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WENDY - If a woman has an abortion before repenting and before baptism or even receiving the gospel is she allowed to proceed with baptism and be forgiven for the sin which she has commited? Is she obligated to reveal this during a baptism interview?

JOEL - Yes to both questions. Normally before the baptismal interview the missionaries will have determined as they are teaching the convert if there have been any such things done during her life that require repentance. So by the time the woman gets to the interview these things should already be known and she will already have repented for them. Confession of such things is very important in order to fully experience the wonderful blessings of forgiveness that comes with repentance. And she doesn't even need to tell the missionaries any details about it, because she will have the opportunity to confidentially talk with the mission president about it during her baptismal interview. Normally, those who have had abortions in the past will have an interview with the mission president before baptism. During the baptismal interview the prospective convert is asked:

"Have you ever participated in an abortion?"

If she answers yes, the mission president will talk to her about it and perhaps ask if she now feels it was wrong to do it and if she believes she has repented for it. If they are convinced she is remorseful for doing it, and understands the seriousness of the sin, and are satisfied that she would not do it again, she would be allowed to be baptized, providing she has answered all the other baptismal interview questions correctly.

Understand that she is not just being interviewd for a job or to become a member of a club. The people involved want her to be baptized to join God's kingdom and be free and clean before God of past sins. Baptism is performed specifically for people like her who have committed such sins in the past and require them to be washed away by the baptismal ordinance. They will do everything they can for her in a loving and confidential way to make sure it happens.

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