A few years ago, I was a member of a branch. Because we were few, the rotation of speakers and teachers was short and it was a special treat to have guest speakers in Sacrament Meeting. One week, the regional CES guy came to speak. He had a generally good reputation as an engaging speaker and, as the only Church employee who lived around here, enjoyed a certain deference–his teachings were taken, by some, as official. With him that Sunday was his wife, who was also scheduled to speak in Sacrament Meeting.

In her talk, she asserted that anyone who though that baptism washed away their sins was all wrong. There were audible gasps from the congregation, as many many people did indeed think that. Sister CES continued to preach that it was the Confirmation of the Gift of the Holy Ghost that actually washed sin away.

Two Relief Society meetings and one rebuttal Sacrament Meeting was needed to discuss this heresy and the accompanying confusion. I suspect most people in that branch would still remember that talk well. It was alluded to for many moths after, and regularly re-hashed for anyone who had missed that Sunday.

My question is: who was right? Sister CES? Or the masses who had heretofore felt quite comfortable with the idea that their sins had been cleansed in the baptismal waters?