This Is Why Mormons Have 400 Kids Each

I don’t want to beat a dead horse here, but there are a few things mentioned in my ward this week that really bugged me. We haven’t been to church in a few weeks, so while sitting in sacrament meeting I was really feeling the spirit. Sunday school was a bore as usual, but my husband kept me busy as he impatiently misbehaved the entire time. Then, in Young Women’s (I am an advisor) the topic was on how our views differ from the views of the world. Things like alcohol, drugs, etc… Then came the part about having children in which one of the girls quoted a prophet/leader, “It’s incredibly selfish to not have children when you are able to do so.” or something to that effect. Then she went on to quote more leaders, “People often ask how many children we should have, and to that I say ‘Have as many as you can handle.’” Then she began to get emotional, saying she can’t imagine not using the gift God gave us.

The reason these statements bugged me is because not everyone is the same. I know LDS people that have no desire whatsoever to have children. (Albeit there are very few of them…) but it’s not because they want to “make money” or “travel” – it’s not for worldly things. It’s simply because they aren’t the nurturing type and they don’t particularly enjoy children. I find absolutely nothing wrong with this, and having church leaders say otherwise really makes me angry. Personally, as you may know, I want to have children! But I am not like everyone else. And we all shouldn’t be the same. Sometimes I think Church leaders, but ESPECIALLY certain members tear down people when they are different. They don’t realize that it’s okay to be different and have different feelings towards something like bearing children.

Then the statement, “Have as many as you can handle” just threw me over the edge. I am assuming he meant have as many as you can handle mentally, physically, and financially. Which is a good idea in theory, but all in all really dumb. Again, everyone is different. If I have the mental capacity, the physical ability, and the financial freedom to have “just one more” after say, my 9th child it doesn’t mean I should just keep having kids. Of course, there are people who want more than that, so I say “Go ahead!” But just because you CAN have another child, doesn’t mean you SHOULD, or HAVE to.

I think the church needs to reiterate that having children is good, but only when we can afford to do so. So many times it feels like the church is egging us on to “raise seed unto the gospel” no matter what the cost, or how much government assistance people are getting. Granted, the majority of the LDS people in my area are filthy rich doctors, but we all know the starving BYU students who decide it would be a good idea to have a kid, then get on government aid, and eat ramen just so they can “fit in” with the church mindset of having kids as often and as soon as possible.

Break the mold a little people!

35 comments:

Cynthia said...

Often when a particular thing is denied us (speaking in generalities here) we begin to think that others should be denied that particular thing too. I remained single far longer than others my age and I would sit and watch them at church. I would think "she got married so young she just doesn't appreciate her husband," and "she only married him because she was desperate." Then, after I got married and had a first child, I miscarried my second pregnancy and didn't get pregnant again for 18 months. While I know that is a relatively short period to struggle with being unable to get pregnant, I still struggled. I would sit in sacrament meeting and think "She really doesn't deserve to have a baby! " or I would think "she already has four kids! It's not fair that she has another one on the way!"
I don’t know any couple (and of course I don’t know every couple and the inter-most thoughts and feelings of the couple) that has babies “just so they can “fit in” with the church mindset.” However, I do know a few things: we are COUNCELED (not commanded) to not delay having our families for financial reasons. We are COUNCELED to have as many children as we feel is right for us after considerable thought, prayer, fasting and council with the Lord.
Take my situation for example—I married when I was 25 (not old in general, just in Utah) and my husband was 31. We started our family right away because of a very strong spiritual prompting (same way we got engaged.) Right now, because of down-sizing, etc. my husband is in school while I do daycare to support the family. We are almost literally “starving BYU students who decide[d] it would be a good idea to have a kid, then [got] on government aid.” However, if we waited until we were “financially able” to have children, I would be 34 years old and childless because we will never be “financially able” to have children. Our “needs” grow right along with our income. And right now, yes, I am on government assistance, but when my husband finishes school and gets a job we will pay more into the system than we ever took out.
I disagree with your statement that even if a couple wants to have another one after the 9th, when they are in all ways capable of raising the child physically, emotionally and financially, that they shouldn’t. I come from a family of eight children. We were raised by a stay at home mom and a school teacher dad (read “very low income”). All of us are high functioning members of society. Three of my brothers served in the armed forces (two of them in Iraq). My sister is a teacher. My mother almost died miscarrying after my youngest brother, at age 42. I think she would have happily raised all the children she conceived (12). In fact I know a family of 15 kids who are all high functioning contributing members of society.
I think the issue here is not that “Mormons” have “400” kids. I know we have more than the national average. When I went to a writer’s conference in Washington I was scandalous to have 3 kids, but we are having much smaller families now than ever before. Just because cultural standards have changed is no reason for my standards to change.
“I am assuming he meant have as many as you can handle mentally, physically, and financially. Which is a good idea in theory, but all in all really dumb.” My question in regards to this statement is if a couple is able to support more children (mentally, physically, financially and emotionally and all other ways,) why is it really dumb for them to have as many as they want? Who are you to pass judgement on how many children a couple can have? Personally, I don’t want to have eight children, but it is what my friend wants and more power to her!

