Question: Have Mormons deviated from proper wording for the baptismal prayer?

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Question: Have Mormons deviated from proper wording for the baptismal prayer?

In the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, Joseph Smith changed the wording to the modern form we know well

Some excommunicated members claim the Church is in error, or is performing invalid baptisms, because the baptismal prayer in 3 Nephi is not used with precisely the same wording [1]:

Having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen (3 Nephi 11:25, italics added).

Instead, the following wording is used:

Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen (D&C 20:73, italics added).

It is true that the wording differs slightly. In the 1833 Book of Commandments (a precursor to the Doctrine and Covenants) the wording given was:

Having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.[2]

However, in the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, Joseph Smith changed the wording to the modern form we know well.

Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen.[3]

The Church has not, therefore, deviated from something taught by Joseph. Instead, Joseph made the change and the Church has followed it ever since. Those who claim that the Church has "forgotten" what God has commanded ignore the fact that Joseph was the prophet, and he was authorized to adjust the method by which ordinances are performed.

The Church has remained true to Joseph's instructions; fundamentalists ignore Joseph's teachings, demonstrating that they do not sustain a living prophet delivering on-going revelation to the Church.


Notes

  1. Denver Snuffer, "Preserving The Restoration," Lecture 10, Mesa, Arizona (9 September 2014), 16.http://www.scribd.com/doc/239760895/10-Phoenix-Transcript-Preserving-the-Restoration#download
  2. Book of Commandments (Zion: W.W. Phelps & Co., 1833), 24:53.
  3. Doctrine and Covenants (Kirtland, Ohio: F.G. Williams & Co., 1835), 2:22.