The word used in the original Greek text means to “dip” or “immerse.” Baptism by immersion in water by one having authority is the introductory ordinance of the gospel and is necessary to become a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is preceded by faith in Jesus Christ and by repentance. It must be followed by receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost in order to be complete (2 Ne. 31:13–14). Baptism by water and the Spirit is necessary before a person can enter the celestial kingdom. Adam was the first to be baptized (Moses 6:64–65). Jesus also was baptized to fulfill all righteousness and to show the way for all mankind (Matt. 3:13–17; 2 Ne. 31:5–12).
Because all on the earth do not have the opportunity to accept the gospel during mortality, the Lord has authorized baptisms performed by proxy for the dead. Therefore, those who accept the gospel in the spirit world may qualify for entrance into God’s kingdom.