Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Baptism & Children Under the Age of Accountability

This is my Maria. My beautiful and lovely Maria. She is my 2nd child out of 4. I love this picture. We had just had an "artground". It was our backyard as a playground but with tons of fun art to be messy with. And boy! Did my kiddos get messy... but I suppose that's why God inspired someone to make hoses.

My Maria can get dirty. Understatement. But she is not dirty. It's something you can just feel and know, children ARE pure. Children ARE clean. Children are without sin.

Recently I posted some song helps for When I am Baptized. I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to comment and express their thoughts. I think we all can agree that it's good to discuss doctrine and learn and understand truth. So I really hope that this post isn't misconstrued as me trying to argue or be contentious. I've studied a lot the topic of little children, baptism, atonement, and death because I have a baby that died and wanted to know all I could possibly know! There is so much knowledge out there thanks to our prophets and apostles and thanks to a loving Father in Heaven who has blessed us with the avenue to search, ponder, & pray and then in return give us answers.

Here is the backdrop. I have a simple qualm with the words from the song, "I know when I am baptized my wrongs are washed away." It's nothing to go inactive about, it's nothing really that has blown my world to bits... it's just something my 7 year old brought up, "Mommy, why am I singing this if I don't have sin?". At that moment and even more so now, I know the importance of teaching our children that they are pure and loved by their Heavenly Father.

Misconceptions & Explanations:
- A recently turned 8 year old doesn't have many "wrongs" to wash away
Children do not have any wrongs that are washed away.

- Children are not without wrongs. When they yell at each other, hit, disobey parents, etc. they are obviously wrong for doing those things.
Children make choices. Always they are in a process of learning. Under the age of 8, they do NOT commit sins that are washed away by baptism. They are pure. We are responsible to teach them properly.

- They (children) do commit wrongs, but because of the atonement, those wrongs are washed away without the child having to repent.
The atonement brings children who have died under the age of accountability back into the presence of God and redeems them from physical and spiritual death. Children do NOT have sin.

- The atonement doesn't automatically wash away our sins anymore like it did before we were eight.
Children do NOT have sin before the age of 8.

- God doesn't hold children accountable for their wrongs because they have not yet reached the age of accountability, therefore Christ's atonement makes up for those wrongs.
"The whole need no physician, but they that are sick; wherefore little children are whole." (Moroni 8:8) The atonement for children under the age of 8 is the means by which they are redeemed from physical and spiritual death, and by spiritual death it is not because they are wicked, but because they were separated from God, the Eternal Father.

- That would assume that Christ's atonement couldn't wash away the sins of the little child
Little children do NOT have sins.

-  She is absolutely right, and it is important that we teach our children that we do have "wrongs" that need to be washed away.
Little children do NOT have sins that need to be washed away.

- These children, who are not yet 8, are not perfect, and therefore do need to understand where they can improve each day
We as parents need to teach children in correct paths, but should one die before they reach the age of accountability, children ARE perfect through the grace of Christ.

I'd like to take an in depth look at each misconception and hopefully the spirit will bear witness of truth spoken by latter day apostles and scripture.

What is the purpose of baptism?
As defined in the Bible Dictionary, " Baptism in water has several purposes. It is for the remission of sins, for membership in the Church, and for entrance into the celestial kingdom."

Notice there are 3 purposes. Joseph Smith also taught an additional purpose, obedience. " Do you believe in the baptism of infants? asks the Presbyterian. No. Why? Because it is nowhere written in the Bible. Circumcision is not baptism, neither was baptism instituted in the place of circumcision. Baptism is for the remission of sins. Children have no sins. Jesus blessed them and said, "Do what you have seen me do." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith compiled by Joseph Fielding Smith pg. 314)

Children have no sin. Children cannot be tempted by the devil. Children are pure. Children are innocent. See Moroni 8. See D&C 29:46-50.

