Moroni 8:14 never used to sit well with me:
“Behold I say unto you, that he that supposeth that little children need baptism is in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity; for he hath neither faith, hope, nor charity; wherefore, should he be cut off while in the thought, he must go down to hell.”
A little harsh, no? Always bugged me. Until I read The Poisonwood Bible, and spent some time thinking about how, exactly, a Christian gets to the place where they are OK with enslaving others and cutting off their hands if they don’t meet their work quota. And then it dawned on me: if you believe in the necessity of infant baptism (and don’t believe in baptism by proxy), then you also think that God has condemned most 20th century Africans (among many others) to hell. And if God doesn’t care about them, then why should you? I realize, of course, it was a little more complicated than that: social darwinism and eugenics and greed and all that contributed to the world view that permitted the rape of Africa. But Christian doctrine was a part of it.
Doctrine, even relatively abstract doctrine, has consequences. On the face of it, infant baptism, or the lack thereof, may not be that important. But if it leads you to conclude that God has brought billions of people into this world with virtually no chance of salvation, then that can lead you to treat them as if they were already in hell.
Now I can understand why Mormon wrote what he did.