Chapter 7 Baptism -- Continued

ARTICLE 4 -- We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: * * * third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; * * *


Method of Administering Baptism Important -- In considering the object and necessity of baptism, we have seen the importance that the Lord attaches to this initiatory rite. It is not surprising that the mode of administering the ordinance should be specifically prescribed. Many Christian sects have some established rite of initiation, in which water figures as a necessary element; though with some the ceremony consists in nothing more than the placing of the priest's moistened finger on the forehead of the candidate, or in the pouring or sprinkling of water upon the face; while others consider immersion of the whole body as requisite. The Latter-day Saints hold that the scriptures are devoid of ambiguity regarding the acceptable mode of baptism; and they boldly declare their belief that bodily immersion by a duly commissioned servant or representative of the Savior is the only true form. Their reasons for this belief may be summed up as follows: The derivation and former usage of the word baptism, and its cognates, betoken immersion. The symbolism of the rite is preserved in no other form. Scriptural authority, the revealed word of God through the mouths of ancient and latter-day prophets, prescribes immersion as the true form of baptism.

The Verb "Baptize," from the Greek bapto, baptizo, meant literally to dip or to immerse. As is true in the case of every living language, words may undergo great changes of meaning; and some writers declare that the term in question may be as applicable to pouring or sprinkling with water as to actual immersion. It becomes interesting, therefore, to inquire as to the current meaning of the term at or near the time of Christ; for, as the Savior evidently deemed it unnecessary, in the course of His instructions concerning baptism, to enlarge upon the meaning of the term, it evidently conveyed a very definite meaning to those who received His teachings. From the use made of the original term by the Greek and Latin authors, FN it is plain that they understood an actual immersion in water as the true signification. The modern Greeks understand baptism to mean a burial in water, and therefore, as they adopt the profession of Christianity, they practise immersion as the proper form in baptism. FN Concerning this kind of argument, it should be remembered that philological evidence is not of the most decisive order. Let us pass then to the consideration of other and stronger reasons.

The Symbolism of the Baptismal Rite is preserved in no form other than immersion. The Savior compared baptism to a birth, and declared such to be essential to the life that leads to the kingdom of God. FN None can say that a birth is typified by a sprinkling of water upon the face. Not the least of the distinctions that have contributed to Christ's preeminence as a teacher of teachers consists in His precise and forceful use of language; His comparisons and metaphors are always expressive, His parables convincing; and so inappropriate a similitude as is implied in such a misrepresentation of birth would be entirely foreign to the Lord's methods.

Baptism has also been very impressively compared to a burial, followed by a resurrection; and in this symbol of the bodily death and resurrection of His Son has God promised to grant remission of sins. In writing to the Romans, Paul says: "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." FN And again, the same apostle writes: "Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead." FN Among all the varied forms of baptism practised by man, immersion alone typifies a birth marking the beginning of a new career, or the sleep of the grave with subsequent victory over death.

Scriptural Authority warrants none other form than immersion. Jesus Christ was baptized by immersion. We read that following the ordinance, He "went up straightway out of the water." FN That the baptism of the Savior was acceptable before His Father is abundantly proved by the manifestations immediately following -- in the descent of the Holy Ghost, and the Father's declaration: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." John, surnamed because of his divine commission the Baptist, baptized in the river Jordan; FN and shortly afterward we hear of him baptizing in AEnon, near to Salim, "because there was much water there;" FN yet, had he been baptizing by sprinkling, a small quantity of water would have sufficed for a multitude.

We read of baptism following the somewhat speedy conversion of an Ethiopian eunuch, treasurer to the queen Candace. To him Philip preached the doctrine of Christ as they rode together in the Ethiopian's chariot; the latter, believing the words of his inspired instructor, desired baptism, and Philip consenting, "he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing." FN

History, other than Scriptural, proves that for more than two centuries after Christ immersion was the mode of baptism generally practised by professed Christians; and that not until near the close of the thirteenth century did other forms become general. FN Distortions of ordinances instituted by authority may be expected if the outward form of such ordinances be attempted when the authority to minister in them is absent; yet such distortions are of gradual growth; deformities resulting from constitutional ailments do not develop in a day. We may look, therefore, for the closest approach to the true form of baptism, as likewise in the case of any other ordinance instituted by Christ, in the period immediately following His personal ministry and that of His apostles. Then, as the darkness of unbelief deepened, the authority given of Christ having been taken from the earth with His martyred servants, many innovations appeared; and dignitaries of the various churches became a law unto themselves and to their adherents. Early in the third century the Bishop of Carthage decided that persons of weak health might be acceptably baptized by sprinkling; and with the license thus given the true form of baptism gradually fell into disfavor, and unauthorized practises devised by man took its place.

