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.
As Nephi teaches us in this passage, we can learn a lot about the purpose of baptism by considering the question, “Why was Jesus baptized?” If you believe that the only purpose of baptism is to have your sins washed away, then it might seem unnecessary for the Savior, who had no sins, to be baptized. But as Nephi explains, baptism also serves as a way of communicating important things about our commitments. The Savior communicated two important and related messages by being baptized:
- He showed us that He was willing to humble himself.
- He showed His Father that He would be obedient.
We all know that actions speak louder than words. In choosing to be baptized, we communicate two very similar messages: we make clear to the people around us that we are choosing to become disciples of Jesus Christ, and we commit to our Heavenly Father that we will keep His commandments.
I’m grateful for the perfect example of the Savior, who recognized that baptism was more than an opportunity for purification, but was also a chance to communicate important truths about His character and His commitments.