Monday, May 26, 2008

The LDS Covenant of Baptism - At All Times, In All Things, and In All Places

So often, people think of baptism as a door by which to enter a Church. Beyond that, it seems to entail little other requirement on the part of the baptized. It gives the one baptized an unconditional "free" grace, requiring only the profession of belief in Christ. Once a person is baptized, that person can never lose Christ's grace, no matter what they do. From what I understand, this is what many Churches refer to as being "saved". Others believe that baptism is a sign of discipleship, but they don't always go into detail about what that discipleship requires.

The LDS on the other hand, believe that baptism is a covenant - in other words, a mutual promise set up by God. In covenants, we promise to do certain things, and the Lord promises certain blessings. This is the baptism of water. The LDS baptism isn't complete until a person receives the Gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. This Gift gives receivers the right to the Holy Ghost's constant companionship. This continual influence by the Spirit eventually works the baptism by fire or the spirit, spoken of in scripture.

What is more, LDS members promise to witness of Christ all the time. It is this aspect of baptism that has me thinking lately.

I don't know if very many members of the Church really do this. I don't think it requires constantly babbling about the Church to all and sundry, but I do think it requires a level of spiritual connection that has a person ready to verbally witness at all times, and has a person nonverbally witnessing of Christ on a constant basis.

I have recently reevaluated myself by asking myself questions such as, "Am I living as a witness of Christ at work?" "How about to my family?" "Do my neighbors see and hear my witness in my behavior to them?" "Do I drive as a witness of Christ should?" I'm afraid I've found myself wanting on several counts.


  1. Don't be too hard on yourself. Being a witness can be manifested in many ways- being honest, showing integrity, offering to help, being a friend and smiling. I know that you do all of these things at work. I am sure that you do them in other aspects of your life as well.

  2. Thank you! I'm glad to see you commenting here.

    Being hard on myself, however, seems to be a legacy. I can't help it, it's in my DNA!

  3. I think Kate is right. In fact I think that kind of witness rings more true than 'preachy' type witnesses.
    If we put ourselves in the postion to always teach and exhort others it often comes across as acting superior. Personally I am more likely to listen to someone who is honestly open (including faults) while watching them struggle and succeed by living the commandments. (You seem to do that well here.)
    I don't know that this is a more perfectable skill other than as you become more perfect you'll be a more perfect example. Also not actively avoiding situations in which the Spirit prompts you to testify.


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