“Baptism and the Holy Ghost,” The Gospel of Jesus Christ (2005)
“Baptism and the Holy Ghost,” The Gospel
Faith in Jesus Christ and repentance prepare you for baptism and receiving the Holy Ghost. Jesus Christ taught that everyone must be baptized of water and of the Spirit (the Holy Ghost) for the remission, or forgiveness, of sins. Through baptism by one who holds priesthood authority and through receiving the Holy Ghost, you will be spiritually reborn.
Jesus Christ set the example for us by being baptized to “fulfil all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15). When you are baptized, you receive a remission of your sins (see Acts 2:38). You make a covenant, or promise, with God: you promise to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, to follow Him, and to keep His commandments. If you do your part, your Heavenly Father promises to forgive your sins. When you are baptized by proper authority, your sins are washed away.
Baptism involves a brief immersion in water. This is how Jesus Christ was baptized. Baptism by immersion is a sacred symbol of the death, burial, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ; it represents the end of your old life and the beginning of a new life as a follower of Jesus Christ.
While baptism washes you of your sins, the Holy Ghost sanctifies, or purifies, you. If you remain faithful to your baptismal covenants, you can have the Holy Ghost with you always. All good people can feel the influence of the Holy Ghost, but only those who are baptized and who receive the Holy Ghost have the right to His constant companionship throughout life.
The Holy Ghost helps you recognize and understand truth. He provides spiritual strength and inspiration. He comforts you in difficult times and guides you in making decisions. You can feel God’s love and influence in your daily life through the Holy Ghost.
Your ability to enjoy this divine gift depends on your obedience to God’s commandments. The Holy Ghost cannot remain with those who do not live according to God’s teachings. They lose the privilege of His guidance and inspiration. Always strive to be worthy of the companionship and direction of the Holy Ghost.
You receive the Holy Ghost after baptism. In an ordinance called confirmation, one or more authorized priesthood holders lay their hands on your head. They confirm you a member of the Church and bless you to receive the Holy Ghost. This ordinance normally takes place in a church service soon after baptism. When you are baptized and confirmed, you become a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter‑day Saints.
After you are baptized, you can renew your baptismal covenants each week by partaking of the sacrament. During the sacrament service, bread and water are blessed and passed to the congregation as a reminder of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The bread represents His body, and the water represents His blood. As you renew your baptismal covenants, you are promised that you will have the Spirit, or the Holy Ghost, with you always.