In the Book of Mormon there is a list of Baptismal Questions that Alma asked all those who wanted to be baptized. We read the questions in Mosiah chapter 18.
- Are you desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people?
- Are you willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light?
- Are you willing to mourn with those that mourn?
- Are you willing to comfort those that stand in need of comfort?
- Are you willing to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal lie?
- Now, If this be the desires of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?
How beautiful it is to want to bear one another's burdens, to mourn with those who mourn, and to comfort those that stand in need of comfort. I wish some of these same questions from the scriptures were asked today to the baptismal candidate
In comparison, here is the list of LDS Baptismal Questions that we ask today.
- 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 President Thomas S Monson 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?
- Are you willing to obey 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 the law of tithing.
- Are you willing to obey the Word of Wisdom.
- Are you willing to obey the Sabbath day, including partaking of the sacrament weekly and rendering service to fellow members.
- 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?
Recently a new question has been added to this list which involves making sure that the one who wants to be baptized does not live with a parent who has lived or currently lives in a same-gender cohabitation relationship or marriage.
We read the list of the Lords baptismal requirements in 3 Nephi 11:32-41. It is a simple list:
- Believe in Jesus Christ.
- Become as a little child.
The Lord further explains that, "whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock; but he buildeth upon a sandy foundation, and the gates of hell stand open to receive such when the floods come and the winds beat upon them."
Yesterday, there was an ad in the front page section of the Denver Post for those who seek to be baptized without institutional requirements or restraints. Here is how the ad appeared in the paper (highlighted below)