"And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water..." which got me thinking about baptism by immersion. This small sentence has 2 proofs of this doctrine: if one is coming out "straightway" they had to have been in the water first to come out of it. And second is in the word "baptize" itself. In explaining, the book "Articles of Faith" by James E. Talmage, I learned that "Baptism" comes from the Greek "Bapto" and "Baptizo" which literally means "to dip or to immerse". I love this quote:
"The native Greeks must understand their own language better than foreigners, and they have always understood the word baptism to signify dipping; and therefore from their first embracing of Christianity to this day they have always baptized, and do yet baptize, by immersion." -- Robinson
What truth! It is so simple and so clear. Talmage again proclaims that "the scriptures are devoid of ambiguity regarding the acceptable mode of baptism; and they boldly declare their belief, that bodily immersion by a duly commissioned servant or representative of the Savior is the only true form." So, if it is so clear, where did everyone go wrong?
Skipping back a bit in "The Articles of Faith" we find a section on The History of Infant Baptism. Here it is explained that churches who practice this rite believe Christ was showing them to do this in Matthew 19:13-15 "...but Jesus said, Suffer the little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. And he laid his hands on them..." This passage clearly indicated Christ blessing the children, and is a monumental stretch to assume, from this one instance, that Christ endorses infant baptism.
It is clear, from history, that other sects really use infant baptism to try and claim as many followers as possible, even if it is restricting a human's agency. They used to wait exactly 8 days after the baby was born to baptize them, to parallel the rite of circumcision, however in the 3rd century, a council of Bishops met together and "determined that to post-pone baptism until the 8th day after birth was hazardous and consequently not to be allowed." In the LDS church all baptisimal candidates must first be interviewd by their bishop and deemed worthy. Of course this also signifies that they are entering into this covenant by their own free will and choice and are able to make that decision on their own. This is possible since the minimum age one can be baptized in the LDS church is 8, so they are old enough to make that oh so important decision on their own.
I have a testimony of baptism by the proper authority because Christ showed the way by His example and He is the perfect Being sent to us by the Father to the just that -- a perfect example.