Mission Callings
Chapter 12: Help People Prepare for Baptism and Confirmation

“Chapter 12: Help People Prepare for Baptism and Confirmation,” Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ (2023)

“Chapter 12,” Preach My Gospel

John the Baptist Baptizing Jesus, by Greg K. Olsen

Chapter 12

Help People Prepare for Baptism and Confirmation

Consider This

  • How can I help people prepare for baptism and confirmation?

  • How do I conduct a baptismal interview?

  • How is an uplifting baptismal service planned and conducted?

  • Why is it important to complete and submit the Baptism and Confirmation Form?

  • How can I support new members?

Baptism is a joyous ordinance of hope that brings the power of God into a person’s life. That power comes through receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. It will continue as a person endures to the end in keeping the baptismal covenant.

The purpose of your teaching is to help others develop their faith in Jesus Christ, repent of their sins, and be baptized with a sincere desire to follow Christ. As Mormon taught, “the first fruits of repentance is baptism” (Moroni 8:25). As the people you teach keep the commitments you invite them to make, they will be prepared to make and keep covenants with God and enjoy the promised blessings.

Baptism and confirmation are not a final destination. Rather, these ordinances are the gate by which God’s children enter the covenant path. This path leads to the ordinances, covenants, and joyous blessings of the temple—and ultimately to eternal life (see 3 Nephi 11:20–40).

Qualifications for Baptism and Confirmation

God invites all His children to come unto Him through baptism and confirmation (see 2 Nephi 26:33; 3 Nephi 27:20). The qualifications for baptism are the same for all.

From Doctrine and Covenants 20:37:

  • Humble yourself before God.

  • Desire to be baptized.

  • Come forth with a broken heart and contrite spirit.

  • Repent of all your sins and pray for forgiveness.

  • Be willing to take upon yourself the name of Christ.

  • Have a determination to serve Christ to the end.

  • Show by your works that you have received the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of your sins.

From the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:

  • Respond appropriately to the baptismal interview questions.

  • Receive all the missionary lessons.

  • Meet the elders quorum president, Relief Society president, and bishop.

  • Attend several sacrament meetings.

These qualifications are indicators of the spiritual process of conversion. When people meet these qualifications, they are ready for the sacred ordinances of baptism and confirmation.

When a person has set a firm baptismal date:

  • Carefully review his or her record in the Preach My Gospel app to ensure that you have taught the necessary doctrine and commandments.

  • Create a schedule for the events that are needed to prepare for baptism and confirmation. Review this schedule with the person.

  • If possible, invite the person to attend a baptismal service before his or her own baptism.

Scripture Study

Study the following scriptures. How can you help those you teach prepare for baptism and confirmation? Record what you are learning from your study.

Gentle Healer, by Greg K. Olsen

Help People Prepare for Their Baptismal Interview

The baptismal interview is an important step to ensure that a person meets the Lord’s qualifications for baptism. Schedule a baptismal interview only when a person is ready.

Help people prepare for this interview so they feel comfortable about it. Explain what it will be like. Tell them that they will meet with another missionary like you.

Explain the purpose of the interview. It is an opportunity for them to witness that they have “repented of all their sins [and] manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins” (Doctrine and Covenants 20:37).

Share the questions the interviewer will ask (see below). This helps the person prepare to answer them.

Make sure the person understands what you have taught and the covenant he or she will make at baptism. This covenant is to:

  • Be willing to take upon him or her the name of Jesus Christ.

  • Keep the commandments of God.

  • Serve God and others.

  • Endure to the end. (See lesson 4.)

Bear testimony about the great blessings that come from being baptized and confirmed and keeping the baptismal covenant. These blessings include the remission of sins and the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Conducting the Baptismal Interview

Each person who desires to be baptized is interviewed by an authorized priesthood leader. In a mission, this person is the district or zone leader. He conducts interviews for:

  • Persons ages 9 and older who have never been baptized and confirmed.

  • Children ages 8 and older whose parents are not members of the Church.

  • Children ages 8 and older who have a parent who is also being baptized and confirmed.

Guidelines for the interviewer are provided below.

  • Hold the interview in a comfortable, private place where the Spirit can be felt.

  • When interviewing a child, youth, or woman, the interviewer’s companion should be nearby in an adjoining room, foyer, or hall. If the person desires, another adult may be invited to participate in the interview. Missionaries should avoid all circumstances that could be misunderstood.

  • Begin with prayer.

  • Help the person feel comfortable.

  • Make the interview a spiritually uplifting experience.

  • Make sure the person understands the purpose of the interview.

  • Ask the baptismal interview questions listed below. Adapt the questions to the person’s age, maturity, and circumstance as needed.

