So why is abortion a sin?

BabyTuesday, January 22, marks the 35th anniversary of the infamous Rose vs. Wade decision making abortion legal in the United States. According to the Guttmacher Institute, more than 42 million legal abortions have been performed in the U.S. between 1973 and 2002. That averages out to nearly 1.45 million abortions per year. The Mormon Church touts itself as a “pro-life” church although, like many teachings coming out of Salt Lake City, consistency regarding the topic of abortion is lacking.

For example, President Gordon Hinckley, speaking in general conference in October, 1998 noted that abortion was an “ugly thing.” He went on to say,

“While we denounce it, we make allowance in such circumstances as when pregnancy is the result of incest or rape, when the life or health of the mother is judged by competent medical authority to be in serious jeopardy, or when the fetus is known by competent medical authority to have serious defects that will not allow the baby to survive beyond birth.”

Pro-life ethicists would find Hinckley’s allowances fraught with problems, but it is not my intention at this time to discuss the holes in Hinckley’s statement.

According to the LDS General Handbook of Instructions (11-4), the termination of a pregnancy is “one of the most…sinful practices of this day.” Twelfth President Spencer Kimball said very much the same thing when he wrote,

“Abortion must be considered one of the most revolting and sinful practices in this day…” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p.189).

However, the Encyclopedia of Mormonism (1:7), while citing the prohibition to kill found in D&C 59:6, goes on to state,

“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.”

Such statements raise obvious questions. Why does the LDS Church consider abortion a sin, if it is not murder? If abortion in fact “kills” something, what does it kill, and if the object killed was once living and had human DNA, how is this not murder? If that be the case, why is there a provision for forgiveness for this type of murder, yet there is no such provision in Mormonism for any other type of murder?

For further reading see Abortion and LDS Inconsistency

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47 Responses to So why is abortion a sin?

  1. Ralph says:

    It’s interesting that the Church Handbook of Instructions has been quoted in here. But if I remember correctly that was not the full quote, that there was also a part in it saying that it is OK to terminate the embryo/foetus in the case of incest/rape, mother-child choice or major defects contributing to early death in the child. And it goes on to say that this decision should be made with prayer and fasting – not just plucked out of the air. So that means that if the answer comes back saying ‘NO’ then if the person goes ahead it would be a major sin as it was not what God wanted.
    As for the question about sin vs murder, I cannot answer that for the church, but I do have an opinion why it might be so. In the OT there is a directive that if a person causes a foetus/embryo to die in utero then that is not to be disciplined as if someone murdered, but it is to be left in God’s hands as to the punishment. However, if something happened to the mother as well, then punishment will be according to the law. From my perspective on this, although I am personally against abortion, if I were in government I would keep it legal. This would ensure nothing happened to the mother because the old “back-yard” abortions did cause many problems in the women that had them. Besides, it is their choice and they will have to live with the consequences in both this life and the next.

  2. Rick B says:

    While we denounce it, we make allowance in such circumstances as when pregnancy is the result of incest or rape, when the life or health of the mother is judged by competent medical authority to be in serious jeopardy, or when the fetus is known by competent medical authority to have serious defects that will not allow the baby to survive beyond birth.”

    I am so against abortion, I do not allow room even for rape, incest, or so-called defects. I believe it is flat out murder and should be made 100 percent illegal, I do not care if making it illegal means women resort to back yard abortions, if they do that and then die, to bad, I see that as a result of their killing an unborn child. If their sin results in their death, than after they die and stand before the Lord, they can try and explain to the Lord almighty why they thought it was OK for them to kill his created child. I recall a verse about a millstone being tied around your neck. Rick b

  3. Bill McKeever says:

    Whoa, Rick. While I agree that the LDS exceptions for abortion are all logically flawed, a bit more compassion on those who make this awful decision may be in order. Having spent many hours in front of abortion clinics and talking with women who feel this is an answer to their dilemma, I have found that many of them do not see this as a pleasant option. Many of them agonize over it and suffer for their decision with an incredible amount of guilt, sometimes years after they killed their baby.

    Ralph, I’m still not sure what your stance is. Is abortion the taking of human life or is it? I do agree with Rick, keeping it legal just to prevent “backyard abortions'” is a horrible argument. If I remember correctly you are from Australia. This may be of interest to you since it is from an Australian web site:

    By studying the entire Australian Bureau of Statistics data on Causes of Death 1906-1996 it can be observed that the death rate for illegal abortions plummeted from about 100 deaths every year in the 1930s (before antibiotics) to just one death in the whole of Australia in 1969 (the last year of the old “backyard” regime) –and this was before there was a single “legal” clinic anywhere in the country.

    The article goes on to state that in the US the number of deaths due to illegal abortions was 41 prior to Roe v. Wade.

    Your church’s argument regarding rape and incest is also woefully troubleseome. First of all, these cases are also very rare. But still, do you think it OK to punish an innocent party for the crime of another? You must if you agree with your church’s position.

    I’ll leave it at this for now.

  4. Rick B says:

    As far as Rape or incest goes, simply put the Child up for adoption and never tell the child why, yet if you want to tell the Child he/she is from rape or incest then go for it, Billy graham was a result of rape and look what God did through him.

    Do not get me wrong, I am so against abortion I refuse to allow for it under and reason, yet I do not want people thinking I am for killing the Doctors because I am not, and Bill I do feel sorry for the women that suffer, but just the same if they do die as a result I honestly do have a hard time feeling sorry for them, since the way the baby is killed is so horrible and down right brutal. And the women do have a choice to really look into all sides before deciding to go ahead or not.

