B - Baptism Matthew 3:13-17 2 Nephi 31:17–18
Show the picture of Christ being baptized. Discuss the questions.
1. What important facts about baptism does this picture suggest?
(Baptism is so important that even Jesus was baptized.)
2. What do the words "as a witness before him" mean when you think of your baptism?
(I will show by the act of being baptized how I feel in my heart. I witness, or show,
that I believe in Heavenly Father, that I loves him, and that I want to obey his commandments.)
Read Matthew 3:13-17
John the Baptist was surprised when Jesus asked to be baptized. John knew that Jesus had never sinned, so he didn’t think Jesus would need to be baptized. But Jesus told John that being baptized was a commandment from Heavenly Father, and he wanted to obey all of Heavenly Father’s commandments.
John baptized Jesus in the Jordan River. John baptized Jesus by immersion. Immersion means being completely covered by water.
Heavenly Father is pleased when we are baptized, just like he was pleased when Jesus was baptized.
What is Baptism? Baptism and confirmation, the first ordinances of the gospel, are the gate by which we enter the narrow path that leads to eternal life (see 2 Nephi 31:17–18).
Why are we baptized? Baptism is the first ordinance we must receive if we are to return to live with our Heavenly Father.
Being baptized is like beginning a new life. When we are baptized we are placed under the water. The scriptures compare this to burying, or leaving behind, our old self. (see Romans 6:4; D&C 76:51).
When we come out of the water we are washed clean of sin. With our past sins washed away, we receive greater spiritual power to change our lives and become more like Heavenly Father.
After we are baptized we receive the ordinance of confirmation. In this ordinance, men who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood lay their hands on our heads and (1) confirm us members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and (2) bestow on us the gift of the Holy Ghost, also called the “baptism of fire”
Who can perform the baptism? The ordinance of baptism is performed only by a worthy priest or Melchizedek Priesthood holder under the direction of the presiding authority.
Each baptism must be witnessed by two priests or Melchizedek Priesthood holders, who make sure it is performed properly. The baptism must be repeated if the prayer was not stated accurately or if part of the body or clothing of the person being baptized was not immersed completely.
A - Alma was a prophet who taught repentance after his own conversion. Mosiah 17:2-4; Mosiah 18:1-17
Story: Alma Baptizes in the Waters of Mormon
Alma, one of the priests of wicked King Noah, heard Abinadi preach the word of God to the king. Alma believed Abinadi's teachings and asked King Noah not to harm Abinadi. King Noah became angry and threw Alma out from among his people. Then the king sent servants to kill Alma. Alma hid for many days, and the servants did not find him. While hiding, Alma wrote down everything Abinadi had taught. (See Mosiah 17:24.)
Alma repented of his sins and went around privately teaching the people Abinadi's message. He taught them about Jesus Christ and His mission. Many believed Alma. After a number of days a large group had gathered to Mormon, a place on the border of the land, to hear Alma preach. This place had a fountain of pure water running by a thicket of small trees. In the daytime Alma hid here from the king's servants. Alma taught the people about repentance and faith in the Lord. (See Mosiah 18:17.)
The people believed the things Alma taught, and they desired to be called the people of God. Alma said that if this was their desire, they should be baptized. The people understood and joyfully accepted their responsibility to "bear one another's burdens," "mourn with those that mourn," "comfort those that stand in need of comfort," and "stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places ... even until death" (Mosiah 18:89).
Being baptized would show that the people wanted to covenant with God to serve Him and keep His commandments. Then He would pour out His Spirit more fully upon them. (See Mosiah 18:10.)
When the people heard this, "they clapped their hands for joy, and exclaimed: This is the desire of our hearts" (Mosiah 18:11).
Alma led a man named Helam into the Waters of Mormon. Alma said the baptismal prayer, and then both he and Helam went entirely under the water. Alma then baptized the others, but he did not go under the water again. About 204 people were baptized. From that time on they were called the Church of Christ. (See Mosiah 18:1217.)
P - Partake the Sacrament 2 Nephi 25:29 D&C 20:77-79
QUOTE: Sacrament meeting is the most important meeting of the week; it’s the one the Lord has commanded us to attend. It’s a time to worship the Savior. Now, what does that mean, to worship? It means to reverently show love and allegiance to Him, to remember His sacrifice for each of us, and to thank Him. … We often do this through prayer, music, talks, scriptures, and our testimonies. His Spirit should be there. We partake of the sacrament in remembrance of His body and blood, symbolizing His resurrection and atonement. We should think about His life and sacrifice during the passing of the sacrament. Our sacrament meeting should be a time to talk of Christ, to rejoice in Christ.
… As you partake of the sacrament, you witness that you are willing to take the name of Jesus Christ upon you. This means that you are willing to be baptized, to proclaim gospel truths in His name, and to represent Him in doing His work here on earth. You also witness that you will always remember Him and keep His commandments. Those are serious, sacred commitments. In return, as you keep your promises, you are blessed that you may always have His Spirit to be with you.Elder W. Mack Lawrence of the Seventy
What the difference is between plain bread and water and sacrament bread and water?
