https://www.thechurchnews.com/leaders-a ... inar-50222
Specifically, this part (text bolded by me):
When I was on my mission back in the late 80's, the discussions we used instructed us to challenge the investigator to baptism on the second discussion. In fact, we were supposed to try and set a baptismal date at that point (this was laid out very specifically in the discussion). Now, to be fair, it didn't happen in the first discussion but it happened very early on and I was always very uncomfortable pushing our investigators towards baptism so early in the process. So it doesn't surprise me that some missionaries (in their misplaced zeal) would challenge investigators even earlier than that. I recognize that the missionary discussions have changed a great deal since my time but it does seem just a trifle disingenuous of Elder Ballard to say "Church leaders don't know where these practices began..." when they only have to look at the discussions themselves to answer the question.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.”
Church leaders don’t know where these practices began, but “it was never our intention to invite people to be baptized before they had learned something about the gospel, felt the Holy Ghost, and had been properly prepared to accept a lifelong commitment to follow Jesus Christ,” said President Ballard. “Our retention rates will dramatically increase when people desire to be baptized because of the spiritual experiences they are having rather than feeling pressured into being baptized by our missionaries.”
Okay....mini rant over.