Church Leaders: Birth Control Poisons the Fountains of Life

Temporal, spiritual, and eternal liberty and the blessings of a righteous posterity are inseparably linked. Are you enslaving yourself?

Happiness, that is true joy, is something that all of Heavenly Father’s children desire to have. The Psalmist says that “Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them” (Psalms 127:5). What is a quiver and what do we need to fill it with to bring us that happiness?

When we read the context, of course, more understanding is opened up to us. King Solomon writes, “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them.” (Psalms 137:3–5) A quiver is a case for holding or carrying arrows. It was used as a metaphor to point out the fact that when one fills up their life with children, which are “an heritage of the Lord”, true happiness follows.

Children are such an essential part of our joy in life, as well as a crucial part of the plan of salvation, that bringing them into the world was the very first commandment given to our first parents in the Garden of Eden. God said to them “Be fruitful, and multiply” (Gen 1:22). After a few other instructions, God again reiterated His first commandment and said “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.” (Gen 1:28)

Modern Prophets have declared that “God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force”. (The Family: A Proclamation to the World, The First Presidency)

Sadly, there are many Latter-day Saints that purposefully limit their joy and, perhaps unknowingly, break that first commandment. How do they break this commandment? Elder Hugh B. Brown explains, “The problem of birth control and voluntary barrenness is poisoning the very fountains of life and defying God’s injunction to multiply and replenish the earth.” (The Abundant Life, p. 244)

In addition to limiting their own joy, this practice can have impacts on souls other than the husband and wife. In General Conference of October 1941, the Prophet David O. McKay said “To warn of a great danger I must speak of it more specifically. I do so most reverently. If it shall please the Lord to send to your home a goodly number of children, I hope, I pray, you will not deny them entrance. If you should, it would cause you infinite sorrow and remorse. One has said that he could wish his worst enemy no more hell than this, that in the life to come someone might approach him and say, ‘I might have come down into the land of America and done good beyond computation, but if I came at all I had to come through your home and you were not man enough or women enough to receive me. You broke down the frail footway on which I must cross and then you thought you had done a clever thing.’”

The Prophet Brigham Young also spoke of those that might be damaged by the purposeful postponing or hindering of bringing children into this world when he said “There are multitudes of pure and holy spirits waiting to take tabernacles, now what is our duty? To prepare tabernacles for them; to take a course that will not tend to drive those spirits into the families of the wicked, where they will be trained in wickedness, debauchery, and every species of crime. It is the duty of every righteous man and woman to prepare tabernacles for all the spirits they can.” (September 21, 1856). Ezra Taft Benson, Bruce R. McConkie, Stephen L. Richards, Joseph Fielding Smith, and Gordon B. Hinckley all quoted President Young’s above remarks when speaking on this sacred subject. The scriptures that teach “out of the mouth of two or three witnesses shall the word be established” are unquestionably fulfilled here.

So not only are we damning our own happiness when we deny children from coming to our families, we are also putting the salvation of others in jeopardy. Birth control is not a “victimless crime”.

Produced with some help from BYU, the movie, “Demographic Winter”, helps us to understand other consequences from disobedience to this principle. You can watch the movie here.

Sometimes it is said that “Yes it is good to have children, but we have felt it important to postpone that until after we have finished school, or purchased a big enough home, or gotten out of debt, or gotten a job that pays sufficient, etc, etc, etc.” Prophets of God have helped us to understand the misery that we can avoid by not heeding this logic.

“The world teaches birth control. Tragically, many of our sisters subscribe to its pills and practices when they could easily provide earthly tabernacles for more of our Father’s children. We know that every spirit assigned to this earth will come, whether through us or someone else. There are couples in the Church who think they are getting along just fine with their limited families but who will someday suffer the pains of remorse when they meet the spirits that might have been part of their posterity. The first commandment given to man was to multiply and replenish the earth with children. That commandment has never been altered, modified, or cancelled. The Lord did not say to multiply and replenish the earth if it is convenient, or if you are wealthy, or after you have gotten your schooling, or when there is peace on earth, or until you have four children… We believe God is glorified by having numerous children and a program of perfection for them. So also will God glorify that husband and wife who have a large posterity and who try to raise them up in righteousness.” (Ezra Taft Benson, General Conference April 1969)

“Let not the mothers of the present nor those of the future, be swerved from the right path by any environment or circumstance that seems to mitigate against the performance of this duty. Let not poverty bar the way, for if poverty had been a consideration on the part of the mothers of the past, many of us would not be here.” (Elder Melvin J. Ballard, Sermons, page 207-8)

“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. Faithful Latter-day Saints cannot afford to look upon children as an interference with what the world calls ‘self-fulfillment.’ Our covenants with God and the ultimate purpose of life are tied up in those little ones who reach for our time, our love, and our sacrifices.” (Dallin H. Oaks, “The Great Plan of Happiness“, General Conference, October 1993)

Understanding the principles taught above goes a long way in helping us to seek after obedience instead of excuses or exceptions to the rule. That being said, I should point out that the Prophets have also been clear about the sensitivities that should be considered. President David O. McKay said, “Seeking the pleasures of conjugality without a willingness to assume the responsibilities of rearing a family is one of the onslaughts that now batter at the structure of the American home…When the husband and wife are healthy, and free from inherited weaknesses and diseases that might be transmitted with injury to their offspring, the use of contraceptives is to be condemned.” (General Conference, October 1943) Here, a Prophet of God shows us the mercy of the Lord, but tempers it with the necessary and bold warning.

Sister Julie B. Beck, General Relief Society President, bore her testimony to the above principles. “When mothers know who they are and who God is and have made covenants with Him… desire to bear children. Whereas in many cultures in the world children are ‘becoming less valued,’ in the culture of the gospel we still believe in having children. Prophets, seers, and revelators who were sustained at this conference have declared that ‘God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force.’ President Ezra Taft Benson taught that young couples should not postpone having children and that ‘in the eternal perspective, children-not possessions, not position, not prestige-are our greatest jewels.’” (“Mothers Who Know“, General Conference, October 2007)

Sister Beck then pointed out the “great power” that comes from obedience to these principles when she said, “Faithful daughters of God desire children. In the scriptures we read of Eve (see Moses 4:26), Sarah (see Genesis 17:16), Rebekah (see Genesis 24:60), and Mary (see 1 Nephi 11:13–20), who were foreordained to be mothers before children were born to them… the value women place on motherhood in this life and the attributes of motherhood they attain here will rise with them in the Resurrection (see D&C 130:18). Women who desire and work toward that blessing in this life are promised they will receive it for all eternity, and eternity is much, much longer than mortality. There is eternal influence and power in motherhood.” (“Mothers Who Know“, General Conference, October 2007)

In a World Wide training meeting, broadcast all over the world in February of 2008, the topic of building a righteous posterity was discussed. As a part of that discussion, Sister Cheryl C. Lant, Primary General President, wanted to make sure we don’t have the false impression that obeying this, like any other principle of the Gospel is easy. She said, “We had a large family, and my husband was the bishop when all the children were still very young. I would work all day Saturday and all morning Sunday to get them to church, and I had to get them there early or we just didn’t even get there. We would line the whole bench-the whole center bench was filled with our children on the second row back-and we would be there before the meeting started. I remember one day a sister came up behind me and leaned over and said, ‘Sister Lant, if my kids were as good as yours and if it was as easy for me as it is for you, I would have a large family too.’ Well, I started to cry, and I cried clear through the whole meeting. And my husband kept looking at me like ‘What is wrong? What is wrong?’ I was a mess. I completely had a come-apart. And it was because it wasn’t easy.”

