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Criticism of Mormonism/Books/Mormonism 101/Chapter 13
Response to claims made in "Chapter 13: Communion and Baptism"
|Chapter 12: Heaven and Hell||
A FairMormon Analysis of: Mormonism 101, a work by author: Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson
|Chapter 14: The Word of Wisdom|
Response to claims made in Mormonism 101, "Chapter 13: Communion and Baptism"
Jump to Subtopic:
- Response to claim: 191 - Claims made in The Seer by "Apostle Orson Pratt"
- Response to claim: 191-192 - Mormons should not use water in place of wine for the Sacrament
- Response to claim: 193 - one must be baptized in the LDS Church to attain "true exaltation"
- Response to claim: 194 - "true Christian baptism" did not commence until the time of John the Baptist, and that baptism is simply a "ceremonial cleansing"
- Response to claim; 197 - The authors proceed to quote Bible verses that they claim are "misused" by Latter-day Saints in order to show that baptism is a requirement
Response to claim: 191 - Claims made in The Seer by "Apostle Orson Pratt"
The authors start off Chapter 13 by citing one of the favorite anti-Mormon references of all, The Seer by "Apostle Orson Pratt."
- Pratt, The Seer, 255.
The mistake: The writings of Orson Pratt as published in The Seer are considered by the authors to represent Mormon doctrine. This is incorrect.The facts: To give the reader some background, Brother Pratt was ordained an Apostle on April 26, 1835 but was subsequently excommunicated on August 20, 1842 and rebaptized and reordained an Apostle on June 20, 1943. The information in The Seer was published as a periodical in Washington D.C. and Liverpool, England between January 1853 and August 1854. This material was not reviewed by other Church leaders and reflected Orson Pratt's personal beliefs and not LDS doctrinal views. An excellent summary of LDS views regarding the information found in The Seer has been given by W. John Walsh:
The Seer was a newspaper published by Elder Orson Pratt while serving a mission for the Church. In the paper, Elder Pratt gave his viewpoints on a number of gospel principles. When the Church discovered what Elder Pratt had written, he was censured and the writings were officially and publicly condemned for containing false doctrine. In a Proclamation of the First Presidency and Twelve, dated October 21, 1865, the Church said:
"The Seer "contain[s] doctrines which we cannot sanction, and which we have felt impressed to disown, so that the Saints who now live, and who may live hereafter, may not be misled by our silence, or be left to misinterpret it. Where these objectionable works, or parts of works, are bound in volumes, or otherwise, they should be cut out and destroyed; with proper care this can be done without much, if any, injury to the volumes.
"It ought to have been known, years ago, by every person in the Church-for ample teachings have been given on the point-that no member of the Church has the right to publish any doctrines, as the doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, without first submitting them for examination and approval to the First Presidency and the Twelve. There is but one man upon the earth, at one time, who holds the keys to receive commandments and revelations for the Church, and who has the authority to write doctrines by way of commandment unto the Church. And any man who so far forgets the order instituted by the Lord as to write and publish what may be termed new doctrines, without consulting with the First Presidency of the Church respecting them, places himself in a false position, and exposes himself to the power of darkness by violating his Priesthood.
"While upon this subject, we wish to warn all the Elders of the Church, and to have it clearly understood by the members, that, in the future, whoever publishes any new doctrines without first taking this course, will be liable to lose his Priesthood."
- For the authors to quote this work as representative of LDS beliefs is representative of very poor scholarship.
Response to claim: 191-192 - Mormons should not use water in place of wine for the Sacrament
Mormons should not use water in place of wine for the Sacrament
Returning to the subject of "Communion" or the Sacrament, as Latter-day Saints refer to it, the authors construct a straw man argument regarding LDS usage of water in place of wine.
