Baptism is Required

Christ’s simple command to “follow me” was given repeatedly. (See, Matt; 8:22; Matt. 9:9; Matt. 16:24; Mark 2:14; Mark 10:21; Luke 9:23; John 1:43; John 12:26; among many others.)

Christ showed the way, and as part of that He was baptized to “fulfill all righteousness” (Matt. 3:15). It was only after Christ was baptized that the Father commended Jesus and said He was “well pleased.” (Matt. 3:13-17.)

Christ also had His disciples baptize His followers. (John 4:1.)

Christ spoke to Saul of Tarsus on the Road to Damascus and converted him by that contact. (Acts 9:1-6.) Following his conversion, Saul was healed of blindness, renamed Paul, and immediately baptized. (Acts 9:11-18.)

Paul tied baptism to resurrection. (Rom. 6:3-4.) He declared that to be baptized is to “put on Christ.” (Gal. 3:27.) There is only “one faith” and it is in the “one Lord” whom we worship, and it requires “one baptism” to be included in the body of believers. (Eph. 4:5.)

Peter explained that baptism saves us. (1 Peter. 3:21.)

Christians who follow Christ will all be baptized.

If you have not been baptized, there are those who have authority to administer the ordinance who will travel to you. The ordinance is free, and the service is provided without any charge or expectation of any gift or donation. If you are interested you can make a request at this site:

Born of Water (bornofwater.org)

Rebaptism

Edwin Wilde provided me some excerpts taken from his review of 178 early Mormon journals mentioning the widespread practice of rebaptism. Here is some, but not all, of the information he uncovered:

From the journal of Milo Andrus, (1814-1893): “In the spring of 1854, I was sent to Saint Louis to preside over the stake there. Stayed there one year, rebaptized and confirmed about 800 saints.”

From the journal of Elizabeth Brotherton: “March 19 1851 Mr. Pratt was appointed on a mission to the Pacific Coast to organize and set in order the Saints that had gone there not knowing where the church would locate. They went in the ship Brooklyn. I went with him to San Francisco, we traveled in company with A. Lyman, and C.C. Rich when they were going to San Bernerdino with a company of Saints. After a tiresome journey we arrived in San Francisco. Mr. Pratt remained there and rebaptized quite a number in about two months time.”

From William Clayton’s diary: “May 9, 1841 Joseph preached on his side on baptism for the dead (see Record.) Afterwards a number was baptized both for remission of sins and for the dead. I was baptized first for myself and then for my Grandfather Thomas and Grandmother Ellen Clayton, Grandmother Mary Chritebly and Aunt Elizabeth Beurdwood.” (Clayton was previously baptized October 21, 1837.)

From the journal of Warren Foote: “24th. [March 1842] This is the day that I have appointed to go down into the waters of baptism and thereby fulfill the covenant I made to the Lord when I was near death’s door. The meeting was at Elder Jacob Myers house about one mile from Father’s. I walked down there and in company with Amos Kimmins, Franklin Allen, and his wife, Samuel Myers, and Lovina Myers, was baptized by Daniel A. Miller, President of this branch, between five and six o’clock P.M. The foregoing named persons, had been baptized before, and now felt to renew their covenants. As it was concluded to have an evening meeting I thought that I would stay to it. The wind blew up from the north very cool and in going home, I took cold.”

Other entries in Warren Foote’s journal: “8th. [May 1842] Sunday. A very large congregation assembled to meeting. Sidney Rigdon preached. In the afternoon there were many baptized in the font in the basement of the Temple and forty three in the Mississippi River. They were mostly rebaptisms.” “[MAY, 1844] 26th. Attended meeting at Bro. J. Clark’s. After meeting I rebaptized Elihu Allen, Joseph Clark, and John B. Carpenter. We ordained E. Allen [a] priest, and Joseph Clark [a] teacher. It is so wet that we cannot plant corn.” “[JUNE, 1844] 9th. Sunday. My wife with five others were rebaptized by Elder J. B. Carpenter.”

From the autobiography of Joseph Holbrook: “On Saturday, January 5, 1833…I told Brother Lyons and Rich I would like to be baptized if they thought I was worthy as I had brought my clothes for that purpose. So after breakfast I was baptized with my Aunt Phebe Angel by Leonard Rich…My wife was taken very sick on the 7th of July [1842] and grew worse until she died, being taken sick nine days (July 16, 1842), aged 37 years, 11 months and two days…After my wife’s death, I was rebaptized in the Mississippi River by Brigham Young.”

