Over the past couple weeks, I've asked, “Why does such a simple expression of faith mean so much to the Lord? Why is baptism so important?”
A messenger from the presence of God declared this:
“The first time I was visited by the Lord, He showed me just how significant baptism is to abide the day of His return. He showed me baptism is of central importance to preparing for His return.” Denver Snuffer, Doctrine of Christ Conference in Boise, Idaho page 2
“I accepted the invitation to speak here, because the time has come to testify of the things shown me by the Lord in His first appearance on the night of February 12-13, 2003. I saw His return in glory, and recorded what He revealed:
“I was at home lying in my bed when the Lord spoke to me, calling me by name, when it ended I was commanded to write an account. As I wrote, the words were given to me, and I recorded the following:
“On the 13th of February 2003 I saw the Lord coming in His glory. At first a sign appeared in the heavens; a light emanating from a single point, and turning first this way and that, All the world saw it. And men debated over its meaning. At length the light turned upon us, and within it was the Lord, showing His glory, with concourses of angels and the hosts of heaven following in His wake.
“And when we saw that it was the Lord, we rejoiced and were filled with joy. I turned to my wife and said, “Look, it is Christ!” and she said, “Yes, it is!” And we were filled with joy and peace of mind, for the long awaited day of the Lord had come.
“But others were filled with dread. They feared and lamented and wanted the mountains to cover them and hide them from His presence, For He was clothed in red and came in judgment. And Christian ministers knew they had taught falsely and that their faith could not save—and they begged for relief from the Saints.
“This caused me to marvel at how this could be. It was given unto me to understand that without the ordinances of salvation through the authorized ministers of the gospel, it was not possible for men to shed their sins. And they could not look upon a just and Holy Being without being racked with torment and guilt for their sins. And they pled with the Saints to minister to them, but we could not, For we were constrained by the Spirit, and were forbidden to do so. For this was the day of judgment which the Lord had in His heart, and He was now come to preach His own sermon, clothed in red, and to deliver those who waited on Him and to convict and condemn those who had not.
“I write this in my own hand, and bear solemn testimony that it is true, Amen.
“When I had finished recording the foregoing account I replied to the Lord that it was not complete and that I could give a much fuller account.
“The Lord replied, “When the time comes to bear testimony of this, these are the words you shall use.” And many other things were told to me that cannot be written.
“These are the words I can use to testify of that event. Therefore this is my testimony of that visit in early 2003.” Denver Snuffer, Doctrine of Christ Conference in Boise, Idaho page 3-4
On the night of February 12-13, 2011, I received the baptism of fire and a witness from God that Denver's testimony in The Second Comforter Conversing With the Lord Through the Veil is a true testimony. I know for myself that Denver is a true messenger sent from the presence of God.
It is a simple thing to be baptized. It is as simple as looking upon the brazen serpent and being healed.
And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way. And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread. And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.
Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord, and against thee; pray unto the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.
And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived. Numbers 21:4-9
Nephi gives us added understanding:
And he loveth those who will have him to be their God. Behold, he loved our fathers, and he covenanted with them, yea, even Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and he remembered the covenants which he had made; wherefore, he did bring them out of the land of Egypt.
And he did straiten them in the wilderness with his rod; for they hardened their hearts, even as ye have; and the Lord straitened them because of their iniquity. He sent fiery flying serpents among them; and after they were bitten he prepared a way that they might be healed; and the labor which they had to perform was to look; and because of the simpleness of the way, or the easiness of it, there were many who perished. 1 Nephi 17:40-41
It might be asked, why isn't living a good life sufficient? If being good was required, only one would meet the demand.
And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. Matthew 19:16-17
Why doesn't God require something great and spectacular from us? Is there something in us that looks for the accomplishment of impressive and notable deeds?
Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honourable, because by him the Lord had given deliverance unto Syria: he was also a mighty man in valour, but he was a leper. And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she waited on Naaman’s wife. And she said unto her mistress, Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy. And one went in, and told his lord, saying, Thus and thus said the maid that is of the land of Israel.
And the king of Syria said, Go to, go, and I will send a letter unto the king of Israel. And he departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment. And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, saying, Now when this letter is come unto thee, behold, I have therewith sent Naaman my servant to thee, that thou mayest recover him of his leprosy.
And it came to pass, when the king of Israel had read the letter, that he rent his clothes, and said, Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man doth send unto me to recover a man of his leprosy? wherefore consider, I pray you, and see how he seeketh a quarrel against me. And it was so, when Elisha the man of God had heard that the king of Israel had rent his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, Wherefore hast thou rent thy clothes? let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.