What then of the atonement and children? We need to understand the basics, so we turn to Gospel Principles:

" The Fall of Adam brought two kinds of death into the world: physical death and spiritual death. Physical death is the separation of the body and the spirit. Spiritual death is the separation from God. If these two kinds of death had not been overcome by Jesus Christ's Atonement, two consequences would have resulted: our bodies and our spirits would have been separated forever, and we could not have lived again with our Heavenly Father (see 2 Nephi 9:7-9).
But our wise Heavenly Father prepared a wonderful, merciful plan to save us from physical and
spiritual death. He planned for a Savior to come to earth to ransom (redeem) us from our sins and from death. Because of our sins and the weakness of our mortal bodies, we could not ransom ourselves (see Alma 34:10-12). The one who would be our Savior would need to be sinless and to have power over death."

The atonement DOES NOT wash away the sins of children because CHILDREN DO NOT HAVE ANY SINS OR WRONGS to be washed away. They are clean and pure. The atonement provides a means for children under the age of accountability to overcome physical death and spiritual death, which wasn't because of sin, but simply because they were separated from Heavenly Father because of the weaknesses of mortality.

If it still seems confusing, further clarification is given by Bruce R. McKonkie in a talk entitled The Salvation of Little Children (Ensign April 1977) quote: (I highlighted words that especially meant a lot to me personally)

How and why are they (little children) saved?
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 which they never experienced. 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.)

Why do some children die and others live? Are those who die better off than those who remain in mortality?
We may rest assured that all things are controlled and governed by Him whose spirit children we are. He knows the end from the beginning, and he provides for each of us the testings and trials which he knows we need. President Joseph Fielding Smith once told me that we must assume that the Lord knows and arranges beforehand who shall be taken in infancy and who shall remain on earth to undergo whatever tests are needed in their cases. This accords with Joseph Smith’s statement: “The Lord takes many away, even in infancy, that they may escape the envy of man, and the sorrows and evils of this present world; they were too pure, too lovely, to live on earth.” (Teachings, pp. 196–97.) It is implicit in the whole scheme of things that those of us who have arrived at the years of accountability need the tests and trials to which we are subject and that our problem is to overcome the world and attain that spotless and pure state which little children already possess.

What is the age of accountability?

Accountability does not burst full-bloom upon a child at any given moment in his life. Children become accountable gradually, over a number of years. Becoming accountable is a process, not a goal to be attained when a specified number of years, days, and hours have elapsed. In our revelation the Lord says, “They cannot sin, for power is not given unto Satan to tempt little children, until they begin to become accountable before me.” (D&C 29:47.) There comes a time, however, when accountability is real and actual and sin is attributed in the lives of those who develop normally. It is eight years of age, the age of baptism. (D&C 68:27.)

This principle of accountability has been twisted and perverted and even lost at various times. It was at the root of Mormon’s inquiry to the Lord about infant baptism. (See Moro. 8.) One of our most instructive passages on the point contains the words spoken by the Lord to Abraham. “My people have gone astray from my precepts, and have not kept mine ordinances, which I gave unto their fathers,” the Lord said.
"And they have not observed mine anointing, and the burial, or baptism wherewith I commanded them;
But have turned from the commandment, and taken unto themselves the washing of children, and the blood of sprinkling.” (JST, Gen. 17:4–6.)

Infant baptism was practiced by some even in those early days. The reason? Men no longer understood the atonement. For, as the record continues, those ancient peoples “said that the blood of the righteous Abel was shed for sins; and have not known wherein they are accountable before me.” (JST, Gen. 17:7.)
Then the Lord made this promise to Abraham: “I will establish a covenant of circumcision with thee, and it shall be my covenant between me and thee, and thy seed after thee, in their generations; that thou mayest know for ever that children are not accountable before me until they are eight years old.” (JST, Gen. 17:11)


*******
I always turn to the words of the Lord when a question arises. I always go with what the Spirit whispers to my heart. As I look at my children I do understand perfection, I do understand what the Savior is like. Elder Boyd K. Packer, whom I love, love, love - understatement- gave a wonderful discourse on the beauty of children in this last General Conference, found HERE. A quote I particularly felt touched by was, "Fathers and mothers, next time you cradle a newborn child in your arms, you can have an inner vision of the mysteries and purpose of life."

Our children are what heaven is. Plain and simple. The are pure. They are clean. They have no "wrongs" needed to be "washed away". We should enjoy them, teach them the best we can and love them with all our souls. Christ knows all. God knows all. And They love us more than words can say. This I bear testimony of in the Name of my Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

31 comments :

Matt said...