It is true. As President Hinckley stated, to bring about every aspect of building our Heavenly Fathers Kingdom, “(W)e must set aside our consuming selfishness. We must rise above our love for comfort and ease, and in the very process of effort and struggle, even in our extremity, we shall become better acquainted with our God.” (“Our Mission of Saving“, General Conference October 1991)

These plain and precious truths should not be a case for contention but points of unity that will bring us great joy in this life and in the life to come. The simple nature of this doctrine was pointed out by President Boyd K. Packer. He said, “People write asking what is the position of the Church on the Word of Wisdom, for instance, on soft drinks or something. And we think, “Why do they have to ask?” It is a principle, and you have the freedom to do as you will. You do not have to be commanded in all things. Without having to have the Church deliver a statement on it, you should know what the Lord’s position is on abortion or cloning or same-gender marriage or birth control. All of those things are built in as a part of what we know and what we are.” (CES Fireside February 2003)

About Ezra Taylor

Ezra Taylor has appeared in national (Fox news, USA Today), as well as several other regional publications. Ezra also writes for several freedom oriented publications, has been a radio talk show host and is a grassroots organizer. Visit his personal blog at http://ezrataylormc.blogspot.com Friend Ezra on Facebook https://m.facebook.com/ezra.taylor.12
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95 Responses to Church Leaders: Birth Control Poisons the Fountains of Life

  1. iamse7en says:

    Here is a compilation of different quotes by our leaders on Birth Control.

    • Lance says:

      “…you and your spouse will be prepared to prayfully decide how many children to have and when to have them. Such decisions are between you and the Lord.” (“Birth Control”, *True to the Faith*, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2004, p. 26)

      The above referenced book is given to every young man, young woman, and convert. In the preface by The First Presidency we are encouraged to refer to the book in study and application of gospel principled; and when preparing talks or answering questions about the Church.

      Therefore, since this article contradicts The Church’s teachings about birth control as shown in this post: the author of the article is teaching false doctrine, as is the compiler of the document referenced in the replied to post.

      • Ezra Taylor says:

        Again, there is no contradiction. The stance has not changed as the CURRENT quotes illustrate.

      • SammBou says:

        Alright… I half agree with this article. I agree with the quotes and referencences and doctrine which is what the church teaches. I disagree with the twist of interpretation of the counsel given from church authorities used in this article. The counsel will always stand true, and has its place. Ultimately, I see this as chastisement of your fellow man, whom you have no place to judge or make a sentence for. Family planning IS ultimately between couples and the lord. If the spirit let potential parents know that going to school to become better teachers for their future children and creating a more stable home for them to enter is okay, guess what. It’s ok! It isn’t always satanic or worldly. It might just be their way of fulfilling their duty. What a concept!!!

    • L1b3r7y says:

      This was a good and inspiring article. I enjoyed reading all the scriptures, quotes, and teachings of modern prophets about the blessings, joys, and warnings about bringing children into the world (or not). However the arrogant, combative, argumentative, demeaning, and demanding nature of the comments left by so many have just made me want to throw up.

      The church has never forced adherence to any of it’s doctrinal principles upon the membership. Some principles like tithing and the word of wisdom are chosen by the church as basic benchmarks of worthiness for certain privileges while others such as home or visiting teaching percentages are not. However the absence of recent, in you’re face, explicit, undeniable policy does not stand as valid proof that God has no real doctrine or standard over the issue

      The outspoken few seem to perhaps believe that we won’t miss out on eternal blessings if we refuse to provide for the children God intended us to have? Or maybe that children aren’t a joy and blessing in the first place?
      If not then why be offended that a prophet of God warned against using contraceptives?

      The quotes shared by the articles detractors are obviously neutral. They neither explicitly promote the use of contraceptives or deny their use. That means there are two ways of looking at what is said. Either all the teachings are in harmony and should be accepted as a whole, or they are in contradiction. I don’t see why anyone would jump to the conclusion they are in contradiction unless it was to placate a guilty conscious. I haven’t seen anything by the leadership saying contraception is a wonderful blessing and encouraging it’s use by the church… Neither have I seen anything warning of the terrible consequences failing to use contraceptives.

      Have we become so secular and agnostic as a church that we can’t believe God has a plan for our lives and that he can be trusted to be left in control?

      Rather than assuming that the truth has changed because of some vaguely neutral statements, rather than assuming that a large family is no longer the joy and blessing it was claimed to be, perhaps it could be understood that a large enough portion of the church membership has strayed far enough from the covenant that not all are now worthy enough to raise a large family?

  2. Arienne says:

    Thank you for this. It articulates and substantiates well my feelings on the matter. Bravo!

  3. Sunlight says:

    It is very telling that most everyone in the Church seems to believe that it’s ‘OK’ now to use birth control, have wives work, break their sacred marriage covenants, justified or not, join in the spoils of socialism (public schools, welfare, unemployment, etc.) ignore the widows & the fatherless & make them go to work, allow those who have abused &/or abandoned their spouse & family to go unpunished & even waltz through interviews & into the temple for a remarriage completely undetected, time & time again.

    2 Nephi 28 is so true & is speaking to & about us in the Church today.

    • Lance says:

      Public schools are not spoils of socialism they are a necessity because a well educated people are the best defense of liberty. Not everyone is able to teach all of the liberal arts—math, english, history, etc.—to their children so we need teachers who have learned and can then teach.

      What you advocate by your statement is to create an entire ignorant generation that can be easily enslaved and controlled.

      • George says:

        America’s Constitution and associated freedoms were given to us by a people who had a nearly 100% literacy rate in the late 1700′s–without the “benefit” of Public Schools and compulsory education.

        It is absolutely false to believe that Government-controlled schools will ultimately lead anywhere besides the loss of liberty. This is the real reason why Karl Marx advocated “free public schools” as one of his ten planks in the Communist Manifesto. Nazis, Communists and every other wannabe dictator knows that if you want to consolidate your power, you must control the minds of your children and brainwash them with an “approved curriculum,” until you purge out all opposition.

  4. Here’s another good and perhaps more current teaching from the Prophet, from “True to the Faith” under the topic “Birth Control.”

    “If you are married, you and your spouse should discuss your sacred responsibility to bring children into the world and nurture them in righteousness. As you do so, consider the sanctity and meaning of life. Ponder the joy that comes when children are in the home. Consider the eternal blessings that come from having a good posterity. With a testimony of these principles, you and your spouse will be prepared to prayerfully decide how many children to have and when to have them. Such decisions are between the two of you and the Lord.”

    • SammBou says:

      Thank you. This does not mean *your path of life should be the picture of what everyone else thinks theirs should be.* Circumstances only known and fully understood by the Lord and the people in covenant with him should not be attacked by fellowMAN. Counsel is given to us by the Lord, and it is up to us to follow it with the best of our own abilities and our individual understanding. And no, this doesn’t mean justification is always “our own understanding” either.

  5. Spicegirl says:

    It is vital that parents consider their ability to care for their children both emotionally and financially. It’s simply irresponsible to have children without a plan to be able to care for them. And plans to take advantage of the welfare system do not count as plans.

    • Felicity says:

      Of course parents should have a plan, but this is where FAITH comes in. Even if parents are not completely financially stable, they should not postpone having children. The Lord will provide, in one way or another, when we heed His commandments.

      If my parents had waited until they were financially, and emotionally, able to care for children, five of my eight siblings would not be here today. My parents listened to the voice of the Lord and went ahead in providing bodies for nine children, even when they were struggling so many, many ways. And because they did not wait, their joy is greater. Their children are their blessings, and their lives. Bringing children into this world is a FAITH-based work, and it is work, but it is also the greatest blessing a person, or persons, could ask for. It is my personal opinion that the Lord shows that He loves us by sending us all of these wonderful heavenly spirits. Who are we to reject His love?

