One of the basic tenets of Mormonism is that we are on earth to be tested and to work to become worthy of life in the celestial kingdom. The following quote from Gospel Principles is representative of this teaching. “By following His teachings, we can inherit a place in the celestial kingdom. He did His part to help us return to our heavenly home. It is now up to each of us to do our part and become worthy of exaltation.” (p. 16)
As a result, many Mormons have scoffed at the idea of that salvation is God’s gift based completely in Christ’s work for us – that salvation is by grace, through faith, without works. For example, an LDS prophet stated: “One of the most fallacious doctrines originated by Satan and propounded by man is that man is saved alone by the grace of God; that belief in Jesus Christ alone is all that is needed for salvation.” (Spencer W. Kimball)
But there is a whole class of people that Mormonism says will be saved in the celestial kingdom without having to prove themselves. I’m talking about small children who die. D&C 137:10 says: “And I also beheld that all children who die before they arrive at the years of accountability are saved in the celestial kingdom of heaven.”
This sparks a couple of questions. If it was so important, according to Mormonism, that we had the chance to prove ourselves by wisely choosing the right, then why does God allow children to die before they have a chance to prove themselves? And if the idea of salvation as a totally free gift is so obnoxious, why then does God give small children salvation in the celestial kingdom?