While confirmation is a coming-of-age event for young people in many denominations, other churches - particularly those that do not believe in infant baptism - have different ways of accepting youths as mature church members.

The Rev. Stanley Smith of First Baptist Church, said Baptists believe in "baptism of believers." A child is eligible to be baptized when he has reached the "age of accountability," where he can accept faith in Christ for himself."That can happen at a variety of ages," said the Rev. Smith. Sometimes it's in third grade. He wasn't baptized until seventh grade, and some people wait until adulthood.

Baptists are an independent group and the procedure isn't dictated by the denomination, he said. "What happens and how it happens is very much up to each individual church and each individual pastor."

In the American Baptist church, he said, those who want to be baptized usually go through a "pastor's class" lasting a few weeks to go over the fundamentals of the faith and "make sure they do in fact know what they're doing.

"We usually do it during Lent and then have a baptismal service on Palm Sunday.

"The emphasis in our church is on the personal choice and personal commitment that comes prior to baptism," he said. "We don't think baptism as a ritual is the key to salvation. The commitment of the heart is the key to salvation. Baptism confirms and seals that in the life of the church. But the person is saved at the moment he commits his heart to the lordship of Jesus."

The Rev. Noel Raven, senior pastor at Salt Lake Christian Center, said Assemblies of God churches do not practice infant baptism or confirmation either. "The procedure of the Assemblies of God is that you cannot become a member until you have been born again, fully converted to the Christian faith.

"We also believe in water baptism by immersion, but we do not believe that in itself is an act of salvation. That is testimony that we have already by faith received salvation through Jesus."

He said there's no specific age when youngsters are baptized. "It is when the child reaches the understanding they personally need the Lord in their life. " When they have received the Lord we interview them and talk with them. We have orientation classes before the baptismal service. We do satisfy ourselves that they are mature enough and have intelligently made that choice."

Baptism is not linked to either the receiving of Communion or to adult voting membership, he said. Children may receive Communion with their families whenever their parents feel they are prepared to do so, he said. A person cannot become a voting member of the congregation until he reaches 18 and his membership application is accepted by the church board.