Attn: Catholics and Mormons

My brother has to write a compare and contrast paper on LDS and Catholic baptisms.

I told him the best way to find the facts is ask members of those two churches. So I was wondering if anyone could comment on the differences and the meaning between those churches baptisms.

He also wants to know why LDS submerge the person while Catholics sprinkle water, and is this important or is this just how it's done.


I am an ex-mormon who is now catholic. However, if he is doing a paper this is not the place to be. Talk to the leadership of the churches as they will give better answers. Plus many members are misinformed or misguided.

When my son was baptised last November I had to take classes first. It was eye opening. There is a lot of history reguarding this sacrament.

Btw the physical method is not important.

Here is info for ya though from the catholic perspective.

Latin-rite Catholics are usually baptized by infusion (pouring)

Immersion (dunking) and sprinkling are also valid ways to baptize

That the early Church permitted pouring instead of immersion is demonstrated by the Didache, a Syrian liturgical manual that was widely circulated among the churches in the first few centuries of Christianity, perhaps the earliest Christian writing outside the New Testament.

The Didache was written around A.D. 70 and, though not inspired, is a strong witness to the sacramental practice of Christians in the apostolic age.

In its seventh chapter, the Didache reads, "Concerning baptism, baptize in this manner: Having said all these things beforehand, baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit in living water [that is, in running water, as in a river]. If there is no living water, baptize in other water; and, if you are not able to use cold water, use warm. If you have neither, pour water three times upon the head in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit." These instructions were composed either while some of the apostles and disciples were still alive or during the next generation of Christians, and they represent an already established custom.

Even today practical difficulties can render immersion nearly or entirely impossible for some individuals: for example, people with certain medical conditions--the bedridden; quadriplegics; individuals with tracheotomies (an opening into the airway in the throat) or in negative pressure ventilators (iron lungs). Again, those who have recently undergone certain procedures (such as open-heart surgery) cannot be immersed, and may not wish to defer baptism until their recovery (for example, if they are to undergo further procedures).

Other difficulties arise in certain environments. For example, immersion may be nearly or entirely impossible for desert nomads or Eskimos. Or consider those in prison--not in America, where religious freedom gives prisoners the right to be immersed if they desire--but in a more hostile setting, such as a Muslim regime, where baptisms must be done in secret, without adequate water for immersion.

What are we to do in these and similar cases? Shall we deny people the sacrament because immersion is impractical or impossible for them?

Then there is the artistic evidence. Much of the earliest Christian artwork depicts baptism--but not baptism by immersion! If the recipient of the sacrament is in a river, he is always shown standing in the river while water is poured over his head from a cup or shell. Tile mosaics in ancient churches, paintings in the catacombs, designs on ordinary household objects like cups and spoons, engravings on marble--it is always baptism by pouring. Baptisteries in early cemeteries are clear witnesses to baptisms by infusion. The entire record of the early Church--as shown in the New Testament, in other writings, and in monumental evidence--indicates the mode of baptism was not restricted to immersion.

Other archaeological evidence confirms the same thing. An early Christian baptistery was found in a church in Jesus' hometown of Nazareth, yet this baptistery, which dates from the second century, was too small and narrow in which to immerse a person.

Cherrypicker thanks for taking the time to write, good info

You are welcome. I hope it wasn't too long. Oh, I realised I wrote much about the method, but there is so much meaning behind the sacrament that catholics teach that I didn't cover. Did you want that to?

Yea, any information would be appreciated

i wouldn't bother asking lay members of each sect, they can't help you much. From my personal experience, I've never found a Mormon who could answer even half of my questions about their religion. So contact a minister from each, that would probably be better

The Mormon clergy is all lay, so most of them will likely not know much more about things than an average member. There are several scholars in the church, however, who have quite extensive knowledge and whose works are readily available for anyone to find.

I'm wondering, JasonH, which half of the questions you have that no Mormon has been able to answer.....


I can't speak for Mormons, but Catholicism is hardly a sect. The Catholic Church is the one true church that Christ formed. If you consider that a sect, then you have some major issues to iron out...

Bludhall, believe what you wish. You are hardly a font of authentic historical information.

That being said, I have a great affection for the Orthodox Church's...

"Cathlicism lost alot of its supposed apostlicv authority"

You know, the more I think about this, the more amusing it is. You see, in Mat 16:18, Jesus himself tells us that His Church will never fail:

"And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

And yet, you seem to think something that Christ promised was actually not kept.

That's a very interesting point of view, and to be honest, you're the first person that I have come across to make that claim.

That makes me wonder (I honestly don't know). What is your background? Were you raised Christian, and if so, Protestant, Catholic or Orthodox? In what way do you identify yourself now?

i pretty much have to agree with what Bludhall was saying. Although the Catholic Church is very old, the Ethiopian church is just as old, i forget what its called. Not to mention that the Catholic Church of today isn't really even the same thing as the original Catholic Church, or the Catholic Church of 1000 years ago. You might as well say that the modern nation of Italy is the same thing as the Roman Empire

Ethiopian church is known as the ethopian coptic church.

Bludhall, why the avoidance of my question? It's easy to sit there and pick other people's beliefs apart.

