Monday, May 27, 2013

Birth Control and Mormons--Monday Mormon Myths and truths #4



The reason Mormons have larger families than the average American family has nothing to do with birth control being prohibited (ITS NOT) but has everything to do with our belief that children are a blessing and that married couples have a divine responsibility to assist in God's work by providing physical bodies for God's spirit children.
The Church's official position regarding birth control is stated in the book True to the Faith married LDS couples should "prayerfully decide how many children to have and when to have them.  These decisions are between the husband and wife ONLY.  Church members are highly counseled to consider such things as the physical and mental health of the mother and father, as well as their ability to provide financially for the necessities of life.  My daughter has an autistic child who is non-verbal, he is extremely difficult to successfully watch over and take care of, imagine if she were required to have a minimum of 8 children--NO WAY--
After I had my 4th and final child, we decided it was time to upgrade to a different vehicle and we were in a financial position that we could purchase a Suburban.  One of my very dear friends, asked me if the church gives families a Suburban after they have their 4th child--Boy--that might be an incentive but the answer of course is NO--we are given no incentives, or told by any person in authority of the Church, that we are required to have a certain amount of children.
I know many women who cannot physically have any children, for those women and men my hearts go out to them--many of them are fortunate enough to adopt-My brother and sister in law adopted 4 bi-racial children, and as far as I know they too were not given a Suburban ha ha.

This brings up the subject of sex.  I also was asked if we are only allowed to have "sex" if we are pro-creating.  Is sex good and right, or is it evil and wrong?  Apparently there are a lot of Mormons having sex, Utah has the highest birth rate of all states.

We can pretty much boil down everything that relates to Mormons' views on sexuality to three things:
1. The human body is sacred and divine, including its power to procreate
2. Marriage between a man and a woman is central to God's plan of happiness for HIS children and
3. the family is the fundamental unit of society
Therefore, sex between a married man and woman is Good. it brings children into married families, and it is a way to express love and total commitment between husband and wife.
Sex between unmarried people? Not so good, it can lead to pre-marriage pregnancy, single parenthood, abortion, adultery, divorce, mistrust, guilt, and sexually transmitted diseases.

The basic rule of thumb is that Mormons should not have sex before marriage, abstinence before marriage shows commitment and fidelity to your spouse after you are married.  I've had plenty of people tell me "this is a very old fashion way of thinking" but when you consider the millions of abortions, the high incidence  of sexually transmitted diseases, the fact that 40 percent of all US births are to single women, and the countless broken hearts and homes that result from sexual immorality, adhering to the Mormon standard of sexual morality appears to be not only a spiritual blessing but a societal blessing as well.
*between 1973 and 2008 nearly 50 million abortions were legally performed in the US, and four or every ten unintended pregnancies ended in abortion
*There are 19 million new cases of sexually transmitted diseases reported each year in the United States and one in four sexually active teenage girls in the United States has a sexually transmitted disease.
*The US census bureau data shows that the birthrate for unmarried women has risen in each reported year from 43.8 percent in 19090 to 52.5 percent in 2008

So call us "old fashioned" but the fact is abstinence is the one and only way of staying clean and pure before marriage.  Some may ask Why Wait? isn't it better to have sex before you are married to see if you are physically compatible?
In a 2010 study of 2,035 married couples across the nation, researchers found that the couples who waited to have sex until they were married rated their current married relationship stability 22 percent higher, their marital satisfaction 20 percent higher, the sexual communication between them and their  spouses 12 percent higher than those married couples who had sex before they were married.  Most Mormons believe waiting to have sexual relations until after we are married is key to having a marriage based on a foundation of communication and trust, respect, shared goals and social enjoyment.  To me it seems like it solidifies an already healthy relationship.  The longer the couple waits the better.  From what I have seen, there is no lasting happiness in immorality.  There may be momentarily pleasure for a time it can seem like everything is wonderful, but it seems to quickly fade and become begins to die, bitterness, jealousy, anger and even hate can begin to grow.  All of these things are the natural results of sin and transgression.

ABORTION IN THE CHURCH: Members of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints must not submit to, perform, encourage, pay for, or arrange for an abortion.
HOWEVER: there are rare circumstances that may result and justify an abortion form an LDS view, including when pregnancy is the result of incest or rape, when the life or health of the mother is judged by competent medical authority to be in serious jeopardy, or when the fetus is known by competent medical authority to have severe defects that will not allow the baby to survive beyond birth.  We believe when a child is conceived outside of wedlock, the best option is for the mother and father of the child to be married and work toward establishing an eternal family relationship.  If a successful marriage is unlikely they should place the child up for adoption.

Our bodies have the power to create another human life, think about that, we have the ability to create another human being, a unique human being, someone never has seen or duplicated, with eyes and ears and toes, and with a divine  potential and infinite worth.  For the LDS religion, there is perhaps nothing more divine that to share with God the title of "creator" and "parent"  This is why married Mormons have and enjoy sex as something sacred, but at the same time are not flippant or careless about it either.

For Mormons, sex in marriage is a symbol of the total union of a marriage.  When a man and woman have given their whole lives to each other, all that they are or ever hope to be, all their hopes, dreams, and desires--and have joined their lives together in a covenant marriage, then sex becomes a physical symbol of that union.  It is a reminder that in every way spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically a married man and woman can and should "cleave unto" each other and be "one flesh"
(Genesis 2:24)

Also, while we believe in controlling our appetites and passions, a celibate life is inconsistent with our beliefs that God's plan for HIS children and the purpose of life itself, centers on marriage and family.
The scriptures say "For marriage is ordained of God unto man....that earth might answer the end of its creation"

To answer one more question I received this week per email,

The simple answer to this is NO.  Although our moral standards are high and quite strict in the "worlds eyes" Mormons who have sex outside of marriage are subject to Church discipline, which depending on the situation, can mean not being able to participate in some Church ordinances like taking the sacrament on Sundays, maybe not being allowed to serve or teach in the Church, the suspension of membership, or most severe, removal of Church membership through excommunication.
We do believe sexual sin to be very serious, we also believe that God is merciful and that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ someone who has been sexually immoral can repent, change his or her behavior, recommit to follow Christ, and be totally forgiven for their sin.
I hope this has answered your questions, if not please feel free to email me and let me know what else needs cleared up.


Anonymous said...

Thank you again, Monya.

I am told that if a Mormon does not marry on earth (become sealed in the temple, specifically), they can not live in the presence of God the Father in eternity. Is this true?


Monya Williams said...

"Jean" I will address this issue in the upcoming weeks, I have a few others who are asking questions about other principles and I need to address them 1st--thanks monya