Baptism by Harry Anderson


Accounts of Christ’s baptism are found in Luke and Mark, as well as in Matthew: “Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.  But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?  And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.  Then he suffered him.  And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:13-17).

Though the Savior of the world was without sin, even He needed to be baptized.  He humbly set the pattern for all mankind to follow by His obedience in keeping His Father’s commandments. “And now, if the Lamb of God, he being holy, should have need to be baptized by water, to fulfil all righteousness, O then, how much more need have we, being unholy, to be baptized, yea, even by water!” (2 Nephi 31:5).

The Apostle Paul taught that baptism by immersion is symbolic of death and rebirth/resurrection.  After baptism, figuratively life begins anew.  Indeed, baptism is the introductory ordinance of the gospel and has eternal consequences, as is illustrated by the lyrics of the song “Baptism” from the Children’s Songbook: “Jesus came to John the Baptist, in Judea long ago, and was baptized by immersion in the River Jordan’s flow.  “To fulfill the law,” said Jesus, when the Baptist questioned why, “And to enter with my Father in the kingdom up on high.”  Now we know that we must also witness faith in Jesus’ word, be baptized to show obedience, as was Jesus Christ, our Lord.”

Additional reading: “The Covenant of Baptism: To Be in the Kingdom and of the Kingdom”