  • Respond to the person’s questions.

  • Review the information on the Baptism and Confirmation Form for accuracy. If the person is a minor, a parent or guardian needs to sign the form before the baptism (see the “Baptism and Confirmation: Questions and Answers” section in this chapter).

  • Invite the person to bear testimony or share his or her feelings.

  • Express appreciation for being able to meet with the person.

Baptismal Interview Questions

The baptismal interview questions are as follows:

  1. Do you believe that God is our Eternal Father? Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior and Redeemer of the world?

  2. Do you believe that 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?

  3. What does it mean to you to repent? Do you feel that you have repented of your past sins?

  4. You have been taught that membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints includes living gospel standards. What do you understand about the following standards? Are you willing to obey them?

    • The law of chastity, which prohibits any sexual relations outside the bonds of a legal marriage between a man and a woman

    • The law of tithing

    • The Word of Wisdom

    • Keeping the Sabbath day holy, including partaking of the sacrament weekly and serving others

  5. Have you ever committed a serious crime? If so, are you now on probation or parole?

  6. Have you ever participated in an abortion? (See General Handbook, 38.6.1.)

  7. When you are baptized, you covenant with God that you are willing to take upon yourself the name of Christ, serve others, stand as a witness of God at all times, and keep His commandments throughout your life. Are you ready to make this covenant and strive to be faithful to it?

For instructions if the person answers affirmatively to question 5 or 6, see General Handbook, and

Become familiar with the policies and guidelines related to baptism and confirmation in General Handbook, 38.2.8. Some of these policies involve special circumstances that you may encounter.

After the interview, the missionary and the candidate rejoin the other missionaries. If the person is ready for baptism, the missionaries explain what will happen at the baptismal service. They also explain that the confirmation typically takes place in a sacrament meeting of the ward where the person lives.

When a Baptism Needs to Be Postponed

Sometimes a baptism needs to be postponed because of challenges with testimony or worthiness. When this happens, handle the situation sensitively and privately. Help the person understand how to prepare for baptism at a future date.

Encourage the person and offer hope in Christ and His Atonement. Ask ward members to provide fellowship. Continue teaching the basic principles of the gospel until the person is ready to be baptized and confirmed. Wait until that time to schedule a new baptismal date.

Baptism and Confirmation: Questions and Answers

Do I need permission to baptize a minor? The Church is concerned for the well-being of children and the harmony of their home environment. A minor, as defined by local laws, may be baptized when both of the following conditions are met:

  1. The custodial parent(s) or legal guardian(s) give written permission. They should have a general understanding of the doctrine their child will be taught as a member of the Church. They should also be willing to support the child in making and keeping the baptismal covenant.

  2. The person who conducts the interview discerns that the child understands the baptismal covenant. He should feel confident that the child will strive to keep this covenant by obeying the commandments, including attending Church meetings.

Do I need consent of the spouse to baptize a husband or wife? Yes. A married person must have the consent of his or her spouse before being baptized.

If a parent in a family is not ready for baptism, should I baptize other family members or wait until the parent is ready? It is preferable that family members be baptized together. However, if some are not ready, individual family members may be baptized as long as any necessary consent is given.

Should baptisms of family members be delayed until the father can receive the Aaronic Priesthood and perform the baptisms himself? No. Newly baptized brethren do not receive the Aaronic Priesthood on the day they are baptized. They first need to be interviewed by the bishop and sustained by ward members.

May I teach and baptize a person who resigned Church membership or whose membership was withdrawn? People who resigned Church membership or whose membership was withdrawn may be readmitted by baptism and confirmation. If they would like to be taught, counsel with local priesthood leaders and your mission president about any role you might have.

In a stake, readmission by baptism is under the direction of the bishop or stake president. In a mission, readmission is under the direction of the mission president. These leaders will receive guidance from the First Presidency as needed. Missionaries do not conduct these baptismal interviews or fill out the Baptism and Confirmation Form. However, a missionary may be invited to perform the baptism.

Former members of the Church who rejoin are not converts. Nevertheless, missionaries can sometimes have an important role in helping them enjoy the blessings of Church membership again.

What if a person has a scheduled baptismal date but is not keeping all the commitments? Wait to schedule a baptismal interview until the person is keeping the commitments and meets the baptism qualifications. See “When a Baptism Needs to Be Postponed” in this chapter.

What if a couple want to be baptized but are living together? A couple living together outside of a legal marriage between a man and a woman may not be baptized until they live the law of chastity. This means no longer living together—whether as a heterosexual couple or a same-sex couple—or, for a man and a woman, it means getting married. It also includes exercising faith unto repentance as described in Doctrine and Covenants 20:37. Marriage between a man and a woman is an essential part of God’s plan.

