What Joseph Taught

Baptism and the Gift of the Holy Ghost

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The Prophet Joseph Smith helped us understand the first ordinances of the gospel.

Through Joseph Smith, the Lord restored the authority and understanding of the principles and ordinances required to enter the kingdom of God (see JS—H 1:68–73; D&C 27:12–13). Here are some of Joseph’s teachings on baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost.*

The Sign of Baptism

“Baptism is a sign to God, to angels, and to heaven that we do the will of God, and there is no other way beneath the heavens whereby God hath ordained for man to come to Him to be saved, and enter into the kingdom of God, except faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, and baptism for the remission of sins, and any other course is in vain; then you have the promise of the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

The Holy Ghost: The Power and the Gift

“There is a difference between the Holy Ghost and the gift of the Holy Ghost. Cornelius received the Holy Ghost before he was baptized, which was the convincing power of God unto him of the truth of the Gospel, but he could not receive the gift of the Holy Ghost until after he was baptized. Had he not taken this sign or ordinance upon him, the Holy Ghost which convinced him of the truth of God, would have left him. [See Acts 10:1–48.]”

The Guidance of the Holy Ghost

Nearly three years after he was killed, the Prophet Joseph Smith appeared to President Brigham Young and said: “Tell the people to be humble and faithful and sure to keep the Spirit of the Lord and it will lead them right. … It will whisper peace and joy to their souls, and it will take malice, hatred, envying, strife, and all evil from their hearts; and their whole desire will be to do good.”

John Baptizing Jesus, by Harry Anderson

Show References

  • From Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith (2007), 91, 97, 98.