Come Follow Me


Authority to Baptize

Reinforces this week’s “Come Follow Me” study: Doctrine and Covenants 12–13; Joseph Smith—History 1:66–75
“Upon You My Fellow Servants”


Doctrine & Covenants 13:1

“Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness.”


The Priesthood is Restored, Children’s Songbook page 89


With Oliver Cowdery’s help as scribe, Joseph Smith continued translating the Book of Mormon. Joseph Knight also helped Joseph by providing materials. A special revelation was given to Joseph Knight to help him know how to help in the work of the Lord. This revelation can be found in Doctrine & Covenants section 12.

As the translating went on, Joseph and Oliver came across a passage of scripture indicating that one needed authority from God to baptize. Joseph and Oliver had not been baptized, and they decided to ask the Lord how it should be done. They went to a quiet place near the Susquehanna River. When they prayed, a messenger appeared, saying that his name was John, who was called John the Baptist in the New Testament. John the Baptist laid his hands on the heads of Joseph and Oliver and ordained them to the Aaronic Priesthood. The Aaronic Priesthood gave them the authority to baptize. They went to the river where Joseph first baptized Oliver, and then Oliver baptized Joseph. After they had been baptized, they were filled with the Holy Ghost. 


“Priesthood ordinances and covenants provide access to the fulness of the blessings promised to us by God, which are made possible by the Savior’s Atonement. They arm sons and daughters of God with power, God’s power, and provide us with the opportunity to receive eternal life.” Carole M. Stephens


  • When Joseph and Oliver prayed to learn about baptism, who appeared to them?
  • What did the messenger do?
  • Why do we need to be baptized by someone with the proper authority?
  • How can we follow Joseph and Oliver’s example when we have questions?

Activity idea:

Baptized like Jesus

During this fun baptism activity your family will learn by discussion and demonstration how we are baptized by the proper authority and by immersion like Jesus.

Treat idea:

Immersion Cookies (Shortbread)

Immersion is the dipping of something in liquid so that it is completely covered. When we are baptized by immersion we are completely covered with water. When eating “Immersion Cookies” completely immerse (dunk) cookies into a cold glass of milk. YUM!

These lessons are perfect for: Family Home Evening at the beginning of the week, to recap the following Sunday or to enhance your family scripture study.

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