|"For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light..."|
Birth Control - Statements from the Prophets
President Ezra Taft Benson
Conference Report, April 1969, Pg.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. 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 canceled. 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. The Bible says, "Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: ". . . Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them. . ." (Ps. 127:3, 5.) 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 have tried to raise them up in righteousness.
Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, Pg. 539-43
Man enters into a lawful marriage covenant and propagates his own posterity. To fulfill this purpose, God ordained marriage. The Lord declared that: "Marriage is ordained of God . . . that the earth might answer the end of its creation; And that it might be filled with the measure of man, according to his creation before the world was made." (D&C 49:15-17.)
A law of procreation was decreed by God to the lawfully married. "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth" (Genesis 1:28). This law permits others of our Heavenly Father's children to be legitimately born into good families where these spirits can also grow to maturity and work out their salvation. The law of procreation has never been rescinded. (Miami, Florida, 19 March 1976.)
In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints chastity will never be out of date. We have one standard for men and women, and that standard is moral purity. We oppose and abhor the damnable practice of wholesale abortion and every other unholy and impure act which strikes at the very foundation of the home and family, our most basic institutions. (God, Family, Country, p. 364.)
As parents, what is our attitude regarding the sacred obligations of parenthood? One of the major purposes of marriage is children. Nations which refuse to accept this God-given obligation sink into oblivion. Will our sons and daughters want children because of our attitude and example? (So Shall Ye Reap, p. 106.)
We can't build a happy home, we can't build a happy married life, on the foundation of immorality. It can't be done. So I would beseech our young people to reserve for the marriage relationship those sweet and lovely and intimate associations. Not only that, but when those associations come, let them be primarily for the purpose of procreation, for the having of a family, because it is not pleasing in the sight of God to enjoy the pleasures of those associations and refuse to accept the responsibility of parenthood. (God, Family, Country, pp. 196-97.)
Do not postpone the blessings of honorable parenthood following marriage. When God said it was our responsibility to multiply and replenish the earth, that marriage was primarily for that purpose, He didn't insert any provisions. (London Area Conference, 19-20 June 1976.)
A modern trend is to rationalize the commandment to procreate, saying that the earth cannot support this great number of unrestricted births, or that it is not financially possible to support a great number of children today. The Lord said to the Prophet Joseph, referring to the productive capacity of the earth, "For the earth is full and there is enough and to spare" (D&C 104:17). (Miami, Florida, 19 March 1976.)
A major reason why there is famine in some parts of the world is because evil men have used the vehicle of government to abridge the freedom that men need to produce abundantly. True to form, many of the people who desire to frustrate God's purposes of giving mortal tabernacles to His spirit children through worldwide birth control are the very same people who support the kinds of government that perpetuate famine. They advocate an evil to cure the results of the wickedness they support. (CR April 1969, Improvement Era 72 [June 1969]: 44.)
Brigham Young emphasized: "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." (Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 197.) Yes, blessed is the husband and wife who have a family of children. The deepest joys and blessings in life are associated with family, parenthood, and sacrifice. ("To the Mothers in Zion," Parents' Fireside, Salt Lake City, Utah, 22 February 1987.)
The undue postponement of parenthood is bound to bring disappointment and is not pleasing in the sight of God. Yes, of course, one can always find excuses. The young husband is going through school. I know how difficult it is. I remember our first year of married life on seventy dollars a month for both of us. I thank the Lord for my noble companion and her fervent determination to put first things first.
It thrills me to witness young couples where the husband is struggling through medical school or dental school or some other school and they have the courage and strength and the faith to know that in some way the God of Heaven will assist them if they do their duty and have their families.
So, I would ask our young people to think seriously about these things, pray about them, fast about them. The Lord will give them the answers, because He wants them to have the blessings of a righteous posterity. Sometimes marriage may be postponed to the point where, for physical and other reasons, parenthood is denied. Oh, what a loss when the time comes! It is worth practically any sacrifice to have those sweet spirits come into the home and to have them come early, that the parents might enjoy them for a longer period, that they might enjoy their parents for a longer period, and that the children might enjoy their grandparents for a longer period. (God, Family, Country, pp. 197-98.)
