Did You Have the Baptism of Fire?

Joseph Smith taught, “The baptism of water, without the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost attending it, is of no use, they are necessarily and inseparably connected. An individual must be born of water and the spirit in order to get into the kingdom of God.” [1]

In the midst of learning many new things regarding revelation, angels, and the feeling of the Spirit being poured out upon me, I asked the fateful question, “Lord, have I had my Baptism of Fire?” I was sure I knew the answer, but had to ask anyway. I remembered many years ago, at the age of twelve, asking the Lord if Joseph was a prophet and feeling an overwhelming feeling of warmth and love flow over my body. My testimony felt secure, so I knew that experience had to be the moment. To my great surprise, the Lord said, “No, you have not had your Baptism of Fire yet.”

What! How could this be? I was confused; what must I do to receive this Gift?

And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost, even as the Lamanites, because of their faith in me at the time of their conversion, were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and they knew it not. (3 Ne. 9: 20)

There is something critical about having a broken heart and a contrite spirit if one wishes to qualify for their baptism of fire and to eventually have their Second Comforter experience.[2] What does a broken heart and contrite spirit mean? There are many interpretations, but for me it means this: If your heart is broken, you do not seek your own needs, but that of others, according to the Lord’s will (full submission).[3] If your spirit is contrite, you are in a constant state of repentance, meaning that your heart is turned to God (full repentance). If these two attributes of godliness are within you, you shall be redeemed from the fall, be given the Gift of the Holy Ghost, have your baptism of fire, and be quickly on your way to having your Second Comforter experience.

Jesus Christ was in every way the perfect example for us of how to live our lives. A man without sin, He lived His entire life with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, as evidenced by His complete submission to His Father.[4]

Jesus said to His disciples, “Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart.”[5] In time, the perfect Lamb willingly laid His life upon the altar according to His Father’s will, and partook of the bitter cup. God is looking for those who will be like Him, to take His name upon themselves, as is the promise in the Sacrament Prayer, that they may always have His Spirit to be with them.[6] This is the covenant[7] He desires to make with us, to give us the promise of the Gift of the Holy Ghost and the Baptism of Fire! If we are willing to submit to all He asks of us, as did He to His Father’s will, we are worthy of the Gift.

The very essence of a broken heart and a contrite spirit is a desire to seek the Lord more than anything else in our life. When our hearts are broken, we understand the full measure of what it means to have charity,[8] which includes loving as Christ would love. By this we do His will in all things and we demonstrate His pure love to others.  When we acquire this godly attribute, the Lord can make us greater than ourselves and we can fulfill the commandment: “Ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in Heaven is perfect.”[9]

If so, his faith and hope is vain, for none is acceptable before God, save the meek and lowly in heart; and if a man be meek and lowly in heart, and confesses by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, he must needs have charity; for if he have not charity he is nothing; wherefore he must needs have charity.

And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—

But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him. (Moroni 7:44-46)

It is important to understand that charity, “the pure love of Christ,” is often misconstrued to mean to love like Christ,[10] when it is better explained as a pure love as Christ. “Jesus answered and said unto him, if a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” (John 14:23) If you develop a broken heart and a contrite spirit, with the pure love of Christ (charity), you will be ready to receive your baptism of fire and Second Comforter.

During this time of study, I researched more about the Baptism of Fire and wrote the following:

When we receive our Baptism of Fire. We become holy and become a new person,[11] a “higher self,” quickened in the Spirit. This increase in light enables us to speak with the tongue of angels,[12] to be holy and have an abundance of the Lord’s Spirit with us always. We then are given the mysteries of godliness as the doctrines of the priesthood distill upon our souls as the dews of Heaven.[13] When we receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost, we also receive the Baptism of Fire.[14] You are claimed by Christ as His, and thereby are promised exaltation if you endure to the end.[15] All those who become exalted become “one with Christ and the Father.” “Which Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost are one God,” (D&C 20:28)[16] “If ye are not one, ye are not mine.” (D&C 38:27)

This is the Godhead and the Holy Ghost is a part of that Eternal light and truth.[17] We must become one with Christ by receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost and the Baptism of Fire.

