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  #31  
Old Apr 5, '05, 11:25 pm
Chris-WA Chris-WA is offline
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Default Re: LDS view on abortion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by blueadept
I pulled this off the LDS website and in my opinion it looks like a loophole to have an abortion. Can anyone enlighten me? To me abortion=murder. Thanks

Question:
What is the Church's position on abortion?

Answer:
In 1973, the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released the following statement regarding abortion, which is still applicable today:
"The Church opposes abortion and counsels its members not to submit to or perform an abortion except in the rare cases where, in the opinion of competent medical counsel, the life or good health of the mother is seriously endangered or where the pregnancy was caused by rape and produces serious emotional trauma in the mother. Even then it should be done only after counseling with the local presiding priesthood authority and after receiving divine confirmation through prayer."
This is on the official LDS church website and this is their current policy. Yes, both of our churches are probably the most anti-abortion churches out there, but in this case LDS teaching is very different from Catholic teaching, and any attempt to say it's not is misleading. Most Mormons, by the way, are unaware of these exceptions, and many would probably be a little shocked by them.

By the way, who is going to receive divine confirmation to have an abortion? Is there somebody out there who has claimed such a thing?
  #32  
Old Apr 6, '05, 8:22 am
tkdnick tkdnick is offline
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Default Re: LDS view on abortion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by j2jensen
The several question marks made your comment sound incredulous and accusatory.
You are right...and I apologize. But the fact that someone was saying that this sin and that sin and this other sin were unforgiveable was extremely scandalous to me. NO ONE but God decides if a sin is unforgiveable.
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  #33  
Old Apr 6, '05, 8:26 am
tkdnick tkdnick is offline
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Default Re: LDS view on abortion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by j2jensen
Here I'll give you more ammunition to use, if you so desire, to shoot down our faith. For a time, one of our prophets, Brigham Young, taught in a way that seemed to very strongly imply that Christ's blood was not enough to atone for murder.
I have no desire to "shoot down" your faith. I do have a desire to correct those who are wrong, and for me, to have someone make the statement that a certain sin is unforgiveable is wrong. I have heard of this teaching from BY, but I had heard that he wasn't so specific. I heard he said that Christ's blood wasn't enough to atone for several sins (adultry was another), and that the only way to atone for them was by the shedding of your blood. And I have heard that that is why Utah still has the firing squad as a form of capital punishment.
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  #34  
Old Apr 6, '05, 8:28 am
tkdnick tkdnick is offline
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Default Re: LDS view on abortion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by j2jensen
For a time, one of our prophets, Brigham Young, taught in a way that seemed to very strongly imply that Christ's blood was not enough to atone for murder. It unfortunately appears to have been the basis for some murders; not that the murders were in any way condoned by any prophet or the church, but certain people took it to be such...
Well, according to what mormon fool wrote any LDS who committed a murder in reaction to this is now in hell. Is that what you believe?
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  #35  
Old Apr 6, '05, 9:01 am
oldfogey oldfogey is offline
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Default Re: LDS view on abortion?

The statement that the Catholic Church allows abortion in the case of an ectopic pregnancy is simply wrong. Firstly, would anyone like to give me the name of anyone born from an ectopic pregnancy...ever? When an ectopic pregnancy ruptures, the baby is no longer alive, and no longer "nourished" by the tube. To not act medically to save the mother's life would be sheer negligence. Also, the intent is NOT to end the pregnancy, which has ALREADY ENDED, but to save the mother from hemorrhage. In the same way, the Church sees no problem with doing a D&C on a woman who is bleeding from a miscarriage, as the baby has already died.

And, no, these are not just ways of using words to allow abortion.
  #36  
Old Apr 6, '05, 9:06 am
tkdnick tkdnick is offline
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Default Re: LDS view on abortion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldfogey
In the same way, the Church sees no problem with doing a D&C on a woman who is bleeding from a miscarriage, as the baby has already died.
oldfogey? I like that screen name. Hey, what's a D&C? I've never heard of that before.
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  #37  
Old Apr 6, '05, 9:36 am
john doran john doran is offline
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Default Re: LDS view on abortion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BDawg
2000 years ago, medical science was not what it is now. For example, they did not know how to save a woman's life by terminating an ectopic pregnancy. Let's get this straight. A fetus is terminated in this operation, and hence, it is an abortion. By allowing such a procedure, the RCC has "updated" its teachings to account for advances in medical science, but redefines the procedure so they don't have to call it an "abortion." To me, this seems somewhat disingenuous. It reveals a kind of ossification that only allows progress or adaptation to circumstances by means of word games.
it's not word games: it's ethics.