Today the undermining of the home and family is on the increase, with the devil anxiously working to displace the father as the head of the home and create rebellion among the children. The Book of Mormon describes this condition when it states, "As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them." And then these words follow -- and consider these words seriously when you think of those political leaders who are promoting birth control and abortion: "O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths" (Isaiah 3:12; 2 Nephi 13:12). Let me warn the sisters in all seriousness that you who submit yourselves to an abortion or to an operation that precludes you from safely having additional healthy children are jeopardizing your exaltation and your future membership in the kingdom of God. (God, Family, Country, p. 224.)
We realize that some women, through no fault of their own, are not able to bear children. To these lovely sisters, every prophet of God has promised that they will be blessed with children in the eternities and that posterity will not be denied them. Through pure faith, pleading prayers, fasting, and special priesthood blessings, many of these same lovely sisters, with their noble companions at their sides, have had miracles take place in their lives and have been blessed with children. Others have prayerfully chosen to adopt children, and to these wonderful couples we salute you for the sacrifices and love you have given to those children you have chosen to be your own. ("To the Mothers in Zion," Parents' Fireside, Salt Lake City, Utah, 22 February 1987.)
Some well-known persons advocate drastic steps by government action to limit population growth. They contend that the world must stabilize its population or many must starve. In short, the only course that can save mankind from disaster lurking just around the corner is the worldwide adoption by government of population restriction policies.
This, I firmly believe, is an unrealistic and dangerous oversimplification. It is inconceivable to me that the problem of food and people either will, or can, be solved in this way. For one thing, the right to marry and have a family, and to determine the size of one's family in accordance with one's conscience and legitimate desires is so fundamental that I just can't visualize people permitting government to tamper with it. The whole thing smacks of government interference at its totalitarian worst. It is not the business of government to enter this area.
Moreover, the available facts do not support the notion that mankind must become increasingly sterile or starve. Those who are fond of projecting population trends into the future never seem willing to do the same for food production trends. They concentrate their gaze on the people side of the equation and blind themselves to the food side. It is true that there has been a population explosion of sorts in recent decades. But there has been an even greater agricultural technological explosion -- not only in the United States but also in the world in general. The population explosion is running substantially behind the agricultural explosion -- -and the agricultural explosion is just beginning except where hampered by government interference. (Title of Liberty, pp. 127-28.)
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 (Genesis 1:28). That commandment has never been altered, modified, or canceled. 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. The Bible says, "Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord and . . . Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them" (Psalm 127:3, 5). 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. (God, Family, Country, pp. 257-58.)
I know the special blessings of a large and happy family, for my dear parents had a quiver full of children (Psalm 127:5). Being the oldest of eleven children, I saw the principles of unselfishness, mutual cooperation, loyalty to each other, and a host of other virtues developed in a large and wonderful family with my noble mother as the queen of that home.
Young mothers and fathers, with all my heart I counsel you not to postpone having your children, being co-creators with our Father in Heaven. Do not use the reasoning of the world, such as, "We will wait until we can better afford having children, until we are more secure, until John has completed his education, until he has a better paying job, until we have a larger home, until we have obtained a few of the material conveniences," and on and on. This is the reasoning of the world and is not pleasing in the sight of God. Mothers who enjoy good health, have your children and have them early. And, husbands, always be considerate of your wives in the bearing of children.
Do not curtail the number of children for personal or selfish reasons. Material possessions, social convenience, and so-called professional advantages are nothing compared to a righteous posterity. In the eternal perspective, children -- not possessions, not position, not prestige -- are our greatest jewels. ("To the Mothers in Zion," Parents' Fireside, Salt Lake City, Utah, 22 February 1987.)
Gospel Standards, Pg.154
Another of the great evils of the age is race suicide. This also is not consistent with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Providing opportunity for the spirit children of our Father in Heaven to come to earth and work out their own salvation is one of our sacred privileges and obligations. We teach that among the choicest of eternal riches are children.
The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, Pg. 324-31
God established families. The Lord organized the whole program in the beginning with a father who procreates, provides, and loves and directs, and a mother who conceives and bears and nurtures and feeds and trains. The Lord could have organized it otherwise but chose to have a unit with responsibility and purposeful associations where children train and discipline each other and come to love, honor, and appreciate each other. The family is the great plan of life as conceived and organized by our Father in Heaven.
To any thoughtful person it must be obvious that intimate association without marriage is sin; that children without parenthood and family life is tragedy; that society without basic family life is without foundation and will disintegrate into nothingness and oblivion.