The authors also quote The Encyclopedia of Mormonism on the subject but fail to quote the part that explains the use of water in preference to wine:
Unbaptized children, however, being without sin, are entitled and expected to partake of the Sacrament to prefigure the covenant they themselves will make at the age of accountability, age eight (see Children: Salvation of Children). In administering the Sacrament, Christ himself used emblems readily at hand at the Last Supper-bread and wine. To Joseph Smith the Lord declared "that it mattereth not what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink when ye partake of the Sacrament, if it so be that ye do it with an eye single to my glory-remembering unto the Father my body which was laid down for you, and my blood which was shed for the remission of your sins" (D&C 27:2). In typical LDS practice, bread and water are used..
Question: Why do Mormons use water instead of wine for their sacrament services?
Latter-day Saints understand and accept the symbolism of wine, as used by the Savior at the Last Supper and in communion services among other Christian churches
Latter-day Saints understand and accept the symbolism of wine, as used by the Savior at the Last Supper and in communion services among other Christian churches. The color of wine closely matches that of blood, and is an apt symbol for the blood of Jesus Christ, shed for the redemption of the human race.
The Latter-day Saint use of water in its sacramental services stems from scriptural authorization given in 1830, followed by an institutional change in the early 20th century.
Four months after The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (then called The Church of Christ) was established, Joseph Smith received the following divine manifestation:
Early in the month of August , Newel Knight and his wife paid us a visit, at my place at Harmony, Penn[sylvania]; and as neither his wife nor mine had been as yet confirmed, and it was proposed that we should confirm them, and partake together of the sacrament, before he and his wife should leave us.— In order to prepare for this; I set out to go to procure some wine for the occasion, but had gone but <only> a short distance when I was met by a heavenly messenger, and received the following revelation; the first paragraph of which was written at this time, and the remainder in the September following.
Revelation given at Harmony Penn, August 1830.
1 Listen to the voice of Jesus Christ, your Lord, your God and your redeemer, whose word is quick and powerful. For behold I say unto you, that it mattereth not what ye shall eat, or what you shall drink, when ye partake of the sacrament if it so be that ye do it with an eye single to my glory; remembering unto the Father my body which was laid down for you, and my blood which was shed for the remission of your sins: wherefore a commandment I give unto you, that you shall not purchase wine, neither strong drink of your enemies: wherefore you shall partake of none, except it is made new among you, yea, in this my Father’s kingdom which shall be built up on the earth.
2 Behold this is wisdom in me: wherefore marvel not, for the hour cometh that I will drink of the fruit of the vine with you on the earth.
The Lord's revelation that "it mattereth not what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink when ye partake of the sacrament, if it so be that ye do it with an eye single to my glory—remembering unto the Father my body which was laid down for you, and my blood which was shed for the remission of your sins" (D&C 27:1-2) gave the Saints permission to substitute any emblems for the original bread and wine, if circumstances warranted.
Beginning in 1902 President Smith began institutional reforms to require greater adherence to the Word of Wisdom
Joseph Smith's revelation of The Word of Wisdom allows for wine to be used for the sacrament: "Inasmuch as any man drinketh wine or strong drink among you, behold it is not good, neither meet in the sight of your Father, only in assembling yourselves together to offer up your sacraments before him. And, behold, this should be wine, yea, pure wine of the grape of the vine, of your own make." (D&C 89:5-6, emphasis added.)
Latter-day Saints continued to use wine in their sacramental services throughout the 19th century. During this same time the Word of Wisdom was not enforced as rigorously as it is today, and social drinking of wine and other alcoholic beverages was not uncommon among Latter-day Saints (although leaders often counseled against it).
Various American temperance movements since the mid-18th century had called for a ban on the sale and use of alcohol. The third wave of this movement began in 1893 and culminated with national prohibition in 1919. Among the supporters of complete abstinence were LDS Church Presidents Joseph F. Smith and Heber J. Grant. Beginning in 1902 President Smith began institutional reforms to require greater adherence to the Word of Wisdom. "In keeping with the change in emphasis, the First Presidency and Twelve substituted water for wine in the sacrament in their temple meetings, apparently beginning July 5, 1906." Local Latter-day Saint congregations followed suit soon after, a practice that remains to this day.