      • Karen Anderson says:

        You said it perfect. Why Heavenly Father wanted my husband and I to have our children right after we were married and only year and half to two years apart, I don’t know, but my stomach gets sick when I think of if we would have not listened. We really have been blessed.

  6. Natasha says:

    Okay, a little church doctrine reality here:

    You have conspicuously left out some important disclaimers from church leaders. If you visit this link, you will see the most current quotes and information the church is espousing to Institute-aged members: http://institute.lds.org/manuals/eternal-marriage-student-manual/a-c-birth.asp

    Most notably, these quotes:

    “I am offended by the sophistry that the only lot of the Latter-day Saint woman is to be barefoot and pregnant. It’s a clever phrase, but it’s false. Of course we believe in children. The Lord has told us to multiply and replenish the earth that we might have joy in our posterity, and there is no greater joy than the joy that comes of happy children in good families. But he did not designate the number, nor has the Church. That is a sacred matter left to the couple and the Lord. The official statement of the Church includes this language: ‘Husbands must be considerate of their wives, who have the greater responsibility not only of bearing children but of caring for them through childhood, and should help them conserve their health and strength.’” -President Gordon B. Hinckley

    As well, there is this quote from Dallin H. Oaks:

    “How many children should a couple have? All they can care for! Of course, to care for children means more than simply giving them life. Children must be loved, nurtured, taught, fed, clothed, housed, and well started in their capacities to be good parents themselves.” http://institute.lds.org/manuals/eternal-marriage-student-manual/p-plan.asp

    One must be able to physically and mentally have children. One must be able to love, nurture, and teach children. Too many children can mean too little mom to go around, too little love, too little patience, too little nurturing. Each child has an immense need for attachment, touch, time, patience, and interest from the parent and when they do no receive that, the consequences of pain reach far into posterity, causing addictions, compulsions, and all kinds of boundary issues.

    Note that the first Institute lesson link only warns about delaying family and the only quote about the number of children was the scripture about having a “quiver” of children. I am hesitant to try to interpret a Biblical metaphor from its time into how many that is for me in my time. The rest of the lesson simply encouraged people to have children.

    As well, this link about birth control, on LDS.org, under the heading “Additional Information” says:

    “Husband and wife are encouraged to pray and counsel together as they plan their families. Issues to consider include the physical and mental health of the mother and father and their capacity to provide the basic necessities of life for their children.

    Decisions about birth control and the consequences of those decisions rest solely with each married couple. Elective abortion as a method of birth control, however, is contrary to the commandments of God.” http://bit.ly/iUFLDs

    Note that it does not say that birth control is wrong. It only says that elective abortion is wrong.

    The movie _Demographic Winter_ is illogical, uneducated propaganda. End of story.

    Using old quotes from old prophets that have been supplemented by new quotes from new prophets, without including those new quotes, is journalistically irresponsible, particularly in a Mormon culture.

    Giant article FAIL.

    • Ezra Taylor says:

      Sorry you didn’t enjoy this article Natasha. However, the quotes you use don’t contradict the article and name calling doesn’t add to the conversation. Your false claim that only “old Prophets” were used is so obvious as to make me wonder if you even read the article. I hope you enjoy the other features here at The Mormon Chronicle.

      • Natasha says:

        Ezra, you have a false claim that I said “only” old quotes from old prophets were used and therein is your problem with what I said.

        And where did I call anyone a name?

        The quotes DO contradict the article because the gist of your article is summarised in your title, that birth control POISONS the fountain of life. Whereas the church now says that it’s a personal choice afforded to couples, in order that they might raise their children well and keep their own mental and physical health. If you sought to write an article about birth control being a personal choice, being sanctioned by the church, then you failed because you left out all the quotes which actually SAY that. If you didn’t seek to do that, why not, since that is the current church stance?

        • Ezra Taylor says:

          your last paragraph implied that only old Prophets were used.

          Your comment on demographic winter was essentially name calling because you attacked it without any facts to back it up. The movie is very well documented and had support and participation from BYU.

          They don’t contradict. It has always been between the couple and the Lord. This article just helps clarify the principles or the pattern the Lord has set. Nothing has been supplanted as the current teachings confirm.

          • Natasha says:

            No, it wasn’t essentially name calling. “Name calling” is the actual calling of names. What I did was describe what it is.

            I didn’t imply anything. I didn’t have to IMPLY because I STATED, very plainly, that you left out the quotes that have since supplemented those old ones. Period.

            It hasn’t always been between the Lord and the couple. There are quotes that can be dug up that plainly say that birth control was evil. And they come from the time in which your other quotes come. That’s relevant. YOU are trying to imply but not stating clearly what the church says. You are leaving things out and I have every reason to believe you are doing it deliberately, since the quotes I posted are so easy to find and so current. What benefit does anyone ever have to write about a principle without including the most recent instructions from the church on that principle? To push a personal point of view. C’est tout.

    • James says:

      The angry and contentious comments by many members here truly make me sick to read. This is exactly why the church does not have definitive stands on these topics any longer. Because we are a hard hearted generation. The Lord himself told us that the prophet will sometimes allow us wickedness because we insist on it.
      Mark 10:2–5
      Do we not understand the law of common consent? Did we forget the 116 pages? Did we forget that the ELDERS of Israel demanded a king from Samuel and the LORD said they had rejected him to be their king and then let the prophet pick and give them a king as they demanded????
      Can’t you people understand that we are doing the exact same thing? This is how apostasy happens. To the sound of thunderous applause and atta-boys from the members.

    • Tom says:

      Natasha,

      What I find funny is what manual you quote. You quote from the “Eternal Marriage” manual published by the “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” in the year 2001. Many of the quotes that Ezra mentions are in that manual, as well as a whole section on BIRTH CONTROL. If the church publishes these so-called “old prophets” in a current manual does that not mean that they sanction their words, and want us to learn and follow them? Yes, I think so. As a church, we teach that Birth Control is sin and evil if we do it for SELFISH reasons. The doctrine is we are not to postpone and limit our posterity for selfish reasons, and there are MANY things that are not selfish, namely, the mental ability of the mother, if she gets cancer, is she struggles

      • Tom says:

        with a mental illness, and many, many more. The brethren have never taught a specific number, they just teach that we are to consecrate our lives to family, however much we can do. We have 20 years to have children, if we have 3 or 4 children and stop at age 32 because we want to build a portfolio, retire young and not have children around, want to travel, have more material possessions, etc., than we are in opposition to the prohets and have rejected the Lord, and will lose the Spirit of the gospel. My wife and I have 4 children so far, my wife is 31 and is going through thyroid cancer. We want to have as many children as we can, to raise them in righteousness. We know we have 4-8 more years to have children, and I leave it up to my wife when she is ready.

        • Tom says:

          In Matthew 18, the Savior taught that if we are to enter into this kingdom, we are to become as a little child. I submit to you that if you become as a little child, you will have a great desire to provide tabernacles for all the spirit children you can. No one is the same, we will all be different, the desires of our hearts will be known. I feel there are some on this comment board who have failed to understand their covenants, and do not understand that old prophets, when it comes to the doctrine on the family, is just as valid today as it was in 1950. Polices and procedures are different than eternal truths (those who have made comments about polygamy).

        • Douglas says:

          You would even CONSIDER having your wife go through the burdens of more pregnancies, already being blessed with four children, while battling cancer? What, pray tell, has her physician had to say? Or do you let dogmatic pontifications of those that don’t know your wife’s health issues and likely aren’t lined up to help out when she’s ill, or, Lord forbid, help you out in raising four young children should this insane regimen kill her before her time! I’d say your dear wife is DONE, that in the vernacular, “she be done birthin’ babies”, and you ought to consider yourselves fortunate if she retains her health enough to see these children to adulthood, missions, temple marriages, etc. I certainly hope so for the sake of you all.