We must share the gift of life. John and Mary, tomorrow when I repeat the phrases which will bind you for eternity, I shall say the same impressive words which the Lord said to that handsome youth and his lovely bride in the Garden of Eden: "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth." (Genesis 1:28.) The Lord does not waste words. He meant what he said. You did not come on earth just to "eat, drink, and be merry." You came knowing full well your responsibilities. You came to get for yourself a mortal body which could become perfected and immortalized, and you understood that you were to act in partnership with God in providing bodies for other spirits equally anxious to come to the earth for righteous purposes. And so you will not postpone parenthood. There will be rationalists who will name to you numerous reasons for postponement. Of course, it will be harder to get your college degrees or your financial starts with a family, but strength like yours will be undaunted in the face of difficult obstacles. Have your family as the Lord intended. Of course it is expensive, but you will find a way, and besides, it is often those children who grow up with responsibility and hardships who carry on the world and its work. And, John and Mary, do not limit your family as the world does.
Don't think you will love the later ones less or have fewer material things for them. Perhaps, like Jacob, you might love the eleventh one most. Young folk, have your family, love them, sacrifice for them, teach them righteousness, and you will be blessed and happy all the days of your eternal lives.
Have large families regardless of social norms. In America and elsewhere in the world, the family limitation program is gaining much strength. Latter-day Saints do not believe in this. We believe in following the admonition of the Lord in having large families and rearing them righteously. We hope that our Latter-day Saints will not trade children for accommodation and luxury.
When you go to the temple for sealing, you will note that the Lord continues to command his people to live this commandment. It is not easy. It is much easier to limit the family to one or two, but great blessings come to those who struggle through the years with the small children. When they have reared them righteously, they will have crowns throughout eternity. The time will come when those men and women who have neglected their duties because they wanted luxuries will be very jealous of the joys and happiness of those who sacrificed in the early years of marriage. Certainly we do not just wish to bring children in the world and turn them loose to go wild. We must rear them in righteousness. Generally, you will find that the people that come from the large families are generally the best trained and the most faithful.
Motherhood and fatherhood are primary. Now, it is wise for every young woman to be grateful for her womanhood and her privilege to create, with her husband and the Eternal God as her partners. To be a mother, to be a wife of a good man -- what a great joy! While she is waiting for that holy, sacred hour, let her be happy and content to develop her mind and accumulate knowledge and prepare herself emotionally and spiritually for the happy times.
For the young man, his education is important, his mission vital; but his proper marriage and his proper life to be a righteous father and to properly provide for and give leadership to a family -- that is wonderful, a wonderful role in life to play.
Motherhood is a noble work. Motherhood is a holy calling, a sacred dedication for carrying out the Lord's work, a consecration and devotion to the rearing and fostering, the nurturing of body, mind, and spirit of those who kept their first estate and who came to this earth for their second estate to learn and be tested and to work toward godhood.
Mothers have a sacred role. They are partners with God, as well as with their own husbands, first in giving birth to the Lord's spirit children, and then in rearing those children so they will serve the Lord and keep his commandments. Could there be a more sacred trust than to be a trustee for honorable, well-born, well-developed children?
So our beloved mother Eve began the human race with gladness, wanting children, glad for the joy that they would bring to her, willing to assume the problems connected with a family, but also the joys.
To be a righteous woman during the winding-up scenes on this earth, before the Second Coming of our Savior, is an especially noble calling. The righteous woman's strength and influence today can be ten fold what it might be in more tranquil times. She has been placed here to help to enrich, to protect, and to guard the home -- which is society's basic and most noble institution. Other institutions in society may falter and even fail, but the righteous woman can help to save the home, which may be the last and only sanctuary some mortals know in the midst of storm and strife.
I wish to say without equivocation that a woman will find no greater satisfaction and joy and peace and make no greater contribution to mankind than in being a wise and worthy woman and raising good children.
When we sing that doctrinal hymn and anthem of affection, "O My Father," we get a sense of the ultimate in maternal modesty, of the restrained, queenly elegance of our heavenly mother, and knowing how profoundly our mortal mothers have shaped us here, do we suppose her influence on us as individuals to be less if we live so as to return there?
God has placed women at the very headwaters of the human stream. So much of what our men and our institutions seek to do downstream in the lives of erring individuals is done to compensate for early failures. Likewise, so much of life's later rejoicing is a reflection of a woman's work well done at the headwaters of the home.
