Can a Non-Mormon Attend a Mormon Baptism?
Many Christian Churches practice baptism as a sacramental ceremony to initiate believers into Christianity. Some churches baptize infants even before they are a year old while other churches conduct it when the believers are older. This tradition is present in many churches, but with varying issues, especially among Christian sects like the Mormons.
So, can a non-Mormon attend a Mormon baptism? Like any other church service, a non-Mormon can attend a Mormon baptism ceremony if it is held outside the church like in a lake or other water body. Some conservative Mormons have reservations about allowing non-believers to attend a baptism ordinance within the temple chambers, as the Mormon temple is so sacred to the Latter-Day Saints. But, nowadays, family and friends of the person being baptized can attend the ceremony in the chapel.
Baptism is one of the rituals that the LDS observe to the latter. However, there are also some present changes and reservations in matters of baptism. In this article, we will tackle issues like who can attend a Mormon baptism, and what happens during the ordinance; so, read on for more details about the LDS.
Who Can Attend a Mormon Baptism?
The Church of Jesus Christ Latter-Day Saints does not segregate people during the church's baptism ordinance. Once your child is eight years old or when an adult wishes to convert through baptism, the family members and friends are welcome to the ceremony.
Before the LDS church made some contentious changes, baptism used to be a male-dominated affair, and no women were allowed to witness the ordinance. But, nowadays, there is no more sexism, and a mother or a sister can witness their younger family member's baptism.
Anyone can attend the baptism, especially outside the chapel; in a lake, or a water body outside the church. Moreover, any interested party can witness the ceremony even if they are just onlookers or passersby.
The LDS church is so welcoming that anyone interested in joining the ceremony is free to do so. If you are a friend to a Mormon convert and he/ she invites you to attend the ceremony, you need not worry that you will feel out of place.
All you have to do is ensure that you are well-dressed, and you avoid exposing too much skin since the Mormons are strict on the dress code, and they insist on modesty.
In traditional Mormonism, a child baptism was witnessed by two men who are in good standing with the church (priesthood holders) and the priest who will be doing the actual immersion. The baptizing priest could even be the child's father or any other male member of the family who is in the Melchizedek priesthood, overseen by a bishop. However, when one is at least fifteen years, any male priesthood holder can perform the ordinance under a senior presiding officer's direction.
Can a Non-Mormon Attend a Mormon Baptism?
A Mormon baptism is an all-inclusive affair where all the family members and friends are welcome by the person being baptized. Unlike in the past, where only the male witnesses like the priest and bishop could attend, anyone can participate in the ceremony. Similarly, a non-Mormon can attend normal church services in the temple and receive standard treatment.
The only issue is that it would be best to act according to the Mormons' standards and beliefs if you attend any function. You can ask all the questions you need or observe how they conduct themselves and do the same.
If you have an interest in the LDS church but are afraid to attend the temple's services, you can start by attending baptism ordinances that occur outside the church. From there, you can make up your mind whether you would like to attend the services in the chapel too. We assure you that you will always receive a warm welcome from the believers.
Also, note that Mormons perform two types of baptism; there is a baptism of the living and baptism of the dead (proxy baptism). A living baptism is meant for an eight-year-old Mormon believer to leverage all their sins and mark the start of a new life. On the other hand, proxy baptism is on behalf of a dead person; the proxy must be a Mormon believer preferably twelve years old.
What Happens at a Mormon Baptism?
The person being baptized and the baptizer adorn white clothing that must not be transparent. The event can occur inside the temple in the baptismal font or any other water body, deep enough for total immersion.
The person administering the baptism must ensure to immerse your entire body. If the baptizer recites the baptismal prayer wrongly or fails to immerse you appropriately, you must repeat the whole process until a perfect final baptism.
Before the ordinance begins, the family members stand closer to get a perfect view of their loved one being baptized. Other church members can stand behind them. Amid the family members are two church members of priesthood rank who witness whether the baptizer administers the process correctly.
Also, note that the leaders teach you some Gospel aspects and the ceremony's essence on the days before the actual baptism. If you accept the baptism, the church leaders and priesthood holders make arrangements for the ritual.
The priest and the believer will walk you into the water. Before immersing you in the water, the priest will call upon the Holy Trinity, that is, the father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. After baptism, a second ritual follows.
Here, it is a confirmation ritual where a priesthood holder lays hands on you and calls upon the Holy Ghost to fill you with gifts in the name of Jesus Christ. This event will take a few minutes then they begin the documentation into the church's membership.
You will receive baptismal and confirmation certificates, and finally, a membership record number that you can use anywhere even if you transfer to another temple.
Mormon Baptismal Traditions
Mormons baptize their children at a crucial age where they are aware of what is going on and the impact of the entire process. After baptism, you can participate in major church events that require you to have a strong faith. Thus, Mormons traditionally prepare their children psychologically and emotionally for this event.
You can start by taking them to ordinances for their friends and age mates. There, you can tell them what baptism is and the essence of such a covenant. You can also buy them books that explain the Mormon faith and everything about baptism. Similarly, as a parent, you can develop a creative way to teach them about their faith and the ceremonies.
Secondly, you can give your kid a present to remind them of their big day. The gifts should be meaningful to remind him/ her about the baptismal covenant. For instance, you can include framed poems and even scripture books. Another tradition that most parents assume is continued talks with the children.
After baptism, it shouldn't end there; you need to maintain the tradition of reminding them of their baptism's importance. Finally, you can make your child feel special with the baptism ceremony since this will give them a feeling of how important the ritual is. When you include unique gifts and special treatment, they will appreciate it more.
A Non-Mormon Attend a Mormon Baptism
There have been myths and misconceptions about how Mormons are very strict regarding their religions and rituals. Truth is Mormons are quite friendly and God-fearing people. However, there are some habits that the church doesn't encourage.
For instance, you cannot attend a Mormon baptism or any other ceremony while wearing revealing clothing. In such a case, you are likely to feel out of place, and you may offend the believers; Mormonism is founded upon strong morals.
Even so, non-Mormon friends and family can attend a Mormon baptismal service since they are generally welcoming. However, it would help if you learned a few basics about the Mormon Church's beliefs; this way, you won't feel misplaced.