perhaps you can offer a substantive argument fo the conclusion that the principle of double effect is, in fact, an erroneous moral principle.
  #38  
Old Apr 6, '05, 9:52 am
j2jensen j2jensen is offline
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Default Re: LDS view on abortion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tkdnick
You are right...and I apologize. But the fact that someone was saying that this sin and that sin and this other sin were unforgiveable was extremely scandalous to me. NO ONE but God decides if a sin is unforgiveable.
Thank you for your apology. I understand how scandalous that must have seemed, I agree that only God decides who gets forgiven for which sins. I hope I was able to clear up the matter a bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tkdnick
I have no desire to "shoot down" your faith. I do have a desire to correct those who are wrong, and for me, to have someone make the statement that a certain sin is unforgiveable is wrong. I have heard of this teaching from BY, but I had heard that he wasn't so specific. I heard he said that Christ's blood wasn't enough to atone for several sins (adultry was another), and that the only way to atone for them was by the shedding of your blood. And I have heard that that is why Utah still has the firing squad as a form of capital punishment.
You have heard a lot of things that I have not heard, and I know at least a few of them are incorrect for various reasons which I don't have the time to go into right now. My understanding of what I have actually read in the Journal of Discourses, where Brigham Young's teachings were documented, is thus: Murder is such a dire sin that if the people who committed murder realized how terrible it was, and if it was the only way to redeem themselves, they'd be begging everyone they knew to kill them in the hopes that their blood might be a worthy enough sacrifice to atone for what they've done.

If you can point to LDS writings and scripture (i.e. don't just quote antimormon writings, which are often wrong), which supports the statements that you make, please do so and I will research them further. If you cannot, also say so; don't just address one or two small points and assume the rest from there. This is proving to be a great opportunity for me to study our church's doctrines and history.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tkdnick
Well, according to what mormon fool wrote any LDS who committed a murder in reaction to this is now in hell. Is that what you believe?
Watch your tone, friend. I'm not sitting here saying, "By what you said, anybody who dies without being baptised Christ is going to Hell, is that what you believe?" There are a lot of your comments I could be picking apart, but I'm not. Please share the same courtesy. The purpose of these forums is to allow people to answer genuine questions about Catholic (and other) teachings. I've learned quite a bit about Catholic views by reading the other (more moderate) peoples' postings in this thread. I am more than willing to answer questions about what I believe, questions about what many Mormons believe, and/or questions about what I understand of LDS doctrine. If you would rather approach it as some kind of debate, I withdraw myself from the discussion. If you have questions you want answered, I am happy to answer them.

As far as answering your question, this topic has not been important enough for me as yet to form a strong opinion on the matter. I know enough that I won't commit murder. I know enough to be aware that it is an enormously dire sin. That, from what I can see, is the biggest point that is stressed constantly both in scripture and in church teachings. I know enough to realize that it is ridiculous for somebody to believe that murder is such a terrible sin that you should murder anybody who commits it. As a general rule, I think just about anybody who commits murder in the name of religion--be they Muslim militants crashing airplanes into buildings, anti-mormon mobs slaughtering Mormon, LDS gangs slaughtering innocents, or Catholic conquistadors and crusaders--are going to be unpleasantly surprised when the time comes for judgment. But I won't pretend to know all the secrets of Heaven and Hell, and while I understand the tendency people have to try to consult scripture on the matter, I don't see much point in arguing it one way or the other.


Old Fogey, thanks for the clarification. Nobody had made that point so far. That's the sort of posting I like to read!

Old Fogey's D&C = http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dilation_and_curettage
  #39  
Old Apr 6, '05, 9:55 am
j2jensen j2jensen is offline
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Red face Re: LDS view on abortion?

Typo correction: "anti-mormon mobs slaughtering Mormons." Mormons, with an 'S'. Hopefully that doesn't confuse anyone.
  #40  
Old Apr 6, '05, 10:08 am
tkdnick tkdnick is offline
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Default Re: LDS view on abortion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by j2jensen
You have heard a lot of things that I have not heard, and I know at least a few of them are incorrect for various reasons which I don't have the time to go into right now. My understanding of what I have actually read in the Journal of Discourses, where Brigham Young's teachings were documented, is thus: Murder is such a dire sin that if the people who committed murder realized how terrible it was, and if it was the only way to redeem themselves, they'd be begging everyone they knew to kill them in the hopes that their blood might be a worthy enough sacrifice to atone for what they've done.

