Thursday, October 16, 2014

My Baptism of Fire: A Farewell

Baptism of the Holy Ghost by Rebecca Borgan
They say timing is everything.  After all there is a time to sleep, a time to eat, a time to laugh, a time to cry, a time to die…  You get the picture.  Timing.  It’s everything.  As of this writing it’s time I leave the Mormon Church.  It’s much sooner than I had anticipated, but not at all unexpected, and not for the reasons you might think.

Picture it, November 2010; I’m browsing online looking for a good book to read.  I started adding a few books to my watch list when I came across ‘The Second Comforter, Conversing with the Lord through the Veil’ by Denver Snuffer.  Very softly the Spirit of God burned in my heart as I looked at its cover.  The Spirit was very soft yet completely perceptible.  I put the book on my wish list and moved on.  Eight months later I’m back on Amazon completely forgetting the Spirit and prompting I had earlier received.  “What are these books I put on my…” Oh… my heart sank as I remembered the previous encounter.  I didn't fully ignore the Spirit because I had put the book in my watch list, yet mercifully I began again to feel the Burning of the Spirit of God.  This time I bought the book.

It’s written for active participating Latter-day Saints or those returning to activity in the church.  I won’t tell you what things the author of the book corrected in my mind. Or, to say it more precisely, the Spirit of God manifested to me that I was holding onto traditions of the church and not teachings or doctrine of Christ.  My mind latched onto these concepts freely as if my soul recognized them from somewhere else…  Two months later,  September 27, 2011 I was baptized with Fire and the Holy Ghost in the Oakland Temple while surrounding the alter with people I've never seen before or since.  This was exactly 34 years and 4 months to the day that I was baptized by water at the age of eight.

Last night at midnight I woke and sat straight up in bed.  I had to get to my computer to research the significance of that September day.  I didn't know why, I simply had to.  Then the Spirit directed me to the lunar schedule. September 27, 2011 was a New Moon.  A new beginning, a time to start over, that day I become a new creature in Christ!  The importance of that symbolism is not lost on me.  The Lord woke me up last night to confirm what He had done for me and He proved it to me using the Heavens!

Having hands placed upon your head and being confirmed a member of a church is not the Baptism of Fire.  Being told to ‘Receive the Holy Ghost’ puts the burden upon you to receive Him.  For me it happened after I correct false teaching that I held. These teachings and philosophies permeate the modern LDS Church.  Those teachings are out of my mind and heart forever.  Secondly, and more importantly, I qualified for the Baptism of Fire by having a broken heart and a contrite spirit (3 Nephi 9:19-20), and I might add, that is the only reason anyone ever receives the Baptism of Fire.  Being lifted up in pride will prevent it. 

How do you know if you have had the Baptism of Fire?  It took me two years to fully realize what had happened to me that day.  It is the single greatest experience of my life.  I went back to the temple time and time again, each visit reminding the Lord that I was back and to please immerse me again in His Spirit.  But it never came.  I shared this experience in Sacrament meeting on my last Sunday with my Mormon ward.  Not one soul asked me what it felt like.

Nephi reminds us that we must repent, be baptized by water and then be baptized by Fire and the Holy Ghost “For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost. And then are ye in this strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life; yea, ye have entered in by the gate”.  (2 Nephi 31:17-18)

Did you get that! Only after you repent, are baptized by water and receive the Baptism of Fire are you on the path that leads to eternal life!  Only then have you entered the gate that is guarded by the Holy One of Israel and He employs no servant there! The Lord God is His name and he cannot be deceived! (2 Nephi 9:41)  

How often are you asked “what is the gate we enter?”  “Baptism” is the reply!  Wrong, wrong, wrong. The gate is repentance, baptism by water then Baptism by Fire!  I believe few members of the Mormon Church ever receive the Baptism of Fire.  Why do you suppose that is?
This is an event! It doesn't come incrementally, slowly over time.  It is an event that is to happen in your life.  It is necessary to your salvation.  For me, it happened in the temple.  It can happen anywhere.

