Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Baptism, More or Less

Recently, some have asked if they could have access to some of the letters that I shared a couple of years ago chronicling and encapsulating my family’s conversion to the Lord and subsequent departure from institutionalized religion.  This, along with a renewed desire to experience and testify of His grace, is why I am re-posting this and a few other letters.  Some of the writing has been edited to remove references to specific people, while still maintaining the integrity of the original message.  It is my hope and prayer that this may be of some help to others who may be struggling to put their own experiences and thoughts into words.  Please feel free to use and share as the Spirit guides...  
-Rex Pettingill
11 March, 2017

Other lettes in this series:

17 November 2015

The Savior make it crystal clear what His doctrine is concerning baptism, and the requirements for such:
“Verily I say unto you, that whoso repenteth of his sins through your words, and desireth to be baptized in my name, on this wise shall ye baptize them…” (3 Nephi 11:23)
There are only two “requirements”: REPENT and DESIRE.
That’s it.  And it is such a vital, essential, absolutely necessary ordinance that it is the VERY FIRST THING he teaches the Nephite people after he appears to them in the land Bountiful; and it so important that it is done correctly that he added a stern warning concerning His doctrine pertaining to baptism:
“And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock; but he buildeth upon a sandy foundation, and the gates of hell stand open to receive such when the floods come and the winds beat upon them.” (3 Nephi 11: 40)
Baptism is the gateway ordinance.  It is how we show that we have accepted the invitation to the wedding feast (see Matthew 22 and ponder vs. 10 – all are invited in to the feast [through baptism/doctrine of Christ]).  Baptism is the tool that the Lord has given us by which we are to receive the Holy Ghost and be under its influence.  Furthermore, one cannot worthily partake of the sacrament (another gateway ordinance the Savior thought to be so important that it was the second ordinance He taught the Nephites in Bountiful) without having first repented and been baptized.  Partaking of the sacrament is essential in order for one to receive the Spirit of Christ.  Without the Holy Ghost (received through baptism) and the Spirit of Christ (received through the sacrament), salvation is not possible.  
It is absolutely antichrist to deny either of these ordinances to ANYONE who has expressed a willingness to follow Christ and a desire to witness their commitment to Him.  Regardless of the intent or the sincerity of the effort, attaching additional restrictions, stipulations, public-relations incentives, social change mandates, stat-boosting requirements, etc. to these incredibly salvific and essential ordinances is adding to or taking away from Christ’s doctrine, and surely cometh of evil.  
“Woe unto you, lawyers!  For ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.” (Luke 11:52)
I love my Savior.  I love the Doctrine of Christ.  I desire to be under the influence of the Holy Ghost and the Spirit of Christ, and so I seek to partake of baptism and the sacrament as often as possible.  I invite any and all who have similar desires to join me and my family in fellowship as we partake freely of the waters of life and the emblems of the Savior’s atonement.
Your Brother in Christ,


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