From the autobiography of Joseph Hovey: “I, Joseph, for the first time bowed myself before God in secret and implored his mercy and asked him if what I had read out [of] the Book of Mormon was true and if the man, Joseph Smith, was the one who translated these marvelous records. I, Joseph, asked God for a testimony by the Holy Spirit and truly I got what I asked for and more abundantly. Therefore, my wife, Martha, and I did truly rejoice in the truth we had found in those records. We also searched the Bible daily and found that it did corroborate with the Book of Mormon. We were, therefore, born again and could see the kingdom. Hence, July 4, 1839, we were baptized with water and received the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. One brother, Mr. Draper, baptized us…there was a committee appointed by the God of Israel to superintend those houses in the fall of 1840. The fund to commence the building of the temple were raised through tithing, that is every man put in a tenth of his property and thereafter his earnings every tenth day. …I, Joseph, did prosper well in good health but my wife, Martha, was not so well as myself. I, Joseph, did go to work in the stone quarry and I labored exceedingly for the Nauvoo House. I got out several hundred feet of stone during the season. I also worked on the Nauvoo temple cutting stone. In the meanwhile, my wife, Martha, was sick, even abortion took place and she was very low. But she was healed by going to the baptismal font and was immersed for her health and baptized for her dead.”

This is from the journal/autobiography of William Huntington Sr.: “In 1833, I found the Book of Mormon. I read the book, believed in the book that it was what it was represented to be. My mind thus being prepared to receive the gospel accordingly, in the month of April 1835, myself and my wife both united with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. …April 11th, 1841  Joseph [Smith] and Sidney [Rigdon] baptized each other for the remission of their sins as this order was then instituted in the Church. Accordingly, on the 27th of April [1841], I was baptized for the remission of my sins. Also, on the same day, was baptized for my brother Hyrum Huntington.”

This is from the autobiography of Benjamin F. Johnson: “In the spring of 1835 before I was baptized, my mother and all her children met at the house of my sister, Delcena Sherman, to receive from Patriarch Joseph Smith, Sr., our patriarchal blessings. He blessed all according to age until be came to Joseph E. and myself, when he placed his hands first upon my head. My mother told him I was the youngest, but he said that mattered not–to me was the first blessing; and in blessing me, among other great and glorious things, he told me the Lord would call me to do the work of brother Seth, who had been called away by death. In this promise there was to me more joy than ever before I had known; my dear brother was not to be robbed of his blessings, and if I could only live faithfully his work would be done, and I should do it for him. I felt this was the greatest boon the Lord could bestow upon me. …Soon after this, I overstepped my father’s objections and was baptized by Elder Lyman Johnson… On the 13th of October [1838] we crossed the Mississippi at Louisiana, and began to hear of great troubles among the Mormons at Far West, and we were warned of the great danger of proceeding, but our camp was only stirred to greater desire to go on. Here I remembered my former purpose to renew my covenant by baptism, and as one of my associates, D. D. McArthur, was to be baptized, I went with him and was baptized by Henry Hariman. [Harriman]”
From the autobiography of Joel H. Johnson: “At the October [1856] Conference the heads of the Church preached the necessity of a reformation among the saints by confessing their own sins against God and their brethren and forsaking the same and by forgiving the sins of others and making restitution for all wrongs as much as possible. This glorious work of reformation and restitution soon commenced in Great Salt Lake City and spread with rapidity to all the branches of the Church; and all who confessed and restored were rebaptized for the last time for the remission of their sins.” “Thursday, September 18th [1856], I started with my wife Susan and little child accompanied by my son Nephi, with an ox team to go and visit our friends at Summit Creek in Utah County, and also in Salt Lake City, and attend the October conference, and to purchase and drive home a few sheep. We arrived at Summit Creek and Friday the 26th, and found our friends as well. We had a good visit with them and started on Tuesday the 30th for Salt Lake City, and arrived onFriday the 3rd of October, attending conference and done our business and started homeward on Friday the 10th. On our way we called at Lake City in Utah County and purchased 26 sheep, one of which died at Chicken Creek. We arrived safely home with the rest on the 25th and found all well, and was rebaptized on Wednesday, 29th [October 1856], at Fort Johnson by Issac C. Height, President of the Stake of Cedar City.”
The following comes from the autobiography/journal of Lyman O. LittleField: “My mother lingered for four or five days after my arrival. In the warmest terms she expressed her thankfulness to her Heavenly Father that I had come to be with her through her sickness. I conversed with her freely concerning the doctrines and principles of the Church, in relation to all of which she expressed her firm belief, and spoke of her great desire to get well that she might renew her covenant by being rebaptized. She felt that this would be a great satisfaction inasmuch as she had been absent from the Church for several years. She said this had been her desire for a long time, but she had put it off from time to time. “But now,” she said, “if the Lord permits me to get well, I will attend to it, and nothing shall hinder me.'” Also there was this not later in the journal: “While there [Kirtland] I made the acquaintance of Brother Luman Heath and wife and rebaptized her mother in the Shagrin River for the renewal of her covenant, according to her desire. I also made the acquaintance of Brother and Sister Kent and many others.”
From the autobiography of Nathan T. Porter “My brother Lyman Wight Porter, took passage on… the Union Pacific, to the state of Missouri to visit our eldest sister Melinda (Malinda) Chipman, whom we had not seen for many years… A disposal was soon made of the property she had for sale, so that she, with her son Sanford, was on their way with him for Salt Lake Valley… She soon renewed her covenants by rebaptism and received her endowments in which she had much joy and consolation.”
This from an early excerpt of Parley Pratt’s autobiography: “After we had arrived on the ground of Great Salt Lake City we pitched our tents by the side of a spring of water; and, after resting a little, I devoted my time chiefly to building temporary houses, putting in crops, and obtaining fuel from the mountains. …Having repented of our sins and renewed our covenants, President John Taylor and myself administered the ordinances of baptism, etc., to each other and to our families, according to the example set by the President and pioneers who had done the same on entering the valley. These solemnities took place with us and most of our families, November 28, 1847.”

