Can one be baptized if they have had an abortion?

Can one be baptized if they have had an abortion?

Question

 

Gramps,

Can you be baptized if you have had an abortion?

Trudy

 

Answer

 

Trudy,

The short answer is yes…. Yes you can.

Baptism is about having faith in Christ and having the desire and willingness to repent, in addition to joining the Church. If you are considering baptism in the LDS Church then you will need to work with the missionaries. The missionaries’ job is to teach you what you need to know and do in order to be baptized. As you progress and after you have a date set for baptism, they will schedule a time for a baptismal interview.

Generally this interview will be done by another missionary, one who has not been involved with teaching you up to this point. This interview is to make sure the missionaries who are teaching you have done a good job, and that you have the faith, the desire to repent, and the willingness to follow the commandments that are necessary for baptism.

This first interview will ask you about your feelings and thoughts about your repentance and worthiness. Now there are some issues (abortion is one) that require a bit more experience, empathy, and understanding than your typical 19-year-old young man has. Therefore he will simply ask if you have been involved in those actions in the past. When you answer yes (which you should if you had an abortion), an interview will be set up with someone with presiding authority in the mission. The second interview will be the continuation of the first with an interviewer who is set apart to handle the more delicate issues of your particular case.

Thus the only real difference in the process for someone who has had a abortion is the second interview. As long as there is faith, repentance and willingness to keep the commandments, you can be baptized just like anyone else.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

Why is it okay to have an abortion due to rape or incest?

Why is it okay to have an abortion due to rape or incest?

Question

 

Dear Gramps,

I was wondering, why does the Church say it is okay to abort a child that is the ‘product’, if I may, of rape or incest? Isn’t that baby still a human, with every right to life that we do? I ask this for a better understanding, not to try and undermine Church authority. Any insight is well appreciated!

Nicholas

 

Answer

 

Nicholas,

While such a decision is permitted, it is only under the most solemn of conditions.  The doctor monitoring the pregnancy must be involved in the discussion. The Bishop must also be involved in the discussion. I have had dear friends go through such a process, and I can say with confidence that it was not an easy discussion to have, it was not a short discussion, nor was it concluded quickly. Months were involved, as well as many deep and emotional meetings. Since those days, I would not be surprised to learn that the process itself typically takes longer now, to get the Church’s approval, should the decision be made to end the pregnancy.

You are every bit correct that every life is sacred with a right to continue. The approval cannot come on the heels of an emotional reaction to a horrific event such as rape. Despite the ugliness, that life can still be realized to adulthood in an adoptive home, and the Church does have its own adoption services program for just such events as these.

When it comes to events such as incest or rape, feelings are immediately tender and tempers are begging for an excuse to flare. The last person that should suffer from such an environment is the very person that is innocent of anything wrong, and I sorrow for the knowledge that it occurs at all. At the same time, Heavenly Father is more loving and caring than we can know. Ultimately, when we place our faith on the line, we must trust that he leads us true, whatever we feel his answer is.

 

Gramps

 

 

Revelation

Revelation

Dear Gramps,

I am very confused. In the Journal of Discourses there are a few quotes by John Taylor saying that any person who has an abortion can never receive eternal life in the celestial kindgom. Today Elder Boyd K. Packer has said that you can be forgiven of an abortion, and even Elder Russel M. Nelson has said those that did not fully understand what they were doing can be forgiven. I guess for someone who has had a very hard life and ended up having an abortion, I am scared and just don’t know what to believe and have faith in? Can I ask the Lord for personal revelation on this matter regarding my life since we are getting mixed messages from the leaders? I am now sealed in the temple and for the first time in my life understand the gospel and desire to live the commandments and receive eternal life. But because of the mixed messages on this subject, it is hard to me to find peace, joy, and happiness in my day to day life.

Thanks you – Confused (more…)

Can one be forgiven of abortion?

Can one be forgiven of abortion?

Question

 

Dear Gramps,

We know that all sins can be forgiven except that of denying the Holy Ghost. In the case of murder I know that one can be forgiven but never obtain eternal life, only the telestial kingdom. In the cause of abortion is it the same in that you can be forgiven, but never be able to receive exaltation.

Alison

 

Answer

 

Dear Alison,

Not only can you be forgiven, but the Lord would love for you to repent and be forgiven. The First Presidency said in 1972:

“As the matter stands today, no definite statement has been made by the Lord one way or another regarding the crime of abortion. So far as is known, he has not listed it alongside the crime of the unpardonable sin and shedding of innocent human blood. That he has not done so would suggest that it is not in that class of crime and therefore that it will be amenable to the laws of repentance and forgiveness.”

