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Question

 

Dear Gramps,

Years ago my wife gave birth to a stillborn baby girl. We named her Ruth Ann. The Mormon Church refused to accept her and her name. Why, if at conception she was a human with a soul, and just minutes before her birth she was alive, would the Church refuse to accept her and her name?  Thank you for your consideration.

Edward

 

Answer

 

Dear Edward,

As you know, it is not the policy of the Mormon Church to make out membership records for stillborn children. The local ward keeps records only of the members living in the ward; when a member dies, that person’s membership record is forwarded to Church headquarters, where it is kept on file. Since a stillborn child never lived in the ward, no membership record is made for that person. However, we are counseled to record still births on our family records, which records will undoubtedly be preserved in the eternities. President Joseph Fielding Smith recorded his opinion on this subject as follows:

‘These little ones will receive a resurrection and then belong to us.’ ‘Stillborn children should not be reported nor recorded as births and deaths on the records of the Church,’ he said, ‘but it is suggested that parents record in their own family records a name of each such stillborn child (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed., p. 768).

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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