Sunday, April 26, 2009

Baptism and Consecration

Recently there have a been some who have contended that consecration is a separate, optional covenant from Baptism, perhaps even a higher covenant.

They have suggested that you can enter into the baptismal covenant and receive a remission of sins without choosing to consecrate if consecration is being required at the time. I think it is easy to prove this to be wrong through Gods word.

I do want to clarify that as I am speaking about baptism, it is under the assumption that the person is truly repentant, that they are being baptized by the proper authority and that they receive the whole baptism, which would include the baptism of fire and the continuous companionship of the Holy Ghost.

Here are a few of the comments in red from an anonymous respondent that will be addressed in this post;

“At this point we will just have to agree to disagree. You still feel that consecration of physical belongings is a requirement of baptism and I still feel that while it is a gospel requirement it is not a baptismal requirement. I still hold that people being expected to give money (or any physical thing) to be baptized is not the way the Lord works.”

(By the way, I agree that it is not required to pay money to false or apostate churches in order to be baptized and get a remission of sins.. my point is that the true baptismal covenant requires consecration whenever God mandates that it should be lived... Clearly, the Nephites began living it within days after being re-baptized, it appears that the Gentile Saints in the New Testament lived it very soon after they were baptized, and the Kirtland Saints were commanded to live it within a year after legally organizing the church and it appears from the JST version that the Jews also lived it. See JST Luke 3:19-20))

“I do not think that consecration is wrong, I know that it is the way the Lord wants us to live, but just like I feel that the LDS church is wrong in requiring a commitment to tithing before baptism (Mormon 8:32) I feel that your interpretation is wrong due to the same principles. God's Nature may limit the progression of individuals for not living consecration but according to the scriptures it would be horribly wrong to deny a person repentance of sins because they did not pay you money.”

“I would assume that the definition of fruit meet is more encompassing then any one word definition. I believe it is just an overall disposition to do good followed by life choices that reflect that disposition.”

I obviously disagree with the doctrinal views expressed by this person as I have stated before.

I think one of the best arguments for the necessity of having to consecrate as a result of the baptismal covenant is actually given by anonymous himself. He said that the “fruit” being spoken of represents an “overall disposition to do good”.

If a person has been baptized and received the baptism of fire, been cleansed of their sins and now has a disposition to do good, how could they ever reject the Lords commandment to consecrate? Or any commandment for that matter? Therefore, I think his logic contradicts his premise.

I have been pondering how I might better show, from the scriptures, how consecration and virtually all of the laws of the Gospel are required by the baptismal covenant and centered in, and in fact are all appendages of the Baptismal covenant instead separate and optional commandments. Before I do, I want to share another comment that was recently sent by a person agreeing with the first anonymous person.

I will refer to this second person as Anonymous2.

I blocked the comment of anonymous2 not because it was incorrect, which I believe it is, but because it was a random statement without any scriptural documentation. The only reason I am quoting it here is because it provides a teaching opportunity. Here is what anonymous two said in defense of anonymous1;

No one makes covenants at baptism. The words of the ordinance don't ever mention anything about consecration (or bearing one another's burdens etc... that we are often taught. In Mosiah, that experience was actually an example of RE-baptism and accompanied by a covenant). So, I think it is wrong to state that the terms consecration and baptism are synonymous.”

Frankly, I am blown away at that declaration. It reminds me that I need to try to provide documentation for things that I assume are clearly understood by everyone and that I should not take anything for granted as being common knowledge. I just assumed everyone understood that the act of being baptized is the act of entering into a covenant.


Here is a passage from the Book of Mormon that not only confirms that you make a covenant with God at the time of baptism; it confirms that you are making a covenant to obey his commandments;

“Yea, I say unto you come and fear not, and lay aside every sin, which easily doth abeset you, which doth bind you down to destruction, yea, come and go forth, and show unto your God that ye are willing to repent of your sins and enter into a covenant with him to keep his commandments, and witness it unto him this day by going into the waters of baptism.” Alma 7: 15

As you can see, you do make a covenant at the time of baptism… by going down into the waters, you are providing your “witness” to the covenant. I suppose this might be likened to your signature on a legal contract…

.. and regarding the following statement made by the 1st anonymous;

I still feel that while it [consecration] is a gospel requirement it is not a baptismal requirement.”

That is simply not an accurate statement. To say that consecration is a gospel requirement but not a baptismal requirement is simply false. Again, according to the Book of Mormon passage above, when you make the baptismal covenant, you are making a covenant to keep ALL of his commandments… that would certainly include consecration.

