Catholics vs. Mormons on Abortion (The Pregnant 9-Year Old)

In many respects, Catholics and Mormons have similar views on abortion. In general, both churches are pro-life, although individual Mormons are probably more likely than Catholics, at least in the U.S., to be pro-life. Plus a larger number of U.S. Catholics are more likely to emphasize (Democratic) legislation and interventions to reduce abortion, rather than (merely) emphasize (with Republicans) repealing Roe v. Wade. So, on average, it is probably safe to say that individual Mormons are more conservative than Catholics on the abortion question.

However, in terms of their institutional positions, it is the other way around–the LDS church is more liberal.

These differences are relevant in light of the Catholic church’s recent automatic excommunications of the family and doctor of a nine-year-old Brazilian girl who received an abortion. The pregnancy (twins) was a result of rape from the girl’s father (the girl is not subject to automatic excommunicated because of her age). Two weeks after the decision (March 2009), the archbishop Jose Cardoso Sobrinho (who made the ruling) stepped down, prompting some to wonder whether the Vatican disagreed. Time Magazine (above link) reports, however, that a recent Vatican publication “unequivocally confirmed automatic excommunication for anyone involved in an abortion — even in such a situation as dire as the Brazilian case.”

In contrast, the official position of the LDS church is that “exceptional circumstances may justify an abortion, such 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 severe defects that will not allow the baby to survive beyond birth.” These circumstances do not automatically justify abortion, as “those who face such circumstances should consider abortion only after consulting with their local Church leaders and receiving a confirmation through earnest prayer.”

Certainly, the 9-year old scenario (quite possibly fitting all four “exceptional circumstances”) would almost certainly receive an exception if it was wanted by the girl and/or her family. I imagine that in almost any case like this, local leaders would advocate for an immediate abortion as the most humane response. Moreover, no one would be “automatically excommunicated.” In fact, no one in the LDS church is “automatically” excommunicated for any reason, but only as a result of a church trial in which the persons in question, along with witnesses, are able to defend themselves.

Now, I don’t mean to “dog” the Catholic church. I deeply respect the church in terms of so many things that it does, including its general pro-life position on abortion. However, I do wish to affirm my belief that Latter-day Saints are (rightfully) more flexible and humane in these matters. The LDS church does not believe that human life must be saved in every single circumstance, no matter how dire. There simply are other issues that cannot be ignored, such as the respect for a woman’s right to choose whether to have intercourse, coupled with the crippling trauma of being forced to carry your rapist’s child.

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16 Responses

  1. A wonderful write-up, Dennis. It’s for those very reasons that I don’t consider myself completely pro-life (nor totally pro-choice.) I think in most cases (and you can’t say that about every issue) Mormon views very much mirror the average person’s.

  2. Err, what I meant to say was that in THIS case, Mormon views mirror the average person.

  3. Rape and incest are always a horrible situation to deal with, especially involving a child. I don’t think anyone can imagine what the little girl has had to deal with or will have to deal with unless they’ve experienced it themselves. There are many people who would agree that abortion was the humane thing to do (as you say the LDS Church would) in this case, especially involving a child. There are others who would say that they’d give anything to un-do the abortion they had and it haunts them everyday.

    No one knows how this little girl would feel Dennis if she carried the children to term or lost them in miscarriage – a very real possibility at her young age. The Catholic Church is true to its doctrine on abortion (see the Catholic Catechism paragraphs 2270 – 2275 http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a5.htm#2270) because abortion is murder – unless you believe these children are just blobs of tissue. To change that stance is to condone murder and ignore the 10 Commandments and the Church won’t do that.

    Would it be horribly traumatic for the girl to have borne the children? Very possibly; I don’t know, and neither do you Dennis. To call the Church’s stance “inhumane…for any group to “force” raped girls and women to have children” is to also condone murder because the children were killed.

    Is abortion in a horrible situation like this a lesser evil than for the mother to live with having brought them to term? In your opinion, yes. In the Church’s opinion, and it seems in God’s as well, murder is not a lesser evil. I would imagine that if the children had a choice (they didn’t, they never do in an abortion) they would have chosen to have met their mother.

