Plain Words About Baptism: Why Is It Important for Me to Be Baptized?

“Plain Words About Baptism: Why Is It Important for Me to Be Baptized?” Friend, Jan. 2000, 39

Plain Words About Baptism:
Why Is It Important for Me to Be Baptized?

And whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same shall be saved; and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God (3 Ne. 11:33).

Nephi said, “My soul delighteth in plainness” (2 Ne. 31:3). He spoke plainly both to his own people and to us who read his words more than 2,500 years later.

One of the things he spoke plainly about was the importance of baptism. After prophesying that Jesus Christ would be baptized, he asked, “And now, if the Lamb of God, he being holy, should have need to be baptized by water, to fulfil all righteousness, O then, how much more need have we, being unholy, to be baptized, yea, even by water!” (2 Ne. 31:5).

Nephi then gave another reason why we should be baptized: “Can we follow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father?

“And the Father said: Repent ye, repent ye, and be baptized in the name of my Beloved Son.” (2 Ne. 31:10–11.)

Nephi promised: “I know that if ye shall follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, … with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism—yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost” (2 Ne. 31:13).

Finally, Nephi made it clear that we must continue following the Savior after baptism: “Ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, … Ye shall have eternal life.” (2 Ne. 31:20.)

You, the children of the Lord’s church today, are following Jesus down into the waters of baptism and beyond. Nine-year-old Sandra Martinez of Lakeview, Oregon, says of her baptism: “My mom said that I should pray about whether or not to be baptized, so that night I prayed. The next day I got a warm feeling in my heart that I should be baptized. I felt very close to Jesus and felt that He wanted me to be baptized. The bishop baptized me in Spanish so that my family could understand.”

Color the flannel-board figures, then mount them on heavy paper. Cut them out and use them to retell the story “Plain Words About Baptism.”

flannel-board figures

Nephi writing on plates; Dead person meeting Christ in heaven; John the Baptist baptizing Jesus; Modern girl praying.
(Illustrated by Beth Whittaker.)

Painting of Nephi by Jerry Thompson