Here is an other incredible evidence from the Book of Mormon that shows that a covenant is made at the time of Baptism AND that part of that covenant is to keep all of the commandments of God;

8 And it came to pass that he said unto them: Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are adesirous to come into the bfold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;

9 Yea, and are awilling to mourn with those that bmourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as cwitnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the dfirst resurrection, that ye may have eternal life—

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? Mosiah 18

Clearly BAPTISM IS A COVENANT… In fact, according to modern revelation it is the NEW AND EVERLASTING COVENANT;

“Behold, I say unto you that all aold covenants have I caused to be done away in this thing; and this is a new and an beverlasting ccovenant, even that which was from the beginning. 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 alaw of Moses, neither by your bdead works. 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. Wherefore, enter ye in at the agate, as I have commanded, and bseek not to counsel your God. Amen.” D&C 22: 1

Let me itemize a few critical things that are revealed in this short passage of scripture;

1- All old covenants of the Law of Moses are done away in the covenant of Baptism

2- The New and Everlasting Covenant of Baptism is the covenant that was given to Adam and his posterity in the beginning

3- The New and Everlasting Covenant of Baptism is the LAST covenant.

Obviously the word “NEW” used in this context is not saying this is a new covenant or a new concept. Baptism had been introduced back in the meridian of time and in fact, as pointed out in the passage above, it was given to Adam and his posterity in the beginning.

The word of God reveals that the word “new” is probably referring to the fact that the spiritual birth of baptism changes us from our carnal and fallen state into a NEW CREATURE of the Holy Ghost;

“Therefore if any man be ain Christ, he is a bnew creature: cold things are dpassed away; behold, all things are become enew. 2 Cor. 5: 17

“And the Lord said unto me: Marvel not that all mankind, yea, men and women, all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, must be aborn again; yea, bborn of God, cchanged from their carnal and dfallen state, to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God, becoming his esons and daughters; And thus they become new creatures; and unless they do this, they can in anowise inherit the kingdom of God.” Mosiah 27: 26

One of the most compelling evidences in section 22 that the covenant of consecration is not separate and optional to baptism is the fact that the new and everlasting covenant of baptism is the LAST COVENANT.

There are no additional covenants to follow after it. This proves that all of the commandments and laws and covenants mentioned after the New and Everlasting Covenant of Baptism are appendages to it, not separate and optional… and this verifies that there was not to be any future “higher” covenants… so much for the so-called “higher law” of spiritual wifery that the fundamentalists claim is the NEW AND EVERLASTING COVENANT.

I used to think it was a little strange and incongruent that the Lord established his church in April of 1830 and told his flock in that same month that the New and Everlasting Covenant of Baptism he had given them was the LAST COVENANT, then he reinforces the totality of this covenant by telling them in December of 1830 that he had given them the FULNESS OF THE GOSPEL which would indicate that nothing else would be added in the future is he had given them the fulness, and yet, in December of 1830 he commands them to go to the Ohio so he can give them the “LAW” (section 38) in January of 1831 he begins preparing them for the law of consecration and commands them to “BE ONE” He warns them, despite the baptism that they have already received; “IF YE ARE NOT ONE YE ARE NOT MINE”

It may seem strange that baptized members of the Church are not considered by Christ to be his, if they don’t enter into consecration and become a zion people after being baptized! This would be inconsistent with the previous statements that baptism was the last covenant and the fulness of the Gospel is all one needs to become Christ’s people unless, as the Book of Mormon points out, all of the commandments of God are part of the Baptismal covenant.

“Wherefore, for this cause I gave unto you the acommandment that ye should go to the bOhio; and there I will give unto you my claw; and there you shall be dendowed with power from on high”

Again, it would seem like a contradiction if baptized Saints are only able to participate in the spiritual endowment similar to what the Saints anciently enjoyed on the day of Pentecost, predicated on their willingness to gather so they could live consecration, if consecration were not required as part of the Baptismal covenant!

In February of 1831 the Lord clarifies that the law of the Church which He is about to give them is for the purpose of knowing how to govern the Church;

And by the prayer of your faith ye shall receive my law that ye may know how to govern my church and have all things right before me.” (Section 41)

Finally in the same month of February of 1831 when the Saints have obeyed the Lord and moved to the Kirtland area, the Lord gives them what he refers to as “the law”.

