We were discussing chapters 31 through 33 of 2 Nephi today. One thing bugged me that always bugs me.
It seems to be a popular belief that we are baptised to receive a remission of our sins, or more specifically baptism washes our sins away. The problem with this conception is that it minimises the role repentance plays in the conversion process.
Remission of sins is not granted through baptism alone or solely on the merits of baptism. Remission of sins comes as a result of our commitment to Jesus, just as it does after baptism. For our sins to be remitted we first need to exercise faith in the Saviour. We need to exercise faith that He lives, He loves us, He overcame the effects of physical and spiritual death and that his life is an ideal pattern for us to follow.
Amulek taught that following our faith will eventually lead us to repent. As our faith in Jesus grows our desire to be more like Him grows also. This in turn will convince us to both feel sorrow for and forsake our sins. This is done through repentance.
Following the forgiveness of our sins and commitment to be like Him, we feel a desire to express our commitment. We do so through baptism. Baptism serves as the manifestation of the covenant we make with Our Brother to follow Him.
Following baptism, we are baptised by fire and the Holy Ghost, which subsequently sanctifies us.
You see, remission of sins comes as a result of a process. We need to have faith in Jesus, repent of our sins, be baptised and receive the Holy Spirit. I honestly fail how leaving out the other three (whether literally or intellectually) can honestly give us a remission of sins.