“To check the increase of our race has its advocates among the influential and powerful circles of society in our nation and in other nations. The same practice existed forty-five years ago, and various devices were used by married persons to prevent the expenses and responsibilities of a family of children, which they must have incurred had they suffered nature’s laws to rule pre-eminent. That which was practiced then in fear and against a reproving conscience, is now boldly trumpeted abroad as one of the best means of ameliorating the miseries and sorrows of humanity. Infanticide is very prevalent in our nation. It is a crime that comes within the purview of the law, and is therefore not so boldly practiced as is the other equally great crime, which no doubt, to a great extent, prevents the necessity of infanticide. The unnatural style of living, the extensive use of narcotics, the attempts to destroy and dry up the fountains of life, are fast destroying the American element of the nation;” 1
“. . . the enemies of God and of his law arrayed themselves against God and against Enoch and his people, as some of our very pious people are doing today against us, and as others would like to do. Say they, “Look, what a wicked people these ‘Mormons’ are, they have more wives than one. It is true we have mistresses besides our wives; it is true we commit adultery; it is true we are covered with infamy and debauchery; it is true that the stink of our crimes and iniquities rises into the nostrils of Jehovah, as it did in former days, but we will cover all that over.” But they cannot do it; it sticks out on every side; the covering is too narrow. They are murderers and murderesses of their infants, and the stench of their infamy ascends into the nostrils of Jehovah; and you that want them, take them, and you that do will go along with them, and go to perdition with them; and I tell you that in the name of the Lord.” 2
Joseph Fielding Smith
“It is just as much murder to destroy life before as it is after birth, although man-made laws may not so consider it: but there’s One who does take notice and his justice and judgment is sure.” Seven months later the First Presidency gave its “unqualified endorsement” of Smith’s writing.3
Spencer W. Kimball
“Among the most common sexual sins our young people commit are necking and petting. Not only do these improper relations often lead to fornication, pregnancy, and abortions – all ugly sins – but in and of themselves they are pernicious evils…” 4
“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….” 5
Ezra Taft Benson
“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.” 6
Undermining of home
And so today, the undermining of the home and family is on the increase, with the devil anxiously working to displace the father as the head of the home and create rebellion among the children. The Book of Mormon describes this condition when it states, “And my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them.” And then these words follow—and consider these words seriously when you think of those political leaders who are promoting birth control and abortion: “O my people, they who lead thee cause thee to err and destroy the way of thy paths.” (2 Ne. 13:12.)
And let me warn the sisters in all seriousness that you who submit yourselves to an abortion or to an operation that precludes you from safely having additional healthy children are jeopardizing your exaltation and your future membership in the kingdom of God.” 7
Doctrine and Covenants 132:27
The blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which shall notbe forgiven in the world nor out of the world, is in that ye commit murder wherein ye shed innocent blood, and assent unto my death, after ye have received my new and everlasting covenant, saith the Lord God; and he that abideth not this law can in nowise enter into my glory, but shall be damned, saith the Lord.
George Q. Cannon
The loudest outcry against us, and the most devoted efforts against us, come from the region where these dreadful practices prevail, where women murder their offspring before they are born, are guilty of this prenatal murder, among the people of the United States who think themselves the most enlightened.
Twenty-five years ago when I was laboring in the ministry in that region I visited one of the towns, and the President of the branch of the Saints there, (an old resident, whose ancestors were among the first settlers of the town) told me his wife was continually jeered at—and this was 25 years ago—by her associates, because she bore children, and bore them regularly—that she did not take means to prevent the increase of her family! If I had not known him I could scarcely have believed it, it was too horrid. I have learned since, however, that that is a common practice in that region. The feature of that society that impresses most vividly a traveler from Utah is the fewness of children in what are called the best families. And yet it is from there that the principal outcry is raised against us, and the determination expressed to break up our families and to destroy us.
God has gathered a few people out from the nations of the earth, out of Babylon. But shall they partake of these influences? I say to you, my sisters, you teach your daughters against this accursed practice, or they will go to hell, they will be damned, they will be murderers, and the blood of innocence will be found upon them. A man that would sanction such a thing in his family, or that would live with a woman guilty of such acts, shares in the crime of murder. I would no more perform the ordinance of laying on of hands on a woman who is guilty of that crime, if I knew it, than I would put my hands on the head of a rattlesnake. We must set our faces like flint against such acts. These dreadful practices are coming up like a tidal wave and washing against our walls; for there are women among us who secretly—so I am told, I know nothing about this personally, but I am told there are women among us who are instilling this murderous and accursed idea into the breasts of women and girls in our midst. Now just as sure as it is done, and people yield to it, so sure will they be damned, they will be damned with the deepest damnation; because it will be the damnation of shedding innocent blood, for which there is no forgiveness; and I would no more, as I say, administer to such women, baptize them, or perform any ordinance of the Gospel for them, than I would for a reptile. They are outside the pale of salvation. They are in a position that nothing can be done for them. They cut themselves off by such acts from all hopes of salvation. 8
- Brigham Young, “The Word of Wisdom, Etc.”, Journal of Discourses, vol. 12, pp. 120, August 17, 1867.
- John Taylor, “Duties of the Saints, Etc.”, Journal of Discourses, vol. 22, pp. 230
- Joseph Fielding Smith, The Relief Society Magazine. Vol. 3 p.368
- Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 65
- Spencer W. Kimball, The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, 1982, p. 188
- Ezra Taft Benson, Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, pp. 539
- Conference Report, October 1970, p.21. Also, Ezra Taft Benson, Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, 1988, p. 541
- George Q. Cannon, “Our Respect for the Constitution”, Journal of Discourses, vol. 26, pp. 14-15