Baptism among the Nephites was administered by immersion only. The wide extent to which baptism was preached and practised among the people from Lehi to Moroni has been already shown. When the Savior appeared to His people on the western continent, He gave them very explicit instructions as to the method of procedure in administering the ordinance. These are his words:. "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." FN

Latter-day Baptism, as prescribed by revelation, is after the same pattern. The first baptisms in the present dispensation were those of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, who baptized each other according to the directions of the angel from whom they had received authority to administer this holy ordinance, and who was none other than John the Baptist of a former dispensation, the forerunner of the Messiah. Joseph Smith thus describes the event: "Accordingly we went and were baptized. I baptized him [Oliver Cowdery] first, and afterwards he baptized me -- * * * Immediately on our coming up out of the water after we had been baptized, we experienced great and glorious blessings." FN

In a revelation concerning Church government, dated April, 1830, the Lord prescribed the exact mode of baptism as He desires the ordinance administered in the present dispensation. He said: "Baptism is to be administered in the following manner unto all those who repent -- The person who is called of God and has authority from Jesus Christ to baptize, shall go down into the water with the person who has presented himself or herself for baptism, and shall say, calling him or her by name: Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize You in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. Then shall he immerse him or her in the water, and come forth again out of the water." FN

The Lord would not have prescribed the words of this ordinance had He not intended that this form only should be used; therefore elders and priests of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have no personal authority to change the form given of God, by additions, omissions, or alterations of any kind.


A Repetition of the Baptismal Ordinance to the same individual is allowable under certain specific conditions. Thus, if one, having entered the Church by baptism, withdraws from it or is excommunicated therefrom, and afterwards repents and desires to regain his standing in the Church, he can do so only through baptism. However, such is a repetition of the initiatory ordinance as previously administered. There is no ordinance of rebaptism in the Church distinct in nature, form, or purpose, from other baptism; and, therefore, in administering baptism to a subject who has been formerly baptized, the form of the ordinance is exactly the same as in first baptisms. The expression "I rebaptize you" in place of "I baptize you" and the additions "for the renewal of your covenants" or "for the remission of your sins" are not authorized. Dictates of reason unite with the voice of the presiding authorities of the Church in discountenancing any departures from the course prescribed by the Lord; changes in ordinances given by authority can be effected only by authority.

Rebaptisms Recorded in Scripture are few; and in every instance the existence of special circumstances justifying the action are apparent. Thus, we read of Paul baptizing certain disciples at Ephesus though they had already been baptized after the manner of John's baptism. FN But in this case, the apostle had reason to doubt that the baptism of which these spoke had been administered by authorized hands, or after proper preliminary education of the candidates; for when he tested the efficacy of their baptism by asking "Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?" they answered him, "We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost." Then asked he in surprise: "Unto what then were ye baptized?" and they replied: "Unto John's baptism." But Paul knew, as we know, that while John preached the baptism of repentance by water he declared that such was but preliminary to the greater baptism of the Holy Ghost, which Christ should bring. Therefore, in view of such unsatisfactory evidence concerning the validity of their baptism, Paul had baptism administered unto these twelve devout Ephesians in the name of the Lord Jesus, after which he laid his hands upon them, and they received the Holy Ghost.

The baptism instituted by Christ among the Nephites FN was very largely a rebaptism; for, as we have already seen, the doctrine of baptism had been taught and practised among the people from the time of Lehi; and surely, Nephi, the first to whom the Savior gave authority to baptize after His departure, had been previously baptized, for he and his colaborers in the ministry had been most zealous in preaching the necessity of baptism. FN Yet in this case also there had probably arisen some impropriety in the manner and perhaps in the spirit of administering the ordinance; for the Savior in giving minute directions concerning the form of baptism reproved them for the spirit of contention and disputation that had previously existed among them regarding the ordinance. FN Therefore, the baptism of these people was made valid by an authoritative administration after the manner prescribed by the Lord.

