Mormonism emphasizes the importance of baptism. The fourth Article of Faith, authored by Joseph Smith, states that Mormons “believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

Mormon BaptismThe Mormon Church practices baptism by complete immersion in water. This is symbolic of a death and burial of the carnal person, and a rebirth of the person as a disciple of Jesus Christ and a member of His Church. Like many Christians, Mormons believe that a person who repents and is baptized has all prior sins remitted. He or she is utterly cleansed and looks on the rite as a beginning of life afresh.

Baptism is also the act of making a promise to the Lord. At baptism, Mormons make a covenant, or two-way promise, with the Lord that they will take upon them the name of Christ, remember Him, and keep His commandments. In return, the Lord promises to bless faithful baptized members with the companionship of the Lord’s Spirit, or the Holy Ghost.

After being baptized, Mormons receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Unlike the occasional power of the Holy Ghost, felt, for example, by people when they are earnestly investigating the Church, the gift of the Holy Ghost is more permanent. As Joseph Smith wrote in the fourth Article of Faith, it is bestowed by the laying on of hands upon the head of the recipient. This means that men who hold priesthood power will lay their hands upon the head of the person receiving the blessing, and one man will pronounce a special blessing, giving the gift of the Holy Ghost. The person thereafter has the continual companionship of God’s Spirit to direct, warn, and comfort him or her. If the person sins, the Holy Ghost departs. But when the person repents and strives to be righteous, worthy, and receptive, the Holy Ghost can provide great blessings of understanding, protection, and peace.

In the Mormon Church, baptism is never performed before a person’s eighth birthday. The age of eight was assigned in modern-day revelation (see Doctrine and Covenants 68:27) as the age when children become accountable for their sins, meaning that they are able to independently discern between right and wrong and have personal responsibility for their conduct. For those of sufficient age who are not able to discern between right and wrong (because of a condition such as severe mental impairment) there is no accountability for sins and, therefore, no requirement for baptism. Such are viewed as being saved through the Atonement of Christ, as are all babies and children who die before eight. In this light, the Book of Mormon specifically forbids the practice of infant baptism, maintaining that it is “solemn mockery before God.” (See Moroni 8:4-23.)

Although Jesus Himself was perfect, the Book of Mormon teaches that He was baptized to show that “he humbleth himself before the Father, and witnesseth unto the Father that he would be obedient unto him in keeping his commandments” (2 Nephi 31:7). Small children are not capable of making such a commitment, so again, they have no need of baptism.

Baptism is only recognized as valid when it is performed by someone holding the proper priesthood authority, in the office of Priest in the Aaronic Priesthood or a higher office. Mormonism’s claim to being the true gospel of Jesus Christ is maintained primarily on the basis of divinely given authority (the priesthood) and continuing revelation.

Similar to the beliefs of many Christian denominations, Mormons believe that baptism is a prerequisite to entering the kingdom of God in the hereafter. This belief presents a problem, however, for the millions of people who have lived and died without the opportunity to ever hear of Jesus Christ, let alone have the chance to be baptized. For this reason, Mormons believe in the ordinance of performing baptisms on behalf of those who have died. This work is done only in Mormon temples and is performed by someone acting as proxy for a deceased person. Mormons believe that this ordinance, known as baptism for the dead, is only of value to the deceased when the deceased person accepts the work done in his or her behalf. If the ordinance is indeed accepted, the person will be able to enter the kingdom of God just as if he or she had had the opportunity to be taught and baptized while living on earth.

Mormons believe that even after baptism, members will still make mistakes. In the partaking of the sacrament weekly, Mormons have the opportunity to renew the promises to the Lord they made at baptism. This includes the chance to come away feeling totally forgiven and perfectly cleansed of all the misdeeds of the previous week. Mormons believe the feeling of being purified on a weekly basis can motivate one to avoid sin.

Priests in the Mormon Church hold not only the authority to baptize individuals for the remission of sins, but also the authority to bless the sacrament, which blessing is, in essence, a weekly maintenance of the remission of sins.

