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)

Word of Wisdom

The Word of Wisdom was revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith. It is a law of health that teaches us what foods we should and should not use to keep our bodies healthy. We know that it was blessing to receive a phsyical body when we came to earth.

The reason why it is a blessing is because we need a physical body to become like our Heavenly Father. Our bodies are so important that the Lord calls them temples of God (Corinthians 3:16-17). Like my friend Mike has always told me, part of our reason for being on earth was to learn to control our bodies as well. I believe this means controlling your appetite as well as other physical wants and pleasures.

Things not to put into our bodies

Before baptism, we are told to abstain from: tobacco, alcohol, tea, and coffee. During our investigation of the church, our missionaries often told us that these things would keep us from being receptive to the spirit and I believe this makes sense.

This that are good for our bodies

Grain, wheat, fruits, vegetables, and wholesome herbs are good for us. We should use them with wisdom and thanksgiving.

Fish is good for us. The flesh of birds and animals (chicken, pork, beef) is also provided for our food. However, we should eat meat sparingly.

Blessings from Obedience

Doctrine and Covenants chapter 89 also states:

And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones;And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures; And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint. (D&C 89:18-20)

I have personally seen the blessings of being obedient to the word of wisdom and in an odd way, I am glad that it is a law of health commanded by Heavenly Father. This definitely makes weight loss a no-brainer. Why would we not want to obey and please our Father in Heaven?

You can read the short chapter of Doctrine and Covenants Section 89 by following this link:

http://scriptures.lds.org/en/dc/89