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Dear Gramps,

If a minor is baptized in the Church without parental consent, is it legal within the Church?





Dear Julia,

The family is the fundamental unit of the Mormon Church. All other Church organizations exist to support the family and the individual. Children are taught that they should be obedient to their parents. Paul counsels,

Children, obey [your] parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord (Colossians 3:20).

In addition, parents are the legal guardians of their children, and as such have rights and responsibilities for their welfare under the law. There may be two principal reasons why parents would object to having their children baptized in the Mormon Church. One, they may firmly believe in another religion, and thus would feel that their child is doing something that is wrong, and that would not be to their benefit. Two, they may be misinformed about the doctrine and practices of the LDS Church, and thus fear that their child may become involved in an organization that in some way would be detrimental to them.

Perhaps our best approach would be to recognize and show support for parental authority, to make friends with the parents, and to help them to develop an interest in learning more about the Church. Nothing could benefit any member of a family more than to have the entire family as a unit gain testimonies of the truthfulness of the gospel and to be baptized together.

If there does occur a instance where a minor child is baptized without those responsible being aware of the parents’ objections, an appropriate accommodation would be made. If the parents were to require that the baptism be revoked, their demand would be honored, and the baptism would be considered as null and void.






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