    If they look into it then still choose to do it, it is really hard to feel sorry for them if they die, yet if they go blindly into it with out looking into it, it again is hard to feel sorry for them since they choose to blindly allow the murder of their unborn child. Rick b

  5. Ralph says:

    This is one topic that is a little close for me as I have had to research a bit about the LDS church’s teachings on “when is the child alive”? My son was still born at 34 weeks gestation from unknown causes. I questioned everything from “Do I really believe in God?” to “Do I really believe in the LDS church?” and others (which is why I still believe very strongly in the LDS church as I have done put research and thought into it). In the Blue CHI it says that the church has no stance on still births as to the resurrection/after-life, etc and it’s all in God’s hands – so that is the official stance of the LDS church. There are teachings from our past prophets and church leaders (including BY as you all tend to have a liking for his comments) saying that when the mother feels the baby moving that means it is alive. As for when the spirit enters the body, they do not say, but it has to be in the body for the body to be alive. So if you want MY OPINION as to if it’s taking a human life, the baby is alive and so yes it is taking a human life – like I said I am personally against abortion, it would never be an option for me. But as a biologist in the medical research field I do believe that abortions should be in a proper environment to stop any other complications like death of the mother, infection leading to hysterectomy, etc. Again, that is my opinion from my experiences and learning. If I were a counselor I would advise against abortion and go for adoption.
    As for the other question about “do you think it OK to punish an innocent party for the crime of another? As I said earlier, the CHI said the decision must be made with prayer to find out the best path from God. So I agree with the Church – pray about the decision and let God lead you to the correct path. God is the author of truth and the Bible – The Bible is not the author of truth just a yard-stick with the larger picture, not the fine details. Circumstances are different for everyone.

  6. Jacob5 says:

    Well, I for one don’t really consider the argument about when a child has a spirit. I think that is beisde the point. The point is this is a process of creating a child, another human being. I think when we try to decide when the actual moment a child gains a spirit, we give too much rationalization to those who would promote abortion in any circumstance. However, I don’t see any particular way of knowing when that should be aside a sign from the Lord Himself.
    I think that life is valuable no matter what stage it is in. And certainly the creation of our own offspring should be a value in and of itself. If it was a personal decision for me, I would say bring the child forth and give the child to any number of couples who are incapable of having their own. I can understand the arguments for about rape and incest, I would personally hate to even be involved in such a decision. I guess it would be easier to take a side since I have never been faced with such a choice. I hope I never will.

  7. shelli says:

    So Ralph, Do you really believe if you were to pray to God and ask Him if it was ever ok to abort your Child, He would say yes?

  8. Bill McKeever says:

    Ralph, let me first express my sorrow for your loss. I know this is a difficult issue, but I think your leaders make it even more difficult when they cannot come to a consensus on something as important as when life begins. I too have researched the teachings of past LDS leaders on this issue; however, their incongruous conclusions scream loudly that they certainly do not get their answers from one source.

    For me, to agree that abortion is the taking of human life while at the same time condoning its practice is like telling a person who wants to kill their grandmother, “Well, I personally, would never kill my grandmother, but hey, if you prayed about it…” What makes grandma any less (or more) human than the unborn?

    My point is this, if LDS leaders can’t decide when life begins, what gives them the right to tell members they have committed a sin for removing something that is unwanted from their body? What an incredible abuse of power!!! And Mormon members put up with this?

    There is one thing that abortion does well and that is kill. This is indisputable. If what is killed is not alive or human, then it seems that an abortion is superfluous.

    As a sidebar, the US Constitution guarantees under the fifth amendment that, No person shall be… deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” No human in the US can be executed legally without a trial, except of course, babies still in the womb. For this reason many such as myself feel that Roe v. Wade was a horribly unconstitutional decision. I pray to God that common sense will once again prevail in our land.

  9. Seth H says:

    I can’t help but wonder why abortion is considered so extremely sinful, while killing people overseas isn’t nearly as controversial in the Mormon church. I realize this discussion isn’t about Iraq, or any other war, but it is about the taking of human life (in various stages of development).

    For my part, I believe it should be left up to the individual families to decide if an abortion should ever be an option. Families of devout faith will likely choose not to excercise any form of abortion, and that’s great. Families that see a compelling reason to entertain the possibility, whatever that reason may be, should not be deprived of their extremely personal and painful decision.

    I don’t think anyone is eager to make abortions more common — in fact, I think most abortion supporters would like to see it become a rarely used alternative. But I don’t think it should be made illegal.

    Besides, even if it were made illegal, the practice would continue in less clinical places. I don’t think we want that, either, Mormon or not.

  10. falcon says:

    I was thinking about this business of praying to God/god and getting an answer, when I got to Shelli’s post. I don’t know if that’s a very good way to make a decision on abortion. I hear the gasps out there. Now that’s coming from someone who ferently seeks God’s voice and guidance on a continual basis. Having been raised Catholic (the remnants of that training never leave) I’ve always been prolife. The idea of aborting a baby because it’s not conveinent is so repulsive to me that it’s difficult not to feel distain for someone who would make that decision. I’m an adoptive father also so this gets personal with me. My wife and I adopted our only child when we were 40. She’s in college and is, as you can expect, prolife. It’s personal for her also. That the Mormon Church is inconsistent on this issue is not surprising. It fits the overall profile of the group.

  11. amanda says:

    I think we need to consider what role agency plays in the matter of abortion.

