Baptism is the first saving ordinance of the gospel. The full essence of this is shown when Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was baptized. With this being said, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gives importance on baptism: however, the Church does not perform infant baptism.
When we see babies, there’s this feeling of peace, joy and love that we inevitably feel. No matter how tough or stressful the day is, these little ones can give us comfort at the end of a very long day. These newborns are like angels sent from heaven and are all saved in the Kingdom of God. What is the basis of the Mormon Church on of this principle?
In the 8th chapter of the book of Moroni in the Book of Mormon, Mormon, an ancient prophet who abridged the books in the Book of Mormon, wrote an epistle to his son Moroni which reads:
10 Behold I say unto you that this thing shall ye teach—repentance and baptism unto those who are accountable and capable of committing sin; yea, teach parents that they must repent and be baptized, and humble themselves as their little children, and they shall all be saved with their little children.
11 And their little children need no repentance, neither baptism. Behold, baptism is unto repentance to the fulfilling the commandments unto the remission of sins.
12 But little children are alive in Christ, even from the foundation of the world; if not so, God is a partial God, and also a changeable God, and a respecter to persons; for how many little children have died without baptism!
13 Wherefore, if little children could not be saved without baptism, these must have gone to an endless hell.
14 Behold I say unto you, that he that supposeth that little children need baptism is in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity; for he hath neither faith, hope, nor charity; wherefore, should he be cut off while in the thought, he must go down to hell.
15 For awful is the wickedness to suppose that God saveth one child because of baptism, and the other must perish because he hath no baptism.
This is a bold doctrine that supports another doctrine—that children are not born with original sin, which refers to the transgression of our first parents in the Garden of Eden.
Age of Accountability
Infant baptism is being performed because of the belief that children are born with the sin of Adam and Eve. However, the Church’s doctrine teaches that children are born innocent, pure and free from sin into this world therefore not needing baptism until they are under the age of accountability, which is eight years old – revelation received by Joseph Smith in 1831 during the early years of the Church. Accountability means having full control of our desires, actions, motives and attitudes. When we are accountable we know and have the ability to judge between right and wrong. We have the ability to understand the consequences of our choices. Baptism is necessary for those who committed sin and these infants up to the age of accountability are innocent – not subject to any judgment because of lacking accountability. Prophets teaches repentance especially to those accountable of their decisions and to those needing baptism because of their sins.
It has been written in the 29th Chapter of Doctrine & Covenants a book of guidance and revelation to the modern Church given to Joseph Smith reads,
46 But behold, I say unto you, that little children are redeemed from the foundation of the world through mine Only Begotten;
47 Wherefore, they cannot sin, for power is not given unto Satan to tempt little children, until they begin to become accountable before me;
These scripture verses give an account of the Lord, at different time and age, giving a revelation that little children are redeemed through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Infant baptism is a “solemn mockery before God” and a warning is upon those who practice this false tradition, “Wo unto such, for they are in danger of death, hell, and an endless torment. I speak it boldly; God hath commanded me. Listen unto them and give heed, or they stand against you at the judgment-seat of Christ.” (Moroni 8:9,21)
No Need for Infant Baptism
Everyone who is accountable needs to be baptized in order to enter the Kingdom of God. Baptism is a commitment before an “authorized person of God” that he or she will make and keep the covenant or promises in the baptism. This commitment requires mature understanding or accountability throughout his or her life. The age of accountability is the start that a child maturely builds his or her testimony from his actions.
Will children ever be tested? Absolutely not! “Satan cannot tempt little children in this life, nor in the spirit world, nor after their resurrection. Little children who die before reaching the years of accountability will not be tempted.” (Doctrines of Salvation, 2:56–57.) Because infants are directly and automatically affected by the atonement performed by Jesus Christ, they are saved without any baptism prior to the age of accountability:
They are saved through the atonement and because they are free from sin. They come from God in purity; no sin or taint attaches to them in this life; and they return in purity to their Maker. Accountable persons must become pure through repentance and baptism and obedience. Those who are not accountable for sins never fall spiritually and need not be redeemed from a spiritual fall. Hence the expression that little children are alive in Christ. “Little children are redeemed from the foundation of the world through mine Only Begotten,” the Lord says. (D&C 29:46.)
Little children are the embodiment of people promised immediately with eternal life. That is the sole reason why everyone is counseled to be meek and humble as the little children. Little children are free from sins and are not needing the performance of infant baptism.