  7. Natasha says:

    And, from the GHI, not sure which edition:

    “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 children 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.”

  8. Jeanmarie says:

    Ezra, maybe I can clarify this for you. If I were to write “you’re a complete idiot,” that would be name-calling. Natasha did not do that. In the example you cited, she critiqued a movie. There was no name-calling. I haven’t seen the movie so I have no opinion on it. Does that help?

  9. Ezra Taylor says:

    I am sorry you are so upset by this issue Natasha. As you say, the leaders do say that birth control is evil. It is also between them and the Lord. Those do not contradict. All of our actions are between us and the Lord. That does not change the nature of the thing. Having used current Church leader statements, I have clearly laid out the principle of the nature of birth control and its consequences. If that makes you uncomfortable, then I would suggest enjoying some of our other articles.

    • Natasha says:

      Your other articles look slightly insane to me, so I’ll refrain, thank you. This whole website you’ve put together comes off as combative and haughty rather than Christlike.

      You are parsing words. When the brethren don’t give pronouncements and at the same time say that something is between us and the Lord, what they are saying is that it’s not between us and the church. In other words, the church is not speaking for whether or not something is evil. In other words, what was once proclaimed evil NO LONGER IS. Because church leaders do NOT say that birth control is evil. They DID say that. A long time ago. And we are supposed to ignore anything old that has been said that has been replaced with anything new, which has happened. Fourteen Fundamentals, anyone?

      I’m not “so upset”. I’m annoyed at misleading faux journalism with a clear agenda.

  10. Julian says:

    It’s cute that the authors want to immortalize the Mormonism of the mid-20th century. It even makes sense: it was the version of Mormonism that the authors appear to have grown up with, and the authors appear to regard Mormonism as an unchangeable edifice of truth.

    But the fact remains, as Natasha has ably demonstrated, that the church has adjusted its position on birth control. Given the updated policy, and the specificity with which LDS leaders have spoken and written about it, to call birth control a “poison” is to challenge with what LDS leaders have said and written on the subject.

    Perhaps the authors would do well to take some advice from Bruce R. McConkie: “All I can say is that it is time disbelieving people repented and got in line and believed in a living, modern prophet.”

    • Ezra Taylor says:

      I find it humorous when one makes clearly false statements to try and make their point. Many of the quotes were from the 21st Century as anyone who read the article from an un-biased view could see. This is a record of a consistent message.

    • Douglas says:

      It’s intellectually immature and dishonest to parse a remark here and there. Yes, the late David O McKay made a wry comment about how HYPOTHETICALLY a person could be denied birth into an active LDS family and instead diverted to a less optimal family setting. However, I can’t imagine that even Pres. McKay would have wanted his allegory to be construed as impetus to persuade a couple to have children against the timing and/or quantity that they desire. Ezra’s dogmatism is a bit tiring. One cannot know or judge every person’s situation. Virtually any bishop I’ve been well-acquainted with has said that it’s none of the church’s business, they are to encourage procreation when the couple can carry out their responsibilites and that is all.

  11. Michael Gonda says:

    So, Ezra, I am curious, do you endorse polygamy? Because the quote by Brigham Young in context is his argument for why men should marry more than one wife and thus be able to have even more posterity. Open your Journal of Discourses and read three sentences past the quote you posted: “This is the reason why the doctrine of plurality of wives was revealed, that the noble spirits which are waiting for tabernacles might be brought forth.” (Journal of Discourses 4:56)

    Strange, I wonder if the other leaders who quoted that part understood the context. All I know is my wife can’t be disciplined for using birth control. But a member certainly can be disciplined for arguing for or endorsing polygamy.

    And for the record, you used THREE quotes from the 21st century, and two are from women. And we know that women’s words don’t have the same authority as the men. This post is a perfect example. A man trying to guilt women into having more children into having more posterity than she feels she can/should, using the words of other men.

    • Lilia says:

      Actually, history & statistics show that the practice of ‘polygamy’ usually makes for a ‘lesser’ posterity than greater. In practice, women in ‘monogamous’ marriages usually produce more children.

      This is especially true if polygamous marriages have many wives.

      One need only look at the early Prophet’s marriages to see that there were relatively few children produced compared to the number of wives.

  12. Natasha says:

    And you’re right. The new quotes don’t just supplement the old ones, they supplant them. So, I’m not sure why you’re arguing. Anyway….

  13. George Glass says:

    Darwinian FAIL. Following this kind of counsel won’t thin the herd but could easily render it unfit for survival.

  14. Thomas says:

    Just discovered this website and am now happy to forget it. I admire Natasha and others with the time and stomach to respond to this misleading article. Thank goodness Bro. Taylor is not in my ward.

  15. Sara says:

    A HUGE thank-you to Natasha, Jeanmarie, Julian and Michael. Thank-you for being able to state your opinions and not blindly follow this line of thought. Reading this article made me gag; how can such doctrine still exist?

    • Lance says:

      The doctrines don’t exist, but the belief that they do lingers. Members of The Church need to remember that what is being taught now in General Conference and approved manuals takes precedence over what was taught in General Conference or approved manuals in the past.

  16. Lilia says:

    I believe that there are alot of things that the Church allows today & does not discipline for that will eventually bring great pain & destruction onto those who did such things.

    When the majority of the Church desires something evil, the Church then becomes quieter on that subject & Heavenly Father lets the people do what they want even though it’s to their condemnation & destruction. This has happened with many different things in the Church, from divorce to socialism. God warns over & over but it the people won’t listen he stops talking about it much & lets them do the evil things they want & thus they begin to think it’s ok now.

    If God were to have his Prophets keep speaking of it then most of the people in the church would stop coming to church & that would be a worse situation. For if people doing evil things keep coming to church there is at least a chance that they may someday realize their error & repent.

    I believe birth control, at least most forms of it, falls in that ‘evil’ category which God has now allowed the people to have what they want.

    But not all forms of ‘birth control’ are evil & sometimes it is justified, when the mother’s life is in danger if she has another child. Though all women put their life on the line to some degree when they become pregnant. That has always been the great & noble sacrifice of women.

    I believe birth control pills, patches & devices can destroy unborn babies & thus are never ok by Heavenly Father, but there are other ‘natural’ ways to avoid becoming pregnant that a couple could do that would not hurt their unborn children. Abstinance is not a good thing either, for it can cause the destruction of a marriage & be as bad as other forms of birth control. But there are a few natural things a couple can do to avoid pregnancy 100% of the time which still meet the intimate needs of each spouse.

    And of course this is a decision between the couple & God, as all decisions are, but that does not mean most or all birth control methods would ever be approved by God.

    What he says to one person he says to all, for the Spirit always says the same thing to everyone, if revelation is from the ‘right’ spirit & not the adversary. Thus every true statement made by any previous Prophet is still true today, for we are told that Prophet’s ‘true & inspired’ revelations will always agree with each other, if they don’t than that is how we are to know one is wrong.

    • Peter says:

      “Thus every true statement made by any previous Prophet is still true today, for we are told that Prophet’s ‘true & inspired’ revelations will always agree with each other, if they don’t than that is how we are to know one is wrong.”

      The Lord did not command Peter to part the Sea of Gallilee nor did he command Moses to walk on the water.

      The counsel a prophet gives is true at the time he gives it and those who are given the counsel will be blessed for following it.

      • Zak says:

        So, Peter, are you saying that truth itself is changeable? I think you may have truth confused with some other word. God does not contradict himself, and when a prophet speaks for God, he will not call another prophet a “liar” by contradicting a revealed truth.

