D&C Section 22

Historical Background

When the church was first organized, many had already been baptized into their previous church. Some wanted to become members of the church without being baptized again. This revelation was given through the prophet, in response to this.

How Important Is It to Have Priesthood Authority in Performing a Sacred Ordinance?

“BEHOLD, I say unto you that all old covenants have I caused to be done away in this thing; and this is a new and an everlasting covenant, even that which was from the beginning (v. 1). Wherefore, although a man should be baptized an hundred times it availeth him nothing, for you cannot enter in at the strait gate by the law of Moses, neither by your dead works (v. 2). For it is because of your dead works that I have caused this last covenant and this church to be built up unto me, even as in days of old (v. 3). Wherefore, enter ye in at the gate, as I have commanded, and seek not to counsel your God. Amen (v. 4).” Even if one is fully baptized by immersion, without the power and authority from God, or the priesthood, it cannot be recognized by God. The Lord revealed that we can be baptized even a hundred times, but if it is not done properly, “it availeth [us] nothing”. The only way that we can be saved, it to be baptized by the proper authority.

What Is the “New and Everlasting Covenant”?

This covenant is new and everlasting because is the covenant of this dispensation, which has the fulness of the gospel. It is sealed by the authority of God, meaning that it will last through the eternities. All the covenants that we make as members of the church, are part of the new and everlasting covenant we make with God. This includes baptism, priesthood ordination, and marriage in the temple.

“Enter Ye In at the Gate”

Baptism

We cannot teach God the way things should be done. We are to follow His commandments even if we think it may not be necessary. Baptism by immersion and the authority of the priesthood is a commandment that we must follow if we are to receive exaltation. Baptism is a requirement for us to return and live with God in the Celestial Kingdom. Therefore baptism is the Gate we must pass through.

In 2 Nephi 31:16-21 we read, “And now, my beloved brethren, I know by this that unless a man shall endure to the end, in following the example of the Son of the living God, he cannot be saved (v. 16). Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter. For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost (v. 17). . . Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life (v. 20). And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the away; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen (v. 21).” Baptism along with enduring to the end in faith, is the only way to be saved.

“Seek Not to Counsel Your God”

In D&C 124:84 we read, “And with my servant Almon Babbitt, there are many things with which I am not pleased; behold, he aspireth to establish his counsel instead of the counsel which I have ordained, even that of the Presidency of my Church; and he setteth up a golden calf for the worship of my people.” Then in D&C 136:19 we read, “And if any man shall seek to build up himself, and seeketh not my counsel, he shall have no power, and his folly shall be made manifest.” When we choose not to follow the counsel of the Lord, which is also the words of the prophets, then we choose to follow our own hearts instead. We will not ever know more than God, to think that we can is complete foolishness and will only bring us sorrow in the end.

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