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KnoWhy #59 - What is the Purpose of Baptism in the Book of Mormon? (2 Nephi 31:6-7)

TitleKnoWhy #59 - What is the Purpose of Baptism in the Book of Mormon? (2 Nephi 31:6-7)
Publication TypeKnoWhy
Year of Publication2016
Corporate AuthorsBook of Mormon Central Staff
PublisherBook of Mormon Central
Place PublishedSpringville, UT
KeywordsBaptism; Jesus Christ; Metaphor; Ordinance

The New Testament uses two different metaphors for what the act of baptism represents. The first is the idea of purification, or the washing away of sins, as can be seen in Acts 22:15–16. The second is the idea that it is a representation of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Romans 6:4).

The Book of Mormon has a third metaphor of the main purpose of baptism: that it principally serves as an outward sign or open witness of one’s repentance and commitment to follow Jesus Christ. Instead of cleansing from sin, Noel Reynolds notes, “the Book of Mormon consistently points to a different symbolism: the making of a covenant.” The cleansing then comes by the purifying fire of the Holy Ghost (3 Nephi 12:2).

The purpose of Jesus’s baptism, as Book of Mormon prophets foresaw and understood, serves as a model for baptism throughout the rest of the Book of Mormon narrative.

Citation Key1620

Scripture Reference

2 Nephi 31:6-7