Quote mining/Journal of Discourses/JoD 18:241:Analysis

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Quote mining analysis

The quote and its use by the critic(s):

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About this time came a revelation concerning baptism for the dead. I know that in my traveling and preaching, many a time, I have stopped by beautiful streams of clear, pure water, and have said to myself, "How delightful it would be to me to go into this, to be baptized for the remission of my sins." When I got home Joseph told me it was my privilege. At this time came a revelation, that the Saints could be baptized and re-baptized when they chose, and then that we could be baptized for our dear friends, but at first it was not revealed that a record should be kept of those who were baptized; but when he received an additional revelation to that effect, then a record was kept. Hundreds and thousands, I suppose, were baptized before any record was kept at all, and they were baptized over, and a record kept of the baptisms and the names of the administrator, those who acted for the dead, and of the dead, and of the witnesses. You can read in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, the letter that Joseph wrote when he was away from home in regard to having witnesses at these baptisms. I relate this to show you that the Lord did not reveal everything at once; but I need not dwell on this any longer. Hundreds and thousands, I suppose, were baptized before any record was kept at all, and they were baptized over, and a record kept ... the Lord did not reveal everything at once; but I need not dwell on this any longer

Analysis

In context, the passage discusses the principle of continuing revelation. The church did not immediately understand all of the particulars connected with the principle of baptism for the dead, and this lead to some of the work done needing to be repeated in order for it to comply with the requirements of witnesses, a recorder, an appropriate proxy, and so forth. This passage shows the value of corrective revelation and guidance through the Lord's chosen servants since it allows the Lord to correct errors that may occur from time to time among the body of the church in procedure or doctrine.