The age of accountability

About six months ago, a good friend of mine told me that his son was having a birthday and that his family was getting ready to celebrate.  “How old is he going to be?” I asked.  “He will be eight,” he replied.   Oh eight!  What an awesome birthday!  So much changes, so much happens.  It is such a special birthday!  I told my friend that the 8th birthday is a very special one for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  I explained that we believe a child can be accountable for their actions at that age, so this is when they get baptized.  I’m not really sure why I told him all of that, we weren’t even talking religion!  Anyway, it just spilled out.

His reaction was unexpected and so sincere.  He said that he had noticed that his son was becoming more able to have self-control.  He said that the idea that a child is accountable at 8 years old totally made sense to him and he was going to go home and talk to his son about it.  It was such an awesome experience!

Last week, my friend brought up the subject again.  He said, “That whole idea of being accountable for your actions when you turn 8 has really struck home with our family and with my son.”  He said that he and his son talk about it all the time, and that his son understands that he is now able to make better decisions.  He told me that this concept had really blessed his family.  I love that.

Sometimes we forget how even the simplest doctrines can be so meaningful.  I will not take this one for granted ever again!

Eight is great!


4 thoughts on “The age of accountability

  1. I love the concept of telling a child that young that he/she is at an age that they can be accountable for their decisions and make them on their own. My youngest is turning 10 next month. I plan on using that birthday to stress what you have shared here. Thank you!

    • My own son used to tell me when he was little, that he wanted to be good, but he had a hard time controlling it. At some point he realized that he was now able to overcome those temptations. It IS good to confirm that age has much to do with it. OF course, he still torments his sister to no end. Haha

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