Limiting Family Size in the Mormon Church
Subject: On Limiting Families....
Date: Jan 16 11:43 2004
Author: dimmesdale

excerpts from an editorial I found in my files (only interesting because, as opposed to Deconstructor's compilations which he digs out of obscure journals, etc, THIS particular piece was the main editorial on the back of the Church News, there as public policy for all members to read and follow!):

On Limiting Families, Church News, May 24, 1975

Our present day leaders of the Church have been wonderfully outspoken in teaching the people that marriage is sacred and is for the rearing of good families within the faith…..

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.

President Wilford Woodruff declared: Another word of the Lord to me is that it is the duty of these young men here in the land of Zion to take the daughters of Zion to wife and prepare tabernacles for the spirits of men, which are the children of our Father in heaven. They are waiting for tabernacles, they are ordained to come here, and they ought to be born in the land of Zion instead of Babylon.

On the same subject President Joseph F. Smith said: While man was yet immortal, before sin had entered the world, our Heavenly Father Himself performed the first marriage. He united our first parents in the bonds of holy matrimony and commanded them to be fruitful and to multiply and replenish the earth. This command has never been changed, abrogated or annulled; but it has continued in force throughout all the generations of mankind. (Juvenile Instructor, Vol 37, p. 400, July 1, 1902

Joseph F. Smith: 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 this is one of the greatest crimes of the world today, this evil practice.” (Gospel Doctrine, pp. 278-279)

Subject: I'm so pissed off at this Mormon teaching
Date: Jan 16 12:20
Author: womanwithkids

And it truly makes me hate the "prophet and his minions" for pushing this very bad advice.

My own parents, innocent young converts, believed every word and had 8 children whom they could not manage nor afford. They fought constantly from the tension and lack of money etc. and then each of the daughters in the family went on to perpetuate this by having more children than they could afford, myself included, or physically care for. It's despicable. I hate this teaching and any God who would require it!

Subject: The glorification of large families continues.
Date: Jan 17 09:07
Author: Maori man

Three times in the past two weeks my local newspaper has featured articles about large families of nine and ten kids, always in glowing terms. It's as if they don't recognize the correlation between those families and every cow pasture quickly filling up with tacky subdivisions.

Recent statistics from Washington, D.C. indicate that Utah again has the highest birthrate in the nation, half again higher than the national average.

Nor is the correlation recognized between these enormous families and the nation's highest rate of per capita bankruptcies of the nation's highest rate of prescription anti-depressants.

Just thinking about this ridiculous emphasis on "multiplying and burying the earth" makes me depressed. Maybe I should go pop a pill.

Subject: Discouraging non-Mormons from breeding would be equally in line with these goals....
Date: Jan 16 12:45
Author: Aphrodite
Mail Address:

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.

I suppose that instead of encouraging Mormons to have more children than they can take good care of, they should be encouraging birth control among "gentiles," since such children will necessarily "be trained in wickedness, debauchery, and every species of crime," according to Brigham. He really hated non-Mormons, didn't he? I suppose that forced sterilization of all non-Mormons would do the trick--then the "saints" could take their time in making mortal tabernacles for all the spirit children.

It kind of makes you wonder why God couldn't just stop the evil people from having children, doesn't it? Their excuse would be that God follows natural laws, so if people have sex, they can get pregnant whether or not he wants them to. BUT whenever an LDS couple gets pregnant it's because God is sending them a spirit child, not just because they had unprotected sex.

Subject: I should add that conservative Mormons are against birth-control for non-Mormons...
Date: Jan 16 13:23
Author: Aphrodite

and thus work against Brigham's plan for spirit babies to come to Mormon families.

Subject: Re: Discouraging non-Mormons from breeding would be equally in line with these goals....
Date: Jan 16 18:34
Author: sg
Mail Address:

Right on Aphrodite ( with both posts): You put your finger on two rational conclusions. Here's another related one that bothers me. The whole BY quote says that good, heaven qualified, spirits driven into those wicked families will be damned for no fault of their own.

I know LDS will dance around that, but those are BY's own words.

Subject: Re: On Limiting Families....
Date: Jan 16 15:54
Author: Claire

As an " investigator " (early 70s) I specifically asked the missionaries how the church stood on birth control since that was my main beef with our Catholic faith. They ASSURED me that God gave you a brain and expects you to use it. Yeah right. Later on I found out what a lying bunch these people really were. But there is poetic justice, the main tbm who sucked me in bred 7 kids and is MISERABLE !!!!

