heaven binding those names it contains, and the record will be kept in the temple for at least a thousand years where it will be researched by many, and will stand as a testimony to the faith through obedience, of those pioneers who entered the waters of baptism in this age, in accordance with the Doctrine of Christ.
What you record will be a witness containing your testimony and the circumstances of the event to your descendants, and to those others who will stand in awe at your faithfulness. I have no doubt that my record and your record will be combined in heaven as a binding law, which shall never be annulled.