This is from a letter from Parley Pratt to Brigham Young, August 28, 1851; while he was in San Francisco: “Since I have arrived here I have been diligent in the duties of my calling every hour, and have called upon God for His Spirit to help me with all the energy I possessed, and without ceasing. The result is, the Spirit of the Lord God has been upon me continually, in such light, and joy, and testimony as I have seldom experienced. Brothers A. Lyman and C. C. Rich have been here with me some of the time; we have called together the old members and others, and preached repentance and reformation of life. We have re-baptized many of them, and have re-organized the Church.”

From pg 118-119 of the journal/autobiography of Joseph Lee Robinson: “Now, prior to this, after we had fairly gotten up there we called a meeting of the people for it was a nice inviting country and a good many had come upon the lands. We talked to them some, inquiring if they were able and agreeable that I should be their president and bishop and that I should select two of their members and set them apart as my counselors and would they uphold us by their prayers and faith. I wished them to make it manifest by the show of the right hand and there was a clear vote, yes… Our ward was bounded at that time north of Cherry’s settlement and south of Weber River, a very large ward, but a few people. Suffice it to say, we met together often and preached and prayed and sang songs and sometimes, spoke in tongues. We were counseled to be rebaptized as we had been a long time traveling and all that wished to be Saints they should make it manifest. Consequently, there was a number baptized on the first of July, 1849 by John Harris, Joseph L. Robinson, Susan and Laurinda M., two of his wives, Daniel A. Miller, Hannah Miller, and Jacob, Lovica, James S., Susanna, Millers, and John and Olive Garner, Seth Dustin, Susanna Harris, William Harmison, all of which were confirmed by Joseph L. Robinson and Daniel A. Miller.  Also on September 9th, 1849, there were baptized by Joseph L. Robinson, Maria Robinson, Oliver Lee, Ebenezer J., Anna Maria, Robinsons, William P. and Sidney R. Burton, Elizabeth, David and Alma Hess, and Clarica Jane Miller all of which were confirmed by Daniel A. Miller and John Harris. Also onSeptember 9th were baptized by Daniel A. Miller, Benjamin and Rosanna Matilda Cross, Joel Ricks, Eleanor, Louis, and Sally Ann Ricks and Amanda Tomkins—all confirmed by Joseph L. Robinson and John Harris.”  Also there is this excerpt from that same book, pgs 420-421: “November 1891. Aunt Jane Slade died November 21st, 1891. She is gone. We tried to save her from death. The Lord told me he would forgive her and that I might bless her and if she would believe she should remain for a season and enjoy her new home and the society of her friends and have time to reflect and prepare to meet her God, We were really in hopes we could get her well enough that she could come and stop with us awhile, that we might get sufficient faith in her that she might get rebaptized, renew her covenants and baptized for her health. ”