Some early Christians used both water and wine in the sacrament
It is noteworthy that some early Christians used both water and wine in the sacrament. Justin Martyr (ca. 140 A.D.) recorded:
On Sunday we hold a meeting in one place for all who live in the cities or the country nearby. The teachings of the Apostles or the writings of the prophets are read as long as time is available. When the reader has finished, the president gives a talk urging and inviting us to imitate all these good examples. We then all stand together and send up our prayers. As noted before, bread, wine and water is brought forth after our prayer. The president also sends up prayers and thanksgivings. The people unitedly give their consent by saying, "Amen." The administration takes place, and each one receives what has been blessed with gratefulness. The deacons also administer to those not present... We all choose Sunday for our communal gathering because it is the first day, on which God created the universe by transforming the darkness and the basic elements, and because Jesus Christ—our Redeeming Savior—rose from the dead on the same day.
This practice was also mentioned by Pope Julius I (A.D. 337) in a decree which stated: "But if necessary let the cluster be pressed into the cup and water mingled with it." This practice of mixing wine and water may be related to the fact that both blood and water were shed on the cross. John recorded that, "one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water" (John 19:34). John later recorded that, "there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one" (1 Jn. 5:8). In like manner baptism by water was also related by Paul to Christ's death (Romans 6:3-5).
Samuele Bacchiocchi, a non-Mormon scholar, has observed that
An investigation... of such Jewish Christian sects as the Ebionites, the Nazarenes, the Elkesaites, and the Encratites, might provide considerable support for abstinence from fermented wine in the Apostolic Church. The fact that some of these sects went to the extreme of rejecting altogether both fermented and unfermented wine using only water, even in the celebration of the Lord's Supper, suggests the existence of a prevailing concern for abstinence in the Apostolic Church.
It also suggests that early Christians understood that "it mattereth not what ye shall eat or drink when [partaking] of the sacrament" (D&C 27:1-2).
Later developments in Christianity: Some Christians felt it was permissible to modify the observance of the sacrament even without direction from the Lord
Catholics at a much later period also substituted the Eucharist for the bread and wine of the Lord's Supper, believing that it would literally be turned into the flesh and blood of the Lord.
Although the latter practice was introduced during a period of what the LDS understand to be the apostasy from the fulness of gospel doctrine and authority, it nonetheless shows that some Christians felt it was permissible to modify the observance of the sacrament even without direction from the Lord.
The LDS sacrament service is observed often and within the guidelines given by the Lord as prescribed in LDS scriptures (See John 6:53-54; Acts 2:46; Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 11:23-30; Moroni 4-5:; D&C 20:75-79; 27:1-4). Early Christian practices are useful illustrations of the fact that LDS practice is not foreign to Christianity generally, but the LDS rely on scripture and the teachings of modern prophets for their forms of worship.
Latter-day Saints emphatically affirm our reliance on the atoning blood of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins
Latter-day Saints emphatically affirm our reliance on the atoning blood of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins as attested to in the Bible (Colossians 1:14; 1 Peter 1:18-19; 1 Jn 1:7;Revelation 7:14) and modern scripture (1 Nephi 12:10; Mosiah 3:7,11; 4:2; Alma 5:21,27; 21:9;24:13; 34:36; Helaman 27:19; Ether 13:10; Moroni 4:1;5:2; 10:33; D&C 20:40; 27:2; 76:69; Moses 6:62).
Even the sacrament prayer given at the beginning of the administration of the water affirms the symbolism of the atoning blood. It states in part: "... bless and sanctify this water to the souls of all those who drink of it, that they do it in remembrance of the blood of thy Son, which was shed for them..." (D&C 20:79).
Response to claim: 193 - one must be baptized in the LDS Church to attain "true exaltation"
The authors claim that one must be baptized in the LDS Church to attain "true (salvation) exaltation."
