Chastity and Fidelity in Marriage - Family Life Education
The Sacred Powers of Procreation We declare that God's commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in forceWe declare the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. Proclamation, 4, 5 God has commanded that the sacred power of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wifeChildren are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Proclamation, 4, 7 Summary of Church Counsel We are called to assist God in bringing about the Plan of Salvation by providing mortal bodies for His spirit children. We are called to have as many children as we can reasonably care for physically, emotionally, and financially. We should not unduly limit the number of children for selfish reasons. We should not unduly delay having children for selfish reasons. We should not be casual about procreative issues or decisions, whether it is to have or not have children. Procreation is a sacred, private matter between the couple and the Lord.
Knowledge, wisdom, and inspiration are essential; consultation with competent medical personnel and bishop can help. The physical and emotional health of the mother, who usually bears the heaviest burden in bearing and nurturing the children, should be a paramount concern in these decisions. We should avoid irreversible approaches to preventing pregnancies, except in rare circumstances. We should not judge others in these sacred, personal matters. Summary of US Child Bearing http://marriage.rutgers.edu/Publications/SOOU/TEXTSOOU2003.htm 1/3 of all children born out of wedlock (2/3 of all African American Children) In last few years the percentage of children in two-married-parent families inched up nationwide by about one point, from 68 to 69 percent, the first reversal in decades. Less than half of (44%) of young people agree that it is wrong to have children out of wedlock 40% of young women agree that, though it isnt ideal, they would consider having a child in mid-thirties if not yet married In 25 years (1960 to 1985) the proportion of ones life spent with spouse and children dropped from 62% to 43% The number of households with children under 18 s generally declining,
with an estimate that in 2010, there will be less than a third (28%) Year 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 % 48.7 42.2 38.4 34.6 32.8 28.0 US Fertility Rate Number of Births per 1,000 Women Age 15 through 44 120.0 Rate Per Woman 1960
60.0 68.4 70.9 65.6 67.5 65.3 1960 1970 1980 1990 1998 2000 2001 Source: National Vital Statistics Report, 1993, Pages 1, 2, 10 and 11; National Vital Statistics Report, 2001, 49:1; and US Bureau of the Census, Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1999, Pages 75, 76 and 78, Tables 91, 93 and 96. National Vital Statistics reports, 50-5, February 12, 2002, Table 1, p. 27; and Ventura, S., et al. Revised Birth and Fertility Rates for the United States, 2000 and 2001, National Vital Statistics Report, 51:4, Feb 6, 2003, p. 2 and 4 The Procreation Stewardship Married couples have been entrusted with a divine stewardship with regard to sexuality and procreation. While much of the world takes a casual, often recreational approach to human sexuality, the Church encourages husbands and wives to pray and counsel together in making decisions about the sacred powers of procreation. Text, p. 215
How will we have children? Means Timing Quantity How will we not have children? Acceptable reasons Acceptable means Means of Having Children Because oft eh complex nature of infertility treatments and the implications that some infertility treatments may have for the divinely appointed and unique relationship of husband and wife in creating mortal human life, it is wise for a couple faced with infertility to consult with a competent health professional who is sensitive to the moral values of the couple about human life and the sacredness of marriage. Text, pg. 216 Biological Natural (Own Genetic Children) Artificial
Own Genetic Children Not Own Genetic Children Legal Permanent (Adoption) Temporary (Guardianship/Foster) US Infertility Stats Fecundity of Women (reproductive age, 15-44) (fecundity = ability to get pregnant/carry baby to term) 27% surgically sterile 24% contraceptive reasons 3% non-contraceptive reasons 10%
impaired fecundity 63% fecund Infertility of Married Couples, 7.1% (infertile = no contraception and not pregnant for 12 months or more) Source: 1995 National Survey of Family Growth http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_23/sr23_019.pdf Means of Not Having Children Many of the decisions we make involve the application of principles where precise yes-and-no answers are just not available in Church handbooks, meetings, or even the scriptures. Our growth process, then, results from weighing the alternatives, studying the matter carefully, and seeking inspiration from the Lord... If for certain personal reasons a couple prayerfully decides that having another child immediately is unwise, the method of spacing childrendiscounting possible medical or physical effectsmakes little difference. Homer Ellsworth I Have a Question, Ensign, Aug. 1979, 23 Pregnancy Prevention Temporary (Abstinence, Device, Chemical)
Abstinence, of course, is also a form of contraception, and like any other method it has side effects, some of which are harmful to the marriage relationship. Permanent (Surgical) Pregnancy Termination Homer Ellsworth Handling Procreation Pressures Common types/sources of pressure to procreate? Common types/sources of pressure not to procreate?
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