125 years ago today - May 8, 1896

The following letter prepared by President Geo[rge]. Q. Cannon to carry into effect the action of the Council of the First Presidency and Apostles... We do not know upon what authority this form of administering baptism has been adopted but we think it improper. There have been times in the Church when the First Presidency have felt it necessary to call upon all the members of the Church to renew their covenants, and at such times it was suggested that the words 'for the renewal of your covenant' be used in the ceremony; but it does not follow that at other times, and in individual cases, that form should be used.

We think it improper, speaking generally, for the words 'for the remission of sins' or 'for the renewal of your covenant,' to be used in administering the ordinance of baptism. Where it may be necessary to baptize a person who is already a member of the Church, the form of ceremony which the Lord revealed to the Nephites, and which has also been revealed to us in our day, is sufficient. ...

In cases where people are baptized for their health, we see no impropriety in using the words 'for the restoration of your health' in the ceremony. ... If they have faith and believe, when they have some ailment, that the administration of baptism in that form will be beneficial to them, the privilege is granted to them. ... Signed by the First Presidency.

[Journal History, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1910-1951, Privately Published, Salt Lake City, Utah 2010]

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