Discourse, 22 January 1843, as Reported by William Clayton
JS, Discourse, [, Hancock Co., IL, 22 Jan. 1843]. Featured version copied [ca. 22 Jan. 1843] in William Clayton, Journal, 27 Nov. 1842–28 Apr. 1843 and  Sept. 1844–31 Mar. 1845, pp. 48–49; handwriting of ; William Clayton, Journals, 1842–1846, CHL. For more complete source information, see the source note for Letter to “Hands in the Stone Shop,” 21 Dec. 1842.
subject arose from two questions proposed from <at> a Lyceum. 1st. Did John Baptize for remission of sins? 2nd. Wether the kingdom of God was set up before the day of Pentecost or not till then?
To the 1st. Q. he <I> answered, “he did”
It is acknowledged of all men that John preached the gospel— & must have preached the 1st. principle, if so he must have preached the doctrine of Baptism for the remission of sins for that is the first principal of the Gospel and was ordained before the foundation of the world. I next give my own [p. 48]
In 1833 JS described faith, repentance, baptism for the remission of sins, and the reception of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands as “the requesitions of the new Covenant or first principles of the Gospel of Christ.” In 1842 he similarly listed these principles and actions as being among “the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.” (Letter to Noah C. Saxton, 4 Jan. 1833; “Church History,” 1 Mar. 1842 [Articles of Faith 1:3–4].)
The Book of Mormon depicts Israelites performing baptisms in America long before the birth of Christ. In 1830, while revising the book of Genesis, JS dictated an account of the baptism of Adam, the first man. An 1832 revelation stated that although God had taken Moses and the higher priesthood from the children of Israel, “the lesser Priesthood continued,” including “the preparitory gospel, which gospel is the gospel of repentence and of Baptism, and the remission of sins, and the Law of carnal commandments.” According to the revelation, these things had continued “until John.” (Book of Mormon, 1840 ed., 117, 188 [2 Nephi 31:13–14; Mosiah 18:15–17]; Old Testament Revision 1, pp. 14–15 [Moses 6:64–66]; Revelation, 22–23 Sept. 1832 [D&C 84:25–27].)