From the autobiography/journal of Allen Russel: “Some time in the Summer, I think before Joseph Smith the Prophet and his brother Hiram were killed in Carthage Jail in 1844. Father, Mother, my sister Sally, my brother Horace, and myself, went to the creek where Patriarch John Smith was baptizing, and we were all were re-baptized by Patriarch John Smith and confirmed by his son George A. Smith at waters edge. Baptized about May 10, and confirmed some time in the month of June.” Also from the same journal: “Thursday [May 1899] 11 – I did work for William and was baptized for my health and a man for Brother Ashman, then I was administered too.” Also he wrote: “Tuesday [October 1899] 24 – We went to the temple and Brother Ashman set as a witness. I was baptized for my health and administered to Horace Thorton being mouth and Brother Van Stewart baptizing me.” Still later he recorded: “Saturday [February 1906] 10 – I received $1.50 for temple worker. Preached the gospel to Ted Davis. He said he had been baptized but did not think it would hurt him to be again and said he desired to have his wife sealed to him. I preached to Albert Day and he said he was convinced of his error.”
Daniel Tyler recorded some teachings that he learned from Joseph Smith: “About the time the doctrine of rebaptism for members in the Church was first revealed in Nauvoo, Joseph, the great seer and revelator to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, made some remarks on the subject: On one occasion he read, among other scriptures, Hebrews, 6th chapter, 1st and 2nd verses, as follow: Therefore, leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. The Prophet said the first verse should read: “Therefore, not leaving the first principles of the doctrine of Christ, etc.”  This explanation not only made the entire subject of the two verses clear but reconciled them with other scriptures. Notwithstanding Paul is made to say “leaving,” etc., the inference is clear that if the foundation of repentance, baptism and the laying on of hands should be relaid they would have to perform those works over again, as every careful reader of the text must see. This also corroborates a revelation to the Church of Ephesus: Remember, therefore, from whence thou art fallen, and repent and do the first works. All latter-day Saints know that the first works after repentance are baptism and the laying on of hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost. Here we find a presiding elder of a branch or ward of the Church commanded to perform these works over again, under pain of removal if he failed to obey the divine behest. Many more passages might be quoted to the same effect, but these are sufficient for my purpose. Joseph’s translation not only reconciles the text with itself, but also with other scriptures, as already shown, and as was explained by the Prophet.'”
Helen Whitney’s diary recorded: “The evening of the 16th, after witnessing the death of Brother William Gheen, who died at 7 o’clock in the evening, father took Sarah and Sister Winchester to the river and baptized them for their health.”
A statement by Orson Pratt found in the Journal of Discourses 18:156-61: “I will here state that Martin Harris, when he came to this [Utah] Territory a few years ago, was rebaptized, the same as every member of the Church from distant parts is on arriving here. That seems to be a kind of standing ordinance for all Latter-day Saints who emigrate here, from the First Presidency down; all are rebaptized and set out anew by renewing their covenants.”

Come Unto Christ

Immediately before taking Peter, James and John to the Mount of Transfiguration, the Lord prophesied there were “some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.” (Matt. 16:28.) This He fulfilled on the Mount when these three were shown the day of the earth’s transfiguration at His coming. (D&C 63:20-21.) One of the Lord’s gifts to many of His disciples is to show them His coming, judgment of the wicked, and redemption of the righteous.

In the final days of His earthly ministry, He was approached by His disciples in private and asked for an explanation of His coming in glory. The group who approached Him included men and women followers. (Matt. 24:3.) He then told them plainly about His return. We have two restored accounts of His lesson: D&C 45:16-59; and the re-translated version of Matthew 24 (JS-Matthew in the Pearl of Great Price). In both, He refers to “holy places” where His disciples will stand “and shall not be moved.” (D&C 45:32.) They will first be gathered by Christ, who “shall send his angels before him with the great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together the remainder of his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (JS-Matt. 1:37.) These are “they who are ordained out of every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, by the angels to whom is given power over the nations of the earth, to bring as many as will come to the church of the Firstborn.” (D&C 77:11.)

The Lord’s return is always a subject He wants us to keep in mind. All the latter-day events that will mark the time for His return will happen in a single generation. (D&C 45:30; JS-M 1:34.) Therefore, when that generation begins to witness the signs of His coming, they should prepare so the return of the Master does not find them abusing others. (Matt. 24:44-51; JS-Matt. 1:49-55.)

Among the gentiles, the “covenant” will only be established in His church. He defines His church as “whosoever is baptized unto repentance.” (Mosiah 26:22.) More clearly, in our day He has said, “Behold, this is my doctrine—whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same in my church.” (D&C 10:67.) As Christ promised to those living on this land, “But if they will repent and hearken unto my words, and harden not their hearts, I will establish my church among them, and they shall come in unto the covenant and be numbered among this the remnant of Jacob, unto who I have given this land for their inheritance; And they shall assist my people, the remnant of Jacob, and also as many of the house of Israel as shall come, that they may build a city, which shall be called the New Jerusalem.” (3 Ne. 21:22-23.)

