Jesus continues to teach his doctrine and showing how he is the fulfillment of the law of Moses. Several times he states that obedience to the things he is teaching at that time is sufficient to enter the kingdom of God.
2 Chronicles 36:15-16
1 Samuel 24:17-19
JST Matthew 23:1
2 Nephi 31:17-20
In reference to the question about why we would need to pray for things if God already knows what we need, it has been my understanding that this is consistent with the law of agency. Satan seeks to impose his will, God will not.
For any of you that have children, think about how they react when you try to do something for them that they think they can handle themselves…
and, how little they would grow if we continued to do things for them just because we are faster, smarter, taller, etc. Even as an adult, I resent when someone steps in to tell me how to solve a problem I am working through on my own.
Well, what about situations that are life threatening, or urgent? It is possible to ask for generalized protection and assistance as a matter of daily prayer, but even beyond that, whether or not we think to ask for help might give some indication to whether or not our hearts are focused on God throughout our daily lives. Prayers don’t have to be formal, but if the idea of even asking God for help in our daily lives doesn’t cross our minds in the moment we need it, are we really keeping our promise to “always remember Him”?
This point was made to me once when reading a book about last days tribulations. There were scenes of violent destruction with many lives lost. The person was shown there were angels there, but only seldom did they intervene to save someone. When asked why not, the reply was that they could not unless they were asked. They wanted to help, they were there, but could only watch until their help was requested.
(On a side note, this principle seems to be playing out in the real world, with the violence in the cities. Trump keeps telling the mayors and governors that the problems could be stopped very quickly once help is asked for. However, it is the stewardship of the elected officials to protect their citizens. For the federal government to intervene without permission would be a violation of that separation of powers, and unlawful, even if it is urgently needed.)
Interesting discussion on being baptized in the name of the Lord vs. unto repentance. I decided to do a little studying on it myself. You mentioned Nephi’s teaching in 2 Nephi 31:11-12 that the Father said “Repent ye, repent ye, and be baptized in the name of my Beloved Son. And also, the voice of the Son came unto me, saying: He that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father five the Holy Ghost…” And also Alma the Elder’s teaching at the Waters of Mormon in Mosiah 18:10, “what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?”
I found a few more references before Christ came to the being baptized in the name of the Lord. In 2 Nephi 9:23-24 Jacob teaches: “And he commandeth all men that they must repent, and be baptized in his name, having perfect faith in the Holy One of Israel, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God. And if they will not repent and believe in his name, and be baptized in his name, and endure to the end, they must be damned; for the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has spoken it.”
It is also mentioned twice in Moses. In Moses 6:52 Enoch teaches what God said to Adam, “And he also said unto him: If thou wilt turn unto me, and hearken unto my voice, and believe, and repent of all thy transgressions, and be baptized, even in water, in the name of mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth, which is Jesus Christ, the only name which shall be given under heaven, whereby salvation shall come unto the children of men, ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, asking all things in his name, and whatsoever ye shall ask, it shall be given you.” And in Moses 8:24 Noah teaches, “Believe and repent of your sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, even as our fathers, and ye shall receive the Holy Ghost, that ye may have all things made manifest; and if ye do not this, the floods will come in upon you; nevertheless they hearkened not.”
That’s five different prophets, before Christ, teaching to be baptized in the name of the Son. I’m not sure it is a correct interpretation that before Christ baptism was unto repentance and after Christ they were baptized in His name. Maybe I misunderstood what you were saying but that is what I thought I heard. In looking at these scriptures could it be that the difference is not when it is taught, that is before or after Christ, but rather when the fulness and the authority to give the Holy Ghost was present?
Four of the five prophets mention receiving the Holy Ghost as a result of being baptized in the Name of Jesus:
1. Enoch, “…be baptized, even in water, in the name of mine Only Begotten Son…and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost…”
2. Noah, “… be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, even as our fathers, and ye shall receive the Holy Ghost…”
3. Nephi, “…He that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father give the Holy Ghost…”,
4. Alma, “…baptized in the name of the Lord…that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?” Alma doesn’t directly reference the Holy Ghost, but “pour out his Spirit more abundantly” could possibly be interpreted as receiving the Holy Ghost.
This interpretation would be consistent with the incident with Paul in Acts. The fulness was present then. And, there is also a reference in D&C 49:13-14 where the Lord commands Sidney, Parley and Leman Copley to go among the people and say, “Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, according to the holy commandment, for the remission of sins; And whoso doeth this shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, by the laying on of the hands of the elders of the church.” That was in March 1831 so during the time when the fulness was present.
Anyway…that’s what I found in studying this out. Not sure if I’m correct or not but it has been enlightening to ponder and study. It’s something I’d never noticed before. Always appreciate the insights you both share.
Thank you for sharing your research. This was a pattern I just recently noticed and still haven’t determined what exactly it means. Your hypothesis seems to fit the data better. It seems pretty straight forward that by the time of John the Baptist the fullness was no longer in Israel, so that would explain what we read in the New Testament. The Nephite experience isn’t as clear cut.
3 Nephi 7 has Nephi baptizing people unto repentance, but they don’t receive the Holy Ghost until after 3 Nephi 11. So when was the gift of the Holy Ghost lost to the Nephites (if it was)? The last direct reference to people receiving the Holy Ghost before Christ’s visit is in Alma 36.
Helaman 5:45 has the Holy Spirit of God entering into the hearts of those in prison (“and they were filled as with fire”). In 3 Nephi 9, Christ declares they were baptized with fire and the Holy Ghost, and they knew it not. In fact, baptized with fire is only used after Christ’s visit (although used to describe the even in Helaman 5:45)
I’m not ready to draw any conclusions, but I think there is something significant hidden there.