Last May, in San Diego, we were driving from church to my parent’s condo when Gabe exclaimed, “As soon as we get there I am jumping into the pool!”

Mary joined in, “Me too! Me too!”

My older boys were horrified, “We don’t swim on Sunday!” (They are RIGID about rules. I don’t know where it came from.)

“But I saw someone in the pool before we left for church.” Gabe protested.

“Yeah, well they have different beliefs,” one of the all-knowing older brothers pronounced. “Mormons don’t swim on Sundays.”

“Well I’m not Mormon.” Gabe retorted. “I haven’t been baptized, so I’m not a member. Mary isn’t either.”

Mary yelled from her car seat, “Yeah. And we can drink root beer too.”

At that point Mary and Gabe to chant, “We’re not Mormons! We’re going swimming! We drink root beer! We’re not Mormons! We’re going swimming! We drink root beer! We’re not Mormons! We’re going swimming! We drink root beer!”

(OK, don’t be alarmed. Mormons drink root beer. They were just a bit confused because we don’t drink soda very often and they’ve heard about those forbidden drinks… I had the same confusion about motorcycles as a little girl and thought that riding or owning one was a sin. Of course, if my dad had his way “Thou shalt spurn all motorcycles.” would be the 11th commandment.)

So, despite Gabe’s obvious sweetness, I wouldn’t say he had a lot of spiritual depth. But things have been changing in the last few months. Around Christmas Gabe set aside his Spiderman sketches during Sacrament Meeting and told me, “I’m going to memorize all the hymns in the book.” At home I saw him curled up with borrowed scriptures and he began peppering me with questions about baptism–“What do I need to know? Do you think I’m ready? Tell me more about faith.”

I’ve seen it with all of my boys. Shortly before they turn eight they gain a new awareness, increased understanding, accountability.

Photos can’t convey his excitement at receiving his own scriptures for his birthday. Erik has used them as a bribe, “If you don’t get ready for bed on time I won’t read the Book of Mormon with you!” I’ve never seen Gabe brush his teeth so quickly.

And today he was baptized.

I bought root beer just for the occasion.

January 28, 2010
January 31, 2010



  1. Tracy

    January 30, 2010

    Congratulations to sweet Gabe! He looks incredibly happy. I hope Motorcycles are okay since Eloise is an avid rider and I have hopes of her and Gabe someday…;)

  2. Melissa M

    January 30, 2010

    What a beautiful boy! And what a joyous occasion. Congrats to Gabe and to the rest of the Lehnardt family. And I hope the root beer is tasty. 🙂

  3. Sue

    January 30, 2010

    My grandson was just baptized in November, and he’s pretty taken with his scriptures, too.

    Great photo of him with his dad.


  4. dalene

    January 30, 2010


  5. Linn

    January 31, 2010

    I don’t even have words for how sweet that is.

  6. Jan Russell

    January 31, 2010

    I’ll toast my mug of Diet Coke to this! What entirely sweet photos of your Gabe!

  7. ashli

    January 31, 2010

    so sorry we didn’t make it! lukie came down with strep throat on friday and we were home sick in bed!
    hope all was well and that the root beer was delish….

  8. Selwyn

    January 31, 2010

    Congratulations to everyone, and I’m wishing I bought that can of root beer after all… =)

  9. Mathmom and family

    January 31, 2010

    Congrats to Gabe. He is a complete joy. And I’m so glad that root beer is okay, because that is my one soft drink vice.

  10. The Planet Pink

    January 31, 2010

    There’s nothing more precious than seeing your children develop their own faith. Congratulations to Gabe!

  11. Christie

    January 31, 2010

    Hmmm…I’ve got one darling girl turning eight in April. What do you think – maybe in 13 years or so? We get them together and see if sparks fly? I’d totally be the best mother-in-law. I promise.

    And, oh, the pictures they’d have between the two of us.

    Yes. Lets.

  12. Annie

    January 31, 2010

    What a blessed day and occasion.
    The pose at the end, on Erik’s shoulders, is priceless.

  13. Michelle

    April 13, 2010

    Holy cow. I missed this one before. Stunning.

Comments are closed.