    Women who chose to have sex as free agents, and then go on to chose abortion is the sin I believe to be abhorrent in the sight of God. I’d like to think this is why so many support pro-life institutions in order to make a statement against this kind of “choice” women have been making (men are culpable as well here, in other ways). But major problems arise (legally/legislatively) when you begin to paint with a broad brush on this issue. What about rape? A woman certainly does not chose rape- therefore is it appropriate to make her (through laws, or socially) relive a horrific event everyday as she brings that child into the world? Or is it appropriate to at least give her that choice? This points to a pretty fundamental principle. God cannot give agency to only the righteous and not the wicked. Both are granted agency. It would not be just, in this life, for God to allow one agency, and not the other, because that would deny the many prisoners that Huckabee pardoned, a chance to repent. This life is for man to chose for himself what reward he will have in heaven.

    You have “pro-choice” folks on one side of this spectrum…and “pro-life” folks on the other- and neither of them seem to have much reason or compassion.

    I believe many on this issue lack perspective… so many times it is necessary to rely on the opinions of those who matter, like our Heavenly Father. So prayer in our personal lives truly matters, and so does the mantle of the prophet to lead and guide His (the Savior’s) people. What a blessing!

    I am curious, after reading the bulk of what Bill is trying to say here, what problems are there with the actual position of the church? I find them to be inspired in a world where there is much confusion and wickedness.

  12. KB says:

    Falcon
    How do you seek for God’s voice on a continual basis? Do you do it threw study, personal pondering and prayer? Do you search the scritures and then ask for direction? Who better to ask… then the all knowing? Especially when it comes to eternal salvation and damnation? Your impulse to retrieve the comment is an obvious example that you know the correct way to find the answer to your question.

    I think in many instances Saints and Christians use different terminology, but say essentially the same thing. Abortion IS a dirty thing. Abortion is not the way to handle an inconvenient consequence to bad behavior. It is wrong. I agree with you that these decisions should not be taken impulsively. However what about the spirit of the Law? What about those very few people who have been raped and have children by incest. Should these innocent children be forced to suffer the consequences of another’s bad behavior? Wouldn’t that child’s life be destroyed at no fault of there own? .

    Further more, since we have no formal doctrine about when the spirit enters the body, we aren’t constrained by the same assumptions. (That’s also why the Mormon Church can avoid having to take an official stance condemning embryonic stem-cell research.)

    So unless you can tell me that Heavenly Father has testified to you personally that the Soul enters the body while in the mothers womb, I can not say what God determines to be catastrophic to our souls. I believe this is why our prophet responds with leaving the judgment up to God. Isn’t God the one who should be judging? God has not testified to me or to the prophet that abortion is murder. The spirit has only testified to me that it is dirty, sad, and causes much heart ache. I’m sore for the women who has to make this decision, especially the one who doesn’t know she can pray and ask God him self what is right for her.

  13. Ralph says:

    Shelli, I do not know what God would say as I have never been in that situation and never will be. But be honest, God has sanctioned the killing of people, including babies and pregnant women in the Bible. He commanded it, and as we all know, murder (ie the shedding of innocent blood) is against the 10 commandments. To paraphrase a question posed by RickB many times about polygamy, isn’t it denying God’s almighty power if He has to command the Israelites to wipe out a whole city. Why didn’t He do it like He did with Sodom and Gommorah? We have been told by the prophet that in the cases of incest, rape, mother/child health and serious defects that we first need to pray and ask God what His will is for us at that point in time and then follow His propmtings. If God says it’s OK then it’s OK – God is the giver of life AND the taker of life. We are only alive because of Him. Every breath we take is because He allows it. So yes, I think in some situations He would say yes.
    Like I said, God is the ONLY author of truth, NOT the Bible. The Bible gives the bigger picture not the finer details – that is up to us and God.

  14. Danielle says:

    I feel so sorry for the young girls that are forced into abortion by their parents. They (the parents) don’t want to be embarrassed or take on the responsibility of a baby and all that. Yet this young girl must take with her for the rest of her life that she killed her own baby. That she is forever looked down on by people and by God. Where does she fit in? Is God going to be able to forgive her?

    This subject is so sad!!

  15. Jacob5 says:

    It is a horrible reality to think of anyone pushing someone into making a life affecting choice such as abortion. All too often people make terrible decisions based on worry of what the world may think of them. I personally believe that it gives a horrible experience to the person but I would not feel that any long term accountability will be made on the one who was forced, but that is just my personal belief, I don’t know of any official ideas.

  16. fourpointer says:

    Since Mormons believe that we are all “children of God” (whether we know Christ or not), and we are in fact “gods in embryo”, isn’t abortion equal to killing a god? And since our body is the vessel our spirit needs to enter this world from the spirit realm, and one can’t progress to exaltation without taking on a body, then doesn’t abortion stop a spirit from gaining exaltation?

  17. Ralph says:

    Fourpointer,
    Abortion is not stopping a spirit from gaining exaltation. We do not know when the spirit is placed into the body. So this means that if the abortion is performed before the spirit is placed into the body then the body was never alive to begin with and the spirit that MIGHT have been destined for that body would be given another. I said ‘might’ because God knows everything and thus may not have ‘assigned’ a spirit for that body, knowing that it would be aborted (or however the choosing of spirit for body occurs which is another thing we do not know anything about). If the foetus is aborted after the spirit has entered the body then that baby will be resurrected, as we believe that all living people will be resurrected (Idon’t know how these little ones would be resurrected, but that is up to God). Then if you go through our teachings we believe that children who die under 8 years of age go straight to the Celestial Kingdom – ie they receive automatic exaltation because they are innocent. Does this answer your question?

  18. Lautensack says:

    Ralph we could argue all day that “we don’t know when the spirit is placed into the body” therefore we might just be killing a vessel, but I think Jeremiah is clear that even if we are only destroying a vessel, the vessel is God’s handiwork, and therefore shouldn’t do it.

