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.
WE ARE MAKING A COVENANT AT THE TIME OF BAPTISM!
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;
“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.
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 csacrifice—yea, 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