SeattleSuz said...

I am able to have children (nothing wrong with my plumbing), but my husband has issues. So, in order for us to conceive, it has to be medically. IMO, some people have to be exempt from this.

I dunno. I'll have to ask my mum to come read this and give her views...

Joan said...

I think you need to take a step back and realize that if "you can handle mentally, physically, and financially to have “just one more” after the 9th child" then more than likely you want to have that 9th child. Because if you didn't... you wouldn't be able to handle it mentally!

And the couples that decide to not have any than it falls under the same principle of "having as many as you can handle"... they chose not to have any, because they can't handle even one!

April said...

Cynthia - I am not suggesting delaying having kids until you are compeltely financially stable because, lets face it, almost NO ONE would EVER have kids. I just don't think having a child and getting on government aid is responsible. Sorry to offend.

Getting married YOUNG and having children YOUNG is a cultural thing within our church. Sure we have spiritual "promptings" to get married after a month of dating, and have a kid shortly after. But you can't tell me this doesn't have anything to do with the culture. When peers are getting married an having babies so quickly, it makes it harder to hold out.

I also never implied that having 10 or even 17 kids would mean "lower" quality children. In fact, many large families end up having excellent children.

If a couple WANTS to have more children and they are mentally, physically, and financially able to do so, then that's GREAT! However, if they are mentally, physically, and financially able to have children, yet DO NOT WANT to, then I don't see why we should be counceled to have more. That's basically what he was saying. Have kids until you go crazy. But until then, you must keep having kids if you are able. That's not right.

Joan - Not necessarily. I may be able to mentally handle 10 kids, but it doesn't mean I WANT to. I can see where you're going with this. Just because people don't WANT to have kids, doesn't mean they can't handle it. It just means they don't WANT to.

Untypically Jia said...

I understand where you're coming from April, but I do have some disagreements when it comes to certain topics. Often I've heard people disagree with things that the prophets have said as though it comes from them . . . it doesn't though, a prophet is the mouthpiece of the Lord. It comes from Him.

Honestly, I've known people who weren't nurturing either, and when they got pregnant we all said "Oh that poor kid" and they understood this and put the baby up for adoption, but then they went and got pregnant again. Just because one isn't born a nurturer, doesn't mean they can't learn, and I personally do think it's selfish.

As long as we are following all the counsels of the Lord and the prophets, we shouldn't have problems having as many kids as we can handle. The families I know who have 9+ children are out of debt, have a year or more food storage, and are truly dedicated to their faith. It's the couples that say "Oh I can only handle one child," who are in serious debt, who spend all their money and credit cards, have no food storage and seem to rely too much on the world and too less on the Lord.

Just my personal observations of course, there's always an exception.

April said...

Jia - I think we might have to agree to disagree, because while the prophet is a mouthpeice for God, as I have argued numerous times, he is guiding millions of people and is not "perfect." Therefore the guidance he gives is also in direct relation to society (take for example the issue of blacks holding the priesthood. Before they were able to hold the priesthood, the prophet was a "mouthpeice for God" yet still did not allow it. God of course didn't chastiste the blacks, it was man.)

