Latter-day Saint Life

President Ballard Said Missionaries Shouldn't Invite People to Be Baptized Without Feeling the Spirit. Here's Why.


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.”

Story by Sarah Jane Weaver, lead image from Church News
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