By Ramona Siddoway
In continuation of my series of the Articles of Faiths of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, this post deals with the fourth article and how people of all religions can identify with topics such as faith and baptism.
Article #4 states that we believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, lying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Faith: Why is faith so important? Faith is a principle of action and power. It helps us face the known and the unknown. Faith gives us the ability, the power, and – dare I say – the permission to pursue a path of intimacy with God. For Christians (and I include members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints under that umbrella) this path is toward knowing and becoming like (for us) Jesus Christ, having faith in what we believe He did for us. For all people of faith it is coming to know that Higher Power. We all need that insight that comes with that intimacy with God, and that begins with faith.
Repentance and baptism: Water has long been associated with cleansing throughout history and various cultures – cleansing of the body and of the soul. With Latter-day Saints we not only believe in the cleansing power of baptism but also in obedience to (what we believe) is a commandment from God.
When I began doing research on the role and belief of baptism for other religions, I was actually very touched. Hindus for example have been practicing baptism for 4,000 years. According to the Arizona Center for Religious Study Hindus “believe that the major rivers of India are the life’s blood of the Goddess Indus. Every eleven years they hold a great convocation at the juncture of three great rivers. The last time it was held, over ten million Hindus participated, making it the largest religious meeting in the history of the world . . . While the Jews and the Christians believe that it is the rite of baptism that purifies the soul, the Hindus believe it is the water itself that cleanses the soul of impurities and sin.”
The fourth aspect of this article of faith, the Holy Ghost, will be featured in my next post.
Ramona Siddoway is a freelance writer and member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as the Mormons) where she volunteers in the Public Affairs department. The views expressed in this post are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or Interfaith Houston.