The Commandment to Be Baptized
- Why must we be baptized?
Today, as in the days of Jesus, there are certain principles and ordinances of the gospel that we must learn and obey . A gospel principle is a true belief or teaching . An ordinance is a rite or a ceremony . The first two principles of the gospel are faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and repentance . Baptism is the first ordinance of the gospel . One of the instructions the Lord gave His Apostles was, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20) .
We Must Be Baptized for the Remission of Our Sins
When we place our faith in Jesus Christ, repent, and are baptized, our sins are forgiven through the Atonement of Jesus Christ . From the scriptures we learn that John the Baptist “did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins” (Mark 1:4) . The Apostle Peter taught, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38) . Following Paul’s conversion, Ananias said to him, “Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins” (Acts 22:16)
We Must Be Baptized before We Can Receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost
The Lord said, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptize shall be save; but he that believeth not shall be damned (Mark 16:15-16).
We Must Be Baptized to Show Obedience
Jesus Christ was without sin, yet He was baptized . He said His baptism was necessary “to fulfil all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15).
We Must Be Baptized to Enter the Celestial Kingdom
Jesus said, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptize shall be save; but he that believeth not shall be damned (Mark 16:15-16).
The Correct Mode of Baptism
- How should we be baptized?
There is only one correct mode of baptism .Immersion is necessary . The Apostle Paul taught that being immersed in water and coming out again is symbolic of death, burial, and resurrection . After baptism we start a new life . Paul said: “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life . “For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection” (Romans 6:3-5) .
Baptism by immersion by a person having the proper authority is the only acceptable way of being baptized .
- Why is authority to perform a baptism important?
- In what ways is baptism by immersion like the burial and Resurrection of the Savior?
Baptism at the Age of Accountability
- Who should be baptized?
Every person who has reached eight years of age and is accountable (responsible) for his or her actions should be baptized . Some churches teach that little children should be baptized . This is not in keeping with the teachings of the Savior . When Jesus spoke of little children, He said, “Of such is the kingdom of heaven”
(Matthew 19:14) .
All other people are to be baptized . We must receive the ordinance of baptism and remain true to the covenants we make at that time .
- What might you say to a friend who believes that infants need to be baptized?
We Make Covenants When We Are Baptized
Many scriptures teach about baptism. When we are baptized and keep the covenants of baptism, the Lord promises to:
1 . Forgive our sins (see Acts 2:38) .
2 . Give us daily guidance and the help of the Holy Ghost (see Acts
Baptism Gives Us a New Beginning
With baptism we begin a new way of life . That is why we call it a rebirth . Jesus said that unless we are born of the water and of the Spirit, we cannot enter the kingdom of God (see John 3:3-5)
The Apostle Paul said that after our baptism we should begin a new life: “We are buried with him by baptism; even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4) . One of the great blessings of baptism is that it provides us with a new start on our way toward our eternal goal .
- How was your baptism a new beginning?
- Acts 2:38-39 (be baptized for the remission of sins)