The authors describe the ordinance of baptism, noting that it was "not unique to Mormonism." They correctly note that Latter-day Saints believe that baptism must be performed by one who has the authority, and quote several LDS leaders on the subject.
Question: Is Mormon insistence on baptism as an essential ordinance of salvation "unChristian" or "unbiblical"?
Biblical data and early Christians are unanimous that baptism was regarded as an essential commandment
Evangelical Christians argue that the LDS insistence on baptism as an essential ordinance of salvation is "unChristian" or "unbiblical." However, the Biblical data and early Christians are unanimous that baptism was regarded as an essential commandment. Baptism manifests an inner state of faith in and repentance through Christ. The physical act does not save, but one cannot be saved without it.
Astonishing as it may seem given the prominence of baptism in the New Testament, some Christian groups deny the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. This usually arises out of a conviction that baptism is "a work," and thus cannot play any necessary role in salvation. 
Those who hold such views usually provide a variety of proof-texts, and ignore other Biblical commands for baptism. We will look at examples of both below.
- And he [John the Baptist] came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;
McKeever and Johnson write of this verse
- "And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins." The word for (Greek: eis) in "for the remission of sins" can mean with a view to or because of. Those who responded to John's invitation of baptism had already heard his message of coming judgment and of the "Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). They responded to baptism based on the convicting message they had already heard. The word eis is also translated at in Matthew 12:41, where it says the men of Nineveh "repented at the preaching of Jonas." Did the men of Nineveh repent in order to get the preaching of Jonas? Or did they repent because of the preaching of Jonas? The latter, of course, is the proper answer. 
None of the translations which we have consulted translate Luke 3:3 as the authors suggest it should be. Most all translations use "for" while a few use "unto" or "to the remission of sins." Latter-day Saints agree that a remission of sins only comes by repentance through the atonement of Jesus Christ and baptism itself is just a symbolic ordinance, but a necessary one nonetheless. It should be noted also that the authors make no comment on the fact that much of Christianity—including Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches—disagree with their view regarding the necessity of baptism.
- Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
The same authors comment on John 3:5-6:
- "Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." We must ask what being "born of water" would have meant to Nicodemus. In his commentary on John, Leon Morris writes:
- "Nicodemus could not possibly have perceived an allusion to an as yet non-existent sacrament. It is difficult to think that Jesus would have spoken in such a way that His meaning could not possibly be grasped. His purpose was not to mystify but to enlighten. In any case the whole thrust of the passage is to put the emphasis on the activity of the Spirit, not on any rite of the church."
- The emphasis throughout the passage is on the Spirit, with no other reference to water. Verse 6 shows that, as each of us has had a physical birth, so we must have a spiritual birth to enter the kingdom of God. 
The authors imply that Latter-day Saints de-emphasize the baptism of the Spirit but Joseph Smith taught that "The baptism of water, without the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost attending it, is of no use; they are necessarily and inseparably connected."  The authors themselves seem to be ignoring the fact that Jesus said, "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." The "and" infers that both are necessary and connected. It is obvious that Nicodemus did not understand what the Lord was teaching him, but just 16 verses later John tells us, "After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized. And John also was baptizing."  To infer that baptism was a non-existent sacrament at this point seems unjustified. Notice that John 3:22 mentions Jesus and his disciples baptizing first while the other gospels mention John the Baptist baptizing first. It seems as though the Gospel of John is not as concerned with chronological accuracy at this point. Thus, whether the Lord's encounter with Nicodemus preceded or followed the start of John's preaching is unknown. These verses speak of baptism as if it is not something new—a concept critics who deny the necessity of baptism seem loathe to accept. The fact that none of the Gospels explains the ordinance of baptism and that the name "John the Baptist" is used by Matthew even before baptism is mentioned, seems to infer that baptism was not new. As to the necessity of baptism, it will be shown shortly that there are plenty of other scriptures which emphasize this requirement.
