1 Behold, thus saith the Lord unto you, my servant William, yea, even the Lord of the whole earth, thou art called and chosen; and after thou hast been baptized by water, which if you do with an eye single to my glory, you shall have a remission of your sins and a reception of the Holy Spirit by the laying on of hands;
3 And on whomsoever you shall lay your hands, if they are contrite before me, you shall have power to give the Holy Spirit.
Doctrine & Covenants 55:1, 3.
The Fourth Article of Faith teaches us that baptism is “for the remission of sins”. So at what exact point does the remission of sins happen?
A. When the baptismal prayer is said?
B. When they are under the water?
C. When they come out of the water?
Notice in the verses from the scriptures above, there is a condition with the ordinances: “If you do with an eye single to my glory,” “if they are contrite...” So is it possible that the ordinance could be performed without a remission of sins?
Perhaps the answer is found in the truth that with every ordinance there are the Outward aspect, and the Inward aspects. The outward aspects are proper priesthood authority, the prayer said correctly, immersion, etc… The inward is the thoughts and commitments to the Lord that need to be happening.
As a Church, I think we do a great job seeing that the outward aspects of ordinances are done correctly. But how are we doing individually with the inward aspects of what should be recommitted in our hearts and minds? For instance, the last time you took the sacrament, did you consciously recommit yourself to following the Savior? Or did you just go through the motions of partaking of bread and water with little, if any, thought of your commitments to the Lord, and the promises that come with the Sacrament?
Today’s Takeaway: Doctrine & Covenants 84:20 teaches that, “In the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest.” The power to become godly men and women comes from participating in the ordinances; the power comes from, not just the outward aspects, but by the full inward commitment at the same time. The next time you partake of the Sacrament, or any ordinance, don’t allow yourself to go on “Spiritual Autopilot”. Deliberately think through how you will strive to better follow Him. This is when we start to feel the power of God in a greater way in our lives through the ordinances.