Do we have a moral obligation to worry about population growth?

Posted on February 3, 2013 at 12:01 am

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Question

Gramps,

The LDS Church encourages married couples to have children. In a letter the Church says: “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.” If this is all true, then what about the problems of population growth? Or the one child policy in China? How should we respond? As an ethical issue, knowing that increased population will mean a lack of food, pollution, increased war and crime, higher use of natural resources, and congestion in certain countries; should we be selfish and choose to have as many children as we want? And what about Mormons in China? How should they respond to the one child policy law?

Eliza

 

Answer

Eliza,

When understanding our moral obligation with regard to population growth we must understand first the doctrines associated with your question. Within your message there are two parts: first being resource and population control, second China and LDS members.

When we read the scriptures, particularly the Doctrine and Covenants 104: 17, this is specified:

For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare; yea, I prepared all things, and have given unto the children of men to be agents unto themselves.

In this verse of scripture we see that the Lord is declaring that the earth is full and that there is enough to spare, and how he has prepared all things which have been given unto us. Thus the question we must ask ourselves, in relation to what others have stated, do we really need to worry about over-population issues? This does not mean that we become irresponsible citizens and trash everything. We are here to improve our situations, and to properly use resources which have been given.

With regard to having children, remember we are not able to help the Lord to bring  to pass the immortality and eternal life of his children without having more children. It isn’t selfish at all to bring children into this world.

As pertaining to China and members in China who are only able to have one child, then they are to obey the laws of the land as specified in our Articles of Faith #12.

12 We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

Members are to obey the laws of the land which they reside in.

 

Gramps

Summary
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Obligation to worry about population growth? - Ask Gramps - Q and A about Mormon Doctrine
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The LDS Church encourages married couples to have children. In a letter the Church says: “We have been commanded to multiply and replenish the earth that we may have joy and rejoicing in our posterity.
  • Terrie Lynn Bittner

    When I was a teenager, our teachers assured us the world would be out of space and resources by the time we were in our thirties. I’m in my fifties, and we’re still doing fine. I think people like scaring themselves.

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