Archive for November 2nd, 2012


Little Children and Sin

In the October issue of the Ensign, the official magazine of the LDS Church, this statement is made:  “The Book of Mormon teaches us that ‘all little children are alive in Christ’ and are innocent.  They are not capable of committing sin and are not accountable, therefore they ‘need no repentance, neither baptism’ and come under no condemnation. (See Moroni 8:5-26.)” This is how the manual, True to the Faith, puts it:  “The Lord said, ‘They cannot sin, for power is not given unto Satan to tempt little children, until they begin to become accountable before me’ (see D&C 29:46-47).  They are not to be baptized until they reach the age of accountability, which the Lord has revealed to be eight years of age (see D&C68:27, Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 17:11).” (p. 22)

That children up to the age of eight are not capable of sinning severely challenges what any parent of small children experiences on a daily basis.  Their selfish non-sharing of their toys isn’t sinful?  How about their temper tantrums?  How about their disobedience of their parents and teachers?  These are not sins?  Really?  Satan doesn’t tempt them to hit their sister or talk back to their mother?  Really?

But not only does this severely challenge what we see, this flatly contradicts what the Bible states.  Job, talking about birth, laments:  “Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?  not one.” (Job 14:4) Paul writes that we “were by nature the children of wrath” (Ephesians 2:3).  Jesus said “that which is born of the flesh is flesh” (John 3:6).  In the Bible the word “flesh” often refers to our sinful nature.  From beginning to end the Bible talks about the sinfulness of all humanity – regardless of age.  “For all have sinned, and have come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

Little children sin.  In this regard, they are no different from adults.  But thankfully Jesus also died for their sins.  And thankfully the Holy Spirit can create saving faith in their tiny hearts through the water and the Word just as he creates faith in the hearts of adults.  That’s important.  Because nowhere does the Bible talk about anybody being saved apart from faith in Jesus.  Also in this regard, they are no different from adults.  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

For more on this see the article, Divine Potential?, on


November 2012

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