Skip to Content Skip to Navigation
Back to Table Of Contents

Doctrine and Covenants 22
Authority Is Necessary to Baptize

man baptizing boy

Some people believe that it is only the performance of the ordinance of baptism that is necessary for it to be accepted by God. The Lord, however, requires baptisms to be performed by one “who is called of God and has authority from Jesus Christ” ( D&C 20:73 ). As you read Doctrine and Covenants 22 , look for why the Lord will accept only those baptisms performed by those to whom He has given that priesthood authority.

Understanding the Scriptures

Doctrine and Covenants 22

In consequence ( section heading )—As a result

Availeth him nothing ( v.2 )—Does him no good

Strait ( v.2 )—Narrow, restricted

Doctrine and Covenants 22:2 —The “Law of Moses” and “Dead Works”

The law of Moses is the system of ordinances and rituals revealed through the prophet Moses to the children of Israel (see Bible Dictionary, “law of Moses,” p.722 ). This “old covenant” ( D&C 22:1 ) was ended with the Atonement of Jesus Christ (see 3Nephi 15:3–9 ).

Proper baptism establishes a “new and an everlasting covenant” ( D&C 22:1 ; see also D&C 20:37 ) between God and the individual. Baptism performed without authority is a “dead work” because no covenant is made.

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity A as you study Doctrine and Covenants 22 .

Activity A icon Explain the Doctrine

Suppose you have a friend who is interested in becoming a member of the Church but does not understand why it is necessary to be baptized again because he or she was already baptized in another church. Using what you learn in Doctrine and Covenants 22 (see also D&C 20:37, 72–74 ), write what you might say that would help your friend understand why the Lord requires that he or she be baptized by someone with the authority of the restored priesthood.