Hopefully I can add a little to this discussion. First of all, thank you for the service you provide on your blog for those who are called to serve in the Primary. This is my first visit to the blog, but I am sincerely impressed by the work you have put into your posts. In the interest of full disclosure, my mother, Nita Milner, wrote the song in question, so I hope it will be OK if I feel the need to clarify a couple of items. :)

First, you may be interested to know is that the lyrics to this song (specifically the line we are discussing here) were changed prior to publication by the Church music committee. The lyrics as they are found in the Children's Songbook were not merely reviewed or edited, but changed substantially as part of the full correlation process that went into producing the book. They are not there by accident, nor were they written by someone who misunderstood basic gospel doctrines. My mother would occasionally receive letters from people who had objected to the second verse for one reason or another, even requests to change the lyrics. She was adamant that they simply did not understand the care and supervision by Church leaders that had gone into every aspect of preparing the Songbook manuscript. (Not surprisingly, requests to change lyrics were categorically denied.)

The lyrics of When I Am Baptized do not in any way contradict the teachings of latter-day prophets or revealed scripture. In no way does it suggest that children under the age of accountability have sins (or wrongs) that need to be washed away. I would ask that you consider the full context of the line in dispute. It does not say, "I know when I am baptized my wrongs are washed away." It says, "I know when I am baptized my wrongs are washed away, and I can be forgiven and improve myself each day."

There are many who are baptized each year who do indeed have wrongs that need washing away. They do not attend junior primary, but they have exceeded the age of accountability, made poor choices, and are in need of the cleansing power of baptism. As surely as we teach our younger children that they are innocent before God until they reach the age of accountability, we should teach older children that they do have wrongs and sins that need cleansing. And that, because of their upcoming or past baptism, they can be made clean through Christ's atonement.

Regardless of the age of the child, this verse teaches that these three concepts (wrongs washed away, forgiveness of sins, and continual improvement) are made available to those who avail themselves of baptism. In my mind, this does not suggest that underage children are sullied by implied past wrongs, but that they can now look forward to the many opportunities for repentance and cleansing that will come by necessity, and that are now available to them as a result of being baptized.

Thanks for allowing me to respond.

- Matt Milner

Shell's Diaries said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sofia's Primary Ideas said...

Brother Milner- Thanks so much for your kind words! I really hope you didn't think I was turning this into a yo' mama conversation. I'm sure she knows her doctrine, she is a rock star and if I had to choose between meeting her or Hall and Oates, I would choose Sister Milner. I'm sure if we took a vote, her song would be a top 5 favorite children's song. That's doing a lot of good in the world. I pray God blesses her forever for the service she has done!!

I understand the process to edit is a well supervised one! Didn't Preach My Gospel take 3 or 4 years to put together?

I know I was pretty clear, but just to be double clear, I as a mother have the right to receive revelation for my children and I can share that revelation. I nowhere said to change the words in Primary. I said that in MY HOME we were clarifying BECAUSE MY child was confused and had a question. I'm sure she's not the only one!! Perhaps our take can help others!

The verse when sung by children under 8 can be confusing because they might think they have wrongs or sins that will be washed away when they are baptized, or that they have done things that need forgiveness or that they need improvement. Of course we can all improve, however, if tomorrow was the end of the world, they'd make it to the celestial kingdom before I would, so there's not a lot of room for improvement in that aspect. Don't you think it's important for kids to know how wonderful they are? Suggesting that some souls are too pure for this world is not in conflict with the teachings of the atonement. Thank you Joseph Smith.

After 8, children will have wrongs that are washed away because of baptism, but also because of repentance and partaking the sacrament. The 2nd verse doesn't mention that. I would just clarify to my children and check for understanding. Does baptism magically just wash away our wrongs? What does the "can" in the verse imply?

Matt, again, thank you so much for your comments! Please tell your mother how grateful we are in our home for her beautiful song!!

Janae said...

