prestonthe reason baptism is not necessary for salvation is because we are justified by faith (Rom. 5:1; Eph. 2:8), not by faith and a ceremony (Rom. 4:1-11). You see, a religious ceremony is a set of activities or forms peformed by someone. In the Bible circumcision was a ceremony where one person performed a religious rite on another person. Likewise, baptism is also a ceremony where one person performs a religious rite on another person. But, we are saved by faith alone and anything else we do, including ceremonies, will not help.
speaking only for myself, I was saved on 8/25/82 and 36 hours later, filled with the Holy Ghost.
what else would I need, I was already saved.
the answer is obvious, if I had died then I was still a christian, however to join many if not most Churches, you must be Baptised, but that was not my reason.
baptism was something that I really didnt feel that I needed(not only that, i didnt like the idea of someone shoving me backwards and maybe hirting my neck).
but God assured me tha it would be okay, and so i dxecided that 9 months after I was saved, i would get baptised, and when the nine months was about over, I went to a church where my pastor was preaching and sure enough, he preached about Baptism.
the following Sunday, I was baptised and God blessed that day
I think the point is that you decided to get baptised....
In a way, I consider you fortunate in that you were saved in '82.
Also in need of being saved, you needed to repent. And because you were already a matured and experienced person in life, you probably would consider your repentence and acceptance of Christ with a deeper understanding.
When younger people without prudence, knowledge, wisdom are "saved", it may be sometimes more difficult to keep and teach them of their salvation through faith. At other times they are more on fire as well.
Sometimes it takes a bit longer for some to be aware and understand what repentance comes to mean. As you might say, sanctifiaion takes a bit longer....