Birth Control

21 Sep

Mormon Matters took on the question of whether Mormon childbearing was “Too Much of a Good Thing”.  It quoted from Church Presidents, such as those below, who discouraged the practice of birth control:

Joseph F. Smith, prophet (1916). In answer to your communication in which you ask me for my views on the issue of “birth control, or the limiting of the number of children in a family to one or two”… I have this to say: The first great commandment given both to man and beast by the Creator was to ‘multiply and replenish the earth;’ and I have not learned that this commandment was ever repealed. Those who attempt to pervert the ways of the Lord and prevent their offspring from coming into the world in obedience to this great command, are guilty of one of the most heinous crimes in the category. There is no promise for eternal salvation and exaltation for such as they, for by their acts they prove their unworthiness for exaltation and unfitness for a kingdom where the crowning glory is the continuation of the family union and eternal increase…”

Julie Beck, general RS president (2008). Mothers who know 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.”  Faithful daughters of God desire children.

A poll was given and these were the results (As of mid-September):

77% used a temporary of permanent form of birth control (50% temporary & 27% permanent)

4% believed they should not to use any form of birth control, and 6% used a natural form of birth control (with 13% being celibate or beyond childbearing age)

96% of respondents believed birth control was morally okay , 4% did not (although half of them allowed for some exceptions)

However 60% said they had as many children as they felt inspired to, and 35% did not seek for inspiration on the matter

Only 3% would discourage their children from using birth control

It is interesting how stark a contrast there seemed to be between what Church leaders have traditionally taught, and what Church members think and do on this issue.

Out of interest – Here is a list of the number of children each current LDS Apostle has –

Monson – 3
Uchdorf – 2
Eyring – 6

Packer – 10
Perry – 3
Nelson – 10
Oaks – 6
Ballard – 7
Scott – 7
Hales – 2
Holland – 3
Bednar – 3
Cook – 3
Christofferson – 5
Anderson – 4

(Hinckley had 5; Hunter – 3; Benson – 8)

Make of those stats what you will.


Posted by on September 21, 2009 in Marriage


2 responses to “Birth Control

  1. Samuel Shaffer

    May 21, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    That is absolutely absurd! My parents taught me that bringing all the children you covenanted with in your pre-mortal life was a prerequisite for Exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom, and that those who sinned against this would be damned. And I still believe that with all my heart. If any of my children use birth control they will be disowned, and I believe anyone who does use it without serious medical reasons is a worthless scum bag.


  2. Windy

    May 28, 2010 at 2:08 am

    Dear brother Samm,

    I have three children, you are expecting your first-congratulations. I am not done having children. I have only used birth control after diligent prayer and at the revelation of God and He has chosen to space the bearing of my children at reasonable intervals so I can actually raise them with love, respect and the Gospel. You may have struggled, your mom may have struggled, but others of us can conceive with in a month. I was given very direct revelation to not attempt to bear my ex’s children. You have no right to judge anyone else’s circumstances. It is, and should remain, between you, your spouse and the Lord.

    You mother did not say to ignore logic, reasoning and modern science to ignorantly go about “bringing all the children you covenanted with in your pre-mortal life was a prerequisite for Exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom” and it does not logically follow that anyone who used the resources available in this world by default “sinn(-ed) against this would be damned.” Not going to the Lord in personal prayer is the way to be damed.

    Your sister-in-law,


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