Subject: Another Seminary gem from my 15 year old
Date: Nov 25 05:44 2002
Author: Spiritually ill

While recovering my hairdryer from my 15 year old daughter's room yesterday I found the following handwritten gem. Last night I casually asked her where she got it from -the answer was as I suspected - SEMINARY.
[note:  Seminary is a Mormon early morning weekday program for all high school age Mormon students (from usually around 6-7 AM depending on the school system) where they are indoctinated daily on Mormonism]

Here goes:

Bearing of children.
President Spencer W Kimball said "it is an act of extreme selfishness for a married couple to refuse to have children when they are able to do so?? When married couples postpone child bearing until after they have satisfied their material goals, the mere passage of time assures that they seriously reduce their potential to participate in furthering our Heavenly Father's plan for all his spirit children. Faithful latter day Saints cannot afford to look upon children as an interference with what the world calls, self-fulfillment. Our Covenant with God and the ultimate purpose of life are tied up in these little ones who reach for our time, our love and our sacrifices".

"How many children should a couple have?? All they can care for!!Of course, to care for children means more than simply giving then life. Children must be loved, nurtured, taught, fed, clothed, housed and well started in their capacities to be good parents themselves" (Dallin H Oaks).

"The pattern for family life instituted from before the foundation of the world, provided for children to be born to and nurtured by a father and mother who are husband and wife, lawfully married. Parenthood is a sacred obligation and privilege, with children welcomed as a heritage of the Lord (Howard W Hunter).

As a mother of four very much wanted daughters, I have a great deal of concern about the brainwashing that is going on in seminary. I wish I had opened my eyes a couple of years ago and then maybe I could have saved my oldest daughter from this indoctrination. My other 3 girls have no desire to go to church but at almost 16, my oldest is very involved in the social life of the church and attends early morning seminary and all her meetings. The whole ward is feeling very sorry for her at the moment because we, her family, are being influenced by Satan. We love her to bits and realize that this is difficult for her and that she has to make her own decisions. Leaving the church isn't easy when you are leaving a child in it alone.


Subject: Oh, dear!
Date: Nov 25 06:41
Author: Matt
Mail Address:

This must be very distressing for you.

Some questions for your daughter.

Why did Spencer W. Kimball make such a statement? Is it because he is a wealthy American who was paid a rather large stipend by the Mormon church?

Why was he calling for parents to have children who would be born into extreme poverty and hardship?

What about parents who have genetic conditions that would mean their children would be born with terrible health problems?

There is, for example, a genetic condition that is created when two parents bearing the same genes try to have children. The child is -literally- born with no brain. They usually die within minutes of being born, if they are not already dead when they are born.

Was Brother Kimball saying that they should create a child, knowing that it would be born dead? To create more and more child-corpses?

What about the terrible emotional upset (for want of a better word) that would be caused to a mother knowing that she is carrying something in her womb that is really nothing but a corpse?

Or would he think it best if a couple who loved each other but each possessed this damaged gene should divorce and re-marry so that they could create whole, living children and not ones that are born dead?

This is the problem when an elderly man speaks on a subject that he really knows nothing about.

Subject: Some Advice
Date: Nov 25 11:30
Author: Sophia

I think I would counter this garbage by saying, "Hmm. I'm surprised that they are using such old quotes in Seminary. The church's current Handbook of Instructions says that the decision about when to have children and how many to have is a private one that is entirely left up to the couple. It says no one should judge others' decisions about childbearing.

Beyond that, stay close to your daughter, and be generally supportive of what she does. Nurture her doubts. :) Set a good example of how to be a good person. Provide her with neutral, but contradictory, information, like info about science. I suggest Carl Sagan's book, "The Dragons of Eden," for instance, and maybe something like "The Monkey Business," a book about Creationists' nonsense. Both are kind of old books that I made available to my kids when they were teenagers. There might be others now that are better.

