From an October 2000 general conference address.
Did you know that as a boy Elder Robert D. Hales lived in New York State but spent summers on his relatives’ farms in Utah? He learned how to bale hay, ride a horse, and care for sheep and cows. Here he teaches us the importnace and meaning of baptism.
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.
Entering into the kingdom of God is so important that Jesus was baptized to show us “the straitness of the path, and the narrowness of the gate, by which [we] should enter” (2 Ne. 31:9). “Notwithstanding he being holy, he showeth unto the children of men that, according to the flesh he humbleth himself before the Father, and witnesseth unto the Father that he would be obedient unto him in keeping his commandments” (2 Ne. 31:7).
He set the example for all of us to humble ourselves before our Heavenly Father. We are all welcome to come into the waters of baptism. He was baptized to witness to His Father that He would be obedient in keeping His commandments. He was baptized to show us that we should receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (see 2 Ne. 31:4–9).
When we are baptized, we take upon ourselves the sacred name of Jesus Christ. Taking upon us His name is one of the most significant experiences we have in life.
Each week in sacrament meeting we promise to remember the atoning sacrifice of our Savior as we renew our baptismal covenant. We promise to do as the Savior did—to be obedient to the Father and always keep His commandments. The blessing we receive in return is to always have His Spirit to be with us.
I feel great gratitude for my baptism and confirmation into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am grateful for the spiritual strength and guidance the gift of the Holy Ghost has given me throughout my life.