So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha. And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean. But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper. Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage.
And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean? Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.
And he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came, and stood before him: and he said, Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel: now therefore, I pray thee, take a blessing of thy servant. But he said, As the Lord liveth, before whom I stand, I will receive none. And he urged him to take it; but he refused. 2 Kings 5:1-16
It is important to note that Elisha refused payment for his priestly service.
He commandeth that there shall be no priestcrafts; for, behold, priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world; but they seek not the welfare of Zion. 2 Nephi 26:29
When men offer baptism while practicing priestcrafts, it pollutes the ordinance.
Jesus laid out the requirements for an acceptable baptism:
And again the Lord called others, and said unto them likewise; and he gave unto them power to baptize. And he said unto them: On this wise shall ye baptize; and there shall be no disputations among you.
Verily I say unto you, that whoso repenteth of his sins through your words, and desireth to be baptized in my name, on this wise shall ye baptize them—Behold, ye shall go down and stand in the water, and in my name shall ye baptize them.
And now behold, these are the words which ye shall say, calling them by name, saying: Having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. And then shall ye immerse them in the water, and come forth again out of the water.
And after this manner shall ye baptize in my name; for behold, verily I say unto you, that the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost are one; and I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one. 3 Nephi 11: 22-27
If the requirements for baptism are anything more or less than the doctrine of Christ as taught by Jesus, it also pollutes the ordinance.
Behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, I will declare unto you my doctrine. And this is my doctrine, and it is the doctrine which the Father hath given unto me; and I bear record of the Father, and the Father beareth record of me, and the Holy Ghost beareth record of the Father and me; and I bear record that the Father commandeth all men, everywhere, to repent and believe in me.
And whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same shall be saved; and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God. And whoso believeth not in me, and is not baptized, shall be damned. Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and I bear record of it from the Father; and whoso believeth in me believeth in the Father also; and unto him will the Father bear record of me, for he will visit him with fire and with the Holy Ghost. And thus will the Father bear record of me, and the Holy Ghost will bear record unto him of the Father and me; for the Father, and I, and the Holy Ghost are one.
And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and become as a little child, and be baptized in my name, or ye can in nowise receive these things. And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and be baptized in my name, and become as a little child, or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and whoso buildeth upon this buildeth upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them. And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock; but he buildeth upon a sandy foundation, and the gates of hell stand open to receive such when the floods come and the winds beat upon them. Therefore, go forth unto this people, and declare the words which I have spoken, unto the ends of the earth. 3 Nephi 11:31-41
Did you hear that? If you add to or take away from the doctrine of Christ, it cometh of evil and gives you no protection against the gates of hell. It is not a valid baptism.
I was baptized into the LDS church on May 2, 1975. I don't remember the questions in the baptismal interview, but I don't believe it included my belief in the doctrine of Christ as stated in 3 Nephi 11. There were many other questions asked that had nothing to do with the doctrine of Christ. These are the current questions asked during a LDS baptismal interview:
- Do you believe that God is our Eternal Father? Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of the world?
- Do you believe the Church and gospel of Jesus Christ have been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith?
- What does it mean to you to repent? Do you feel that you have repented of your past transgressions?
- You have been taught that membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints includes living gospel standards. What do you understand of the following standards? Are you willing to obey them?
- When you are baptized, you covenant with God that you are willing to take upon yourself the name of Christ and keep His commandments throughout your life. Are you ready to make this covenant and strive to be faithful to it? How Do I Prepare People for Baptism and Confirmation
This appears to be a good list to get someone off on the right foot in this new religion, but it is found lacking in declaring the doctrine of Christ. A whole bunch of other requirements, not given by the Lord, have been added.
I am not familiar with the baptism offered by other ministers, but unless it is precisely what Jesus has declared, it is not a valid baptism.
Being baptized is a simple commandment. Men have made it complicated.
If you have not received a valid baptism, I invite you to be baptized by one who has received authority from Jesus Christ to perform the ordinance. Repent and believe in Christ. He is teaching us what it means to repent, believe in Him. Or in other words, stop not believing in Christ and start believing in Christ. He has already atoned for your past and future mistakes. Face God and be believing.
It's almost too simple. Believe in Christ and be baptized. Can you do that? Believe in Christ with the faith of a child and follow Him.