        The counsel a prophet gives is IMPORTANT at the time he gives it, and we will be blessed for following it, but it’s truthfulness is never diminished due to time or lack of heed to said counsel.

        It is true that we have a prophet in our day to guide us, but to claim that we should discard all previous revelation and only listen to the current prophet is to reject Joseph Smith, reject the Book Of Mormon, and all other revealed truth that came before our current lifetimes. You are walking a thin line.

        • Peter says:

          Whoa, talk about putting words into someone’s mouth…

          I never referred to “disregarding all previous revelation” or to “only listen[ing]” to the current prophet.

          I also never said that Truth is changeable.

          What I did state is that the counsel from a prophet will be true at the time it is given. Maybe a better word would be “applicable”

          I 100% disagree with Lilia’s statement above that whatever God says to one person, he says to all. And that is what I was addressing.

          God commanded Nephi to cut off Laban head. Am I on a “thin line” for not cutting off anyone’s head today?

          • Zak says:

            “Thus every true statement made by any previous Prophet is still true today, for we are told that Prophet’s ‘true & inspired’ revelations will always agree with each other, if they don’t than that is how we are to know one is wrong.”

            So do you agree or disagree with the above statement? Is any true statement by a prophet as true today as it was when he spoke it? I am not speaking of individual revelation, but words of prophets to God’s people.

            I agree, “applicable” is a much better word for you to use, though it doesn’t have anywhere the same meaning as truth . I apologize for “putting words” in your mouth, I was trying to clarify your statements about the nature of truth.

    • Lance says:

      “I believe birth control pills, patches & devices can destroy unborn babies & thus are never ok by Heavenly Father…”

      All scientific and technological advances are inspired by the Lord, and are given for our benefit. Therefore what you are saying is that He gives it but it is never OK to use it. Given the quotes that Natasha added above it is clear that technological birth control are available to a husband and wife with the Lord to plan the birth of children which is in accordance with the current doctrine of The Church.

      • Lilia says:

        Lance,
        I’m sorry but I don’t agree with your statements. Science & technological advances & knowledge can be used for either good or evil.

        It is one of the tests of life to see how we use such knowledge, for good or evil.

        Just because we know how to perform or cause an abortion today, or prevent or end a pregnancy, does not mean we should do it or that it’s a righteous thing.

        • Lance says:

          All things can be used for good or evil, and that includes birth control.

          The Lord has taught, through prophets and apostles: that a husband and a wife in council with the Lord are to **plan** the births of their children, and that the decisions made by the companionship will not be questioned by The Church.

          So if my wife and I prayfully choose to space our children out so there are two years between them, and use birth control to accomplish this: by your standards and the author of this article we are wicked and will not be exalted—even if we were to have twelve children—for no other reason than we used birth control which was given to us by a loving Heavenly Father.

          Yours and the author’s belief that birth control is totally evil is at odds with the teachings of The Church. What we are being taught **now** is the path we should walk. The test is will we follow where the Lord leads at all times and drop opinions that we hold which conflict with His teachings.

          Read Natasha’s post for some of those teachings on birth control. They are from manuals that have been correlated by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve.

          • Lilia says:

            Lance,
            I have read all those quotes by the Church & many more, & I find nothing in them that says any & all forms of birth control are ok to use. Everyone interprets those quotes differently, depending on their own personal beliefs & desires & whether they have the right Spirit or not. For if those who were receiving revelation from the ‘right’ Spirit would all be told the same things & agree on things.

            We must remember too, that the Church says that only things said by ‘Presidents’ of the Church can be considered as ‘doctrine’ (if it doesn’t contradict with the scriptures). Apostles & all other leader’s give opinions that we must make sure do not contradict with scriptures or Presidents.

            If a couple believes they are to control the coming of children to preserve the health or life of the mother, then there are ‘harmless natural ways’ to do that, which do not hurt or destroy other children that we may conceive or injure the mother’s health as chemicals etc. can. (& I am not suggesting abstinence, which can also be very harmful to a marriage or spouse).

            Dangerous birth control methods that can harm the mother or unborn child need never be used to keep from getting pregnant.

            Parents are commanded to always put the welfare & lives of ‘all’ the children they conceive, 1st, before their own welfare, needs or desires.

  17. Peter says:

    I had an experience in an Elders’ Quorum a few years ago, where we were discussing the Church Welfare program. One brother, whose wife was expecting their 7th child, made the comment that some people were better at making money, and that some people were better at raising children.

    This brother made about $9 per hour as an unskilled laborer in the construction trade.

    He went on to say that he felt that one of the purposes of the Church Welfare program was to allow families like his to raise as many children as possible in their loving home, and the others (who obviously weren’t as good at raising children as he and his wife were) should be willing to be supportive through their fast offerings.

    Sure he had faith. He had faith that the compassionate members of the ward wouldn’t let his family go hungry or naked. But he completly missed the point that Elder Oakes brought up in the quote provided by Natasha. This brother did not have the means to raise the children that he was bringing into the world.

    For those of us who consider ourselves to be politically conservative, this attitude should be raising the hairs on our necks. This brother’s attitude was right out of the liberal playbook, with no responsibility or accountibilty for his choices, but depending on other members of his society (the ward in this case) to subsidize his choice of lifestyle.

    Knowing this brother as well as I did, I know he shared many of the attitudes regarding his understanding of the words of the prophets as you do. I know he would not consider using birth control as he would be thus depriving other spirit children of his talents as a loving father.

    The reality is, we no longer live in an agrarian society where the amount of food you can grow is directly proportional to the number of workers (children) you can provide.

    One of the blessings of having living prophets is that they can offer counsel and guidance based on the realities of our day. Our inspired latter-day leaders recognize the difference of someone choosing to limit their children to adopt a more worldly lifestyle and of someone being responsible in their stewardship as a father and providor. I think it is very misleading to cherrypick your quotes of church leaders to emphasize the former and minimize the latter, making it appear that those who have a different opinion from you as not following the counsel of their inispired leaders.

  18. Jenni says:

    I believe strongly in the command to ‘multiply and replenish.’ I came from a large family and wanted a large family…and then reality set it. I miscarry at least twice for each full-term pregnancy, and that is complicated emotionally, physically, and psychologically. One of my children has a lot of special needs. That requires double or triple the amount of ‘parenting’ that my other children do. After the birth of our third child we decided that an IUD was the appropriate option for our family. I would love to have more children, but I think that God has asked me to use my parenting abilities and resources for fewer children with more intense needs, rather than the other way around.

    I have said and will continue to believe that couples should make these decisions very carefully, and with prayer and much thought. I believe it is inappropriate to postpone childbearing for the sake of school, or career, or ‘being able to afford it’ (because kids don’t have to be expensive, really). I think that hormonal birth control is a VERY dangerous thing. Our family was quiverful–we happily received as many children as would come, when they came. We did not utilize any form of prevention. BUT, we have also realized that our quiver seems to be full at three children. This was a difficult decision for me–it was not what I had imagined for myself–but as the decision has been made, and as we step forward on this path, I have an absolute witness that it is the right thing.

    So my point is this–please, warn people of the dangers of hormonal birth control. Please, urge them to make decisions through prayer. Please, urge them to consider children as a blessing rather than a trial. But get off your soapbox about the evils of birth control, because this is not nearly so cut and dried as you implied; not even for people like me who wanted seven kids.