That being said, the quotes I was referring to came from a leader of the church, not the Prophet. And agian, while most of what our leaders tell us is good guidance in general, there are still some things I have to disagree with.

And yes, people can learn to be good mothers. But it's not required and shouldn't be required for people who don't desire children.

This also isn't me saying that all families with tons of children are inadequate, and families with no children are better off. I emphasized that everyone is different. There are some families that can and cannot handle children. I'd just like to see more families that CAN.

MBM's Mama said...

Whoa! Can open. Worms everywhere!

It has been my understanding for many years that the decision about how many children you have (or not) is absolutely between you and your husband and God. It is truly nobody else’s business.
I have two children (both now grown), neither of whom would be here if being financially ready were the criterion, and managed to keep them clothed and fed and nurtured. After a divorce, I re-married and became stepmom to a whole bunch of kids. We made a choice not to have any more children, figuring that, between us, we had “multiplied and replenished” enough!
Church leaders can counsel us, but I think that counsel is rarely “one size fits all,” because we all have different circumstances. The final decision is up to each of us individually, hopefully after sincere prayer.
I do object strongly to people judging others for the size of their families, whether large or small, since we don’t know their hearts and their personal circumstances.

April said...

MBM's Mama - Could not have said it better if I tried!!!

Cynthia said...

April,
I didn't say getting married young and having children young was not a direct result of the church culture. That's obvious. I said that limiting the family size was a direct result of the USA culture. Furthermore, I don't believe that my spiritual promptings (you put it in quotation marks, which is why I'm responding to that...) were prompted by seeing other couples have babies. If, as a daughter of God, you aren't familiar with the difference between true spiritual promptings and feelings of jealousy, then you need to do a little work on that.

Just to say it again--I don't know couples that feel like they HAVE to have children. People don't have children because they feel obligated to, but because they want to.

Also, about your little government aid stab-- I am completely responsible. My circumstances changed after the kids were here. How was I supposed to change that? Give my kids up? Put them in foster care? Maybe take them out back and shoot them so I wouldn't have to be on government aid while I work 60 hours a week (at home) to try and support my family?

April said...

Family size depends on our individual cultures. Many people think by having children we are contributing to "global warming" etc... but I DO NOT think that in any way (for too many reasons to list.) Many people like me, think it's okay to have a bunch of children if you want to.

Unfortunately, many people in the church I know seem to follow "spiritual promptings" simply to fit in. I am sure many have seen it too, and we can't deny that it happens. While I can't assume I know what prompts are valid, and I can't assume I know these people or their spiritual feelings, I know that not everything we deem a "spiritual feeling" is such. Of course, we don't know God's plan, but when three of my friends who are very strict members from Utah got "prompts" to marry their spouses after only weeks and months of knowing them - then got divorced - I highly doubt they were listening to the spirit at that point. Same with the girl(s) who cry (not happy tears) throughout their entire temple wedding – then get divorced soon after. Young women these days so quickly jump into marriage and babies that they have no time for true prompts – just social norms. Like I said, I cannot determine who has true prompts and who does not – I just know what society shows aren’t prompting from the Lord. And some may argue that God has a plan for each of us that involve these types of struggles, but that’s clearly going against the point of a spiritual prompting.

You also say you don’t know anyone who has children because the HAVE to – but I do. The church has put so much pressure on women to bear children that many people I know LOVE their kids of course, but wish they had waited much longer to have them. Also, we are conditioned to say and do certain things because of how the church is. Like with praying, the Young Women in my ward all pray the EXACT same way with the same tone and without any feeling or true prayerful requests. As do the majority of the rest of the ward… “Dear Kind and Gracious Heavenly Father, We thank thee for this day...” blah blah blah. It’s the vain repetition we were warned so much against. This is church culture, and fitting in with it is ingrained as an important aspect in very young children.

