LDS view on abortion?

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.”

If you ask a Mormon if their church believes in abortion, they will tell you “no”. If you ask if their church believes in multiple Gods, they will tell you “no”. If you ask if Mormons still believe in polygamy, they will answer “no”. Etc., Etc., Etc.,…

Even in the “Doctrine and Covenants” by McConkie, all of these questions are “yes”. Abortion is allowed with permission from a man in the “priesthood” in the Mormon church. All men can be priests in the Mormon church, and are expected to be in order to be a good Mormon. All good Mormon men expect to be Gods in the next world, who are Gods over their own planet/world. It is called “eternal progression”. When they agree that there is one God, they mean ONE GOD OF THIS PLANET EARTH, not of the entire world. When the government would no longer allow polygamy in Utah, the Mormons agreed to “stop”. The leaders at the time explained to the church members that even though they could not practice polygamy here on earth, they would in the next world. Celestial Heaven (the top of 3 heavens)is only for persons who have been sealed. Men can be sealed to up to 6 or 7 wives, women can be sealed up to 2 husbands. (My husband is and ex-Mormon, now Catholic, and he says he was never clear as to how many wives he could have in the here-after.)They have sex, give birth to “spirit babies”, who wait for an earthly body to live and learn and return to be Gods, have “spirit babies”, etc.

Most Mormons don’t really know their religion. (Unfortunately, may Catholics are not well informed in their religion.) Mormons also are aware that many of their beliefs really sound perfectly “silly”, so deny that their church believes this silly stuff. I suggest reading “Inside Mormonism”, “When Mormons Call”, both by Isaiah Bennet. He was a Catholic priest who left the Catholic Church to join Mormon church. He came back to the Catholic church. Also a good read, “A Tale of Two Cities” The Mormons-Catholics, by Rev. William Taylor. (A former Mormon)

We need to study other religions so we know how to protect our own religious belief, however, we really need to know our own religion very well before we encounter those of other faiths.

Mom of Five

I’m sorry you have such a bitter and garbled view of the LDS Church, but you are wrong about abortion and you are wrong about the other things you mentioned. Your explanation sounds like you are very upset about the LDS religion.
The Catholic church and the LDS church both teach against abortion, they also teach chastity and are against fornication and adultery. These are all very serious sins, nearly as serious as murder and defiling a child, which in most cases are unforgiveable.
Depending on the individual circumstances abortion is forgiveable and this is true in the Catholic church as well as the Mormon church. I know that my husband’s Catholic parish has a class for girls who have had abortions so that they can be led back into the church and receive forgiveness for their sins. These girls are not just sentenced to eternal hell, they can be forgiven.
I would hope you would not judge by the anti-mormon books you are reading, just as I would not judge my Catholic husband or my Catholic friends by anti-Catholic literature. That is not the place to learn the truth about the Mormon church.
I sincerely hope you will soften your heart towards the unfortunate girls who have chosen the wrong path by choosing abortion. They are usually very frightened and alone, and with their schools and Planned Parenthood there to guide them it is easy for a young girl to make the wrong choice, and suffer the agony when it is too late . I believe that Jesus knows the hearts of these girls and he suffered, bled and died on the Cross for all of our sins, including girls who have abortions. They can be forgiven, there is hope if they repent and change their lives. God loves them still and he loves you.
My prayers are with Pope John Paul II today and with all of the Catholic community that he and you will find comfort and peace in the loving arms of your Heavenly Father.
BJ

“I’m sorry you have such a bitter and garbled view of the LDS Church, but you are wrong about abortion and you are wrong about the other things you mentioned. Your explanation sounds like you are very upset about the LDS religion.”

I did not see any bitterness BJ in what was written. Just truth.
What are we missing here?

Hi everyone,

The only differences between the Catholic and LDS policies on abortion are as follows.

  1. Both will allow abortions in some extreme cases (like ectopic pregnancies), but the RCC redefines the procedure as the removal of a diseased fallopian tube, with the unfortunate and unintended consequence of terminating a fetus. LDS just call it an abortion that is unfortunately necessary. Fancy word dances don’t change the fact that it is an abortion.