At least rooster, he's like the Russians in WWII... he will stand up and tell you exactly what he believes with a "Bring it" attitude.

You seem to be more like the French...running away before the fight has even started.

As for you Jason, sticking with my WWII analogy, you are like the Poles. They tried to put up a fight, but never even had a chance. In all of our pervious debates, time and time again, you relied on other people to bail you out. I suggest you do some more study before you try it again, son.

who were the pointlessly condescending people in WW2 Kolbe?

The Catholic Church isn't THE church. it is one of many, and it can't claim to be the oldest. You can kick and scream about it if you like, i don't care

"and upon this rock I will build my church"

Jesus was speaking of himself when he said "this rock".
He named Peter "Petras", which meant "little rock".

"Jesus was speaking of himself when he said "this rock".
He named Peter "Petras", which meant "little rock"."

Not so fast, my friend!

As Greek scholars (even non-Catholic ones) admit, the words petros and petra were synonyms in first century Greek. They meant "small stone" and "large rock" in some ancient Greek poetry, centuries before the time of Christ, but that distinction had disappeared from the language by the time Matthew's Gospel was rendered in Greek.

The difference in meaning can only be found in Attic Greek, but the New Testament was written in Koine entirely different dialect. In Koine Greek, both petros and petra simply meant "rock." If Jesus had wanted to call Simon a small stone, the Greek lithos would have been used.

FAB, you might be interested in reading the remainder of that article I posted above. It deals with the Aramaic, and the words we were discussing:

"We know that Jesus spoke Aramaic because some of his words are preserved for us in the Gospels. Look at Matthew 27:46, where he says from the cross, 'Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?' That isn't Greek; it's Aramaic, and it means, 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'

"What's more," I said, "in Paul's epistles--four times in Galatians and four times in 1 Corinthians--we have the Aramaic form of Simon's new name preserved for us. In our English Bibles it comes out as Cephas. That isn't Greek. That's a transliteration of the Aramaic word Kepha (rendered as Kephas in its Hellenistic form).

"And what does Kepha mean? It means a large, massive stone, the same as petra. (It doesn't mean a little stone or a pebble--the Aramaic word for that is evna.) What Jesus said to Simon in Matthew 16:18 was this: 'You are Kepha, and on this kepha I will build my Church.'

"When you understand what the Aramaic says, you see that Jesus was equating Simon and the rock; he wasn't contrasting them. We see this vividly in some modern English translations, which render the verse this way: 'You are Rock, and upon this rock I will build my church.' In French one word, pierre, has always been used both for Simon's new name and for the rock."

For a few moments the missionary seemed stumped. It was obvious he had never heard such a rejoinder. His brow was knit in thought as he tried to come up with a counter. Then it occurred to him.

"Wait a second," he said. "If kepha means the same as petra, why don't we read in the Greek, 'You are Petra, and on this petra I will build my Church'? Why, for Simon's new name, does Matthew use a Greek word, Petros, which means something quite different from petra?"

"Because he had no choice," I said. "Greek and Aramaic have different grammatical structures. In Aramaic you can use kepha in both places in Matthew 16:18. In Greek you encounter a problem arising from the fact that nouns take differing gender endings.

"You have masculine, feminine, and neuter nouns. The Greek word petra is feminine. You can use it in the second half of Matthew 16:18 without any trouble. But you can't use it as Simon's new name, because you can't give a man a feminine name--at least back then you couldn't. You have to change the ending of the noun to make it masculine. When you do that, you get Petros, which was an already-existing word meaning rock.

"I admit that's an imperfect rendering of the Aramaic; you lose part of the play on words. In English, where we have 'Peter' and 'rock,' you lose all of it. But that's the best you can do in Greek."

Beyond the grammatical evidence, the structure of the narrative does not allow for a downplaying of Peter's role in the Church. Look at the way Matthew 16:15-19 is structured. After Peter gives a confession about the identity of Jesus, the Lord does the same in return for Peter. Jesus does not say, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are an insignificant pebble and on this rock I will build my Church. . . . I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven." Jesus is giving Peter a three-fold blessing, including the gift of the keys to the kingdom, not undermining his authority. To say that Jesus is downplaying Peter flies in the face of the context. Jesus is installing Peter as a form of chief steward or prime minister under the King of Kings by giving him the keys to the kingdom. As can be seen in Isaiah 22:22, kings in the Old Testament appointed a chief steward to serve under them in a position of great authority to rule over the inhabitants of the kingdom. Jesus quotes almost verbatum from this passage in Isaiah, and so it is clear what he has in mind. He is raising Peter up as a father figure to the household of faith (Is. 22:21), to lead them and guide the flock (John 21:15-17). This authority of the prime minister under the king was passed on from one man to another down through the ages by the giving of the keys, which were worn on the shoulder as a sign of authority. Likewise, the authority of Peter has been passed down for 2000 years by means of the papacy.

FAB, I would love to hear your view on the posts above!

Yes, the distinction in meaning does exist in Koine Greek.

Here's another internet discussion on the subject, with people arguing both sides: Is Peter the Rock?

Jesus gave the keys of heaven to all his followers, not just Peter.
Matthew 18:18-20
"I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."

Neither Peter nor the Pope ever had any more authority than that.