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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Pondering the Scriptures Sunday #10

My son was baptized yesterday and it was beautiful.  It was a sacred, tender, and memorable moment.

So today, baptism is on my mind and hence decided to be today's topic. I'll simply define the word quoting selectively from my scriptures' Bible Dictionary section (LDS quad):

"Baptism. From a Greek work meaning a dip or immerse.  Baptism in water is the introductory ordinance of the gospel and must be followed by baptism of the Spirit in order to be complete.  As one of the ordinances of the gospel, it is associated with faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repentance, and the laying on hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.  Baptism has always been practiced whenever the gospel of Jesus Christ has been on the earth and has been taught by men holding the holy priesthood who could administer the ordinances ...  Baptism symbolizes death, burial, and resurrection, and can only be done by immersion.  It is clear that John the Baptist and Philip baptized in that matter (Matt. 3:16...) ... Baptism is not optional if one wishes the fullness of salvation.  Jesus said a person must be born of water and of the Spirit ... Baptism in water has several purposes.  It is for the remission of sins, for membership in the Church, and for entrance into the celestial kingdom; it is also the doorway to personal sanctification when followed by the reception of the Holy Ghost.  The age at which baptism should be administered is not specified in the Bible, although it is evident that candidates were to be old enough to be capable of belief and have some understanding.  In latter-day revelation we learn that the Lord has set the age at eight years as the time when a person be baptized.  This was also the age given in O.T. times (JST Gen. 17:11).  Baptism is a most sacred ordinance, which a person, having received it, can remember throughout life as a reminder of the personal commitment to Jesus Christ ... By being baptized Jesus obeyed the law himself, and set the example for all mankind."

Simplified for my son, here is his baptismal covenants:

What I (my son) promise:  I will remember Jesus Christ.
                                            I will follow Jesus Christ.
                                            I will keep His commandments.
Heavenly Father promises:  He will forgive me.
                                               His Spirit will be with me.
                                               He will give me eternal life.

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