RICK - How can someone join the church without meeting with the missionaries?

JOEL - That can or should only happen if you're an 8 year old child who was raised in the church. Otherwise, all prospective converts must be taught the investigator lessons by the missionaries so they can learn the gospel and understand the doctrines, teachings, and commandments that members are expected to follow. The missionaries can help the prospective member understand the repentence process and the plan of salvation and what it means to be a member of God's kingdom on earth.

The following list from the Church Handbook describes what needs to be done before baptism:

1. "And again, by way of commandment to the church concerning the manner of baptism—All those who humble themselves before God, and desire to be baptized, and come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits, and witness before the church that they have truly repented of all their sins, and are willing to take upon them the name of Jesus Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end, and truly manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins, shall be received by baptism into his church." (Doctrine and Covenants 20:37)

2. Have a firm testimony of Jesus Christ and His gospel.

3. Be taught all the missionary discussions.

4. Attend Sunday meetings and feel a unity with Church members.

5. Be found worthy of baptism and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership.

6. Meet with the Bishop of his ward.

The missionary program has a very well developed series of gospel lessons that teach all these things in a logical and systematic method, so the investigator knows exactly what must be done and learned to become a member.

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