The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints strongly encourages married couples to have children. It is against birth control. In a letter from the First Presidency to bishops and stake presidents, dated April 14, 1969, the Church’s philosophy is expressed: “We seriously regret that there should exist a sentiment or feeling among any members of the Church to curtail the birth of their children. We have been commanded to multiply and replenish the earth that we may have joy and rejoicing in our posterity.
“Where husband and wife enjoy health and vigor and are free from impurities that would be entailed upon their posterity, it is contrary to the teachings of the Church artificially to curtail or prevent the birth of children. We believe that those who practice birth control will reap disappointment by and by.”
The Latter-day Saint Woman: Basic Manual for Women, Part B
Withstanding the Evils of the World:
In his efforts to deceive women, Satan suggests reasons that would make evil actions seem acceptable.
• Have a class member read aloud the following deceptive reasoning that we hear in the world today:
1. Abortion: “It’s my body. I can do what I want with it.”
2. Sexual immorality: “Everyone’s doing it.”
3. Marriage: “It’s better to find out whether you are compatible by living together before you are married. Marriage is old-fashioned, anyway.”
4. Divorce: “If it doesn’t work, give up.”
5. Drugs: “They’re fun. They can really make you feel good.”
6. Pornography: “You need to read all kinds of material to be well-informed.”
7. Women’s role: “You’re too intelligent to waste your time at home with children. You could be making a more worthwhile contribution elsewhere.”
8. Homosexuality: “We should not have to hide our true feelings. We need understanding and acceptance.”
9. Birth control: “If you have children, you shouldn’t have very many. The world is overcrowded as it is.”
No Greater Honor:
The Woman’s Role
by President N. Eldon Tanner
First Counselor in the First Presidency
N. Eldon Tanner, “No Greater Honor: The Woman’s Role,” New Era, Jan 1977, 31
From the beginning God has made it clear that woman is very special, and he has also very clearly defined her position, her duties, and her destiny in the divine plan. Paul said that man is the image and glory of God, and that woman is the glory of the man; also that the man is not without the woman, neither the woman without the man in the Lord. (See 1 Cor. 11:7, 11.) You will note that significantly God is mentioned in connection with this great partnership, and we must never forget that one of woman’s greatest privileges, blessings, and opportunities is to be a copartner with God in bringing his spirit children into the world.
It is of great concern to all who understand this glorious concept that Satan and his cohorts are using scientific arguments and nefarious propaganda to lure women away from their primary responsibilities as wives, mothers, and homemakers. We hear so much about emancipation, independence, sexual liberation, birth control, abortion, and other insidious propaganda belittling the role of motherhood, all of which is Satan’s way of destroying woman, the home, and the family—the basic unit of society.
From President Brigham Young:
“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 [Deseret Book Co., 1943], p. 197.)
With respect to birth control, President Joseph F. Smith said, in 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 this is one of the greatest crimes of the world today, this evil practice.” (Gospel Doctrine, pp. 278–79.)
On these matters, the First Presidency has recently said:
“We have given careful consideration to the question of proposed laws on abortion and sterilization. We are opposed to any modification, expansion, or liberalization of laws on these vital subjects.” (Letter to stake presidents in the state of Washington, October 27, 1970.)
To the Mothers in Zion
President Ezra Taft Benson
Fireside for Parents
22 February 1987
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'll 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've 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 children.
Do not curtail the number of your 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.
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 have those sweet spirits come into the home is worth practically any sacrifice.
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.
“An High Priest of Good Things to Come”
Elder Jeffrey R. HollandOf the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
I think of young mothers and fathers who are faithfully having their families while still in school—or just newly out—trying to make ends meet even as they hope for a brighter financial future someday.
October 2007 General Conference
Julie B. Beck Relief Society General President
Mothers Who Know Bear Children
Mothers who know desire to bear children. Whereas in many cultures in the world children are "becoming less valued,"2 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."3 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."4
Faithful daughters of God desire children. In the scriptures we read of Eve (see Moses 4:26), Sarah (see Genesis 17:16), Rebekah (see Genesis 24:60), and Mary (see 1 Nephi 11:13–20), who were foreordained to be mothers before children were born to them. Some women are not given the responsibility of bearing children in mortality, but just as Hannah of the Old Testament prayed fervently for her child (see 1 Samuel 1:11), the value women place on motherhood in this life and the attributes of motherhood they attain here will rise with them in the Resurrection (see D&C 130:18). Women who desire and work toward that blessing in this life are promised they will receive it for all eternity, and eternity is much, much longer than mortality. There is eternal influence and power in motherhood.