Ask Mormon Girl: How do Mormons feel about contraception?

Dear Ask Mormon Girl:

Having grown up Catholic, I was taught contraception goes against God’s plan. If I ever get married I’ll probably use Natural Family Planning, but I’m curious:  what are the LDS Church’s views on contraception? Are they totally against condoms and the pill or do they leave that up to the members to decide what’s best for their families?

Just Curious,

NRP

Last week at the supermarket checkout, I looked up from stacking a carton of eggs and a package of Dora the Explorer Pull-ups on the conveyor belt to see that Time Magazine was celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the Birth Control Pill. What swell timing you have, NRP!  (Good thing, too:  you’ll probably need swell timing to make that Natural Family Planning work for you.)

Now, for the official LDS Church stance on birth control, I’d recommend you go directly to the official LDS church website or to this helpful article at the Encyclopedia of Mormonism.
Basically, you have it right:  on matters of birth control, the Church encourages members to decide what’s best for their families. From what I’ve read, heard, and experienced, Mormon talk about birth control emphasizes prayerful deliberation, moral agency, consideration for women’s perspectives on family size, and the importance of marital intimacy for reasons beyond procreation.

Want more evidence that Mormons think contraception is A-OK?  A 2004 article from the BYU student newspaper reported that at least 80% of the young women who go to the BYU Health Center for premarital gynecological exams request some form of birth control. Go Cougars!

Maybe it wasn’t this way thirty years ago.  Back in the 1970s and 1980s, there was a popular Mormon musical called Saturday’s Warrior that put a negative spin on limiting family size (sing it with me now:  “Zero Population is the an-swer, my friennnnnd!”) and sent lots of good LDS couples home to bed to try for just one more “Saturday’s Warrior” baby.  These days, while you’ll still find young LDS families with seven or more children—bless them!—a recent mantra I’ve heard in Mormon circles declares that “three is the new six.”

It’s safe to say that on any given Sunday at church you’re surrounded by many happy LDS condom and pill users.  I’d bet there are even a few IUDs hanging out in the pews:  despite the sentiment among some older women that IUDs act as an abortive device by preventing implantation, plenty of Mormon women seem to be using them these days.

Finally, dear NRP, when marriage and family time does come along, I hope you’ll find the courage to ask a trusted sister in spirit and about her favorite method.  Women (and men too!) have lots of inside wisdom on this birth control business.  And maybe, just maybe, our readers will take advantage of the relative anonymity of the internet to share a little of that wisdom here.  What do you say, readers?

Send your query to askmormongirl@gmail.com, or follow askmormongirl on Twitter.

About these ads

55 Comments

Filed under contraception, family

55 responses to “Ask Mormon Girl: How do Mormons feel about contraception?

  1. I just wanted to note that *this* Catholic girl was *conceived* when her mother used the natural planning method. It only works for women with really, really regular cycles. Luckily I was the fourth in a family who could afford me, and as a late in life child I was showered with love and attention by my teen siblings, who helped mom with the child-rearing and babysitting.

    BUT, when I was coming of age and thinking about sex, my sensible mother made sure I knew about more effective birth control methods and thus I’ve been on the pill all my sexually active life.

    I’d also note that my suburban, diocesan Catholic grade school gave us a sex-ed class in junior high that taught us about the various birth control methods and only occasionally said something about the natural method being the church-approved one (and only for married couples, of course). Basically the line was, “…but *if* you *do* have sex, here’s how the effectiveness of these methods ranks.” Sneaky, pragmatic suburbanites! Don’t tell the bishop! :)

    See, that’s the thing with a church as enormous as the Catholic one — every day there are individual Catholics mapping their own route, going against dogma, and working it out with their own consciences and prayers. I study and teach medieval literature and I can tell you that that was as true when all the Christians in the western church looked to the Pope as their leader as it is now.

    • Joanna! I am *so* thrilled to learn about Saturday’s Warrior! I am going to look for the soundtrack now. Great advice on birth control, too. I’ve had that thought about 3 being the new Catholic number, too. That one extra shows you’re still playing for the team, somehow.