Hearken, O ye elders of my achurch, who have assembled yourselves together in my name, even Jesus Christ the Son of the living God, the Savior of the world; inasmuch as ye believe on my name and keep my commandments. Again I say unto you, hearken and hear and obey the alaw which I shall give unto you.” (Section 42)

In later passages of scriptures the Lord would refer to the Law as the “Law of the Church”, the “law of the Gospel”, the “Law of Zion” “Celestial Law”, etc. Also in later passages it is clarified that the Law of consecration requires a covenant to be made.

To assume that the law of consecration by which the Church is to be governed and/or any of the other laws that were given to the Saints AFTER they had been given the LAST COVENENT and the FULNESS OF THE GOSPEL are somehow separate and optional covenants that can be accepted or rejected, while still receiving a remission of ones sins, is folly.

Here is another scripture that demonstrates that we are called to observe our covenants through the sacrifice of consecration; indeed, it was only through the sacrifice of consecration that the temple was built;

“Verily I say unto you, all among them who know their hearts are ahonest, and are broken, and their spirits contrite, and are bwilling to observe their covenants by csacrificeyea, every sacrifice which I, the Lord, shall command—they are daccepted of me. For I, the Lord, will cause them to bring forth as a very fruitful atree which is planted in a goodly land, by a pure stream, that yieldeth much precious fruit. Verily I say unto you, that it is my will that a ahouse should be built unto me in the land of Zion, like unto the bpattern which I have given you. Yea, let it be built speedily, by the tithing [consecration] of my people. Behold, this is the atithing and the bsacrifice which I, the Lord, require at their hands, that there may be a chouse built unto me for the salvation of Zion— D&C 97

In fact this is what Malachi was referring to when they said the Saints were partial in the law. In other words they felt they could pick and choose which commandments that Lord gave to them.

For the priest’s lips should keep aknowledge, and they should seek the blaw at his mouth: for he is the cmessenger of the Lord of hosts. But ye are adeparted out of the way; ye have caused many to bstumble at the law; ye have ccorrupted the dcovenant of Levi, saith the Lord of hosts. Therefore have I also made you acontemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law.” Mal. 2: 9


truthseeker said...

Game, Set, Match!
It's final, if you don't think baptism is an all encompassing covenant to follow all of Gods laws then Malachi and the Lord find you contemptible...

I do have to agree with anonymous on your pride. That many references to make your point is clearly showing off.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous2 back...

(TruthSeekerToo: I don't think the Lord finds many people contemptible, we are all his children. I would be careful about taking the name of the Lord in vain, it does not mean what you probably think it does.)


I apologize for not including scriptures to back up my arguments, which I will do so now.

D&C 20: 77
O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it, that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him and keep his commandments which he has given them; that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.

And verse 79
O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this wine to the souls of all those who drink of it, that they may do it in remembrance of the blood of thy Son, which was shed for them; that they may witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they do always remember him, that they may have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.

So in the sacrament we clearly do enter into a covenant.

We covenant to:

- Witness that we are willing to take upon us the name of Jesus (thy Son).
- Always remember him (Jesus).
- Keep his commandments
God covenants to:
- Always have his spirit with us.

One often hears people state that they renewed their baptismal covenants every week while taking the sacrament. Well, if that is true, what exactly are we covenanting at baptism?

Here is the scripture in the D&C that deals with baptism requirements and it says:

D&C 20:37
And again, by way of commandment to the church concerning the manner of baptism—All those who humble themselves before God, and desire to be baptized, and come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits, and witness before the church that they have truly repented of all their sins, and are willing to take upon them the name of Jesus Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end, and truly manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins, shall be received by baptism into his church.
In this scripture it says that the requirements for baptism are:
- Humble yourself before God
- Desire to be baptized
- Come forth with a broken heart and contrite spirit
- Witness before the church that they have truly repented of their sins
- Be willing to take upon them the name of Jesus Christ
- Have a determination to serve him (Jesus) to the end,
- Manifest by (your) works that you have received the spirit of Christ unto the remission of your sins.

The only part that is similar to the sacramental covenant is the part that says that the candidate for baptism “be willing to take upon them the name of Christ”. But even with that similarity it is abundantly clear that at baptism we do not enter into a default covenant. Baptism is the gateway to the kingdom of God and certainly required for salvation, this teaching is abundantly clear by any basic study of the scriptures but just to name a few scriptures that say this:

3 Nephi 11:33 And whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same shall be saved; and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God.

3 Nephi 11: 38 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.

2 Nephi 9: 23 And he commandeth all men that they must repent, and be baptized in his name, having perfect faith in the Holy One of Israel, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God.

Acts 8:12 But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
So, to clarify up to this point… The scriptures do say that we must be baptized to inherit the Kingdom of God but they do not say anything about us entering into a covenant at baptism.