Questions 5 and 6 in the baptismal interview ask if a person has ever committed a serious crime or participated in an abortion. What should I do if someone answers “yes” to either of these questions? If you become aware of one of these situations during a baptismal interview, do not ask about the details. Do not promise that the person will be approved for baptism. Instead, express your love and kindly explain that someone with more maturity and experience will talk with the person and help.

Send a baptismal interview request to your mission president. He or one of his counselors will meet with the person. See General Handbook, and

What should I do if a membership record has been created before I submit the Baptism and Confirmation Form? Contact your mission president for instructions.

Personal Study

Think about how you might feel if you were being interviewed. Consider the following questions and record your impressions.

  • How might the interview seem uncomfortable to you? What could the interviewer do or say to put you at ease?

  • How would you want the interviewer to interact with you?

  • How would you want the interviewer to respond if you expressed doubts or misunderstandings or if you confessed serious sins?


The Baptismal Service

The baptismal service and confirmation should be spiritual highlights for a new member. The baptismal service should be scheduled as soon as a person has met the qualifications for baptism. Explain what is planned and why. Discuss proper dress, including how the person will be given white clothing to wear for the baptism.

Baptismal services for converts are planned under the bishopric’s guidance. The ward mission leader (if one is called) or the member of the elders quorum presidency who leads missionary work plans and conducts these services. He coordinates with the full-time missionaries. Baptismal services should be simple, brief, and spiritually uplifting.

Invite a member of the bishopric, a member of the Relief Society presidency, and a member of the elders quorum presidency (if he is not conducting) to attend the baptismal service. When appropriate, invite other organization leaders, youth leaders, and ministering brothers and sisters (if assigned). Work with the person being baptized to invite friends and relatives to attend the baptismal service and the confirmation.

Consider inviting other people you are teaching. These experiences will help them feel the Spirit and learn more about the gospel. After the service, follow up to discuss their experience and invite them to be taught.

A baptismal service may include the following:

  1. Prelude music

  2. A brief welcome from the priesthood leader who is conducting the service (a member of the bishopric should preside if possible)

  3. An opening hymn and prayer

  4. One or two short messages on gospel subjects, such as baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost

  5. A musical selection

  6. The baptism

  7. A time of reverence while those who participated in the baptism change into dry clothes. (Hymns or Primary songs may be played or sung during this time. Or the missionaries could give a brief gospel presentation.)

  8. Bearing of testimony by new members, if desired

  9. A closing hymn and prayer

  10. Postlude music

If you schedule a baptism on a Sunday, choose a time that conflicts as little as possible with regular Sunday meetings.



A person receives the ordinance of confirmation after he or she has been baptized (see Doctrine and Covenants 20:41). A new convert is considered a member of the Church after the ordinances of baptism and confirmation are both completed and properly recorded.

Confirmations are under the direction of the bishop. However, he does not conduct a separate interview for confirmation.

Work closely with the bishop and the ward mission leader (if one is called) to make sure that new converts are confirmed. The confirmation should occur as soon as reasonable after baptism, preferably the next Sunday. However, the bishop can allow the confirmation to take place at the baptismal service as an exception (see General Handbook, 18.8).

Converts are typically confirmed in a sacrament meeting in the ward where they live. The bishop typically invites missionary elders serving in the ward to participate in the confirmation. If a missionary performs the confirmation, he also needs approval from the mission president (see General Handbook, 18.8.1). At least one member of the bishopric participates.

Complete the Baptism and Confirmation Form

It is vital that a membership record is promptly created after a person is baptized and confirmed. Concerning such records in his day, Moroni wrote that new members “were numbered among the people of the church of Christ; and their names were taken, that they might be remembered and nourished by the good word of God, to keep them in the right way” (Moroni 6:4).

As you teach someone who is preparing to be baptized, begin to fill out the Baptism and Confirmation Form in the Preach My Gospel app. Explain that this form will be used to create a membership record. This record will contain important information about the ordinances the person receives. When Church members move, their membership record is forwarded to their new ward so local leaders and members can support them.

As soon as the new member is baptized and confirmed, update the form with information about each ordinance, including who performed it. When you have completed the form, record the information in the Preach My Gospel app and submit it to the ward clerk electronically. As soon as the clerk has received the form, he reviews it and creates a membership record.

After the membership record is created, a clerk prepares a Baptism and Confirmation Certificate. This certificate is signed by the bishop and given to the person.

The name and sex on the membership record and certificate should match the person’s birth certificate, civil birth registry, or current legal name.

