So why do Mormons, on average, choose to have larger families?
Because we want them!
Also because key points of our doctrine focus on family life.
1. We believe that we lived as spirit children of our Heavenly Father before we came to earth. We also believe that all of God’s children need to obtain a body to progress.
2. We believe that the commandment God gave to Adam and Eve to multiply and replenish the earth is still in effect.
3. Because of Jesus Christ’s Atonement, and through ordinances performed in temples, family relationships can continue beyond the grave. Children can be a source of joy and happiness not only in this life but in the life to come.
The most succinct document explaining our Church’s doctrines on children is The Family: A Proclamation to the World. Here are some quotes from that document that highlight what Mormons believe about children and family.
“All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny.”
“In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshiped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize his or her divine destiny as an heir of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.”
“We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force.”
“We declare the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan.”
“Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalms 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another, to observe the commandments of God and to be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.”
“Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
“…fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners.”
The choice to bear and rear children is a sacred and personal one. There is absolutely no doctrine of our church that prescribes the number of children a couple should have. Agency, or the ability to choose (and the accountability for our choices) is a critical tenet of our faith. There are many LDS couples as well as single individuals who desperately long for children and family. Others consider personal circumstances like the health of the mother or financial restrictions that may influence family planning decisions.
Individual circumstances and choices vary but as we strive to be disciples of Jesus Christ we seek to follow His example of loving little children.
Mark 10:14 – Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: For such is the kingdom of God.
“It is our solemn duty, our precious privilege—even our sacred opportunity—to welcome to our homes and to our hearts the children who grace our lives.” Thomas S. Monson, “Precious Children, a Gift from God,” Ensign, June 2000, 2
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**Please note: The answers in “Ask a Mormon Woman” reflect the thoughts, perspectives, and experiences of individuals. Although here at Mormon Women: Who We Are, we strive to have our content consistent with the Church’s doctrine and teachings, we do not speak officially for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For official information about or from the Church, please visit www.mormon.org or www.lds.org.
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