Also, about government aid. I DO believe it is irresponsible to willingly and knowingly bear children with the intent to raise seed unto the gospel no matter what your situation financially, mentally, or physically. We chastise women who get abortions for not considering the consequences when they had sex, but we don’t chastise parents for having kids and getting on government aid because they didn’t consider the consequences. Granted there are some situations where kids just happen, but the parents need to realize that part time and full time jobs are on the horizon. We just need to raise seed more responsibly.

cornnut32 said...

april,

i used to share your sentiment about government aid.

however. when i got pregnant, it was unexpected. we were thrilled, but unprepared. i had been ill for some time and had not been able to work. i had just gotten back into working, my husband had two jobs, and we were barely making ends meet. after i became pregnant, i got extremely ill again and had to quit my job.

we received aid from the church as well as WIC (government aid). my husband was still working two jobs. i babysat when i could, and did a little work for my inlaws when i could to earn some extra money. we were barely making it--even with the help we were getting.

my son is 9 months old now. we no longer receive help from the government or the church. my husband and i both work. but there is absolutely nothing wrong with families who do everything they can and still need help from outside sources.

it was very hard for us--especially my husband--to have to ask for help. it hurt our pride. it was frustrating that we couldn't do it on our own. my husband felt that he wasn't doing a good enough job providing for our family, and i felt guilty because the reason we were struggling was because i couldn't work.

from what i have read in cynthia's comments, she and her husband are also doing what they can to provide for their family. he is in school. she takes care of their children. if she worked, how would they pay for childcare? government assistance. it is true that when her husband finishes school they will pay out more than they used.

we all need to remember that circumstances are not what we think. things happen that we cannot plan for. we will be blessed for doing what is right, and sometimes those blessings come in the form of aid. IF we are doing everything we can, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this.

let's remember that unless we know everything going on in a family, we have no right to judge.

as far as women who have babies just for the purpose of getting government aid, that is an entirely different story. but i sincerely believe that cynthia is not one of those women.

MBM's Mama said...

April, I agree with a lot of what you’re saying, particularly the parts about doing and saying things to fit in with the Church culture, whether we really believe them or not. As I said in a post a few weeks ago, I joined the Church as a young woman, and spent much of my Church life trying to “fit in,” but I realized I wasn’t being true to myself.

I stopped going for a while, detached myself from the culture, got back to basics, and figured out who I was and what I really believed. I finally realized that Heavenly Father made me as I am, that the Atonement was for me as I am, and that I “fit in” in His Church just because I am who I am.

As far as the government aid question, I used to feel much as you do, until I was in a situation as a young, divorced mother of two very small children that gave me little option but to be on government assistance for a while. But, because of that assistance, I was able to go school and get a job with which I would be able to support my family. It was not an easy decision, but I was counseled by some older, wiser friends that such assistance is meant for people who need a hand up. I am sure that since that time I have paid more than enough in taxes and contributions to the economy to make up for the period of time during which I needed government help.

Also, I think we have to be careful about judging the decisions of inexperienced, unworldly, sheltered young women. I made some foolish choices as a young woman, but Heavenly Father continued to bless me anyway, and helped me to see the lessons in those choices.

Cynthia said...

April,
I think that as this discussion has grown, we've lost sight of a few things.

1) No one forces us to live the gospel. No one forces us to have children. Any pressure a person feels to live a certain way is his/her own conscience, the Spirit or CULTURAL pressure. The General Authorities do not pressure you into living a certain way. They are always reiterating that your life is between you and your God. Your comments have said that the CHURCH is putting pressure on women to have children. It is more likely people in the church, not the official church doctrine.

2) Individual choice brings individual responsibility. We are taught to avoid peer pressure and that includes from people inside the church. If a woman is not ready or willing to have children, she should "just say no" to the peer pressure! For heavens sake! Tell them to put on their big girl panties and realize that they made the choice (in most cases) to have a child. No one forced them to do it. If they didn't go to the effort to make sure the prompting was really a prompting and not something else, then it is their fault, not God's and certainly not the church’s.

3)Our Heavenly Father knows what will ultimately make us the most happy. Perhaps for a moment we might wish we'd done things different, but when one can see the whole picture, I'm sure that following God's plan will bring the most happiness.

