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Dear Gramps,

Hello. I am wondering about my 7 year old autistic son. He is very low functioning and does not speak. He cannot tolerate going ‘anywhere’…. literally. Does not do well around large groups of people, therefore we are unable to attend church. He will probably (although we pray) never be able to completely be accountable for himself. And we are unable to leave him with anyone; ONLY my mother. He will not be able to be baptized next year, when he is 8. Should we be concerned that he is unable to participate in gospel ordinances? The last Sacrament meeting that we attended as a family, was his blessing. because he literally cannot be around a lot of people, noise, smells, etc. I am also concerned for my daughter; who is almost 10 and has not been baptized (simply because of her brother’s disability; is unable to attend church. Please let me know what you think about our situation. Thank you.





Dear Emily,

It is not that your autistic son cannot be baptized. The fact is that he has no need to be baptized. The purpose of baptism is the sign of a covenant that, having repented of our sins, we promise to take upon ourselves the name of Christ, to obey His commandments and to remain true and faithful all the days of our life. If we fulfill that covenant, we are promised to receive a remission of our sins and be qualified to enter into the celestial kingdom of God. A minimum age of eight years is established for baptism because that has been defined by God as the minimum age of legal accountability before Him. Children who die before the age of eight, or any others who are not accountable for their actions, are saved in the celestial kingdom without the formality of an ordinance that has no intrinsic meaning for them by the merits of the great atoning sacrifice of the Savior of mankind. So your son is choice spirit, worthy from birth to inherit the celestial kingdom of God. And when he arrives there after his mortal sojourn he will be perfect in body and mind, having all the faculties of his pre-mortal spirit.

You did not mention any details about your family circumstance, other than you have a soon to be eight year old son and a 10 year old daughter, and that the family does not attend church because of the needs of your son.

Would it be possible for one parent to attend church every other week in order to accompany your daughter there? Would it be possible to have your daughter picked up by a neighbor if neither of you were able to attend? Does your daughter go to school during the week? Why would it not be possible by the same token to have her spend three hours in church each Sunday?

Also would it not be possible for your mother to care for your son for a few hours, say, once a month, so that the two of you could attend the temple?






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