  2. The LDS Church gives wider latitude about what kinds of extreme and rare cases might justify an abortion.

In both cases, over 99% of abortions would be ruled out.

So, which policy works better? Does a slightly more lax position for the LDS encourage people to just go get abortions left and right, or does an overly rigid RCC policy encourage Catholics to just ignore it? It turns out that the latter seems to be the case.

I have read Isaiah Bennett’s incredibly bad anti-Mormon books, and in fact, a Mormon publication has done a lengthy review of them. The URL for the review is here:

farms.byu.edu/display.php?table=review&id=396

Here is an excerpt from that review regarding abortion statistics:

In any case, Bennett is incensed by this position, and in fact it appears to be one of the reasons he left the church (IM, p. 486). He writes, “One can only turn away in disgust from the Mormon church’s dithering on the necessity of protecting unborn humans” (IM, p. 147). He also asserts that although Utah has a very low abortion rate, “the rate in Utah might be even lower if not for church teachings that endorse abortion in particular situations” (IM, p. 143, emphasis in original).

Is that so? Let us examine a few relevant facts. First, Utah does not just have a low abortion rate-it has the lowest abortion rate among all the states, and this despite having the highest birth rate. Of course, the fact that Utah has the lowest out-of-wedlock birth rate might be a contributing factor as well.[41] On the other hand, Roman Catholicism has the strictest stance against abortion I know of, but a recent study showed that “Catholics are as likely as women in the general population to have an abortion, while Protestants are only 69% as likely and Evangelical or born-again Christians are only 39% as likely.”[42] In a 1992 Gallup Poll, only 12.9% of Catholics surveyed responded that abortion is never a morally acceptable choice.[43] Bennett only once attempts to compare Catholic and Mormon statistics by citing the divorce rates in Utah and Rhode Island, where the population is 63% Catholic (IM,p. 149 n. 16). But when it comes to the abortion issue, he neglects to inform us that while Utah had an abortion rate of 8 per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44 in 1998, Rhode Island’s abortion rate was 24 per 1,000, and the national average was 23.

Latter-day Saint leaders have consistently and strongly denounced abortion, but they recognize that rare cases may arise in which one life must be weighed against another, and they do not wish to completely close the door on abortion in such instances. The principle behind this was stated by Brigham Young: “Teach the people true knowledge, and they will govern themselves.”[44] No matter what one thinks of this approach with respect to abortion, it has apparently worked relatively well to convince Latter-day Saints not to have abortions. Can the Catholic leadership say the same of its policy?

Just follow the URL if you want to check the sources, some of which are online.

Just one more comment for “Mom of 5”. One does not need approval from just any Mormon male who happens to hold the priesthood in order to have an abortion. One must get approval from local priesthood LEADERS, such as the local bishop and stake president. In the RCC, thiis would be like having to get approval from your parish priest and bishop.

BDawg

Thank You Bdawg, as always your explanation is very clear and you have much more knowledge on the subject than I do.

Catholic rcia,
I just could not understand the half truths and things about the priesthood and polygamy and abortion that Mom of 5 was talking about in her post, so therefore I called it garbled and said she might be a little bitter in her assessment of the Church’s stand on abortion(which we consider murder). Obviously, she does not want these girls to have any hope of forgiveness, but as with the Catholic church there are cases where abortion has been forgiven(it is not easy) It is a long difficult road of repentance, but it is possible. As I pointed out the Catholic church also forgives abortion and has classes counseling women who have had abortions how to get back to the good graces of God and the Church. The parish my husband belongs to has such a class.
Mom of 5 does not understand the LDS religion and has become very confused as to what we believe and how abortion is dealt with. In other words she does not know the truth of it and her explaination is her misunderstanding of the LDS position on abortion.
BJ

You know I just looked to see what religion Mom of 5 is and she is Catholic. I was under the impression she was Mormon explaining what she understood about our belief on abortion. So now my response may seem garbled as I thought I was explaining to one of our own members who was totally off kilter on our beliefs. Now it all makes sense why she is so mixed up about what Mormons believe. It all seems garbled to her, as some of your beliefs have seemed to me. I am understanding more and more through this forum and hope to be able to communicate with more clarity in the future.
Sorry,
Also, my prayers are with you, as just now the death of your beloved Pope has been officially anounced. My sympathies are with the Catholics in their grief and sorrow in the loss of this great man.
BJ

