My Baptism by Fire – The Second Token of the Aaronic Priesthood – The Mighty Change

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19 Responses

  1. Donald Danner says:

    Wonderful Jeremy. Thank you for sharing. I miss John Pontius too.

  2. Melissa Cunningham says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. Somebody popped into my mind who needs to read this so I will definitely forward it to him. Very courageous to bare your soul to all of us. But I know what you mean. When you truly repent of something it has no hold over you anymore. It’s not that hard to share.

  3. Natalie says:

    What happened when you told your wife?

    • Jeremy says:

      When I told my wife, I had already experienced that cleansing and felt relief from the burden and guilt. This made it easy to put aside my own interests but it was difficult to confess because I knew it would cause so much pain. But that is the thing with the powers of the atonement, the ability to receive comfort and strength is not limited to the sinner, but it is also for those who are sinned against.

      A miracle happened. Her heart was filled with compassion for me. Though she felt hurt by what I had done, she felt sorrow for my trials and my weaknesses.
      This is in contrast to the first time I confessed to her. That first time she felt crushed and betrayed. She didn’t know if she could ever trust me again. But this time we held each other. It was as if the powers of heaven brought us together and created a unity only available through humility and acceptance. I was the sinner and she was the one who was sinned against. She forgave me and she did not take on the role of the accuser. She was supportive of me. In many ways she reflected the love that I had felt from heaven. Though my actions caused her pain, she was filled with love and it radiated through her and shinned upon me.

      It was a miracle. In many ways her nature had also changed. In an instant her capacity to love increased.

      I should ask her to respond and give her side of it.

  4. Jules says:

    Love you Jeremy, and as always, I love your thoughts, and wisdom, and the simple way you teach!

  5. JEn says:

    Thanks for penning this out. I too have a friend that I think would like to read this. It gives me much to ponder and pray on as well.

  6. Jeffrey Richardson says:

    Thank you.

  7. TrueIntent says:

    Thank you Jeremy! I tried to change myself for so long…it’s only when we come to Him that the change actually happens. I love your blog.

  8. suslayer says:

    Thus, the idea that baptism with fire is a reference to judgment rather than a blissful spiritual event has a basis in contemporary Jewish literature of that era.

  9. Matt says:

    Jeremy,

    I have a couple follow up questions regarding this post, Baptism of Fire. I thought I had read somewhere that I may be able to reach out to you in private? Is this a possibility?

  10. Tom says:

    Jeremy, I experienced this same baptism of fire, just as you describe it. As I share it though, I get all sorts of pushback, both in and out of the Church. I am sure as I can be that it is scriptural, both in and outside the Church. It happened to me before I joined the Church, as the Spirit prompted me to join the Church after it happened. There are many other similar testimonies to be found on the internet, and no good reason not to accept them.

    To me, this is the absolute best thing that ever happened to me, but others continue to doubt it, even as they acknowledge a huge change in my and my countenance.

    Mormons are on the whole, better than most, but still some vigorously oppose my testimony. I don’t think this change in me is something anybody could even fake it they wanted to, as my devotion to Jesus and His Gospel so far exceeds my previous state. This was not slow progress, though arguably I did make some slow progress for the 44 years prior since receiving Jesus into my life, it was an utter transformation, as the fire worked through every cell of my body over the course of minutes.

    So what can we do to make others more aware that the baptism of fire is completely real and utterly transformative?

    • Jeremy says:

      Aside from testifying and encouraging others to seek out the same, I am not sure. Attempting to explain that there is a spiritual ordinance that is more impactful and more “real” than the physical ordinance many are familiar with is a difficult undertaking, especially when the audience is entrenched in the importance of authority and physical ordinances. Unfortunately a blindness comes when we rely upon the authority that men claim to have in regards to preforming these saving ordinances. In a sense, it can be easy to be baptized and partake of the sacrament. Not only can it be easy, but when we surround ourselves with individuals who believe and preach that those two things are most important, we fall into a false comfort that we have achieved the ranks of the heavenly righteous side of existence. Many of the individuals who are looked to as having authority have not testified of or encouraged the seeking for this “completely real and utterly transformative” ordinance.

      That is not to say that it has never been mentioned. It has. But in my perspective, flawed as it is, the importance of physical ordinances have crowded out the message of how vital the spiritual ordinances are, so much so that experiences such as ours are often dismissed and even reviled against.

      Such is the pattern throughout history.

      • Tom says:

        Thanks for sharing those thoughts Jeremy. For any person to live without this transformation when it is apparently available to all who will truly follow Jesus is heartbreaking. I never knew it was possible until the day it happened, and now I think of little else other than hoping others will seek it so they too will find.

        It is pretty clear to me, now reading scripture with greatly enhanced understanding, that the letters of Paul, in their various introductions, and following his thoughts carefully, address two distinct and different audiences, those he refers to as saints, and those he refers to as disciples.

        I have found saints within the Latter Day Saints, more so than in other churches, but also quite a few disciples, and unfortunately many who seem to think the laying of hands is all there is to it.

        Can you point me to some solid testimonies on this subject by church leaders, so that perhaps I can dare to mention this if asked to give a talk on a related subject?

      • Jeremy says:

        Tom, sorry to take so long in responding. I didn’t see this until today.
        Unfortunately I am not the best source for sources. 🙂 However, my recommendation is scripture and testimony. Those who are ready to hear are going to hear regardless of who is narrating the testimony. Personally I have always felt more solid in sharing my own testimony rather than quoting an “authority” but there is a time and place.

    • Tyler says:

      Tom,

      Thanks for sharing!

  11. Tyler says:

    Section 132 speaks to what you’re saying, among other places.

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