Subject: More fun quotes.
Date: Jan 16 19:14
Author: Fly
Mail Address:

From BYU's President, Merrill Bateman, January 14th 2003:

"The world, however, is moving in the opposite direction. There are two tendencies. The first is to delay marriage. The second is to not take marriage seriously. In the first case, more and more young people are waiting until their late twenties. They want to complete their education and have a good job and a home and a car. Unfortunately, they will waste a significant portion of their productive lives."

From General Conference, April 1995:

"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." --J Ballard Washburn, “The Temple Is a Family Affair,” Ensign, May 1995, 11

The current CHI says this:

"It is the privilege of married couples who are able to bear children to provide mortal bodies for the spirit children of God, whom they are then responsible to nurture and rear. The decision as to how many children to have and when to have them is extremely intimate and private and should be left between the couple and the Lord. Church members should not judge one another in this matter."

While I think the CHI is a small step forward, it's not a public document and it can't have the impact or authority that statements from the pulpit at General Conference do.

Subject: "Their late twenties" OMG!
Date: Jan 17 02:53
Author: johanna

"They want to complete their education and have a good job and a home and a car. Unfortunately, they will waste a significant portion of their productive lives."

LATE 20'S! Significant portion? What is that 8 years or so out of 80? And this man was put in charge of BYU? Why don't they just allow co-ed dorms and encourage nightly orgies so all the girls can get pregnant as soon as possible. Just do a DNA test after the baby is born and get them wed up.

If there is one particularly active young man, he'll be made Elder's Quorum President and given several houses paid for by members to house his new burgeoning family.


This is what I hear in Bateman's talk:
"We can't take a chance on you discovering free thought and acheiving a modecum of self-discovery. You must be married in the temple as soon as possible after 18 so that we can trap you into the church cycle of callings and lack of sleep so that you can be brainwashed into compliance...You are getting sleepy...."

Okay...that's enough for one night. Between this and the limiting children thread, I've had my dose for the year. See you in 2005! LOL!

Married at 19, Mother in my "late" 20's at 22! Am I worthy yet, bastard!

Subject: Interesting thread about limiting family size here
Date: Jan 16 20:34
Author: me

Have a look at

This is an LDS parenting board. First thread is about when to stop having children. Sad to watch all the nazi TBM ladies trying to keep the other toeing the church line (as they see it). Soooooo happy I'm no longer mormon.

Subject: God, what misery.
Date: Jan 16 20:49
Author: Fly

Is this a spoof? If I hadn't had this mindset myself, I wouldn't believe it. From the link:

"Just looking for some advice from strangers. I have 3 beautiful, healthy children and feel very blessed to have them. I always thought I'd have 5 or 6. Now, I'm feeling so exhausted by the 3 I have that I just can't cope with the thought of having another one. I have very mixed feelings about this. Obviously, I feel guilty if I stop at 3 because we have a big house and it would not be a hardship financially to have more. From the outside looking in, it looks like there is no reason we can't have more.

I'm just not sure I could handle the day-to-day. I get very physically sick and depressed when I am pg and postpartum, plus have depression episodes during other times. The thought of spending another 9 months being sick & depressed and then having a baby attached to my bosom for months after that is just overwhelming."

Here's the advice of one poster:

Have you ever read the teachings of Spencer W. Kimball?  I believe you would find peace with chapter 12 in this book.  It is all about having and raising children.  You know, we are to study all the prophets not just the current one.  I hope you get to read it.  If you can't get it let me know.  I can tell you practically verbatim what he says in it.   It is something I read and reflect on often.  It is a source of strength for me.  I will tell you that one thing he says is that we shouldn't prevent these precious spirits from coming into our homes so long as there is no medical reason not to existing.  He says that although it is difficult while they are young that we will be blessed. 

And the advice of another:

What I'm getting at is this--there is no other way to say it except to just say it:  it is against church doctrine to do anything "permanent".  In fact, if you study about this very thing....It is counseled against unless medically necessary.  In the teachings of SWKimball, he says that the tying of tubes and other procedures cannot be condoned by the church.  Why?  For the very reason poster #4 gave.  You may feel like you are done but what about those spirits who are supposed to be in your home and aren't here yet. 

