I am looking for doctrine or a quote about children (people) with special needs. I don’t know if I’ve ever read this anywhere or if it was just unofficial doctrine of the Mormon Church, but it’s the belief that people with disabilities, particularly mentally handicapped, were special spirits in Heaven. I tried looking on lds.org but can’t seem to find anything close.
Wesley, from Hamilton, Ohio
I have not found any references to those who are not accountable as being special spirits that are relieved by their disability from the trials of mortality, but some definitive words have been said in that regard about children who die young. Here is a statement by the Prophet Joseph Smith, who recorded the following:
“In my leisure moments I have meditated upon the subject, and asked the question, why it is that infants, innocent children, are taken away from us, especially those that seem to be the most intelligent and interesting. The strongest reasons that present themselves to my mind are these: This world is a very wicked world; and it is a proverb that the “world grows weaker and wiser;” if that is the case, the world grows more wicked and corrupt…. The Lord takes many away, even in infancy, that they may escape the envy of man, and the sorrows and evils of this present world; they were too pure, too lovely, to live on earth; therefore, if rightly considered, instead of mourning we have reason to rejoice as they are delivered from evil, and we shall soon have them again.” (Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 4:553)
This concept was reiterated by President Spencer W. Kimball, in his book, Faith Precedes the Miracle.
“The Lord takes many away even in infancy, that they may escape the envy of man and the sorrows and evils of this present world; they were too pure, too lovely, to live on this earth. Therefore, if rightly considered, instead of mourning we have reason to rejoice as they are delivered from evil and we shall have them again. The only difference between the old and the young dying is, one lives longer in heaven and eternal light and glory than the other, and is freed a little sooner from this miserable world” (Spencer W. Kimball, Faith Precedes the Miracle, p.103)