Hello! First, thank you for this site! It has been so very helpful. Secondly, my husband and I have been meeting with our local missionaries, and plan to attend our first church meeting this coming Sunday. We were both raised Protestant, and were both taught some very ugly things about the LDS Church. (Which we are realizing now, were untrue.) We are excited, and nervous, about this journey. And as we go along, people are throwing things at us that have us worried. Such as, when we go through the Temple, we have to be naked so we can be properly anointed? And the interviews before Baptism, we’ve heard they are pretty intense. We’ve also been told that the care and affection we are receiving from our missionaries will stop once we become members, because they have a certain “convert quota” they have to fill monthly, and that this is all an act to butter us up. I guess I am just needing to hear from an informed member, so that I can feel a bit reassured! Lol Thank you!!


2 Responses to “Hello! First, thank you for this site! It has been so very h…”

Francisco Paz
May 23, 2011
Temples are considered houses of God, places of holiness and peace separate from the preoccupations of the world.

Hi Stacie! I’m happy you’ve found my website helpful and that you visited an LDS chapel recently! I really hope you enjoyed your visit. Mormons take a very different approach to worship services than most Protestant denominations, since our meetings are run by the common members themselves rather than a separate clergy class. I hope you were able to feel God’s spirit despite the unfamiliar setting. If you have any questions about anything you saw or heard in church on Sunday, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’m very happy to help.

Coincidentally, I am actually a temple worker at the San Diego temple, so I am very familiar with the temple ordinances. I routinely administer these very ordinances every week. Rest be assured that there are no ordinances in the temple that are performed naked. I think temple attendance would be significantly lower if that were the case! 🙂 It is true that cerimonial/symbolic clothing is used in the temple. Symbolic clothing is common in other religions as well (i.e., the Catholic priestly collar, the Muslim hijab, the Jewish yarmulke, the Sikh kachchhera, etc, etc.). However, in the temple we change into this cerimonial clothing in a sort of locker room with private stalls. Nakedness is never a factor. 🙂

I was a missionary in Brazil from 1999 to 2001, and I don’t remember the baptismal interview being that intense. It serves only to verify that you’re spiritually prepared for baptism and that you’re willing to keep God’s commandments, as the baptismal ordinance should only be undertaken by someone who is really willing to change their life. The training manuals used to prepare missionaries are freely available for download online. Chapter 12 discusses the baptismal interview at length, in case you’re interested.

In all the baptismal interviews I conducted, I can’t think of a single instance where baptism was not approved. Usually if someone gets to the baptismal interview, they’re already pretty serious about joining the church.

It is true that missionaries’ primary purpose is to help sincerely interested people be converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ. That includes helping people be baptized and helping less-active members of the Church return to full Church activity. However, it is extremely cynical to suggest that missionaries serve only to meet “convert quotas.” It’s silly to suppose that 60,000 Mormon missionaries would leave the comfort of their homes for two years because they are excited about meeting quotas. They are excited about bringing people to Christ and helping to change their lives for the better. Any missionary who baptizes for a number instead of for Christ is not only missing the central message of the Savior’s gospel, they are missing out on the tremendous joy that comes from missionary service. I again encourage you to skim through the missionary training manuals. They make it very clear what should motivate missionary work. One good example might be chapter 9, “How Do I Find People to Teach?

It is true, though, that you should try to establish good relationships with the members of your ward so you can draw spiritual strength directly from the larger Mormon community in your area. Missionaries are transferred periodically, often as frequently as every 3 months. Their missionary duties sometimes do make it difficult for them to visit all the people they would like to visit. I remember the many wonderful friendships I developed with those I taught the gospel in Brazil. Those relationships were more then friendships, really, because they were so sacred to me. It was so hard to leave the people I’d come to love when I was transferred to a new area. I was very grateful for the local members of the Church who continued to spiritually nurture my friends in my absence. Missionaries are definitely not the only members of the Mormon community that can help you and your husband strengthen your relationship with Christ.

M. Welch
July 19, 2011

I converted two years ago, and I was also quite scared about the baptism interview. However, there is nothing secret about it, and if you ask your bishop, he will probably let you see the questions ahead of time like mine did for me. If you have learned about the church and you have prayed and feel certain about being baptized, there is nothing in the interview that will come out of the blue or be difficult to answer.

As far as the missionaries not spending as much time with you, that’s probably true. Their responsibility is to spread the gospel to people who don’t know it. Your new ward family will be the ones who you should grow closer to after baptism, which only makes sense, since they will be with you a lot longer than the missionaries who will eventually go home. It’s not because of a quota or because they don’t care, though.

As a side note, I also heard the rumor about having to be naked during the washing and anointing, and I also had to be reassured that it was not true–and I was told even people who have been members their entire lives have had the same concern. I don’t know how that got spread around, or why I believed it, since it’s kind of silly. Why would a church that is so concerned about modesty require nudity right before one of the most important covenants? 😛

Anyway, I hope that helps. Good luck with your baptism! ¿_¿

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