Did you know that when he was young, Elder Hales worked for two summers on his uncle’s ranch in Skull Valley, Utah? He helped round up wild horses, bale hay, and care for the animals. Now, as an Apostle, he has spoken to us often about the importance of baptism:
When we are baptized by immersion by one with the proper priesthood authority and choose to follow our Savior, we then are in His kingdom and of His kingdom.
Being of the kingdom of God requires that we heed the Savior’s admonition “Follow thou me” (2 Ne. 31:10). Nephi taught that we follow Jesus by keeping Heavenly Father’s commandments: “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, can we follow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father?” (2 Ne. 31:10).
At baptism we make a covenant with our Heavenly Father that we are willing to come into His kingdom and keep His commandments from that time forward, even though we still live in the world. We are reminded from the Book of Mormon that our baptism is a covenant to “stand as witnesses of God [and His kingdom] at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life” (Mosiah 18:9; emphasis added).
When we understand our baptismal covenant and the gift of the Holy Ghost, it will change our lives and will establish our total allegiance to the kingdom of God. When temptations come our way, if we will listen, the Holy Ghost will remind us that we have promised to remember our Savior and obey the commandments of God.
(Ensign, November 2000, page 7.)