Come home, wives, to your children, born and unborn. Wrap the motherly cloak about you and, unembarrassed, help in a major role to create bodies for the immortal souls who anxiously wait.
When you have fully complemented your husband in home life and borne the children, growing up full of faith, integrity, responsibility, and goodness, then you have achieved, your accomplishments supreme, without peer, and you will be the envy through time and eternity of your sisters who have spent themselves in selfish pursuits.
Technology frees time for better child rearing. Today's women, especially in the United States and some other countries, have ease, comfort, leisure, conveniences, and time, such as no other women in history have had.
What has she done with her new-found liberties and freedoms and opportunities and time? Has she perfected her own life? Is she more dutiful and faithful to her reduced home duties than was her great-grandmother with her multiplicity of arduous ones? Is today's woman a better wife to her husband? Is the modern, electrically driven home of today a happier haven of refuge than the four walls of the last centuries? Is she today a better, more congenial neighbor than yesterday's woman? Does she have more children now that she has more time, better facilities, and more help? Does she train her children better than her ancestors did? Does she herself have more faith and piety than the women of old? And does she better instill into her children the faith which will make gods of them?
God bless the women, the wonderful women of every time and age and place, who establish first in their lives their Lord, his work, and their families.
Women who are deliberately childless will regret it. I am not sorry for women who sacrifice their lives for children. I am not sorry for those women who have many children. But I am sorry ... for women who come to the Judgment Day who have never assumed the responsibility of rearing children, who have been afraid of pain, resistant to sacrifice. They are the ones whose hearts will be heavy.
I know there are many women who could not have children -- God bless them!
Childbearing should not be delayed for convenience. After marriage young wives should be occupied in bearing and rearing children. I know of no scriptures or authorities which authorize young wives to delay their families or to go to work to put their husbands through college. Young married couples can make their way and reach their educational heights, if they are determined.
Supreme happiness in marriage is governed considerably by a primary factor -- that of the bearing and rearing of children. Too many young people set their minds, determining they will not marry or have children until they are more secure, until the military service period is over; until the college degree is secured; until the occupation is more well-defined; until the debts are paid; or until it is more convenient. They have forgotten that the first commandment is to "be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it." (Genesis 1:28.) And so brides continue their employment and husbands encourage it, and contraceptives are used to prevent conception. Relatives and friends and even mothers sometimes encourage birth control for their young newlyweds. But the excuses are many, mostly weak. The wife is not robust; the family budget will not feed extra mouths; or the expense of the doctor, hospital, and other incidentals is too great; it will disturb social life; it would prevent two salaries; and so abnormal living prevents the birth of children. The Church cannot approve nor condone the measures which so greatly limit the family.
How do you suppose that the Lord would look upon a man and a woman whose marriage seems to be largely for the purpose of living together and sex gratification without the responsibilities of marriage? How do you think that the Lord looks upon those who use the contraceptives because in their selfish life it is not the convenient moment to bear children? How do you feel the Lord looks upon those who would trade flesh-and-blood children for pianos or television or furniture or an automobile, and is this not actually the case when people will buy these luxuries and yet cannot afford to have their children? Are there not numerous people who first buy the luxury article and then find they cannot pay the doctor or a hospital bill incident to childbirth? How do you think the Lord feels about women who forego the pleasures and glories of motherhood that they might retain their figures, that their social life might not be affected, that they might avoid the deprivations, pains, and agonies of childbearing and berthing? How do you think the Lord feels as he views healthy parents who could have children but who deliberately close the doors by operation or by contraceptives, close the doors upon spirits eager to enter into mortal bodies?
Not everyone can have children. We realize, of course, there are some women who cannot have children, some men who cannot reproduce. The Lord will take care of all that if we have done everything in our power, if we have done what we could to make ourselves normal and productive and to follow the commandments of the Lord.
Few couples need remain childless. Men and women who have been unable to have children should build their faith. Many a barren woman like Sarah has had children through special blessings of the Lord. She was blessed in having a son -- a son to a barren woman.
Sometimes operations or adjustments or hormones may make parenthood possible. Frequently fears and frictions and tenseness are causes for barrenness and sterility. Such people should do everything in their power to put themselves in a position to have their babies. Adoption of parentless children brings joy to many hearts. Few, if any, parents need be childless through their years.