    Lautensack

  19. shelli says:

    “Wilful murder was distinguished from accidental homicide, and was invariably visited with capital punishment (Numbers 35:16, 18, 21, 31; Leviticus 24:17). This law in its principle is founded on the fact of man’s having been made in the likeness of God (Genesis 9:5, 6; John 8:44; 1 John 3:12, 15). The Mosiac law prohibited any compensation for murder or the reprieve of the murderer (Exodus 21:12, 14; Deuteronomy 19:11, 13; 2 Samuel 17:25; 20:10). Two witnesses were required in any capital case (Numbers 35:19-30; Deuteronomy 17:6-12). If the murderer could not be discovered, the city nearest the scene of the murder was required to make expiation for the crime committed (Deuteronomy 21:1-9). These offences also were to be punished with death, (1) striking a parent; (2) cursing a parent; (3) kidnapping (Exodus 21:15-17; Deuteronomy 27:16).” Taken from Bible dictionary.

    Murder is premeditated, and abortion is premeditated. Under no circumstances did God say intentional murderers would be aquitted.

    According to God’s own words, He forms us in the womb and knows us. You cannot know someone unless they are a human being.

    Isa 44:2 Thus saith the LORD that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, [which] will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen.

    Jer 1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, [and] I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

    Psa 139:13-16
    “For You formed my inward parts;
    You covered me in my mother’s womb.
    I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;[fn2]
    Marvelous are Your works,
    And that my soul knows very well.
    My frame was not hidden from You,
    When I was made in secret,
    And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written,
    The days fashioned for me,
    When as yet there were…”

  20. Rick B says:

    I want to add to what Shelli said here,

    These offences also were to be punished with death, (1) striking a parent; (2) cursing a parent; ”

    Just to make it clear, were talking about adult children, not little 1 and 2 year old kids.
    Rick b

  21. fourpointer says:

    Ralph,

    What does the Bible say about this?
    Isaiah 44:24–“Thus saith Jehovah, your Redeemer, and He who formed you from the womb…”
    Leviticus 13-14 tell us that blood is the life of all flesh.

    The Bible says quite clearly that God forms us in the womb, therefore that which is growing is already alive, and is a human being.

    The questions I asked were somewhat rhetorical, in that I’ve heard all that before and don’t believe any of it to be true.

    1) If one does not know “when the spirit enters a person” (answer–as soon as they’re conceived), then shouldn’t the Mormon church be even more firm in their stance against abortion?

    2) Or, since all aborted children “go straight to exaltation”, then let’s just make abortion free for everybody! Instead of having a bunch of children, just abort them as soon as you find out she’s pregnant–hey, why take chances on giving birth to a child who will become an apostate?

    3) And the women who have abortions–do they get a special reward for allowing their children to go straight to the Celestial without having to go through the regular “progression”? Do they join their children in the Celestial?

  22. Rick B says:

    Maybe it’s just me, but I would think if I were a mormon I would say or think that God is very unloving and unfair. I say that because I have to go through life, pain and all, endure sin, try and do good works and every thing A mormon must/should do to try and attain the Celestial kingdom, but then maybe fail to get their because I was not married or drank coffee or something.

    But then a child gets aborted and gets a free ticket right to glory, if thats the case, as a Mormon I would question God and say, why not simply put us all right into glory? Rick b

  23. KB says:

    LOL
    OK this is getting ridiculously funny. I don’t think you are hearing us.
    We don’t know everything about God’s eternal workings. Although we DO have modern day prophecy…. We only know what he wants us to know.
    President Spencer W. Kimball, twelfth President of the Church, described agency as the “basic gospel law” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball). So important is this law that Heavenly Father has always protected it. Before we came to this earth he cast Satan out because Satan sought to destroy our agency. Heavenly Father allows us to use our agency in this life even though he knows many of us will use it unwisely. President David O. McKay, ninth President of the Church, said, “Next to the bestowal of life itself, the right to direct that life is God’s greatest gift to man” (Gospel Ideals).
    To take away the option to abort takes away the agency of those who have the eternal right to choose. We do not know the consequences of this sin. We only know it is a sin. We believe it is up to God to determine the weight of the sin.
    We do not have the authority or the right to take this choice away from man kind.
    “We are free to obey or to ignore the spirit and the letter of the law. But the agency granted to man is a moral agency (D&C 101:78). We are not free to break our covenants and escape the consequences” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1990, 108).
    Putting us all into glory takes away the basic gospel law, which is Satins plan from the beginning. It is a freedom and a blessing to have the power to make choices.

    I believe that a mother who aborts her child of consequences to bad behavior is not rewarded for the abortion. On the contrary she has sinned. She must repent in order to receive exaltation. That mother has broken the commandment to procreate (commandment given to Adam and Eve) I think you bring up a great point. Isn’t that mother taking away her child’s right to progress.I believe that’s where the sin is.

  24. Lautensack says:

    KB wrote:
    Isn’t that mother taking away her child’s right to progress.I believe that’s where the sin is.

    KB, I’m not sure if your argument was on one side of the line, or the other, mainly if abortion is murder or not. Now on the point of eternal progression, while everyone here will agree that we do have agency, believes that people Choose to follow God, how that Choice to follow God or not to happens is of course up for debate, but this is not the venue, hopefully on a future post. Therefore if you take away a life, be it prior to birth, or after it for that matter, are you not taking away someone’s agency? Now didn’t, according to your theology, God the Father do this to Lucifer (Satan) and Elohim’s spirit children who followed him (Satan)? They made one mistake according to your theology and God forever cursed them to never progress and as such took away their agency, that is while they chose to become evil they could never choose to become good nor could they ever get a body and progress to be gods, therefore isn’t the LDS Elohim guilty of being an abortionist according to your definition KB?