    • Sofia

      Hi! I came across this article because I recently moved to Utah and am researching more about Mormonism to better understand my surroundings. Me and my husband use the Fertility Awareness Method, which is NOT the Rhythm, and we’ve only gotten pregnant whenever we’ve wanted to, so it DOES work. I’m a practicing Catholic, and I don’t believe I live in the Middle Ages if I believe that each time I have sex with my husband we are renewing our marital vows, and giving ourselves completely to each other, and to God without putting ANYTHING between us, without denying us and God anything, that’s the big difference between in-fertilizing a fertile act and abstaining from one. In the first one you’re going against yourself, who in they’re right mind would wear a patch over a healthy eye?? If you’re fertile it means you’re reproductive system is healthy, so why do thing to go against your own health. The second option, abstaining, implies sacrifice and understanding of one’s own body. Today’s culture wants all the pleasures without consequences, I think it makes much more sense and it’s much more responsible to think that if you don’t want a baby don’t have sex on your fertile days, it’s that simple.

  2. Anon.

    The rhythm method gets a bad rap, but many women who are nervous about the side effects of the Pill and other birth control methods use the “Fertility Awareness Method.”

    NRP (and everyone else), I recommend checking out Toni Weschler’s book “Taking Charge of Your Fertility,” which will help you chart your monthly cycle with scientific precision. At best, it’s a reliable form of birth control. And at the very least, it’s a great resource for taking the mystery out of the monthly cycle!

  3. Ana

    I remember being told at church that Heavenly Father will only give you children if its time to have them. I was also told in a separate class that if you didn’t have all the kids you were supposed to, they might suffer by being born into a not-so-good home (which didn’t make any sense to me.) When I got married I used the pill. I prayed about it, of course. But, I have to admit I had all the things I heard in church in the back of my mind, and I worried just a tiny bit about whether I was doing the right thing. Then when I felt it was time to have kids, I got pregnant with triplets. Now I am extremely confident that Heavenly Father is okay with my use of the pill. I am hesitant to use IUD, but would love the convenience. Please share your experiences with IUDs.

    • anonee

      I too am a member for birth control! I am extremely confident the Lord is okay wih birth control too. It is so personal and up to the couple to decide these things. I am have not used IUD’s.

    • LDS mom

      I am LDS, I have an IUD, and I *love* it!! All the women in my family are very, very fertile. I actually got pregnant 4 times on the pill. So, here I am 4 kids later, can barely feed them, am unable to afford to have them involved in sports, and I cringe every time one of them brings home a permission slip asking for $15 for a field trip. When my 4th was born almost 8 years ago, I got the hormonal IUD, and have been pregnant free ever since (I changed it after 6 years). The IUD is amazing! My periods became very regular and also got lighter and lighter every month. I barely can notice now if I am even having my period. I would love to be able to have more kids, but we simply cannot afford it right now. I am not putting off having more kids just for material gain… I am pretty much in survival mode, and my IUD keeps me from becoming less independent.

    • burnettal

      I highly recommend an IUD. I’ve used them after both of my pregnancies as I really struggled with multiple forms of side-effects with the pill. Initially I used the copper IUD and muddled through it with severe menstruation, a potential side effect. I currently am on the Mirena, which has a low progesterone secretion. I still have a side effects with the Mirena, slight weight gain and NO period, I must admit, I love the latter. Its a great option for me because not only did I have side effects with the pill I personally found it annoying taking it daily and condoms, sorry ladies, those are just not for me.

  4. anon 2

    i have a copper i.u.d. i love it. no hormonal side effects. don’t even think about it. no side effects, period. good for 10 years. highly recommended, especially if you’re done bearing kids. even if you’re not, you can have it removed when you’re ready to start again.

  5. It’s time to re-research the IUD if you haven’t for several years-the earlier version was technically “abortive” in that it allowed for fertilization but not implantation. Then it was taken off the market for a number of years, and the new one is completely different.
    I don’t use it and haven’t done extensive research, but I do know that those of my faith who would not use the old one because of its abortive properties are now using the new one. Apparently the changes they made have removed that barrier (pun intended) that prevented many of us from choosing this method.

    • Kourtney

      Um, you might want to recheck your info on this. Just went to my ob about birth control options and, yes, an IUD, both the hormone and copper IUD, do cause the lining of the uterus to make it so a fertilized egg can not attach to the wall. The question then becomes, does life begin at fertilization or at implantation. Again, search, ponder and pray as a family but it is important to know the facts!

      • Charlotte

        My midwife told me the same thing! And, she also told me that the pill, depo shot, nuva ring, basically any hormonal method of birth control all thin the lining of the uterus. Yes, they do other things to prevent fertilization from ever happening, but the thin lining is like the last resort *in case* an egg gets fertilized. She told me that based on my belief that life begins at conception, if I do not want ANY chance of a fertilized egg being aborted my only options are barrier methods or FAM/NFP. I am freaking out now about what the heck to do for the rest of my fertile years!