Repeated Baptisms of the Same person are not sanctioned in the Church. It is an error to assume that baptism offers a means of gaining forgiveness of sins however oft repeated. Such a belief tends rather to excuse than to prevent sin, inasmuch as the hurtful effects may seem to be easily averted. Neither the written law nor the instructions of the living Priesthood designate baptism as a means of securing forgiveness by those who are already within the fold of Christ. Unto such, forgiveness of sin has been promised on confession and repentance with full purpose of heart; of them a repetition of the baptismal rite is not required; and, were subjects of this class repeatedly baptized, unto them remission of sins would in no wise come except they repent most sincerely. The frailties of mortality and our proneness to sin lead us continually into error; but if we covenant with the Lord at the waters of baptism, and thereafter seek to observe His law, He is merciful to pardon our little transgressions through repentance sincere and true; and without such repentance, baptism would avail us nothing.


Baptism Required of All -- The universality of the law of baptism has been already dwelt upon. Compliance with the ordinance has been shown to be essential to salvation, and this condition applies to all mankind. Nowhere in scripture is a distinction made in this regard between the living and the dead. The dead are those who have lived in mortality upon earth; the living are mortals who yet shall pass through the ordained change that we call death. All are children of the same Father, all to be judged and rewarded or punished by the same unerring justice, with the same interpositions of benignant mercy. Christ's atoning sacrifice was offered, not alone for the few who lived upon the earth while He was in the flesh, nor for those who were to be born in mortality after His death, but for all inhabitants of earth then past, present, and future. He was ordained of the Father to be a judge of both quick and dead; FN He is Lord alike of living and dead, FN as men speak of dead and living, though all are to be placed in one class, for all live unto Him. FN

The Gospel yet Unknown to Many -- Of the multitudes of human beings who have already lived and died, but few have heard and fewer have obeyed the laws of the Gospel. In the course of the world's history there have been long periods of spiritual darkness, when the Gospel was not preached among men; when there was no authorized representative of the Lord officiating in the saving ordinances of the kingdom. Such a condition has never existed except as the result of unbelief and wickedness. When mankind have persistently trodden the pearls of truth into the mire and have sought to slay and rend the bearers of the jewels, in justice not more than in mercy these treasures of heaven have been taken and withheld until a more appreciative posterity would be raised up. It may very properly be asked, What provision is made in the economy of God for the eventual salvation of those who have thus neglected the requirements of the Gospel, and for those who have never heard it?

According to certain dogmas that have prevailed among many sects during the obscurity of the spiritual night, and which are yet zealously promulgated, never-ending punishment or interminable bliss, unchanging in kind or degree, shall be the lot of every soul; the award being made according to the condition of the spirit at the time of bodily death; a life of sin being thus entirely nullified by a death-bed repentance; and an honorable career, if unmarked by ceremonies of the established sects, being followed by the tortures of hell without the hope of relief. Such a conception must rank with the dread heresy proclaiming the condemnation of innocent babes who have not been sprinkled by man's assumed authority.

It is blasphemous to thus attribute caprice and vindictiveness to the divine nature. In the justice of God no soul shall be condemned under any law that has not been made known unto him. True, eternal punishment has been decreed as the lot of the wicked; but the meaning of this expression has been given by the Lord Himself: FN eternal punishment is God's punishment; endless punishment is God's punishment, for "Endless" and "Eternal" are among His names, and the words are descriptive of His attributes. No soul shall be kept in prison or continued in torment beyond the time requisite to work the needed reformation and to vindicate justice, for which ends alone punishment is imposed. FN And no one will be permitted to enter any kingdom of glory to which he is not entitled through obedience to law.

