Baptism in Mormonism
Mormons believe baptism is essential for entrance into the highest degree of glory after this life. Getting baptized is necessary to be saved.
The Mormon Church practices baptism by complete immersion, just as Jesus Christ was baptized by John the Baptist in the New Testament. Mormons believe that a person who repents and is baptized has all prior sins erased. He or she is cleansed.
At baptism, a person also covenants (makes a two-way promise) with the Lord. By being baptized, a person promises to take His name upon him or herself, remember Him, and keep His commandments. In return, the Lord promises to bless those who abide by the covenant faithfully and allow them the gift of His Comforter, the Holy Ghost.
After being baptized, a member of the Mormon Church receives the gift of the Holy Ghost. This is an ordinance performed by the laying on of hands by men who hold the holy priesthood of the Lord. They bless the person with the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, which gift should be respected and treasured with great sensitivity. The Holy Ghost allows one to feel the closest possible to their Heavenly Father and to receive revelation from Him.
In the Mormon Church, baptism occurs at age eight or beyond, but never before that age. Mormons believe, from modern-day revelation, that at age eight children become accountable for their sins. They are able to discern on their own between right and wrong. Mormon doctrine teaches that those who are unable to discern right from wrong (because of a mental impairment, for example) or children who die before the age of eight are clean from Christ’s atonement, and are not held accountable for their wrongdoings.
Although Jesus was perfect, He was baptized to show that “he humbleth himself before the Father, and witnesseth unto the Father that he would be obedient unto him in keeping his commandments” (2 Nephi 31:7). This humility and desire to witness to the Father obedience is necessary in all those who are baptized.