Covenants can be broken. By changing the ordinances covenants are broken. (Isa. 24:5.) No organization exists with an intact covenant, but there are messengers the Lord has chosen and sent, preaching and offering the Lord’s covenant through baptism. Salvation is not related to joining an institution, but it is dependent on repentance and receiving baptism at the hands of those He has sent. There is a website where baptism can be requested by one with authority. Baptism can be received even if one chooses to worship with Baptists, Catholics, Presbyterians, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslins, or Mormons. Faith in Christ and covenant with Him does not require anyone to be part of an organization run by men. It requires repentance and faith in Christ.

I am sent as another witness to testify He will return. Signs have been, and are being given both in the heavens and on earth. Today there are “false Christs, and false prophets,” who are doing their work “that, if possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” (JS-Matt. 1:22.) The elect are only protected “according to the covenant.” (JS-Matt. 1:20, 22.) He has authorized baptism as His own covenant to preserve all who receive it. I have seen His return and I know this newly offered baptism will be respected at His return by those who will return with Him. Baptism is offered as a covenant between you and the Lord. There are no institutional demands made upon you as a result of receiving the ordinance. It is an invitation to renew your relationship with Christ and take an act of faith to show Him you keep Him in your heart.

There is a requirement to record on earth so it can be recorded in heaven. (Rev. 20:12; D&C 128:6-9.) Because it must be recorded, the recorder’s clearinghouse allows you to submit your name on-line. The record consists of only a name, without any contact information. These names are kept confidential.

If, on this journey, you find yourself looking for fellowship with like-minded people, the fellowship locator allows you to locate, or announce your own fellowship and invite others to share in worship. These are voluntary associations and anyone can choose to participate.

Every nation, kindred, tongue and people, black and white, male and female, young and old, are invited to be baptized. There is no charge, and you make no commitment to men. You only covenant to follow Christ.

He is aligning events to complete His work, and the signs of His return are being given to this generation. The time will soon come when it will not be possible to receive this invitation any longer. Do not procrastinate the day of your repentance.

New Website Update

On the first day there were baptizers authorized, requests to be baptized submitted and at least one baptism arranged.

To help those desiring to receive baptism, there is now a button that can be used on other sites to refer people to the baptism website. There is more information available at BornOfWater.org. The button has been installed at the top of this site and can be used as an active link back to the Born of Water site. The rate of progress is astonishing to me. There will be other developments as the Lord’s work rolls forward. All of those involved are working as volunteers. There is no central control, and everything should be done by a common spirit and common cause.

Priesthood and Baptism Questions

I’ve been asked in several emails if the recent post titled “Priesthood and Baptism” means I’m advocating changes to the criteria for baptism. At first I thought the inquiries were unnecessary. But now I think I should clarify:

That recent post included the following introduction: “I answered an email from someone who has read the things I have written about priesthood, including the Elijah materials. He was asking about priesthood held by LDS men who were not in a position of leadership, and inquiring whether LDS missionaries could still offer acceptable baptism. Those who have read what I have written will understand the question and my response.”

I thought it would be clear because when I refer to “what I have written” TWICE in the introduction, I wrongly assumed everyone reading that would understand it means what was said before still mattered. The answer was clarifying that a fully conforming missionary could qualify, and would not be disqualified merely by reason of serving an LDS mission at the time they baptized.  It should not be required to rehearse every detail related to every topic every time a simple issue is raised by a question.

I hope this answers these additional inquiries and helps to point out how to read a post.

Priesthood and Baptism

I answered an email from someone who has read the things I have written about priesthood, including the Elijah materials. He was asking about priesthood held by LDS men who were not in a position of leadership, and inquiring whether LDS missionaries could still offer acceptable baptism. Those who have read what I have written will understand the question and my response.

I responded as follows:

_____________________________________________________

In the beginning there was only one, unified priesthood. This is why Joseph commented “all priesthood is Melchizedek, but there are different degrees of it.” (I’m paraphrasing his statement.)

If, therefore, any person has been ordained to any portion of priesthood, they have received in part the original, unified priesthood.

In the end of the world the same priesthood which was in the beginning is to return. Adam prophesied this and Enoch recorded Adam’s prophecy. (Moses 6:7.)  It returns when God’s voice confers it upon a man. (JST Gen. 14:29.) Therefore if a man holds some degree of it, and God confers the rest by His voice from heaven, the ordination is completed and the same priesthood which was in the beginning of the world returns.

The LDS Church is not led by men authorized to offer baptism, but it includes many men who could offer baptism. But the form of baptism is strictly prescribed by the Lord in 3 Ne. 11. He explains His doctrine and then directs that anything more or less than this cometh of evil.

The missionaries are required to compel a confession from prospective converts before baptism that they acknowledge Thomas S. Monson as a prophet. This is in Preach My Gospel. It is the second question asked in the baptismal interview. As long as a missionary conforms to the Lord’s direction in 3 Ne. 11, I see no reason why their baptism would not be acceptable to the Lord. But if they follow the direction in Preach My Gospel, then the baptism would need to be redone. Not because of a lack of authority, but because the ordinance has been corrupted.

