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Gramps,

My wife and I have four children and we feel that our family is complete. I have thought about getting a vasectomy. Have church leaders given any guidance on this issue? Thanks.

Sheldon

Dear Sheldon,

One of the purposes of mortality is to provide a physical body as an eternal tabernacle for the spirit. Associated with that purpose is the opportunity and requirement for the spirit to gain domination over body, its passions and appetites. I would think that there may be severe consequences for attempting to circumvent the natural process of the use of wisdom and self control in managing the affairs of the body. I would certainly hesitate to take such unalterable measures to regulate family size.

There is a statement of policy in this matter in the Encyclopedia of Mormonism in Volume 3, entitled, Policies, Practices, and Procedures. Surgical Sterilization (Including Vasectomy). “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 (or branch president) and receive divine confirmation through prayer.”

Further, we read the following in The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p.331,

“We are aghast at the reports of young people going to surgery to limit their families and the reputed number of parents who encourage this vasectomy. Remember that the coming of the Lord approaches, and some difficult-to-answer questions will be asked by a divine Judge who will be hard to satisfy with silly explanations and rationalizations. He will judge justly, you may be sure.”

-Gramps

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