    • G. Michael Craig says:

      Jenni, I am just now reading this topic and the accompanying comments so I hope you get this. My dearly departed Catholic Mother thought it was a sin to interfere in any way with conception, plus she loved children, so she and Dad ended up with 12. Many people, especially LDS, have told me how fortunate I was to grow up in such a large family, and how happy I must have been. They make the mistake of equating the number of children in a family with the quality of the child rearing that took place, assuming a direct relationship. They are wrong. In our family, there was an inverse relationship. My Mother loved children, but evidently neither she nor Dad were capable of that much responsibility, certainly not from a spiritual or emotional perspective. Of my

      • G. Michael Craig says:

        10 siblings, one is an alcoholic, one is a drug pusher and addict who sexually abused our baby sister for 7 years while still at home, one is a lesbian(the one who was abused), one was a drug addict who sexually abused that same baby sister plus two other sisters, one is a homosexual/bisexual, three never married, two are twice divorced, one is once divorced and no longer required to keep the commandments because his new religion teaches him that he is saved, and they all think I am weird because I am a Mormon. In other words, it is clear to me that the number of children we have is not nearly so important as is the quality of our child rearing. That is indisputable.

  19. Pauline says:

    Birth control medications and methods are developments of recent human history. Generations of women have been unable to avail themselves of this ‘blessing’, as someone suggested it is–a gift, as it were, from a loving God who finally got around to giving women a way out of a life of drudgery and oppression in this manner, (although before I’d agree that all science, medicine and knowledge that comes to man is sanctioned through the channels of Inspiration, I’d have to say that also applies to the creation of nuclear armaments). But it is true that we have more choices in the matter of conception, or implantation, than our fore-mothers did. Yes, that is true.
    On the other hand, there have always been methods of ending pregnancies, though crude and dangerous to the mother. I believe the more common method was to simply leave the unwanted babe exposed until it died. It must have taken a strong will indeed to turn one’s back on the light of Christ in order to make that particular choice, whoever made the choice–probably not the woman. I say that because once a baby is in a new mothers’ arms, call it hormones if you will, but a baby, though previously unwanted, malformed or doomed, is amazingly almost (no, not always) loved and wanted by the mother.

    Its strange how that happens. I think of all that has been said in this response, about which prophets words have been used to support positions, its good to think about what is really going on in the choices we make: A parent’s responsibility, real or not, to protect one child by choosing not to have another, for instance, or the choice to partake of all the wonders of modern medicine to produce fertility, or to avoid it altogether–these are choices that we individuals will ultimately experience the consequences for–who else can?
    I have to presume the overwhelming counsel (commandment) to do all we can to safely and sanely bring as many spirits into bodies within a family setting, and to respect life, can’t be tampered with without jeopardizing our own happiness. We are the only ones, along with God, who will know if we have been honest brokers in returning the favor of being born.

  20. Jared Eastley says:

    Brother Taylor,

    10 And blessed are all they who are persecuted for my name’s sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
    11 And blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake;
    12 For ye shall have great joy and be exceedingly glad, for great shall be your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets who were before you.

    (Book of Mormon | 3 Nephi 12:10 – 12)

    It is clear that many of those who have attacked you do not care at all about what is right or wrong, or about following the Spirit. Rather, their intent is to justify themselves in officialdom.

    We can all make all the excuses we want to, but some day we will all have to face the Almighty Judge. It will be hard to make excuses then. Hence, the supreme importance of “getting the Spirit,” because, “the Spirit is everything,” because without the Spirit we are left to our own devices to be tossed about by every wind of doctrine (true or false).

    One of your critics also stated that we no longer believe in polygamy. On the contrary, the doctrine of Celestial Plural Marriage is still in full force; it is still a living doctrine and President Monson currently holds the keys for performing such marriages; the catch is that a moratorium has been placed on entering into new plural marriages (over a hundred years ago) which has continued to this day. Some day the saints will be required to live the full law of the Celestial Kingdom once they have been cleansed and separated from the world. This change will be directed by the First Presidency.

    Brother Jared

  21. Jared says:

    I appreciate Ezra Taylor’s contribution to this often misunderstood subject- and his drawing from prophets’ words. This was a great article and a source of good quotations to live by and draw strength from. Thanks.

  22. Lucinda says:

    Good article. I didn’t have the patience for many of the comments, though. I wish more women understood the tremendous gift we have. It certainly makes having many children even harder when so many good women around me choose to limit their families. I’m always grateful to those, like Bro. Taylor, who enliven my faith to welcome and receive more children, the greatest blessings of my life, to stand for what is right and true. God bless you.

  23. Ezra Taylor says:

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_1zns_idbQbU/Ss5k3h4JKJI/AAAAAAAABVk/hsnNknPjHeQ/s1600-h/Letter+From+The+First+Presidency.jpg

    Here is a copy of a letter from the First Presidency under David O. McKay which clearly shows (in additoin to those already given)that the position is the same now as it always has been.

    Statements that try to imply there is a difference are clearly making distinctions where none exist.

  24. Anthony says:

    Seeking clarification on this issue from Church leaders will be at best disappointing. For whatever reason, the church has decided to not definitively come out on either side of this question and has left it to each individual couple. The only place they have made a stand, other than abortion, is against elective sterilization and it is a soft stand at that as you really won’t find it anywhere but the Handbook of Instructions.

    The issue is that our Western culture has completely adopted the contraception lifestyle and anybody advocating any different is treated like they have two heads. Because of this young couples are steered to use contraception without education as to the alternatives.

    I believe a short course on the history of modern contraception from Margaret Sanger on would be enlightening for most people. Also, while there are many quotes from LDS leaders, none come close as to the reasons why contraception is detrimental as do two encyclicals from the Catholic Church. The first is Casti Conubii published in 1930 in response to the Margaret Sanger movement and other Christian denominations accepting contraception “for married couples” only. The other more famous encyclical is Humanae Vitae published in 1968 in response to the advent of the contraceptive pill.

    For me these writing were much more persuasive than all the other quotes I have seen published here. If you would like to read them, I have posted the links below. They are a tad long but worth the time. I tell people that they are free to disagree but that they should be able to come up with a coherent argument as to why they are wrong. I couldn’t.

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xi_enc_31121930_casti-connubii_en.html

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae_en.html

  25. Mike says:

    [quote]“Some day,” said Theodore Roosevelt in 1910, “we will realize that the prime duty, the inescapable duty, of the good citizen of the right type is to leave his or her blood behind him in the world.”[/quote]

    This may not be a church leader, but he has the right idea. For the life of me I cannot understand why someone could think that children are something to be limited in this life, but something to look forward to having forever in the next life.

  26. Emily says:

    Did this author seriously use the word EASILY in paragraph 12? “The world teaches birth control. Tragically, many of our sisters subscribe to its pills and practices when they could easily provide earthly tabernacles for more of our Father’s children.” Sisters could EASILY provide earthly tabernacles???? WOW! There’s some real respect for a woman’s role. I’ve literally walked a fine line between life and death to give life to my children . . . anyone who would use the term “EASILY” has lost my respect. Mr Taylor you can offer quotes and anything else that supports your view. What you can’t do is supercede the official church policy that is endorsed by those who actually hold the keys to revelation for the entire church which is that this is a matter for spouses to discuss with each other and the Lord. Have you hit a sore spot? Yep, and probably because what every other LDS couple decides to do is really none of your business – the only relationship that you have any stewardship over or any right to revelation to is your own. The rest of us don’t need you to tell us whether or not birth control is appropriate, we can ask the Lord.

    • Ezra Taylor says:

      no, I didn’t use those words, an Apostle acting as such did.

