Congratulations! You’ve decided to get baptized and you want it to be a day to remember. What should you do to prepare?
Even if you do nothing but get baptized, you will never forget the day. Because I was a teenager joining alone, I went to the church, got baptized, and went home. That was all. But I remember it all in great detail because of the way I felt and how it changed my life. You don’t need to have a party or do anything expensive to make it special, but there are ways to prepare so you are ready for the great blessings that are about to come your way.
First, prepare spiritually. You will be interviewed before your baptism, so if the ordinance was approved, you already are living well. In the days leading up to your baptism, pay attention to your choices, to be certain you’re staying as close to the teachings of the church as possible. You won’t be perfect, but you’ll know you’re really trying. This will make it easier to feel the Spirit when the time comes to receive it.
Read your scriptures and spend extra time in prayer. As you read your scriptures, take time to think about them and how they apply to the new life you’ve chosen. Think about how they can help you to become a strong member of the church.
If you have family members and friends who are not getting baptized, take time for them. Help them to see that the church is not taking you away from them and won’t hurt the relationship. Explain to them what is going to happen, and invite them to attend. If they agree to be there, arrange for someone to stay with them while you’re out of the room, and to answer their questions. If you don’t know anyone yet, ask the missionaries to do this for you.
Plan ahead for the day of the baptism. Try to make it as calm and peaceful as you can manage it. Do anything that might take away from the spirit on the day before—distasteful chores, for instance. That way you can spend the day pleasantly, doing things you love. Leave plenty of time for prayer, scripture reading, and contemplation, but don’t leave so much time you get nervous.
Write in your journal both before and after your baptism. If you don’t have a journal, record your feelings somewhere safe and save them. Years later, when church membership seems ordinary to you, you’ll want to go back and read the powerful feelings you had at this time, and to be reminded of how you felt in the hours just after your baptism.
After your baptism, it is likely you will literally feel the spirit with you. Somehow, you just won’t feel like doing ordinary, everyday things, so plan a quiet day with your family, if you have one nearby, or an LDS friend, or even alone in your home listening to quiet music and enjoying your new status as a member of the church.
Your Make it a special day.
Terrie Lynn Bittner
The late Terrie Lynn Bittner—beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and friend—was the author of two homeschooling books and numerous articles, including several that appeared in Latter-day Saint magazines. She became a member of the Church at the age of 17 and began sharing her faith online in 1992.