    [Paragraph deleted by admin. I don’t want to get into a religious battle, and to help ensure that does not happen, I deleted the last two paragraphs of my post.]

    Regarding excommunication: do you know what that means in the Catholic Church? Why it is done? Why it was done in this case? How the Church views it? Why would you post the LDS’s official position on abortion but not the Catholic’s official position – especially in a post you entitle “Catholics vs. Mormons…”? Wouldn’t you want to show the stance of both “sides”?

    Excommunication is serious, so is abortion. Excommunication takes place, in the end, to help the person, not kick them out of the Church – but you don’t bother to explain that in your post.

    [Paragraph deleted by admin. because it no longer applies, due to deleted paragraphs of the post.]

    Do you really think your Church’s “solution” is lost on the Catholic Church? They know full well how hard this is. The Church has the stance it has for very good reason (it’s murder) and has had it since the 1st century, based on scripture going back to the time of Moses. [Rest of paragraph deleted by admin. because it no longer applies, due to deleted paragraphs of the post.]

  4. So glad to be LDS! I love the gospel and so much more about the church. [Rest of paragraph deleted by admin. I don’t want this to turn into a fight over which religion, overall, is better.]

    Of course there are problems. Some Latter Day Saints are less than saintly. But it’s good. It’s worth 10% of my income! (LOL)

    [Rest of paragraph deleted by admin. Same as above.]

    Thanks Dennis!

  5. ohcac,

    I don’t want to get into a back and forth about which church is better, and for that reason I deleted the last two (offensive) paragraphs of the post.

    The Catholic Church is true to its doctrine on abortion (see the Catholic Catechism paragraphs 2270 – 2275 http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a5.htm#2270) because abortion is murder – unless you believe these children are just blobs of tissue. To change that stance is to condone murder and ignore the 10 Commandments and the Church won’t do that.

    Is it the official Catholic position that “abortion is murder,” or is that your paraphrase? I didn’t see any mention of “murder” in the abortion section of your link.

    Is abortion in a horrible situation like this a lesser evil than for the mother to live with having brought them to term? In your opinion, yes. In the Church’s opinion, and it seems in God’s as well, murder is not a lesser evil. I would imagine that if the children had a choice (they didn’t, they never do in an abortion) they would have chosen to have met their mother.

    Well, if you’re referring to God’s opinion in terms of what is in the Bible, then there is not a clear opinion about this. Yes, God says, “Thou shalt not kill,” and in LDS scripture an additional phrase is added, “nor do anything like unto it”–a clear condemnation of abortion generally. However, God also sanctions killing throughout the Bible. Clearly there are exceptions. We are in agreement, I think, about this except what these exceptions may mean in terms of certain abortions.

    Regarding excommunication: do you know what that means in the Catholic Church? Why it is done? Why it was done in this case? How the Church views it? [. . .] Excommunication is serious, so is abortion. Excommunication takes place, in the end, to help the person, not kick them out of the Church – but you don’t bother to explain that in your post.

    I suspect there are many similarities between Catholics and Mormons on excommunication. I don’t really know. You’re right, I didn’t explain that excommunication is to help the purpose in the end; this is the case for the Mormon church as well. Still, this purpose is largely beside the point.

    Why would you post the LDS’s official position on abortion but not the Catholic’s official position – especially in a post you entitle “Catholics vs. Mormons…”? Wouldn’t you want to show the stance of both “sides”?

    Well, I did include what I took to be an official Catholic position, in relation to this case.

  6. Excellent and thoughtful post. Another area in which Mormons have become more “progressive” than Catholics is that of contraception. Perhaps that is unsurprising, since contraception and abortion dovetail.

    I have always detected a strong element of agency throughout the Mormon Church’s position on abortion. The Catholic Church seems to be focused on the idea that human life is created at conception, but I’m not in a position to identify a particular Catholic dogma behind that focus.