Mother's health should he considered. In family life, men must and should be considerate of their wives, not only in the bearing of children, but in caring for them through childhood. The mother's health must be conserved, and the husband's consideration for his wife is his first duty, and self-control a dominant factor in all their relationships.
Sterilization as a medical measure is a serious personal responsibility. On ... sterilization or other surgery to prevent conception ... the Church has felt that it was the individual responsibility of the couple; and while the Church leaves it to the individual to determine whether the ill health of the mother is sufficient to warrant the surgery which would make pregnancy impossible, yet it is a definite personal responsibility. In your case, since the surgery has already been completed, it cannot be undone, so it must be accepted as a fact and life can go on. Both parents should give themselves totally and fully to the rearing of their six children which they now have in a loving home with ideal surroundings.
Sterilization to avoid the inconvenience of children is sinful. We marry for eternity. We are serious about this. We become parents and bring wanted children into the world and rear and train them to righteousness.
We are aghast at the reports of young people going to surgery to limit their families and the reputed number of parents who encourage this vasectomy. Remember that the coming of the Lord approaches, and some difficult-to-answer questions will be asked by a divine Judge who will be hard to satisfy with silly explanations and rationalizations. He will judge justly, you may be sure.
Sterilization and tying of tubes and such are sins, and except under special circumstances it cannot be approved.
The world can provide for growing population. Many people, some of them innocently caught up in the whirlpool of delusion errors, are worrying about the earth failing to provide for the oncoming generations. They take such means to influence the thinking of the people and repeat it so often that many of us were gullible and accepted it. We tend to believe what the world says. We often do not even ask what the Lord's program is.
Conference Report, April 1979, Pg. 6
It is an act of extreme selfishness for a married couple to refuse to have children when they are able to do so.
Conference Report, April 1971, Pg. 7
Paul speaks of continencea word almost forgotten by our world. Still in the dictionary, it means self-restraint, in sexual activities especially. Many good people, being influenced by the bold spirit of the times, are now seeking surgery for the wife or the husband so they may avoid pregnancies and comply with the strident voice demanding a reduction of children. It was never easy to bear and rear children, but easy things do not make for growth and development. But loud, blatant voices today shout "fewer children" and offer the Pill, drugs, surgery, and even ugly abortion to accomplish that. Strange the proponents of depopulating the world seem never to have thought of continence!
[W]e declare it is a grievous sin before God to adopt restrictive measures in disobedience to God's divine command from the beginning of time to "multiply and replenish the earth." Surely those who project such measures to prevent life or to destroy life before or after birth will reap the whirlwind of God's retribution, for God will not be mocked.
by President David O. McKay (see also the two discourses contained in the First Presidency section)
Conference Report, April 1969, Pg.5-6
Seeking the pleasure 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. Intelligence and mutual consideration should be ever-present factors in determining the coming of children to the home.
Church News, June 11, 1952
True motherhood is the noblest call of the world, and we look with sorrow upon the practice here in our own United States of limiting families, a tendency creeping into our own Church.
Conference Report, October 1943, Pg. 30
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.
Relief Society Magazine, Vol. 4, June 1917, Pg. 314
I regret, I think it is a crying evil, that there should exist a sentiment or a feeling among any members of the Church to curtail the birth of their children. I think that is a crime wherever it occurs, where husband and wife are in possession of health and vigor and are free from impurities that would be entailed upon their posterity. I believe that where people undertake to curtail or prevent the birth of their children that they are going to reap disappointment by and by. I have no hesitancy in saying that I believe this is one of the greatest crimes of the world today, this evil practice.
Gospel Doctrine, Pg. 276
Those who have taken upon themselves the responsibility of wedded life should see to it that they do not abuse the course of nature; that they do not destroy the principle of life within them, nor violate any of the commandments of God. The command which he gave in the beginning to multiply and replenish the earth is still in force upon the children of men. Possibly no greater sin could be committed by the people who have embraced this gospel than to prevent or to destroy life in the manner indicated. We are born into the world that we may have life, and we live that we may have a fullness of joy, and if we will obtain a fullness of joy, we must obey the law of our creation and the law by which we may obtain the consummation of our righteous hopes and desires -- life eternal.
Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 2, Pg. 85-9
THE BLESSINGS OF BIRTH INTO MORTALITY. Nothing should be held in greater sacredness and honor than the covenant by which the spirits of men -- the offspring of God in the spirit -- are privileged to come into this world in mortal tabernacles. It is through this principle that the blessing of immortal glory is made possible. The greatest punishment ever given was proclaimed against Lucifer and his angels. To be denied the privilege of mortal bodies forever is the greatest curse of all. These spirits can have no progress, no hope of resurrection and eternal life! Doomed are they to eternal misery for their rebellion!
And then to think that we are not only privileged, but also commanded to assist our Father in the great work of redemption by giving to his children, as we have obtained these blessings ourselves, the right to live and continue on even to perfection! No innocent soul should be condemned to come into this world under a handicap of illegitimacy. Every child has the right to be well born! Every individual who denies them that right is guilty of a mortal sin.
The importance of these mortal tabernacles is apparent from the knowledge we have of eternal life. Spirits cannot be made perfect without the body of flesh and bones. The body and its spirit are brought to immortality and the blessings of salvation through the resurrection. After the resurrection there can be no separation again, body and spirit become inseparably connected that man may receive a fullness of joy. In no other way, other than birth into this life and the resurrection, can spirits become like our Eternal Father.
MAN COMMANDED TO BE FRUITFUL AND MULTIPLY. The obligations which married couples take upon themselves should conform in every particular to the commandments given by the Lord.
In the beginning, the Lord said when he gave Eve to Adam, "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it." This earth was created for the very purpose that the spirit children of our Father might have the privilege of the temporal existence, receiving bodies of flesh and bones as tabernacles for the spirits which occupy them, and then, through the atonement of Jesus Christ, receive the resurrection in which the spirit and the body become inseparably connected so that man may live again. . . .
Marriage is an eternal covenant, not to come to an end as taught so generally throughout the world when the covenanting parties are dead, but to endure forever. The real purpose of life is that the spirits of men thus clothed in bodies of flesh and bones may, through obedience to the gospel, come back into the presence of the Father and the Son, to receive the fullness of exaltation,
The Lord has revealed that when a man and a woman are married according to his law, children born to them will be theirs throughout all eternity.
The covenant given to Adam to multiply was renewed after the flood with Noah and his children after him. The Lord said to Noah: "And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein. And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying. And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you."
This covenant is still binding, although mankind has departed from the way of eternal life and has rejected the covenant of marriage which the Lord revealed.
BIRTH CONTROL IS WICKEDNESS. The abuse of this holy covenant has been the primary cause for the downfall of nations. When the sacred vows of marriage are broken and the real purpose of marriage abused, as we find it so prevalent in the world today, then destruction is inevitable.
No nation can endure for any length of time, if the marriage covenants are abused and treated with contempt. The anger of the Almighty was kindled against ancient nations for their immorality. There is nothing that should be held in greater sacredness than this covenant by which the spirits of men are clothed with mortal tabernacles.
When a man and a woman are married and they agree, or covenant, to limit their offspring to two or three, and practice devices to accomplish this purpose, they are guilty of iniquity which eventually must be punished. Unfortunately this evil doctrine is being taught as a virtue by many people who consider themselves cultured and highly educated. It has even crept in among members of the Church and has been advocated in some of the classes within the Church.
It should be understood definitely that this kind of doctrine is not only not advocated by the authorities of the Church, but also is condemned by them as wickedness in the sight of the Lord.
President Joseph F. Smith has said in relation to this question: "Those who have taken upon themselves the responsibility of wedded life should see to it that they do not abuse the course of nature; that they do not destroy the principle of life within them, nor violate any of the commandments of God. The command which he gave in the beginning to multiply and replenish the earth is still in force upon the children of men. Possibly no greater sin could be committed by the people who have embraced this gospel than to prevent or to destroy life in the manner indicated. We are born into the world that we may have life, and we live that we may have a fullness of joy, and if we will obtain a fullness of joy, we must obey the law of our creation and the law by which we may obtain the consummation of our righteous hopes and desires -- eternal life."
SPIRITS DESIRE BIRTH IN RIGHTEOUS FAMILIES. President Brigham Young has this to say about birth control, an abomination practiced by so-called civilized nations, but nations who have forsaken the ways of life:
"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."