The authors comment on Acts 2:38:
- "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins." Just as in Luke 3:3, so Peter was encouraging his hearers to be baptized in view of the remission of sins they had received when they were cut to the heart by his message regarding the Christ. It is interesting to note that Peter made no reference to baptism in his next recorded sermon (see Acts 3:19). 
The authors again impose their own beliefs on this scripture. As with Luke 3:3, no Bible translations were found to justify their conclusion that a remission of sins preceded baptism here. We are told that following this first sermon: "they that gladly received his word were baptized and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls."  Why would so many be baptized if this was only an optional ordinance? Our authors infer that if baptism were essential, Peter should preach baptism in every recorded sermon he gave, but what if these sermons are only brief summaries? What if he did preach baptism and this concept was just not included in these 15 verses because a new concept was being emphasized in this chapter? We can go too far using assumptions to justify our beliefs and the authors seem to be doing just that. Their conclusions are built on flimsy assumptions and very little if any scholarship. It is apparent that the authors have made up their minds on this issue and are desperately searching for reasons why the obvious meaning of these passages must be wrong.
Other biblical data
The authors continue to nitpick Acts 22:16, Romans 6:3-4, Colossians 2:12-13, and Romans 3:18-20 in the same manner. We will here only note that there are many more scriptures that could be cited on this subject (Matthew 28:19; Mark 1:4; Luke 7:30; Acts 8:12, Acts 10:48, Acts 16:33, and Acts 19:2-6; Hebrews 6:2; and 1 Peter 3:21, to cite just a few) and which the authors ignore.
One LDS author noted:
Scripture strictly associates the ordinance of baptism with the washing away of impurities or sins. John the Baptist affirmed this link by preaching "the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins" (Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3). Some Christians have tried to indicate that John's baptism was somehow different from later Christian baptisms, but this is contradicted by the scriptures and later authoritative statements. Peter instructed new converts on the day of Pentecost to "Repent, and be baptized, every one... in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:38). Paul was likewise commanded of Ananias to "be baptized and wash away [his] sins" (Acts 22:16)....
The scriptures clearly state that baptism is a commandment. Luke reports that "the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of [John]" (Luke 7:30). Peter also "commanded" the Gentiles "to be baptized in the name of the Lord" (Acts 10:48). And finally, the importance of this ordinance was emphasized by Christ in his last admonition to the eleven apostles to "Go… and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Matthew 28:19). If baptism was not essential, why then the command to baptize all nations?
If baptism is for the remission of our sins and is a commandment, it must also be essential to salvation. The scriptures clearly affirms this: "The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us" (1 Peter 3:21). Paul affirms that Christ "saved us, by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost" (Titus 3:5) while adding that baptism is the appointed way to "put on Christ" (Galatians 3:27).
The Savior also clearly taught the link between baptism and salvation. Mark concludes his gospel with the Savior's teaching that "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned" (Mark 16:16). 
The reader should note here that McKeever and Johnson make a very weak argument that,
- If belief plus baptism truly equals salvation, then why wasn't this formula used when it says that a person who 'believeth not' would be condemned? To support the LDS position, this passage should read: 'he that believeth not and is baptized not shall be damned.' Taken at face value, this says that a lack of belief, not a lack of water baptism, is what damns a person. 
They never address why someone "that believeth not" would ever want to be baptized. Of course anyone who does not believe would never consider baptism. It's obvious that the authors believe this argument totally destroys the necessity of baptism in regard to salvation, but their own logic is just as obviously flawed.
Paul likewise emphasized both the importance of water baptism and the authority to baptize in Acts 19:2-6. Upon finding some disciples who were apparently baptized by an unauthorized individual, Paul rebaptizes them and lays his hands upon them to give them the gift of the Holy Ghost. If baptism were either optional or acceptable under any authority, rebaptism would not have been necessary in this circumstance. The disciples could have proceeded directly to confirmation (i.e. the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost) if this were the case, but instead they were first rebaptized. 