More recently, the current instruction given to priesthood leaders is that abortion is not considered murder for the purposes of Church disciplinary action. You can and should repent, because Christ’s Atonement is the only thing that can help any anguish.

We can only be judged properly according to the light and knowledge of the gospel we had in our life if/when we made such a decision. I know that may sound a little strange, so let me elaborate.

The killing of another person is against the laws of the land. We instinctively know that this is wrong. (War is a different scenario, so let’s keep that separate.)

Abortion seems to have “conditional morality”, meaning that it depends on the person who wants the abortion. If they see it as “birth control”, that’s the way they see it.

However, those of us who have been raised with certain Christian values, know that the killing of any life, is against God’s plan. It becomes a bigger issue.

Doctrine & Covenants 82:3

3 For of him unto whom much is given much is required; and he who sins against the greater light shall receive the greater condemnation

It might be helpful for you to study the conversion of the Anti-Nephi-Lehi as found in the Book of Mormon. They were all kinds of sinners up to and including murder. They then became converted and had a complete change of heart. Their burdens were lifted and they felt the forgiving love of God. They totally changed their lives and rejected their former ways. The Book of Mormon makes it clear that God did not withhold any blessing from them once they turned to him.

 
For any unwed or teenage pregnant girls, I offer this advice: Go to your Bishop. Work with him and plan for the eventual adoption of your child. At the very least, see what resources are available from your City, State, or Country. I know that in the US, you can drop off a child at a police station, fire station or hospital with no questions asked. Just don’t compound the sin with abortion.

If you have committed abortion or funded/encouraged abortion (for men), you must talk to your Bishop. Better to confess in this life, than to harbor the sin until the next life.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

What does the LDS Church say about abortion?

What does the LDS Church say about abortion?

Question

 

Gramps,

I am a member but I have always wondered what the church has said about abortion. Thanks Gramps!

Ashley

 

Answer

 

Dear Ashley,

The taking of a human life, either before or after birth, is a grievous sin. The fact that many people in our society of today promote and practice this diabolical activity in no way lessens the severity of the offense before God. President Spencer W. Kimball has said,

“Abortion is a serious sin. There is such a close relationship between the taking of a life and the taking of an embryonic child, between murder and abortion, that we would hope that mortal men would not presume to take the frightening responsibility (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p.188).

We read the following specific information regarding abortion in the Encyclopedia of Mormonism,

“Abortion is one of the most revolting and sinful practices of this day. Members must not submit to, be a party to, or perform an abortion. The only exceptions are when-

1. Pregnancy has resulted from incest or rape;

2. The life or health of the woman is in jeopardy, in the opinion of competent medical authority; or

3. The fetus is known, by competent medical authority, to have severe defects that will not allow the baby to survive beyond birth (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol.3).

The God given gift of life is precious. To prevent its occurrence or to terminate its existence is classed among the most serious of sins. Their seriousness is related to the fact that life is precious. However, the precious nature of life is not manifest only in coming into or going out of the world. Those two acts are but the beginning and the end. Between those two end points is the daily walk of the individual. Understanding the precious nature of life we should use the utmost care not to damage or harm it in any way. If we could feel a genuine love for our Father’s other children we would extend ourselves in their behalf. The question of being kind just to those who in our opinion would merit our kindness would not be an issue. We would treat equally well all of our Father’s children. The Savior’s love and compassion was extended not to just the worthy, but to all humanity. To treat anyone in an unseemly manner in some way negates our appreciation for and understanding of the great atoning sacrifice of the Son of God.

 

Gramps

 

 

I had an abortion.  Do I need to talk to my Bishop?

I had an abortion. Do I need to talk to my Bishop?

Dear Gramps,

This is pretty serious. I did something terrible when I was 18 (and BEFORE I was a member of the church) and have never told ANYONE. I have repented, begged for forgiveness and have felt a lifting of that burden, but will be getting married in the temple soon and question as to whether this is still “on my head” because I did not “come clean” and have not spoken with the Bishop. Do I need to do this? Even though the sin was prior to my being a member and worse, while I was young and not very bright. The sin was abortion. I want to do the right thing, but have wiped this act totally from my mind until I was proposed to….I remembered it then. Please help.

Beth, from Georgia

(more…)

How can we help our friend from a dysfunctional home see the value of life?

How can we help our friend from a dysfunctional home see the value of life?