I just want to add one more thing, that judgement is based on knowledge, and a young woman who knows her religion in depth and is aware of the severity of her sin, would be judged much more harshly than a young woman who at the time of the sin was inactive or possibly not a member of any church. Those young women if and when they became aware of the nature of the sin they had committed would not be judged as harshly as the one who did it knowing full consequences. That is not to say they would escape the repentance process, but it would be possible for them to receive forgiveness.

BJ

[quote=BJ Colbert]You know I just looked to see what religion Mom of 5 is and she is Catholic. I was under the impression she was Mormon explaining what she understood about our belief on abortion. So now my response may seem garbled as I thought I was explaining to one of our own members who was totally off kilter on our beliefs. Now it all makes sense why she is so mixed up about what Mormons believe. It all seems garbled to her, as some of your beliefs have seemed to me. I am understanding more and more through this forum and hope to be able to communicate with more clarity in the future.

[/quote]

Don’t feel bad, BJ. I was confused, too. When I read it I thought someone was playing an April’s fool joke. Looked at that way, there are some pretty hilarious whoppers about what mormons “really” believe being dead-panned.

“the “Doctrine and Covenants” by McConkie” :rotfl:

I apologize for bringing this perception up, if the post was meant to be serious.

later,
the every-day fool (not just on April 1)

I just don’t understand why some Catholics go after the Mormons about our abortion policy. Here we have a group that agrees with them that 99% of all abortions ought not to happen, and they start attacking us about it. One would think that people who agree on 99% of the issue ought to consider themselves allies. Anyone who cannot recognize that has something wrong with them, if you ask me.

BDawg

To Mom of 5

The belief that men can progress to become Gods is true but also women. The man is nothing without the women and the women without the man. It sounded like you think the mormon church is biased towards men which just isn’t the case. as far as abortion goes the church is strongly anti abortion. i served a mission for the church and know that in some cases people can’t be baptized if they’ve had one.

[quote=BDawg]I just don’t understand why some Catholics go after the Mormons about our abortion policy. Here we have a group that agrees with them that 99% of all abortions ought not to happen, and they start attacking us about it. One would think that people who agree on 99% of the issue ought to consider themselves allies. Anyone who cannot recognize that has something wrong with them, if you ask me.

BDawg
[/quote]

BDawg, It’s pretty simple. The LDS doctrine on abortion and contraception has changed, the Catholic has not. I think that some Catholics simply want to point out this difference. That said, I think that the LDS Church has done a fantastic job getting it’s faithful to follow LDS Church doctrine, where sadly, the Catholic Church(in the developed world at least) has not.

In developing countries(where the majority of Catholics are) we find much greater adherence to the orthodox doctrine. This includes the 2000 year old prohibition against contraception and abortion for any reason. Unfortunately in the USA, most Catholics ignore Church teachings on the subject and instead, follow the secular, anti-Christian world view when it comes to these two issues. I would add that the more active a Catholic is in their church, the more likely they are to accept orthodox, apostolic, teaching.

It’s true that LDS adhere better to their leaders teachings than U.S. Catholics. But, given the choice of unwavering doctrine and some wavering faithful, and, wavering doctrine with mostly unwavering faithful, I would take the former every time. That’s because at least we know we can count on doctrine that doesn’t change what is right and what is wrong, even though many of us don’t want to hear the truth, and many choose to ignore the teachings.

Hi Todd,

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.

On the other hand, LDS have updated their policies on these issues, and frankly say as much. We have no “doctrine” on birth control. We know of no revelation on the subject. We do have a doctrine that abortion is wrong, but we also have a doctrine that killing another person is wrong. And yet, we are not pacifists. We realize that sometimes one life must be balanced against another, and difficult choices must be made. Every once in a GREAT while, there are extenuating circumstances that make such hard choices necessary, and we have decided not to close the door on the issue.

