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Age of Accountability

Age of Accountability: Starting a the age of eight, Mormon children become accountable for their own sins and are now allowed to be baptized. Before then, children are considered to be innocent, as humans are punished “for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression” (Articles of Faith 2). According to Mosiah 3:16 in the Book of Mormon, “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.” According to Doctrine and Covenants 29:46-47, children this young “cannot sin, for power is not given unto Satan to tempt little children, until they begin to become accountable before me.” Ninth President David O. McKay said, “The Church of Jesus Christ promulgates the doctrine that little children are redeemed and sanctified through the atonement of our Lord and Savior. If they die before reaching the age of accountability, they become heirs of the celestial kingdom of heaven” (David O. McKay, Gospel Ideals, p. 74). The Bible does not give a specific age for what has been called an “age of accountability.”

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