  7. Hi Dennis and thanks for your reply. I apologize in advance for a long post but this is a vitally important topic and I want to be thorough.

    Before I respond to your questions let me go off tangent for a minute but I hope you’ll agree it may be profitable. I think we agree on the abhorrence of abortion, both personally and as Churches. I just watched the Presidential Address on the health care bill in Congress and the question I had hoped would be asked of the President was not and that is will this bill use our tax dollars to pay for more abortions? I don’t have time to keep up with all the goings on regarding the bill but from what I’m hearing the bill will contain a provision to pay for abortions. I’m not interested in getting into politics on this blog but the subject is abortion and for more of them to be committed using my/our tax dollars sickens me.

    Would you be willing to create a post on this blog as a call to action of your Mormon brethren to contact their congressional representatives and ask that if such a provision is part of the bill that it be stricken? Harry Reid is LDS and majority leader of the Senate – would Mormons in Nevada be willing to contact him and make this request? I’d post this myself but don’t know that I’m allowed to and don’t see a way to make a post on this blog. Please think about it.

    Regarding your reply: First I really appreciate the obvious thoughtfulness of your reply – I didn’t miss it.

    Regarding your questions:

    Q1: “Is it the official Catholic position that “abortion is murder,” or is that your paraphrase? I didn’t see any mention of “murder” in the abortion section of your link.”

    Murder is my word – it is not in the Catechism paragraphs you read. Thanks for taking the time to do so!

    I’m not a theologian and do not presume to speak for the Church. What you see on that page of the link (http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a5.htm#2270) is Article 5 regarding the fifth commandment which is “Thou shall not kill.” So this section is dealing with that commandment – not killing. Roll it around in your head however you like but abortion by most any definition is murder because an innocent life is taken – this is not war or self-defense. That abortion is murder is virtually undeniable unless you take the position that the baby is simply a blob of tissue; i.e not yet human.

    Paragraph 2270 states that “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person…” – so the Church sees the fetus as human (having a soul – my words) and having rights.

    Is it inhumane to not perform an abortion in the case of rape/incest? That is really a separate issue and very admittedly not an easy one. The question is are you killing if you perform an abortion? Obviously yes. Does the Church specifically call that murder in the Catechism– no.

    Q2: “Well, if you’re referring to God’s opinion in terms of what is in the Bible, then there is not a clear opinion about this. Yes, God says, “Thou shalt not kill,” and in LDS scripture an additional phrase is added, “nor do anything like unto it”–a clear condemnation of abortion generally. However, God also sanctions killing throughout the Bible. Clearly there are exceptions. We are in agreement, I think, about this except what these exceptions may mean in terms of certain abortions.”

    The Catechism is the Church’s carrying on, understanding and interpretation of the Bible and Apostolic teachings. God’s “opinion” on abortion is not specifically spoken to in the Bible – His stance on killing is – He says not to do it. There are passages in the Bible where God may be seen to sanction killing – the only question we’re discussing here, at least I thought so, was a specific type of killing, abortion.

    Regarding exceptions involved in abortion: This is where our churches may part ways. The Catholic Church takes a very firm stand on abortion because 1) live begins at conception, 2) all life is sacred and a gift from God and 3) the life or death of a person is really God’s call and no one else’s. This is why the Church also takes such a firm stand on euthanasia.

    The exception I know of is when the abortion is not “direct” – an example is if an abortion is not performed the mother will very probably die – and, importantly, that is known or strongly suspected in advance. An abortion performed when the health of the mother is not in question would be considered direct. Here’s a good link that explains it better than I can – http://www.americancatholic.org/Newsletters/CU/ac0898.asp.

    Q3: “I suspect there are many similarities between Catholics and Mormons on excommunication. I don’t really know. You’re right, I didn’t explain that excommunication is to help the purpose in the end; this is the case for the Mormon church as well. Still, this purpose is largely beside the point.”

    What torqued me Dennis was your words to the effect of the church symbolically raping the girl and then implicitly tying that to the excommunication (not easy to ascertain now due to the deletions you made to your post and mine – again I respect why you did this).

