“To Fulfil All Righteousness”
2 Nephi 31:4–10
4 Wherefore, I would that ye should remember that I have spoken unto you concerning that prophet which the Lord showed unto me, that should baptize the Lamb of God, which should take away the sins of the world.
5 And now, if the Lamb of God, he being holy, should have need to be baptized by water, to fulfil all righteousness, O then, how much more need have we, being unholy, to be baptized, yea, even by water!
6 And now, I would ask of you, my beloved brethren, wherein the Lamb of God did fulfil all righteousness in being baptized by water?
7 Know ye not that he was holy? But notwithstanding he being holy, he showeth unto the children of men that, according to the flesh he humbleth himself before the Father, and witnesseth unto the Father that he would be obedient unto him in keeping his commandments.
8 Wherefore, after he was baptized with water the Holy Ghost descended upon him in the form of a dove.
9 And again, it showeth unto the children of men the straitness of the path, and the narrowness of the gate, by which they should enter, he having set the example before them.
10 And he said unto the children of men: Follow thou me. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, can we follow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father?
Elder Bruce R. McConkie wrote:
“Some different reasons exist as to the need for baptism in the case of our Lord, He being without sin and in need of no repentance. His expression to John was, ‘Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness’ (Matt. 3:15). Nephi explains that Christ did fulfil all righteousness in being baptized in that: 1. He humbled Himself before the Father; 2. He covenanted to be obedient and keep the Father’s commandment; 3. He had to be baptized to gain admission to the celestial kingdom; and 4. He set an example for all men to follow (2 Ne. 31:4–11).
Our Lord’s baptism ‘showeth unto the children of men the straightness of the path, and the narrowness of the gate, by which they should enter, he having set the example before them’ (2 Ne. 31:9). If even the King of the kingdom could not return to His high state of pre-existent exaltation without complying with His own eternal law for admission to that kingdom, how can any man expect a celestial inheritance without an authorized and approved baptism?”
(Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. , 71.)