Print Friendly, PDF & Email




Is it wrong to baptize mentally handicapped children?





Hello Scott,

Thank you for your question.

On the Church’s website, there is a specific area dedicated to helping address questions similar to yours called: Disability Resources. Under that title we see Disability Resources FAQ: Doctrines and Policies where we read the following:

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.

The answer given above highlights two key points.
1. Accountability – “the child has a basic understanding”
2. Desire – “child…wishes to be baptized”

Both children and adults vary in their intellectual capacity to be held “accountable” and have a “desire” to be baptized. While this threshold may be met by age 8, it may also be delayed until later in life when such a time comes. While each of us has varying capacities, we are still beloved sons or daughters of our Father in Heaven.

Also located on the Church’s website we find an article from the Ensign entitled, “Should mentally retarded children be baptized?“.

Here we read the following from a previous Church Handbook:

Persons who are not accountable and cannot knowingly repent need not be baptized, no matter what their age. They should be included as members of record with the notation ‘Not accountable’ recorded under the heading for baptism. If they become accountable, they can then be baptized.

I hope this gives you some direction with your question Scott.   Warm Regards,






Copyright © 2023 Ask Gramps - Q and A about Mormon Doctrine. All Rights Reserved.
This website is not owned by or affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes called the Mormon or LDS Church). The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the position of the Church. The views expressed by individual users are the responsibility of those users and do not necessarily represent the position of the Church. For the official Church websites, please visit or

Pin It on Pinterest