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Third Hour

Exorcism, Salt, and Honey: The Evolution of Baptism During the Great Apostasy

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"I EXORCISE THEE, UNCLEAN SPIRIT, IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER AND OF THE SON, AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, THAT THOU GOEST OUT AND DEPART FROM THIS SERVANT OF GOD..." It's not something you'd normally expect at a baptism, but prayers of exorcism were just one of many changes that the ordinance of baptism underwent throughout the Great Apostasy. This article explores, somewhat chronologically, these changes. You're probably familiar with some (infant baptism, baptism by sprinkling), but there's much more to the story of how baptism has evolved over the centuries. James E. Talmage, in his book The Great Apostasy sheds some light on the changes we'll look at in this article. Baptisms to occur twice a year, after a long course of preparation Baptisms throughout the New Testament are performed quite regularly. It was a fairly simple ordinance aimed at the remission of sin. It also served as symbolic of death and a new birth, or resurrection, in Christ. They were always performed by immersion, by someone holding authority to...

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