Encourage feminism. Encourage education. Avoid power struggles against the church and its teachings, as that will only strengthen her resolve to cling to it. Find areas of common ground that don't confront the church directly, but that encourage independent thinking.

She'll come around.


Subject: Re: Some Advice
Date: Nov 25 18:09
Author: Spiritually ill

Exactly! They ARE old quotes and getting a group of kids together at 7am to write them out really annoys me, especially when one of the kids is mine. Thanks for your advice which I really value. I agree about the power struggles about church doctrine. My husband and I have learned the hard way that that isn't the best approach. Just recently I've been getting little glimmers of hope where my daughter is concerned. I know she is starting to question certain things about the church and I'm hoping it will only be a matter of time before she decides she wants out. I feel a bit sad about her friends though, as I feel they will be pressured by their families to avoid her. I hope I'm wrong.


Subject: I can relate. One of my four hasn't left either. Agonizing isn't it.

Subject: Plus, notice how they say members have reproductive choice, yet feed the kids old quotes.


Subject: You know...
Date: Nov 25 08:54
Author: juxtaposed

...everyone else has realized that we SHOULDN'T be having more kids, overpopulation is a bit of a problem y'know...

But no, the Church will merrily go along trying to MAKE people have MORE children...


Subject: sigh - I remember being 15
Date: Nov 25 11:08
Author: msmom

with a starry eyed vision of me at the head of a table of delightful youngsters with whom I had complete rapport and unlimited patience and affection. Something out of Louisa May Alcott only more so!   godalmighty it was awful! But there it is in black and white - what I was thinking at 15 - in my journal

Anyone who tried to chase off that vision "just didn't understand!" The big wide world full of opportunity just waiting for me was also a scary place with me having no idea what I would do when I got there.

How nice to have a ready-made vision of who I would be. I wish you well in creating some additional compelling visions for your daughter.

Subject: Re: sigh - I remember being 15...
Date: Nov 26 08:02
Author: contraire

You envisioned yourself "at the HEAD of the table", at 15?

Sounds like a feminist in-the-making, [even back then]!

Subject: Sounds like she can't wait to get married and start making babies
Date: Nov 25 11:29
Author: jolimont

In your situation, I think I'd talk to her about a few things: overpopulation, what happens to women who make 8-10 kids then hubby bails, raising children in poverty, that sort of thing. She's an idealist and I was too at her age, but she needs to be a tad more selfish. It's her life she's planning out, and if all she wants to do is make as many children as her body will let her she's likely to end up poor, uneducated, tired all the time, and never have experienced any of the great things the world offers. That sounds like slavery to me.

Subject: It doesn't sound to me like she wants to make babies...
Date: Nov 25 11:34
Author: Miriam

It sounds to me like she wants to be involved with the friends she was encouraged to have her whole life. I wish you the best, spiritually ill, in helping your daughter retain those friendships that are important to her while making sure she understands that she has a choice about her life. It's really tough to be a kid in the church...I hope she makes it out.


Subject: Why would she cherish quotes like that
Date: Nov 25 11:42
Author: jolimont

if she wasn't chomping a the bits to get her place in the grand scheme of womanhood? She's a teenager and she wants sex, but she can't admit that to herself, so she thinks about having many children because that's the kind of sex the church approves of. Or maybe she's fanaticizing about getting her man, so next thing you know she'll have quotes about the virtues of a righteous priesthood.


Subject: Re: Why would she cherish quotes like that
Date: Nov 25 11:50
Author: Spiritually ill

I wouldn't exactly say she cherishes the quote. It was on her bedroom floor. The quotes she cherishes are posted on her bulletin board along with some favorite photographs. I don't think for one minute that she was intending to keep it but my worry is that she is sitting through lessons where she is learning this stuff.

