Skip to main content

"What Have Ye Against Being Baptized?," Mosiah 18:8-10

Mosiah 18:8-10

I am working to commit this well know passage of scripture to memory. What follows are some of the thoughts and impressions that have come to me in the process of so doing.

This verse is frequently quoted out of context as the definitive definition of why we are baptized. That is well. I appreciate however having the historical background fresh in my mind as I study it.

The first aspect of the baptismal covenant that impresses me is the commitment to "bear one another's burdens, that they may be light."

I was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when I was eight years old. I did not understand, nor do I hardly remember the events on the day of my baptism. However, as I look back at the covenant's significance and the promises that were extended to me, it helps me to understand why my life has taken the course which it has.

This point has been reinforced and driven home in several ways over the past week. In a recent leadership training meeting, the significance of covenants was addressed. In the book "Preach My Gospel," the topic of baptism is addressed as the first covenant that we make when entering into the Church of Jesus Christ. That a covenant is a binding agreement between two parties and that one of them is the Lord, who does not vary, is a great source of strength, motivation, and protection.

"Preach My Gospel" also explains that "our covenants remind us to repent every day." Why? How? Perhaps it is in the reminder of the covenants that we realize that we need to repent. I could see this particular point of failing to keep the covenants entered into as a great discouragement for new converts. To be cleansed from sin, and then to mess that up so quickly, can be very disheartening. 

Baptism is a physical act that reflects the covenant that we make to become disciples of Christ.  Covenants always have a physical, symbolic act associated with the spiritual promises being made.