Baptism – a new beginning
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).
Jesus Christ is our perfect example to follow. Even He the Son of God who was without sin was baptized. He said His baptism was necessary “to fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15).
Jesus Christ taught Nicodemus that unless we are born of the water and of the Spirit, we cannot enter the kingdom of God (John 3:3–5).
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).
When we place our faith in Jesus Christ, repent, and are baptized, our sins are forgiven through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
When we are baptized we make a covenant with the Lord. We promise to take upon ourselves the name of Christ and stand as a witness of Him. We promise to strive to keep His commandments.
In return, our Heavenly Father promises to bless us with the Holy Spirit to guide us and help us in our daily life and to give us eternal life.
We should be baptized when we reach the age of accountability and understand right from wrong.
I cannot say it better than the Prophet Mormon wrote more than 1,600 years ago “teach – repentance and baptism unto those who are accountable and capable of committing sin; yea, teach parents that they must repent and be baptized, and humble themselves as their little children, and they shall all be saved with their little children.
“And their little children need no repentance, neither baptism. Behold, baptism is unto repentance to the fulfilling the commandments unto the remission of sins.
“But little children are alive in Christ, even from the foundation of the world; if not so, God is a partial God, and also a changeable God, and a respecter to persons; for how many little children have died without baptism.”
At baptism we begin a new way of life. We are born again Sons and Daughters of our Heavenly Father. Clean from all of ours previous sins. It’s like wiping the chalkboard clean in heaven.
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. After we are baptized and we have gotten on the straight and narrow path – all is not done.
No, we must press forward with steadfastness in Christ with a perfect brightness of hope obeying our Heavenly Fathers’ will. Then we can inherit all that our Father has for us.
May we all do so I pray, in the name of Jesus Christ our Savior.