Thank you for the opportunity to read all that and that truly is my favorite baptism song. We teach our children they do make bad choices and they do wrong things and sometimes they know better, sometimes they don't, BUT... they are practicing. Until they are 8 they are practicing making right choices. We, as parents teach them how to repent. How to say they are sorry, how to make restitution, how to pray to Heavenly Father and ask forgiveness so when they are 8 they will be able to do it on their own (with our help still- but they are now accountable) We as parents are there to teach and help them and if they make a wrong choice, it is our fault as parents because we somehow didn't teach that so we need to practice some more. After they are 8 and are accountable, they are responsible for their choices. I love it how the song says "wrongs"... they cannot sin. Jesus was the same as an 8 year old. He was baptized as an example to us all. My daughter explained to her younger sister that the sister was still practicing but now SHE was accountable.

One of my favorite Baptism teaching moments is how we take upon the name of Christ.

When I was little I was a Clark, people knew me as a Clark, they may not have known my first name but they knew my family and who I belonged to. I looked like them and acted like them. We went to church, had FHE, liked root beer floats, played RISK,went camping, etc.

When I got married I took upon a new name... Anderson. When people called me Sister Anderson down the hall, it took a little while to realize it was me. I had to get used to my new name. I had to do Anderson things. I learned how to bake bread, make Chili, play ROOK, I even learned the song "home means Nevada" and I had never lived there. Soon I became an Anderson after acting like one and now I am one.

When you are baptized you are now a member of Christ's Church, a Christian. You need to act like a Christian and figure out what Christians do and people should be able to tell from the things you do... (serve, mourn stand as a witness, go to church read the scriptures etc) who you are.

And in your name, you can just say it, it is secret... now you can add the name Christian. Let your light shine so people can see who you are.

Anonymous said...

Interesting to read that link about the changes in the footnotes and chapter headings in the book of mormon. I think it's important to note what "We Believe" in our 8th Article of Faith about this precious book of scripture and that we should carefully acknowledge that the scripture itself is NOT unchanged. The church can be SO full of misconceptions. I think about how OFTEN members talk about how we are not made to suffer or have trials more than we can bear and will use that idea in the same sentence as proclaiming that the scriptures tell us so.... When in actuality the scriptures in several places do NOT say this. They do say that God will not permit us to be "tempted" (not tried) beyond what we can endure. This is a testament to me that yes horrible things happen in the world based on the agency of mankind and that many are made to suffer much more than they can humanly bear. It gives new meaning to the power of the atonement.

Sofia's Primary Ideas said...

Janae- What a beautiful comment. Thanks so much for sharing! In return I leave you this:
Home means Nevada
Home means the hills!
Home means the sage and the pines....
Out by the Truckee's silvery rills
Out where the sun always shines...
There is a land that I love the best...
Fairer than all I can see!!!!!!!
Right in the heart of the golden west!
HOME MEANS NEVADA TO ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Maybe one day I'll post the fabulous reader's theater I made to showcase our state's grand history and dedicate it to you and all Nevadan spouses who take the time to learn our anthem. I wonder if anyone would actually read it? It's probably 30 minutes long.

Why are people posting things anonymously? Why don't you sign your name? Say it loud, say it proud.

Anonymous- Hello. I'm assuming you're talking about the references to the changes made to the footnotes and headings about black skin cursings in the Book of Mormon?

You might want to read latter day revelation on the SACREDNESS of headings and footnotes. Go Boyd. It's your birthday. (Pardon my usage of caps, I hope you don't think I'm yelling. I'm so not like that.)

http://www.lds.org/ensign/1985/12/using-the-new-scriptures?lang=eng

What are the purposes of footnotes, Elder Packer says, "Every aid that could be thought of was considered. Every one that was possible was included. The objective was this: to organize THE HELPS in the scriptures in such a way that anyone who can read may have the scriptures OPENED to them."

Another great quote from the article,"One footnote may seem a flimsy thread to tie the two together, but five footnotes in the verse from Ezekiel lead to headings in the Topical Guide, where 611 other references speak as a voice from the dust. THREADS ARE WOUND INTO CORDS that bind together in our hands the sticks of Judah and of Ephraim—testaments of the Lord Jesus Christ."