    Lautensack

  25. fourpointer says:

    KB said, “We do not have the authority or the right to take this choice away from man kind.”

    OK, so where do you draw the line? Since a 4-year-old will supposedly go to exaltation (the whole “age of accountability” thing), then should we not take away someone’s choice to kill that child? In fact, if our “agency” is almost as important as life itself, why have laws at all? Isn’t that hindering people’s “agency”?

    For more Mormon confusion on this issue, here’s an article written by Momrons. make sure you’re sitting down, the circles they spin will make you dizzy:
    http://www.lightplanet.com/mormons/daily/sexuality/abortion.html

  26. Rick B says:

    KB said

    Before we came to this earth he cast Satan out because Satan sought to destroy our agency.

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news KB, but the Bible greatly differs on this point, it says Satan wanted to exalt himself Above God, not take away our free choice, as a matter of Fact Satan used our choice of freedom to entice Eve to sin, so unless your teaching another gospel, again Gal 1:8-9 comes to mind, you are incorrect. Rick b

  27. falcon says:

    KB,
    You wanted to know how I seek God’s guidance on a continual basis. One word “cautiously”. In my mind what I was thinking when I wrote that, is that I don’t think people need to seek God’s guidance on the obvious. People get confused (a kind way of putting it) when they desire to do something that is outside the character of God. The character that God wants us to conform to. Should I divorce my wife because I’m not happy? Should I steal from my employer because he’s not paying me enough? Should I drink to excess because it helps me mellow out and forget my problems? The only time (in my mind) that abortion gets complicated as a moral issue is if the situation is clear that the woman will die by carrying the child to term. I would guess the incidence of this is fairly low. You’re basically left with the realization that someone is going to die.

  28. KB says:

    When Heavenly Father asked whom he should send, Jesus volunteered to be the Savior of the world and help fulfill Heavenly Father’s plan. Lucifer (Satan) also volunteered, but he demanded conditions that would have violated Heavenly Father’s plan. Heavenly Father chose Jesus.
    Satan’s proposal to save us was wrong because he wanted to take away our agency and force us to do right; also, he wanted Heavenly Father’s glory for himself.
    Moses 4:3 -3 Wherefore, because that Satan brebelled against me, and sought to destroy the cagency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him, and also, that I should give unto him mine own power; by the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be dcast down;
    What happened to Satan because of his rebellion against Heavenly Father’s plan?
    Abraham 3:28; 28 And the asecond was angry, and kept not his first bestate; and, at that day, many followed after him.

    One of the reasons Satan was cast out was because he “sought to destroy the agency of man” (Moses 4:3). Why is agency so important? Why would it be bad for us to be forced to keep the commandments, as Satan wanted?
    What important choice did we make in the pre-earth life? (We chose to follow Heavenly Father and Jesus instead of Satan.) How do we know we made this choice? (We have physical bodies; those who followed Satan will never have the opportunity to have bodies. They did not keep their first estate.)
    So would you say Satan’s choice to take away agency from mankind backfired? lol. I think loosing their agency was a consequence of choosing to take away the eternal law(like gravity). They had chosen a plan that was rebellious from Gods eternal perspective. They had chosen against Jesus Christ’s plan for repentance and progression.

  29. Lautensack says:

    KB, had we not known about Lucifer and his choice to descend this of course would be valid, yet it is the actions of Elohim that are called into question not the actions of Satan, by moving the topic from Elohim’s decision “take away his child’s right to progress” (paraphrase)to Lucifer’s actions is a red herring and an avoidance of the question being asked. Therefore I will ask again this time more plainly, since you believe the mother who takes “away her child’s right to progress” is where you believe the sin is, then was Elohim not a sinner as God according to this definition?

    Lautensack

  30. Lowes says:

    The argument as I see it… for you there is no gray area. KB sees that there is a gray area. According to most of the previous comments, it appears that you don’t even like the thought of any life ending. Commendable. I hope I understood this all correctly. The big thing that we have going for us is the fact that we don’t know at what point the spirit enters the body. Hence our ignorance makes us not to be murders. We know that in one instance something can be a sin and in another it can be a gospel truth.(example, murdering during war time) The thing we have to follow is the current standard. If we follow our on opinions (pride) we will be making up our own doctrine. KB is clarifying what the church has said…plain and simple. It’s funny because it appears to me that you all generally agree, But you are just splitting hairs. Just my two cents.

  31. Ralph says:

    RickB Maybe it’s just me, but I would think if I were a mormon I would say or think that God is very unloving and unfair. I say that because I have to go through life, pain and all, endure sin, try and do good works and every thing A mormon must/should do to try and attain the Celestial kingdom, but then maybe fail to get their because I was not married or drank coffee or something. But then a child gets aborted and gets a free ticket right to glory, if thats the case, as a Mormon I would question God and say, why not simply put us all right into glory?
    This is exactly what Jesus was talking about in Matthew 20:1-16 when those who worked for the employer complained about the ones who worked for a shorter period of time but getting the same pay. God’s reward is the same to all who recieve it no matter how long they live – and it is just and fair that it is the same. Are you a complainer?
    Lautensack, Those spirits who decided to follow Satan had their choice given to them by God and they chose not to follow Him. They received the consequences of that choice – so THEY decided to stop their own eternal progression NOT God. And if you read what I wrote earlier, those infants (if they are living) will be resurrected and will achieve exaltation, thus their eternal progression has not been affected by their mothers’/parents’ choice.
    Fourpointer, one of the verses you use says that “Blood is the life of all flesh”. If that is what you consider as living – ie something having blood – then an embryo is not ‘living’ until sometime into week 4 or 5 as that is when the blood starts to form and move through a basic vascular system. So your argument of ‘life at conception’ breaks down by using that scripture. And ‘God formed you from the womb’ does not support your argument as Adam was formed from the dust but was still not alive until God put the breath of life (LDS believe this means spirit) into him. So the question still remains – When does the spirit enter the body?

