In most churches, baptism or christening is a part of the religion. Some religions do it when you are just a baby with a sprinkling of water, others believe in full immersion in water. We also believe in baptism, and here is a little bit about what we believe.
First, we believe it is important for several reasons. First, Christ was baptized. Yet, we know He was perfect, and without sin. So, why was He baptized? We believe it was a vital part of God’s plan, and that without baptism, you cannot return and live with God again. We believe Christ was baptized to set an example for us, or in other words to let us know of the importance of baptism. We also believe it is one of the fundamental principles of following Christ. We must make a covenant, or promise, to God that we will try our best to live according to His laws, and although we will sin again, baptism is a way to wash away our sins before covenanting with God. We have prayer and repentance to help us continue to wash away our sins throughout our life thanks to the sacrifice of Christ.
But, is any baptism OK? We believe that baptism must be done by someone who has the authority of God to baptize. We believe that authority is the priesthood, or power to act in God’s name. We believe that not all churches have this authority because it was lost with the death of Jesus Christ and His apostles. We believe that the proper authority was only restored to the earth through Joseph Smith, and that he subsequently gave that authority to others. Just as Christ gave authority to his apostles, we believe that the same authority Christ gave to his apostles was brought back to the earth when Joseph Smith himself received it.
We also believe that babies and little children are without sin, so they have no need to be baptized. We believe that a child must be old enough to know the difference between right and wrong before being baptized. Through revelation to Joseph Smith we believe that Heavenly Father established that the age where a child can distinguish between right and wrong is 8 years old. So, that is the youngest age that we baptize in our church. That is when I was baptized.
However, if a person was baptized in another religion, we still believe they have the need to be baptized with the proper authority. So, if a person decides to join the LDS church, they will have to be baptized again. We baptize by immersion because that is how Christ was baptized.
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