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Question

 
Dear Gramps,
I do not want to seem argumentative, but I do know that it is possible for a man to have a reverse vasectomy and it be successful. I feel that there is no room to say that it is a “drastic manner to eliminate temptation.” I feel that this act is for married couples to also strengthen their love and relationship. I do not feel that it is only for bearing children. We are currently pregnant with our fourth child and are not making that decision now but feel that we might need to make that decision because we feel we can only handle so much and that Heavenly Father would want us to only have children that we can emotionally and physically provide for. I also talked to my father who was bishop of our ward for several years and is now on the high council. He told me that it is the decision of the couple as long as they pray about it and take time to make the decision. My mother also agrees. I have heard so many different things and I just wonder why there is no one set answer that anyone can give me. I have heard that you will have childbearing privileges taken away in the after life as well as what my dad has told me. Doesn’t the church have anything written anywhere about this issue?

Rachel
 

Answer

 

Dear Rachel,
Your father is right in that all such decisions are the responsibility of the husband and wife, and certainly such decisions would appropriately be made under the influence of the Holy Spirit. But even though prayer may be invoked, I’m sure that the Lord would not go along with any decision that would be made in such circumstances just because a prayer was offered. You wonder why there is no one set answer to this question that anyone can give you. Would a statement from the Church’s General Handbook of Instructions fall under your criteria for a “set answer?”

“Sterilization, including voluntary vasectomies, tied fallopian tubes, or premature hysterectomies, are serious matters with moral, spiritual, and physiological ramifications. God’s primordial instruction to mankind is to “be fruitful, and multiply and replenish the earth” (Gen.1:28). The privilege and power to procreate may be God’s greatest gift to mankind and, within the sacred marriage covenant, is an obligation for which God will hold men and women fully accountable. Latter-day Saints affirm that life’s most lofty and ennobling values are found in marriage, procreation, parenthood, and family life. Any impediment or interference with this sacred opportunity may warrant God’s judgment:

“Surgical sterilization should only be considered (1) where medical conditions seriously jeopardize life or health, or (2) where 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 person or persons responsible for this decision should consult with each other and with their bishop and receive divine confirmation through prayer [General Handbook of Instructions, 11-15].

 

Gramps

 

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