This weekend I attended the baptism of an 8 year old girl. The talk on baptism was delivered by her grandfather that just happens to be a GA. In the talk he asked the child why she takes baths "to wash away germs." He said that similarly the ordinance of baptism washes away our sins and makes us clean.Also...I expect more from GAs and church leaders than just someone in class...but...I also think they are prone to the same thing not realizing they are doing that. I expect more from GAs...but honestly...not much more. It shouldn't be that way...but it seems it is.
He then asked how long after baptism she is likely to remain clean. The girls father answered, "about a minute" to the laughter of many. The GA then said that this is why the sacrament is so important and make serious effort to partake regularly. We can renew or baptismal covenant weekly and become clean once again. Of all the ordinances in the church it is the only one that we do for ourselves multiple times.
(there was also a pretty long section of the talk dedicated to the "proper authority" but that is not my focus)
I feel that this explanation is very week doctrinally.
First, it makes it sound like it is the baptism itself that removes sins from us. I might compare that to a perspective where someone feels that it is their signature on bank documents that delivers money in the form of a loan. The signature is important. What it stands for is important. But it also just scratches the surface of how bank loans operate. But... we do believe in baptism "for the remission of sins" so this is a fairly minor point.
Second, I have a much bigger problem with the teaching on the sacrament. Do we really teach that the sacrament is a weekly pardon of sins? I had heard this before in the church but it seems more something that "just someone in SS class" would say rather than an official position of the church.
In looking at this charitably I tell myself that this GA might have been trying to simplify it to the level of an 8 year old.
But on to my real question. Where do GA's get their doctrinal training? What might separate their doctrinal understanding from that of "just someone in SS class"?