My friends, with all the energy of my heart I ask you to repent and be brought low in the dust.  Let your hearts be broken for the love that Christ has shown you.  Let your spirits be contrite knowing there is no other way except in and through the Holy One of Israel.  He is my Friend, my Savior and King. Let Him be yours too.

Why am I going down a different path from you my faithful Mormon friends? I have received the message of a True Messenger just as Father promised me I would in the day He created me.  Jesus has given me the Baptism of Fire and He has placed my feet on His strait and narrow path.  That same Spirit that has led me to receive His sanctifying love through Baptism by Fire now directs me in a new path.  Leaving the Mormon Church is His doing and I will not disappoint Him. 


  1. YES!

    You have spoken truth about the baptism of fire. I echo and endorse everything you've said! It is real, it is an event, and it comes to those whose hearts are broken, penitent, and in a state of complete surrender to Him.

    Thank you for sharing this important teaching. It is true.

    1. Adrian,

      Thank you for your kind words and counsel. I hope everyone experiences this Baptism. It is life changing.

  2. What did it feel like? Why did it take so long to realize it had occurred, and what brought about its realization? Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you for your questions. I had intended to post a separate blog about this experience, but feel it best to include it here. I may re-post it later.
      Fire has purifying or refining qualities when used to purge gold or silver of its impurities. The soul is purified in like manner. The Baptism of Fire is very symbolic and very real at the same time. Spirit is matter.
      My baptism began at my head and continued until it reached my feet. I was slowly and completely immersed in Spirit. To quote my journal regarding this experience “I participated in the prayer circle. It was the most spiritual experience I have ever had. I feel deep changes within and a calmness that runs without fathoms. Holy is the Name of God!” I attended the temple a couple days later hoping to have the same experience “The Spirit was there for sure, but the overwhelming, crushing force of Joy that so overtook me last was not there. I will spend the rest of my life searching and praying for another such experience.”
      Why did it take so long to realize what had happened?? A very good question. I don’t really know why. The Lamanites were also baptized with Fire and the Holy Ghost and they didn’t know it 3 Nephi 9:20. Oh, they knew something happened they just didn’t know what. It was the same for me. The realization came while talking with my wife. I was lamenting that I didn’t feel as ‘spiritual’ as I should and I referenced my experience in 2011. I asked her “did I receive the Baptism of Fire then, because I just don’t know.” At that moment the Spirit descended upon me in the same manner as it did years earlier only not as strong. I had my answer. Yes, you did receive the Baptism of Fire.
      I think it takes time to understand all our experiences.
      Best Regards ~ Sean

  3. For me it happened some years ago, though I never realized what it was, just knew I was different. It came when or about the time the Holy Sprit of Promise came to give me a message I think, walked around like I was in an altered Spiritual State for weeks; like on cloud nine, to put it simply. Even before this, I always had spiritual gifts that others did not comprehend, and some in the church called them witchcraft or evil; what is that about calling good evil and evil good.

    1. David,

      Thank you for your comments. I always enjoy hearing about your experiences. I too was on cloud nine for weeks. As we have discussed, people often criticize what they don't understand. It helps that you have the patience of Job. ;)

      Your Friend ~ Sean

  4. Sean, for some time I have suspected your departure was imminent, though I had no idea how close it really was. I consider you a friend and I am sorry to hear of your exit, especially when I don’t really understand the reasoning. You allude to, but don’t clearly illustrate, several other reasons, so I’m sure there is more to your decision than what is written in this post alone.

    The very scripture you reference says (starting half way down verse 17), “…For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost. 18. And then are ye in this straight and narrow path which leads to eternal life…”

    The way I read this is that repentance and baptism by water is the gate and a remission of our sins by fire and the Holy Ghost is what puts us on the path. I don’t think baptism by fire is a once in a lifetime event. I have been bathed intensely by the Spirit several times in my life, which brings joy and peace as sins are forgiven.

    Maybe I am misunderstanding you, but it also seems to me that you are setting yourself up as a judge of the masses when you call people to repentance and speculate that most members of the Church have not been baptized by the Spirit. How do you know that and who’s to say each person’s experience would feel the same as yours? Perhaps you and I just define baptism by fire differently.