The blessings of baptism offer individuals hope through the Atonement and infinite love of the Savior Jesus Christ.

20 Responses to “Baptism Mormonism”

  1. Do Mormons read the Bible as well as the Book of Mormon?

    • Absolutely! Go to http://www.mormonbible.org to learn more about how much Mormons love and study the Bible.

      • Willie King says:

        The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the only True Church. I joined the Roman Catholic and I seek for truth, i kept on praying to our Lord, to give me Wisdom but I never felt any, I joined Born Again Christian I prayed and seek wisdom but I never felt any. I joined other religion but in effect, I felt nothing at all, it seems that God doesn’t exist from my experiences joining other religion. But when the Latter-Day Saints Missionaries started to teach me the work of the Lord, the Lord appeared in my dream. He never spoke to me but I saw and felt His glory, it is undefinable.. Our Lord is truly resurrected with tangible body, with Flesh and bones.

        • karenrose says:

          Thanks, Willie, for sharing this sacred experience. I’d keep it close to your heart and only share when prompted.

    • Yes, they do read the Bible, but try to intentionally point to the Book of Mormon instead on certain issues, especially baptism. In a least two places in the Bible, there are quotes where “households” or entire families were baptized. Not just adults but the entire family. The Mormon Church ignores these verses and will tell you that only those of the age of accountability need to be baptized and even condone baptizing young children, against direct teachings of Jesus Christ to allow the little children to come to him.

      • This comment shows a misunderstanding of three things: Mormon doctrine, the Book of Mormon, and the infinite nature of the atonement. Christ’s atonement covered original sin, so that you and I are accountable only for our own sins and not for the sin or transgression of Adam. Thus, babies are not born in sin, but they are born in innocence. If a person believes that babies must be baptized in order to be saved, then what has happened to the millions of little children who have died without baptism? The idea that innocent children need baptism is actually cruel. If they die, they are saved and exalted in innocence into the actual presence of God. Christ has made sure of that. His love for little children is especially manifest in the Book of Mormon, whose people He visited after His resurrection. He called the little children unto Him and blessed them one by one. Then they were encircled as if by fire, and angels descended and ministered unto them. Their tongues were loosed so that they could bear testimony of God and heaven, and they uttered things so sacred, it was not lawful to write them. Read more at the following article: http://www.mormonwiki.com/Salvation_of_Little_Children

  2. Do Mormons believe that Christ died for forgiveness of their sins? Doesn’t the bible say that Christ will baptize with the Holy Spirit?

    • Yes, we believe Christ died for our sins, that we may be forgiven and not have to suffer if we believe on Him and repent. Christ bestows the Holy Spirit, occasionally to lead people along in their faith, and permanently (depending on continued righteousness) through the laying on of hands after baptism.

  3. What is the difference between Methodist and Morman?

    • The Methodist Church is a Protestant church, meaning that it is one of the churches attempting to reform the beliefs and practices of Christian orthodoxy. The Mormon Church is the restoration of Christ’s true ancient church, so it’s not a Protestant church. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the full name of the Church) was restored through revelation from Jesus Christ to modern prophets, and it has the authority to act in the name of Christ.

  4. What happens if someone gets baptism done but didnt follow any of the procedures and lied about not making it to the branch before there baptism and not making it the week after and were sinning the whole time? I would like to know thank you.

    • Covenants are only binding when the participant keeps the commandments of God. Covenants are very serious undertakings and should not be entered into lightly. Why not get your life in order? Repentance is a daily endeavor for all of us.