We can sit here and blame the church all we want for things that didn't go right in our lives, but it's not going to fix anything. The church tells us over and over to not follow blindly, but to get the revelations for ourselves. It seems that this website is featuring a lot of "I'm not following the council of the GA's, I know what my Heavenly Father wants me to do, but I'm not willing to do it. Therefore I feel guilty and want to rationalize it so I can stop feeling guilty."

As for the government aid thing, I’m dropping it since you have obviously never been in the situation and won’t know what it is like until you have been. Also, my situation is entirely different from what you are describing.

April said...

Cynthia,

1) I didn’t disagree. This is what I am getting at.

2) Umm… agreed? Still not arguing this point.

3) True again.

It seems that this website is featuring a lot of "I'm not following the council of the GA's, I know what my Heavenly Father wants me to do, but I'm not willing to do it. Therefore I feel guilty and want to rationalize it so I can stop feeling guilty."

That’s a pretty bold statement, and quite a rude one. You’re being very defensive and for little reason. Not to mention this is the first judgment passed. Every writer here is a member of the church and believes in the gospel. The leaders and prophet of the church GUIDE us, and we are to choose for ourselves. We may not all agree, but that’s our own decisions. However, choosing to do things simply because the rest of the flock does them isn’t reason enough for me. I feel absolutely no guilt for anything I am doing or saying. Why would I? I do everything right, I simply refuse to keep the curtains closed. It’s not like I disobey God in any way shape or form, I am simply questioning a few things that seem to slip under the rug.

“As for the government aid thing, I’m dropping it since you have obviously never been in the situation and won’t know what it is like until you have been. Also, my situation is entirely different from what you are describing.”

And again, excuse me but I lived below poverty level my entire life until this point. Yet another assumption. My entire family was on government aid and to this day is STILL on government aid. This is also a different situation. I am not judging YOU.

I think we are getting a little off topic here as I haven't yet said that government aid should be abolished or people who use it are "bad." It wouldn't be in place if it wasn't a good or beneficial thing to have.

I simply said that PLANNING to be poor and have children isn't the proper way to do things. Some may argue that no one "plans" to be poor and use government aid, but in fact many people do, especially LDS married students. They think it's acceptable to suck off the government while their husband is in med school because they'll pay it off "one day" in taxes. Sure it seems to all iron out in the end, but really what are we talking about here? Purposely trying to have kids at 18, 19, 20 years old to "fit in" and to raise seed unto the gospel. When church leaders say jump, we don't even ask how high. We just follow along like sheep assuming what we are doing is the right thing.

Granted, most of what we are doing isn’t the WRONG thing, and seriously I am NOT judging. I am just raising questions and awareness when people are so apt to ignore it. Look closely at what I am writing here. People are taking personal offense when I am making generalizations. Just step off the high horse for a moment and come down to reality where we can talk like adults! Sheesh.

Cynthia said...

April,
If you reread your original post, you say that the church leaders are egging us on to have children. If you read all I wrote in my first point, then you would see it was not agreeing with what you wrote in your post. Sure, it’s just the differentiation between church leaders and church culture, but it’s a big one.

Obviously, I have not been visiting this website for a long time, but the posts that I have read do tend to have the same thread of rationalization. No offense. It's a normal thing and we all do it. I do it all the time.

As I wrote in my first comment, I think that perhaps a lot of your frustration (with people having kids they don't really want, but feel pressured to have) comes from seeing others having what you can't have. I'm not pretending to know you, I'm just saying that perhaps you are having some of the same feelings I had in the same situation. There was nothing more upsetting than listening to my sister-in-law complain about being pregnant when I wanted that more than anything.

SeattleSuz said...

I just wanted to ask April. Why was this young woman getting emotional when she was talking about this topic? I cannot imagine myself, as a young woman getting emotional about something like this... Just wondering.

April said...

Cynthia,

At this point of course I'd love to have kids. But I know it will happen eventaully, and thankfully these past two years I haven't pushed it because we REALLY would be financially strained if we HAD gotten pregnant. Yet another example of feeling the pressure to have kids. Now I am just fine waiting.