The Gospel preached to the Dead -- It is plain, then, that the Gospel must be proclaimed in the spirit world; and, that such work is provided for the scriptures abundantly prove. Peter, describing the mission of the Redeemer, thus declares this truth: "For this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit." FN The inauguration of this work among the dead was effected by Christ in the interval between His death and resurrection. While His body lay in the tomb, His spirit ministered to the spirits of the departed: "By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water." FN

Other scriptures sustain the position, that while in a disembodied state, Christ went elsewhere than to the place usually termed heaven -- the abode of His Father -- and that He labored among the dead, who greatly needed His ministry. One of the malefactors, who suffered crucifixion by His side, through humility won from the dying Savior the promise: "Today shalt thou be with me in paradise." FN And three days later, the Lord, then a resurrected being, declared to the sorrowing Magdalene: "I am not yet ascended to my Father." FN

If it was deemed proper and just that the Gospel be carried to the spirits who were disobedient in the days of Noah, it is reasonable to conclude that like opportunities shall be placed within the reach of others who have rejected the word at different times. For the same spirit of neglect, disobedience, and opposition to divine law that characterized the time of Noah has existed since. FN Further, if, in the plan of God, provision be made for the redemption of the wilfully disobedient, those who actually spurn the truth, can we believe that the still greater multitudes of spirits who have never heard the Gospel are to be left in punishment eternally? No; God has decreed that even the heathen nations, and those that knew no law, shall be redeemed. FN The gifts of God are not confined to this sphere of action, but will be bestowed in justice throughout eternity. Upon all who reject the word of God in this life will fall the penalties provided; but after the debt has been paid the prison doors shall be opened, and the spirits once confined in suffering, then chastened and clean, shall come forth to partake of the glory provided for their class.

Christ's Work Among the Dead Foretold -- Centuries before Christ came in the flesh, prophets rejoiced in the knowledge that through Him would salvation be carried to the dead as well as to the living. Speaking of the retribution to come upon the proud and haughty of the earth, Isaiah declares: "And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited." FN The same prophet thus testifies concerning the work of the coming Redeemer -- he is "to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house." FN David, singing to the music of inspiration concerning the redemption from the grave, exclaims: "Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt shew me the path of life; in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." FN

Work of the Living for the Dead -- The redemption of the dead will be effected in accordance with the law of God, which is written injustice and framed in mercy. It is alike impossible for any spirit, in the flesh or disembodied, to obtain promise of eternal glory except on condition of obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel. And, as baptism is essential to the salvation of the living, it is likewise indispensable to the dead. This was known by the saints of old, and hence the doctrine of baptism for the dead was taught among them. In an epistle addressed to the church at Corinth, Paul expounded the principles of the resurrection, whereby the bodies of the dead are to be brought forth from the graves -- Christ the firstfruits, and afterward they that are Christ's -- and as proof that this doctrine of the resurrection was included in the Gospel as they had received it, the apostle asks: "Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?" FN These words are unambiguous, and the fact that they are presented without explanation or comment argues that the principle of baptism for the dead was understood among the people to whom the letter was addressed.

Herein is shown the necessity of vicarious work -- the living ministering in behalf of the dead; the children doing for their progenitors what is beyond the power of the latter to do for themselves. Many and varied are the interpretations rendered by fallible human wisdom on this plain question by Paul; yet the simple and earnest student finds little difficulty in comprehending the meaning. In the closing sentences of the Old Testament, the prophet Malachi predicted the great work to be carried on in behalf of the dead during the latter days: "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. FN It is a current belief among many Bible students that this prophecy had reference to the birth and ministry of John the Baptist, FN upon whom indeed rested and remained the spirit and power of Elias as the angel had foretold; FN but we have no record of Elijah ministering unto John; and moreover the results of the latter's ministry warrant no conclusion that in him did the prophecy find its full realization.

We must therefore look to a later date in the world's history for a fulfilment of Malachi's prediction. On September 21, 1823, Joseph Smith FN received the visitation of a resurrected being who announced himself as Moroni, sent from the presence of God. In the course of his instructions to the youth, he quoted the prophecy of Malachi, already referred to, but in language slightly different from and certainly more expressive than that appearing in the Bible; the angel's version is as follows: "For behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly shall burn as stubble; for they that come shall burn them, saith the Lord of Hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. * * * Behold I will reveal unto you the Priesthood by the hand of Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. * * * And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers. If it were not so the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming." FN