Also, isn't it the people in the church that are full of misconceptions? Not the church itself... probably just a typo.

And finally, one last quote that I really love from President Hinkley,
"Where there are questions, or where cross-referencing will help, the tools in the new editions will be invaluable. Through reading the scriptures, we can gain the assurance of the Spirit that that which we read has come of God for the enlightenment, blessing, and joy of his children.

I urge our people everywhere to read the scriptures more—to study all of them together with the help of these TREMENDOUS AIDS for a harmony of understanding in order to bring their precepts into our lives."
(Feasting Upon the Scriptures, Dec. 1985 Ensign)

Anonymous said...

I have always really enjoyed this blog. Please don't spoil it by courting controversy. Using all caps is the equivalent of shouting at us, your readers.

Janae said...

For Sharing time I did an old FHE lesson I made up. This month is really the 4th Article of Faith so we went over it a few times and I put the words Principle and Ordinance up and we talked about exactly what these are: Principle: Belief or teaching(Doctrine) Ordinance: rite or ceremony (you actually do something or have something done- the same) I put up word strips after getting the words out of GOSPEL PRINCIPLES and the children had to decide what these were. I was so excited and we had some discussions about what they are.... sacrament- do we do the same ceremony each week?, kindness, missionary work, fathers blessings etc. I will review this regularly. For my own kids we put the words up on the fridge and memorized: Principle- belief or teaching, Ordinance- rite or ceremony. I quizzed them regularly. My son gave the answer in seminary a few years later and felt so smart. His teacher was so impressed how simple it was.

Sofia's Primary Ideas said...

Anonymous- I'm sorry you feel that way. For over 5 years now I've used CAPS LOTS (understatement) of times to emphasize things. Like I said before, I'm not sure if you read it... it's right above your post, me using caps does NOT mean I'm yelling. I really do have better things to do than yell at people who happen to read this blog. :) Thank you for making me chuckle.

As for spoiling things, perhaps someone needs to just take a chill pill and listen to some Bob Marley.
Simmer down my friend, it really is all good. If you really feel a certain way, don't use this blog. It's not a big deal. A T-rex chasing you in a jeep, Yes. Big deal.

Janae- Woo!! My Nevadan homie in-law. Great great ideas!! I love using our refridgerator also!! We put up the First Presidency and Quorom of the 12 suggesting that we always need to feed our spirits with the words of the prophets- like we physically need to feed our bodies.

Anonymous said...

Simply put, this is a lesson of obedience and faith.

Faith in our leaders wisdom and faith to be obedient even when we don't understand something or have questions.

Anonymous said...

Sofia, first off, thanks for all these great ideas on how to teach little ones. I think a few anonymous people have missed the boat completely and probably just are choosing to read bits and pieces of everything you've shared, then twist them in their head to suit their own agendas.
Anonymous, Doctrine and Covenants 18:38 "And by their desires and their works you shall know them."
Sofia clearly said that this was a teaching moment between her and her daughter. Have you never expounded?? I hope you ignore these anonymous people who are just trying to stir up controversy when there isn't any. They can't even post their names!! And then they probably use your ideas in the same breath to teach their children.
Thanks again for all you do. I appreciate all the words of the prophets that you've shared.
- Irene

Anonymous said...

Carry on with the work you are doing. You have a wealth of fantastic ideas.
After reading through your words and other's comments I don't think anyone can or should object to what you do within the walls of your own home. Agree or not agree, that is your discression.
Some of the feedback favored changing the words in primary. We can't do this.
Carry on with the good work you are doing. Not everyone will agree with everything, but a little friendly disagreement can be great teaching moments for all of us.
Have a great day!
Debie S.
Washington

Katie said...

Love your blog, you're doing great!

abby o said...

This was a great post. As I've pondered sharing time on baptism for this week, I've really felt like I just want to have a gospel discussion with the kids. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts, and the encouragement to ask them real questions...I'm always pleasantly surprised how thoughtful the children are when they have a chance to discuss gospel topics. After reading this I feel better prepared to lead a discussion. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. We were getting ready for my sons baptism and he commented that really, someone who had just turned 8 didn't have any sins (or wrongs) to wash away. So it really wasn't doing that much for them.
We talked about how he would be getting baptized to follow the example of Jesus Christ and show he wanted to follow Him, and to become a member of the church.