Ignatius of Antioch (AD ca. 35 or 50 to 98–117) wrote:
- "It is not right either to baptize or to celebrate the agape [i.e., love feast or sacrament] apart from the bishop; but whatever he approves is also pleasing to God, so that everything you do may be secure and valid. 
Tertullian, in the first century after the death of Christ, stated that "There is no difference whether one is washed in a sea or a pool, in a river or in a fountain, in a lake or in a channel: nor is there any difference between those whom John dipped in the Jordan, and those whom Peter dipped in the Tiber…We are immersed in the water." 
On the necessity of the ordinance of baptism, Tertullian also taught the 'sole necessary way' of obtaining Christ's protection against evil was through baptism.  In fact it was universally believed in the Early Church that 'we obtain the benefits of Christ's sacrifice by baptism.'  Tertullian held that baptism was necessary for salvation. He also suggested that children not be "baptized until they reached years of discretion." 
Justin Martyr (ca. AD 150) said the following regarding baptism:
- "Those who are persuaded and believe, and promise that they can live accordingly, are instructed to pray and beseech God with fasting for the remission of their sins, while we pray and fast along with them. Then they are brought by us where there is water, and are reborn by the same manner of rebirth by which we ourselves were reborn; for then they are washed in the water in the name of God the Father and Master of all, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit. For Christ said, 'unless you are born again you will not enter the kingdom of heaven' (John 3:3-4)." 
Those who contend that baptism in water is not necessary have asserted that "born of water" implies only the necessity of physical birth from the water within the womb. Justin Martyr made it clear that this was not the true meaning of this verse in the Second Century AD. In describing his practice of the baptismal ceremony, he explains, "After [repentance] they are led by us to where there is water, and are born again in that kind of new birth by which we ourselves were born again. For upon the name of God, the Father and Lord of all, and of Jesus Christ, our Saviour, and of the Holy Spirit, the immersion in water is performed, because the Christ hath also said, 'Except a man be born again, he cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven'."  Thus, the early Christian Fathers understood that the "new birth" referred to baptism of water and not to one's physical birth. 
Justin also confirmed that "no one was allowed to partake [of the sacrament] except one who believes…and has received the washing for forgiveness of sins and for rebirth." 
Origen at about AD 220, taught baptismal candidates, "Go and repent, catechumens [those preparing for baptism by being instructed], if you want to receive baptism for the remission of your sins…. No one who is in a state of sin when he comes for baptism can obtain the remission of his sins." 
Cyprian, bishop of Carthage in the middle part of the third century, stated that no one outside of the church could administer a valid baptism. 
An early Christian document known as the Didache (The Teaching) states that baptism was the accepted rite of admission to the Church and "only those who have been baptized in the Lord's name" may partake of the sacrament. 
J.N.D. Kelly also notes that Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and Hippolytus believed that baptism was very important. "Clement of Alexandria speaks of baptism as imparting regeneration, enlightenment, divine sonship, immortality, [and] remission of sins [where] sonship…is the result of regeneration worked by the Spirit." Origen insisted on penitence, sincere faith, and humility "as prerequisites to baptism as well as gradual transformation of the soul. Hippolytus associated the remission of sins and reception of the Spirit with baptism. 
No actions allowed?
McKeever and Johnson conclude their arguments with the following bewildering assertion: "It needs to be remembered that baptism, like partaking of the Lord's Supper, is a work. It is something that an individual must personally perform. As such, it is not a requirement for receiving salvation under the guidelines of Ephesians 2:8-9."  By this same logic, we must exclude "calling on the name of the Lord" and repentance as requirements for salvation as well, since these are both "works" "that an individual must personally perform." Are the authors serious about this?