    You seemed to be implying to your Mormon audience that the Church is wrong to not agree to an abortion in the case of rape/incest and then they excommunicated them to boot – what cold hearted bastards! (my take on part of your post).

    To be clear, the girl was not excommunicated – her mother and the doctor who performed the abortion were excommunicated. The reason for that action is spelled out in paragraph 2272 of the Catechism – “A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae,by the very commission of the offense.”

    Did the mother know she would be excommunicated by this action – don’t know. Did she know the Church’s stance on abortion – I’d bet she did. Was excommunicating her an easy thing for the Bishop to do? I doubt it – it probably broke his heart. Did the mother think she was doing the best thing for her daughter, of course.

    Is that mean and cold-hearted to excommunicate her and the doctor even though they felt they were doing the right thing? Here’s where we get into a very deep area. The stance of the Church is that this is God’s situation to deal with, not mans – we simply aren’t smart enough. God knows what to do and what will happen. So let the pregnancy continue and let’s see – let God do His work. If the life of the girl is threatened due to the pregnancy then the babies might be aborted – otherwise, let it continue. We never got to that point in this case.

    Shouldn’t the mother and clergy be guided to the right decision by prayer? Maybe, but God doesn’t always work that way. Shouldn’t the Church be listened to based on scripture and thousands of years of thought and prayer? To imply that the LDS stance of being more flexible is better as they “…would almost certainly receive an exception if it was wanted by the girl and/or her family. I imagine that in almost any case like this, local leaders would advocate for an immediate abortion as the most humane response” is surely heartfelt. But that may very well be mans decision, not God’s – once the abortion has taken place the babies are dead – hard to fix that.

    Therefore, in a horribly difficult situation like this where excommunication is automatic, not explaining 1) why it is automatic and 2) that excommunication is, in the end, to help the person, not kick them out of the Church, seems to me to be very important and not beside the point..

    Q4: “Well, I did include what I took to be an official Catholic position, in relation to this case.”

    Yes you did – and I appreciate that. My concern was that you apparently took it from a Time magazine article and didn’t look any deeper; i.e. why the Church views abortion as it does, why it takes the apparently hard stand it does on abortion, why excommunications are automatic in most cases of abortion, etc.

    Thanks for your collaboration Dennis – I appreciate it. Please think about the call to action.

  8. Hi Peter,

    You’re right – the Catholic Church’s position is that life begins at conception – you can read more about this at http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a5.htm#2270 – specifically paragraph 2270.

    There are many other resources on the web that elaborate on this too outside the area of abortion- try a google search if you’re interested. We do not believe in a preexistance of spirit entities that exist before earthly birth. Let me briefly explain why:

    Genesis 1:26 and 2:7 – God created man – implies man was not already in existence. Zechariah 12:1 – the Lord forms the spirit of man within him – couldn’t happen if man already existed. Jeremiah 1:5 shows that God foreknew us before He created us and foreordains us after we’re created in the womb. If we were already in existence the verse should perhaps read we knew God before He created us in the womb. John 1:12 tells us we became God’s sons and daughters at conversion – not that we are already his sons and daughters. John 1:3 tells us that nothing came to be without God – the verse wouldn’t be correct if we already existed in the first estate.

    I’m sure I’m missing some of the subtleties of LDS theology – sorry. I hope that helps.

  9. I believe strongly in the Church’s position on abortion: only in cases of rape, incest, or danger to the life of the mother.

    These exceptions are not part of Catholic dogma.

    It is for those special reasons that I would disagree that all abortions are murder. It’s either that they aren’t murder, or that murder is forgivable and allowable.

    I could NEVER see my beloved church forcing a raped child to carry babies to term–an action that would probably rob her of either her life or of her ability to ever have children as an adult–merely to satisfy a stand.

    Nor could I ever, EVER, in good conscious ask a raped woman to carry that child, it’s simply none of my business; it is a conversation between herself, the Lord, and her ecclesiastical leaders. I have no right to an opinion.