If you can point to LDS writings and scripture (i.e. don't just quote antimormon writings, which are often wrong), which supports the statements that you make, please do so and I will research them further. If you cannot, also say so; don't just address one or two small points and assume the rest from there. This is proving to be a great opportunity for me to study our church's doctrines and history.
That was just something I heard someone say one time. I have no proof, no "back up", don't know if it's true, nuthin. It was just something I heard. If you say it's not true, then I'll take your word on that.
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I do believe, help my unbelief! - Mark 9:24
  #41  
Old Apr 6, '05, 10:14 am
tkdnick tkdnick is offline
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Default Re: LDS view on abortion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by j2jensen
Watch your tone, friend. I'm not sitting here saying, "By what you said, anybody who dies without being baptised Christ is going to Hell, is that what you believe?" There are a lot of your comments I could be picking apart, but I'm not. Please share the same courtesy. The purpose of these forums is to allow people to answer genuine questions about Catholic (and other) teachings. I've learned quite a bit about Catholic views by reading the other (more moderate) peoples' postings in this thread. I am more than willing to answer questions about what I believe, questions about what many Mormons believe, and/or questions about what I understand of LDS doctrine. If you would rather approach it as some kind of debate, I withdraw myself from the discussion. If you have questions you want answered, I am happy to answer them.

As far as answering your question, this topic has not been important enough for me as yet to form a strong opinion on the matter. I know enough that I won't commit murder. I know enough to be aware that it is an enormously dire sin. That, from what I can see, is the biggest point that is stressed constantly both in scripture and in church teachings. I know enough to realize that it is ridiculous for somebody to believe that murder is such a terrible sin that you should murder anybody who commits it. As a general rule, I think just about anybody who commits murder in the name of religion--be they Muslim militants crashing airplanes into buildings, anti-mormon mobs slaughtering Mormon, LDS gangs slaughtering innocents, or Catholic conquistadors and crusaders--are going to be unpleasantly surprised when the time comes for judgment. But I won't pretend to know all the secrets of Heaven and Hell, and while I understand the tendency people have to try to consult scripture on the matter, I don't see much point in arguing it one way or the other.
I'm not sure what you took my tone to be, but it was not meant to come across as derogatory or argumentative or negative or anything like that I assure you! It was an honest question about whether or not you agree with a previous statement. Maybe I should have worded it differently. mormon fool placed some quotes that stated that those who committ murder would "go to hell" (I don't think that's exactly what it said, but that's what I got from it). I was merely inquiring as to whether you believe that or not, which you answered. Thanks.
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Last edited by tkdnick; Apr 6, '05 at 10:25 am.
  #42  
Old Apr 6, '05, 10:15 am
tkdnick tkdnick is offline
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Default Re: LDS view on abortion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by j2jensen
Thanks for the link.
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  #43  
Old Apr 6, '05, 2:52 pm
BDawg BDawg is offline
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Default Re: LDS view on abortion?

Hi everyone,

Mormons do not believe that murderers in general cannot repent. For instance, in the Book of Mormon, large numbers of Lamanites, who said they had committed many murders, were baptized. They refused to take up arms in their own defense because they were afraid that they would not be forgiven if they lapsed into the murderous spirit they had previously had.

So the question is, WHICH murderers cannot be forgiven?

My understanding is that this is an issue only after a person has reached a certain level of knowledge. I don't think anyone has been that specific about what that level is, though.

BDawg
  #44  
Old Apr 6, '05, 2:56 pm
j2jensen j2jensen is offline
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Default Re: LDS view on abortion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tkdnick
I'm not sure what you took my tone to be, but it was not meant to come across as derogatory or argumentative or negative or anything like that I assure you! It was an honest question about whether or not you agree with a previous statement. Maybe I should have worded it differently. mormon fool placed some quotes that stated that those who committ murder would "go to hell" (I don't think that's exactly what it said, but that's what I got from it). I was merely inquiring as to whether you believe that or not, which you answered. Thanks.
Sorry I mistook your tone. Written communication makes it difficult to really get a sense for the tone that was intended. I'm really sorry.

As for the "go to hell" quotes, the answer is yes: more or less. It's just like the so many scriptures that seem at a glance to contradict each other. Those who sin go to hell. Those who repent are forgiven. Murder is a terrible sin, but God has at times commanded his children to murder. We should be tolerant, and always forgive our enemies. It can all seem very confusing. If we only look at one verse, or even a handful of verses, the message of the scriptures can sound really weird. I mean, if you take a look at some of the anti-Catholic stuff out there, you'll see what I mean. People take scripture out of context and paraphrase it until it's unrecognizable as a Christian teaching. Or they try to use scripture to prove that your teachings are wrong. Someone who grows up being taught in the ways and understanding of the church realizes that these people are just trying to skew reality. Taken as a whole, and with thoughtful study and prayer, we come to hold a deeper understanding of what Christ and ancient prophets meant by what they said.