Modern scriptures also confirm the role of baptism in the remission of sins (Alma 6:2; DC 13:; DC 55:1-2; DC 68:27; DC 84:64, DC 74:; DC 138:33; JS-H 1:69), though the actual cleansing is accomplished through Christ's atonement (Mosiah 3:11, Mosiah 18:; Alma 7:14; DC 20:37; DC 76:41,69; Moses 6:59and reception of the Holy Ghost. 
Response to claim: 194 - "true Christian baptism" did not commence until the time of John the Baptist, and that baptism is simply a "ceremonial cleansing"
The authors claim that "true Christian baptism" did not commence until the time of John the Baptist, and that baptism is simply a "ceremonial cleansing." The authors discount any idea that the baptismal ordinance is a requirement for salvation.
If baptism is nothing more than a "ceremonial cleansing," then why did Jesus Christ consider it to be so important that He had John the Baptist perform the ordinance for Himself?
The authors proceed to quote Bible verses that they claim are "misused" by Latter-day Saints in order to show that baptism is a requirement.
It is incredible to see the authors dismiss so many clear and easily understood biblical verses simply on the basis that baptism, because it is a physical act, is "a work," and that it can therefore not play any part in receiving salvation.
- This information was published on John Walsh's popular Web site, and until mid-2001 could be found at http://www.mormons.org/response/qa/seer_jd.htm. The Web site has since been discontinued. Additional explanations about The Seer can be found at the FAIR Web site: http://www.fairlds.org/Misc/Is_The Seer_a_Reliable_Source.html.
- A straw man argument is a polemical tactic in which a person develops a false argument that is easier to refute than the real argument at hand. Time is spent building up the false argument, which is then easily destroyed. All the while, the real argument still stands, as it has not been directly addressed.
- Paul B. Pixton, "Sacrament," in Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 4 vols., edited by Daniel H. Ludlow, (New York, Macmillan Publishing, 1992), 3:1244.
- History, circa June 1839–circa 1841 (Draft 2): 51–52 (cf. History of the Church 1:106–07). The shorter version of this revelation—now canonized as D&C 27:1-5—was first recorded in the early 1830s in Revelation Book 1: 35–36, then published in 1833 in The Evening and the Morning Star 1/10 (March 1833) and in The Book of Commandments as chapter XXVIII (p. 60). It was combined with another revelation and published in a longer version in 1835 as Doctrine and Covenants chapter L (pp. 179–81) and in an expanded reprint of Evening and Morning Star 1/10 (March 1833; reprinted May 1836): 155. The longer (1835) version is now D&C 27.
- In 1861 Brigham Young sent 309 Mormon families to settle in Utah's "Dixie" region, where they would produce, among other crops, wine for the sacrament. (Leonard J. Arrington, Great Basin Kingdom: An Economic History of the Latter-day Saints, 1830–1900 [Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1958]: 216.) President Young remarked publicly that he "anticipate[d] the day when we can have the privilege of using, at our sacraments pure wine, produced within our borders." ("Remarks by President Brigham Young, Tabernacle, G[reat].S[alt].L[ake]. City, June 4, 1864," The Deseret News 13/39 (22 June 1864): 302. off-site link.) By the 1870s Church vineyards were producing "as much as 3,000 gallons per year," however, "by the turn of the [20th] century, most of the vines had been pulled on the advice of church authorities…" (Great Basin Kingdom, 222).
- See "Temperance movement in the United States." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 4 January 2016. off-site link
- Thomas G. Alexander, "The Word of Wisdom: From Principle to Requirement," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 14/3 (autumn 1981): 79. off-site PDF
- Justin Martyr, "First Apology," in ? Ante-Nicene Fathers, edited by Philip Schaff (Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1886)?:65–67. ANF ToC off-site This volume; cited by Kirk Holland Vestal and Arthur Wallace, The Firm Foundation of Mormonism (Los Angeles, CA: The L. L. Company, 1981), 231. ISBN 0937892068.