I think BOTH the church leaders and culture inadvertently pressure us to procreate...

Suz - I have no idea why. She's only like 15 or so and she started crying because some women wait to get pregnant or choose not to. Maybe it was a personal thing?

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of whiny, little children some of you are. The OP has the right to post her feelings and thoughts, difference is what makes life enjoyable. If you dont like it, continue to live in your little isolated bubble and complain. Those "bringing her to repentence" is what gives ALL of us LDS a bad name. Shame on you.

Anonymous said...

So perhaps I misunderstood the purpose for this forum, but I thought everyone was welcome to state their own opinion. No matter the subject matter, everyone will have different opinions. As for calling people to repentance, I don't see that that is what was happening.

Sign me as another "rude/ignorant anonymous commenter"

just me said...

April,

I appreciate your honesty. I agree with you 100% Obviously situations occur that are out of our control, but it is how we react to those situations that really matter...i.e. an unplanned pregnancy or loss of a job after children are born. I could go on and write more, but it would all go back to what you have saying! Kudos to you for speaking out against the pressures of both the Church and it's members!!!

Cynthia said...

Well, dinner is finally over and the kids are in the bath, so I thought I'd check in again. It looks like I, also, misunderstood the whole purpose of this website. I thought it was a discussion where everyone was welcome to have their say. As it says under "leave your comment," "We don't hate on people who disagree." I was really excited to have a discussion on something other than why you're not allowed to smear peanut butter on the walls. I was having a good time discussing different aspects of this blog, but now I find out I'm a whiny little child calling someone to repentance rather than an educated woman discussing nuances of the gospel with others. Well, as I can see I am obviously not welcome here and have furthermore misunderstood the whole purpose of commenting, I will refrain from doing so in the future. Please accept my apology. I had hoped everyone would accept my comments in the spirit they were given-- as a friendly discussion, not as an argument. I beg your forgiveness and will forthwith remove myself.

Anonymous said...

Okay!

April said...

Hey hey now....*gets out the hose*

I think everyone felt a little attacked. Especially by the *ahem* Anonymous commenters.

Just RELAX! Everyone! It's just a fun debate!

For the record, I fricken LOVE Cynthia for voicing an opinion. And I personally agree on most of her points. I just get heated on a few topics that many people don't see eye to eye on.

*inhale*
*exhale*

cornnut32 said...

cynthia,

you are absolutely right--we love people with different opinions here. don't let what people say get to you. i have really enjoyed hearing your take on this subject. you need to look and see that although there are people who will disagree with you, even if in a disrespectful way, there are twice as many who agree with you. i, for one, have stood up for you. why don't you concentrate on that, instead of letting a negative comment chase you away?

i hate criticism just as much (if not more) than the next person, and mean comments make me cry, but if i let mean comments get to me i would miss out on all of the great things that come from discussions like this.

April said...

Oh and I agree on the whole "comments making you cry" thing. I posted once on Modern Molly Mormon and got ripped APART! Mostly because people asked the moderator to not have me as a contributor. The moderator being awesome, didn't remove me. I still BAWLED. But I guess this is why I have a personal vendetta against sites that don't let you express opinions freely. There are consequences that come with it, but I would MUCH rather have freedom of speech!

Cynthia said...

Ok, thanks. =) I wish I could explain to you'all how good it is to have an adult conversation, even via the internet. Sometimes I feel like I'm just going to scream (well, I actually did today since I had four kids yelling demands all at once. It quieted them down instantly, but then my sweet little 3 year old burst into tears.)

This is my first venture back into the spiritual realm of things after my bishop told me I was "satanic" and "warping" my children because I'm staying in my lack-luster marriage. I am (hanging my head in shame/laughter) in one of those marriages April mentioned, although we didn't have our Holy Ghost engagement after dating a month....it was 9 days.

At any rate, if you'all don't mind, I will stay around since I really do enjoy having something to think about other than laundry, etc.

April said...

I think we all need a little escape! I have GOT to stop blogging now....*does dishes*

heather said...