    Good luck in your search, Sean. I sincerely wish you well.

    1. Jared, you are the most sincere man I have ever known. Thank you for your comments.

      My reasoning will become clearer in the coming months and years as events begin to unfold. I agree with you when you say it's Fire and the Holy Ghost that puts us on the path. That is so true. I also have been immersed or bathed in the Spirit many times over my life. But, I politely disagree with you when I say the Baptism of Fire is a separate event.

      False teachings had to be removed from my mind before I could receive this baptism. I observe these teachings in every meeting of the Church. If God is an unchangeable being, then it seems necessary for others to correct their thoughts prior to the Baptism of Fire. This is not a judgment, it’s an observation.

      Jared, as you know, it is the duty of everyone who has been warned to warn his neighbor. Any call to repentance includes me. You are a true friend.

  5. Thank you, Sean, for your beautiful testimony and experience! I glory with you that you have received this gift. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is so delicious and exciting! I am finished with trying to feed from tables full of vomit and filthiness. I am weaned from the milk. I now turn to the feast that Christ has to offer us through scripture, personal revelation, and the words of Christ spoken by angels! The Holy Ghost, the First Comforter, will show unto us ALL things what we should do, even lead us back to the presence of Jesus Christ the Second Comforter while here in the flesh.

    1. Nathan, No one could have said it better! Thank you.

  6. Can one be born of God, born of the Spirit, born again, receive the baptism of fire and of the holy ghost; essentially can one enter in by the gate and also not receive angels instantly/during their spiritual baptism?

    I guess I believe that unless you have been ministered to by angels, you don't have faith, hope, have not been baptized unto repentance and haven't received the baptism only Christ can administer.

    Any thoughts about the above would be appreciated.

    1. Anonymous,

      This is a great question. Angels are sent for the purpose of calling men to repentance and assisting the Father in fulfilling His covenants (Moroni 7:31). You will recall that King Benjamin was visited by an angle and given a specific message to give his people (Mosiah 4:1). After that message was given his people fell to the earth from fear of the Lord. In this instance, King Benjamin WAS the angel, called by God to deliver this message. His people accepted what he had to say, not because he 'presided' but because of the Spirit they felt from his words (Mosiah 5:2). They had no more disposition to do evil. This is the mission of angels and they can be mortal.

      To the extent anyone is given a message directly from God and then told to deliver it, they, the messenger, become acting servants of God, even angels. As I said in this post, I have received the message of a True Messenger. It called me to repentance and corrected false doctrine that lead to my Baptism of Fire. These are represented in the temple as the first two tokens. These must be received before a mighty change in heart occurs, represented in the temple by shifting the Robes.

      You are absolutely correct in believing one must have faith to be baptized unto repentance (and baptism ALWAYS follows repentance in scripture), and to have hope to receive the Baptism of Fire that only Jesus can administer. He is the Keeper of the Gate. No one gets by Him unnoticed or by accident. However, you may be ministered to by angels sent directly from Heaven at any time in this process.

      You are also correct in noticing that if you don't have faith, angels won't minister to you. Mormon asked, "have angels ceased to appear unto the children of men...?",

      "Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain." (Moroni 7:36-37)

      Wo unto us if we don't have the faith to be ministered to by Angelic Beings! It will be because of unbelief... those things don't happen any more... those things are only for the super elect who preside... God has done his work and given his power to men, we no longer need the ministering of angels. Vile philosophies that bind the soul to hell.

      We must have faith sufficeint to entertain messengers, like Father Adam, "to minister according to the word of his (God's) command, showing themselves unto them of strong faith and a firm mind in every form of godliness." Moroni 7:30. Without these attributes we are full of unbelief and vanity and held by the chains of hell. We must rise above this and seek Him.

    2. Thanks for your input on the matter. What get from reading your reply is this response from God "What your seeking for is in the book of mormon, I'll teach more if you go there".

      Back into the scriptures I go.