Tuesday, August 30, 2011

LDS Church Stance on Surgical Birth Control....something I didn't know clearly until today.

The other day a friend of mine posted something on Facebook about the LDS Church's stance on surgical/permanent birth control (ie, tubal ligation, vasectomy, etc). She linked to a post on a blog where the author went into depth on her studies on the subject, including quotes from General Authorities & from the Church Handbook.

I was a bit interested, because I am "surgically infertile". I have been mostly infertile forever. I spent a LOT of years crying, injecting meds, praying, temple attending, despairing, etc. I honestly feel that it is only as a result of our faith & persistence that we were able to have the 3 kids we do have. We certainly feel blessed by the opportunity to be parents! I wanted 6. I had 3. I have 2 (to raise right now).

Last Fall I started having severe problems. We had tried all of the options to stop the problem. Nothing worked. Something HAD to happen! My doctor asked, "Are you done having children?" Crud! I hadn't felt like I had ever really gotten started! How could I be finished? He sent me home advising me to talk to my spouse and spend a lot of time praying about it (I love that he was a spiritually guided man!).

There were a LOT of talks and a LOT of praying! In one conversation my wise hubby said just the right thing. It was perfect! It helped me understand a LOT about my life and guided me to the peace I needed to accept the Lords will, where fertility was concerned. His words were in line with my Patriarchal Blessing and with the feelings I had been having. There was a LOT of peace! I knew that this is something that was in line with the Lords will for me. I called the doctor. The surgery was scheduled, then completed, and I have never felt anything but peace about this course of action. There is a purpose in my family being set up just the way it is, and it is clear to me & Ryan. I am SO grateful for Personal Revelation.

Even as I read this post, these feelings were confirmed to me.

It is interesting and I imagine that reading the post will stir up a lot of emotions. I am curious about your feelings on the subject! If you want to share, please do!


jennaroo said...

Thanks for posting this and the link to the other blog. We have 3 and have considered surgical birth control but I've never truly wanted to commit to something so permanent. My husband is a lifelong member and I am a convert of 12 years. Neither of us knew what the Church's stance was and I'm grateful to know now. THANK YOU!

Gear Gang said...

This is tough because I have 4 beautiful healthy children. Ryan and I are both healthy and strong (physically), but what about emotionally and mentally?? What happens when you have more children then you can emotionally or mentally take care of? Many times I feel as though I am biting my kids heads off, losing patientce over silly things, because I can't meet everyones demands, struggling to stay a float from day to day, in a constant tug o war between what each member of my families wants and needs.....Does that make it wrong for us to decide we are finished? Are we damned, because of this choice? Should we continue to have children, until our health is poor or we are to old to bare them even if it means we no longer can provide for or attend to there needs?

Anonymous said...

This is a topic that my husband and I have been discussing recently. To get a vasectomy or not...after my 5th child I felt I was done. I however did not go through with my tubal ligation that I had planned, it felt so wrong for reasons I couldn't explain. My husband still hasn't gone through with the vasectomy either...this article has provided a new insight and obviously we have a lot more praying to do! Thanks!

Courtney Price said...

You know, we had NEVER heard anything like this until... well, our decisions had been made and it was too late! I think that you're only judged on the knowledge that you have. As a very active member, I am actually surprised that this conversation had never come up and I think that if the church wants to get serious about it, then they better start talking about it more. And not to adults. The teens need to know. That's the reality. It is also important to note that the wording has changed in the updated edition of the handbook.

Before I even got pregnant with #5, I knew that I was done. I knew it was the last pregnancy, no matter what happened (and I knew that was a risky thing to say because I've had a number of miscarriages). Heavenly Father blessed me with that knowledge so that I could have a happy pregnancy and enjoy my last child. I know KNOW KNOW that we are done.

I think Lisa makes a good point-- just because someone appears to be physically able to have children, doesn't mean that it is right for their spiritual or emotional health.

That being said, I think that when they advise you to take these matters seriously, they aren't necessarily talking about people who have a bunch of kids already. Our doctor told us about a 19 year old guy who wanted sterilization so that he could live a consequence-free lifestyle. Our doctor wouldn't do it. Stuff like that-- I'm sure God doesn't want us making hasty decisions. You know?

I'm not saying there's a double standard, but who knows, you may just have 5 kids, talk to your bishop and he'll say, "sure, of course you should do ________"!

Brian and Kayla said...

This is interesting to me as well. I'm not done having children, but there will come a point when that will need to be decided, and better to ponder these things now than to wait and be unsure of how to move forward later. Maybe the leaders of the church will address it as time moves forward and more members are doing birth control this way. I know so many people that have decided this is what is best for them. What a tough call! I don't want to have babies in my forties, but I don't want to take a pill for twenty years in between the time I'm done and the time my body can no longer bear children. This is far in the future for me, and is obviously a matter of prayer and deep reflection. I'm glad you put a post up about this.

Lee Family said...

Gear Gang, I think mentally/emotionally able to have more children falls under the medical reasons. Having said that however, I feel that each one us will know when we're "done" or that all our children are here. You have probably reached that point. I think you are a strong and brave woman to know that you are a better wife and mother with only having the children that you have, as hard of a decision that that may have been for you at this time. I think the church's stand is a smart one. A couple may feel like they're done due to where they're at in life and what they want to do in life, only to find out that in years to come they have changed their mind and feel that deep yearning that there is one more waiting. I don't think that the churchs stand is to not use any type of birth control. To have child after child is not healthy for anyone. Our bodies, and minds, need time. There are less permanent forms of BC and each couple needs to make their own decision on what form is right for them. The church just wants us to use caution in making such a permanent decision that may cause us heartache in the future.

Lee Family said...

A quote from a great Ensign Article:
"But, on the other hand, we need not be afraid of studying the question from important angles—the physical or mental health of the mother and father, the parents’ capacity to provide basic necessities, and so on. If for certain personal reasons a couple prayerfully decides that having another child immediately is unwise, the method of spacing children—discounting possible medical or physical effects—makes little difference. 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."

Kristin and Jay said...

Kinda glad I don't have to worry about that. My decision was made for me, unfortunately. But just my luck I will get pregnant when I'm 50!!! Then it will be a WHOLE other ball game....haha!

Courtney Price said...

Lee family, excellent source!


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