With respect to birth control, the RCC does not condemn birth control–only artificial birth control. I suppose the main difference between us here is that LDS do not value celibacy in marriage as highly as you.

BDawg

[quote=Tmaque]BDawg, It’s pretty simple. The LDS doctrine on abortion and contraception has changed, the Catholic has not. I think that some Catholics simply want to point out this difference. That said, I think that the LDS Church has done a fantastic job getting it’s faithful to follow LDS Church doctrine, where sadly, the Catholic Church(in the developed world at least) has not.

In developing countries(where the majority of Catholics are) we find much greater adherence to the orthodox doctrine. This includes the 2000 year old prohibition against contraception and abortion for any reason. Unfortunately in the USA, most Catholics ignore Church teachings on the subject and instead, follow the secular, anti-Christian world view when it comes to these two issues. I would add that the more active a Catholic is in their church, the more likely they are to accept orthodox, apostolic, teaching.

It’s true that LDS adhere better to their leaders teachings than U.S. Catholics. But, given the choice of unwavering doctrine and some wavering faithful, and, wavering doctrine with mostly unwavering faithful, I would take the former every time. That’s because at least we know we can count on doctrine that doesn’t change what is right and what is wrong, even though many of us don’t want to hear the truth, and many choose to ignore the teachings.
[/quote]

In listening to the news stations about the death of the Pope, I have found some things said that seem to contradict what you are saying about the doctrine of your church never changing.
Today one of the Priests from Rome said on TV that they were looking forward to a new Pope who would listen more to the Cardinals and make changes in doctrine to reflect modern times, instead of keeping strictly to the old doctrines as Pope John Paul II did. It will be interesting to see what happens to you unwaivering doctrine when the new Pope is elected. Whether you recognize it or not, there have been many doctrinal changes in the Catholic church, even my Catholic husband can see those changes since he was a child 60 years ago.
BJ

[quote=BJ Colbert]In listening to the news stations about the death of the Pope, I have found some things said that seem to contradict what you are saying about the doctrine of your church never changing.
Today one of the Priests from Rome said on TV that they were looking forward to a new Pope who would listen more to the Cardinals and make changes in doctrine to reflect modern times, instead of keeping strictly to the old doctrines as Pope John Paul II did. It will be interesting to see what happens to you unwaivering doctrine when the new Pope is elected. Whether you recognize it or not, there have been many doctrinal changes in the Catholic church, even my Catholic husband can see those changes since he was a child 60 years ago.
BJ
[/quote]

Did this Priest say Doctorine? The Catholic Church has made Doctorinal changes, mostly to clarify or define cannon law more clearly, six times in 2000 years. What you and your husband are refering to are practices or ceremonial changes established by councils ie; Trent, Vatican 2. ect, ect. The fact that a Priest can’t be married is a practice not a doctorine. Where the host is stored, the tabernacle, the exact location of the alter in relation to were the presider sits, and the mass spoken in the native tongue of the laity versus latin are ceremonial changes not doctorinal. All the Seven Sacraments Baptism, Reconciliation, Communion, Confermation, Marriage, Holy Orders, and Annointing of the sick have not changed, nor has the the Churches stance on abortion, homosexuality, and all of gods commandments, ect. Some of the ceremonial changes to the sacraments have changed but not the Doctorine. I hope this helps to define catholic Doctorine versus ceremonial practice.

God Bless,

ex-mo

What I wanted to say is that Jehovah’s Witnesses also regard books that give you anwers on how to defend against their vieuws of Christianity as anti-Jehovah’s Witnesses. But are they right?

No, these books are so you can give an answer to their objections. so that Christians can defend their faith from attacks from Jehovahs Witnesses, and I must say that the Mormon missionarys that knock on your doors or approach you on the street are doing the same as Jehovahs Witnesses.
Mr. Bennet just gives Catholics anwers on how to defend their faith against Mormon attacks on the Catholic faith. He has autority as an ex-Mormon who knows how Mormon missionarys work. And a non missionary Mormon might not share the vieuws of these missionarys(it depends also of which branch of Mormonism you belong to)

But doesn’t a Catholic that experiences these attacks have the right to defend his faith?
Everybody has a right to defend his of her faith when it’s being attacked. And this happens alot with Catholics, by Jehovah’s Witnesses, LDS, Muslims, fundamentalist Christians, Hare Krishna’s and so one.
It’s only fair that Catholics can defend their faith and explain the misconseptions, just look at the topics in the Catholic Answers library.