      • jj says:

        I read a few comments and can’t help but respond to a couple of them here. Someone lamented the current church leader’s lack of position on this subject. I think if we’re truly interested in following the current church leaders we can find plenty of direction if we’re willing to accept it. Bravo to you women who are faithful enough to seek personal direction. These are heavy matters indeed. My wife and I have been unable to conceive children on our own. After 11 years of marriage and one adoption, we have turned to foster care as a method for caring for children and bringing some in to our home permanently. We recently finished fostering three little boys who we only took after a very strong witness brought on by prayer. After a few days, I became convinced this was not to be a permanent situation but we determined to foster them until permanency was found for the boys. Eventually, we realized that we needed to end the situation sooner than that. Before this experience I may have been more inclined to agree with Mr. Taylor’s assertations. After the experience however, I have learned in more detail that ability to feed and house children in a temple home is not necessarily a duty to do so at every opportunity. I firmly believe our Heavenly Father wants us to be happy and that part of our earthly mission here is to learn to be happy. Sometimes that means learning to say when.

        • Douglas says:

          No, Ezra, you’ve gotten on your self-righteous high horse on this subject, and this to judge and condemn your fellow Saints, many of whom have endured health and financial issues in their walk of life and don’t necessarily share you’re dogma that the Lord has explicitly commanded us to keep our wives proverbially “barefoot and pregnant”. Rather, we’re ENCOURAGED to bring forth children, quantity and timing consistent with our means and vigor.
          Or put more simply in the vernacular, self-righteous jerks like yourself give the Church a bad image.

        • Douglas says:

          My heart goes out to you folks for being unable to have children in the usual fashion. You and your wife can’t be commended enough to have opened your home to these little boys who needed you. I’m certain that the Savior remembers your kindness towards His “little ones”.
          There are times I wonder at the incredible mismatches that life throws at us. You’d gladly trade places with those couple that only have to be in the same county to conceive. Others obsess with fortune and fame, and say, “oh, we’ll have children, but not yet…” and soon we have a 40 y.o. woman who’s spending tens of thousands on fertility treatments when only ten to fifteen years prior all she had to do was get frisky. And others have their own tribe that scraps over the pot of mashed potatoes.

      • Douglas says:

        No, Ezra, you’ve gotten on your self-righteous high horse on this subject, and this to judge and condemn your fellow Saints, many of whom have endured health and financial issues in their walk of life and don’t necessarily share you’re dogma that the Lord has explicitly commanded us to keep our wives proverbially “barefoot and pregnant”. Rather, we’re ENCOURAGED to bring forth children, quantity and timing consistent with our means and vigor.
        Or put more simply in the vernacular, self-righteous jerks like yourself give the Church a bad image.

        • Eglantine says:

          The comments made in the article didn’t apply to you!! People need to work on reading comprehension and stop getting so offended.

          Even after using birth control (which messed me up!) I still believe it is evil. Look how selfish our society has become! You are supposed to have your two kids to show off like prized poodles and then go back to your selfish lives. The guidance from the prophets was to protect us from falling into that trap and to live a more fulfilled life of faith and hope. If you can’t have kids then you are still blessed by God.

          I am lying here on my fifth child unable to move because of the pain I am in. I am getting older now so this will be my last child. I still didn’t get offended.

    • Katie Moore says:

      “Giving birth easily” would be much easier for Latter-day Saint women, and all women in general, if they would reject the fear-based allopathic viewpoint that labor is some kind of unnatural disaster.

      I support the rise and resurgence of the midwifery model of care, especially among Latter-day Saints. It is an abandoned and forgotten heritage. I am so convinced of that fact that I am currently pursuing international doula certification. For more information on the rising LDS natural birth movement, please see birthinginzion.com

  27. James says:

    The angry and contentious comments by many members here truly make me sick to read. This is exactly why the church does not have definitive stands on these topics any longer. Because we are a hard hearted generation. The Lord himself told us that the prophet will sometimes allow us wickedness because we insist on it.
    Mark 10:2–5
    Do we not understand the law of common consent? Did we forget the 116 pages? Did we forget that the ELDERS of Israel demanded a king from Samuel and the LORD said they had rejected him to be their king and then let the prophet pick and give them a king as they demanded????
    Can’t you people understand that we are doing the exact same thing? This is how apostasy happens. To the sound of thunderous applause and atta-boys from the members.

    • Douglas says:

      The anger, dear brother, is when pontificating buffoons like yourselves presume to get on your respective high horses, spouting quotes here and there, intruding where our current leaders have the sense to teach correct principles and let us govern ourselves.

  28. Tiff says:

    I just have to add that my husband attended Stake conference yesterday and Elder C. Scott Grow reiterated what this article says. The commandment has not been rescinded.

    MY two cents is that “birth control” is claiming you know better than God, and/or don’t trust God to not give you more than you can handle. Also, think about it this way… the more souls that are raised among the Gospel and righteous parents, the LESS wicked and lost souls there will be to contend with us. Just a thought.

  29. Michael Schreiber says:

    There are numerous punishments not mentioned for the effects of birth control. That the spirits who would have been born into a family with the gospel will stand as witnesses against them in the day of judgement. They will know, as every living being will know, every intention, every thought , every impulse, every desire, reasons real and pretended that went into every single decision of every persons life. All will be an open book, read from the housetops, hall that was hidden shall be revealed, all that was in darkness shall come to light. We will then know ourselves (and our hearts, and wills) as we are known (by God.)

    It will be known if the Lord’s will was followed, or if it was supplanted with sophistry and sin by those who did not seek him.

  30. Michael Schreiber says:

    For those who do not live up to their temple covenants made in an eternal marriage sealing “to multiply and replenish the earth” have broken the covenant made at the alter of the temple. The Lord knows your heart, and if you and your spouse live up to the covenants. But if we don’t, our children born in the covenant will be adopted away to another who is worthy, after this life.

    If the breaking of the covenant is the fault of only one spouse, the other spouse will keep the children thru eternity, and be sealed to one who is worthy.

    Birth control is the most serious sin in the church. It teaches men to hate family, and seek prosperity over the work and toil that is to make us true saints. It chemicaly alters a womans state of mind, changing her nature.

  31. Michael Schreiber says:

    The church has the same doctrine as it ever has. With over half of the church being converts, we must teach milk before meat. We must give room for the Holy Ghost to give them spiritual gifts, and time for the gifts to grow. Faith, testimony, revelation, patience, brotherly kindness, charity. When and if these gifts of the Holy Ghost expand the soul of the true beleiver, they will see that they are now able to see that the revealed word of the Lord has not been taken away, but that they were exposed only to what they could handle, then they could be given more, then more. Until they are able to see the mind and will of God in all these statements given by prophets and apostles of Jesus Christ. Until we all come to that unity of faith, we must repent and pray.

  32. Ezra Taylor says:

    Elder Anderson’s talk today again shows that this principle hasn’t changed and is still in force.

  33. Carl Green says:

    Interesting Article. However Biblicaly..your concept is not really on scripture,even though their are some Orthodox Jews that hold similar view points. Scriptually we have reference to abortion being acceptable to G-D most high. That point is during the time of Noah and the Ark. G-D Himself,chose to wipe out a whole bunch of human beings (his children) he threatened to do it again when he spoke visited Moses and the Hebrews. Moses and Noah asked Him to stop and Repent. However today their again..too many people Not doing what G-D asked and too many starving to death or dieing from Sexually trasmited diseases. Birth Control is the only intelligent thing to do to help prevent needless suffering. G-D has all mercy.

  34. Peter says:

    Just because the Church has adjusted its position on birth control, does not mean that the Lord has. My wife and I prayer about how many children to have and the answer was as clear as anything, that we were in no way to interfere with God’s plan for our family. HE would decide how many children we would have and only HIM. It has taken tremendous faith but every one of our children is a blessing. I mourn for those who poison the fountain of life with birth control.