Baptism is Mandatory

There is one Lord, only one faith, and only one baptism acceptable to Him. (Eph. 4:5.)

The Lord has a simple doctrine. He explained it directly to those who heard Him at Bountiful. Here is His doctrine:

And this is my doctrine, and it is the doctrine which the Father hath given unto me; and I bear record of the Father, and the Father beareth record of me, and the Holy Ghost beareth record of the Father and me; and I bear record that the Father commandeth all men, everywhere, to repent and believe in me. And whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same shall be saved; and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God. And whoso believeth not in me, and is not baptized, shall be damned. Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and I bear record of it from the Father; and whoso believeth in me believeth in the Father also; and unto him will the Father bear record of me, for he will visit him withfire and with the Holy Ghost. And thus will the Father bear record of me, and theHoly Ghost will bear record unto him of the Father and me; for the Father, and I, and the Holy Ghost are one. And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and become as a little child, and be baptized in my name, or ye can in nowise receive these things. And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and be baptized in my name, and become as a little child, or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God. Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and whoso buildeth upon this buildeth upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them. And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock; but he buildeth upon a sandy foundation, and the gates of hell stand open to receive such when the floods come and the winds beat upon them.  (3 Ne. 11:32-40.)

Baptism must be by immersion. (3 Ne. 11:26: “then shall ye immerse them in the water, and com forth again out of the water.”)

To baptize, a man must have been given authority by Jesus Christ. Christ taught that in the baptismal prayer He required to be recited by anyone performing the ordinance. It establishes the condition that He first directly gives them authority to baptize: “These are the words which ye shall say, calling them by name, saying: Having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.” (3 Ne. 11:24-25.)

Catholics baptize by sprinkling. This is not accepted by the Lord as His because it does not comply with the required pattern.

Baptists may immerse, but do not have authority to baptize given to them by Jesus Christ. This is not accepted as His. 

All the denominations are presently astray. But God still offers baptism.

There are some few authorized by Christ, performing baptism with His authority, teaching the doctrine of Christ, and giving freely an ordinance to any willing to accept the Doctrine of Christ and repent.

God has made Himself directly known to prophets of old. He did so with Abraham (Gen. 15:1); and Jacob/Israel (Gen. 46:2);  and has said He would do so with any authentic prophet (Num. 12:6).

The LDS Church does not offer an acceptable baptism any longer. In the LDS Church’s official publication for their missionaries (who are involved with any baptism of any individual nine years of age or older), they instruct the following is to be included in the missionaries’ Baptismal Interview Questions (see Preach My Gospel, p. 206): “2. Do you believe that [current Church President] is a prophet of God? What does this mean to you?”

The phrasing of the question presumes any generic church president who happens to be “current” is ipso facto “a prophet of God.” The office makes it so. 

It is a church office in LDS theology, and not the calling of the man by God’s own voice. (Contrast with JST Gen. 14:29.)

The baptism offered by LDS Church missionaries is based on an adulteration of Christ’s doctrine, is not effective, and will no longer be accepted by Christ as His. He does, however, require baptism. The acceptable means was outlined in my talk in Phoenix and can be read as a paper on this blog, or the talk can be downloaded here or streamed on YouTube. 

Baptism is necessary. A record is likewise necessary. Baptism is offered freely, without obligation, and without initiating you to follow another man or men. You are free to thereafter worship as you see fit. But it is essential. A record is kept by a central recorder. The website is www.recordersclearinghouse.com. It is a necessary process.

The only condition for baptism is to accept the Doctrine of Christ, set out by Christ in His own words. Christ commanded it be done, and has reiterated that it is to be done anew in our day. We will be disappointed at His coming if we fail to obey.

Necessity of Baptism

There can be no doubt baptism is necessary. As explained in the Book of Mormon:

And now, if the Lamb of God, he being holy, should have need to be baptized by water, to fulfil all righteousness, O then, how much more need have we, being unholy, to be baptized, yea, even by water! And now, I would ask of you, my beloved brethren, wherein the Lamb of God did fulfil all righteousness in being baptized by water? Know ye not that he was holy? But notwithstanding he being holy, he showeth unto the children of men that, according to the flesh he humbleth himself before the Father, and witnesseth unto the Father that he would be obedient unto him in keeping his commandments. Wherefore, after he was baptized with water the Holy Ghost descended upon him in the form of a dove. And again, it showeth unto the children of men the straitness of the path, and the narrowness of the gate, by which they should enter, he having set the example before them. And he said unto the children of men: Follow thou me. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, can we follow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father? And the Father said: Repent ye, repent ye, and be baptized in the name of my Beloved Son. (2 Ne. 31:5-11.)