    These heart rendering circumstances are why those exceptions exist–because despite the black and white rhetoric on either side of the debate, there is a need for balance and compassion.

  10. ohcac,

    I’m visiting family right now, so I don’t have time to address your most recent comments. I wanted to let you know that I plan on doing so as soon as I can, probably no later than early next week.

  11. ohcac,

    A few replies:

    Would you be willing to create a post on this blog as a call to action of your Mormon brethren to contact their congressional representatives and ask that if such a provision is part of the bill that it be stricken? Harry Reid is LDS and majority leader of the Senate – would Mormons in Nevada be willing to contact him and make this request?

    Some Mormons might follow your call to action here, but I’m not interested because I think that abortion funding is a relatively minor part of a much more complicated bill. I just don’t think that this issue should be the reason I should support or not support the health care bill. As for Harry Reid, he is pro-life but I highly doubt that abortion funding is enough for him to be opposed to a health care bill that he would otherwise strongly endorse. The senators who would likely be most representative of Mormons are already opposed to current forms of the health care bill.

    Roll it around in your head however you like but abortion by most any definition is murder because an innocent life is taken – this is not war or self-defense. That abortion is murder is virtually undeniable unless you take the position that the baby is simply a blob of tissue; i.e not yet human.

    Well, I don’t think it’s true that “most any definition” would define murder as killing of innocent life. Legally, murder is typically defined by malicious intent and unlawfulness. Now, even if we put aside lawfulness (assuming that abortion should be unlawful, at least for the most part), it still is a stretch to say that abortions are generally malicious. Words can be used in many ways, and certainly someone can believe “abortion is murder,” but just understand that this use of the term is (a) not biblical and (b) not in line with standard definitions of murder. Therefore, I’m not surprised that neither of our churches calls abortion “murder.”

    The Catholic Church takes a very firm stand on abortion because 1) live begins at conception, 2) all life is sacred and a gift from God and 3) the life or death of a person is really God’s call and no one else’s.

    We agree about point 2 and generally with point 3, but the LDS church does not have a position on point 1. This might be a very important reason for our differences here.

    To be clear, the girl was not excommunicated – her mother and the doctor who performed the abortion were excommunicated.

    Yes, I explained that the girl was not excommunicated in the post.

    Shouldn’t the mother and clergy be guided to the right decision by prayer? Maybe, but God doesn’t always work that way. Shouldn’t the Church be listened to based on scripture and thousands of years of thought and prayer?

    I think that these questions are pretty crucial. For me, the question comes down to whether abortion is, in all cases, wrong. We do not think this is true (that there are many important considerations) and for this reason we consult God in prayer. In fact, we completely affirm what you are saying (that man needs God’s higher view), we just disagree on whether this view is categorical and unchanging on this issue.

    Therefore, in a horribly difficult situation like this where excommunication is automatic, not explaining 1) why it is automatic and 2) that excommunication is, in the end, to help the person, not kick them out of the Church, seems to me to be very important and not beside the point.

    Well, I can agree it is very important. But I still think it’s beside the point simply because the issue of excommunication in general is not where the two churches differ.

  12. ohcac,

    Here are some ways to understand LDS beliefs, in light of the references you’ve provided.

    Genesis 1:26 and 2:7 – God created man – implies man was not already in existence.

    God created man as a mortal, but this doesn’t mean man did not exist prior to his mortality (just as God existed prior to His incarnation). In fact, Genesis 2 talks about how every plant and animal was created before they were on the earth.

    Zechariah 12:1 – the Lord forms the spirit of man within him – couldn’t happen if man already existed.

    I don’t understand how your conclusion follows here.

    Jeremiah 1:5 shows that God foreknew us before He created us and foreordains us after we’re created in the womb. If we were already in existence the verse should perhaps read we knew God before He created us in the womb.

    Not necessarily. Simply a matter of emphasis.

    John 1:12 tells us we became God’s sons and daughters at conversion – not that we are already his sons and daughters.