      • Cris Cooper

        Charlotte, you don’t have to freak out! I too am learning some cold, hard facts that clash with my belief that life does indeed start with fertilization at that, if I change my body so implantation doesn’t occur, I am causing the abortion of my baby. Believing that, and developing a reaction to spermicide left me in a bit of a panic! However, after extensively researching the FAM method, and using it, I LOVE it!!! Not only is it just as effective as the most effective contraceptive on the market, with NO side effects, but you get to know your fertility so well that, if you decide you want to conceive, rather than prevent, you know exactly when that will be! Be sure to do your research and use as many indicators as possible (Basal Body Temperature- BBT, cervical mucus/position, past cyles, etc.). There are many websites to help you. I also cheat and do the home ovulation tests, which are quite affordable, especially if you only have to use them for a week or so to pin-point it. I also use a microscope (you can buy an expensive ovulation microscope, or just use one that has at least 60X power) to check my saliva daily. NOT kidding, it really does detect ovulation! Just research it. Doing these things I have complete freedom and don’t have to worry about “running out” of anything, taking anything, or not being able to enjoy the moment. Of course, if abstinence is undesirable while you’re fertile, back-up needs to be used. Good luck!

  6. rb

    We have 7 children and at various times have used pills, condoms and IUD. Like any other institution, there are lots of crazy people in the church that say nutty things. When you read that official church policy very carefully, it is a very personal decision and the only absolute (almost, anyway) is no abortion. “3 is the new 6,” “zero population,” “Saturday’s Warrior” (never liked that play, anyway)…whatever. You do what you, your spouse, and God agree to.

    Although, funny thing – our last two are very different than our first 5 and I often think that they were intended for someone else because they really fit those people. I’m mostly joking…I think. Makes no difference anyway, I love those little guys!

    • anonee

      Yay, good for you for using birth control! I am a member for birth control as well : ) Birth control is a very personal decision. I can not believe some members such as Scott a few comments down (if he is a member) judge others regarding how many kids and when they have them. Members like that are not worth my time. I appreciate and love the members that try to be truly Christlike and not judge others. Thank you for your comment.

      • anonee

        Okay so stating a member is not worth my time is not right. Some opinions are not worth too much of my time : )

  7. manaen

    I’ve been very comfortable with the counsel published in the Aug., 1979 “Ensign.” The money quote for me is:
    .
    “[...] we need not be afraid of studying the question from important angles—the physical or mental health of the mother and father, the parents’ capacity to provide basic necessities, and so on. If for certain personal reasons a couple prayerfully decides that having another child immediately is unwise, the method of spacing children—discounting possible medical or physical effects—makes little difference. Abstinence, of course, is also a form of contraception, and like any other method it has side effects, some of which are harmful to the marriage relationship. ”
    .
    It’s the first article at this link on the Church’s website:

    http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?hideNav=1&locale=0&sourceId=26cc615b01a6b010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&vgnextoid=2354fccf2b7db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD

    .
    (Note that this was published in 1979, the midpoint of “thirty years ago” “Back in the 1970s and 1980s” and carries somewhat more dogmatic weight than does “Saturday’s Warrior,” whose lyrics curiously were about zero population, not zero population *growth*).

  8. Anneke

    This isn’t such a cut-and-dry issue within the church, and I wouldn’t say that “Mormons think contraception is A-OK.” Just because it’s popular in Provo doesn’t make it church doctrine!

    Here is a very interesting site on a point of view shared by many Latter-day Saints. The teachings of the prophets for years have spoken against artificial birth control and just because the official stance is “the choice is between the couple and the Lord” doesn’t mean the official stance is “contraception is A-OK.” As recently as 1993, Elder Oaks has said:

    “President Kimball said, “It is an act of extreme selfishness for a married couple to refuse to have children when they are able to do so.” When married couples postpone childbearing until after they have satisfied their material goals, the mere passage of time assures that they seriously reduce their potential to participate in furthering our Heavenly Father’s plan for all of his spirit children. … In a matter as intimate as this, we should not judge one another.”