- Gratian, De Consecratione, Pars III, Dist. 2, c. 7, as cited by Leon C. Field, Oinos: A Discussion of the Bible Wine Question (New York, 1883), 91, and Samuele Bacchiocchi, Wine in the Bible : A Biblical Study on the Use of Alcoholic Beverages (Biblical Perspectives, 1989), 109–110. ISBN 1930987072.
- Samuele Bacchiocchi, Wine in the Bible : A Biblical Study on the Use of Alcoholic Beverages (Biblical Perspectives, 1989), 181. ISBN 1930987072.
- See Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd edition, (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966), 241. GL direct link or James Cardinal Gibbons, The Faith of our Fathers (T A N Books & Publishers, 1980), 235–250. ISBN 0895551586.
- This wiki article was originally based upon Michael Hickenbotham, Answering Challenging Mormon Questions: Replies to 130 Queries by Friends and Critics of the LDS Church (Horizon Publishers & Distributors, 1995) (now published by Cedar Fort Publisher: Springville, UT, 2004),131–133. ISBN 0882905368. ISBN 0882907786. ISBN 0882907786. It has been subsequently edited by FairMormon Answers wiki editors.
- See, for example, McKeever and Johnson, Mormonism 101, 200.
- McKeever and Johnson, Mormonism 101, 197.
- McKeever and Johnson, Mormonism 101, 197–198.
- Joseph Smith, Jr., Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, selected by Joseph Fielding Smith, (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1976), 360. off-site
- John 3:22-23
- McKeever and Johnson, Mormonism 101, 198.
- Acts 2:41
- Michael Hickenbotham, Answering Challenging Mormon Questions: Replies to 130 Queries by Friends and Critics of the LDS Church (Horizon Publishers & Distributors, 1995) (now published by Cedar Fort Publisher: Springville, UT, 2004),125–126. ISBN 0882905368. ISBN 0882907786. ISBN 0882907786.
- McKeever and Johnson, Mormonism 10, 197.
- Hickenbotham, 125-128.
- The Apostolic Fathers, 113; cited in Hickenbotham, 125-128.
- See Millennial Star, vol. XXI: 769-770 or James E. Talmage, The Great Apostasy, 125; cited in Hickenbotham, 125-128.
- Jeffrey Burton Russell, Satan: The early Christian Tradition (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University, Press, 1981), 100-101; cited in Hickenbotham, 125-128.
- Russell, Satan: The early Christian Tradition, 103; cited in Hickenbotham, 125-128.
- De bapt. 1:12-15, 18; see also J.N.D. Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines, 209; cited in Hickenbotham, 125-128.
- First Apology of Justin, 61; cited in Hickenbotham, 125-128.
- Dialogue with Trypho, xiv, l; see also The Great Apostasy, 125; cited in Hickenbotham, 125-128.
- Hickenbotham, 125-128.
- First Apology of Justin, 66; cited in Hickenbotham, 125-128.
- Jean Danielou, Origin, p. 54, Comm. John, 2, 37; De Princ. 4, 3, 12; Hom. Ez. 1, 1; cited in Hickenbotham, 125-128.
- Russell, Satan, 106; cited in Hickenbotham, 125-128.
- Didache, 9:5; see also J.N.D. Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines, 193-211; cited in Hickenbotham, 125-128.
- Michael Hickenbotham, Answering Challenging Mormon Questions: Replies to 130 Queries by Friends and Critics of the LDS Church (Horizon Publishers & Distributors, 1995) (now published by Cedar Fort Publisher: Springville, UT, 2004),126–128. ISBN 0882905368. ISBN 0882907786. ISBN 0882907786.
- McKeever and Johnson, Mormonism 101, 200.
- Michael Hickenbotham, Answering Challenging Mormon Questions: Replies to 130 Queries by Friends and Critics of the LDS Church (Horizon Publishers & Distributors, 1995) (now published by Cedar Fort Publisher: Springville, UT, 2004),125–126. ISBN 0882905368. ISBN 0882907786. ISBN 0882907786.