The sacrament is sacred because it has been blessed by priesthood authority. It reminds us of Jesus's body and blood.
We go to sacrament meeting every Sunday to take the sacrament. It is a time to remember our baptismal covenants. When a priest blesses the sacrament, we hear him say, "Always remember him and keep his commandments" (D&C 20:77; emphasis added).
After you are baptized and confirmed, you must remember to keep those covenants throughout your life. Your faith will continue to grow as you remember Jesus Christ.
Read the sacrament prayer in D&C 20:77-79 and see if family can find the baptismal covenants in them.
T - Turn Eight Years Old
Doctrine & Covenants 68:25, 27 Moroni 8:8-12
STORY: Use Pictures to retell story
Not long after Moroni was called to be a prophet, disagreements arose in the church about whether little children should be baptized. Moroni wrote a letter to his father, Mormon, asking for advice.
Mormon prayed to Heavenly Father and received an answer: “Listen to the words of Christ, your Redeemer, your Lord and your God. Behold, I came into the world not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance; the whole need no physician, but they that are sick; wherefore, little children are whole, for they are not capable of committing sin”.
Mormon wrote back to Moroni, telling him, “It is solemn mockery before God, that ye should baptize little children. Behold I say unto you that this thing shall ye teach—repentance and baptism unto those who are accountable and capable of committing sin. … And … little children need no repentance, neither baptism. Behold, baptism is unto repentance … unto the remission of sins. “But little children are alive in Christ, even from the foundation of the world.” (Moro. 8:9–12.)
In our own time, the Lord revealed to Joseph Smith that children should be baptized at the age of eight. (See Doctrine and Covenants 68:25, 27). Each year thousands of righteous children reach the age of accountability and are baptized into the Lord’s church.
“The Age of Accountability: Why Am I Baptized When I Am Eight Years Old?” Friend, Feb 2000, 39
QUOTE: “On the subject of children who are eight years of age, Elder Paramore added, “As a former bishop, I must have interviewed at least eighty children and watched them be baptized. In all those interviews, I never knew a time when I felt that the child wasn’t ready for baptism. Eight is the age of accountability and children do know right from wrong at this age. They don’t know all of the doctrines, of course, but they know how to make proper judgments. They know instinctively, by the light of Christ, what is right. Whether they do what is right is subject to the exercise of their free agency, but there’s no question in my mind regarding an eight-year-old child’s ability to choose the right. I’ve had that witness come to me many, many times.”
Joleen Meredith, “Friend to Friend,” Friend, Jan 1982, 6
STORY: Hubbard Tank (with visuals)
1. Ila Marie loved to hear the stories of Jesus. She especially liked to hear about Jesus being baptized by John the Baptist. Ila Marie wanted to follow Jesus. She wanted to be baptized by immersion. Her parents taught her that she could be baptized when she was eight years old.
2. But Ila Marie got a sickness called polio. The polio made her very sick. It made her so she could not walk. Ila Marie was too sick to stay home.
3. The doctors sent her to the hospital. They hoped they could help her get well in the hospital.
4. To help Ila Marie's legs, the doctors put her in a special tank filled with warm, fast-moving water. The water made her legs feel better.
5. The doctors said Ila Marie would have to stay in the hospital for a long time.
Ila Marie tried to be happy in the hospital. It made her happy to think about being baptized. Soon she would be eight years old. She wanted to be baptized just as Jesus was baptized. When Ila Marie turned eight, she asked her father to take her out of the hospital so that she could be baptized.
But the doctors told her father that she could not leave the hospital. She was still too sick.
6. Ila Marie was very sad. She wanted to be baptized. She asked Heavenly Father to help her find a way to be baptized.
7. One day, while Ila Marie was in the special tank, she got an idea.
When Ila Marie's father and mother came to visit her that day, Ila Marie told them her idea. She could be baptized in the hospital. She could be baptized in the special tank.
8. Ila Marie was baptized like Jesus. She was baptized by immersion.
(Adapted from Ila Marie Goodey, "I Was Baptized in a Hubbard Tank," Children's Friend, Jan. 1963, pp. 30-31. )
I - Immersion Doctrine & Covenants 20:73–74 Romans 6:3–5
When we are baptized we will be following Jesus' example. We will be baptized as Jesus was, by immersion.
- What does immersion mean? (To be completely covered by water.)
The Apostle Paul taught that being immersed in water and coming out again is symbolic of death and resurrection. Our sins are washed away when we are baptized. After baptism we start a new life. Baptism by immersion by a person having the proper authority is the only acceptable way of being baptized.
Demonstrate to family how someone is baptized and what immersion looks like.
Have two people, be the water, by holding both ends of a string or rope.
Have a priesthood holder and another person (child turn 8, or person being baptized), demonstrate what will happen.
Have family member watch and make sure the person being baptized is completely under water.
Bring out that we are baptized by the same authority as Jesus was -
the priesthood of God.
