Sunday, October 4, 2009

A Disturbing Thought about the Salvation of Little Children

I have been introduced to a disturbing new (to me) idea being held by at least a few LDS members, including leadership who come from well known Mormon stock.

It is the idea that children who die before they reach accountability WILL need to have baptism at some point during the Millennium. Either proxy or in their resurrected state.

Wow. I feel pretty strongly about this. I had no idea anyone in the church felt this way. I always took it for granted that we believe unaccountable people and children who die before 8 years old will be saved in the Celestial Kingdom without baptism.

I think the main contention of those who hold this belief is this:
1) ALL ordinances are required to be saved and there can be no exceptions.

People who believe this, I'm sure, also believe that these unaccountable people will have to become married or sealed in heaven, too. This is a seperate issue, but something that adds to the confusion over what is required for the Celestial Kingdom.

We all can read what the scriptures tell us are required for our salvation and eternal life. The doctrine is found in 3 Nephi 11.

The scriptures teach us that little children are alive in Christ and have no need of baptism. They are redeemed from the Fall since the foundation of the Earth. The Atonement fully covers them. What a glorious and wonderful truth!

Moroni 8 is one of the most clear chapters on this doctrine. It is entirely dedicated to the topic of the salvation of little children and unaccountable people. It has some harsh words for those who do not believe that little children are saved without baptism.

Moroni 8:8 Listen to the words of Christ, your Redeemer, your Lord and your God. Behold, I came into the world not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance; the whole need no physician, but they that are sick; wherefore, little children are whole, for they are not capable of committing sin; wherefore the curse of Adam is taken from them in me, that it hath no power over them; and the law of circumcision is done away in me.

Little children are WHOLE. They are not living under the curse of Adam, they are not capable of sin.

Moroni 8:10 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!

Adults who repent, are baptized and become as their little children will be saved WITH their little children. Little children are alive in Christ and always have been. God is unchangeable, impartial and is not a respector of persons.

Moroni 8:14 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.

I'm not sure how the belief that a little child who dies before accountablility will need some future baptism is any different than what is admonished against here. If you believe baptism is required of the unaccountable people and children you are denying the mercy of of Christ and are without faith, hope and charity. Yikes!

Moroni 8:17 And I am filled with charity, which is everlasting love; wherefore, all children are alike unto me; wherefore, I love little children with a perfect love; and they are all alike and partakers of salvation.

Little children are alive in Christ and are partakers of salvation. This is the Good News!

Moroni 8:19 Little children cannot repent; wherefore, it is awful wickedness to deny the pure mercies of God unto them, for they are all alive in him because of his mercy.

20 And he that saith that little children need baptism denieth the mercies of Christ, and setteth at naught the atonement of him and the power of his redemption.

21 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.

We deny the pure mercy of Christ when we say that those who die before accountability will need some future baptism. They do not need baptism at all. Those who believe such are in danger of death and hell.

Moroni 8:22 For behold that all little children are alive in Christ, and also all they that are without the law. For the power of redemption cometh on all them that have no law; wherefore, he that is not condemned, or he that is under no condemnation, cannot repent; and unto such baptism availeth nothing—

23 But it is mockery before God, denying the mercies of Christ, and the power of his Holy Spirit, and putting trust in dead works.

Redemption will come to all those who have no law given. Little children are redeemed, without law, and under the mercy of Christ.

Mosiah 3:16 And even if it were possible that little children could sin they could not be saved; but I say unto you they are blessed; for behold, as in Adam, or by nature, they fall, even so the blood of Christ atoneth for their sins.

21 And behold, when that time cometh, none shall be found blameless before God, except it be little children, only through repentance and faith on the name of the Lord God Omnipotent.

The blood of Christ has atoned for the little children. You cannot get a higher blessing than that. Little children will be found blameless before God. If they are blameless (which they are) they will receive Celestial Glory.

D&C 29:46 But behold, I say unto you, that little children are redeemed from the foundation of the world through mine Only Begotten;

D&C 74:7 But little children are holy, being sanctified through the atonement of Jesus Christ; and this is what the scriptures mean.

Mosiah 15:25 And little children also have eternal life.

Little children are redeemed, sanctified by the atonement, and they do have eternal life. Mosiah 15 lays out who will take part in the first resurrection. Those who are brought forth in the first resurrection have eternal life. Little children are among those people.

Joseph Smith spoke of the salvation of little children quite a bit while in Nauvoo. When speaking of the resurrection of the dead he said the following:

"Children will be enthroned in the presence of God and the Lamb with bodies of the same stature that they had on earth, having been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb; they will there enjoy the fulness of the light, glory and intelligence, which is prepared in the celestial kingdom." [History of the Church, V4, Pg. 555-6]

"'Will mothers have their children in eternity?' Yes! Yes! Mothers you shall have your children; for they shall have eternal life, for their debt is paid. There is no damnation awaiting them for they are in the spirit." [History of the Church, V6, Pg. 316]

I know that this is true. I know that little children are alive in Christ. I know that they are exempt from the law of baptism because they are not under the law. They are redeemed with the atonement from the foundation of the world. Our God is mighty to save!

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