The Pre-Existence.

Public forum to discuss questions about Mormon history and doctrine.
MadamCurie
Posts: 41
Joined: 20 Aug 2009, 17:35
Location: Hinterlands
Contact:

Re: The Pre-Existence.

Post by MadamCurie » 08 Sep 2009, 13:29

HiJolly wrote:When the law changed in 1965, the rhetoric began to diminish in the Church, save for the 'conservative' leaders of whom the Apostles pretty much to the man belonged. A few noteable exceptions were David O. McKay, Hugh B. Brown and... uh, and... well. I can't think of any others...
I don't think its entirely accurate that the church's teachings on BC were just in response to the local laws. Even recent prophets and apostles since 1969 have clearly taught that delaying children and the use of birth control is unacceptable:
“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.” - Pres. Ezra Taft Benson, Conference Report, April 1969, p. 12
“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!” - Pres. Spencer W. Kimball, Conference Report, April 1971, p. 7
“[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.” - Prophet Harold B. Lee, Conference Report, October 1972, p. 63
“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.” - Pres. Ezra Taft Benson, Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 539
"It is an act of extreme selfishness for a married couple to refuse to have children when they are able to do so.” - Pres. Spencer W. Kimball, Conference Report, April 1979, p. 6
Even in 1995 General Conference there was this remark by a member of the Seventy:
“Thus we see that in marriage, a husband and wife enter into an order of the priesthood called the new and everlasting covenant of marriage. This covenant includes a willingness to have children and to teach them the gospel. Many problems of the world today are brought about when parents do not accept the responsibilities of this covenant. It is contradictory to this covenant to prevent the birth of children if the parents are in good health.

Thirty-five years ago when I first started practicing medicine, it was a rare thing for a married woman to seek advice about how she could keep from having babies. When I finished practicing medicine, it was a rare thing, except for some faithful Latter-day Saint women, for a married woman to want to have more than one or two children, and some did not want any children. We in the Church must not be caught up in the false doctrines of the world that would cause us to break sacred temple covenants.” - Seventy J. Ballard Washington, April 1995 General Conference
In addition, other contemporaries to the above, such as Apostle Mark E Peterson, Bruce R. McConkie, and Elder Neil A. Maxwell have spoken out strongly against the use of artificial birth control. I am not sure how much stronger one needs to get that than invoking temple wording such as "those who project such measures to prevent life... will reap the whirlwind of God's retribution, for God will not be mocked" and indicating in General Conference that postponing children is equivalent to violating a temple covenant.

There is plenty of text to indicate that birth control itself and delaying children have been taught in no uncertain terms to be against God's plan. Sure, Pres. Hinckley made no comments about it. But that doesn't negate the piles upon piles of quotes from other church leaders before him (as well as some comments during his tenure as prophet).

User avatar
Heber13
Posts: 6981
Joined: 22 Apr 2009, 16:37
Location: In the Middle

Re: The Pre-Existence.

Post by Heber13 » 08 Sep 2009, 13:37

MadamCurie wrote:There is plenty of text to indicate that birth control itself and delaying children have been taught in no uncertain terms to be against God's plan. Sure, Pres. Hinckley made no comments about it. But that doesn't negate the piles upon piles of quotes from other church leaders before him (as well as some comments during his tenure as prophet).
I agree that general teachings seem to reinforce this teaching...but I actually have never read anything on it...of course, I don't care to research it as I believe the choice is my wife's with my input, and I'm good with that. (We have 4 beautiful kids...I don't want to play the odds that #5 will be Damion from the Omen movies ;) )

Do you have any examples of the kinds of teachings you refer to, scriptures or leader quotes, and the dates of those to know how relevant to current applications? I'd be interested to hear. Thanks.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

MadamCurie
Posts: 41
Joined: 20 Aug 2009, 17:35
Location: Hinterlands
Contact:

Re: The Pre-Existence.

