So I was wondering why, if children are in a state of not being able to covenant, why Benjamin in Mosiah 3 (or the angel of the Lord who talked to Benjamin) said we need to become like them. It would seem I do not have it quite yet.
I decided to check Moroni 8, where Mormon explains that little children are alive in Christ. Children are not accountable before the law, and it is a mockery to imagine they are. To baptize an innocent is to trust in dead works.
I guess my impudent question, then, is whether it is possible for people not to sin. Some may find this a distastefully theologic inquiry. I readily accept that in there has never been someone without sin besides Jesus Christ. And I remember being 8, stealing food and telling quite a few lies and getting in really vicious fights with my siblings, resenting the sabbath and so forth.
I suppose I have to remember what Lehi says in 2 Nephi 2, that there is opposition in all things, that we are continually enticed on the one hand and the other, both to do bad but also to do good.
And I think this what is important about our rejection of Original Sin. It is also somewhat more in line with the doctrines of Judaism, though they do not teach that men require redemption, at least not in the sense that pre-restoration Christians mean the term. Original Sin teaches that man is by nature depraved, and even the book of Mormon speaks of us being evil continaully, carnal sensual and devilish, and so forth.
And it is not a matter of our bodies being wicked while our souls are good. While our bodies are mortal, it is important to remember that we start out spiritually dead as well. Our physicality is in the similitude of God, while the devil is a being of spirit only. The idea that the physical is base and the spiritual is necessarily elevated is a heresy that entered the Catholic church from Greek Philosophy.
In any case, as Benjamin says, the natural man is an enemy to God because of the fall of Adam. I do not think this just means our body, I think it also includes the spirit that is estranged from God.
It also says in both Mosiah 3 and Moroni 8 that those who never learn the law are redeemed through the mercy of Christ. It is inevitable to ask, then, why we have the law if we would all be saved as though we were innocent without it. More later.