If these iniquitous practices find their place in our hearts and we are guilty, then when we arrive on the other side -- and discover that we have deprived ourselves of eternal blessings and are accused by those who were assigned to come to us, because, as President Young has said, they were forced to take bodies in the families of the wicked -- how will we feel? Moreover, may we not lose our own salvation if we violate this divine law?
BIRTH CONTROL LEADS TO DAMNATION. Instructing the mothers of the Church, President Joseph F. Smith said in June, 1917: "I regret, I think it is a crying evil, that there should exist a sentiment or a feeling among any members of the Church to curtail the birth of their children. I think that is a crime wherever it occurs, where husband and wife are in possession of health and vigor and are free from impurities that would be entailed upon their posterity. I believe that where people undertake to curtail or prevent the birth of their children that they are going to reap disappointment by and by. I have no hesitancy in saying that I believe that is one of the greatest crimes of the world today, this evil practice."
When young people marry and refuse to fulfill this commandment given in the beginning of the world -- and just as much in force today -- they rob themselves of the greatest eternal blessing. If the love of the world and the wicked practices of the world mean more to a man and a woman than to keep the commandment of the Lord in this respect, then they shut themselves off from the eternal blessing of increase. Those who willfully and maliciously design to break this important commandment shall be damned. They cannot have the Spirit of the Lord.
Small families is the rule today. Husbands and wives refuse to take upon themselves the responsibilities of family life. Many of them do not care to be bothered with children. Yet this commandment given to Adam has never been abrogated or set aside. If we refuse to live by the covenants we make, especially in the house of the Lord, then we cannot receive the blessings of those covenants in eternity. If the responsibilities of parenthood are willfully avoided here, then how can the Lord bestow upon the guilty the blessings of eternal increase? It cannot be, and they shall be denied such blessings.
The Government of God, Chapter 2
If we notice the situation of the nations of Europe at the present time, we see the land burdened with an overplus population, and groaning beneath its inhabitants, while the greatest industry, perseverance, economy, and care, do not suffice to provide for the craving wants of nature. And so fearfully does this prevail in many parts, that parents are afraid to fulfill the first great law of God, "Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth;" and by desperate circumstances are almost forced to the unnatural wish of not propagating their species; while, corrupted with a correspondent depravity with that which reigns among nations, they are found using suicidal measures to prevent an otherwise numerous progeny from increasing their father's misery, and inheriting his misfortunes. And yet, while this is the case, there are immense districts of rich soil, covering millions of square miles, inhabited only by a few untutored savages, or the wild beast of the forest; and such is the infatuation of man that in many districts of country, which were once the seats of the most powerful empires, and where flourished the mightiest nations, there is nothing but desolation and wildness. Such are Ninevah and Babylon, on the Asiatic Continent; and Otolum, and many others discovered by Stephens and Catherwood, in Central America; and recently discovered ruins -- unequaled in the old world -- a little above the head of the California Gulf. Not only their cities, but their lands are desolate, deserted, and forsaken, and the same evils that once existed there are transferred to another soil, all bespeaking plainly that we want a great, governing, ruling principle to regulate the affairs of the world, and assist poor, feeble, erring humanity.
Discourses of Brigham Young, Pg.197
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... 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, Vol. 12, Pg. 120-21
To check the increase of our race has its advocates among the influential and powerful circles of society in our nation and in other nations. The same practice existed forty-five years ago, and various devices were used by married persons to prevent the expenses and responsibilities of a family of children, which they must have incurred had they suffered nature's laws to rule preeminent. That which was practiced then in fear and against reproving conscience, is now boldly trumpeted abroad as one of the best means of ameliorating the miseries and sorrows of humanity. Infanticide is very prevalent in our nation. It is a crime that comes within the purview of the law, and is therefore not so boldly practiced as is the other equally great crime, which, no doubt, to a great extent, prevents the necessity of infanticide. The unnatural style of living, the extensive use of narcotics, the attempts to destroy and dry up the fountains of life, are fast destroying the American element of the nation; it is passing away before the increase of the more healthy, robust, honest, and less sinful class of the people which are pouring into the country daily from the Old World. The wife of the servant man is the mother of eight or ten healthy children, while the wife of his master is the mother of one or two poor, sickly children, devoid of vitality and constitution, and, if daughters, unfit, in their turn, to be mothers, and the health and vitality which nature has denied them through the irregularities of their parents are not repaired in the least by their education.
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