Disability Resources FAQ: Doctrines and Policies

Q: Are there any gospel teachings about disabilities?

A: During His mortal ministry, the Savior and His disciples passed by a blind man. The disciples asked, “Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him” (John 9:1–3).

President Boyd K. Packer noted: “There is little room for feelings of guilt in connection with handicaps. Some handicaps may result from carelessness or abuse, and some through addiction of parents. But most of them do not. Afflictions come to the innocent” (“The Moving of the Water,” Ensign, May 1991, 8).

Additional Resources

Q: What are the guidelines as to whether or not a child with an intellectual disability may be baptized?

A: This is a matter between parents, the child, and local priesthood leaders. If the child has a basic understanding of gospel principles and wishes to be baptized, then baptism may be possible.

Q: I have a child in Primary with a developmental disability. Should we have him stay in a class closer to his level of understanding, or should he stay with his age-group?

A: A child with a disability of any kind ought to be encouraged to stay with his age-group. Those are the youth with whom he will grow up. In addition, it is a good opportunity for his peers to learn compassion and service and to gain understanding.

Q: Under what conditions can a young woman with a disability attend Young Women camp? Under what conditions can a young man with a disability attend Scout camp?

A: Often youth can participate successfully in camp with minor program modifications. Individual needs and safety issues should be taken into account. A ward or stake may temporarily call an adult to be a companion to the youth during the camp.

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