Personal Response by Alex Capanna
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) does not teach or practice infant baptism, basing its disapproval of the practice upon the foundation of modern day revelation, as well as, doctrine taught in the Bible and the Book of Mormon; as an aside, the evidence for the LDS position as found in the Book of Mormon, is always supported by the Bible and I have included those validating Biblical references. Moroni 8:10-11 states:“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. And their little children need no repentance, neither baptism. Behold, baptism is unto repentance to the fulfilling the commandments unto the remission of sins.”(1) (Emphasis added)
As the prophet Moroni states, baptism is required of those seeking repentance from sin, and the Latter-day Saints maintain that children are born into the world without sin and are not to be held accountable until the age of eight (the age at which most LDS children are baptized), on two accounts. The first is a paramount doctrine of the church, so much so that it was included as the second of thirteen articles of LDS faith:
“We believe that men will be punished [held accountable] for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.”(2)
In other words, Latter-day Saints abjure the doctrines of original sin and original guilt, and approach the concept of infant baptism within that context. A citation of LDS scripture that invalidates the afore mentioned doctrines, can be found in Moses 6:54 which teaches:
“Hence came the saying abroad among the people, that the Son of God hath atoned for original guilt, wherein the sins of the parents cannot be answered upon the heads of the children, for they are whole from the foundation of the world.” (Emphasis added)
In support of this scripture are the words of the Apostle Paul to the Romans:
“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one [The Lord] shall many be made righteous.”(3)
Secondly, the church teaches that it is crucial that someone be cognoscente of the commandments, have a general understanding of right and wrong, and be- at the very least- teachable about the concept of accountability for one’s actions, prior to baptism; all of which are traits not typically associated with younger children, especially infants. Support for this position comes to us from the words of Paul to the Romans, once again:
“For where no law is, there is no transgression.”(4)
It goes without saying, that newborn children are neither aware of the law nor do they possess the cognitive ability to a choose sin over righteousness, and according to Paul, are therefore without “transgression”. Another aspect to this argument is that the Lord petitioned his apostles and prospective members of the early church, to “believe and be baptized”(5). An infant cannot express a belief in anything, let alone faith in a Savior who atoned for sins they haven’t even committed yet.
So, in conclusion, based on the evidences shown above, the LDS Church has determined that infants are not born into this world guilty of Adam’s or anyone’s sin, and that their inability to comprehend the laws and commandments of the Gospel, leave them without need of a baptism “unto a remission of sins”(6) until they are age eight or older.
– Alex C.
(1) Moroni 8:10-11, The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ
(2) Articles of Faith, article 2
(3) Romans 5:19
(4) Romans 4:15, (Ibid.)
(5) Mark 16:15-16, Romans 10:14
(6) Mark 1:4, Luke 3:3