[First Presidency to Temple Presidents]
"... In baptizing for the dead in the Temples we understand that the form of words used is as follows: Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you[,] __________[,] for and in behalf of [,] __________, for the remission of your sins, and in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen. We might go into explanations as to the reasons which have caused this form of baptism to be adopted; but it is not necessary, further than to say that baptisms for health and baptisms for the renewal of covenants, etc., have led doubtless to the adoption of this form of ceremony to distinguish it from others. We have had this matter under consideration from time to time, and supposed that our views had been made known to the Presidents of the Temples; but we understand that they have not been informed upon this point, and that the form above given is still the one used in administering baptisms for the dead. The form we think proper, and that we desire to have used hereafter in administering the ordinance of baptism for the dead, is as follows: Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you[,] __________[,] for and in behalf of __________, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen. We understand that in some instances baptisms have been administered in the Temples with something like the following ceremony: Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you for the remission of sins, for the renewal of your covenant, and for the restoration of your health, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen. We do not know upon what authority this form of administering baptism has been adopted, but we think it improper. There have been times in the Church when the First Presidency have felt it necessary to call upon all the members of the Church to renew their covenants, and at such times it was suggested that the words "for the renewal of your covenant" be used in the ceremony; but it does not follow that at other times, and in individual cases, that form should be used. We think it improper, speaking generally, for the words "for the remission of sins" or "for the renewal of your covenant" to be used in administering the ordinance of baptism. ... The practice which has prevailed in some instances where members of the Church are baptized, of using the words "re-baptize" and "re-confirm," we think unnecessary. When we strictly follow the form the Lord has given us we are sure to be right. In cases where people are baptized for their health, we see no impropriety in using the words "for the restoration of your health" in the ceremony. ..."
[Wilford Woodruff, George Q. Cannon, and Joseph F. Smith to Temple Presidents, May 20, 1896, quoted in Anderson, Devery; The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History, http://amzn.to/TempleWorship]