Baptism of Fire and the Holy Ghost
A sign of redemption, purification, and holiness that is included in the “gate” for entering into God’s presence. The baptism of fire and the holy ghost, as taught by Christ in the Doctrine of Christ (see 2 Nephi 13:3), is given without man’s involvement, comes from heaven, and is promised by both the Father and the Son. God is a “consuming fire,” and those who enter into His presence must be able to endure that fire (see Hebrews 1:57; Deuteronomy 2:5). Without the capacity to do so, a person would be consumed by the flames (see Leviticus 2:25). The fire and the holy ghost are given as a sign to the recipient that they may know it is safe for them to enter into God’s presence and not be consumed.1 The baptism of fire purges and removes sin, and its effect is to permit one to speak with the tongue of angels (2 Nephi 13:2). Nephi cautions that once this gift has been conferred, if one should deny me [Christ], it would have been better for you that ye had not known me (2 Nephi 13:3). This process comes after repentance and baptism; it comes to show all things and to teach the peaceable things of the kingdom (T&C 23:2). “To speak with the tongue of angels means you are elevated — your knowledge and your inspiration reckons from heaven itself. You have been elevated by fire, which purges sins and purifies. In effect, you receive holiness through the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit. This in turn makes your own spirit holy. Your spirit or your ghost is within you, connected to heaven to such a degree through this process that you are in possession of a holy spirit or a holy ghost within you.”2 Recipients of the baptism of fire and the holy ghost receive the Father’s testimony of the Son. “And thus will the Father bear record of me (3 Nephi 5:9). You cannot receive this baptism and not have a testimony given to you by the Father of the Son.”3
1 “2 Nephi 31:17,” Aug. 27, 2010, blog post.
2 “God’s Many Works,” Part 5, Aug. 17, 2012, blog post.
3 “3 Nephi 11:36,” Sept. 29, 2010, blog post.