Gospel for thought

Thought-case: A stranger walks up to the missionaries, states that he is moving to a place for the rest of his life where the church will never be. He wants to get baptized but doesn’t have a testimony of the church. Do you baptize him or not? If he is baptized what benefits/blessings would he receive for being baptized?

What is the intrinsic value of being baptized? Without testimony, without passing D&C 20:37 or batismal interview questions, as if they don’t exist, what effect would being baptized have on a person? They will receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost and (those who are within church contact) get connected to the church. End question: Is it better for a person to be baptized than not?

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  1. Hmmm, that is a really good question. You raise some really good questions supporting the fact that if the person doesn’t have church near by or no testimony of the church, what is the point of getting baptized. It makes me think a little of “deathbed repentance;” the idea that you can be on your deathbed and can have a priest come in and bless you and you will go to heaven after you are dead. No, that isn’t how it works. The person who you’re talking about who wants to get baptized before moving may have the same thought. What good will it do them if they don’t have the sacrament by which to renew their covenants? Yes, they will receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost, but if they don’t have a testimony, what importance does this gift carry for them? Will they even know to recognize the promptings or heed them? I think my opinion, after thinking only for a few minutes about this, would be to not baptize them.

    (I really dislike saying that! I think it is important to take into consideration what type of person this is – are they righteous? Are they seeking God in their life? If so, I might say that is a different story. If they were eager to gain a testimony and learn more after their baptism, I might be more inclined to say yes to their baptism. Bah! That is a really tough question. Makes you think.)

  2. Good points, Ashley! I take it from a different angle. Not so much about what type of person it is, or how he will respond to being baptized, but to whether being baptized will help him more fully prepare for salvation. I wonder, would Heavenly Father help him at all, through the Holy Ghost, to be obedient? Would Heavenly Father show a unique level of mercy and grace towards him, the ignorant sinner, because he has kept one of the greatest commandments? There are promised blessings for being obedient to any commandment, so should those blessings be offered to someone unprepared to understand them?

    And is there not the chance for a divine conversion at the point of baptism? Granted it is putting faith in the Lord when the Lord may just respond, “Sorry, it doesn’t work that way.” But, the Lord may also understand the situation best and decide because of the act of faith on the unbeliever He will deliver the truth unto him.

    If I truly ignore the rules to getting baptized, like the requirements set forth in D&C 20:37, then I have to conclude it MUST be better for a person to be baptized than not. Maybe this is more a question of personal motivations, and how they interact with the blessings of obedience of a person.

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