Updated: Jun 30, 2022
Good morning brothers and sisters of the Beachside Ward! For those who don’t know me, my name is Bradley Mebust. I am a convert and was baptized 8 years ago and that decision changed my life in so many ways. My family consists of my gorgeous model of a wife, Aubrey and our three amazing kiddos, Malia, Izaiah, and Ezekiel.
This year I was blessed with what I think is the best calling ever, the Priest Advisor. It amazes me how these young men are so inspirational to me. I just had to congratulate them on there mission calls. So stoked for you guys to get out there and baptize and confirm new members and share this light that each one of us hold near and dear to our hearts. What an amazing feeling! I got to experience this feeling on three occasions so far. First was my daughter when she turned 8, my stepbrother in Barstow, and a week ago my son right here in the same font I was baptized in 8 years ago. Talk about a special memory for me! We are so blessed to have shared it with so many of you.
Bishop had asked me if I could share a 5 to 10 minute talk on the importance of baptism. I hesitantly agreed, mainly because my wife said I had to. So I thanked her for pushing me to be better and for that I am grateful. With that said I am terrified of public speaking so bear with me as I try and get through this and hopefully someone gets something out of it worthwhile.
I want to start by sharing a snippet of a talk from the October 2018 Conference by Elder Ulisses Soares of the Twelve Apostles titled "One in Christ". It reads, "The Lord has inspired His prophets to teach us how we can support and love each other so we can become united in faith and purpose in following Jesus Christ. Paul taught that those who have been baptized unto Christ put on Christ. When we promise at baptism to follow the Savior we witness before the Father that we are willing to take upon us the name of Christ. As we strive to acquire His divine attributes in our lives, we become different than we were, through the atonement of Christ the Lord and our love for all people
increases naturally. We feel a sincere concern for everyone’s welfare and happiness. We see each other as brothers and sisters, as children of God with divine origin attributes and potential. We desire to care for each other and bear one another’s burdens.”
I feel this ward carries these attributes more than any ward I have had the pleasure living in or have visited. Paul describes these attributes as charity, and Mormon
describes them as the pure love of Christ. This ward is truly amazing and one of a kind. Elder Soares says, "Let us consider this principle of love and care, as the Savior did, within the context of encouraging helping and supporting those who are recent converts and those beginning to show interest in attending our church services. When these new friends come out of the world and embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, joining His church, they become His disciples being born again through Him they leave behind a world they knew well and choose to follow Jesus Christ with full purpose of heart."
Leaving behind that world might sound easy but let me tell you it is a daily battle. From a covenants perspective over time it gets a lot easier as you learn how to trust and lean on the Holy Ghost and continuously remind your self of your covenants you made at the time of your baptism. One man who models this in a stellar fashion is our prophet Russell M. Nelson. In his first ever message as President of the Church he shared,
"Your commitment to follow the Savior by making covenants with Him and then keeping these covenants will open the door to every spiritual blessing and privilege available to men, women and children everywhere.” Every spiritual blessing, I mean who wouldn’t want to experience that? Sounds like a win win to me.
So back to the topic Bishop gave me, the importance of baptism. My amazing wife sent me this talk by Elder Paul B. Pieper of the Quorum of the Seventy titled "All Must Take upon Them the Name Given of the Father" and I just had to add it. Elder Pieper says, "Our Heavenly Father wants to make it absolutely clear that the name of His son, Jesus Christ, is not simply one name among many. The Savior's name has singular and essential power. It is the only name by which salvation is possible by emphasizing this truth in every dispensation, our loving Father assures all of His children that there is a way back to Him. But having a sure way available does not mean that our return is automatically assured. God tells us that our action is required 'wherefore all men and women must take upon them the name which is given of the Father' in order to access the saving power that comes only through the name of Christ we must humble ourselves before God and come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits and be willing to take upon us the name of Jesus Christ and qualify." Like my son, Izaiah, did to be received by baptism into His church.
I testify that I know all of these words to be true, and that this church is true. I am so grateful for the atonement of Jesus Christ. I wouldn’t be here without it. I am so grateful for the healing power of baptism and the blessing that comes from keeping my
covenants with Heavenly Father allowing us to be reborn and start fresh to become more like our Savior Jesus Christ. I leave these words with you in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.