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  1. I personally hope most wards will generally have the priests baptize the ym and adults baptize the yw, or at least that the yw will be privately consulted with beforehand to make sure they’re comfortable. It’s a tricky dynamic.

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    A poem that relates to many of the things shared in this podcast. I have remembered it through the years with fondness, as it speaks to this issue of confused feelings of spirituality and high ideals immediately alongside hormones and sexual attraction in even a sacred experience like baptism. I’ve appreciated the past few days of discussion in helping to raise in important ways aspects of this new policy about temple baptisms, especially when it comes to young people baptizing each other, modesty concerns, and confusion/possible shame were the mixture talked about here enter into some of the youth’s thoughts. I’m still fond of the poem as it highlights this tension, but thanks to these discussions, I now react to what it reveals with greater soberness. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it!

    Mikal Lofgren

    Beside the swimming pool’s glancing
    reflections Brad waits while
    his companion and Birgitta dress
    in white. The moist air reeks of chlorine.

    Elder Dahl, an older missionary,
    jokes, “You always know what
    a missionary is by where he looks
    when a girl comes out of the water.”

    Elder Groberg, barefoot, clad in white,
    pads across the night of the high-ceilinged room.
    Then Birgitta, with hair the color of wheat,
    glides across the tile. When she raises
    a hand to smooth errant tresses,
    her robe glows like wings.
    Reflections dance as they descend.
    Brad’s companion utters
    the raised-arm prayer, lowers
    her into the crystal grave
    for the only birth a man can give.

    They drag back to the edge
    and up the steps while weighted
    water flows from their clothes.
    Their white’s so radiant Brad wonders
    if someone brightened the lights.
    Sister Andersson wraps
    Birgitta in a heavy towel,
    guides her, trailing water,
    to the dressing room.

    Again in heavy coats, they shake
    hands, walk cobbled streets through
    the winter night. Elder Groberg’s face
    seems washed with joy. Brad gauges
    his way through the darkness,
    wonders if others noticed
    the blue flowers scattered
    under her wet white robe.

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