Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2012, May 3

“Baptism in the Book of Mormon: Pushed by Missionaries or Requested by Investigators?” by grego

Baptism in the Book of Mormon: Pushed by Missionaries or Requested by Investigators?


I decided to take a look at the circumstances around a person being baptized in the Book of Mormon, and compare that to what happens nowadays with most investigators.

I do not want to get into the doctrine of baptism very much (there are many more verses that talk about baptism that I didn’t list), nor deeply discuss investigators preparing for baptism through belief, faith, repentance, and works, as I’ve done that a little before, anyway; however, I do note this in the verses that are here, if they go along with my main purpose.

Book of Mormon verses:

Mosiah 4:1 And now, it came to pass that when king Benjamin had thus spoken to his people, he sent among them, DESIRING TO KNOW of his people IF THEY BELIEVED the words which he had spoken unto them.
2 And they all CRIED WITH ONE VOICE, saying: Yea, WE BELIEVE ALL THE WORDS which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we KNOW OF THEIR SURETY AND TRUTH, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has WROUGHT A MIGHT CHANGE IN US, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually.
3 And we, ourselves, also, through the infinite goodness of God, and the MANIFESTATIONS OF HIS SPIRIT, have great views of that which is to come; and were it expedient, we could prophesy of all things.
4 And it is the FAITH WHICH WE HAVE had on the things which our king has spoken unto us that has brought us to this great knowledge, whereby WE DO REJOICE WITH SUCH EXCEEDINGLY GREAT JOY.
5 And WE ARE WILLING TO ENTER INTO A COVENANT with our God to do his will, and to be obedient to his commandments in all things that he shall command us, ALL THE REMAINDER OF OUR DAYS, that we may not bring upon ourselves a never-ending torment, as has been spoken by the angel, that we may not drink out of the cup of the wrath of God.

Mosiah 18:10 Now I say unto you, IF THIS BE THE DESIRE OF YOUR HEARTS, what have you against being BAPTIZED in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?
11 And now when the people had heard these words, THEY CLAPPED THEIR HANDS FOR JOY, and exclaimed: THIS IS THE DESIRE OF OUR HEARTS.

Mosiah 21:33 And it came to pass that king Limhi and many of his people WERE DESIROUS TO BE BAPTIZED; but there was none in the land that had authority from God. And Ammon declined doing this thing, considering himself an unworthy servant.
34 Therefore they did not at that time form themselves into a church, waiting upon the Spirit of the Lord. Now they were DESIROUS to become even as Alma and his brethren, who had fled into the wilderness.
35 They WERE DESIROUS TO BE BAPTIZED as a witness and a testimony that they were willing to serve God with all their hearts; nevertheless they did prolong the time; and an account of their baptism shall be given hereafter.
Mosiah 25:17 And it came to pass that after Alma had taught the people many things, and had made an end of speaking to them, that king Limhi WAS DESIROUS THAT HE MIGHT BE BAPTIZED; and all his people WERE DESIROUS THAT THEY MIGHT BE BAPTIZED also.
18 Therefore, Alma did go forth into the water and did baptize them; yea, he did baptize them after the manner he did his brethren in the waters of Mormon; yea, and as many as he did baptize did belong to the church of God; and this because of their belief on the words of Alma.

Alma 8:4 And he began to teach the people in the land of Melek according to the holy order of God, by which he had been called; and he began to teach the people throughout all the land of Melek.
5 And it came to pass that THE PEOPLE CAME TO HIM throughout all the borders of the land which was by the wilderness side. And they WERE BAPTIZED throughout all the land;

Alma 15:3 And also Zeezrom lay sick at Sidom, with a burning fever, which was caused by the great tribulations of his mind on account of his wickedness, for he supposed that Alma and Amulek were no more; and he supposed that they had been slain because of his iniquity. And this great sin, and his many other sins, did harrow up his mind until it did become exceedingly sore, having no deliverance; therefore he began to be scorched with a burning heat.
4 Now, when he heard that Alma and Amulek were in the land of Sidom, his heart began to take courage; and he sent a message immediately unto them, DESIRING THEM TO COME UNTO HIM.
5 And it came to pass that they went immediately, obeying the message which he had sent unto them; and they went in unto the house unto Zeezrom; and they found him upon his bed, sick, being very low with a burning fever; and his mind also was exceedingly sore because of his iniquities; and when HE saw them he stretched forth his hand, and BESOUGHT THEM THAT THEY WOULD HEAL HIM.