  5. If a baptized protestant converts to the Morman faith, do they have to be rebaptised?

    • karenrose says:

      Yes, Andy, if one is converting to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, they would desire to be re-baptized and it would be required. Since the authority of Jesus Christ is only given by Him to His servants within His Church, it only exists within The Church of Jesus Christ. Any other baptism performed by good men who love the Lord who are not authorized, is invalid. The Lord always conferred His power upon His apostles. This chain was broken and the authority lost from the earth for years, until the Savior, as He prophesied, returned to restore, re-establish His true Church–with His authority and pure teachings–to the earth, beginning in 1820. I hope this helps. We’d love to respond to any other questions you may have as you continue to seek His will for you. Kindest regards, Karen

  6. Jesse Davis says:

    I am having a hard time finding in the Bible where it states that “laying on of hands must be done to receive the Holy Spirit” I am also having a hard time where it says, anywhere, about having to be a certain prestige to be granted the Holy Spirit.

    • Jesse, in answer to your concern, Acts chapter 8 verses 14-19 talks about Jesus’ apostles and the Holy Ghost. Verse 17 says that they received the Holy Ghost by laying on of hands. In verse 18, a man named Simon saw that the Holy Ghost was given by laying on of hands, and offered Peter money to receive this gift. Peter responds that money cannot buy the Holy Spirit, that instead Simon must repent and be forgiven. Anyone can receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, or the blessing to have the Holy Ghost as his/her constant companion, so long as he or she repents and is baptized. Also, those who don’t have the gift of the Holy Ghost can still feel the Holy Ghost, but cannot have the Holy Ghost with them always. Hopefully this is helpful to you!

  7. If you get baptized into the mormon faith, but afterwards you start to think it wasn’t the right decision you’ve made, because you know you wouldn’t be able to follow an commandment ( About homosexual relationship ).
    Is there anything i should do or just leave the church of latter day saints, or should i talk to the bishop?
    i don’t know what to do..
    Thanks, Jason.

    • Jason, thanks for your question. As a reminder of Mormon doctrine, same-sex attraction is not ever considered a sin, but acting upon that attraction is. We do try to understand how extremely difficult it is to want to live according to God’s commandments while facing this constant trial. Many heterosexual Mormons face something somewhat similar in that they are single, widowed, or divorced. They choose to live a celibate life in order to keep the Law of Chastity. You should definitely discuss this with your bishop, as you will need to make some choices, and you will need understanding and support. The Church also has a new website that includes personal stories — http://mormonsandgays.org/
      I think you will find that this website feels like a safe place where you can get some of your questions answered. We wish you all the very best as you move forward.

  8. i was baptized at 8, and i know people make mistakes after being baptized, i will be 24 soon, i was curious about a rebaptism, im a mormon, i havnt gone to church for a long time because of work, how could i go if boss tell me no or something bout fairness, i would like to rid of sins i have done by being rebaptized in the temple, i dont really want to quit my job because i have to work sundays which i work at a restraunt, would i need to discuss this with the bishop or stake president

    • Hi, Matt. Thanks for your comment. There are no live baptisms performed in Mormon temples — only baptisms for the dead. Regular baptisms are performed in baptismal fonts in Mormon meetinghouses, or where none is available, in suitable bodies of water where baptism by full immersion can happen. Mormons who have been baptized at age 8 only need to be re-baptized if they have been excommunicated from the Church, and that rarely occurs, especially when the common mistakes of youth are taken into consideration. Here are some steps you might want to take.

      Get in touch with your local bishop (find out who that is by using the maps feature at lds.org — Find a Meetinghouse). Tell him you are 24 and have been inactive for a long time, but would like to come back. He will arrange to meet with you, or he will send some young Mormon missionaries or home teachers to discuss your feelings with you. When people, especially young people, become inactive, they often have lifestyle problems they need to fix, and there are people and Christ who are ready to help. Your working on Sunday could interfere with your ability to get to church meetings. Sometimes, people with that kind of commitment can work after church meetings. Or after sincere prayers for help, they get up the courage to discuss different arrangements with their bosses. Often, because our Heavenly Father wants to help, miracles happen, and they find their bosses ready to cooperate and compromise.

      Good luck with your journey, Matt. Let us know if you have more questions.

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