    I think both sentiments are crucial here: we should not judge one another, but we also need to let the voice of the prophets speak louder than the voice of the world. I am ashamed to hear that “3 is the new 6″ is such a popular sentiment in a church that teaches that “We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force.” (The Family: a Proclamation to the World, 1995)

    • anonee

      Birth control is between the couple and the lord. Each couple needs to decide when and how many kids to have. I am glad you agree we should not judge each other.

      President Kimball does not know the financial status, mental or physical health of the parents (especially the mother) or any other considerations. Each couple has to make a wise decision according to their circumstances, feelings, issues, etc.

      In regards to 3 is the new 6, I disagree but am not ashamed. Why do you feel ashamed at that? Who cares how many kids couples have- honestly. I do think less families are having 10 kids but some still do. Many families have 6 kids or more. Many families have 3 kids too. The amount of children members have varies dramatically! Bottom line is- it is not our business to tell others how many kids to have.

      Each couple should fulfill the couple to multiply and replenish the earth. But each other will decide how many kids. Each child you have is fulfilling that commandment.

    • anonee

      Its is more than what is done in Provo. It is done in Provo at the BYU clinic which is run by the church. Why would this clinic run by the church be allowed to provide birth control services if the church was against it? BYU is known for its high standards for the students there such as modesty, morality, word of wisdom and even approved BYU houing that are in sync with the church.

    • Hannah

      Modern family life is very stressful. 3 children now is what 6 used to be. It’s between the couple and the Lord and no one else.

  9. R

    “It is the privilege of married couples who are able to bear children to provide mortal bodies for the spirit children of God, whom they are then responsible to nurture and rear. The decision as to how many chldren to have and when to have them is extremely intimate and private and should be left between the couple and the Lord. Church members should not judge one another in this matter.

    Married couples also should understand that sexual relations within marriage are divinely approved not only for the purpose of procreation, but also as a means of expressing love and strengthening emotional and spiritual bonds between husband and wife.”
    (1998 Church Handbook of Instructions)

    Some couples feel strongly that birth control is okay and others strongly feel it is not. Previous prophets have voiced against birth control. But the latest views of the church (as stated above) neither encourages nor discourages birth control. It leaves it up to the couple to decide! These matters are strictly between your spouse and God! To answer this question I personaly believe contraception is okay.

    I am not sure if 3 is the new 6 in the church. I know many people that still are having large families.

    As for Spencer W. Kimball and other prophets views against birth control, specifically the stating of selfishness when preventing children- I agree and disagree. There are times when it is selfish and other times when it is not. Once again you must decide for yourself. It is interesting that since the 1998 words on birth control prophets have not spoken directly for or against it as previous prophets have. Also- there is nothing in The Book of Mormon, Bible or Pearl of Great Price about birth control.

  10. Venisa

    The rhythm method is NOT the same as NFP. I think it is a great method for many, esp. if you are worried about the hormones.

  11. Scott

    One thing I know, “3 is the new 6″ is totally wrong.

    For couples that are healthy and able, 3 isn’t even multiplying.

    • anonee

      Scott- we are not supposed to judge others regarding when or how many kids.

      There are many members that only have two or three kids! It is up to the couple to decide. For some people 3 kids is alot! Some parents can not afford many kids or can not emotionally or mentally handle many kids.

      I am strongly for birth control. The majority of members I know are for it as well.

      As the church says, its up to the couple to deicde when and how many kids to have. We are not supposed to judge each other in the matter.

      There is no specific requirement of how many kids to have or when to have them.

    • anonee

      How do you know the financial standing of a couple? How do you know the physical condition of the parents, especially the mother? How do you know the mental health of the parents, especially the mother? A mother may be fine physically but have mental issues. Too many kids for someone with mental health issues can be disasterous. How do you know how many kids a couple has recieved revelation to have?

      • anonee

        Other things you may have not thought of. Many couples experience infertility. Perhaps a couple desires more children but can not have them. Perhaps having two kids was a miracle. Then you come along, thinking they have done multplied enough. How wrong your judging is. Or how about a young woman who marries a man. She feels she should finish her schooling before having children. She finishes her schooling and starts a family. A few years later the husband dies, leaving her alone to provide for several young children. A minimal wage job will not provide enough income to finish supporting and raises several children. These things happen. Divorce, deal, husbands job loss or cut wages/hours (especially in this economy), accidents that leave people handicapped.

    • Meidi

      Scott, I have 3 kids, which means I have not only replaced my husband and myself, I have increaed the population by 1. If that is not good enough for you, I sincerely do not care. I believe that the Lord is pleased with my husband and I in our efforts to raise a happy, rightous family. I am so grateful for each of my precious children.

