The Purpose of Baptism and Confirmation

Today’s inspiration is drawn from “12: How Do I Prepare People for Baptism and Confirmation?” This guide, based on principles from Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Missionary Service, provides essential steps for preparing individuals for these significant ordinances. Whether you are a missionary, church leader, or member, understanding this process is vital for fostering faith and commitment in new converts.

The primary goal of teaching and preparing people for baptism and confirmation is to help them develop faith in Jesus Christ and repent of their sins. As taught by Mormon, “the first fruits of repentance is baptism” (Moroni 8:25). Through baptism, individuals make a covenant with God to follow Jesus Christ, and through confirmation, they receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. These steps are foundational for entering the path that leads to eternal life.

 

Key Qualifications for Baptism

Before someone can be baptized, they must meet specific qualifications as outlined in Doctrine and Covenants 20:37. These include:

Humbling themselves before God
Desiring to be baptized
Coming forth with a broken heart and contrite spirit
Repenting of all sins
Being willing to take upon themselves the name of Christ
Determining to serve Christ to the end
Manifesting by their works that they have received the Spirit of Christ unto a remission of their sins
The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve have further specified that candidates should develop faith in Christ, repent of transgressions, live the principles of moral worthiness, live the Word of Wisdom, commit to paying tithing, receive all missionary lessons, meet the bishop, and attend several sacrament meetings.

Preparing for the Baptismal Interview

The baptismal interview is an essential step to ensure candidates meet the Lord’s standards for baptism. This interview is conducted by a district or zone leader and is designed to confirm the candidate’s readiness. Missionaries should help candidates understand the purpose of the interview, which includes:

Witnessing their repentance and commitment to Christ
Reviewing their understanding of gospel principles
Confirming their willingness to keep the commandments
Conducting a Spiritual Baptismal Service
A baptismal service should be a spiritually uplifting experience, marking a significant milestone in the convert’s journey.

Essential elements of the service include:

Prelude music
A welcome by a priesthood leader
Opening hymn and prayer
Short talks on gospel subjects
Musical selection
Performance of the baptism
Reverence time during changing
Testimonies by new converts (optional)
Closing hymn and prayer
After the baptism, the new convert is confirmed a member of the Church in a sacrament meeting. The bishop ensures that confirmation occurs promptly, usually the Sunday following the baptism.

Completing Baptismal and Confirmation Records

Accurate record-keeping is crucial. Missionaries and church leaders must ensure that all necessary information is recorded on the Baptism and Confirmation Form (Convert). This form creates a membership record that is forwarded to the new unit whenever members move.

Post-Baptism and Confirmation Support

After baptism and confirmation, continuous support is vital. Missionaries should continue to fellowship new members, teach them all five missionary lessons again, and help them integrate into the church community. Encouraging new members to receive a limited-use temple recommend and for males of the appropriate age to be ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood helps solidify their commitment and progression on the covenant path.

 

Making a Difference

In summary, preparing individuals for baptism and confirmation is a sacred responsibility that requires dedication and understanding of church standards and doctrines. By following the outlined steps, missionaries and church leaders can help new converts embark on a path of faith and commitment.

Let us all strive to help others on their journey of faith. Whether through teaching, fellowship, or simply offering support, each of us can make a difference. Together, we can create a more loving and faith-filled community, making the world a better place one baptism at a time. Link to original:  How Do I Help People Make and Keep Commitments?

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