I live in a remote area of the country ( UK). There are no LDS churches within visiting distance of me. I have checked this out by the way and I am an older person who could not travel easily . I have studied the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants for many years through a friend who writes to me from Canada and visits the UK every summer.. Can he baptize me, and would a baptism done unofficially be valid from a spiritual perspective even though it would not be recognized by the church?
There is no such thing as an “unofficial” baptism. All baptisms must be properly authorized by either a bishop or a mission president. Right after Christ ascended to heaven, the apostles (who could authorize baptismal ordinances) went on a preaching spree and baptized anyone who came forward penitently. In the course of their journeys they discovered a congregation that had already “unofficially” received the ordinance. In questioning them, Paul learns that they hadn’t completed the ordinance with the baptism of fire – receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost – and instructed them on the proper order of things. These twelve souls received the proper baptism and continued on in mighty spiritual power.
The good news for you is that although you cannot be baptized in secret, and it must be authorized by a mission president, you can still be baptized by your friend (provided he holds the proper priesthood). Your next step would be to contact the missionaries (you can request a visit here) and learn about the Church in your area. (You may have one closer than you think. Take a look on the meetinghouse locator).