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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

 

Answer

 

Dear Camille,

The reason for bringing your bishop into such delicate and far reaching matters that strike to the core of the gospel, is to receive the counsel of that person who officially represents for you the Lord, Jesus Christ. He stands in the Lord’s place, and the Lord honors, respects and accepts the decisions that the bishop makes on behalf of those over whom he presides. But if take your problems to the bishop I would suggest that you will first have determined to accept his counsel, whatever it is. The Lord has said,

What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same. (D&C 1:38)

You asked what the Church’s stand on this subject is.

“Husband and wife are encouraged to pray and counsel together as they plan their families. Issues to consider include the physical and mental health of the mother and father and their capacity to provide the basic necessities of life for their children.

Decisions about birth control and the consequences of those decisions rest solely with each married couple. Elective abortion as a method of birth control, however, is contrary to the commandments of God.”

And found in the handbook:

Surgical Sterilization (Including Vasectomy)

The Church strongly discourages surgical sterilization as an elective form of birth control. Surgical sterilization should be considered only if (1) medical conditions seriously jeopardize life or health or (2) birth defects or serious trauma have rendered a person mentally incompetent and not responsible for his or her actions. Such conditions must be determined by competent medical judgment and in accordance with law. Even then, the persons responsible for this decision should consult with each other and with their bishop and should receive divine confirmation of their decision through prayer.

 

Gramps

 

 

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