Friend to Friend: Mark E. Petersen, of the Council of the Twelve, Friend, Feb 1971, 10
I have just heard that you were baptized this month, on your birthday. It made me happy indeed, because your baptism will mean so much to you all the rest of your life.
When we are baptized, when we reach eight years of age, we enter the Church of Jesus Christ, and we receive the many blessings of the Church. We must be baptized to fill the Lord’s commandment.
Baptism is not just a custom in our Church. It is something we do because the Lord commands it. Baptism is as old as the gospel. Adam was baptized, and by immersion, just as you were. And millions of people since that time have also been baptized.
It was Jesus who gave us baptism. He gave it to Adam, and he gave it to all of us who have lived since that time. And he himself was baptized, to show that everyone over eight must receive this ordinance.
Do you know why it is that we are immersed in baptism? Some churches believe in an ordinance which they call baptism, but it is merely the sprinkling of some water on the head of a child.
Immersion is the only true way of baptism, and it has a real meaning. All your life you have believed in Jesus. You have learned how he taught the people, blessed little children, and even raised two boys and a little girl from the dead. But then he was taken by cruel men and crucified.
Our Heavenly Father used that crucifixion, though, to bring us many blessings. Jesus suffered greatly when he died, but his Father, who is also our Father in heaven, permitted Jesus’ suffering to pay the penalty for our sins if we repent of them.
It is when we are baptized that our Heavenly Father allows Jesus’ suffering to pay for our sins. In this way we receive forgiveness through baptism.
But why are we immersed? It is to represent the burial and resurrection of Christ. As he was buried in the tomb, so we are buried in the water. As he came forth from the tomb to a newness of life as a resurrected person, so we come forth from baptism in water to a newness of a religious life on earth, serving the Lord and keeping his commandments.
So you see, our immersion is to help us remember the burial and resurrection of Christ. This is one reason baptism is so important to us. It will always remind us that Christ died for us, and that he was resurrected. As surely as we come forth from the waters of baptism, just so surely will we all come forth from our graves after we die, and live forever with the Savior who made all of this possible.
So Tommy, be thankful for your baptism, and know that now you are a true member of the Church of Jesus Christ. He expects that from this day on you will always remember him and keep his commandments, so that someday you may see him and live with him in the eternal heavens above. May the Lord bless you always, is my prayer for you.
Mark E. Petersen
Mark 1:4 Acts 2:38 Acts 22:16
Do this object lesson to illustrate the power of sin and the power of repentance.
Objects Used/Preparation: Bottle, half full of water. Food coloring. Bleach. Vinegar
Lesson: 1. Show a bottle of clear water. 2. Then add a couple of drops of food coloring to the water. 3. Now pour bleach in the bottle, which will turn the water clear again. Lesson Application: 1. We come to this earth sinless. 2. As we progress, each of us sins and it marks our souls. 3. However, through repentance our souls can become clean again. If you put vinegar in the water before you add food coloring, the bleach works better.Here is what you do. You start with clean water and you put a couple of tablespoons of vinegar in it first.Then you add the food coloring to the water to represent sin or mistakes orwhatever.Then you add some bleach, and POOF! The water turns back clear again just like that. (repentance, atonement, etc.)
* When we place our faith in Jesus Christ, repent, and are baptized, our sins are forgiven through the atonement of Jesus Christ.
* One of the great blessings of baptism is that it provides us with a new start on our way toward our eternal goal.
Have someone read President Joseph F. Smith's description of the time when he was baptized: "The feeling that came upon me was that of pure peace, of love and of light. I felt in my soul that if I had sinned-and surely I was not without sin--that it had been forgiven me; that I was indeed cleansed from sin; my heart was touched and I felt that I would not injure the smallest insect beneath my feet. I felt as though I wanted to do good everywhere to everybody and to everything. I felt a newness of life, a newness of desire to do that which was right. There was not one particle of desire for evil left in my soul. I was but a little boy, it is true, when I was baptized; but this was the influence that came upon me, and I know that it was from God, and was and ever has been a living witness to me of my acceptance of the Lord." (In Conference Report, Apr. 1898, p. 66.)
M - Make Covenants Mosiah 18: 7-17
The prophet Alma taught that faith and repentance are steps that prepare us for baptism. He taught that when we are baptized we make a covenant with the Lord. We promise to do certain things, and God promises to bless us in return.
Alma explained that we must want to be called the people of God. We must be willing to help and comfort each other. We must stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things and in all places. As we do these things and are baptized, God will forgive our sins.
1. What is a covenant? The baptismal covenant is a sacred agreement.
(An agreement or promise between two persons that each will do certain things.)
2. Who are the persons involved in the covenant or promise when someone is baptized?
(Person being baptized will be one. Our Heavenly Father will be the other.)
Use word strips and put them on the correct side of the poster to answer these questions.
3. What are the promises that the person being baptized will make to Heavenly Father at baptism?
4. What will Heavenly Father promise when we are baptized?
To keep the commandments of our Father in Heaven & Jesus Christ.
To always remember Him
To forgive me of my sins when I truly repent.
To give me the right to receive the companionship of the Holy Ghost.