marge

LDS view on Contraception

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Hello everyone,

I'm not really sure where to post this so I hope this is the right spot.

I was wondering what the LDS view on contraception is?

I was raised very catholic so was taught that contraception as a mortal sin.  The only time it is acceptable to use contraception according to Catholicism (other than NFP, thats allowed) is in the case of health, and that the motivation for taking said contraception (like the pill for example) is for the health benefits and not for avoiding getting pregnant.

I'm interested to hear the LDS view on this subject.  I've just been prescribed The Pill to help with pre-menopause symptoms, and I guess the catholic guilt is strong!

I'd love to hear a different viewpoint.

Thank you

Marge

 

 

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Hi @marge, great to see you again?  How has the crazy year been treating you?

LDS Christians believe that the timing of children is something to be prayerfully considered between a husband and wife.  There's nothing inherently sinful about condoms, birth control pills, medicines to help conceive, pre-menopause medicines, etc.   Children are indeed a blessing from the Lord, but we should also be good stewards of our households.  I myself have been recently involved with doctors investigating why hubby and I haven't been able to conceive. 

Things LDS Christians do passionately disagree with: elective abortion.  If a child is for some reason not welcomed to that family, it is HIGHLY encouraged to pursue adoption.

Cases of rape or medical endangerment: these are nightmare circumstances that nobody wants to be in.  In such cases, a person is highly encourage to seek the best medical advice and prayer possible, both for their decision and general well being.  It's also an important time for friends/family/church family to be there to support each other.

Edited by Jane_Doe

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The policy description under Birth Control was updated just a few weeks ago.  The current policy is in the General Handbook, section 38.6.4

Quote

Birth Control
Physical intimacy between husband and wife is intended to be beautiful and sacred. It is ordained of God for the creation of children and for the expression of love between husband and wife (see 2.1.2).

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 (see 2.1.3). The decision about how many children to have and when to have them is extremely personal and private. It should be left between the couple and the Lord. Church members should not judge one another in this matter.

The Church discourages surgical sterilization as an elective form of birth control. Surgical sterilization includes procedures such as vasectomies and tubal ligations. However, this decision is a personal matter that is ultimately left to the judgment and prayerful consideration of the husband and wife. Couples should counsel together in unity and seek the confirmation of the Spirit in making this decision.

Surgical sterilization is sometimes needed for medical reasons. Members may benefit from counseling with medical professionals.

This does not represent a major change from the previous policy; with the only noticeable difference being that the previous policy explicitly encouraged members considering surgical sterilization to seek counsel from their priesthood leaders. The new policy implicitly removes priesthood leaders from the decision making process.

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Others have already covered policies and practices..  So let talk doctrine.

If I am understanding Catholic doctrine correctly (and I make no promises that I do. I am a outsider with an outsiders view and understanding) is that at conception something brand new is brought into existence.  It never existed before and it will never exists again.  If you stop conception you stop people from ever existing.. which is worse then murder.  Thus a Catholic who understands this doctrine (assuming I understand and explain it well enough) will feel a lot of guilt about going on contraception.  It is really understandable and unavoidable.

But since the OP is here requesting our view point.  Here is our doctrine.  The Pre-existence.  Any one that ever came to earth and got a body or will come to earth to get a body, existed before that point as personages of spirit.  We had personality and opinions and we could and did make choices.  Conception begins the creation of a physical body.  Assuming everything goes well at some point (not clearly defined although there are many opinions) one of these personages of the spirit moves in and their experience with mortally begins (for however long that lasts aka until they die).

Thus for our faith, contraception is not in and of itself a problem.  The why we are choosing to use it could be sinful, but that is no different from our motivation for just about any choice.  Are we trying to do what God would have us do to the best of our abilities, or are we trying to defy God and trust in our own wisdom and understandings?

 

  

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On 8/18/2020 at 8:18 PM, NeuroTypical said:

Hi Marge, here you go.  Good luck on having less guilt!

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/gospel-topics/birth-control?lang=eng

 

A few observations.

When husband and wife are physically able, they have the privilege and responsibility to bring children into the
world and to nurture them.

Those who are physically able have the blessing, joy, and obligation to bear children and to raise a family. This
blessing should not be postponed for selfish reasons.

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.

Based on the above statements, would a physically/mentally-able couple (where the husband is 
a basketball player making $5 million per year while the wife stays at home) be violating God's
commandment if they decided to limit their family to two children?

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28 minutes ago, romans8 said:

A few observations.

When husband and wife are physically able, they have the privilege and responsibility to bring children into the
world and to nurture them.

Those who are physically able have the blessing, joy, and obligation to bear children and to raise a family. This
blessing should not be postponed for selfish reasons.

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.

Based on the above statements, would a physically/mentally-able couple (where the husband is 
a basketball player making $5 million per year while the wife stays at home) be violating God's
commandment if they decided to limit their family to two children?

Mormons—like most groups bound by a common ideology—often fail to live up to our highest principles.  But we are told, in no uncertain terms, to avoid unnecessary judgments of others who are outside of our “stewardship” (even more so when we don’t have the facts); and I think dealing in hypotheticals like this comes uncomfortably close to the line.

If the player were me:  I’d probably have more kids.  If the player (or his wife) were someone close to me, I’d probably try (if they were willing to talk about it) to get a fair sense of their considerations and thought processes, and if a suitable occasion presented itself I might perhaps gently encourage them to consider the possibility of having more.

But then, I have six kids as it is; and I don’t make anywhere near five million bucks. ;) 

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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1 hour ago, romans8 said:

Based on the above statements, would a physically/mentally-able couple (where the husband is a basketball player making $5 million per year while the wife stays at home) be violating God's commandment if they decided to limit their family to two children?

"Based on the above statements"?  What an odd thing to say.  You're not quoting scripture, you're quoting church policy, based on God's commandments.

Plus, nothing about the above statements you quoted, say anything about the number of children.  The closest is "Decisions about birth control and the consequences of those decisions rest solely with each married couple."

So I'd have to say no, based on the statements you quote, a couple who has children is not violating God's commandment to have children.

Color me perplexed at the question.

Edited by NeuroTypical

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4 hours ago, romans8 said:

a physically/mentally-able couple (where the husband is 
a basketball player making $5 million per year while the wife stays at home) be violating God's
commandment if they decided to limit their family to two children?

I’ll bite

I would argue yes, but not in the sense of killing is violating commandments. Limiting your children for financial reason Or just not wanting children so you can play won’t damn one to an eternity of fire and brimstone, but it will prevent certain blessings from being realized.

A distaste for children and family may also prevent one from entering the celestial kingdoms, But not out  of punishment, but out of the fact that such a person would not be happy there. The celestial kingdom and exaltation is all about family

Edited by Fether

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3 hours ago, romans8 said:

Based on the above statements, would a physically/mentally-able couple (where the husband is 
a basketball player making $5 million per year while the wife stays at home) be violating God's
commandment if they decided to limit their family to two children?

Perhaps. Perhaps not. It's not for me, or you, to say.

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5 hours ago, marge said:

Thank you everyone for your help.  

After a lot of prayer, prescription has been filled and I'm taking my medication, I wouldn't say it's guilt free, but I'm working on it 😊

So glad you're feeling better!  Thanks for keeping us updated!

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