[If you have not read Mandate and Joseph’s Call, please do so before continuing.]
According to Jesus, little children do not need saving, but are as heaven is:
1 At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
5 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.
6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. (Matthew 18)
People may try and argue that the children Jesus was referring to were small, almost infants, but that is not what the scripture says. It says they were old enough to learn, and to choose if they wanted to believe him:
6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me…(Matthew 18)
Yet Christians are baptizing little children all the time. It is one of the ordinances that the Reformers did not separate from the Roman Church.
What about Book of Mormon believers? Are they baptizing little children also?
The Book of Mormon clearly states that childrern do not need repentance, therefore they should not be baptized:
9 And after this manner did the Holy Ghost manifest the word of God unto me; wherefore, my beloved son, I know that it is solemn mockery before God, that ye should baptize little children.
10 Behold I say unto you that this thing shall ye teach—repentance and baptism unto those who are accountable and capable of committing sin; yea , teach parents that they must repent and be baptized, and humble themselves as their little children, and they shall all be saved with their little children.
11 And their little children need no repentance, neither baptism. Behold, baptism is unto repentance to the fulfilling the commandments unto the remission of sins.
12 But little children are alive in Christ, even from the foundation of the world; if not so, God is a partial God, and also a changeable God, and a respecter to persons; for how many little children have died without baptism! ( Moroni 8 )
This teaching of The Book of Mormon was meant to heal one of the worst wounds to the love of God there has ever been – the baptizing of children. The Book of Mormon would have succeeded in reforming this incorrect practice, but Joseph gave a revelation that replaced it:
27 And their children shall be baptized for the remission of their sins when eight years old, and receive the laying on of the hands. (D&C 68)
This practice of replacing a stewardship with a commandment has led Joseph and his followers into a world of salvation by works, i.e. ordinances, more than a salvation by choice. His followers are still routinely baptizing their children when they turn eight – for the remission of sins*.
[*Sin is defined as “Deliberate disobedience to the known will of God.” Though a child may do mean or horrendous things, they do not “know” the will of God, therefore they cannot “wilfully” disobey Him.]
Likewise, The Book of Mormon says that Communion is only to be administered to baptized believers:
5 And when the multitude had eaten and were filled, he said unto the disciples: Behold there shall one be ordained among you, and to him will I give power that he shall break bread and bless it and give it unto the people of my church, unto all those who shall believe and be baptized in my name.
28 And now behold, this is the commandment which I give unto you, that ye shall not suffer any one knowingly to partake of my flesh and blood unworthily, when ye shall minister it; (3 Nephi 18)
Joseph’s followers are routinely giving the Sacrament to little children, the unbaptized and the unworthy. (Investigators)
There is a promise Joseph made up, that if you had children who died prematurely, (Like he and Emma did.) you could get them back in the next life if you were sealed to them.
No doubt the statement to Peter by Jesus that “whatsoever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven” coupled with the premature deaths of his children, sparked a desire in Joseph to couple the two together.
This teaching that he invented no doubt brought comfort to Emma, and countless others, but was it scriptural?
What Joseph did was secure those he loved, not realizing God already secured them based on their love – for whatsoever God, i.e. “love” has joined together, no man can put asunder.
These practices are a wound to the work of God, for The Book of Mormon (Which was to restore lost doctrine.) has itself become associated with practices it does not contain.