Dear Gramps,
My daughter has a friend who has asked some very pointed questions about abortion that we have tried to help her with. She feels that abortion is justified because she wishes that her mother had aborted her instead of raising her in a dysfunctional and abusive home. We have tried to explain the church’s position and about our Heavenly Father’s plan and the sanctity of life. The only argument that she has is that she claims that once a fetus is aborted the spirit of that fetus then has another opportunity to get yet another body and come to earth again in other circumstances. What can we tell her about this falsehood. Where in scripture does it explain that this notion is in opposition with Heavenly Father’s Plan. How can we help this dear girl understand that she is a precious daughter of God and that she has a wonderful gift of her own life? Do Babies that are lost in utero either to miscarriage or abortion return to the spirit world and wait there for their families.
Rosanne, from Goshen, Kentucky (more…)

Have I committed the unpardonable sin by having an abortion?

Have I committed the unpardonable sin by having an abortion?

Hello Gramps,
I was sealed in the temple years ago and later divorced. I no longer attend the Mormon Church. Later as a single mother, I had an abortion. Have I committed an unforgivable sin? Lately I have been fasting and praying a lot. I am trying to return to a wonderful relationship with my Heavenly Father, if he will have me? Have I lost a life with God now and forever?
Sad (more…)

Should I keep my child, give it up to adoption or have an abortion?

Question

 
Dear Gramps
I am an unwed, divorced woman and have now become pregnant. Last year I gave my newborn son up for adoption. This time my circumstances are different. The father will not agree to an adoption, and is adamant about an abortion. How will my child be accepted by the church if I’m forced to keep it?
Devastated, from Las Vegas, Nevada

 

Answer

 

Dear Devastated,
Your child is perfectly innocent, and will be accepted by the church the same as any other newborn. However, since you wrote in, let me state that your case is entirely another matter! Two kids by two different men, divorced from one and not married to the other!! You seem to belong to the Mormon Church, and I’m sure you know the extremely serious consequences of adultery. This guy who is the father of your latest child wants you to have an abortion. Therefore, we know where he is coming from! You must know that abortion is akin to murder. Please don’t add that horrible crime to your list of serious offenses against the Lord!! Since you are not married to this man, he has absolutely no say in what you do with your child. If you plan to marry him and therefore want to appease him, I’d be very, very careful about such a decision. I’m sure that you can deduce that I don’t think much of your morals, but I think even less of his. Are you sure that you want to marry a guy who is an enemy to God? What you need to do is to shape up your own life! Continuing as you are now, you will also end up being an enemy to God and will eternally suffer the consequences. Give this guy the bum’s rush and take care of your own  child. If you love this child like the other one, you will probably want to give it up for adoption as well, so that it may be reared in a normal two-parent home. But if you decide to keep the child, make absolutely sure that it is brought up in the church from its infancy. To teach it right from wrong, you must learn it yourself. So you must attend church from now on–constantly, not occasionally. You will undoubtedly be looked down on by some of the church members, who because of their self righteousness are in greater need of repentance than you are. You are required by the gospel to forgive them for any un-Christianlike attitudes that they may have if you would want to have the Lord forgive you of your own faults.

This is the moment of decision in your life! If you follow the right course, you will be able to inherit all the eternal blessings that God has in reserve for any of His children. But if you don’t make that choice in this crossroads of your life, it is doubtful that you will ever make it.

 

Gramps

 

Does the Mormon Church have a position on sterilization to prevent the bearing of more children?

Does the Mormon Church have a position on sterilization to prevent the bearing of more children?

Gramps,

After prayerful consideration, my husband and I have decided that we are done having children, for many reasons. We have been debating about whether or not to continue just “being careful” which is very difficult, or to go all out and have one of us “fixed” which is the option I prefer. I’ve inquired of several people about what they have done in this situation, and have received some interesting answers, one being that this is forbidden by the church, another being that it is okay, but you have to discuss it with your bishop first as you are destroying any chance of having more children. Like I said, we have prayed about this and we feel comfortable with our decision, so why do I need to bring my bishop into all of this? Is it a sin? Why is my Mormon doctor then so comfortable with my choice? He is the one who suggested I pray about it in the first place. I need to make a decision soon, so I would really appreciate the Mormon Church’s stand on this. Thank you.

Camille, from Idaho (more…)

Page 1 of 212
Copyright © 2015 Ask Gramps - Q and A about Mormon Doctrine. All Rights Reserved.
This website is not owned by or affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes called the Mormon or LDS Church). The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the position of the Church. The views expressed by individual users are the responsibility of those users and do not necessarily represent the position of the Church. For the official Church websites, please visit LDS.org or Mormon.org.

Pin It on Pinterest