A Convert’s Survival Guide: What to Expect at your Baptism

A little over two months ago, I was Baptized. While I knew I was making the right decision, I really didn’t know what to expect. If you are getting baptized, here are things you can expect and some tips that might help you.

In total, I have been to three baptisms: One that I watched, One where I was baptized, and One where I was baptizing (my wife).

If I am incorrect about anything, please let me know.

I was baptized in what they call a baptismal font. Basically a large bath tub that is deep enough to “dunk” you. You can request the temperature of the water.

Usually they will have a lot of white jumpsuits you can choose from, or you can wear your own white clothes.

No pictures during the baptismal ordinance.

The ward mission leader, other members and the missionaries will assist in organizing everything. They will ask you who you want to do what.

Things to decide on:

  • Who I wanted to baptize me.
  • Who I wanted to speak on baptism.
  • Who I wanted to speak on the Holy Ghost.
  • Who I wanted to do the opening prayer.
  • Who I wanted to do the closing prayer.
  • What three hymns I wanted to be sung.

Everything else was handled by others.

Things to bring:

  • A broken heart and contrite spirit. (D&C 20:37)
  • Arrive in Sunday dress.
  • Wear white under clothing.
  • A change of white under clothing.
  • A trash bag to put your wet under clothing in.
  • A towel.
  • An extra pair of socks (just in case you get them wet while changing).

People to bring:

  • A Priest with the Aaronic Priesthood to baptize you. (D&C 20:46)
  • Two Elders as witnesses to make sure you are completely submerged.
  • Someone to conduct (emcee) the Baptism.
  • A member of the Bishopric to preside over the baptism.
  • A Chorister to direct and someone to play the accompaniment for the hymns.
  • Friends and Family.
  • Your new friends from your ward.
  • You!

My baptismal program was as follows in this order:

  • An Opening Song.
  • An Opening Prayer.
  • A Talk on Baptism (Someone you usually ask to speak before hand).
  • Baptism performed by the priesthood holder of your choice.
  • A brief interlude (it could be people sharing their testimony, singing or watching a short video while you are changing clothes).
  • Another Song.
  • A Talk on the Holy Ghost.
  • The member of the Bishopric welcoming you to the ward.
  • A Closing Song.
  • Closing Prayer.
  • Refreshments After.

The Actual Baptism Ordinance:

You and the person doing the baptism enter the font. You stand in the center of the font and face the side wall. The priest doing the baptism will face the audience. Your right hand with your palm facing upwards will be ready to plug your nose when you are submerged. With his left hand he will grab your right wrist. With your left hand (palm down) you hold on to the priest’s left forearm. With his right hand he will hold it up square at the elbow.

Next, the priest calls you by your full name and says:

Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. (D&C 20:73-74)

After that is said, plug your nose with your right hand and he will lower you backwards into the water. His right hand will go behind your back to help ease you in. Bend your knees at first and then lift your feet off the floor and straighten out your legs so you laying flat in the water.

The priest may push you to the floor to make sure you are fully submerged. If you are not fully submerged (if your big toe is sticking out of the water), the ordinance will have to be done again. There should be two Elders that are on either side of the font to make sure you are fully submerged.

That is basically it. The entire experience is very spiritual and just felt right for me when I was the one being baptized and when I was the one doing the baptism.

The second part of your baptism will be your confirmation. That can be done right after your baptism or it is usually done during the Sacrament meeting the following Sunday.

I hope this helps someone wondering what to expect at their baptism. 🙂

12 Replies to “A Convert’s Survival Guide: What to Expect at your Baptism”

  1. I love that you explained it! We were baptized 2 1/2 years ago and I remember it like it was yesterday! What you have written here would have been very helpful! My missionaries were so nervous and excited that I think they forgot to explain half this stuff! I was spiritually ready but had NO idea what to expect. It’s been the best thing that has ever happened to us!

    How exciting that you were able to baptize your wife! I bet that was so special! And just think in less then a year you will be sealed forever in the Temple! That is so exciting and so beautiful. My husband and children and I were sealed last December. Again I was spiritually prepared but had no idea what to expect. But it was the most special day in our lives!

    Happiness always to you and your family! You have done (and are doing) the right thing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Steff 🙂

  2. I am talking to my pastor tonight about being baptised. Thank you for this information. It was most helpful and has put me at ease knowing what to expect.
    Thank you.

  3. Thank you! I’m getting baptized tomorrow and I. very excited but a little nervous. Your site made me smile, cry (of joy) and prepared for my increase. May God continue to use you.

  4. Thank You so much for the ‘complete’ description. I am being baptized on June 15, 2011. I am torn between the jumpsuit and making a prarie style white dress that can be worn later in the Temple. Any suggestions?

  5. I am getting baptized on June 11, 2011. Thanks for the information. The Missionaries didn’t tell me about the towel (and I would have forgotten) and they didn’t tell me about refreshments. Maybe I should have a white sheet cake made and some “mormon” punch. I only knew I didn’t want the jumpsuit. I am making a white dress that can also be used for Temple.
    Thanks again for your post.

  6. Oh my gosh! This kind of just made my life! I’m getting baptized in a couple months, and I’ve been slowly going into a panic attack because everyone just kept asking me stuff like “so have you thought about your baptism at all?” I’ve been completely lost and my missionaries haven’t really said much about the details yet so I was completely lost! Thank you so much! and congratulations on getting baptized! 🙂

  7. I getting baptized on Friday at 6 pm and i am really exited the elders have been so nice and kind and talked Me thur everything i need to know i am very excited to have Jesus Christ and my father back in my life

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