Subject: I have four daughters too . . .
Date: Nov 25 12:26
Author: Axe Hero

... and I sympathize with your situation. I wouldn't want any of them to get sucked in by the fake idolization of women that the Church promotes. Church messages about women are in the best form of doublespeak. We adore you -- have babies! You're stronger and more spiritual than us -- have babies! We're burdened with the Priesthood and the Church -- you? Have babies!

Fortunately, I left the church a long time ago and married a very liberated nevermo.

One thing that's worked for us is cultivating a very strong sense of gender equality in our family. Since I'm the only boy, and since my wife is quite outspoken, that hasn't been hard. Except on me sometimes, since we've generally concluded that boys are a problem. (My daughters are between 5 and 12.)

The point is, even with my young daughters, if I suggested that a group of old men claimed that their role in life was to have babies, they'd all laugh. Us? they'd say. YOU have the babies.

For your 15-year-old, I'd only point out this one fact: isn't it odd that all this chatter about having babies comes from ... men! Where are the quotable quotes from the women of the church? Why is it that the boys in the church feel they have the right to tell the girls what to do?

No matter how deeply sucked into the Mormon social scene your daughter is, in this day and age surely she would respond to a little bit of women's lib. Wouldn't she?



Subject: Re: I have four daughters too . . .
Date: Nov 25 17:40
Author: Spiritually ill

Hahahaha the only male in the house. I'm sure my husband would send his condolences. He loves his girls but he often feels outnumbered - even our chocolate lab and our cat are both female. Your daughters are a bit younger than ours. Ours are 15, 13, 10 & 9. They keep us busy and sometimes we feel like tearing our hair out but we wouldn't change them for the world. Ours oldest two have reached the stage when they know everything and we know nothing. The youngest two are still adorable but give them a couple of years and I'm sure that will change...LOL.


Subject: Yikes!
Date: Nov 25 13:28
Author: Miriam

I remember being taught lessons on this very subject while at BYU (about 5 years ago). Luckily I've wisened up, but it still makes me shudder that I ever thought these men were inspired!


Subject: Put all religion aside for a moment.
Date: Nov 25 13:42
Author: girl in the box

Take my thoughts with a grain of thought; I don't even have kids after all!

Sit down and tell her what it's like to actually have four babies. Tell her about how it affects your life, your kids' lives, your spouse's life. Talk about the level of work (not just that it's "hard work" -- go into specific examples of what you've sacrificed, what it's been like). Tell her what it takes to make sure children (even just one) are "loved, nurtured, taught, fed, clothed, housed and well started in their capacities to be good parents themselves." Tell her what you *regret* about parenting (if you started too young, if you had a lot more than you could cope with, etc.) -- be honest even if you're worried it might hurt her. You can always emphasize that you love all your children but that doesn't make it necessarily right or good to have as many as you can thoughtlessly just because you've been told to. If you're concerned about her making foolish choices about childbearing based on whimsical, abstract, ignorant advice given to your daughter by men who can't relate to her, counter it with real, hard, honest, down-to-earth truth. That way she can weigh all sides in her head and will be more prepared to make responsible choices (rather than blind ones) when the time comes.

If you don't want your daughter to believe in the illusion that childbirth is an idealized way of life that will bring her happiness, peace, and be easy to do (hey, God's on your side, right? heh) -- then shatter the illusion by forcing her to see childrearing as it really it. Full of love, but a serious, difficult, heavy RESPONSIBILITY that you damn well better think about before committing to.

Oh, and make her baby-sit more often. That should help shatter the illusion a bit. ;-)


Subject: Re: Put all religion aside for a moment.
Date: Nov 25 16:38
Author: Spiritually ill

Thanks for your comments. I didn't start young (not by mormon standards). I was married at 25, and conceived my daughters at 26, 28, 31 and 33. I have no regrets about having them and I don't really feel like we have a particularly large family, at least not by LDS standards.