Personal or Companion Study

Study Mosiah 6:1–3 and Moroni 6:1–4. How do these passages relate to keeping accurate records of baptisms and confirmations?

After Baptism and Confirmation

Continue to Minister

Continue to fellowship and support new members after they are baptized and confirmed. Help them attend church and build relationships with members. Read the Book of Mormon with them, and help them share the gospel with family members and friends. Introduce them to the My Covenant Path booklet. Continue using the Preach My Gospel app to record their progress, such as their attendance at sacrament meeting and the lessons they have received.

men hugging

After confirmation, teach the missionary lessons again. You take the lead in teaching. However, coordinate with ward leaders so ward missionaries or other members participate. As you teach, encourage new members to keep all the commitments in the lessons.

In weekly coordination meetings, counsel about how members can support new converts and help them stay actively engaged in the Church. Plan who will introduce them to quorum or organization leaders. Coordinate the participation of other members as you teach the lessons again. Ask to have ministering brothers assigned (and ministering sisters for women).

After a male is confirmed, he is eligible to receive the Aaronic Priesthood if he will be at least 12 years old by the end of the year. Aaronic Priesthood ordinations are under the direction of the bishop (see General Handbook,

As appropriate, communicate throughout your life with those whom you have taught. Support them in receiving all the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Elder Gerrit W. Gong

“When we come with broken hearts and contrite spirits, we can find voice in Jesus Christ and be encircled in His understanding arms of safety. Sacred ordinances offer covenant belonging and ‘the power of godliness’ to sanctify inner intent and outward action [Doctrine and Covenants 84:20]. With His loving-kindness and long-suffering, His Church becomes our Inn” (Gerrit W. Gong, “Room in the Inn,” Liahona, May 2021, 27).

Help New Members Participate in the Blessings of the Temple

New members of the appropriate age may receive a temple recommend that allows them to be baptized for their deceased family members (see General Handbook, 26.4.2). They receive this recommend from the bishop. Encourage and help new members to obtain a temple recommend as soon as reasonable. If a temple is nearby, consider extending an invitation for a specific time for new members to perform baptisms for deceased ancestors.

In weekly coordination meetings, plan who will introduce new members to the ward temple and family history leader. This leader can help them prepare to receive the blessings of the temple by making their own temple covenants.

Ideas for Study and Application

Personal Study

  • List challenges that a baptismal candidate might encounter. Why is it important that a person feel the love and friendship of Church members?

  • Study Moroni 6 and Doctrine and Covenants 20:68–69. What can you learn from these verses about helping people prepare for baptism and confirmation? Write what you learn. Share your thoughts with your companion during companion study.

Companion Study and Companion Exchange

  • President Henry B. Eyring explained why gospel standards are important. Discuss the following counsel. How can you encourage people to desire to meet these standards?

    “The Lord sets His standards so that He can bless us. Think about those blessings: He promises those who meet the standards the help of the Holy Ghost. He promises personal peace. He promises the chance to receive holy ordinances in His house. And He promises those who endure in living His standards that they will have eternal life. …

    “Because we love the people we serve, all of us want to do better in lifting our Heavenly Father’s children to the faithfulness and purity they need to have all the blessings of the Lord. …

    “… You begin by holding up the Lord’s standards clearly and without apology. And the more the world drifts from them and mocks them, the bolder we must be in doing that” (“Standards of Worthiness,” First Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting, Jan. 2003, 10–11).

  • Review the baptismal interview questions. Consider how you would handle situations such as the following:

    • The person did not tell you that he is on probation for a crime.

    • The person has not received an answer to prayer that Joseph Smith was a prophet.

    • The person smoked a cigarette two days ago.

    • The person is not sure that she has received an answer to her prayers.

    • The family felt pressure from friends and are not sure they are ready for baptism.

  • Review the Baptism and Confirmation Form. Why should the information you provide be correct and complete?

District Council, Zone Conferences, and Mission Leadership Council

  • Review the importance of the baptismal interview. Discuss how missionaries can help people prepare for the interview.

  • Discuss how to use baptismal services and confirmations as finding opportunities.

Mission Leaders and Mission Counselors

  • Work with local priesthood and organization leaders to make sure they are using the Covenant Path Progress report effectively.

  • Teach district leaders, zone leaders, and sister training leaders how to prepare people for the baptismal interview. Invite them to train other missionaries to prepare people for this interview.

  • Teach district and zone leaders how to conduct baptismal interviews.

  • Teach how to respond in a baptismal interview when a person reveals that he or she has committed a serious sin.

  • When possible, attend baptismal services for new members. Talk with the new members and learn about their conversion experiences. Share what you learn with your companion and with the missionaries.