Saturday, May 10, 2014

May 10, 2014 - Baptisms of Brandon Merritt and Tanner Jensen

Taylor's mission experiences began long before he was called as a full-time missionary.  For the past few months, The Merritt family has joined us in our home so that the sister missionaries could teach both of our families.  The experience was wonderful and both of our families had an opportunity to share experiences and testimony while we were taught.  These discussions were also of great importance in preparing Brandon Merritt for baptism.  Brandon asked Taylor to baptize him.  We are so excited for the decision that Brandon has made to be baptized and for the growth that both of our families have experienced.

Taylor was also very busy sharing the gospel with one of his best friends from school Tanner Jensen.  Taylor spoke so highly of each of the Elder's (Holmes, Thomas and a few other missionaries) that were involved in teaching Tanner.  He said that they taught (and more importantly testified) with great power and allowed the Spirit to do the rest.  They had answers to Tanner's many, many, many questions :-) and were effective tools in God's hands.  The experience was fantastic as Tanner recognized the Spirit as a true confirmation that there is a God, that he (Tanner) is a Son of God and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is truly Christ's church.  After all that they had experienced together, with Elder Holmes, Elder Thomas and many other friends, Taylor had the opportunity to baptize his good friend Tanner.  It was a great day.  A day that none of us will forget.

I had the privilege to listen to Tanner bear his testimony immediately following his baptism.  As I remember it, Tanner spoke of one of the first times that he felt the Spirit.  Upon completing one of the discussions Tanner, the elders and the others present knelt down in prayer to ask for a confirmation that the message that had been shared was of God.  Each on their knees, Taylor prayed first and immediately an indescribable feeling of confirmation filled the room (and Tanner's heart).  Each person in the room took a turn praying for a continued confirmation.  Their hearts were filled as each prayer was immediately answered with a warmth to their souls that can not be described with words.  While listening to Tanner testify of his conversion, the Spirit bore witness to me that Tanner is a son of God and that his baptism was indeed pleasing to our Heavenly Father.  It is the beginning of an eternal commitment that will result in innumerable blessings from his Father in Heaven.  We are so excited for you Tanner!

Tanner is well loved and respected.  There were so many friends and family that desired to witness this great miracle that the main program had to be moved to the chapel.  When it was time for the baptism, the chairs had to be put away to make room for all of his friends and family.
  It was truly standing room only.  I took these pictures and was only to show about half the room in the pictures, but the other side of the room was just as packed as this side.  It was an impressive display of love and support for Tanner.

Taylor's Mailing Address  
(Until July 29, 2014) Send letters and packages to:

Elder Taylor Nevin Graves
Provo Missionary Training Center
2023 N 900 E Unit 820
Provo, UT 84602

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