This statement simply teaches that each person is responsible for his or her own sins. We will not be punished for the sins of our parents or any other person, including the ‘original’ sin of Adam and Eve. With this in mind, we believe that infant baptism is unnecessary since an infant bears no responsibility for being exiled from the presence of God. Because God is just, he has provided a way for each of us to enter back into his presence. The atonement of Jesus Christ is sufficient for infants who die before they reach eight years old, the age of accountability.
Elder James E. Faust of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught, “Because of their transgression, Adam and Eve, having chosen to leave their state of innocence, were banished [cast out] from the presence of God. This is referred to in Christendom as the Fall, or Adam’s transgression. It is a spiritual death because Adam and Eve were separated from the presence of God. . . . All of their posterity were likewise banished from the presence of God. However, the posterity of Adam and Eve were innocent of the original sin [partaking of the forbidden fruit] because they had no part in it. It was therefore unfair for all of humanity to suffer eternally for the transgressions of our first parents, Adam and Eve. It became necessary to settle this injustice; hence the need for the atoning sacrifice of Jesus in His role as the Savior and Redeemer.”
To learn more about Mormon beliefs regarding the Fall, see a talk given by Elder Spencer J. Condie entitled ‘The Fall and the Infinite Atonement’.
Next Week: Article of Faith #3–Mormon beliefs regarding the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
In the meantime, Remember that 2 Plus 2 Doesn’t Always Equal 4 [And please take time to read my original post to understand Why the Title of this Blog? (Feb. 17, 2011)]