It is required of us for our salvation because Christ made it so and the scriptures unequivocally state that is the case. There is no question about its necessity. The only question is: is your baptism sufficient as the Lord is preparing for His return? Ask yourself these simple questions: Would you be willing to participate in a rite designed by God to show you have repented? Is there any merit for you to establish a record today to show that you have repented? Do you acknowledge baptism a required sign requested by God for us to perform as a sign of our repentance?

Remember the Lord’s warning in 1831: “I say, hearken unto my voice, lest death shall overtake you; in an hour when ye think not the summer shall be past, and the harvest ended, and your souls not saved.” (D&C 45:2.)

Recall Jeremiah’s vision of the end when the Lord returns again: “Is not the Lord in Zion? is not her king in her? Why have they provoked me to anger with their graven images, and with strange vanities? The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” (Jer. 8:19-20.) “Graven images” can include anything and anyone which offers itself up as an object of devotion supplanting Christ. “Strange vanities” include well reasoned arguments fashioned to build up false faith or tear down true faith. Either one will leave us unsaved at the coming harvest if we do not repent, and accept the terms Christ established, including baptism.

Please consider whether the day may come when you may want to have been baptized to show your current repentance by the act Christ established as necessary for everyone’s salvation. Even His own.

Rebaptism

A minister named Nephi was preaching in the years preceding Christ’s visit to the Americas. He was clearly authorized by God, as we read in Mormon’s abridgment. This is the description: “we know our record to be true, for behold, it was a just man who did keep the record—for he truly did many miracles in the name of Jesus; and there was not any man who could do a miracle in the name of Jesus save he were cleansed every whit from his iniquity—“ (3 Ne. 8:1.)

Thus passed away the thirty and second year also. And Nephi did cry unto the people in the commencement of the thirty and third year; and he did preach unto them repentance and remission of sins. Now I would have you to remember also, that there were none who were brought unto repentance who were not baptized with water. Therefore, there were ordained of Nephi, men unto this ministry, that all such as should come unto them should be baptized with water, and this as a witness and a testimony before God, and unto the people, that they had repented and received a remission of their sins. And there were many in the commencement of this year that were baptized unto repentance; and thus the more part of the year did pass away.” (3 Ne. 7:23-26.)

Two years later Christ visited the same people Nephi had been preaching, ministering and baptizing. However, once Christ appeared, the earlier, authoritative baptisms were redone. Here is the record of what Christ required: “And Nephi [that same man] arose and went forth, and bowed himself before the Lord and did kiss his feet. And the Lord commanded him that he should arise. And he arose and stood before him. And the Lord said unto him: I give unto you power that ye shall baptize this people when I am again ascended into heaven. And again the Lord called others, and said unto them likewise; and he gave unto them power to baptize. And he said unto them: On this wise shall ye baptize; and there shall be no disputations among you. Verily I say unto you, that whoso repenteth of his sins through your words, and desireth to be baptized in my name, on this wise shall ye baptize them—Behold, ye shall go down and stand in the water, and in my name shall ye baptize them. And now behold, these are the words which ye shall say, calling them by name, saying: Having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. And then shall ye immerse them in the water, and come forth again out of the water.” (3 Ne. 11: 19-26.)

Nephi had authority to baptize before Christ came. When Christ came, He gave Nephi the authority to baptize again. Nephi baptized a group of people, then he baptized the same group of people a second time – he rebaptized them.  Rebaptism is a sound gospel principle and is practiced every time God sends a message. The correct way to accept and proceed is to renew baptism, just like these people in the Book of Mormon did.

BFHG, Part 2

At the time Joseph and Oliver were baptized, they had no authority from heaven with which to confer the Holy Ghost. (JS-H 1: 70.) They had no ordinance available to them other than baptism. (JS-H 1: 70-71.) They performed the ordinance as instructed. But afterwards, without any authority to confer upon one another the Holy Ghost, they nevertheless had the gift of the Holy Ghost poured out upon them. (JS-H 1: 73.) This was not merely a temporary visit. It lingered thereafter with them so they could understand the scriptures in the manner they were intended to be understood when these scriptures were first inspired by the Holy Ghost in the minds of the prophets who wrote them. (JS-H 1: 74.)

The Holy Ghost can come and visit with a person, but not tarry with them. (D&C 130: 23.) If it comes and visits with them, then it is said the person has “received” the Holy Ghost. This kind of visit is conditional. It is dependent upon the worthiness and desire of the recipient. If they “grieve” the spirit by misbehavior, it will depart from them. If you read general conference talks discussing this issue, you will find this is the form of Holy Ghost received by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For the Holy Ghost to become a constant companion which tarries, it is said to be “the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Because the one with this endowment has received a gift from God, and it is given to them by God to be theirs.