10 And then Alma cried unto the Lord, saying: O Lord our God, have mercy on this man, and heal him according to his faith which is in Christ.
11 And when Alma had said these words, Zeezrom leaped upon his feet, and began to walk; and this was done to the great astonishment of all the people; and the knowledge of this went forth throughout all the land of Sidom.
12 And Alma BAPTIZED Zeezrom unto the Lord; and he began from that time forth to preach unto the people.
13 And Alma established a church in the land of Sidom, and consecrated priests and teachers in the land, to baptize unto the Lord whosoever WERE DESIROUS TO BE BAPTIZED.

Alma 19:35 And it came to pass that there were many that did BELIEVE IN THEIR WORDS; and as many as did believe WERE BAPTIZED; and they BECAME A RIGHTEOUS PEOPLE, and they did establish a church among them.

Alma 32:16 Therefore, blessed are they who humble themselves without being compelled to be humble; or rather, in other words, blessed is he that believeth in the word of God, and is BAPTIZED WITHOUT STUBBORNNESS OF HEART, yea, without being brought to know the word, or even compelled to know, before they will believe.

Helaman 5:16 …and from thence into the land of Zarahemla, among the Lamanites.
17 And it came to pass that they did preach with great power, insomuch that they did confound many of those dissenters who had gone over from the Nephites, insomuch that THEY CAME FORTH and did CONFESS THEIR SINS and WERE BAPTIZED unto repentance, and IMMEDIATELY returned to the Nephites to ENDEAVOR TO REPAIR UNTO THEM THE WRONGS WHICH THEY HAD DONE.

Helaman 16:1 And now, it came to pass that there were many who heard the words of Samuel, the Lamanite, which he spake upon the walls of the city. And as many as believed on his word WENT FORTH AND SOUGHT FOR NEPHI; and WHEN THEY HAD COME FORTH AND FOUND HIM they CONFESSED UNTO HIM THEIR SINS and DENIED NOT, DESIRING THAT THEY MIGHT BE BAPTIZED unto the Lord.
2 But as many as there were who did not believe in the words of Samuel were angry with him; and they cast stones at him upon the wall, and also many shot arrows at him as he stood upon the wall; but the Spirit of the Lord was with him, insomuch that they could not hit him with their stones neither with their arrows.
3 Now when they saw that they could not hit him, there were many more who did believe on his words, insomuch that THEY WENT AWAY UNTO NEPHI TO BE BAPTIZED.

3 Nephi 26:17 And it came to pass that the disciples whom Jesus had chosen began from that time forth to BAPTIZE and to TEACH AS MANY AS DID COME UNTO THEM; and as many as were baptized in the name of Jesus WERE FILLED WITH THE HOLY GHOST.

4 Nephi 1:1 And it came to pass that the thirty and fourth year passed away, and also the thirty and fifth, and behold the disciples of Jesus had formed a church of Christ in all the lands round about. And AS MANY AS DID COME UNTO THEM, and did TRULY REPENT OF THEIR SINS, were BAPTIZED in the name of Jesus; and they did also RECEIVE THE HOLY GHOST.

Mormon 9:29 See that ye are NOT BAPTIZED UNWORTHILY; see that ye partake not of the sacrament of Christ unworthily; but see that ye do all things in worthiness, and do it in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God; and if ye do this, and endure to the end, ye will in nowise be cast out.

Moroni 6:1 And now I speak concerning baptism. Behold, elders, priests, and teachers were baptized; and they were NOT BAPTIZED SAVE THEY BROUGHT FORTH FRUIT MEET that they were WORTHY of it.
3 And none were received unto baptism save they took upon them the name of Christ, HAVING A DETERMINATION TO SERVE HIM TO THE END.
4 And after they had been received unto baptism, AND WERE WROUGHT UPON AND CLEANSED BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY GHOST, they were numbered among the people of the church of Christ; and their names were taken, that they might be remembered and nourished by the good word of God, to keep them in the right way, to keep them continually watchful unto prayer, relying alone upon the merits of Christ, who was the author and the finisher of their faith.

Conclusion: investigators usually sought out the preacher and were desirous of baptism (or covenant-making) and willing to show it. There was no such thing as just agreeing to set a date, especially because the missionaries pushed them. The investigators also fully understood the meaning and intent of baptism.
The new members did not receive just the GIFT of the Holy Ghost, but the Holy Ghost itself (something most new members here can’t attest to–not because they’re bad, but because they’re unprepared and not fully committed).

I invite any comments that show the Book of Mormon shows otherwise.

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