“Sidney Rigdon Is Called to Baptize and to Confer the Holy Ghost”

Doctrine and Covenants 35:3–7

3 Behold, verily, verily, I say unto my servant Sidney, I have looked upon thee and thy works. I have heard thy prayers, and prepared thee for a greater work.
4 Thou art blessed, for thou shalt do great things. Behold thou wast sent forth, even as John, to prepare the way before me, and before Elijah which should come, and thou knewest it not.
5 Thou didst baptize by water unto repentance, but they received not the Holy Ghost;
6 But now I give unto thee a commandment, that thou shalt baptize by water, and they shall receive the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands, even as the apostles of old.
7 And it shall come to pass that there shall be a great work in the land, even among the Gentiles, for their folly and their abominations shall be made manifest in the eyes of all people.

President Joseph Fielding Smith wrote:

“It should be carefully noted that a great number of forceful, intelligent men who became leaders in the Church had been gathered by Sidney Rigdon, with the help of the Lord, in this part of the land. . . . When, therefore, Parley P. Pratt, Ziba Peterson, and their companions came to Kirtland they found the way prepared for them through the preaching, very largely, of Sidney Rigdon, so that it was not a difficult matter for these missionaries to convince this group of the truth. While Sidney was preaching and baptizing by immersion without authority, which the Lord informed him in this revelation, yet it all resulted in good when the gospel message reached them. These men were not only convinced and ready for baptism, but were in a condition by which the priesthood could be given them, and this was done.”

(Church History and Modern Revelation, 2 vols. [1953], 1:160.)