    Mormons believe that we are already God’s spirit children, but, like other Christians, believe we must become begotten children of Christ. Many Christians will say, “We are all children of God,” implying there is a correct sense to say we are God’s children prior to Christian conversion.

    John 1:3 tells us that nothing came to be without God – the verse wouldn’t be correct if we already existed in the first estate.

    Latter-day Saints believe, on the basis of what we believe to be modern revelation, that God’s “creation” is better termed “organization.” In either case, we can still say that everything, as we know it here on earth, exists the way it does because of God. Still, we do not believe in creation ex-nihilo (out of nothing).

  13. Dennis:

    Some Mormons might follow your call to action here, but I’m not interested because I think that abortion funding is a relatively minor part of a much more complicated bill. I just don’t think that this issue should be the reason I should support or not support the health care bill.

    As for Harry Reid, he is pro-life but I highly doubt that abortion funding is enough for him to be opposed to a health care bill that he would otherwise strongly endorse. The senators who would likely be most representative of Mormons are already opposed to current forms of the health care bill.

    I’d say from the data his position is mixed. My request wasn’t about supporting/not the bill – it was to ask your congressional representatives to strike any provision in the bill using federal dollars to fund abortions.
    Too bad Dennis.

    Well, I don’t think it’s true that “most any definition” would define murder as killing of innocent life. Legally, murder is typically defined by malicious intent and unlawfulness. Now, even if we put aside lawfulness (assuming that abortion should be unlawful, at least for the most part), it still is a stretch to say that abortions are generally malicious. Words can be used in many ways, and certainly someone can believe “abortion is murder,” but just understand that this use of the term is (a) not biblical and (b) not in line with standard definitions of murder. Therefore, I’m not surprised that neither of our churches calls abortion “murder.”

    The point I’m bringing up that I don’t find you ever mentioning is this – the babies are dead. You keep talking about the girl, mother and doctor yet you seem to ignore the babies. The doctor and mother knew their death would be the outcome of the procedure. Not malicious? Malicious to whom? We can argue “murder” forever – not my intent. What the church is saying is let the pregnancy continue and leave it in God’s hands unless the mother will die due to the pregnancy.

    The Catholic Church takes a very firm stand on abortion because 1) live begins at conception, 2) all life is sacred and a gift from God and 3) the life or death of a person is really God’s call and no one else’s.

    We agree about point 2 and generally with point 3, but the LDS church does not have a position on point 1. This might be a very important reason for our differences here.

    Your church doesn’t have a position on 1? Are children not “alive” in the pre-existence according to LDS doctrine? Or when they’re born that’s when an earthly life begins? I’m confused as it seems your Church definitely says life begins before conception.

    I think that these questions are pretty crucial. For me, the question comes down to whether abortion is, in all cases, wrong. We do not think this is true (that there are many important considerations) and for this reason we consult God in prayer. In fact, we completely affirm what you are saying (that man needs God’s higher view), we just disagree on whether this view is categorical and unchanging on this issue.

    Understood, and a position I empathize with – problem is that positon often results in dead babies that could have been born if you’d let the pregnancy continue. And I’m not forgetting the mother here. I can’t imagine what it would be like to carry to term babies due to incest – all I do know is other mother’s have done it and been very happy they did – happier than if they’d aborted the babies. Again, the point is, leave it in God’s hands.

    Well, I can agree it is very important. But I still think it’s beside the point simply because the issue of excommunication in general is not where the two churches differ.

    My point Dennis was your thinly veiled attack on the Catholic Church. By entitling your post Catholic vs. Mormon (that may be your view but not ours) linked with the words you used (“symbolic rape by the Church”) with the situation of excommunication, it appeared quite clear to me that your point was was to belittle the Chuch, show it to be cruel, and try to show the superior wisdom of the LDS Church (in your opinion). This was a very difficult situation without much background explanation from you of the Church’s views and why they took the actions they took.

  14. Here are some ways to understand LDS beliefs, in light of the references you’ve provided.

    Genesis 1:26 and 2:7 – God created man – implies man was not already in existence.

