hazel’s baptism

IMG_6888our dear sweet hazel jane was baptized on sunday. she was so conscientious about her decision to be baptized. she is very aware of the doctrines of the gospel and the promises she was ready to make with god. hazel is such a special girl. i want to be like her when i grow up, truly. she is so creative and sweet and adventurous and sharp and earnest and spunky. i feel like our spirits are made of the same stuff and i love her oh so, so dearly.

sunday was a double momentous day because my brother-in-law jeff was sustained and set apart to serve as the bishop of the shumways’ congregation.
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hazel was baptized in the same white clothes that my dad, her grandfather, wore when he was baptized sixty years ago. the clothes were made by hand by his mother, my grandma ruthie, hazel’s grandma great. i also wore the same outfit when i was baptized.

the baptism service was so lovely and wonderful. my mom, sister and i sang the song beautiful savior, and i had to fight so hard to not crack into a cry. i felt the love of god in such so strongly and tenderly – my love of god, hazel’s love of god, the love of god for each of us. hazel jane has made such a beautiful decision and i know that she will be a fantastic disciple of christ throughout her life. i am so glad i was able to attend hazel’s baptism.


  1. Charity-

    I think you are truly amazing. You always find the good and positive in every person and situation.

  2. What does sustained mean?

  3. I love that her baptismal outfit was so special! How fantastic that you were able to be there.

  4. great question, maria.
    in the church of jesus christ of latter-day saints, we have a lay ministry. meaning all bishops and other leaders serve completely voluntarily, without pay, while maintaining their outside jobs. nearly everyone (unless you deliberately opt out) in a mormon congregation holds a "calling" - a responsibility given by the bishop (teaching sunday school, working the young men or young women, playing the piano for the hymns, etc etc). we all serve each other, and it's awesome.
    when anyone in the congregation gets a new "calling," the person and calling are presented in church meetings to the congregation, and every member has the opportunity to raise their hand in support of the person and their responsibility. we call this "sustaining." we raise our hands to pledge support and acknowledge that god is leading his church in asking certain individuals to take on certain responsibilities.
    being "set apart" means receiving a special priesthood blessing in connection with a church calling.
    let me know if you have any other questions!

  5. Thanks, Charity. That sounds pretty cool. I do have a few more questions if you don't mind.

    If you "opt out" are you looked down on by others for not doing your fair share of ministering? Do you have to have a good excuse for opting out or can you just say "nope, I just don't feel like doing it"?

    When put before the congregation to be "sustained" can the person be voted against? Such as, if someone is "called" to teach children and someone has reason to believe that they should not do this, can the "nays" win over the calling?

    Wow, this is so interesting - thanks for your answers.

  6. Char, you rock for coming out to the baptism. That will go down in our family history as one of the greatest surprises ever. It was so fun (and extremely helpful) to have you around.

    I think you meant to say at the top that Hazel was conscientious about her decision, not contentions (though she is often contentions).

    love you!

  7. Ok, seriously char, you have to make it easier to post a comment here! It really would take a robot to figure out those letter/numbers! let's see if I can get this one to post. :)

  8. 0Maria,

    I'm Charity's sister Saydi and since Char must be busy, I'll respond to your question. It's been a question that I've been closely considering over the past two weeks as my husband and I have worked to know if we should accept this particular calling.

    In short, you don't have to say yes to a calling, but it's pretty rare that people "opt out."

    As a people we have a firm belief in personal revelation. We believe that God will answer our faithful questions and that He will direct our life. People are encouraged to prayerfully consider callings and receive their own confirmation that the calling is something God wants them to do. The congregation doesn't know if you do decide that the calling isn't a good fit for you. I've almost always accepted callings, and even though sometimes I'm serving in ways that aren't my favorite, they've always stretched me and somehow they always seem to be tailored learning experiences.

    People are not voted into a calling, only sustained, but as a member of the congregation you can oppose a calling someone has been given if you have reason to believe that they are not the right fit. The bishop would then take your input and adjust things as necessary.

    Hope that helps.

  9. What a great interchange of questions and answers! We are so grateful for those feelings from the Holy Spiriit that let's us feel if things are right or not. We are particularly happy that Saydi and Jeff were able to feel right about this huge decision. I'm sure that time will show us that the Lord knows us and is in the details of our lives!

  10. Thanks, Saydi - that answers my question perfectly. I'm glad you decided to accept your calling.


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