I hadn't really thought about the fact that an eight year old doesn't need to be baptized to wash away sins much at all until my son pointed it out to me. But he was totally right.

Katie

Unknown said...

I'm loving this discussion, it's helping me better understand how much heavenly father loves our little ones. But after reading your comments, looking up scriptures, I stumbled upon DC 68: 27. And I have to say, I'm a little confused! Lol! What are you thoughts? I so wish I could meet you, give you a big hug, especially today on mothers day, and have a stimulating conversation over a plate of goodies! Seriously, what ate your thoughts on that verse. Feel free to email me.

Sylvie

Sofia's Primary Ideas said...

Sister Irene- Thank you so much!

Sister Debie- Thank you! I hope you have a great day too!

Sister Katie- Thank you for your kind words!

Sister Abby- That made my day, thanks! I love hearing about teachers who want to discuss things with children. So many times people just talk at each other. Kudos to you and I hope it went great!

Sister Katie- Congratulations on your son! We are also preparing for baptism and I feel like it's as exciting as when she was born! Children are so spiritually keen, it's amazing!

Sister Sylvie- I hope you had a wonderful wonderful mother's day! What a thoughtful and kind person you are. I must agree, I feel that the way the scripture is worded is confusing also! However, personally, when I take a step back and look at all the words presented in all the scriptures and modern day revelation I think that it's clear that children are not baptized for the remission of sins. I will have to email you though because you sound like a fun soul!

ThE RaSmUsSeN's said...

Ha, you're too sweet. I must have been pretty hungry when I wrote, between a plate of goodies and the thoughts you ate!!
I totally agree though. ANd what I'm getting out of that scripture, after thinking about it a little more, is that children are baptized for their sins...to come. And you covered that, and it does go along with the verse of that song, the original and your version of it. Again, how perfect is GOd's plan and love. He made it so that our little ones would be safe from Satan's temptations until ready to deal with them, without ever taking free agency away, by making baptism at an age where they are free to chose. And also giving them the gift of repentance as they start their journey down accountability lane. Now if only they were also free from evil around them :(
BTW thanks for your previous reference to Robert Nesta, that absolutely made my day when i read it!!

ThE RaSmUsSeN's said...

oh, and that previous comment was made by Sylvie!

Nielsons said...

I was just looking for ideas on how to teach the second verse of "When I am Baptized" and came across these posts...THANK YOU! I caught myself reading the whole thing. Thanks again.

Kristine Anderson said...

Just FYI the Pocatello Idaho Stake Presidency told us not to sing that song at Stake Baptisms because of that line and how it applies more to older people being baptized but not the 8 year olds that day.

Have a great day!

Matt said...

I haven't been back here for a while, and this has turned into quite a thread. I'm truly not interested in stirring up any hornet's nests, but I can't bring myself to let the Pocatello Stake Presidency comment go unanswered. Aside from reiterating that every word of this song has been approved by the correlating Councils of the Church (see my original comment), I would propose that this month's Friend contains a perfect example of why the second verse can help teach children of any age.

Again, I would invite any one who is uncomfortable teaching any aspect of When I Am Baptized to young children to re-read the lyrics, consider them in their full context, and from there decide on the proper way to teach the doctrine.

Thanks again.

- Matt Milner

Kristine Anderson said...

Bro Milner, thanks so much for your comments. I have learned a lot from this discussion.

I don't know how my old stake presidency decided on that policy - it could be that a discussion like this was brought to them and they opted to implement the policy to avoid confusion on those who interpret it to avoid hurt feelings or disputations just on that one day. That may well be a good policy for their situation on that day based on the people/personalities in their stake.

They certainly didn't have a policy or ask us not to teach that to our young primary children every Sunday.

I think my last comment on this thread is that any of us, when we read the scriptures, read hymns, listen to conference and the words of prophets--interpret them. That's how two people listen to the same thing or read the same verse and it means something different to each of them.

I appreciate the link to the Friend and the lesson taught there for children after they are baptized. It will be great to use when teaching the doctrine in this song.