Post by MadamCurie » 08 Sep 2009, 13:42

Heber13 wrote:Do you have any examples of the kinds of teachings you refer to, scriptures or leader quotes, and the dates of those to know how relevant to current applications? I'd be interested to hear. Thanks.
Well, there are all the ones I cited above, including ones from every prophet before Pres. Hinckley save Howard W. Hunter. There is also the quote from 1995 GC. I suppose I could do a more exhaustive analysis, since that one only took me an hour to document... However, I think its more likely that since every prophet other than HWH and GBH taught it rather boldly (as indicated above) that such things are going to persist in church thinking. And/or that people are likely to dismiss GBH's downplaying of birth control as another example of where the church is "mainstreaming".

Anyway, I'll go pull up the quotes from Elder Maxwell, etc.

User avatar
Heber13
Posts: 6981
Joined: 22 Apr 2009, 16:37
Location: In the Middle

Re: The Pre-Existence.

Post by Heber13 » 08 Sep 2009, 13:54

Yes, I see your point based on those quotes. Do you think they were teaching "never use contraception" or only those that had no kids, or maybe only 1 or 2 and didn't want anymore. Like I said, I've never studied it because my wife and I started at 21, love big families, and are happy with 4. We use birth control now because I'm frankly worried of the health of my wife...each pregnancy got harder and harder and I would fear her life with another. I don't believe the comments of the church leaders on birth control applied to our situation...more along the lines of those who pursued the wordly things over having children, like waiting until you're in a nice house before having kids, or not having any kids at all so the two could enjoy more exotic lifestyles. That is the basic teaching...don't put wordly things above the value of having children.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

User avatar
HiJolly
Posts: 471
Joined: 11 Feb 2009, 21:25

Re: The Pre-Existence.

Post by HiJolly » 08 Sep 2009, 14:03

MadamCurie wrote:
HiJolly wrote:When the law changed in 1965, the rhetoric began to diminish in the Church, save for the 'conservative' leaders of whom the Apostles pretty much to the man belonged. A few noteable exceptions were David O. McKay, Hugh B. Brown and... uh, and... well. I can't think of any others...
I don't think its entirely accurate that the church's teachings on BC were just in response to the local laws. Even recent prophets and apostles since 1969 have clearly taught that delaying children and the use of birth control is unacceptable:
Hmmm... Maybe it came out that way, but I never intended to imply (and I guarantee I never *said*) that Church teachings were "just" in response to the law.

And I've heard all the dialog. My GGrandfather even declared what my family now calls the "Family Curse" concerning choosing to limit our posterity. I think they were a bit off in their doctrine, personally. Ah well. I'll discuss it with GGrandpa when I meet him. (no fear - we had nine kids and after that I had testicular cancer, so I'm covered :twisted: ) :lol: :lol: :lol:

HiJolly
Men are not moved by events but by their interpretations.
-- The Stoic Epictetus

User avatar
HiJolly
Posts: 471
Joined: 11 Feb 2009, 21:25

Re: The Pre-Existence.

Post by HiJolly » 08 Sep 2009, 14:05

HiJolly wrote:... after that I had testicular cancer, so I'm covered :twisted: ) :lol: :lol: :lol:
And Ray, yes, I *do* sing tenor... ;)


HiJolly
Men are not moved by events but by their interpretations.
-- The Stoic Epictetus

MadamCurie
Posts: 41
Joined: 20 Aug 2009, 17:35
Location: Hinterlands
Contact:

Re: The Pre-Existence.

Post by MadamCurie » 08 Sep 2009, 14:23

Heber13 wrote:Do you think they were teaching "never use contraception" or only those that had no kids, or maybe only 1 or 2 and didn't want anymore.
Regardless of who the intended audience was, folks with 1 child or several, the fact is that church members (and I don't mean the leadership here, I mean your run-of-the-mill member) use these statements and apply them in their life and to the life of others. They then use their "knowledge" of these things and apply them to others, making thoughtless generalizations about people who limit the number of children they have. And this sort of thing is pervasive - my bishop (who is usually so easy-going and liberal in many of his approaches to church things) on Sunday basically compared my DH's and my (current) decision to have only 1 child to selfishness, and was confused as he replied, "The two of you [my DH and I] are so generous, I'm just surprised to see you curtail your child-bearing." It would have been one thing if this was a comment made in a private worthiness interview. It wasn't - it was in his car with his wife and kids as we were on our way home from church. I let it go, because I realize that he is speaking from a culture he is used to, a culture of child-bearing.