  12. Eve

    As far as there being nothing in the scriptures about Birth Control….
    The first commandment given to Adam and Eve (and still applicable today) was to ‘multiply and replenish the earth’ and is, surprise-surprise, still in the Old Testament and can be found in Genesis chapter 1 verse 28. More scriptures can be found by a quick look in the Bible Dictionary under the title of, surprise again!, Birth Control.

    http://lds.org/scriptures/gs/birth-control?lang=eng&query=birth+control

    Here is the LDS church’s current standing on Birth Control:http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=bbd508f54922d010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=579639b439c98010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____

    • anonee

      Yes we are to multiply and replenish the earth. It does not say how many kids or have or when to have them. It does not say no birth control in the scriptures.

      As the link you posted, it is up to the couple to decide when and how many children to have. It is personal and we should not judge each other in the matter. The church has not designated a specific number or time frame regarding children.

      Good for you if you never use birth control, that is your choice. As for me, I am strongly for it and will continue to use it. That is my choice.

    • anonee

      Show me a scripture that says couples should never use birth control in the scriputres.

      You are inferring what you want out of the phrase to multiply and replenish the earth. It does not say to multiply and replenish the earth and never use birth control. Each child that is born is multiplying and replenishing the earth.

      I agree having children is very important! It is a commandment and responsibility for couples to have children! But the scriptures do not tell us to have a certain number of kids, when to have them or not never use birth control.

      Surprise!

    • anonee

      From the first link you have here is what is listed:

      “Birth Control
      See also Family; Marriage, Marry.
      Controlling the number of children born to a couple by limiting or preventing conception.

      Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, Gen. 1:28 (Moses 2:28).
      Children are an heritage of the Lord, Ps. 127:3–5
      Lehi’s family were to raise up seed unto the Lord, 1 Ne. 7:1
      Marriage is ordained of God unto man, D&C 49:15–17
      The exalted will receive a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever, D&C 132:19, 63″

      Via the definition listed: Controlling the number of children born to a couple by limiting or preventing conception. None of these scriptures mention limiting or preventing conception. These scriptures only speak of having children.

      If a couple have one child they are still multiplying and fulfilling the earth. If they wait 3 years to have another they are then still being fruitful and multiplying.

      These scriptures are listed online under the birth control topic because they are the closest thing to the topic. But in reading these scriptures they do not mention preventing conception at all. They only talk about conception.

  13. anonee

    Scott- we are not supposed to judge others regarding when or how many kids.

    There are many members that only have two or three kids! It is up to the couple to decide. For some people 3 kids is alot! Some parents can not afford many kids or can not emotionally or mentally handle many kids.

    I am strongly for birth control. The majority of members I know are for it as well.

    As the church says, its up to the couple to deicde when and how many kids to have. We are not supposed to judge each other in the matter.

    There is no specific requirement of how many kids to have or when to have them.

  14. Eve

    So…how does limiting the amount of children play into *God’s plan*?
    We ask a lot, how do I want to plan *my family*. I don’t think these two questions should be exclusive to each other. Why shouldn’t parents ask “How does God plan for me and my husband (and the children we might choose to have) meet with my plans, hopes and dreams?” Does God know *us*? Does God love us? Will God continue to be there for us as our partner as we raise our (however many) children? If we all dwelt on the ‘what if’s’ of having children, no one would ever have them! Making the decision to marry and create a family is a very important one, and certainly decisions not made lightly. Hurray for people doing this and doing their best, even if it’s not what the so-called experts agree with!! (Whoever *they* are, anyway)

    Why should parents feel like they have to limit their family size in order to ‘fulfill their dreams’ or to ‘meet their family’s needs’? I like that the LDS church handbook and other official resources explain that these questions should be answered between couples and the Lord and that while the exception due to health of the mother and other unique circumstances is to reduce or space having children, the general principle is to welcome children into one’s family. See the difference? The rule, the exception, and not the other way around. Not as a judgment, but as a guideline for consideration as parents make their own decisions. I, for one, admire the parents who choose to welcome children and see them as the blessings they are. It is a wise couple who see children as individuals, with distinct personalities, rather than a “number”, to increase or reduce in their homes.

    • anonee

      Ha, I never said I see children as numbers or as something simply to increase of reduce in my home! I value children as individuals with a personality of course! I love children and each child is a child of God with a eternal purpose. I welcome children. love them and truly think they are a blessing.

