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

If you are taking lessons from a missionary and decide to get baptized, there are certain things they want done before the actual baptism.

Today, there are four lessons before your baptism. Missionaries want to sure you understand what you are taking on by being baptized.

The four lessons are broken up by topic:

  1. The Restoration
  2. The Plan of Salvation
  3. The Gospel of Jesus Christ
  4. The Commandments

I will write about these four lessons at a future date.

You can decide to be baptized at any time during the four lessons. After committing to be baptized, the rest of the lessons (if any) will be taught before it is done. There is also a baptismal interview that is done before hand. This is done by a missionary district leader.

The following questions asked are:

  1. Do you believe that God is our Eternal Father?
  2. Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of the world?
  3. Do you believe that the Church and the gospel of Jesus Christ have been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith?
  4. Do you believe that [the current Church President – which is Gordon B. Hinkley at this time)] is a prophet of God? What does this mean to you?
  5. What does it mean to you to repent? Do you feel that you have repented of your past transgressions?
  6. Have you ever participated in an abortion? A homosexual relationship? Have you ever committed a serious crime? If so, are you now on probation or parole? *
  7. You have been taught that membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints includes living gospel standards. What do you understand of the following standard. What do you understand of the following standards? Are you willing to obey them?
    1. Are you willing to keep the Sabbath day holy, including partaking of the sacrament weekly and rendering service to fellow members?
    2. What do you understand of the law of chastity, which prohibits any sexual relationship outside the bonds of a legal marriage between a man and a woman? Are you willing to obey this law?
    3. What do you understand of the Word of Wisdom? Are you willing to obey this law?
    4. What do you understand of the law of tithing? Are you willing to obey this law?
  8. When you are baptized, you covenant with God that you are willing to take upon yourself the name of Christ and keep His commandments throughout your life. Are you ready to make this covenant and strive to be faithful to it?

* – If you have answered yes to any of these questions, you will be sent to the mission president for a follow up interview.

These questions were taken from my own experiences and cross-referenced with Preach My Gospel Chapters 3 and 12. (Thanks Joey)

Truth Restored on YouTube

I remember visiting mormon.org a few months ago and I believe this is the same woman (Jennifer) that impressed me with what she had to say. Click here to view the video on mormon.org.

More of what she has to say has been posted up on YouTube a few hours ago, here they are:

Jennifer: Return to be with God

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-9_ErZBGGM]

Jennifer: Marriage is Eternal

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuGC__XDLd4]

The next video is about Oscar, a Mormon who talks about his mother passing away when he was five years old. Even though it was not enough time for them to be together, he knows that families can be eternal and that he will see her again.

Oscar: Families Should Be Eternal

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4GcBrsmwqE]

The final video is Issiah speaking about his observations of life. The monotonousness of life, the tragedies on this world and seeing the misery around him makes him realize that there has to be more to life. And I believe he is right, there is!

More to Life Than This

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8V0oh2lNA0]

These are very good videos about the questions that everyone has in life. I am glad to see the Church putting these up on YouTube to share with everyone.

 

Trunk or Treat

This past week we had “Trunk or Treat” in my ward.  I’ve never been to one before but it was very fun.

My sons were:

  • A Cowboy
  • A Power Ranger
  • A Chicken/duck (still can’t figure out which one) with backwards feet!

The food was to die for, there were maybe fifteen types of Chili, corn bread and pie to choose from.
There were some interesting costumes as well.  Most notable was the Bishop dressed up as Captain Moroni.  The missionaries changed name tags and were each other.

Trunk or Treat is definitely a must do every year now.  It is a very safe environment, less walking, more candy, SAFE candy!  There were also games for the children.

It was a chance to spend time with my family and socialize with the members in my ward outside of a “reverent” mode that I am usually in on Sundays.

One last note, it is amazing how quickly an Elder’s Quorum can put away a parking lot full of tables and chairs in less than ten minutes.

Crisis of Faith

I was browsing the web tonight and came across a post at the blog “Our Thoughts.” It was a wonderful entry that truly shows the test of faith of Kim Siever.

What really strikes me the most are the similar experiences between the writer, Joseph Smith, and Jesus Christ! In his experience, Kim writes:

…I had an unusual and foreign experience. Several years ago, I found myself in a difficult situation. As a result, I was praying frequently and frequently for the Lord’s intervention. I prayed several times every day and was fasting every Sunday. Some weeks I fasted Sunday and Monday…

..After several weeks of not seeing any change in the situation, I began questioning why I was not receiving an answer to my prayer…

…I started to wonder if perhaps the reason I wasn’t receiving an answer from God was because God did not exist…

…My entire life was filled with teachings that told me if I ever needed anything from God, I simply had to ask. Here I was, having asked every day for several weeks, even unusually fasting frequently, and those promised answers had not come…

I find it hard to imagine being brought up in the Church and then to begin questioning the very things that you were taught by your parents and thought you believed in. I often feel like the Converts and Pioneers in the Church have it easier than people who were born or brought up into the Church.

For someone to want to be baptized would mean that they have received a personal testimony about truthfulness of things. For someone to grow up in the Church, you could be baptized, but not really have a testimony or be truly ‘converted.’ I believe that a person born into the Church must have a stronger spirit and drive to be ‘converted’ in the gospel.

Kim, the writer further writes:

At the time, we were attending an Institute class. We had a good instructor, and we were discussing church history. Actually, we were specifically studying Liberty Jail. In the course of the class, we discussed D&C 121:1-2.

O God, where art thou? And where is the pavilion that covereth thy hiding place? How long shall thy hand be stayed, and thine eye, yea thy pure eye, behold from the eternal heavens the wrongs of thy people and of thy servants, and thine ear be penetrated with their cries?

My ears perked up. Joseph Smith — the first prophet of the restoration, one who had seen God, one who had been ministered by angels — was asking the same question I had: where was God.

Immediately to my mind came Matt 27:46:

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

And now even Jesus, the savior of the world, was asking the same question that had entered my mind several times. The progenitor of our faith and the source of our faith both put forth the same question to God. Both felt alone. And both came through triumphant.

At that point, the Spirit entered into me with such a force that I knew I had never felt such a thing in my entire life…

Kim Siever, Joseph Smith and Jesus Christ were asking where God was and feeling abandoned. The saying “It is always darkest before dawn” applies here.

What a wonderful story and trail of faith. I have learned a lot from this and now I cannot wait to see what Kim Siever will write next. This has definitely left an impression on me, to where I feel re-energized and gung-ho to learn more about the gospel.

You can view the complete post here: http://www.ourthoughts.ca/2007/10/21/my-faith-crisis-story/