Thursday, May 5, 2016

The Things Which Ye Have Seen Me Do

1 Nephi 10
7 And [Lehi] spake also concerning a prophet who should come before the Messiah, to prepare the way of the Lord--

8 Yea, even he should go forth and cry in the wilderness: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, and make his paths straight; for there standeth one among you whom ye know not; and he is mightier than I, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose. And much spake my father concerning this thing.

9 And my father said he should baptize in Bethabara, beyond Jordan; and he also said he should baptize with water; even that he should baptize the Messiah with water.

10 And after he had baptized the Messiah with water, he should behold and bear record that he had baptized the Lamb of God, who should take away the sins of the world.

John, the Baptist, played a critical role, and warranted being much spoken of, apparently. If we accept that Jesus is our exemplar, then might it be of note that Jesus, himself, had to recognize a prophet from outside of the leadership hierarchy of the Jewish Church, and submit to the proffered baptism?

The Jews also offered baptism.

JST Matthew 9
18 Then said the Pharisees unto him, Why will ye not receive us with our baptism, seeing we keep the whole law?

"Ye" is plural. "You" is singular. They weren't acknowledging Jesus as Lord. They were asking why Jesus and his disciples did not accept the Pharisees as being in the right way with their baptism and observance of the law of Moses, as their traditions construed it.

19 But Jesus said unto them, Ye keep not the law. If ye had kept the law, ye would have received me, for I am he who gave the law.

20 I receive not you with your baptism, because it profiteth you nothing.

21 For when that which is new is come, the old is ready to be put away.

22 For no man putteth a piece of new cloth on an old garment; for that which is put in to fill it up, taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse.

23 Neither do men put new wine into old bottles; else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish; but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.

As an aside, does one reform - in the sense of "returning the article to the original condition" - an aging garment? And if, as Jesus is here saying, whatever they were using for wine-bottles back in the day could not be re-used for winemaking, what does this imply about the activities of reformers?[1]

2 Nephi 31
4 Wherefore, I would that ye should remember that I have spoken unto you concerning that prophet which the Lord showed unto me, that should baptize the Lamb of God, which should take away the sins of the world.

5 And now, if the Lamb of God, he being holy, should have need to be baptized by water, to fulfil all righteousness, O then, how much more need have we, being unholy, to be baptized, yea, even by water!

6 And now, I would ask of you, my beloved brethren, wherein the Lamb of God did fulfil all righteousness in being baptized by water?

7 Know ye not that he was holy? But 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.

8 Wherefore, after he was baptized with water the Holy Ghost descended upon him in the form of a dove.

9 And again, it showeth unto the children of men the straitness of the path, and the narrowness of the gate, by which they should enter, he having set the example before them.

10 And he said unto the children of men: Follow thou me. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, can we follow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father?

11 And the Father said: Repent ye, repent ye, and be baptized in the name of my Beloved Son.

12 And also, the voice of the Son came unto me, saying: He that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father give the Holy Ghost, like unto me; wherefore, follow me, and do the things which ye have seen me do.

[1] They're both futile and not of God.