In a glorious manifestation to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, given in the Kirtland Temple, April 3, 1836, there appeared unto them Elijah the prophet, who had been taken from earth without tasting death; he declared unto them: "Behold, the time has fully come, which was spoken of by the mouth of Malachi -- testifying that he [Elijah] should be sent, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come -- To turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse -- Therefore, the keys of this dispensation are committed into your hands; and by this ye may know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors." FN

Fathers and Children Mutually Dependent -- One of the great principles underlying the doctrine of salvation for the dead is that of the mutual dependence of the fathers and the children, of ancestors and posterity. As the Prophet Joseph Smith taught the saints, FN but for the establishment of a connecting link between the departed fathers and the living children the earth would be smitten with a curse. The divine plan provides that neither the children nor the fathers can alone be made perfect; and the necessary union is effected through baptism and associated ordinances administered by the living in behalf of the dead. The manner in which the hearts of the children and those of the fathers are turned toward one another is made plain through these scriptures. As the children learn that without their progenitors they cannot attain perfection, their hearts will be opened, their faith will be strengthened, and good works will be attempted for the redemption of their dead; and the departed, learning from the ministers of the Gospel laboring among them that they depend upon their children as vicarious saviors, will seek to sustain their mortal representatives with faith and prayer for the perfecting of those labors of love.

Love, which is a power in itself, is thus intensified. Aside from the emotions stirred within the soul by the presence of the divine, there are few yearnings stronger and purer than the love for kindred. Heaven could not be all we wish were family love there unknown. FN Affection there will differ from its earthly type in being deeper, stronger, purer. Thus in the mercy of God, His erring, mortal children, who have taken upon themselves the name of Christ on earth, may become, in a limited sphere, each a savior in the house of his fathers, by vicarious labor and sacrifice, rendered in humility, and, as represented in the baptismal ordinance, typical of the death, burial, and resurrection of the Redeemer.

The Labor for the Dead is Twofold -- That performed on earth would be incomplete but for its supplement and counterpart beyond the veil. Missionary labor is in progress there, whereby the tidings of the Gospel are carried to the departed spirits, who thus learn of the work done in their behalf on earth. So far as the divine law has been revealed, it requires that the outward ordinances, such as baptism in water, the laying on of hands for the bestowal of the Holy Ghost, and the higher endowments that follow, be attended to on earth, a proper representative in the flesh acting as proxy for the dead. The results of such labors are to be left with the Lord. It is not to be supposed that by these ordinances the departed are in any way compelled to accept the obligation, nor that they are in the least hindered in the exercise of their free agency. They will accept or reject according to their condition of humility or hostility in respect to the Gospel; but the work so done for them on earth will be of avail when wholesome teaching and real penitence have shown them their true position. FN


Temples or Other Sacred Places are required for the administration of the ordinances pertaining to the salvation of the dead, and in certain ordinances for the living. It is but proper that such structures should be the best the people can build. In every age of the world the covenant people have been a temple-building people. Shortly after Israel's deliverance from the bondage of Egypt the Lord called upon the people to construct a sanctuary to His name, the plan of which He minutely specified. Though this was but a tent it was elaborately furnished and appointed, the choicest possessions of the people being used in its construction. FN The Lord accepted this offering by manifesting His glory therein, and there revealing Himself. FN When the people had settled in the promised land the Tabernacle of the Congregation was given a more permanent resting place; FN yet it still was honored for its sacred purpose until superseded by the Temple of Solomon as the sanctuary of the Lord. FN

This Temple, one of the most imposing structures ever erected by man for sacred service, was dedicated with solemn ceremonies. However, its splendor was of short duration; for, within less than forty years from the time of its completion, its glory declined, and finally it fell a prey to the flames. A partial restoration of the Temple was made after the Jews returned from their captivity; and through the friendly influence of Cyrus and Darius, the Temple of Zerubbabel was dedicated. That the Lord accepted this effort of His people to maintain a sanctuary to His name is fully shown by the spirit that actuated its officers, among whom were Zechariah, Haggai, and Malachi. This Temple remained standing for nearly five centuries; and but a few years before the birth of the Savior the reconstruction of the edifice was begun by Herod the Great, and the Temple of Herod began to figure in history. FN The veil of this Temple was rent at the time of the crucifixion, FN and in 70 A.D., as predicted, the destruction of the building was accomplished by Titus.

