Baptismal Surprise

Tonight we had an amazing baptismal service in the Appleton Second Ward. Dozens of people came to observe the baptism of a sweet new convert, a young woman named Melody. It was a wonderful and touching occasion. What we didn’t know beforehand was that there would be two baptisms tonight.

Elder Salerno, one of two outstanding missionaries serving in our ward, came to the baptismal service tonight expecting to watch his companion baptize their choice investigator, Melody. As he entered the church, how surprised he was to see his father and mother in the hall. And his father, not a member of the Church, was dressed in white. He had come here all the way from California to surprise his son – and be baptized by him. The Mission President of the Milwaukee Wisconsin Mission was apparently in on this conspiracy. Both President Hunt and his wife attended the touching service.

Many members were choked up by these wonderful baptisms. And we will certainly never forget the story of a father being converted while his son was serving a mission and flying out to take part in a surprise baptism, meeting his son in the halls of the church dressed in white.

New LDS member Scott Salerno from California (west of L.A.) and his son, Elder Salerno, gave me permission to share this story. Elder Salerno also have me permission to share a photograph I took for him while we were on “splits” visiting some local members two Saturdays ago. Here he is (click on the photo to enlarge it):

Elder Salerno with an important safety tip from Appleton, Wisconsin.


Author: Jeff Lindsay

3 thoughts on “Baptismal Surprise

  1. While it is great that a father could be baptised by his missionary son, don’t ya think it would be more appropriate to the feelings of Melody if her baptism wasn’t ‘upstaged’?

  2. I don’t think there was any sense of upstaging. The large crowd came for Melody and she knew it. She stayed in the limelight and she will continue to receive a great deal of attention and nurturing. She was beaming. Based on what I know of her, I’d be surprised if she felt slighted in some way.

  3. That’s a wonderful story. I’ll have to share it with an Elder currently serving in my ward. He is from the Czech Republic and his father is not yet a member. I keep telling him to have faith and continue to write to his father. Hopefully his father’s heart will soften and he will be baptized.

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