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What Am I Missing Here?

Don - January 4, 2006

Just finishing the BOM I noticed a verse that caused me to think…again.

Moroni Chapter 6 verse 1 : And now I speak concerning baptism. Behold, elders, priests, and teachers were baptized; and they were not baptized save they brought forth fruit meet that they were worthy of it."

Why are they baptizing elders, priests and teachers? You have to be bapized already to be an elder, priest or teacher. Unless this is the practice of re-baptizing for remission of sins like they used to do in the good old days of the church.

If it is re-baptizing then why isn’t the scripture more clear? If it is re-baptizing and we can use this as scriptural evidence, then why don’t we still practice it? If it’s not re-baptizing then what is it?


  1. I guess that rebaptism can’t be ruled out, but I’m not sure that is what is being said.

    I am wondering if this statment was made in haste and actually means that they were baptized and they were ordained teachers etc.

    Comment by Ian M. Cook — January 4, 2006 @ 5:40 pm

  2. Yeah, I’m with Ian. I’d chalk it up to the “mistakes of men” part of Moroni’s disclaimer in the title page. (and all throughout his book)

    Comment by Bret — January 4, 2006 @ 6:09 pm

  3. I think this might be better read in light of what Moroni was speaking of earlier in the book of Moroni. Chapter six might also be referring to the early days of the church soon after Christ had come as chapter 2 clearly stated.
    In 3 Nephi 19, Nephi was baptized as well as the other chosen disciples. While they had already been baptized, they had not done so under the fulfillment of the law and under the church that Christ had set up. With that I would think Moroni was saying that all people needed to be baptized, even those who were thought to have been righteous.

    Comment by Jeremy — January 4, 2006 @ 9:58 pm

  4. Why not re-baptism. It is obviously not a false principle. I don’t see any reason to impose our modern conceptions of one baptism per lifetime onto the scriptures.

    Comment by J. Stapley — January 5, 2006 @ 2:57 pm

  5. When did the modern Church do away with re-baptism. Late 19th century, no?

    Comment by Ronan — January 5, 2006 @ 3:37 pm

  6. I assumed it referred to the ages of the boys being baptized.

    Comment by meems — January 6, 2006 @ 2:16 am

  7. meems,

    I don’t think that they necisarily follwed the age standards that we do at that time, but that is an interesting thought.

    Comment by Ian Cook — January 6, 2006 @ 12:12 pm

  8. I believe it is referring to the priesthood holders actually baptizing new members. Verse one does talk about the worthiness of the priesthood holders (note where in the same sentence after talking about the elders, priests and teachers it continues to refer to “they”). It does say in verse 2 “they receive[d] any unto baptism.” In my mind, this means that the verse is talking about performing the baptisms not actually being baptized. However, I realize this is somewhat of a reach too because according to our current mode of thinking, teachers are not permitted to baptize in the church, only elders and priests. Perhaps the teachers, like the sacrament, assisted in some way in the baptism…

    As for rebaptism, we are baptized in the church for more than one reason. One is the remission of sins and the other for outwardly showing our inward committment to the Lord. Rebaptism in the early days of the church was as a sign to the Lord that the Saints had recommitted themselves to the Lord. If you research comments made by Brigham Young about when the Saints entered the Salt Lake Valley, he said that was the reason they were all rebaptized, not for a remission of sin. I think it was due to pure numbers that the church backed off on rebaptism in the end.

    Comment by Steven H — January 6, 2006 @ 1:50 pm

  9. I may be wrong, and I’m sure people will let me know if I am, but when the church is being established, it is not a requirement to be baptized to have the authority to direct the church, i.e. the priesthood. Rather, the priesthood (or authority) must be in place first. Joseph Smith had the priesthood restored to him prior to being baptized. He had the priesthood and baptized Oliver, then Oliver baptized Joseph. What about Alma? He received authority, then began baptizing, including himself.

    Moroni was establishing the authoritative structure of the church first to ensure proper teachings, then baptizing to keep that commandment.

    Comment by jkguy — January 6, 2006 @ 5:36 pm

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