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Relief Society Lesson Prep: #13 - Baptism

How baptism changes us Baptism is meant to be a transformational ordinance. President Joseph Fielding Smith describes baptism as “a transplanting, or resurrection from one life to another—the life of sin to the life of spiritual life.” We should not be the same person after baptism that we were before the baptism. We should be a different person. The key to remaining different after our baptism is to keep the commandments. Continued repentance and faithfulness to the commandments is the condition upon which the Lord can offer us salvation. There is no other way. Baptism must be by full immersion. It represents the burial of Christ in death and His resurrection to a new life. If we are not fully immersed, we are not “buried” with Christ. Our baptism demonstrates our own desire for the symbolic death of the natural man, and the birth into the life of the repentant and forgiven son or daughter of God. Baptism is layered with symbolism. It also represents the birth of a child of God. We were born physically through the water, the blood, and the spirit.
Baptism may seem like a common enough event, in that everyone who enters the Church does so through baptism. But think of baptism as the first indication to God that you are interested in returning home to live with Him. It is a big deal. Of all the covenants we make to enable us to return home and become like our Father in Heaven, baptism is the very first.
1. The water carries and protects the baby 2. the blood of the mother is shed to give birth to the child 3. and the spirit gives life to the body of the baby.
Spiritually speaking,
1. baptism is the water through which we must pass to be born into a spiritual life 2. to be forgiven of our sins through the blood shed by Christ 3. and purified through repentance by the Holy Spirit.
It is important to remember that everyone who is not baptized is spiritually dead, being cut off or separated from God. The only way to return to God is through the ordinance of baptism, which opens the door to all the other ordinances that lead to exaltation. Little children and baptism The fall of Adam and Eve brought both sin and death into the world. It did not condemn all of their children to separation from God, only those who are accountable for their actions. The Atonement of Christ saves all those who are unable to tell the difference between right and wrong. This includes any individual who is of diminished mental capacity, and all children under the age of accountability, which the Lord has told us is eight years of age. All those who are not accountable for their actions will be saved in the Celestial kingdom. That is God’s promise to us. Little children and others who cannot distinguish right from wrong are promised salvation. We, on the other hand, are not. We understand the difference between right and wrong. When we do wrong we generally are aware that is what we are doing. We do it by choice, so we are held accountable for our actions. Following is a quote from President Joseph Fielding Smith.
In the waters of baptism we covenanted that we would keep these commandments; that we would serve the Lord; that we would keep this first and greatest of all the commandments, and love the Lord our God; that we would keep the next great commandment, we would love our neighbor as ourselves; and with all the might that we have, with all the strength, with all our hearts we would prove to Him that we would “live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God;” [D&C 84:44] that we would be obedient and humble, diligent in His service, willing to obey, to hearken to the counsels of those who preside over us and do all things with an eye single to the glory of God.
So how do we accomplish these great tasks? Through repentance and continual effort. Baptism is the first of the Celestial covenants. There are no covenants needed to go to a lower kingdom. All of God’s covenants with us are Celestial in nature. All of them are designed to turn us into Celestial material. Working to keep the commandments, repenting of our sins, and learning to obey the Spirit without hesitation will keep us in a state of holiness, a state of constant repentance, clean and without spot before God. Then it will not matter how long we live, where we live or what happens to us in this life, because we will be prepared to go home to our Father whenever our time here comes to an end.

 
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