Resources Help Parents Prepare Children for Baptism
By Rosemary M. Wixom, Jean A. Stevens, and Cheryl A. Esplin, Primary general presidency
- Prepare spiritually.
- Study resources and activities, then make a plan.
- Learn and share together.
- Look for teaching opportunities.
“Teach of its significance so that their baptism will be impressed upon their spiritual memory for the rest of their lives.” —Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve
A mother of four says she and her husband teach their children about baptism from the day they are born. However, when each child turns seven, their family begins more specific preparations. They hold a family home evening lesson each month about different topics related to baptism, such as covenants and Jesus’s example. “We always make a point of teaching that the choice to be baptized is the first step in preparing for the blessings of the temple,” she said (see Jessica Larsen and Marissa Widdison, “Helping Children Prepare for Baptism,” Liahona, Apr. 2013).
The Church has provided many resources that can assist parents in their responsibility to prepare their children to be baptized and to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Following are several principles and resources parents and teachers might find helpful in preparing children for these sacred ordinances.
Part of preparing spiritually is striving to understand and live what we teach. When we as parents personally study the doctrine of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost, we will be able to testify and teach from our own experience.
Study Resources and Activities, Then Make a Plan
The scriptures, talks by General Authorities, manuals, music, videos, magazine articles, and stories (especially in the Friend magazine) are some of the resources that would be especially useful in preparing our children for baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. All of these can be accessed on LDS.org by typing in “baptism” and “gift of the Holy Ghost” in the search box.
Learn and Share Together
We can talk to our children and find out what they know and what questions they have. For children to really understand the significance of what we are teaching, they need to be actively involved in the learning. We can help them search and study relevant scriptures and words of latter-day prophets, see examples of what we are teaching by using visuals and videos, and give them opportunities to share their thoughts and feelings about what they are learning. Teaching, No Greater Call gives ideas for interactive, engaged learning.
Look for Teaching Opportunities
Opportunities to teach our children can come in casual conversations, as we work with them, or in more planned teaching moments. If we are attentive we can turn many of our children’s experiences into teaching moments. Our children will treasure the times we take to study and learn with them. One woman recalled her father taking her aside each week for two months before she turned eight to teach her and prepare her for baptism. She said, “I will never forget the love I felt from my dad as he spent that time with me.”
As a Primary presidency we echo the words of Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who, when urging parents to prepare their children for the sacred baptismal ordinance, said, “Teach of its significance so that their baptism will be impressed upon their spiritual memory for the rest of their lives” (“The Covenant of Baptism: To Be in the Kingdom and of the Kingdom,” Oct. 2000 general conference).