The ordinance given when converts are confirmed members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints includes these words: “And I say unto you, receive the Holy Ghost.” This is the formula given in the priesthood manuals of the church, and is included in the General Handbook of Instructions. It is an admonition from the church elder to the convert. The obligation to then search for and obtain a visit from the Holy Ghost is imposed on the convert.

When Christ was speaking of the Lamanites and their baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost (3 Ne. 9: 20), He was speaking not merely of the Holy Ghost descending and not tarrying with them (D&C 130: 23), but of their possession of the gift which endured thereafter. (Hel. 5: 48-50.)

I was baptized on September 9, 1973 at Kittery Point Beach on the Atlantic coast by Elder Brian Black. The service was presided over by Brother Jim Mortenson, a counselor in the Portsmouth, New Hampsire Ward. After baptism, as I knelt on the sand, the missionaries confirmed me a member of the church and admonished me to “receive the Holy Ghost.” The service was in the evening. Just prior to the laying on of hands, Elder Black spoke about the symbols in the sky. The sun was setting, but still visible. The moon was also out, and the first “stars” were also faintly visible. [The “stars” we could see included Venus, hence the quotation marks.] Elder Black remarked that “all the signs of heaven were visible; the sun, symbolizing the Celestial; the moon, symbolizing the Terrestrial; and the stars, symbolizing the Telestial.” His beautiful remarks affected my thinking so much I can still recall them nearly 40 years later.

As the admonition was given to me, I felt a warmth begin at the top of my head where the hands were touching me. It proceeded downward through my entire person as if something was descending and filling me. The North Atlantic water was cold, particularly at that time of year, and the sand I knelt on was also cold. But I felt a warmth which came from within that filled my entire body.

When we finished at the beach, we all went to Jim and Monte Mortenson’s house for a gathering. It was dubbed a “birthday party” in reference to my baptism. When we arrived, Jim asked me to say the “opening prayer” before we ate. I was perfectly willing to say the prayer, but I hesitated for a few moments before doing so because I sensed the “spirit” wasn’t quite right yet. So rather than immediately interrupt the laughter and loud voices, I tried to bring the group spirit around to something more reverent. As I hesitated, I think Jim assumed I was not yet ready to pray in public (as many new converts are), and moved on to ask another to pray. She did, and we ate.

The boisterous spirit was still there after the prayer, and as the group of us sat in the Mortenson’s living room the spirit of the evening became more and more divisive. At a point there was contention between some of the group, and the evening was taking a turn downward, grieving the spirit altogether. At that moment I stood and got everyone’s attention. When silence settled in, I started with one end of the gathering, and spoke in turn to each person there. I began by saying, “whatever ambition the Adversary has for tonight, I intend to resist it.” I then spoke to their hearts, prophesied and let the love I felt within me pour out. The effect upon those who were there softened their demeanor, brought a spirit of friendship back into the gathering, and although none of them may remember it today, it is to me as clear as if it happened minutes ago. Jim Mortenson spoke up when I finished and said he was confident I would one day be a church patriarch– a remark that meant nothing at the time because I knew nothing about such a position.

You must remember that before conversion I was not even a likely candidate to become Mormon. When the elders were teaching me they asked that I read the Book of Mormon. I agreed.  After I had read some of it, they asked me what I thought of it. I replied: “It’s got to be scripture. It’s every bit as boring as the Bible.” I meant it. Neither the Book of Mormon or the Bible meant much to me. I couldn’t sense any Spirit or depth to it. Nothing in it thrilled me or touched my heart.

After baptism, however, it all changed. Like Joseph and Oliver I could say “my mind now being enlightened, I began to have the scriptures laid open to my understanding, and the true meaning of their more mysterious passages revealed to me in a manner which I never could attain to previously, nor ever before had thought of.” (Compare JS-H 1: 74.) What I found was that the scriptures were now written for me. They were the means through which God could lay out His mind and His will and His voice in a way I had never dreamed possible before.

The journey back to Him begins with all He has provided and preserved of His word. It begins for each of us in the scriptures. One of the immediate effects of baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost is to have the scriptures come alive; to have them overwhelm you with revelation, light and truth. It is not you doing this. It is you experiencing it, but the Holy Spirit opening and lighting them so the same Spirit which gave them at first now receives them in you.

This subject (baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost) is variegated. It is important to avoid reducing it to a single, simple explanation and ignore other important features of this great gift from God.

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