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Dear Gramps,

It is my understanding that all saving ordinances are to be done on this earth. If that is true, then that means that Adam had to have been baptized by someone. Who could that have been done by? It would have to have been by a resurrected being wouldn’t it? So did our Father in Heaven do this himself? Who else in that point in time could have done it besides the Father?

FH, from California

Dear FH,

Although baptism is an ordinance that must be performed in mortality, it wasn’t required that Adam be baptized by another mortal, or even by a resurrected being. We read in the scriptures that

And it came to pass, when the Lord had spoken with Adam, our father, that Adam cried unto the Lord, and he was caught away by the Spirit of the Lord, and was carried down into the water, and was laid under the water, and was brought forth out of the water (Moses 6:64).

There is also another baptismal first recorded in the scripture. Alma, who was one of King Noah’s priests and who had been converted by Abinadi, escaped from Noah’s warriors with a small band of believers and hid out for a time in a rather inhospitable region- having been infested, by times or at seasons, by wild beasts– near the borders of the kingdom. Since the church was not formally organized among the Lamanites at that time, and since the prophet Abinadi had been put to death, there was no one with authority that could baptize Alma or those that he had converted. Therefore,

after Alma had said these words, both Alma and Helam were buried in the water; and they arose and came forth out of the water rejoicing, being filled with the Spirit (Mosiah 18:14).

Although it is not specifically recorded in the Book of Mosiah, Alma undoubtedly acted under the direction and inspiration of the Lord, and their act of baptism was accompanied by and confirmed by the Holy Spirit.

Gramps

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