James Tissot, The Baptism of Jesus, Brooklyn Museum, Purchased by public subscription.


Matthew 3:13–17
2 Nephi 31:4–10
Mosiah 5:8–10

For Younger Missionaries


  • Why was Jesus Himself baptized?
  • In your office a coworker says she was already baptized in another church and wonders why she would need to be baptized again to join this one. How would you reply?
  • How do the ordinances of baptism and the sacrament work together?


God has always required His children to make covenants. A covenant is a binding and solemn agreement between God and man. God promises to bless us, and we promise to obey Him. God sets the terms of gospel covenants, which we either accept or reject.

Keeping covenants brings blessings in this life and exaltation in the life to come….

Covenants are usually made by means of sacred ordinances, such as baptism. These ordinances are administered by priesthood authority. Through the ordinance of baptism, for example, we covenant to take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ, always remember Him, and keep His commandments. As we keep our part of the covenant, God promises the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, a remission of our sins, and being born again.

Through sacred ordinances, such as baptism and confirmation, we learn about and experience God’s power (see D&C 84:20). Jesus taught that we must be baptized by immersion for the remission, or forgiveness, of our sins. Baptism is an essential ordinance of salvation. No person can enter the kingdom of God without being baptized. Christ set the example for us by being baptized.

Baptism by immersion is a symbol of the death, burial, and resurrection of the Savior. In a similar way, it represents the end of our old life of sin and a commitment to live a new life as a disciple of Christ. The Savior taught that baptism is a rebirth. When we are baptized we begin the process of being born again and become spiritual sons and daughters of Christ (see Mosiah 5:7–8; Romans 8:14–17)….

Little children do not need to be baptized and are redeemed through the mercy of Jesus Christ (see Moroni 8:4–24). They are not to be baptized until they reach the age of accountability, which is eight years of age (see D&C 68:27).

Before baptism we show our willingness to enter a covenant to keep all the commandments for the rest of our lives. After baptism we show our faith by keeping our covenant. We also regularly renew the covenant we make when baptized by partaking of the sacrament. Partaking of the sacrament weekly is a commandment. It helps us remain worthy to have the Spirit with us always. It is a weekly reminder of our covenant.

Jesus Christ introduced this ordinance to His Apostles just before His Atonement. He restored it through the Prophet Joseph Smith. The Savior commanded that priesthood holders should administer the sacrament in remembrance of His body and His blood, which was shed for us. By partaking of the sacrament worthily we promise always to remember His sacrifice, we renew our promises, and we receive anew the promise that the Spirit will always be with us (Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Missionary Service, 2004, 63–64).


Jesus is Baptized by John


Joseph and Oliver are
Given the Priesthood


  • Why did Joseph and Oliver have to pray and ask about the priesthood before they were visited by Peter, James, and John?
  • Do you think the Lord wants you to pray for missionary opportunities before he will guide you to those ready to listen?
  • Could you share with a friend how you have received priesthood blessings from your father or other priesthood holder?


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