“I Give Unto You Power that Ye Shall Baptize This People”

George Reynolds, Janne M. Sjodahl

After the preliminaries occasioned by His unexpected visit were cared for, Jesus began the impromptu meeting by calling Nephi and others to come forward, and He gave them authority to perform baptisms.

Nephi was the grandson of Helaman and the custodian of the Plates of Brass and other sacred things. (III Nephi 1:2-3) He was one of the multitude. (v. 18) When Jesus called him, he rose immediately, came forward and fell down before our Lord and kissed His feet; an act of complete submission of his body to the power and authority of the Savior. Jesus commanded him to arise, and when Nephi stood up before Him, He said: "I give unto you power that ye shall baptize this people when I am again ascended into Heaven." Thus, Jesus conferred authority upon Nephi to officiate in the ordinance of baptism among the Nephites.

Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 7