  32. Lautensack says:

    Ralph,
    I know that they (the fallen spirit children) Chose not to follow Elohim, but their choice and rebellion is not what ended their progression, in your scriptures Elohim said “by the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he [Satan] should be cast down.” (Moses 4:3) Thus it was Elohim who cut off Lucifer’s progression not Satan saying well I don’t want to progress. Thus according to KB’s definition of why abortion is a sin, the “mother taking away her child’s right to progress.” You may not believe that this is why abortion is a sin, hence why my question was directed at KB, but in he sake of fairness, why is abortion a sin according to your definition Ralph? Please give your definition also, again for fairness sake.

    Lautensack

  33. Ralph says:

    Lautensack, These scriptures tell us that these spirits had their choice before this life and chose to oppose God with Satan. It says the hell had been prepared for those rebellious “from the very beginning”. Thus they knew about hell and that if they rebelled against God that is where they would go – meaning it was their choice to end their progression as they KNEW the consequences of their decision. God had no choice as the ‘punishment’ for that decision had been put into place from the very beginning.
    Moses 4:1-3 AND I, the Lord God, spake unto Moses, saying: That Satan, whom thou hast commanded in the name of mine Only Begotten, is the same which was from the beginning, and he came before me, saying—Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor.
    But, behold, my Beloved Son, which was my Beloved and Chosen from the beginning, said unto me—Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever.
    Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him, and also, that I should give unto him mine own power; by the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be cast down;

    D&C 29:36-38 And it came to pass that Adam, being tempted of the devil—for, behold, the devil was before Adam, for he rebelled against me, saying, Give me thine honor, which is my power; and also a third part of the hosts of heaven turned he away from me because of their agency;
    And they were thrust down, and thus came the devil and his angels;
    And, behold, there is a place prepared for them from the beginning, which place is hell.

    Abortion is only a sin when it is not ‘approved’ by God. If you read my earlier posts the 3 reasons given by the LDS church for abortion are not sin ONCE one has prayed and asked God for guidance – that is written in the CHI.

  34. Rick B says:

    KB said

    How do we know we made this choice? (We have physical bodies; those who followed Satan will never have the opportunity to have bodies. They did not keep their first estate.)

    So what about the holy spirit who does not have a body?

    Ralph, the passage you quoted from matthew 20 is not talking about babies that go to the kingdom, it is talking about every one can be saved up until the last day, like those who repent right before death, that death bed repentance your church denies. rick b

  35. fourpointer says:

    KB, Ralph,

    See if you can guess who made the following statements:

    1) “We oppose and abhor the damnable practice of wholesale abortion and every other unholy and impure act which strikes at the very foundation of the home and family, our most basic institutions.”

    2) “There is such a close relationship between the taking of a life and the taking of an embryonic child, between murder and abortion, that we would hope that mortal men would not presume to take the frightening responsibility.”

  36. amanda says:

    Maybe a hypothetical might get us all to rethink our positions.

    Let’s say a woman, who is married with children (two-three), gets pregnant(despite birth control pills). This woman was diagnosed with mental illness after the last child was born…and needs medication that keeps her, well, Alive. If she doesn’t take this medication, she gets suicidal. She also cannot take this medication while pregnant because there are significant risks to the fetus (major deformities and even death). She’s 8 weeks pregnant and already feeling the effects of going off her medications. Should she risk her health, and the wellbeing of her children and husband, who are already here, by going through with the pregnancy? Should she take the medication anyway and risk the very real chance of having major health problems for her newborn that might kill her and her baby? Or is an abortion appropriate early on in this pregnancy? I don’t know the answer to that question. But many here seem to think, and I agree, that Someone does…God. So we should ask Him.

    Lau, (uhmahnduh@hotmail.com for other discussion)

    No one would argue that the vessel is a beautiful creation- but you have to look at the situation as a whole. Weigh the issues. Mother’s life is important too, so are other considerations. I think those who find themselves in this situation should consult the creator of that vessel. I believe it is short-sighted to prescribe a one-size fits all solution to this delicate issue.

    I don’t think anyone disagrees that those who act irresponsibly, and then seek to destroy the consequences are fooled to think that they will not answer for their choices at the last day. We can be sure that those vessels/spirits/babies will not be responsible for Adam’s transgression- and a loving God has a plan for them. But we cannot take away a woman’s right to chose, because some of these women deserve that right, and in many cases, their life and health depend on it. And I am Republican!

  37. KB says:

    LOL I agree with Amanda.

    I will not pretend that I know all of the answers, especially when it comes to Gods motive to casting out Satan in the preexistence. I have learned a lot in the past few days. Ralph has shed some new light for me on the subject.
    I feel that Ralph answered your question with flying colors.
    Just as Adam and Eve were driven out of the garden of Eden. These choices led to consequences. This is what the eternal Law is… agency leads to consequences.

    Adam and Eve were the first of God’s children to experience these enticements. Having sought the misery of all mankind, Satan, “the father of all lies,” tempted Adam and Eve. Because they chose to partake of the “forbidden fruit they were driven out of the garden of Eden, to till the earth.” … and this earthly state “became a state of probation” for them and for their posterity. For “behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things,” Lehi told Jacob. “Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.”

