Thursday, April 14, 2011

Baptism, Our first covenant

Faith in Jesus Christ and repentance both prepare us for baptism and confirmation. Baptism is a covenant. God has always required His children to make covenants. A covenant is a binding and solemn agreement between God and man. God promises to bless us and we promise to obey Him. Keeping covenants brings blessings in this life and exaltation in the life to come.

Jesus taught that we must be baptized by immersion for the remission, or forgiveness, of our sins. It is an essential ordinance of salvation. No person can enter into the kingdom of God without being baptized. Christ set the example for us by being baptized himself by John the Baptist. Baptism is a symbol of the death, burial, and resurrection of the Savior. In a similar way it represents the end of our old life of sin and a commitment to live a new life as a disciple of Christ. When we are baptized we begin the process of being born again.

An ordinance is a sacred ceremony or rite that shows that we have entered into a covenant with God. The ordinance of baptism, when performed by someone who has authority from God, is the first ordinance we partake of to show God that we have entered into a covenant with Him. As stated previously, every covenant comes with a blessing. With baptism, God promises us to have the Holy Ghost, his Spirit, to be with us at all times, as we remain worthy of the promises we made through baptism. Those promises include:

1. Keeping his commandments
2. Always remembering Him (Jesus Christ)
3. Taking upon us the name of Christ. In other words, we promise to strive to conduct our lives as Christ; would at all times.

I testify that the ordinance of baptism is essential in order for any person to return to live with God, for God has declared its role. I also testify that his authority to perform ordinances such as baptism has been restored to the earth once again. It is known has his priesthood or the authority to act in God's name. It was restored to the prophet Joseph Smith by the laying on of hands and that the priesthood brings countless lives closer to God as they make and keep sacred covenants.

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