22 May 2015

Baptism

Today, Vern and I will be rebaptized to show our renewed commitment to our Lord Jesus Christ, to demonstrate our renewed repentance, and our full trust and belief in His Word, both in scripture and to us individually.
Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter. For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost. ~2 Nephi 31:17
Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? ~Acts 10:47
For about three years I have longed to be baptized again to show my God I am willing to do all He asks. I knew it was common in the LDS church in the first few decades. The only answer I could ever get from current LDS church members was "We just don't do that anymore". And so I was left, wistful and unsatisfied. No one could show me where God said He didn't want me to be baptized again. It was a church policy decision, and that was that. Then I came across some interesting passages in the Book of Mormon:
For behold, Nephi was baptizing, and prophesying, and preaching, crying repentance unto the people, showing signs and wonders, working miracles among the people, that they might know that the Christ must shortly come ~Helaman 16:4
Shortly thereafter when Christ was ministering to the Nephites & Lamanites, Nephi, who had been baptizing (which meant he had already been baptized, himself), was again baptized:
And it came to pass that Nephi went down into the water and was baptized. And he came up out of the water and began to baptize. And he baptized all those whom Jesus had chosen. ~3 Nephi 19:11-12
Those present at the temple in Bountiful, for the Savior's ministry, were the "more righteous" (3 Ne 10:12) . . . presumably many, if not all, of them had already been baptized. Nephi had just been going around baptizing many, and Helaman 3 talks about tens of thousands being baptized just 28 years earlier. Even the New Testament talks about rebaptism: those who were baptized by John the Baptist were rebaptized by the apostles of Jesus Christ (Acts 19).

Baptism was part of Jewish practice during Jesus' childhood. He had already been baptized long before He entered the Jordan with John.

Walking in this new life, this life in Christ, is such a radical departure from the stoic, quiet desperation of my orthodox LDS life. I praise God that He came and nurtured me when I was sinking in hopelessness, wondering where He was, and why His promises were not bearing the sweet fruit He promised. Receiving Jesus Christ and being born again is something I will never reject, never deny.
And the Lord said unto me: Marvel not that all mankind, yea, men and women, all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, must be born again; yea, born of God, changed from their carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters; 
And thus they become new creatures; and unless they do this, they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God. ~Mosiah 27:25-26
We will forever be grateful for our LDS foundation, our upbringing that developed strong character, that sowed in our hearts a devotion to the Godhead, and that pointed our lives in directions that placed us where we are today: Vern and I walking through life together, and raising our family that we love so very much.

Joseph Smith was an honorable, righteous man of God, faithful to his wife Emma always, called to start something that has been almost completely abandoned today. The Book of Mormon is precious and true, and God has not left us comfortless.

The heavens are open for business, my friends.

3 comments:

  1. So happy for this day!!! Hope it is a wonderful rebirth! <3 <3 <3

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  2. God bless you in your determination to follow our Lord into the watery grave. All our love to you both, even as some of your LDS brethren who have gotten "a little authority, as they suppose," (D&C 121:39) have already begun "to exercise unrighteous dominion" over you. I pray this evening that the Lord be merciful to these men's souls, even as His word bears record that it can only be according to the mercy they choose to mete. May it be mercy they mete!

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I welcome questions and concerns--they are most often what spur us closer to the truth. I only ask that we all give everyone the most generous benefit of the doubt, assigning the best motives possible. A soft answer truly does turn away wrath, and an atmosphere of Jesus's love is the best for learning, no matter which side of a discussion you're on.

Thanks so much, and God bless you!