CUP Undergraduate Research


The Water, the Words, and a Little Bit More: An In-Depth Look at Christian and Mormon Baptism for the Purpose of Pastoral Care

Date of Award

Spring 4-1-2018

Document Type

Restricted Access Thesis


College of Arts & Sciences



Degree Name

Theology, BA

First Advisor

Phillip L. Brandt, Ph.D.


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints practices baptism in a very similar way to Christian traditions. They use water, just like Christianity, and they use the same words as Christian baptisms—both traditions will recite the phrase, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” However, as a pastor in the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, I will baptize any LDS convert that joins my congregation. I will do this because the LDS Church, despite its similarities to Christianity, is not considered a Christian body.

Major key terms that need definition are: LDS Church, Mormon Church, vicarious baptism, liturgy, orthodoxy, denominations, traditions. The LDS Church and the Mormon Church are synonymous and are used interchangeably. Vicarious baptism is a practice in the LDS Church in which someone volunteers are baptized for a deceased person. Liturgy is the structure and organizational pattern for a church service. Canon is defined as the authoritative texts used by a religious group. A denomination is a recognized independent branch of the Christian Church. “Traditions” and “denominations” are used synonymously in this thesis.

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