Peace!

I appreciate everyones comments on this issue and I found the thread “Are LDS pro-life” and this issue was pretty well covered there. I gave my wife this literature a month ago and she had no problem accepting the LDS position since she has faith in their leadership, but she didn’t respond to me either. So I dropped the question here to try to understand better, because my wife is extremely pro-life. The bottom line for us is that we are both pro-life, she accepts the decisions of the leadership of the LDS church (Prophet, bishop, etc.) and I accept the understanding of church doctrine as the Catholic Church understands it.

The part that bothers me now was when the missionaries bombarded me to join there church. The way LDS church doctrine is worded for things like abortion and contraceptives. The fact that its extremely difficult to get a copy of church doctrine that shows how the church handles these issues. The missionaries wanted me to simply pray if Joseph Smith was a prophet. I told my wife that I needed to figure out why I was a Catholic before I would be willing to pray about JS. In my opinion this isn’t an honest way to approach investigators to the church when you can’t hand them a book that shows church doctrine. Sorry, none of the important doctrines is in the “Church Indoctrination” book they hand out.

I love my wife for the fact that I have found Christ again because of her. We simply agree to disagree on many issues of religion, but we support each other in raising our kids in our particular faiths. Thanks for the input from everyone.
Rob

[quote=BDawg]1. Both will allow abortions in some extreme cases (like ectopic pregnancies), but the RCC redefines the procedure as the removal of a diseased fallopian tube, with the unfortunate and unintended consequence of terminating a fetus. LDS just call it an abortion that is unfortunately necessary. Fancy word dances don’t change the fact that it is an abortion.
[/quote]

The reason we call it that is because the ultimate goal is to reinsert the embryo into the uterus. We just don’t have the techology to do so right now. The goal is not an abortion.

[quote=BJ Colbert]…nearly as serious as murder and defiling a child, which in most cases are unforgiveable.
[/quote]

What??? How can you say that there are sins that are unforgiveable??? You are not God, you don’t have the power to decide which sins are and which aren’t!

[quote=tkdnick]What??? How can you say that there are sins that are unforgiveable??? You are not God, you don’t have the power to decide which sins are and which aren’t!
[/quote]

I agree that we are not God and only He knows how individual cases will ultimately be judged. We can only go off of what He has said about general cases:

The murderer “shall not have forgiveness in this world, nor in the world to come” (D&C 42:18).

In LDS doctrine, murder is second in seriousness only to the unpardonable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. And even that sin involves a kind of murderous treachery in that one who previously had obtained an absolute witness of Jesus’ divinity (TPJS, p. 358) in effect “crucifies [Christ]” afresh or “assent[s] unto [his] death” (D&C 76:35; 132:27). Thus, murder can be thought of as the archetypal sin, as in the sin of Cain (Gen. 4:6-11, and esp. Moses 5:18-26, 31).

Murder violates the sanctity of life and cuts off the ability of its victims to “work out their destiny” (Benson, p. 355). Moreover, because “man cannot restore life,” and restoration or restitution is a necessary step for repentance, obtaining forgiveness for murder is impossible (Kimball, 1969, p. 129; D&C 42:18-19). Murder wrenches all lives connected to the victim, and ultimately the perpetrator of this crime suffers even more than the victims. “For Cain suffered far more than did Abel, and murder is far more serious to him who commits it than to him who suffers from it” (Kimball, 1982, p. 188).

With respect to related offenses, the Church distinguishes abortion from murder but holds it an extremely grave action, not to be done except in extremely limited circumstances that might include incest or rape, perils to the life or health of the mother, or severe birth defects. As far as has currently been revealed, a person may repent and be forgiven for the sin of abortion.

Both cites from the Encyclopedia of Mormonism under “Murder”

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