I was recently reflecting total depravity after reading from a site which stated,

Total depravity does not mean that man is as wicked or sinful as he could be, nor does it mean that man is without a conscience or any sense of right or wrong. Neither does it mean that man does not or cannot do things that seem to be good when viewed from a human perspective or measured against a human standard. It does not even mean that man cannot do things that seem to conform outwardly to the law of God. What the Bible does teach and what total depravity does recognize is that even the “good” things man does are tainted by sin because they are not done for the glory of God and out of faith in Him (Romans 14:23; Hebrews 11:6).

This brought up a question, "How could Jesus, while being a fully human baby boy, glorify God if the mindset of a baby is naturally self-centered?" Is it because Jesus, being fully God, allowed him to act fully as a human baby, but somehow glorified God simultaneously? Does anybody know how Christ was able to avoid Total Depravity at that age, while we weren't?

closed as unclear what you're asking by Flimzy, Nathaniel, curiousdannii, bruised reed, El'endia Starman Oct 25 '15 at 0:42

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Are you asking if Jesus was subject to the concept of total depravity? Or are you asking how, if he was, that can be reconciled with him being God? – Flimzy Oct 14 '15 at 9:28
  • You are assuming that Jesus as an infant acted in a sinfully "self-centered" way. Allowing others to do things on your behalf when you are unable to do them yourself is not necessarily sinful. – Nathaniel Oct 14 '15 at 10:46
  • Neither, I would never say Jesus became subject to total depravity. Instead, I am curious on how he wasn't subjected to Total Depravity. I've been told that even at birth we are immediately fallen because we are unable to glorify God through our actions and thoughts. At the same time, I'm uncomfortable with saying Jesus had a split personality where one is being fully divine, and the other being fully human. That sounds like ancient heresy all over again. – Theo Christos Oct 14 '15 at 11:30

The simple answer is that God does things outside of our human comprehension. Jesus was 100% God and 100% man, at the same time. He was not split. He was not 50% God and 50% man. Because of that, he was not imparted original sin. Without original sin, Jesus could not be totally depraved.

How was he not imparted original sin? Like I said, it's outside of our human comprehension. But, we know he had no sin because of passages like:

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Cor. 5:21, NKJV)

And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. (1 John 3:5)

So, Jesus was not imparted original sin by the direct and miraculous actions of God.

  • 1
    Welcome to Stack Exchange, we are glad you are here. When you have a chance, be sure to check out the site tour and read up on how this site is a little different than other sites around the web. This is not a comment on the quality of your answer, which is fine, but rather a standard welcome message. – ThaddeusB Oct 14 '15 at 14:41

An LDS perspective would be that all children are innocent until the age of accountability, which means their actions are not necessarily sins that would condemn them. See:

Moroni 8:11 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!

The fact that "children are alive in Christ" suggests they are doing the will of God. Obviously Christ was not a normal mortal child, but this would also apply to him as a child, and is the reason the LDS faith doesn't baptize infants.

  • Does the LDS adhere to the doctrine of Total Depravity? I don't know one way or the other, but many churches don't. If they don't, then this answer is off-topic. – ThaddeusB Oct 18 '15 at 23:22
  • In the sense that because of the fall of Adam, men became carnal and subject to sin, yes. Without the atonement of Christ all mankind would be lost. See Mosiah 16:3-4 in the Book of Mormon – JBaczuk Oct 19 '15 at 1:15
  • "Total depravity" goes beyond just being subject to original sin though. The doctrine states that no one is capable of doing anything good of their volition at all. According to the doctrine, man does not even have the will to accept God's atoning gift of Christ by their own choice. ... I'm not an expert, but I'm 90% sure the LDS church actually rejects the doctrine. – ThaddeusB Oct 19 '15 at 1:23

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.