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On Wednesday, President Russel M. Nelson made a wonderful announcement that adjusted the requirement to be a witness for a baptism or sealing to having been previously baptized/endowed oneself. This change also means that sisters, for the first time, can serve as witnesses. It also means that children as young as 8 can be witnesses to baptism.

In case anyone was wondering if there is scriptural precedence for such a revelation, I would suggest there is. In 3 Nephi 17, we read of Christ’s closing remarks during His first visit in Bountiful. The last half of chapter 17 has been interpreted by some, including me, to likely be a sealing. There are multiple elements that lend to this conclusion. For greater analysis, please refer to pages 97-99 of John Welch’s book:

Suffice it to say, one aspect that is highlighted in this passage is who was present. Particularly, it is noted that God himself was there (Christ), angels (verse 24), and witnesses (verse 25). In particular, the ones who did “hear and bear record” were simply described as “the multitude”, which it says consisted of “men, women, and children.”