There are 3 thoughts on “The Word Baptize in the Book of Mormon”.

  1. This is an interesting article, but I find it lacking somewhat. For me, there’s three chapters that focus on Baptism in the book of Mormon. 2 Nephi 31; Mosiah 18, and 3 Nephi 11. That’s the Lord, Nephi1, and Alma1.

    Alma1’s doctrine is nowhere discussed. I suppose it’s considered under Mormon’s words, but reading Mosiah 18 demonstrates the clear connection of baptism to the name of the Lord. This is long before Christ’s visit.

    I think this article should be revisited with Mosiah 18 considered more in depth, as the seminal chapter on baptism prior to Christ’s visit. Indeed, we still use it today more than Christ’s words, for instance.

  2. Thanks for this insightful paper. I thought your discussion of the temporal switch from being baptized “unto repentance” to being baptized “in the name of” the Lord was very interesting. As you point out, the Nephites had been instructed to baptize in the name of God as early as Jacob’s time (2 Nephi 9:23). It seems, however, that they didn’t take this instruction to mean they should say “in the name of…” in the baptismal prayer. Maybe they thought the instruction to baptize in the name of God just meant they should state the source of their authority, as Alma did: “I baptize thee having authority from the Almighty God” or to mean that they should be “baptized unto the Lord their God” (Alma 62:45) or “baptized…through faith on his name” (Alma 9:27). It’s clear that Alma was aware of the instruction to baptize in the name of the Lord (he asked his people “what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord”) but he still doesn’t get it right in his prayer that follows. When Jesus came, he noted that there had been “disputations among” them concerning the matter. He then clarified the instruction and gave precise wording, which he emphasizes by setting it at the center of a chiasm: “On this wise shall ye baptize and there shall be no disputations among you…in my name…on this wise shall ye baptize…go down and stand in the water…shall ye baptize them…Behold, these are the words… | Having authority given me of Jesus Christ I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, Amen…shall ye immerse them…come forth again out of the water…after this manner shall ye baptize…in my name…thus shall ye baptize and there shall be no disputations among you” (3 Nephi 11:22-28). He explained that this is considered baptizing “in my name” since “the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost are one, and I am in the Father, and the Father in me.” It is not surprising that Mormon echoes Jesus’s emphasis on baptizing in his name after that point, but I wonder if another reason he didn’t mention the Nephites baptizing in the name of the Lord prior to 3 Nephi is because they were not doing so, at least not as the Lord intended. And I find it interesting that despite the disputations and apparent confusion around this important commandment, the Lord waited so long to set the matter strait.

    • Stan, great additions to John’s and Jana’s very interesting article. Mormon’s shift from baptizing unto repentance to baptizing in the name of Jesus is a fascinating observation. Thanks!

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