  35. Katie Moore says:

    Would that there would be more families like the Duggars, who WANT children and have centered their lives around being able to afford and lovingly nurture every single one. Would that non-LDS families like the Duggars would not have to lead out alone. Would that LDS women, in faith, would joyfully hold on their claim, their promise and their errand from the Lord to be the head, not the tail… just as Michelle Duggar has. I truly, truly believe that “they who reject this GLAD message”… deliberately, and in the spirit of my-will-not-thine-be-done “shall never such happiness know.” Remember that our Mother Eve REJOICED.

    “It is for you to lead the world and to lead especially the women of the world. You are the head, not the tail.” — President Joseph F. Smith

  36. Diane Henry says:

    Deciding to not have children for a certain time period DOES NOT require birth control medical prescriptions. That is implied in so many of our communications about family planning. It also doesn’t mean no intimacy at the time when we are not open to new life. Just learn how your body works and time things to where medication is not necessary.

    Pharmaceutical birth control damages bodies. It also affects the rest of the population fortunate enough to drink the water that hasn’t and can’t be completely made clean from these drugs.

  37. Edward says:

    Just wondering, how can a middle class married couple with three kids freak out over an unmarried teen in the ghetto getting an abortion when the same couple will see as unwelcome news the wife, just as she just got a promotion at work, gets a positive pregnancy test? How can a righteous LDS person say they believe in birth control and yet feel it a perversion of reproduction when they hear of a lesbian celebrity celebrating that her wife just got pregnant through artificial insemination?

  38. Edward says:

    Natasha since you dismiss the documentary “Demographic Winter” as propaganda I thought that since most people here have probably never heard of it they might like to watch it at BYUTV: http://byutv.org/show/5e819b00-5e99-4bf4-931e-c154d3c2dc8d

    Anyone who does not believe that the west is not producing enough babies can go to the CIA World Factbook and check the birth rates for all the western societies. Only Muslim Albania has a positive birth rate.

    If you want a history of the sexual revolution and how it is impacting people’s views (remember, Edward Bernays said most of what we think and do has been formulated and planted in our heads by the elite) then please check out this presentation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPrrmCFqs7Q

  39. Jonathan Gal says:

    The links to the movie trailer and the movie are broken.

  40. Jonathan Gal says:

    Clearly, there is a great danger to our nation if fertility rates drop to very low levels. In fact, the current social security system of the U.S.A. is unsustainable, even at today’s average fertility rate of 2.1 children per marriage.

    However, to ask LDS couples to make up for the low fertility rate of the rest of the country by having extremely large families of 6, 7, or more children can put an undue burden on families, especially when this occurs in conditions of extreme poverty.

    If a couple desires to have a large family and enters happily into that endeavor voluntarily, then that is a wonderful thing; but if they are forced into it, then clearly the principle of free agency is being violated, at great risk to the happiness of the couple.

    • Ezra Taylor says:

      Who said anything about “making up for” anything? We have a duty to perform, and there are consequences for our actions. Since when is 7 children a large family? And who is talking about forcing anyone to do anything? When the prophets teach correct principles, they are not forcing anyone to do anything, and this website has no power to force anyone to do anything. I have no idea what you are talking about.

  41. Jonathan Gal says:

    As a convert who married relatively late (at age 36), I have a family of four beautiful and healthy children with my wife of the same age as myself. I am proud of all of them, especially my devoted and diligent wife.

    I am happy with a family of four children.

    In retrospect, it probably would’ve been better to have started earlier; and I will council my own children to start earlier than I did. But, as far as the number of children goes, I am happy with four; and I certainly don’t want to pressure my own kids to have more than they are comfortable with.

    Whatever size family they have, it should be done happily, voluntarily, and without undue pressure from others.

    • Douglas says:

      Thanks. “Without undue pressure”. Translation…you pontificating busybodies…BUTT OUT! Who are you to judge, wherein no bishop or Stake President even puts the question to any member seeking a temple recommend?
      The decision to have a child IS a personal one. Now, I can’t say that I followed the “prescribed” path perfectly. My eldest is a product of my “flaming youth”, as it were. Nothing like being a 17 y.o. dad, and the Southern state we lived in at the time didn’t give a hoot about the parental rights of an unwed teenaged father. My first wife and I wanted the proverbial football team of kids, but after two sons and a daughter, we had our hands full as it was. And the older daughter was now in the picture…interesting story.

  42. Flying Snail says:

    I’m glad to see this topic discussed. Demographics has interested me for a long time. The movie “Demographic Winter” is quite factual. That said, some problems — disease, pollution, resource shortages, violence — are intensified by increases in population density. The film would have benefited from some balance.

    Having served a mission to Russia, I am pained to think that the ancient and noble culture of that nation may become extinct fairly soon, perhaps in the lifetime of my grandchildren, because the Russian birth rate is well below replacement.

    It is even worse that Edward states above. Among Western countries, not only Albania, but several Caribbean and Central and South American countries have below replacement fertility rates.

  43. Flying Snail says:

    To increase family size, what do you think of the following?

    1- Arranged marriages. Eliminates temptations associated with dating, saves time, ensures a more careful decision.

    2- Younger marriages. The minimum would be 20 for men, to allow for a mission, but what age for women? Postponing marriage to finish school is refuted by the article, and girls mature earlier now than in the past, so it’s hard to establish a minimum. Any thoughts?

    3- Clomiphene (brand name: Clomid). This inexpensive oral medication encourages ovulation and increases the rate of fraternal twins, triplets, etc.

    Within a month of arriving home, a returned missionary could marry, the match having been previously arranged. He could have 10 children by 30, plus twins, etc. Tough to beat.

    • Flying Snail says:

      Let’s compare 2 couples, each birthing 1 child per year, from marriage until the wife reaches age 40. Arbitrary, yes, but simple.

      Couple A: arranged marriage immediately after mission: he’s 20, she’s 18 and uses clomiphene. 40-18=22 children, plus multiple births (~8% with clomphene) yeilding 1.76 more births (rounded to 2) for a total of 24 children.

      Couple B: meets at Institute 1 year after his return from a mission, and they are married 1 year after that. She’s 21, say. 40-21=19 children, with no multiple births (~0.13% baseline rate).

      Couple B has limited their number of children by at least 5, probably more in practice (~10% of couples have fertility problems, most successfully treated with clomiphene). Are they guilty of breaking the 1st commandment?

  44. Steve Smith says:

    Wow. How dare you condemn those (being the majority of young LDS faithfuls) who use birth control. Using birth control is not against church policy.

    • Ezra Taylor says:

      When did I condemn anyone? Waiting for your apology for stating a falsehood.

    • Douglas says:

      Me, I’m of the opinion that most young women shouldn’t get married until 25, and men not before 30. Not only does getting an education and, more important, establishing oneself take ever so much more. Of course, our LDS young people, especially not being encumbered by booze, weed, and tobacco, will be full of “beans”, and if they socialize as they should, nature will take its course. I’d rather the youngsters pair off, get married, and take a few years to not only focus on making something of themselves, but also get to just know each other before they bring in the little ones whose needs are great. There’s still, even in that scenario, ample time to have a large enough family to require a Dodge Maxivan to haul off to Church.

  45. Tyler says:

    Unbelievable! It’s amazing to me the lack of trust many “Saints” have in the Lord. The assumption that every time a couple is intimate, the result will automatically be a child is ridiculous. The decision is absolutely between the couple and the Lord, but what the author is saying is there is undeniable evidence and quotes from former leaders and modern leaders giving us further guidance and understanding relating to the “first” commandment.

    The Lord knows each of us and knows what we can and cannot handle, therefore, if a couple is intimate and a child is the result, the Lord knows that couple can handle it. On the flip side, if intimacy doesn’t result in a child, maybe that was not the right time according to the Lord. Trust in the Lord. He knows you.

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