How many of us have actually received the Gift of the Holy Ghost and the Baptism of Fire? Many assume that the words spoken by the priesthood holder at the time of the Confirmation is the moment they finally have the Gift of Holy Ghost. He says to the newly baptized person as the ordinance is given, “I confirm you a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and say unto you, ‘Receive the Holy Ghost.’ ” This is more an invitation to a future event than a declaration that they now have the Gift.

There are two ways to receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost and the Baptism of Fire. One is by the laying on of hands by the Lord’s anointed Apostles[18]  and the other is by the Lord Himself.[19] And when we say “the Lord’s anointed,” we mean personally anointed by the Savior and not ordained by man.

It is not until we are found sufficiently prepared that we receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost and the Baptism of Fire and become sanctified and holy.

WHAT IS IT LIKE TO HAVE YOUR BAPTISM OF FIRE?

The Lord points out when He came to the Nephites in Bountiful that the Lamanites received the baptism of fire and were completely unaware of it.[20] In the Book of Helaman we read the story and gain some interesting insights of what occurs when one receives their Baptism of Fire. This great blessing came to them at the last second, when they needed it most, both physically and spiritually.

And it came to pass that they all did begin to cry unto the voice of him who had shaken the earth; yea, they did cry even until the cloud of darkness was dispersed. And it came to pass that when they cast their eyes about, and saw that the cloud of darkness was dispersed from overshadowing them, [Similar to what Joseph Smith experienced in the grove.] behold, they saw that they were encircled about, yea every soul, by a pillar of fire. And Nephi and Lehi were in the midst of them; yea, they were encircled about; yea, they were as if in the midst of a flaming fire, yet it did harm them not, neither did it take hold upon the walls of the prison; and they were filled with that joy which is unspeakable and full of glory. And behold, the Holy Spirit of God did come down from heaven, and did enter into their hearts, and they were filled as if with fire, and they could speak forth marvelous words. (Helaman 5:42-45)

THE BAPTISM OF FIRE HAS SIX CHARACTERISTICS:

  1. An encircling fire or pillar of fire, like a column of light or plasma that surrounds them.[21]
  2. The presence and ministration of angels.[22]
  3. A remission of sins.[23]
  4. Purification of the heart by fire.[24]
  5. Speaking with a new tongue (speaking the word of angels by the power of the Holy Ghost)[25]
  6. Sanctification, or becoming holy, by being filled with the Holy Ghost.[26]

Why are there so few who have received their Baptism of Fire?

  1. Is it because of unbelief in the Gifts of the Spirit as spoken by Moroni?[27]
  2. Is it because their hearts are not sufficiently humble and contrite?
  3. Is it a lack of faith, knowledge, or believing; they simply don’t know?
  4. Is it because they take the covenant of the Book of Mormon lightly?[28] (To literally “come unto Christ.”[29])
  5. Could it be that people are putting their trust in man instead of God?
  6. Could it simply be that the appropriate time for many individuals has not yet occurred?

 


[1] History of the Church, 6:316; from a discourse given by Joseph Smith on Apr. 7, 1844, in Nauvoo, Illinois; reported by Wilford Woodruff, Willard Richards, Thomas Bullock, and William Clayton.

[2] 2 Nephi 2:7

[3] You could also say that it means one is teachable of the Lord. The opposite of a broken heart is a hard heart, which is pride.

[4] John 6:38

[5] Matthew 11:29

[6] Moroni 4:3, 5:2

[7] John 14:16

[8] Moroni 7:46-48

[9] 3 Nephi 12:48

[10] Charity is a divine attribute of loving obedience that leads to acts of kindness and service, but also moments of conflict; e.g. cutting off the head of Laban, and Abraham being commanded to sacrifice his son. These are acts of righteousness that could not be accomplished without charity.

