The baptism of fire and the holy ghost is for sanctification. It is done upon the body and the Spirit within each person.1 The work of this “baptism of fire” is always sanctification. It brings the recipient into greater contact with God. The end of that increasing contact is to receive the Son, through whose blood all can be sanctified (see Genesis 4:9). Once sanctified, one is prepared for the presence of the Father (see Alma 21:3; 1 Nephi 3:5).2 It is the companionship of the Spirit that makes one justified by leading him or her to do what is right. It is the resulting application of Christ’s blood on one’s behalf that sanctifies (see Genesis 4:9). One cannot receive sanctification without first receiving baptism and then also the holy ghost.3 “In effect, you receive holiness through the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit. This in turn makes your own spirit holy.”4 Man is unworthy to enter into God’s presence and, therefore, requires a power higher than his own from which to borrow purity. This purifying agent is the holy ghost (see 3 Nephi 9:3–4). Christ will administer the final rites and confer the final blessings only upon the pure (see 3 Nephi 9:4–5). The reference to “blood” as sanctifying is a reference to the Lord (see Genesis 4:9). He alone sanctifies.5 Christ sanctifies mankind; they don’t sanctify themselves.6 “To be purified, to be sanctified by the Lamb — removing from you, and taking upon Himself the responsibility to answer for whatever failings you have — this is not ritual purity. This is purity in fact. To be sanctified is to be qualified to stand in the presence of God without sin, clean of all blood and sin — righteous forever. He is Christ’s, and Christ is the Father’s, and all that each of them will be is the same; for we shall see Him as He is, because we will be like Him. To be like Him is to be sanctified.”7
1 “BFHG, Conclusion,” Aug. 25,2012, blog post.
2 “BFHG, Part 5,” Aug. 24, 2012, blog post.
3 “2 Nephi 31:8–9,” Aug. 24, 2010, blog post.
4 “God’s Many Works, Part 5,” Aug. 17, 2012, blog post.
5 “BFHG, Part 5,” Aug. 24, 2012, blog post.
6 “Last Week’s Comments,” May 19, 2012, blog post.
7 “Alma 13:11,” June 12, 2010, blog post.