Henckel House said...

Sofia, I truly believe you are the bravest person I have ever encountered. I adore this site and have for years. I admire your fortitude and your attention to detail and your ability to back yourself up. I know I would have pulled my site long ago after some of the comments I have seen. YOU ARE AWESOME. (And no, I am not screaming, I am just being emphatic) AWESOME!!!!! (That one was a bit louder)Rock on, Sister! Rock on!!!!

Hanna said...

You ARE the one to receive revelation for your family. You ARE allowed to share how you feel on YOUR blog. I love your ideas and thoughts!! There is nothing wrong with teaching your children what is right. My husband and I often find the need to teach our children in ways that they can understand how everything works, not how it is written. The gospel is so true. We are told to prayerfully teach our children, and we are the only ones that can receive revelation for us and our families on how and what to teach them. Isn't it great to have the Spirit guide us? Doesn't it feel SO great to do what is right? High five! You are amazing, and so are your children!

Sofia's Primary Ideas said...

Wow. Three months later and I just feel like I need to clarify on my comment made May 14... I was discussing D&C 68: 27 and said,

"I must agree, I feel that the way the scripture is worded is confusing also! However, personally, when I take a step back and look at all the words presented in all the scriptures and modern day revelation I think that it's clear that children are not baptized for the remission of sins. I will have to email you though because you sound like a fun soul!"

What I meant was, that children are not baptized for remission of sins that they have committed before age 8. They are baptized for a remission of sins!! It's just the sins and remission will come after the baptism.... I'm sorry for being lame and confusing.

To everyone else who took the time to comment, thank you so much!! What wonderful friends you are!

Anonymous said...

1This song is in the 2013 Sharing Time outline - so I very much appreciate this discussion. I think I understand the line better now "I know when I am baptized my wrongs are washed away, and I can be forgiven and improve myself each day."
Think of it this way: Now that I am baptized I can be forgiven and have my wrongs washed away when I sin, and this can happen each day.

Gary said...

The wages of sin is death ( Romans 6:23).

The fact that children die shows that they are subject to sin just like adults. The Bible never mentions an age of accountability. Instead, it teaches that "the whole world (is) held accountable to God" (Romans 3:19), Psalms 51:5, Eph. 2:3.

Gary
Luther, Baptists, and Evangelicals

Sofia's Primary Ideas said...

Brother Gary- I'm so excited you joined in on the discussion. Thank you for taking the time to share the scriptures you did.

We, as Latter Day Saints believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly. We are encouraged to read the Bible daily and reap from it's beautiful and life saving messages. You'll notice that I did quote a few bible passages, but what you might not be familiar with is the abbreviation JST. That stands for Joseph Smith Translation.

Christ is our Savior. Heavenly Father and Jesus have spoken through prophets since the beginning of time. Joseph Smith was extremely helpful in the hands of The Lord as he helped bring to light some passages from the Bible that weren't in their original form.

So Brother Gary, if you'll look back on what I wrote, the Bible does mention an age of accountability. It's just whether or not you believe God speaks through prophets still today.

No matter what we believe, it's great to know we have the Bible to help us through life. It's great to know that we share the belief that Christ is The Savior of the world.

Again, thank you so much for your comment. Please feel free to comment anytime!!

Janae said...

Interesting to note in the Bible. 1Peter 3:20-21. Peter makes a side comment while speaking of the figure 8 in regard to Noah that it is also associated with baptism. We can assume from this that they also baptized at the age of 8.

Gary said...

Were Hebrew children in the Old Testament required to make a one time "Decision for God" once they reached an Age of Accountability in order to be saved? No. There is no evidence of this requirement in the Bible. They were born into God's covenant, both male and female. Circumcision was the sign of this covenant for boys, but the sign was not what saved them. Faith saved them!

Rejecting the sign of circumcision, either by the parents of a Hebrew child or by an adult, male, Gentile convert, was a sign of a lack of true faith, and therefore the child or convert was "cut off" from God's promises, as clearly stated in Genesis chapter 17:

http://www.lutherwasnotbornagain.com/2013/09/hebrew-children-and-salvation-in-old.html