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“We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel” (Articles of Faith 1:3). Baptism in water is an ordinance essential to our salvation. By being baptized, we show God that we are willing to be obedient to His commandments. Jesus set the example for us by being baptized, even though He was without sin (see Mosiah 18:8-10). The Savior revealed the proper method of baptism to the Prophet Joseph Smith, making clear that the ordinance must be performed by one having priesthood authority and that it be done by immersion (see Doctrine and Covenants 20:72-74).
Immersion is symbolic of the death of a person’s sinful life and the rebirth into a spiritual life, dedicated to the service of God and His children. It is also symbolic of death and resurrection. (See Romans 6:3-6) Little children are redeemed through the mercy of Jesus Christ. They are “alive in Christ” and cannot sin. They do not need baptism until they understand the difference between right and wrong. The Lord has revealed that children should be baptized at eight years of age. (See Book of Mormon, Moroni 8:8-24; Doctrine and Covenants 29:46-47, 68:27)