Disabilities


“I must first, and with emphasis, clarify this point: It is natural for parents with handicapped children to ask themselves, ‘What did we do wrong?’ The idea that all suffering is somehow the direct result of sin has been taught since ancient times. It is false doctrine. That notion was even accepted by some of the early disciples until the Lord corrected them.”

—Boyd K. Packer, "The Moving of the Water," Ensign, May 1991, 7

“For reasons usually unknown, some people are born with physical limitations. Specific parts of the body may be abnormal. Regulatory systems may be out of balance. And all of our bodies are subject to disease and death. Nevertheless, the gift of a physical body is priceless. Without it, we cannot attain a fulness of joy.

“A perfect body is not required to achieve a divine destiny. In fact, some of the sweetest spirits are housed in frail frames. Great spiritual strength is often developed by those with physical challenges precisely because they are challenged. Such individuals are entitled to all the blessings that God has in store for His faithful and obedient children.

“Eventually the time will come when each ‘spirit and … body shall be reunited again in … perfect form; both limb and joint shall be restored to its proper frame’ (Alma 11:43). Then, thanks to the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can become perfected in Him.”

—Russell M. Nelson, "We Are Children of God," Ensign, Nov. 1998, 86–87

“President Joseph Fielding Smith explained that ‘all spirits while in the pre-existence were perfect in form, having all their faculties and mental powers unimpaired. … Deformities in body and mind are … physical.’ (Answers to Gospel Questions, comp. Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., 5 vols. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1979, 3:19.) Physical means ‘temporal’; temporal means ‘temporary.’ Spirits which are beautiful and innocent may be temporally restrained by physical impediments.

“If healing does not come in mortal life, it will come thereafter. Just as the gorgeous monarch butterfly emerges from a chrysalis, so will spirits emerge.”

—Boyd K. Packer, "The Moving of the Water," Ensign, May 1991, 8–9

“How are the works of God made manifest in these, our handicapped brothers and sisters? Surely they are manifest greatly in the loving care and attention given by parents, other family members, friends, and associates. The handicapped are not on trial. Those of us who live free of such limitations are the ones who are on trial. While those with handicaps cannot be measured in the same way as others, many of the handicapped benefit immensely from each accomplishment, no matter how small. 

“The handiwork of God is manifest with respect to the handicapped in many ways. It is demonstrated in the miraculous way in which many individuals with mental and physical impediments are able to adjust and compensate for their limitations. Occasionally, other senses become more functional and substitute for the impaired senses in a remarkable way. …

“… They, too, are in a life of progression, and new things unfold for them each day as with us all. They can be extraordinary in their faith and spirit. Some are able, through their prayers, to communicate with the infinite in a most remarkable way. Many have a pure faith in others and a powerful belief in God. They can give spiritual strength to others around them.”

—James E. Faust, “The Works of God,” Ensign, Nov. 1984, 54, 59

“Parents, take time in the next home evening to caution your family never to amuse themselves at the expense of the handicapped or of any whose face or form or personality does not fit the supposed ideal or whose skin is too light or too dark to suit their fancy. Teach them that they, in their own way, should become angels who ‘move the water,’ healing a spirit by erasing loneliness, embarrassment, or rejection.”

—Boyd K. Packer, "The Moving of the Water," Ensign, May 1991, 8