      But how many I decide to have is between God and my spouse and I. My spouse and I can pray for revelation as to how many children we should have and when to have them. I can welcome children into my family but I still have to consider my health- both mental and physical, financial situation, my age and any other concerns.

    • Servanne Illien

      My view is that all women want to have a family …. the problem does not lie there but in how much can we trust men to love us, if not for all eternity, at least for how long as we are alive and treat us properly all this while and not cheat on us ….

      If you find that kind of man you are like a gold digger who found the greatest nugget in the stream….

      Even though, i think it is a sin to have more children than we can emotionally, physically and materially support and desire.

      Because if you dont meet those two requirements, it is big trouble and misery for everyone.

      But yes children are an heritage of the lord and as such precious little souls certainly deserve more than obeying blindly the commandment to replenish and multiply …

      There million of children who are being born into families that are poor and live in extreme poverty and starve, a fertile soil for abuse, violence and all sorts of crimes, including prostitution and exploitation of children.

      Furthermore, if all families decided to have 6, 7 or more children, the planet would become all saturated and therefore the ideal place for more of the crimes i mentioned above and therefore, if by abiding with the “multiplying and replinishing the earth” you are fulfilly your godly duty, by being unable to provide and love and give a proper treatment to children if you have too many than you can take of or be happy to have or the planet can reasonable support, it is against those children you are committing the sins and crimes.

      Finally, in an era of widespread cheating, sexual license and divorces, it is very hard for women to trust someone enough that we can feel secure to marry and start a family whithout putting our health, balance and material safety at risk.

      So really if men were angels and reasonable about things, we would all have no problem in marrying and providing bodies for these spirits in a reasonable, loving, caring, responsible manner for everyone’s happyness, common good and welfare.

      I dare say that this is a view many women share.

      And women would have no hesitation to do their part under such conditions;

      Maybe we are smarter than men really because we know what’s good for us and children, while men only measure the good in terms of what pleasure and satisfaction, power and glory the rules should be made while not carrying the burden and cost of what such attitudes and views translate into.

  15. anonee

    We are not supposed to judge other members in regards to how many kids they have or when they have them. Some members have two or three kids, others have many more. It is so personal. Judging others in regards to their choice on birth control or number of kids is not Christ-like. You never know the situation of a family. You do not know their finanical standing, health-mental or physical or any other considerations they must take into account. Small families still love, value and welcome their children! You have no idea how a mother of two feels about her children. Just because she chose to have two children means nothing regarding her love or feelings for them. I hope you never deny a parents love towards their children or try to demean their love because of the number of kids they have.

  16. anonee

    I do not know ANY couples that consider children merely as a number to increase or reduce in their home! I know no parents that think their children are without personalities or are not individuals! I have never heard that before. Have you asked parents and they told you that is how they view their children? Hou know how a parent feels regarding their children? It seems to me you are just judging. All the parents I know love, welcome, value their children regardless if they use birth control or not. If a family chooses to plan out their family and many do that does not mean they feel the way you think they do. What sad judgements you cast on other members. These sad judgements are false and not from God. God is the judge and we should not judge others.

  17. Eve

    1. Do not judge others.
    2. Choice about children is between parents and God.
    3. Children are unique and desired.

    I think we all already agree on the above, don’t we?
    I agree, it is sad when others cast judgments on others.

    It is even more unfortunate that you do not understand my point.

    You may feel judged when others encourage having children because you have chosen the opposite right now, for whatever reasons. Your feelings are valid. But please don’t project your feelings on me, as if I represent all that is bothering you about that subject.

    I am not attacking anyone here personally, and it is unfortunate that anyone would perceive that. *I* am referring (in the tone of frustration I expressed in my previous post) to experts who tell you and me, assuming you are parents, too, what we should or should not being doing with our bodies, our time and our lives. You are free to decide what that means for you.

    Everyone replying here is an adult and capable of making his or her own choices. It’s none of my business what you choose to do or your reasons for it. If it’s something you feel is right for you, I have no judgments for you. I have enough of my own problems to worry about than whether you are making correct choices in your life.

    Don’t you grow tired of hearing the mantra that less children in the world means more control over our lives, or better outcomes for the children in the family with fewer siblings, over population, etc, etc.?

    I hope to bring to the forefront the blessing that children are in our lives and how quickly many people in the world we all live in can forget this truth.
    Is this your goal in this conversation, too? I hope we can agree on this.

