There is nothing sacred about the water in a baptismal font; it is not like "holy water" recognized in some religions. Shortly before a baptismal service is started, the font is filled with warm water, usually from a water spigot within the font. Enough water is drawn that that a person can be fully immersed in the water. This normally means thirty to thirty-six inches of water, which is enough to lay a person back so they can be fully immersed. After the baptismal service is over, the water is fully drained from the font.
In areas where there is no baptismal font available, Mormons believe that converts can be baptized in any body of water that is large enough for them to be fully immersed. It is not unusual in rural or less-developed areas for individuals to be baptized in ponds, lakes, streams, rivers, or the ocean.
Baptismal fonts in temples differ from those in meeting houses and are employed for the ordinance of baptism for the dead. These structures follow biblical guidelines for temple construction and are huge lavers mounted on the backs of twelve sculptures of oxen.