Ever notice that when you’re really interested in something, you really fill up your spare time doing it?

Whenever I want to figure out a new song on my guitar, I have to listen to it many times and pluck or strum along to pinpoint the notes.  I play the song over and over and over again….so it’s in my mind, in my system, and I can sing the lyrics without having to look at the words.  I study the melody, the harmony, the rhythm.  I picture the words in my mind as I listen to the music.  I play the song on my phone, in the car, at the computer.  I look for the chords, try them out, and transpose the music to a different key to match my vocal range.  I try to remember what I learned and what I discovered and try to keep playing it during my spare time.  I’ve immersed myself with the song so that it becomes a part of me.  The next trick?  Making myself a part of that song.  I have to sing it as if it was my own, play it my own way, and sing my heart out so I’m confident to play it for others.  When I can do this naturally, I can move on to the next step…playing for others, and working on the next song to figure out.

The Idea of Immersion

When we commit ourselves to a cause that we are drawn to, we naturally immerse ourselves into it.  We put our time, our talents, and our efforts to it.  We even willingly yield our hearts to it.  We surround our mind with it.  We fill our time with it.  It’s a fascinating phenomenon!  What the world calls “doing what your heart desires” or “following your passion” naturally encourages you to immerse yourself with those “desires” or “passions”.

The Principles

Committment encourages, requires, and leads to Immersion, and Immersion produces Conversion.  Also, the mirror-like image of those is true:  Immersion reflects our Committment; Conversion promotes and encourages further Immersion.

The Application

We usually think of Immersion in terms of Baptism…going under the water and coming back out.  However, the principle of Immersion is applied in many other things also:

  • They have Chinese Immersion programs in schools to help kids learn the language, be accustomed to the culture, and be more accepting of this culture.  In other countries, English immersion is used.
  • The Suzuki method of learning musical instruments includes immersing kids everyday with the music they’re learning to speed up their learning time.  They are taught to listen to the music all day, in their spare time, while doing other things.
  • Radio programs play roughly the same playlist every day, pumping out the same social, political, and pop messages that convince and shape a society.
  • Commercials on TV, radio, and the Internet play their ads in as many mediums as possible, as frequently as possible, for the greatest amount of exposure to…and the greatest possible return of…”convert” customers to their products.
  • The news that’s promoted, or “pushed out”, is based on the number of news outlets that cover it.  The more coverage there is, and the more frequently it is covered, the more it will be believed and accepted by the main population hearing it (conversion).  Less coverage means less of a chance that it will be believed or even noted.

From a personal level, immersion can either be useful or detrimental:

  • Those who immerse themselves in pornography find their spirits numbed, their love twisted, and their time wasted.
  • Those who immerse themselves in video games become socially disconnected, mentally overstimulated, physically bored, emotionally erratic, and spiritually deafened and blinded.
  • Those who fill their schedules and their time with endless projects and to-do lists can either find themselves fulfilled and productive….or overwhelmed and tired.
  • Those who spend their free time in frivolous pursuits and trivial activities may find themselves deep in financial, emotional, and even physical debt.
  • Those who over-indulge in the pursuit of the perfect physical appearance will eventually find emptiness in superficiality and hunger for more meaningful pursuits but not know where to find it.
  • Those who wish to learn a new skill must dive right into it, learn it, practice it, study it out, evaluate themselves, find people who know about it and can show how to do it, try it out in different ways, and discover personal strengths and limitations towards that new skill.  They will eventually find themselves customizing this skill to their own abilities.
  • Those who fill their time and schedules with family or with their spouse will find that there’s a whole world of memories and joy that they can tap into.
  • And there are those who strive to fill their mind with the things of God, serve with all their heart, might, mind, and strength, fill their thoughts with prayer, fill their hearts with love, and commit themselves to a cause that is not their own…doing His work.  Consequently, they discover their gifts, discover others, and discover God….and they are filled with purpose, with hope, with joy, and direction.

Immersion is a decision.  It is not drowning…that feeling of when you have no control over what’s coming over you.  Instead, it represents a commitment.  And to show that we have committed ourselves to that cause, we surround ourselves with people and things that move us toward that cause. We fill our hearts and our minds with the lessons, the wisdom, the desires, the attitudes of that cause.  Our handiwork, our words, our thoughts, our time, talents, and efforts go towards fitting ourselves to that cause.

This is why the Christian baptism must be by immersion (physically) and not of sprinkling or of any other way.  It must also be performed by the authority and power of God as delegated to man (spiritually) in order to be baptized by fire (the Holy Ghost).  Immersion in this sense is a person’s symbolic demonstration to God that he is willing to commit to God’s cause whole-heartedly.  Consequently, God then fills him with the purifying power of the Holy Ghost.

Baptism by Immersion means “I’m all in!”  One’s commitment must be FULL; it’s not partial commitment, not sprinkled commitment, not poured, and definitely not virtual.  He is willing to love God and others with ALL his heart, might, mind, and strength.  He is willing to be filled with the Spirit, be guided in his actions, be taught in the truth, and reach out to all people….whether he is accepted or not. Immersion is to surround yourself externally, fill yourself internally, to perform with your whole heart, and to embrace whole-heartedly.  Every day. Wherever. Whenever.

Ultimately, immersion represents our attitude and actions towards the treasures–the desires–of our heart.  It’s what we put our heart into.  Our treasure is where our heart is.  Simply stated, what (or who) we love is where we’ll spend our time  whenever we get the chance.

If those desires are of the world, it will show.

If those desires are of God, He will know.

If those desires are good, you will grow, you will know, and He will make you glow….

For you will be His light to show

His power.

The LDS Lamplighter