In my opinion, this story is evidence that God really has abandoned the church that professes His name, because they have abandoned Him. Charity (the pure love of Christ) is not the ruling factor. Neither is freedom to choose. There is no freedom to choose in the LDS Church anymore, it seems. The ruling factor is, what? What do you get out of this article? I get, "Force you to go on a mission, even if it means you can die." I mean, there was no guarantee that the kid would find someone to give him a safe place to spend the night. No guarantee that he would be able to get in touch with his grandparents.
I would recommend reading the comments. I doubt more comments can be added, as this is a cached version. It appears the original was taken down. Embarrassed the Corp? Scared the parents? I don't know, but I do know that the corporate Church relies heavily on public opinion polls. And they really hate negative publicity.
Note: I am not posting this to bash the Church, but to hopefully wake people up to the fact that this type of behavior is not okay. And that it is not good to "follow the prophet" at the expense of your child's sanity or mortal life. (Neither is it good to pay tithing if it means your family goes hungry, your electricity gets turned off, or you get kicked out of your house because your rent is not paid. All but one scripture about tithing says tithing is for the poor, not to be paid by the poor - and especially not by the poor to a wealthy corporation that can afford to buy and build a city in Florida, build a billion-dollar mall with million-dollar condos on top, and so forth.)
Edit: I didn't realize the article was initially published on LDS Living. Here is a good post about the article, and its subsequent retraction/alteration on LDS Living.