Woah. I totally missed out on all the fun here!

And April, I love ya, but I can't agree whole heartily with everything you posted... BUT I can for SURE see where you are coming from.

angel chick said...

Iread every post and now to add a new twist. As a young mother I had 3 son;s and being proud i worked as a waitress for three dollars a day plus tips. I recieved no help from thier father and we survived,barely. Now at 60 I have been diagnosised with MS and need government aid to pay for my medication one cost over two thousand dollars a month. and I takesix. I am to ashamed to tell my Bishop I need groceries because i have a Ward who all talk. Sadly I am considering not takeing the costly med that helps because of the need for government aid. I am a convert of 30+ years and married to a non member now who has a very low paying state job and we just pay rent,utilities and gas. I use a neighbors internet connection for contact with the outside world. How do you guys feel about me getting aaid now versus when I had children at home whose father just walked away? I have really been worried I am doing wrong by not being prepared better. I have used all my years food supply and monies for doctors and medications . What do I do now, I do not want to be a burden on my husband and can't figure out what to do Please answer me with helpful suggestions. Thanks angel

MBM's Mama said...

Angel, it is my belief that you are a perfect example of the type of person that government programs were designed to help, i.e., someone who, through no fault of her own, does not have the means to provide fully for herself.
As for talking to your Bishop, again, that is what the Church's Welfare Program is for, as well. I would certainly hope that confidentiality would be maintained between the Bishop and the Relief Society President, esp. if you express your concerns to him.

becky said...

Thank you.

People have told me I'm sinning because I haven't had children yet (23, infertile) and that I'm not following God's Plan for me.

This is so frustrating to hear and something I wish our culture would just stop.

Some of us want children, some of us don't. Some of us may have children and some of us don't.

And to everyone who wants to make a comment about our reproductive lives and family. Bugger off. It's between us and God. Not you.

Tug said...

You people are crazy. :]

Anonymous said...

My patriarchal blessing stated that "I was given a perfect body" so that I could have sons and daughters.
Well, I was NEVER able to deliver a kid naturally. Also, I was very ill in a hospital, with asthma attacks while pregnant. (I had 3 kids.)
After the 3rd, I had to have a complete hysterectomy; my "perfect" body fell apart, literally.
All the while, I was observing the "word of wisdom" and whatever else.
So much for promises!!!

Tamsen said...

A neighbor of mine had a big bunch of kids and writes children's books for her living. She said we may not believe her, but when she was a newlywed- living in New York with her artist husband and their careers both moving forward that she had no desire whatsoever to have kids- to be a mom. She then went on to tell that she actually prayed for the desire to be a mom. And it reminded me of another prayer I heard an older woman tell me of- she had prayed for many years to not have ill feelings towards Germans as she had lived under Nazi occupation as a youth. Finally she said that forgiveness no longer eluded her. She was at ease around German people again. It sometimes takes a while to be at ease with those who make insensitive or bazarre misunderstood statements on one end or the other of this issue. Going back to personal revelation on when, how and why to have kids... I have been openly criticized for my decision on this by people very close to me. I did not waste much time feeling offended, but instead enjoyed a talk with my husband afterward that was a good one. It is so personal and we have not the time or luxury to do anything other than support each other as women for wherever we each are in the journey.

Anonymous said...

I'm 39, single and don't plan on every having kids since I don't ever see myself getting married. I'm one of those rare, evil and "apostate" people you rarely hear about.

I went inactive when I was a student at UVSC/UVCC (that does date me). I got sick of all the social pressure to become a sheep and the bishoprics that thought strong-arming and guilt trips were appropriate to hammer down the nail that stands out.

Since my attitude on life is one of downshifting, anti-ratrace and living on the cheap and sustainable, I am not a catch to most women. I guess it makes me a socially conservative hippie.

What does this have to do with kids? Plenty. Only have what you can handle. I can't handle very much and frankly, I'd rather have a few that I really can spend time with and enjoy. I wish my dad was that wise instead of having 6 and being overwhelmed. I felt ignored as a kid and I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

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