Now to be fair to those that believe that baptism is a covenant I must make it clear that there are two scriptures (that I can find) in the scriptures that do have example of individuals entering into a covenant at baptism. These are found at:

Alma 7:15 Yea, I say unto you come and fear not, and lay aside every sin, which easily doth beset you, which doth bind you down to destruction, yea, come and go forth, and show unto your God that ye are willing to repent of your sins and enter into a covenant with him to keep his commandments, and witness it unto him this day by going into the waters of baptism.

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?

Both of these scriptures seem to show examples of individuals entering into a covenant with the Lord when they are baptized. However, there is an interesting aspect of both of these situations, made especially clear in the verse in Alma. In Alma 7 the prophet Alma the younger is on a mission to fix the church.

Alma 6:8 precedes the sermon in Alma 7 by saying that:

And Alma went and began to declare the word of God unto the church which was established in the valley of Gideon, according to the revelation of the truth of the word which had been spoken by his fathers, and according to the spirit of prophecy which was in him, according to the testimony of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who should come to redeem his people from their sins, and the holy order by which he was called. And thus it is written. Amen.

So, the verse in Alma 7 that talks about entering into a covenant at baptism was being given to members of the church, Alma was telling members of the church, who obviously had already been baptized previously, to be re-baptized!

This is also the case in Mosiah 18.

The people that Alma the elder taught had most likely already been baptized, they just were not living the way that they should have been. While King Noah was a wicked man, most of us neglect to recognize that during his “reign” he was the “president” of the church, hence the “priests of King Noah”. When they (the righteous people that were converted by Alma the Elder) went to the Waters of Mormon they were forsaking the world that they had been living in and recommitting to following the covenants that they had made with the Lord. A part of this recommitment was rebaptism, and in this rebaptism the people covenanted to uphold covenants that we make every time we take the sacrament. Once they began to listen to Alma (a church heretic=)) they repented of their sins and signified that repentance with a rebaptism with accompanying covenants.

We do not make a default covenant at our “baptism” (although we are free to make covenants at baptisms if it is what we personally want to do). Therefore, when we talk of renewing our baptismal covenants with the sacrament, it is incorrect. The sacrament is not a renewal of a baptismal covenant, it is its own covenant altogether.

This is brand new doctrine to me as well, it is only in the last month that I have found it but I don't see you as the type of guy that scoffs at new doctrine simply because it is different, especially considering some of the things that I have read on your blog, which is full of looking at the scriptures in new ways. Try this new way:

1. In the D&C when the Lord lays out the requirements of baptism any sign of a covenant is blaringly absent.

2. Joseph Smith never spoke of any type of "covenant" at baptism (That I can find and I have gone through the entire "Teaching of the Prophet Joseph Smith" looking)

3. There are only two places in the scriptures where it is apparent that people are entering into covenants at baptism.

4. At each of these points in the scriptures the people that are being baptized are identified as already being members of the church (already having been baptized previously)

Can't you see where the doctrinal waters have been muddied? At some point someone in the church put two and two together and said "boy, that covenant that the Nephites make in Mosiah and Alma sounds just like the sacrament covenant" and suddenly we are teaching that the sacrament is an opportunity to "renew our baptismal covenants" absent any real evidence showing that, all we have is a correlation between some baptisms in the scriptures and similar wording to the sacramental covenant.

Don't you think that if baptism was really a default covenant that the Lord would have told us clearly in D&C 20? Instead the mention of a baptismal covenant is glaringly absent, and that is silence that speaks volumes. Why would the Lord leave out something that we feel is SO crucial?

I do not claim to know everything, heaven knows that I have a lot to learn in my progression but perhaps it would have been showing respect to inquire as to why I had such a seemingly "crazy" viewpoint before coming down in what you likely felt was "righteous indignation".

There is more truth out there then either of us know, and sometimes things that we have been staring at our whole lives take on a different from when we look at them from new angles.

God is all about showing us "new angles".

(in closing... you CAN enter into a covenant at baptism if you like and I would assume that for the last 100 years we all have been doing so because we all meet with the bishop who tells us what we are covenanting. However, my argument is simply that the Lord does not require it, especially not at our initial baptism.)


Someone who is watching said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Someone who is watching said...


The natural man is an enemy to God. Until we repent we are contemptable to God. The scripture means what is says.

We are not all his children, we have the opportunity to BECOME the sons of God through the Gospel.