Latter-day Temples -- From that time until the present dispensation, no other Temples have been reared on the eastern continent. It is true, imposing edifices have been erected for purposes of worship; but a colossal structure does not necessarily constitute a Temple. A Temple is more than church-building, meeting-house, tabernacle, or synagogue; it is a place specially prepared by dedication unto the Lord, and marked by His acceptance, for the solemnization of ordinances pertaining to the Holy Priesthood. The Latter-day Saints, true to the characteristics of the covenant people, FN have been from the first a temple-building organization. But a few months after the establishment of the Church in the present dispensation, the Lord made reference to a Temple that was to be built. FN In July, 1831, the Lord designated a spot in Independence, Mo., as the site of a future Temple; FN but the work of construction thereon has not yet been consummated, as is likewise the case with the temple-site at Far West, on which the cornerstones were laid July 4, 1838, and relaid April 26, 1839.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has constructed Temples, each an imposing and costly structure, at Kirtland, Ohio; Nauvoo, Illinois; St. George, Logan, Manti, and Salt Lake City, Utah; Cardston, Canada; Laie, Hawaiian Islands, and Mesa, Arizona. The Temples at Kirtland and Nauvoo were abandoned as the members of the Church who had built them, through sacrifices yet untold, were driven westward by the force of persecution. The building at Kirtland is now used as an ordinary meeting-house by a small sect that evinces no activity in the sacred labors for which Temples are required. The Temple at Nauvoo was destroyed through malicious incendiarism. The magnitude and grandeur of the sacred labors accomplished in the Temples of the present dispensation, for the salvation of both the living and the dead, give assurance of the Lord's gracious acceptance. FN


Baptism by Immersion

Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water -- Matt. 3:16.

People from all parts of Judea and from Jerusalem went to John, and were baptized of him in the river of Jordan. Jesus who was baptized of John in Jordan.

And straightway coming up out of the water -- Mark 1:5, 9, 10.

And John was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there -- John 3:23.

Philip and the eunuch went down both into the water, and came up out of the water -- Acts 8:38.

Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins -- Acts 22:16; also D&C 39:10. But ye are washed -- 1 Cor. 6:11.

Adam was carried down into the water, laid under the water, and brought forth out of the water at his baptism -- Moses 6:64, 65.

Account of baptisms at the waters of Mormon; Alma and Helam and the rest were buried in the water -- Mosiah 18:8-16.

Many were baptized in the waters of Sidon -- Alma 4:4.

The risen Lord's instructions to the Nephites: Ye shall go down and stand in the water * * * And then shall ye immerse them in the water -- 3 Nephi 11:22-26. Similar instructions have been given in the current dispensation -- D&C 20:72-74.

Nephi went down into the water and was baptized, and came up out of the water -- 3 Nephi 19:11-13.

Symbolism of birth and burial, unto which baptism is likened is best typified by immersion. Jesus declared: Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God -- John 3:3; also verse 5. Buried with him by baptism into death -- Rom. 6:4; see also Col. 2:12. Such as receive the celestial glory must have been buried in the water in Christ's name -- D&C 76:51. And they shall be born of me, even of water and of the Spirit -- D&C 5:16.

Baptism for the Dead

Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead? -- 1 Cor. 15:29.

Elijah to be sent in the latter-days to minister in turning the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers -- Mal. 4:5; also 3 Nephi 25:5, 6; P. of G.P. p. 53; D&C sec. 2. The mission of Elijah involved vicarious service by the living for their dead -- D&C 27:9.

Elijah has come and delivered this commission -- D&C 110:13-16.

Baptism for the dead is an ordinance of the House of the Lord; hence the necessity of Temples -- D&C 124:28, 31, 36, 39. This ordinance was instituted before the foundation of the world -- verse 33.

Records to be kept of baptisms for the dead -- D&C 127:6; 128:1-7.

Scriptures relating to baptism for the dead -- D&C 128:15-18.

Christ preached to the dead between his death and resurrection: He went and preached to the spirits in prison -- 1 Peter 3:18-20; also 4:6; as had been foreappointed -- see Isa. 24:22. As baptism is essential to the salvation of men, and is an ordinance pertaining to life in mortality, it must be administered vicariously for the dead.