10 years ago, I was a Mormon missionary in Brazil. One of my responsibilities was to talk to new converts before their baptism and help them get ready to be baptized.
Most of the people I talked to felt some element of anxiety about getting baptized. They often asked me “Am I ready to be baptized? Do I know enough about the church to be baptized? Have I really become a person who can be baptized?”
There is a clear answer to those questions. The scriptures clearly state what requirements a person must meet in order to be ready to be baptized, so here it is.
Mormon Baptism Requirements
Before you’re baptized, you’ll meet with a missionary for a baptismal interview. These are the questions you’ll be asked in the baptismal interview.
- “Do you believe that God is our Eternal Father? Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of the world?”
- “Do you believe the Church and gospel of Jesus Christ have been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith? Do you believe that [current Church President] is a prophet of God? What does this mean to you?”
- “What does it mean to you to repent? Do you feel that you have repented of your past transgressions?”
- “Have you ever committed a serious crime? If so, are you now on probation or parole? Have you ever participated in an abortion? a homosexual relationship?”
- “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?”
- 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 standards? Are you willing to obey them?
- The law of chastity, which prohibits any sexual relationship outside the bonds of a legal marriage between a man and a woman.
- The law of tithing.
- The Word of Wisdom.
- The Sabbath day, including partaking of the sacrament weekly and rendering service to fellow members.“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 standards? Are you willing to obey them?”
It’s very important to realize that these questions are not a quiz by any means. For example, if you forget what “The Word of Wisdom” is, you won’t be cut off from baptism. The missionary just wants to make sure that you understand what you’ve been taught. A missionary would simply remind you that the word of wisdom is the Lord’s law of health (no drinking or smoking).
Similarly, if you have had an abortion before, for example, you would not necessarily be prevented from being baptized. The missionary would simply talk with you about your past actions and help you to make sure you have prayed and asked forgiveness from God.
Nothing you have done in the past can prevent you from baptism. That’s the whole purpose of baptism. It’s a new beginning that God offers to all people who are willing to keep His commandments and worship Him.
If you are prepared to do the things those questions ask, you are ready to be baptized.