But baptisms do not need to be performed in a designated font. They can be performed virtually anywhere there is water. For example:
- John the Baptist baptized Jesus in the River Jordan. (Matthew 3:13-17)
- Alma baptized many in the waters of Mormon. (Mosiah 18:5-16)
- Even the ocean can be a great place for a baptism. (New Zealand Aukland Mission blog)
But I have to say, I had never heard of a baptism being performed in a physical therapist's hydro-therapy pool until now.
As the appointed baptismal date drew nearer, the elders and Lincoln Ward mission leader Gordon MacDonald felt it would be wonderful if Russell could baptize his friend. They enlisted the help of Pat Garlock, a physical therapist and former bishop of Soundview Ward in the Tacoma Stake, who owns a sports medicine facility with a large hydro-therapy pool.
“I felt tremendous gratitude that we had something that could help and accommodate both the person doing the baptism and the person being baptized,” Garlock said.
After the opening portion of the baptismal service, the nine men in white carefully put a life preserver around Russell, edged him into the pool and floated him over to a submerged chair. Several others cautiously led Merritt down the steps into the pool.
Then, with his right hand and his left hand holding his friend’s hand, Russell pronounced the baptismal prayer and the men in the pool helped immerse Merritt.
“I had been practicing the ordinance, and I was so excited to exercise my priesthood,” Russell said. "I really feel blessed and honored to do this, with all my challenges. Bobby likes everything about the gospel and he’s really excited about being a member.”What a great experience. And here are two pictures showing all the many men who helped perform the baptism in Brother Garlock's hydro-therapy pool.
And now, for a look at the lighter side of baptism, after the jump you can see the baptism of Delmar O'Donnell from Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? While it is a comical depiction (with a bit of mild language, sorry!), Delmar's speech beginning at about 2:20 of the video is a fairly accurate summary of the purpose and effect of baptism. Enjoy.