    I appreciate you keeping the tone of this dialogue civil and I wish you well.

    • anonee

      Your points were not very clear at all. Now I see your points with the right understanding.

    • anonee

      I am glad it turns out you are not trying to attack anyone or judge and that you believe its none of your business what others choose to do.
      There are many members of the church who will judge and tell others what to do. I have no problems projecting my feelings on those members who judge with such narrow mindedness, look down on others, tell others how to live their own lives. You would think everyone has enough problems of their own to not worry about and judge others choices.
      I will stand up and speak up for myself and others who have may have small families (or large), use birth control and have been judged wrongly for it.
      Your welcome for keeping the tone of the dialogue civil. I would have the tone no other way.

  18. anonee

    Oh, I can not forget speaking and standing up for the married couples who use birth control and have not yet started a family!

    I wish you well too and everyone else. Even those who have judged me or others wrongly. We are all children of God and all make mistakes.

  19. anonee

    I am not yet a parent by the way.
    But, I will be and look forward to welcoming and loving precious children at the right time. What a joy it will be to be a parent. To have children of God entrusted in my care will be truly a blessing.
    I do enjoy being around children, welcome them when they are in my presence and love them.

  20. anonee

    Couples should start families when they feel and know they should, not when anyone else thinks they should. If we stay close to the Lord we will know what to do regarding our lives, choices and our so personal and private decisions.
    It is up to the couple to decide when to have children and how many to have as stated on lds.org- gospel topics- birth control : )
    There are personal circumstances to consider that others are not aware of.
    Thankfully we are free to think, decide and act for ourselves according to what we think and know is best. We all live our own lives and make our own choices according to how we feel we should.
    I hope we will all try harder to follow Christs counsel to not judge others.

  21. Happy Thanksgiving next week!

    How do I (am mormon) feel about contraception? I think its silly to debate birth control. The latest LDS stance on birth control states it is up to the couple to decide how many children and when to have them. So there is the answer- it is up to each couple to decide while seeking inspiration from the Lord. There are families of all sizes in the church. All families should feel loved and welcome in the church, not negatively judged. Each family has their own circumstances. At some point everyone stops having kids.

  22. You are Kidding right?

    I find this article extreamly misleading. If the church is the same then it is always the same, like God. It isn’t, but that wasn’t the question. The question was, if the church was opposed to birth control, like the Catholic church. The anwser is yes the church is, and has always been opposed to birth control!!! You can’t just make up and present your own ideas and say well this is what I think and what my friends think, and here is one supportive quote to prove I am right . We will ignore all the other quotes that don’t agree with our “new” mormon ideas!?!
    I was raised in the church, by a very devout mom(related to Brigham Young), and a high serving convert dad. I CAN NOT BELIEVE YOU EVEN TRIED THIS. Can no one reason anymore? Can no one see? I come here for a tollerable, but I thought honest, persective, on what my sisters are thinking as they are still active in this, IMO, cult. I doubt they would even try to sell this, and they swallow most everything else the church feeds them. However I must say that as far as churches go, I do feel that the mormon church is great in the instances they are in favor of birthcontrol, like in cases of rape, incest, or threatening the mothers life. I hope these wise “beliefes”(sp?) don’t change like so many others have!!! I can’t get my spell checker to work. So sorry.

    • Meidi

      You claim that the church is opposed to birth control, yet you offer no evidence that this is the case. Some members of the church may be opposed to birth control, but the opinions of any given members of the church are not nessesarily representitive of the official stance of the LDS church.

  23. linn

    I think the problem here is that the doctrine has changed dramatically over time. So, some members live by earlier doctrine and others by the newer doctrine.

  24. Ropadope

    While God does not change, I believe that God inspires occasional/gradual changes in church positions due to changing situations. I therefore look for guidance to the church’s CURRENT statements on birth control and other matters: http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=bbd508f54922d010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=579639b439c98010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____ .

    Someone should make the point that being non-judgmental goes two ways. My wife and I used birth control to limit our family size to three children. Who is to say that we made the right decision? Only God can judge us righteously! Thanks for not condemning us. But if you say we made the right decision, you are also making a judgement.

    Being non-judgmental does not mean that we should accept whatever anyone else does as being right. When we do so, we may be helping others rationalize something that the Lord does not agreed with. The teaching that family size is a private decision to be made in prayer does not mean that any decision we make is in line with God’s will.