    And yielding is exactly what Satan wants us to do. I testify the only way is through the very agency you exercised so valiantly in your premortal life, the agency that the adversary cannot take away without your yielding it to him.
    (To Act for Ourselves: The Gift and Blessings of Agency Robert D. Hales)

    I want to make it clear that Satan wants to take away our agency threw the gift of agency. When we choose evil acts Satan has power over us. That is why Satan used agency to temp Adam and Eve. He want’s us to be like him…on his side… with no agency.

    I joined this blog for spiritual reasons… to search ponder and pray the subject. I want to learn and grow, to define myself rather than let you define me. I will take the knowledge I have gained from all of you and pray about it. What will you do with this conversation? Stay on your hire horse or ask God and get some answers?

  38. Lautensack says:

    Ralph are you now saying that God has no agency?
    God had no choice as the ‘punishment’ for that decision had been put into place from the very beginning.” Also if God had to prepare the place for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41) it couldn’t have been from the beginning. Also do you personally believe that God ordains abortion in some cases?

    Amanda you said these vessels/spirits/babies will not be responsible for Adam’s transgression, please explain Romans 5:12-14 which states any who die are sinners be it because of Adam or their own.

    As for KB you continue to speak about the sins of the son (Satan) not the sin of the Father, according to your definition of abortion. Allow me to repeat it. “Isn’t that mother taking away her child’s right to progress.I believe that’s where the sin is.” Thus when Elohim took away Satan’s progression, he aborted him. You could always change your definition of abortion to fit more closely with your scriptures, but as it stands you continually avoid the question asked and change the subject from Elohim and his causing of Satan to fall in the light of abortion subject to Satan using his will to rebel against God and Adam and Eve falling upward which are not the subject being discussed here, we of course could speak on these issues at another time and venue, but for now please stick to the subject of abortion.

    Lautensack

  39. fourpointer says:

    Answers to the quotes in my previous comment:

    1) Ezra Taft Benson

    2) Spencer Kimball

    These two Mormon presidents condemned abortion as damnable and associated with murder. So why did these guys have the sense to say it, but Gordon Hinckley doesn’t?

    And all this nonsense about “agency”: The simple fact that Lucifer did not exist in any type of “pre-mortal life”, and did not have any input as far as saving mankind, that whole issue is moot. Same for us.

    We are all born with a desire to exalt ourselves above God, and that desire plays itself out in abortion. God forms us IN THE WOMB (Isaiah 44:24). When He forms us, He considers us a human being, and we have life (See Leviticus 17:14). Therefore, to suck that life out and end it for our own convenience that, friends, is murder.

  40. Rick B says:

    I cannot believe how you (LDS) Think or believe God would say abort the Child, Frankly I am truly disgusted. If you say a women needs Meds because she has mental Problems so maybe God would tell her to kill the child is really sad. The God I serve created her/us I think he could heal her if she trusted in Him, and God can do many things other than say Kill your Child.

    A form of Abortion in the Bible was in Egypt where Pharo wanted the Mid wives to kill the babies right out of the Womb, the Epyption mud wives feared God more and refused to do So. Yet you guys cannot trust God enough to heal a women so you say he would instead tell you to kill the Child.

    Remember, Jesus already spoke about Kids and millstones for those who hurt or offended His little ones, why would He turn around and say Kill my little ones?

    then God in the Bible says, Lucifer comes in the form of an angel of Light, I think it is Lucifer your following if you believe God said kill the Kids, I think you guys really need to do a serious study of the Scriptures and look at how satan seems to target the little Kids, besides Egypt their was all the kids from the age two and under killed after the Birth of Jesus.

    Then look through History, kids are used and abused as sexual objects and harmed very, very often. If you think satan is not somehow involved in that your crazy. Rick b

  41. amanda says:

    Rick,

    I think your response to the act of abortion is completely emotionally reasonable. The state of our society today in believing it is ok to kill a child and have sex anytime you want to– “empowering” young women to make these very important decisions without parental consent..the list goes on. I share a lot of your concern.

    There are, however, real dilemmas that compel us to our knees to ask our Heavenly Father what He would have us do. If life were black and white, we would never have to ask our Heavenly Father what HE thinks. He designed our challenges like that for a reason, to humble us. I think if you put trust in Him, and follow His plan for you, only then can you have peace. I never stated that Heavenly Father would say “Hey, it’s okay to kill your baby”.

    You have tremendous compassion for children…that is so important. I have two beautiful daughters- and cringe at the choices many women make today. However, I would suggest that you also seek compassion for many women who face these difficult decisions because they do exist- they are God’s children, too.

    Lau, I don’t have enough space on this one…I’ll have to continue.

  42. amanda says:

    Lau,
    Moroni 8: 10-14 reads, (King Benjamin)

    10 Behold I say unto you that this thing shall ye teach—repentance and baptism unto those who are accountable and capable of committing sin; yea, teach parents that they must repent and be baptized, and humble themselves as their little children, and they shall all be saved with their little children.
    11 And their little children need no repentance, neither baptism. Behold, baptism is unto repentance to the fulfilling the commandments unto the remission of sins.
    12 But little children are alive in Christ, even from the foundation of the world; if not so, God is a partial God, and also a changeable God, and a respecter to persons; for how many little children have died without baptism!
    13 Wherefore, if little children could not be saved without baptism, these must have gone to an endless hell.
    14 Behold I say unto you, that he that supposeth that little children need baptism is in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity; for he hath neither faith, hope, nor charity; wherefore, should he be cut off while in the thought, he must go down to hell.