[11] 2 Corinthians 5:17

[12] 2 Nephi 31:13

[13] D&C 121:45

[14] 2 Nephi 31:13, Luke 3:16,

[15] 2 Nephi 31:18-20

[16] 3 Nephi 11:35-37

[17] John 17:21-23, 2 Nephi 31:21

[18] 3 Nephi 18:36,37, Moroni 2:2

[19] Moses 6:64,65, Acts 2:1-4

[20] 3 Nephi 9:20

[21] Acts 2:1-4

[22] 3 Nephi 17:24

[23]2 Nephi 31:17

[24] D&C 88:74

[25] 2 Nephi 32:2,3

[26] Alma 113:11,12

[27] Moroni 10:24

[28] D&C 84:54

[29] Moroni 10:32

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16 Responses to Did You Have the Baptism of Fire?

  1. I have recently learned that the First Resurrection is a synonym for receiving your baptism of fire and Gift of the Holy Ghost. This quickening of our spirit is a paramount moment in our eternal progression. But then we must make our calling and election sure and stand with the Lord.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Anonymous says:

    Question; D&C 121:45 Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith,… Please explain the “household of faith”

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  3. In the context of that scripture this phrase refers to all the believers of Christ. This is more than those who are of the Church or even the House of Israel. The Lord makes it clear that we are to practice charity to all people.

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  4. thompsonruth says:

    Can you expound more on the First Ressurection being a synonym for the Baptism of Fire?

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  5. The First Resurrection is the renewing of our bodies. It is the quickening as we receive the baptism of fire and Gift of the Holy Ghost. From that point of judgment your spirit body is changed.

    The Second Resurrection is for those who denied the Christ or who did not come to Christ, yet they are not among the damned. Their light determines their glory.

    There are many kinds of resurrection and condescension of different level and glory. We tend to think of resurrection in a narrow physical definition in this world. But, our bodies are fundamentally composed of light and energy. A celestial body dwells in everlasting burnings, pure light and glory. Such a being, although they will never die, will travel and change themselves as the need to perform their works.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. newby says:

    So, then, the translation process of bodies would be the beginnings of the First Resurrection.

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  7. The first resurrection is the quickening of our spirit upon the receipt of the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Translation is another kind of resurrection to prepare one for a mission upon the earth. There are many kinds of resurrections.

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  8. Okeng Emmy says:

    Great post !! Am learning a lot from here .
    So my question is that when someone Resurrects , will he or she obtains the very same body he or she had in mortality ?

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  9. No, it is not the same body. It is a glorified body of light. It is physical, but not in the sense we think. It may or may not completely resemble their physical body in mortality.

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  10. Paul Lee Omara says:

    Great post thank you so much! Am eternally greatful that I was directed to a right place. I have gain so much wisdom and knowledge. May you please expound more on creation and the fall for me.

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  11. I have not been given permission to do that yet and it would take more than a post reply. I’m sure I will in the future. My advice is to read the Book of Moses Translation. https://purerevelations.wordpress.com/2014/12/28/translation-of-the-book-of-moses/

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  12. Paul Lee Omara says:

    Thanks for referring me to that link.. I found what I needed to know exactly.

    Like

  13. paul says:

    Hello, thank for being a great servant unto us. I have been working on receiving my baptism of fire but I felt concern that may you please expound how should i prepare worthily go to the Lord?

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  14. Paul, I shared everything I’ve learned on that subject in my book, How To Have Your Second Comforter, but the short answer is to have a broken heart, contrite spirit, and exercise faith.

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  15. I’m confused, and maybe this is something obvious I’m just missing (it happens often)… I thought Baptism of Fire is something we receive during this probation and before we can receive the Second Comforter and that the First Resurrection happens for us after we die… how can they be synonymous? Thank you! I just discovered your blog a few days ago and am very much enjoying it. I’m excited to start reading your books.

    Like

  16. Everything I have written on the baptism of fire is in the category with that name. There are many kinds of resurrections. The first is when we are bodies are renewed, raised up holy with great glory in God’s presence.

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