*sigh* These poor women. Sheesh. Thanks for the link, me! It reminds me why I left.

Subject: Glad you checked out the link- I lurk regularly over at the pp's LDS board
Date: Jan 16 21:08
Author: me

The posts there show exactly why Utah women have the highest rates of antidepressant use in the USA- their lives are totally miserable. Everything we talk about on this board- how impossible living the mormon life is- is reinforced by reading over there.

Subject: OMG...I'm physically sick to my stomach...
Date: Jan 17 02:43
Author: johanna
Mail Address:

I read a lot of the thread until I couldn't stand "school marm" anymore...or see "Mother to six earth angels and seven angels in Heaven (lost to m/c)Our newest angel left us Dec. 5, 2003"

Are they collecting spirits? Will this be the next form of come-up-ence in Mormonism? Will we see angels on a chain that will signify how many miscarriages you've had and how many spirits you have waiting for you in heaven? Ya think that "God" might be telling you something if you've miscarried 7 times...GRRRRR.

Mormonism is not a religion of peace and joy. These women are mentally and physically suffering because of the contradictory (no it's not) and scizophrenic word of the prophets.

Even the women that make sense turn around and apologize for bringing contention to the discussion board. OMG...they can't even enjoy being right!!!!!

GRRRRRR. I'm so glad I'm out. I'm so glad I'm out. I'm so glad I'm out. I'm so glad I'm out. I'm so glad I'm out. I'm so glad I'm out. I'm so glad I'm out. I'm so glad I'm out. I'm so glad I'm out. I'm so glad I'm out. I'm so glad I'm out. I'm so glad I'm out.

Although I love my children as individuals, I am so glad that I am free to sometimes say I JUST HATE PARENTING! It is damned hard to go from being a kid to suddenly having to care for a screaming baby! How could the church have stolen my young adulthood. AND YES I DIRECTLY BLAME THE CHURCH...Just as school marm has been brainwashed by the teachings of the past prophets, I was taught those same things by young women leaders, seminary teachers, even my GD "family life" (yeah, right) instructor at Ricks in 1984.

My husband did go to the bishop after we had 4 and WAS shown in the CHI at the time that he shouldn't do anything permanent. And yes, we got a wonderful little boy out of it. But frankly, all my kids have been wonderful specimens of jolly babyhood. I was even told I SHOULD have a dozen because they all turned out so beautifully.

Let me tell you a secret. Having the kids isn't the hard part, although I acknowlege it is for some women, it's the raising and paying for them that is miserable!

DO I NOT COUNT! WHEN DO WE AS PEOPLE STOP COUNTING! At what point do we stop being a child of God and just become cattle giving birth to fatten the spirit coffers of God! You know...if "God" would just forgive everyone on earth...he'd have lots and lots of babies up in heaven to enjoy and let us poor parents have a break.

I weep for these women. I weep for them as I would if they were in a cult that at least didn't mask that fact that they were trying to control their victims. The church tells members they have their free agency and then raises a hand as you would to a toddler and dares them to use it.

Even though it was hard, I'm glad you posted that. Now I feel better about my gentle persuasion of my friend who just had her 6th and had about 4 pre-cancerous moles removed. I just keep giving her permission to stop. I just hope she figures out that that "girl spirit in heaven" is her own.

Mother of 5 and glad my husband had the sense to get fixed!

Subject: And yet official policy...
Date: Jan 16 20:48
Author: Stray Mutt contained in the Church Handbook of Instruction says the number of children and their timing is between the couple and the Lord and no one else.

Subject: A recognized world-wide finding of economists: the more education a woman receives, the fewer children she has
Date: Jan 17 04:35
Author: Faraway

This alone should shed some light on Mormon suspicion of unlimited female education.

Subject: Re: On Limiting Families....
Date: Jan 17 08:26
Author: Gag me with a spoon

I married young and had 3 kids by the time I was 21. At one time I had all three in diapers that's how close they were. It was a three-ring circus with Mormonism on top of it all. The marriage itself was not a mistake but having so many kids so young certainly was. It's nothing would recommend and I feel sorry for anyone who gets caught up in the Mormon guilt for not producing babies fast enough. My husband originally wanted 6 kids but luckily we came to our senses and stopped at 3.


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