People have said to me, “baptism is essential to salvation” others have said, “I do not believe baptism is essential to salvation.”  There are many opinions on the subject of baptism but the important thing is what the Lord has declared, since he judges what is essential to salvation for all the sons and daughters of God.

Jesus Christ taught, “…Except a man be born of the water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God”.  (John 3: 5 in the Bible) 

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”  (Matthew 28: 19 in the Bible)

The Savior Himself was baptized, “ And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”  

(Matt 3:16-17 in the Bible)

Baptism is Symbolic

Burial in the water and coming out of the water symbolizes the death, burial and resurrection of the Savior.  The apostle Paul said, “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead…”  (Romans 6: 4 in the Bible)

Baptism is a Covenant and Promise

We promise to do certain things and God promises to bless us in return.  An ancient prophet taught, “Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?” 

(Mosiah 18: 10 p. 181 in the Book of Mormon)

Proper Authority to Baptize

The Savior chooses and ordains those that perform ordinances in His Name, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain…”  (John 15: 16 in the Bible)

He further clarifies this Authority to the apostle Peter, “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”  (Matthew 16: 19 in the Bible)

Renewing Our Baptismal Covenants/Promises Each Week

Our baptismal covenant that we make with our Father in Heaven and Savior Jesus Christ are renewed each week as we partake of the Sacrament (The Lord’s Supper).   “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.”  (Acts 20:7 in the Bible)   “And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day;”  (Sections 59: 9, p. 108 in the Doctrine & Covenants)

Baptismal Procedure

The Savior after His resurrection instructed His followers living on the American Continent in the proper baptismal procedure, “ …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 the Son, and the Holy Ghost, Amen.  And then shall ye immerse them in the water, and come forth again out of the water.  And after this manner shall ye baptize in my name…”

(3 Nephi 11:23-27 p. 429 in the Book of Mormon)

Preparing For Baptism

The commitment that a person preparing to be baptized should make is that they are willing to take upon them the Name of Jesus Christ, repent of their sins, and keep His commandments.