theplains, on 09 June 2012 - 10:15 AM, said:
Can someone comment on this quote from Doctrines of Salvation.
Does the child get banished right on his 8th birthday or is it some sinful act that he commits right after which is
the cause of his banishment? And how is a 5 year old child considered to be in the presence of God when he
has already inherited a spiritual separation from God and physical death from Adam?
According to the Book of Mormon, which is basically Arminian soteriology, "all mankind" are in a natural state of being "carnal, sensual, [and] devilish." (Mosiah 16:3). This includes children. (Mosiah 3:16) However, "as in Adam, or by nature, [children] fall, so the blood of Christ atoneth for their sins." (Ibid.)
So it is not that suddenly at the age of eight, you can sin and you are cast out of God's presence. Regardless of your ability to sin, you are fallen from birth, and have a carnal and corrupt nature which is incompatible with returning to God. You are cast out of God's presence at birth. However, if you are below the age of accountability, Jesus will automatically save you from your corrupt state.
I don't believe that there is some switch that goes on at age eight, so that Jesus will automatically save you at 7, but the minute you turn 8, depending on your time zone and the timing of your birth, Jesus suddenly denies your right to automatic salvation. I think the level of "accountability" is going to be different for each child. But since it is impossible to get baptized in the LDS Church before age 8, I don't think Jesus is going to deny you automatic salvation if you are are an accountable seven-year-old who happens to die before your eighth birthday.