The Catholic church has a significant advantage in that they have thousands of years of councils, essays, and such to clarify their beliefs. They also have a billion members worldwide, and so people generally realize that their teachings can't be that weird, and if they have any questions about it, it's a lot easier to find somebody that can clarify. The significant influence that the Roman Catholic church has played in worldwide (and especially western) politics is profound, and has earned it significant recognition as a legitimate religion pretty much worldwide.

The LDS church, by comparison, is for all practical purposes a relatively new addition to the world of organized religion. (Some would argue that it's older than I suggest because it is merely a "restoration" of Christ's church as he originally organized it, but I won't go into that right now). Although it's growing fairly rapidly, the LDS church only has about 12 million members, making it a lot easier for people to speak untruthfully (or just with midunderstanding) against us and have nobody around to speak in our defense. Since it's relatively new, we are vulnerable to the claim of illegitimacy; we rely more on personal testimonies and newly-discovered (i.e. largly unaccepted) scripture to show the authority that our church has, rather than on age-old documents showing that important councils have given this authority.

We have additional scripture which mostly clarifies and reaffirms most Christian teachings but (predictably) also raises new questions. Since this scripture has only been available since the 19th Century, we are (in terms of age) at a point well before the first Ecumenical Council (Nicaea). Since we live in such different times, and we use the Bible also, it's hardly a fair comparison, but you can see the idea. There are still many pieces of scripture that haven't been topics of numerous essays, talks, etc.

We also believe in modern prophets and revelation, and we stress the importance of listening to the Holy Spirit in all things. This has obvious advantages and disadvantages.

Obviously, there is a significant benefit if you can point to ages-old statement of doctrine and show that your doctrine has not changed since that point in time; that means your way of doing things has worked historically. It also provides some degree of protection from people who would claim some kind of divine revelation that justifies something really terrible. There is still, of course, the opportunity to interpret the current doctrine to try to justify terrible things like the Inquisition, but you aren't going to see some group of Catholics go and pull a mass suicide like the Heaven's Gate's cult. It's very nice to be able to say, "God told us that doing [insert practice here] was [wrong/forgivable/unforgivable/whatever] already; we don't even have to consider the matter."
  #45  
Old Apr 6, '05, 2:57 pm
j2jensen j2jensen is offline
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Default Re: LDS view on abortion?

On the other hand, the "modern revelation" approach of the LDS church means that our prophet can give us insights on a regular basis that pertain directly to our time. For instance, at the recent general conference, President Hinckley spoke very strongly against gambling. He very insightfully pointed out the evils that come from it, pointed out the flaws in common excuses that people use to justify it, and specifically targeted Internet Poker. In Jesus's day, there wasn't even Poker, much less the Internet, and while we can apply ancient teachings to modern settings there is a big benefit to be had by knowing that this man receives revelations that help him to lead the church here on earth. Likewise, we believe that the priesthood allows fathers to receive revelation when necessary to help him lead his family, and that individuals may receive guidance directly from the Holy Spirit to guide them in their individual lives. On the one hand, this means that weirdos like Brian David Mitchell (who kidnapped Elizabeth Smart) will sometimes pervert the teachings and imagine that they have authority to do terrible things, claiming that God told them to. On the other, it gives individuals greater flexibility.

Although the church teaches that every young man should prepare and serve a mission when he is 19 years old, I was not baptised until I was 17 years old, and wasn't sure if I was ready, in many ways, to take on that calling when I turned 19. I fasted and prayed about whether I should serve a mission, and although I would have gone if I had received an affirmative answer, the only answer I got was, "Not yet." I didn't understand this, but I continued in my schooling until, a couple of years later, I did feel the calling in my heart. I fasted and prayed and received a very definite "Yes." So now I am preparing to serve a mission. It's a lot more difficult for me now: among other things I have a girlfriend that I'll have to leave for two years, and all kinds of job offers that I have to turn down and hope I can get offered again after I get back. But God has asked me to do it, and I will. Although there was a lot of social pressure for me to go right when I turned 19 (I was raised in Salt Lake City), my family and church leaders accepted that I had received the Spirit's guidance as to what God wanted for me. Similarly, although my dad (who is LDS in name only) disapproves of my serving a mission now, I know that this is right for me. This focus on studying the scriptures for oneself and praying for personal guidance from the Holy Spirit means that individual people can correctly understand the teachings that they hear, or can realize that they don't, but they won't rely on their own intellectual interpretation of the scripture, as the Jehovah's Witnesses might. We choose instead to "5 5aTrust in the LORD with all thine bheart; and lean not unto thine cown dunderstanding." The idea is that if there ever were a church leader that would lead his people astray, his "flock" would recognize that he is no longer on the side of their Shepherd and would allow themselves to be led by the Spirit back to their Master's fold.

Do the benefits of this approach outweigh the detractors? In my experience, they do very much indeed.

With peace,

James
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