RS/MP Lesson 2: “Baptism and the Gift of the Holy Ghost” (Lorenzo Snow Manual)
Posted by kirkcaudle on January 16, 2013
The link to the full lesson can be found here.
Some people may ask, how will I know if it is right for me to be baptized? Let me provide a very short answer to that question, you know that you are ready to be baptized when you desire to be baptized. From Mosiah 18:8-10:
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 desirous to come into the fold 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 willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses 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 first 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?
The key phrase in this group of scripture is, “if this be the desire of your hearts.” Ultimately what all do what we desire, imo. If we desire baptism, then baptism is for us. Our hearts are what lead us into the water. To be baptized is to join a family, “the fold of God.” But like living with any family, getting along is never easy. Just because we attend a ward with other baptized members of the church that does not mean that we will all necessarily agree on everything. In fact, you can be sure that we won’t. Regardless of our disagreements, we are called to love each other and to look past those faults, much like we do (or should be doing) in our everyday families. In addition to this, these verses point out that after baptism we should:
1. Bear one another’s burdens
2. Mourn with those that mourn
3. Comfort those that stand in need of comfort
What are the differences between these three things? Is it possible to do one of them without doing the other two? For example, say that I have a friend and his mother dies. I sit all night and mourn with that friend. Through mourning with him aren’t I also bearing his burdens and comforting him at the same time? Why or why not.
Why are these three things so important? If we think about Jesus we will find that he spent the vast majority of this time with people in need of at least one of these three things. We might even make the case that each of us is always in need of a friend to help us through a rough patch in life, someone to cry with, or just have someone around that understands what we are going through. Sometimes just knowing that someone else desires to be with us can go a long way.
A desire to be baptized=A desire to be a part of a community that lovingly serves others.
How do we know the best way to go about serving others? The answer is simple, but not at all easy. Follow the Holy Ghost. President Snow says (in the last section of this lesson):
When we received this Gospel, we covenanted before God that we would be led, that we would be governed, and would follow the suggestions of the Holy Spirit, that we would follow the suggestions of the principle that gives life, that gives knowledge, that gives understanding of the things of God, that communicates the mind of God; and that we would labor for the accomplishment of the purposes of God in the salvation of the human family, adopting as a motto of life, “The Kingdom of God, or nothing.” How far we have kept these covenants … and followed the dictates of the Holy Spirit, we ourselves must be the judges. So far as we have done this, so far have the blessings of the Almighty descended upon us, and our minds have been enlightened, our understandings enlarged, and we have moved forward in the path of holiness, in the path of perfection. … Just so far as we have failed in our faithfulness, … just so far have we been losers in this enterprise in which we have engaged to obtain eternal life, to obtain wisdom and knowledge and divine intelligence sufficiently to stem the tide of evils and temptations that surround us. And just so far as we have followed the suggestions of this divine Spirit, have we experienced peace and joy to our souls, we have discomfited the enemy, we have laid up unto ourselves treasures that moth and rust cannot destroy, so far have we forwarded ourselves in the path of the celestial kingdom.
What does it mean to you to be led and governed by “the suggestions of the Holy Spirit”? I will end these notes with just a couple of my own thoughts. First, from this we learn that following the promoting of the Holy Ghost is not an optional extra after we are baptized, but it is an essential requirement. Second, it only is through following the Spirit that we can be led to the “kingdom of God” or the place where our new found community can exist forever.
Following the Spirit after we are baptized will allow us to know where to best direct our efforts as we attempt to serve others.
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