    The bottom line on judging is that we should not judge the decisions of others in this matter one way OR the other. And the bottom line on birth control is not a blanket statement of “it’s ok” or “it’s not ok”. Each married couple needs to make prayful decision(s) privately while recognizing that we have a “responsibility to bring children into the world”.

  25. Meidi

    I was born into a big Mormon family which grew to have a total of 7 children, but there were also at least 3 miscarriages (that I knew of) and 2 babies that were late term still births. It was so hard for my wonderful mother; she grieved over her lost babies very much. I will never criticize my parents for choosing to forgo birth control and have a large family; they were good parents to all of their children. But that lifestyle is NOT for me. In fact, even if I WANTED to have half a dozen children I probably couldn’t, I have infertility issues so each of my 3 children (the new 6, who knew!) was conceived with the help of fertility treatments. As an interesting side note, I have encountered many LDS people who have also used fertility treatments and the church seems to have no problem with that; on the other hand, I have also met a few people who are not LDS who have point blank told me that fertility treatments are unnatural and wrong because if God had wanted me to have children I would have gotten pregnant “naturally.” And one woman (not at all religious) questioned the Darwinian “fitness” of my children since they were “unnaturally” selected! Such interesting conversations…

  26. M

    I once had a well-meaning visiting teacher explain to me that the only Real way for a woman to serve the Lord was by having children.

    I flatly do not believe that. I struggled with it when it was first said to me. I was a young mom, and she was the mom of eight kids and counting. But the resounding answer of my heart is that there are many, many more ways that I can serve the Lord in addition to creating mortal bodies for His spirits.

    Furthermore, her assertion leads to some really disturbing questions. For instance, what if I couldn’t have children or couldn’t have anymore children? Am I no longer useful to the Lord when my ovaries dry up? Yikes, what a dangerous thing to assert!

    • Dani Lofland

      M, she was just horribly wrong or perhaps misunderstood.
      In the February issue of the church magazine the second counselor in the Relief Society presidency (who is not married and does not have children) says, “..I do have responsibilities–and blessings–because I am a member of a family. Even if I were the only living member of my family. I am still a member of Gods family, and I have a responsibility to help strengthen other families.”

  27. Dani Lofland

    It has always seemed to me to be a matter left to the individual couple and God, e.g., what, when, why and how (and how many) they will bring children into this world. The scriptures teach us that God commanded man to multiply and replenish the earth, and most people in the church that I know take that very seriously, including me.
    I also believe that Christ created this earth with all the room and resources for ALL His children. We as humans just ignorantly and selfishly mismanage our mortal home.
    I have 6 children.
    My husband and I planned on 4.
    Our first daughter was born with disabilities.
    Then our son came along healthy and well.
    We sincerely felt that if we had any more that they would also have disabilities. At the time there was not any pills available that did not make me sick and my mother almost died from another form of birth control. I was not into ruining my long term health, so it was that my husband and I chose that HE would be the one to use birth control and had a Vasectomy.
    Five years later, our third son was born from a very athletic pole vaulting sperm. When he was eight months old, we learned that he had cancerous tumors in both kidneys. He is alive and well today.
    My husband had a second Vasectomy. This may sound cruel but men recover from these procedures in a week or so. It takes women months to recover from child birth.
    We have since adopted three orphaned siblings.
    When my very liberal mother tells her horrified “zero population” friends that we have six children, she quickly explains that we recycle love and tells our story. But I will never apologize for my six children whether they were all biological or adopted.
    The whole matter of children and birth control is between us and our God.

  28. Just came across this post years after the fact and wanted to raise my hand for a no-birth control family here. I don’t live in Utah, and yes I’m LDS. HOWEVER, we pray about it after every baby and one of these days maybe God will give us the go ahead to use some birth control. We didn’t start out this way, he brought us to it gradually. We’ve been married 11 years and have 7 children and have had 3 miscarriages. Our newest blessing came to earth with extra challenges and it has been interesting the things we’re learning as this spirit joined our family.

    I was one of 2 children, by the way. I’m completely for the decision being between the husband, the wife, and God. He fits things to our individual lives and guides us in the direction he wants our family specifically to go. For my husband and I so far that has been a large family closely spaced. For others it’s different.

  29. Noelle

    Just for the record: NFP done correctly (and yes, I’m aware that does require a sacrifice of time, effort, and convenience) is just as effective as the pill.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070221065200.htm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s