Chapter 17: Parable of Israel
Ezekiel shows in a parable of Israel, how Israel will be subject to Babylon. It goes like this…
An eagle (Babylon) on the top branches of a cedar tree, takes it off. It also takes the seed of the land and plants it in a fruitful field. The seed becomes a vine. The vine bent to another eagle (Egypt), and is promptly destroyed by the first eagle. Changing his tone, the Lord says he will take the highest branch of the cedar tree and set it in the mountain of the height of Israel (Zion), where it shall prosper. This will happen in the last days from a goodly tree in the cedars of Lebanon.
Chapter 18: Punished for our own sins
The word of the Lord came unto Ezekiel and tells him that Men shall be punished for their own sins, sinners shall die, and the righteous shall save their souls. Anyone who sins and does not repent will not be saved.
The Lord says; “…all souls are mine… the soul that sinneth, it shall die.” (Ezekiel 18:4-5)
One important thing to get out of this chapter is that you are only responsible for YOUR OWN SINS! “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son…” (Ezekiel 18:20)
For this reason I don’t understand some religious beliefs that claim an “original sin” and for this purpose needing a baptism for this original sin to be “cleansed”. First of all we are not responsible for others sins, and therefore the idea of an “original sin” is blaspheme. In the LDS church we believe: “We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.” (Articles of Faith, 2) Therefore if we are not to be punished for other’s sin, then why does a baby who has done nothing wrong in the world… therefore is innocent, need a baptism? Baptism is for people who can sin, and can understand they have sinned and are mentally able to repent of those sins. In the Book of Mormon it speaks of the horrible practice of infant baptism.
“Listen to the words of Christ, your Redeemer, your Lord and your God. Behold, I came into the world not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance; the whole need no physician… children are whole, for they are not capable of committing sin; wherefore the curse of Adam is taken from them in me… wherefore, my beloved son, I know that it is solemn mockery before God, that ye should baptize little children… 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. And their little children need no repentance, neither baptism. Behold, baptism is unto repentance to the fulfilling the commandments unto the remission of sins. 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: 8-12, Book of Mormon)