Four LDS missionaries in Chihuahua, Mexico have been relocated to new areas and have been heavily corrected after they attempted to baptize three brothers without parental consent.
The missionaries, all natives to other regions in Mexico, promised food to the brothers, a 9-year-old and two 11 year-olds, if they would come to the church building. Once the boys arrived they became afraid and left, telling the incident to their parents. The parents reported the incident to the police, who arrested the missionaries. They were released a few hours later after it became clear no crime had been committed.
Church spokesman Eric Hawkins released through media outlets the following statement: “Unfortunately, these missionaries acted outside of church policy. They have been corrected and moved out of the area.”
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not permit the teaching or baptizing of any child without the explicit permission from their legal guardian. Preach My Gospel, the handbook issued to all missionaries, states: Before you can teach and baptize an investigator who is under legal age, you must obtain permission of the parent(s) or legal guardian(s), preferably in writing. In addition, you should have good reason to believe that the child understands the baptismal covenant and will make every effort to keep it through obedience to the gospel, including faithfully attending Church meetings.