Anyway, this is a soapbox so I should really get off it. However, there was one other interesting quote that I found from Pres. Joseph F. Smith in 1917 that basically equated child-bearing with exaltation:
"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 teh continuation of the family union and eternal increase..." - Pres. Joseph F. Smith, Relief Society Magazine 3:367-368, July 1916
Elsewhere in the text it basically says the only time birth control can be used is during lactation and pregnancy, and that by "self control on part of the husband and father."

User avatar
bridget_night
Posts: 864
Joined: 02 Mar 2009, 12:15

Re: The Pre-Existence.

Post by bridget_night » 08 Sep 2009, 14:48

THE
DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS
OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS
SECTION 90
25 Let your families be small, especially mine aged servant Joseph Smith’s, Sen., as pertaining to those who do not belong to your families;

Footnotes
25a Mosiah 4: 27 (26-27).
27 And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.

I truly believe God wants us to use wisdom and do what's right for our own situations. I had terrible health growing up and a compromised immune system from being born at 3 pounds after WWII in Germany. I had 3 'horrible' pregnancies, childbirths, and colicky babies. My husband was in Chiropractic college and Medical school during those times and was hardly ever home. I had no family near by to help me and was depressed and exhausted all the time. My mom was so mentally ill after WWII that I was not raised to know how to be a mother. I did not want any more kids after the 1st one because it was a nightmare for me. I threw up all the time and had horrible migrane headaches. I had more hell with one child than some couples do with 10 kids. After a crucifixation childbirth my 1st son had horrible colic the 1st three years of his life. He cried all the time and my nerves were shot. We had no medical insurance and my parents paid to find a doctor who finally found out it was his appendix. So, it is so important not to judge one another and to mind our own business in this area accept to ask if you could use some help. We were on church welfare, govenment aid, and my parents helped to get through all this schooling. It was so hard on our family and my oldest son did a suicide attempt at 13, my daughter had a baby out of wedlock at 16, and my youngest son went through hell discovering he was gay. I had to handle all this while working a part time job teaching beauty school. You bet I used birth control and my husband had a vasectomy after the 3rd child. God gave me great peace about this and told me I had suffered enough.

Poppyseed
Posts: 389
Joined: 19 Jul 2009, 15:44

Re: The Pre-Existence.

Post by Poppyseed » 08 Sep 2009, 14:51

Amen Bridget!
“Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still.” --old Chinese proverb

User avatar
hawkgrrrl
Site Admin
Posts: 3421
Joined: 22 Oct 2008, 16:27

Re: The Pre-Existence.

Post by hawkgrrrl » 08 Sep 2009, 16:59

I'm not disputing what has been said by these church leaders. Church policy was definitely anti-birth control back in the day. What was JFS beefing about anyway? The rhythm method? The Titanic hadn't even set sail when he became president of the church. There were no automatic washing machines. Cars were a rare luxury. To those who say we can't take silence on the topic as a sea change, I respectfully disagree. The CHI no longer states that birth control is prohibited. The stance has softened. In a church governed by geriatric leaders, change comes slowly. Frankly, most of these guys haven't required birth control for a few decades. Also, the church's stance is never going to be to discourage having children because the focus on families is central.

Why do people insist on looking to others to make every decision in life for them? So we have someone to blame when it goes badly? I wish those who wanted the church to tell them how to live their lives in such great detail would quit asking these kinds of questions so the church would quit answering these types of questions. But that's just me.

Post Reply