    Here is a great example how the Book of Mormon gives context to the scripture you sited. If you read these scriptures then proceed to Romans, Romans still makes sense.

  43. Lautensack says:

    Amanda that is great, but it doesn’t discuss the passage noted. Romans 5:12-14 is about how “death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression” but the wages of sin is death, therefore if we were to never sin we would not die. Thus according to the “clarification” from the Book of Mormon, no children should die because they have not sin. Unless there is sin, there is no death, sin is the disease, death the affect, Christ the only Remedy. Also does Romans not teach Justification by faith alone apart from works? Romans 3:20-26; 4:1-5;16; etc.?

    Lautensack

  44. amanda says:

    Lau,

    I believe it most definitely does discuss the passage you noted. Remember, in order to understand my response, you might need to set aside your previous understandings and beliefs…you won’t be able to stuff the box of the restored gospel into the circle of evangelical doctrine. (I don’t intend this to sound at all patronizing- FYI)

    Well, we certainly suffer from Adam’s transgression, the Fall. The fall was a necessary part of God’s plan (important to note the difference between LDS belief and evangelical belief). Many children suffer the consequences of their parents actions. We are brought to this state of mortality because of our parents choices–and when we reach the age of accountability, we will most definitely sin. Sin is different from transgression, is it not? In order to sin, one must be aware of the nature of their choices. I believe the clarification needed from that scripture I cited is the concept of sinning ignorantly- they have not sin because they are incapable of fully comprehending- therefore because God is a merciful God, they are alive in Christ (without sin because they are alive in Christ). Transgression, the Fall, is falling away from God’s presence. Even this warrants the need for the atonement. Children need the atonement…but because they are alive in Christ due to their state of understanding (lack thereof), and state of innocence, they need no baptism…so dying by abortion will not send them to hell- which was my original point.

    I considered this answer to make complete sense. Obviously your understanding of Romans is different than mine…because I draw a lot of Christs’ doctrine from the Book of Mormon.

    LDS also believe that it is the Savior alone who justifies us. We also believe that He has asked many things of those who follow Him. But the faith and works discussion is quite interesting, and I would LOVE to delve into that…email me uhmahnduh@hotmail.com– or anyone else who is interested.

  45. Ralph says:

    Shelli/RickB,
    I just realised while re-reading through the comments that you have just stated our case for pre-mortal existence. You use the scriptures –
    Isa 44:2 Thus saith the LORD that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, [which] will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen.
    Jer 1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, [and] I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

    And state – According to God’s own words, He forms us in the womb and knows us. You cannot know someone unless they are a human being.
    Look at Jer 1:5 – it says Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee
    Thus indicating IN YOUR WORDS that God knew us as human beings BEFORE we were formed in the belly.
    Thanks!

    As for my comment about Matt 20, I did not use it to say that the young children will go to heaven, I used it about your comment about it being unfair if the young children went straight to heaven and received exaltation without having to go through a life of pain, suffering and temptation as we do. Jesus taught that no matter when you join into His church, all will get the same ‘payment’. Then He taught that some people will complain about this, but He will set them straight. The same goes for little children – they will receive the same reward/payment as everyone else and it will be fair. So as I asked, are you one of the complainers?

    Lautensack, God has limits on His choices, even your belief system teaches that. So I don’t know why you are choosing to question me on what I said.

  46. Lautensack says:

    Ralph,
    The limits of my God and the limits of your god are two different things, it seems your god is limited by things outside of himself, mine is only limited by his nature, and that in the fact that he will not will something against it, so the question still stands. Also you used Matthew 20, but that is something your church does not believe in, does it? Does it believe that all of it’s members will go to the Celestial Kingdom?

    Amanda,
    Please show me a sin that is not a transgression of the law or a transgression that is not a sin. Transgression is a sin, and a sin is a transgression, to be in sin is a state of being, falling short of the glory of God. I do not believe that the bible supports, but rather rejects the fact that we need to know the law in order to transgress or sin against it, but rather the law was given in order that we may know we have truly sinned, that we might be brought to the foot of the blood stained cross, and fall wholly upon the grace of God. The law was revealed to increase our trespass, our transgression, make our sin aware to us, however without the law we still parish and we still sin apart from it. The difference in this portion of our theology is that understanding you’re evil makes no difference in the fact that you are evil. You do not have to know you’re a sinner and to be accountable for your sin. The “I didn’t know it was wrong” defense isn’t viable according to Romans 1, because we are born spiritually dead in our trespasses and it was Christ who quickened us to life apart from anything we have or could ever do for Him, or ourselves, but for His glory alone, as He is not a respecter of persons, but calls those according to His will and His good purpose.

    I am currently in the process of moving so I may not be on here too much but anyone who would like to discuss any topics or just need prayer feel free to email me at LAUTENSACK [AT] GMAIL [DOT – NO SPAM] COM.

    Lautensack

  47. amanda says:

    Lau,

    What is the difference between sin and transgression? INTENT! Where there is intention to transgress, it becomes a sin AND a transgression. Where there is no intention to transgress, it is merely a transgression. A Venn diagram, if you will.

    You suggest that we don’t need to know the law in order to need salvation. Correct. However, for those who don’t know the law are incapable of being humbled to the cross because they are ignorant about their choices—therefore, Christ is mindful of that, He is merciful and loving. His atonement has the power to save those who sin ignorantly, those who solely transgress the law. It would not be fair to those who do not know they are transgressing the laws of God, to then be accountable like those who KNOW they are transgressing the law (rendering their actions sinful. That isn’t justice! That isn’t Mercy!

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