Family planning (having kids)

(also see “Making decisions”)

 

Pros of Mormonism from the perspective of the
Believer
Nonbeliever
Believers usually feel that children are a blessing from God, and that they bring joy and happiness into the world. As Mormonism encourages members to have children, this can increase our joy. Mormon women might be more likely to have children earlier in their life, thus decreasing the amount of women who become infertile as they age and regret missing their opportunity to have children. In a day when many people are choosing to have less children or even not have children at all, it’s a great blessing that modern apostles and commandments have given us wise counsel encouraging us to bring them into the world. God will help us provide for our kids, and everything will work out.
 
Another pro of Mormonism encouraging large families is that it brings more spirit children into active, believing families.
 
Having kids young can be hard work and difficult on a marriage, but these trials bring a marriage together and bring strength to it later on.
Regardless of the truthfulness of the church, there is great potential for children to bring joy and happiness into the world. As Mormonism encourages members to have children, this can increase our joy. Mormon women might be more likely to have children earlier in their life, thus decreasing the amount of women who become infertile as they age and regret missing their opportunity to have children.
 
Having kids young can be hard work and difficult on a marriage, but these trials can bring a marriage together and might bring strength to it later on.
 
Cons of Mormonism from the perspective of the
Believer
Nonbeliever
The church instructs: “Mothers who enjoy good health, have your children and have them early…. Do not curtail the number of your children for personal or selfish reasons”. I personally was given an apostolic command by Elder Scott to do this in 2008. Rushing into having kids often destroys or stunts educational and future employment opportunities for fathers but especially for mothers. Many believers and nonbelievers see harm in this.
 
Even though children can be a great blessing and are a gift from God, this gift is not without challenges. Being a parent is hard, requires great responsibility, and can break a marriage apart if the marriage does not have an adequate economic foundation or if the couple has other issues they haven’t worked out. Sometimes people in the church are pressured into having a child when they are not ready to have one.
 
If Mormons don’t or can’t have kids, they can often feel spiritually unworthy and socially outcast.
 
The pressure to have kids before a family is economically ready for them places a burden on the government as more Mormon families apply for government programs (Food Stamps, WIC, Medicaid).
The church instructs: “Mothers who enjoy good health, have your children and have them early…. Do not curtail the number of your children for personal or selfish reasons”. I personally was given an apostolic command by Elder Scott to do this in 2008. Rushing into having kids often destroys or stunts educational and future employment opportunities for fathers but especially for mothers. Many women rush into motherhood as a career because they felt it was what God wanted them to do. If motherhood is unfulfilling for them, they often live in regret and painfully try to both manage their children and find a career that brings personal satisfaction and happiness. This is not always doable. While believers can feel this regret, former believers might feel especially jaded and cheated as they look back on important life decisions about children and employment that were influenced by beliefs they no longer hold.
 
The church places too much emphasis on having kids, often resulting in having kids too early. Being a parent is hard, requires great responsibility, and can break a marriage apart if the marriage does not have an adequate economic foundation or if the couple has other issues they haven’t worked out. Sometimes people in the church are pressured into having a child when they are not ready to have one. How many marriages are miserable or died because the church encouraged them to have kids too early or to have too many kids? How many children were born into families with parents that weren’t ready to be parents? Or into families with parents that should have had 2 kids and not 5? The nonbeliever might see the church’s emphasis on having children as self-serving, because it adds to the membership and wealth of the church, while the individual members and families can suffer.
 
If Mormons don’t or can’t have kids, they can feel socially outcast.
 
The pressure to have kids before a family is economically ready for them places a burden on the government as more Mormon families apply for government programs (Food Stamps, WIC, Medicaid).
 
The church handbook encourages couples that have a baby out of wedlock who are not likely to marry to place the child up for adoption. It is very common for mothers to second guess their decision to place a child for adoption. However, it is surely devastating for those that give their child away for adoption because of the church’s recommendation and then later leave the church.

 

Comments relating to your lived experience with Mormonism are welcome. Although it can be difficult to distinguish at times, please focus on how the church helps and harms rather than it being true vs untrue.

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