Excerpt from a Church News article, ‘President Ballard said missionaries shouldn’t invite people to be baptized without feeling the Spirit. Here’s why’, June 26 2019: 1
“PROVO, Utah — Missionaries need to recognize the Spirit and teach by the Spirit more than at any time in our history, said President M. Russell Ballard during the 2019 New Mission Leadership Seminar on June 24.
“If we help create a mission culture based on Spirit-led invitations that allow others to have spiritual experiences, our missionaries will feel the power of God as they witness the changes occurring inside the hearts and minds of all those they find and teach,” said President Ballard, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
Speaking to 164 new mission presidents and their companions gathered at the Provo Missionary Training Center for the conference, President Ballard said gospel invitations — especially invitations to be baptized — should be Spirit-led.
Some missionaries have felt pressure to invite people to be baptized during the first lesson or even the first contact. “These missionaries have felt that inviting people to be baptized the very first time they meet them demonstrated the missionaries’ faith and supports their thinking that inviting people to be baptized early is what is expected,” he said. “Other missionaries have felt that an invitation to be baptized early allowed them to promptly separate the wheat from the tares. In this case, some see the baptismal invitation as a sifting tool.”
Church leaders don’t know where these practices began, but “it was never our intention to invite people to be baptized before they had learned something about the gospel, felt the Holy Ghost, and had been properly prepared to accept a lifelong commitment to follow Jesus Christ,” said President Ballard. “Our retention rates will dramatically increase when people desire to be baptized because of the spiritual experiences they are having rather than feeling pressured into being baptized by our missionaries.”
Excerpt from ‘Discussion One, The Plan Of Salvation’ an LDS missionary teaching manual, Pub. 1986: 2
“You Can Be Baptized
As the Lord answers your prayers and you feel that this message is true, we hope you will want to follow Christ by being baptized.
Invite: As prompted by the Spirit, you could now invite the investigators to be baptized.“
Excerpt from ‘Discussion Two, The Gospel Of Jesus Christ’ an LDS missionary teaching manual, Pub. 1986: 3
Commitment Invitation: Baptism
One of the most basic ways in which God asks us to be obedient is by being baptized. As we said a few minutes ago, when we are baptized, we enter into a covenant with God. The Book of Mormon teaches that Christ set the example for us by being baptized. His baptism was a witness that he would be obedient to all the commandments of his Father. [ Read and discuss 2 Nephi 31:4-7.]
Will you follow the example of Christ by being baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God?
Invite: Unless otherwise prompted by the Spirit, you should at this point invite the investigators to be baptized on a specific date. If they need additional preparation for this commitment, use the “Invitation to Be Baptized” in the instruction booklet.
References [ + ]
|1.||‘President Ballard said missionaries shouldn’t invite people to be baptized without feeling the Spirit. Here’s why’, June 26 2019, Church News – https://www.thechurchnews.com/leaders-and-ministry/2019-06-26/president-ballard-baptize-2019-mission-leadership-seminar-50222|
|2.||Discussion One, The Plan Of Salvation – https://archive.org/details/Discussion1ThePlanOfSalvation|
|3.||Discussion Two, The Gospel Of Jesus Christ – https://archive.org/details/Discussion2TheGospelOfJesusChrist/page/n1|