My daughters came into the world with a great deal of difficulty, they were all over 9 pounds and too big for me to deliver without the help of forceps in the case of the first 2 and c sections with numbers 3 & 4. I was thrilled to have each one of them and still am despite the many frustrations they cause. However, because of the threat to my life (and life of the baby) each time I delivered, my husband and I decided several years ago that my husband would have a vasectomy. We even got to the point of discussing it with a doctor at the hospital. Being good mormons we took ourselves to the Bishop's office to make sure we were 'allowed' to go ahead with the plan and the Bishop was unsure but told us he would have an answer for us the following Sunday. The following Sunday we got our answer - a definite NO. We cancelled the operation and really didn't even murmur much about it. After all, perhaps the Lord had another spirit just bursting to come into our family. This all makes us sound really STUPID I know, but I know that many of you can relate to this.

I'm pleased to say that my husband is having his vasectomy in two weeks, and we are now thinking for ourselves and trying to teach our kids to do the same.


Subject: good advice from GIB
Date: Nov 25 16:43
Author: rhys

She wrote quite well about things to discuss with your daughters. I like the idea of more babysitting and with long hours and preferably with a sick or even a disabled child. All kids aren't perfect and how can any of us know how we'd handle a youngster in a wheelchair 24/7?


Subject: We have four children.......
Date: Nov 25 17:09
Author: Gary

and I have never regretted it. They are a joy to be around. With four children, responsibility is a priority beyond measure. One child has Type I diabetes (age three). Another child (age seven) has problems with her tiered. There is a strong possibility that our one year old girl will also develop Type I diabetes since she carries the anti-body that is associated with the disease. Yet, I can't imagine not having the kids in our lives.

The key to success is tenfold. Each parent must be involved in each child's life. One or both parents need to provide sufficient material needs. We are lucky in this area. I was finished with undergraduate school when we married and chose a career that I enjoyed and that paid well. I think many LDS members are at a disadvantage when they marry young and never finish college or attain the needed skills for success. It appears that kids are raising kids within the LDS church.

By the way, Spencer W. Kimball is a hypocrite about preaching in favor of big families. Kimball had three children which is smaller than many families within the church. Three kids are much cheaper than five or six.
If he had nine or ten kids, I wonder how life would have been for him (or his poor wife)?


Subject: Too lazy to find the quotes
Date: Nov 25 23:47
Author: Rose Park Ranger

This is a good chance to show your daughter the Endlessly Shifting Morg Doctrines.

Didn't the 1998 CHI say that members were not to pass judgement on family sizes?

I'd look for the quote, but I'm too lazy.


Subject: I would ****ing freak out if I read that....and pull my daughter...
Date: Nov 25 20:55
Author: anon

from those indoctrination settings. I would straight up tell her that if she wants to be a baby factory that's her business, but I'll be d***ed if I let an organization influence her to that degree. Sit her down and ask her a question: How many women off the top of her head, historically, have you heard of that have born more than two kids? She'll probably draw a blank, and with good reason. Tell her if she ever plans on doing something with herself, or at the very least becoming independent, that popping out kids will severely hamper her ability to do so. My daughter is 7, and I've had this talk with her on a few occasions. Believe you me, she'll get this talk over and over again.


Subject: Re: Another Seminary gem...
Date: Nov 26 08:11
Author: Riplackish

STILL, regardless of the way the GA's often word things, I am able to see that it is really selfish self-centeredness that is at the root of materialism, anyway!

And, if a couple wants to "establish the good life, first", then their priorities preclude creating an atmosphere that is OTHER THAN "me first" (or, "we--the couple--first").

I know of some wealthy Californians, for example, who "made mega-bucks early on" only to find that, when their children came along, they found it hard to be self-sacrificing parents (and, conversely, found it EASY to try to solve their children's "life-difficulties" by just "shelling out the bucks": indulgence and promoting self-indulgence is a VERY wicked thing!)


Subject: Kimball- 4 children. Hunter- 3 children [one died at 7 mos.] Oaks- 6 children.

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