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By Five Solas
Full disclosure: I subscribe to believer baptism (also called credobaptism). I find the order of events throughout the New Testament (particularly the Book of Acts) persuasive, baptism follows conversion and not the other way round. My oldest is 9 and she has not yet been baptized. We’ve talked about it and she’s thought about it – but it’s not something she’s yet asked to do nor do we want her to feel pressured or feel that baptism is something she should do because it’s what her parents desire for her. When the time is right, it will come from her, not from us.
Now that acknowledged, I respect the arguments made by those who practice infant baptism. Certainly nowhere in the Bible is this practice forbidden. I’m very comfortable with Christians following their conscience on the matter.
So now with all that said, I wanted to explore the topic of baptism and Christianity here. A few weeks back an LDS poster told me I was mistaken to have claimed to have become a Christian in my 30’s – he wrote: "Sorry to interrupt, but if you were baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ at age 8, then you were already a Christian."
I found the statement startling and its implication profound. If I were a Christian all along—then the change in my life when I came to profess faith must be attributable to something else, something besides the converting work of the Holy Spirit. But the point here isn’t to encourage speculation on my life or motives, the point is to illustrate why the question matters, why it is important and worth our time to consider.
So what do folks here think, does baptism make a person a Christian?
Avatar4321 and Scott Lloyd were challenging my assertion that virtually every Mormon doctrine has changed and evolved over time. So a topic was picked for discussion and I'm opening this thread for us to discuss. The topic is Baptism. To represent the most recent official teachings about this doctrine, I'm going to use two sources. First is the LDS.org site, and the second link is the entry in the Encyclopedia of Mormonism.
It will take me a little time to look at some of the sources for doctrinal development, but an interesting essay that I just started reading (anyone can get a free account at JSTOR, just sign up) is this essay in the JMH by Jonathan A. Stapley and Kristine L. Wright titled ""They Shall Be Made Whole": A History of Baptism for Health". It starts by talking about the history of rebaptism in the church and then expands on the use of baptism for the purposes of healing an individual with health problems, both of these rituals are no longer performed today in the church.
Well, lets get started, thanks
Yesterday in Priesthood opening exercises the HPGL announced that ward and stake leadership has been made aware of upcoming changes to the full-time missionary program. This is what he said...
1- In addition to regular 2 year or 18 month missions, Bishops will have the option of recommending missionaries to serve 3 or 6 month missions.
2- If the missionary is doing well and would like to extend after the shorter 3-6 month call, they will be able to.
3- There will be more emphasis on service based missions for the shorter 3-6 month calls
These are some changes I've been hoping for and I think there are some really great implications IF these changes are accurate. Has anyone else heard anything else like this being announced in their local meetings? I thought it was an odd way to announce it. There wasn't a First Presidency letter read introducing the change or anything like it, yet ward leadership seemed totally confident in making the general announcement.
ETA- this announcement was about young Elders and Sisters serving, not Senior couples
Can non-members have their sins forgiven through the atonement without being a member of the church? (without being baptized?)
The question seems to me to obviously be "YES" without question, and I am sticking to that. THAT is my belief and interpretation of doctrine and I am not likely to change it unless the spirit testifies otherwise to me
It seems to me that the atonement is a requirement for the ordinance to even exist, that Christ said to the thief that he would be in paradise, obviously without baptism, and we have other instances of Christ forgiving sins without baptism.
Because John Williams made the assertion, and we often do not get along, I will avoid further comments- I have made my opinion known.
Here is a link to one of the assertions made:
I suppose this will inevitably end up being about ssm, but I really would like to stay on the topic of whether or not baptism is a pre-requisite for having sins forgiven through the atonement
THAT is the question I am interested in