You may want to read the post located at the following url and then you can respond to it to show me where I am wrong;

While I don't agree with how you are interpreting the scriptures regarding this particular point, and don't feel that you responded to D&C 22, You have done some great research and you have shown from the scriptures why you feel the way you do and I admire and appreciate that.

Just out of curiosity, do you personally know Anonymous1 ?

Anonymous said...

We do covenant with God at the Time of Baptism. It takes the two Parties to Agree to make a covenant. The first party is the one being Baptised and the second party is The one Baptising. With Gods Authority.Then we convenant that we will dedicate our lives to him to serve him. witch of course means all of his Laws and Commandments. If at that time The Lords Church is living Consecration then we are commanded to live and concecrate everything to the Lord and if the commandment isn't followed it is Sin. Just as if we killed someone or lied or commited adultry. I think that we need to remember that Money or possesions our given from God. What ever the Lord ask of us as a Sacrifice is right. He asked a little more of Job and Daniel. Does your Money mean that much to you Anonymous?

truthseeker said...

What in the world does the lord mean when he has made certain people contemptible and base? Why is he planning on burning so many people?

You mention many scriptures that you claim say nothing about covenanting to live consecration. I have pasted from a few of these scriptures to pose a few questions.

"All those who humble themselves before God"
Could giving up all of your worldly possessions to the bishops storehouse possibly be part of humbling yourself before God?

"and truly manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins"
Could relying on God completely by turning over everything temporal be a way to truly manifesting by your works that you have received the spirit of Christ?

"And he commandeth all men that they must repent"
Could part of that repenting be the love of money and possessions?

Let me now clarify that I don't think everything God says is referring to consecration. I am simply shocked that when Watcher showed two clear references that baptism is a covenant your defense was to show scriptures that could easily be making reference to consecration unless you can tell us exactly what it entails to "humble yourself before God"

I will quote watchers scripture from this post again.
15 Yea, I say unto you come and fear not, and lay aside every sin, which easily doth beset you, which doth bind you down to destruction, yea, come and go forth, and show unto your God that ye are willing to repent of your sins and enter into a covenant with him to keep his commandments, and witness it unto him this day by going into the waters of baptism.

So I hope we can agree that baptism is a covenant to keep the Lords commandments.

Section 42
29 If thou lovest me thou shalt serve me and keep all my commandments.
30 And behold, thou wilt remember the poor, and consecrate of thy properties for their support that which thou hast to impart unto them, with a covenant and a deed which cannot be broken.

This covenant to consecrate is baptism!! But even if it wasn't, it is a commandment which you do covenant through baptism to follow.

Whether we agree to disagree or not, It has been a fun debate. God bless

I hope more weigh in on where they stand on this principle of salvation

TruthSeekerToo said...

Just wanted to clarify that post #1 by truthseeker is not me. =)

Someone who is watching said...


You said;

"Whether we agree to disagree or not, It has been a fun debate. God bless"

It has been a fun debate.

Hopefully it is motivating people to evaluate and understand the baptismal covenant at a deeper, more meaningful level.

I appreciate those who have forced this debate because it is a very important one.

It is interesting that out of all of the heretical stuff that I produce, which one would think would be challenged, the topic that seems to create so much indigestion is one of the most basic and most talked about doctrines in the scriptures.

I think this debate is extremely important.

I feel that if people understood that all true doctrines, covenants, ordinances and commandments are part of the New and Everlasting Covenant of being born again by water, blood and spirit (baptism) they would not get duped into believing that there are "higher laws" and "higher endowments" that contradict what they erroneously consider to be the "lessor laws" and "lessor endowments" associated with baptism.

I elaborate a little more on this topic in the following post which is not for the faint of heart;

TruthSeekerToo said...

Whoah, I just realized something...

All baptisms have been rejected since the failure of the early saints. Not only will we all be rebaptised. And I knew we had to redo the bap's for the dead. What never dawned on me was that we'll have to redo all the people baptised while alive, too. So, pretty much everyone save a few.

Ok, I guess I'm slow. That is why we are gonna need 1000 years.
Slowly, slowly it all begins to fit together.

TruthSeekerToo said...

I'm still thinking about the "fruit" meet of repentance.

A Gnostic Christian-who believes in the BoM- said he believes that we must spit out the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Perhaps it is only through spitting out the fruit of "that tree" that we have room to receive the fruit of the Tree of Life.

Alma 5:62
62 I speak by way of command unto you that belong to the church; and unto those who do not belong to the church I speak by way of invitation, saying: Come and be baptized unto repentance, that ye also may be partakers of the fruit of the tree of life.