    God created man as a mortal, but this doesn’t mean man did not exist prior to his mortality (just as God existed prior to His incarnation).

    We’ won’t be agreeing on this in the near future :-) !!

    In fact, Genesis 2 talks about how every plant and animal was created before they were on the earth.

    The only part of Genesis 2 that speaks of plants (2:9) and animals (2:19) refers to them being created by God from the ground; i.e. on earth. I’m not sure how you’re getting “before they were on earth” from Genesis 2. What am I missing?

    Zechariah 12:1 – the Lord forms the spirit of man within him – couldn’t happen if man already existed.

    I don’t understand how your conclusion follows here.

    Pretty straightforward really – if we all existed as intelligences (and have for all time is my understanding of your theology) who were then somehow formed into spirit children, we’d already have a spirit within us at our human birth – perhaps I don’t understand what the spirit of a spirit child means. Via LDS theology the verse should read somthing like “The Lord forms the body of man” as, according to LDS theologyGod would not put our spirit (our soul) in us at birth (when he forms us) as it would already be there.

    Jeremiah 1:5 shows that God foreknew us before He created us and foreordains us after we’re created in the womb. If we were already in existence the verse should perhaps read we knew God before He created us in the womb.

    Not necessarily. Simply a matter of emphasis.

    Agreed – that its a matter of emphasis – the emphasis to us would be that God knew me and you before He created us at conception – and knew His plans for us. Not that he knew us in a preexistance.

    John 1:12 tells us we became God’s sons and daughters at conversion – not that we are already his sons and daughters.

    Mormons believe that we are already God’s spirit children, but, like other Christians, believe we must become begotten children of Christ. Many Christians will say, “We are all children of God,” implying there is a correct sense to say we are God’s children prior to Christian conversion.

    I’ve spend lots of time in Evangelical, Protestant and Catholic churches and I don’t know any of them that believe we are “begotten” or procreated children of Christ. Christians believe we are adopted children of Christ, adopted due to our conversion – and that is when we become sons and daughters of Christ, not before. Our earthly parents did the procreating.

    John 1:3 tells us that nothing came to be without God – the verse wouldn’t be correct if we already existed in the first estate.

    Latter-day Saints believe, on the basis of what we believe to be modern revelation, that God’s “creation” is better termed “organization.” In either case, we can still say that everything, as we know it here on earth, exists the way it does because of God. Still, we do not believe in creation ex-nihilo (out of nothing).

    Another point we’ll not agree on soon! I understand your concept of organization and why you don’t believe in ex-nihilo creation. HUGE difference in theology and philosohpy that lay people in both Churches need to understand and respect about each other. For example, to a Catholic/Evangelical/Protestant, if Elohim was at any time still progressing toward perfection then he was less than perfect and cannot be or become God – as God is perfect. God on the other hand has always been God – He’s not becoming – He is, always has been, holy and perfect.

  15. My request wasn’t about supporting/not the bill – it was to ask your congressional representatives to strike any provision in the bill using federal dollars to fund abortions.

    Sorry, for some reason I misread this. I think I may agree with this efforts but I simply don’t have the time to get involved with this blog. Looks like many people–including Mormons–are doing the sort of thing you are calling for. This blog doesn’t have much reach, anyway.

    Your church doesn’t have a position on 1? Are children not “alive” in the pre-existence according to LDS doctrine? Or when they’re born that’s when an earthly life begins? I’m confused as it seems your Church definitely says life begins before conception.

    The Mormon church does not have an official position on when the spirit enters the body. There are many opinions: conception, “quickening,” birth–or perhaps even at varying times depending on the individual. Some even believe that spirits “come and go” until their birth. But all of this is speculation, from the church’s standpoint. Nonetheless, the Mormon church takes the killing of any embryo or fetus very seriously–in almost every case, similar to the way the Catholic church does.

  16. Do not compare Catholic Church to this LDS – bandit sect founded by lunatic. LDS is a heresy and an insult to Christianity. That’s it!

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