The Savior taught that all must be baptized to enter the kingdom of heaven. He established the pattern when He submitted to baptism Himself at the hands of John the Baptist (see Matthew 3:13–17; Mark 16:16; John 3:5).
The Lord revealed to Joseph Smith that "all the ordinances, systems, and administrations on the earth are of no use to the children of men, unless they are ordained and authorized of God; for nothing will save a man but a legal administrator; for none other will be acknowledge either by God or angels" (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith , 274).
By revelation, we learn that baptism may be administered only to those who have reached the age of eight, which is the age of accountability (see Moroni 8:9–15; D&C 20:71–74). A candidate for baptism must demonstrate humility, desire, contrition, and a determination to serve the Lord (see Mosiah 18:8–10; D&C 20:37).