Becoming Christian can seem like a very large leap into an entirely new lifestyle. However, for many people, particularly those who have practiced other faiths already, the process may not seem too complicated. It’s important to take it a few steps at a time and not to get overwhelmed.
Baptism is an important step in the process of becoming Christian. In the Christian Bible, the New Testament tells us that we must be baptized in order to enter Heaven.
38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.(Acts 2:38).
If you are becoming a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whose members are sometimes called Mormons, that baptism will come after a few meetings with missionaries who will help you learn more about Jesus Christ and His gospel. You will learn how to pray and will start to become familiar with the scriptures of the Christian faith, including the Bible, and those specific to Mormons, such as the Book of Mormon. After you have prayed, received an answer from God that you should join, and repented, you can be baptized.
Mormons use the same method of baptism used by Jesus Christ. He was baptized by immersion, which means to go completely under the water and then to come back out again. This symbolizes death and rebirth, because baptism is a rebirth. You are forgiven of your sins and start over again with God.
After baptism, Mormons will confirm you a member of the Church and give you the gift of the Holy Ghost. This allows you to have the Holy Spirit with you all the time as long as you are living worthily. You can’t, then decide to do something wrong and ignore the Spirit’s warnings that you are in spiritual danger and still have the Spirit stay with you.
After getting baptized and receiving the Holy Ghost, it is important to become well-educated in Christianity. Set a schedule for reading the scriptures and for reading the teachings of Church leaders. This will help you understand the foundations of the faith. Most important in your study is learning about Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the foundation of the faith and everything centers on Him.
Through reading the Bible, you will also learn how Jesus Christ wants us to live. His own life set an example of service and love, and by observing how He treated others, we can learn how to treat others ourselves.
Your new life as a Christian will have you viewing eternity in a whole new way. You begin to see this life as one small part of a larger whole, one that is wonderful and meaningful. It allows for the unevenness of life’s situations to be balanced out. In the end, the atonement of Jesus Christ will make everything “fair” even if it doesn’t seem as though it is in this life.
We come to Earth to gain bodies, families, and experiences. Our life is a test in which we find out who we are and what we are capable of becoming. God has given us guidelines to follow and the freedom to reject or accept those guidelines—but there are consequences to our choices. Our life situation is planned to help us achieve whatever we came to achieve. Everyone has trials, even though they aren’t the same trials, but we all have the ability to overcome them. We may not make the trials disappear, but we can choose to face them with courage and joy and to seek from them lessons to learn.
We then take what we learned back home to God. We return to Him ourselves—the person we chose to become on Earth. All we can take with us when we die is what is in our hearts and minds—and these things are the focus of the Christian life.
Terrie Lynn Bittner
Terrie Lynn Bittner is the author of two homeschooling books and numerous articles, including several that have appeared in LDS magazines. She is married to Lincoln Bittner and is the mother of three grown children and grandmother to two girls. Terrie became a Mormon at the age of seventeen and has been sharing her faith online since 1992. She can also be found blogging about being an LDS woman at LatterdaySaintWoman.com.
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