PROCLAMATIONS In the performance of their calling as prophets, seers, and revelators, the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles have from time to time issued formal written proclamations, declarations, letters, and various public announcements. Some of them have been addressed to the membership of the Church, while others have been addressed to the world. All such declarations have been solemn and sacred in nature and were issued with the intent to bring forth, build up, and regulate the Church. Subjects have included instruction on doctrine, faith, and history; warnings of judgments to come; invitations to assist in the work; and statements of Church growth and progress.
Only a few of the many formal declarations have been labeled “Proclamations.” Others have been characterized “Official Declarations” or “Epistles.” Some have the signature of the First Presidency, some of the First Presidency and the Twelve, and some of the Twelve only.
The first Proclamation was issued by the First Presidency on January 15, 1841 from Nauvoo, Illinois. Signed by Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, and Hyrum Smith. This Proclamation reviewed the progress of the Church in spite of hardships and persecutions and the purpose and plans for the building of Nauvoo.
The second Proclamation, written by Parley P. Pratt, was issued by the Twelve Apostles on April 6, 1845. It was first printed in a sixteen-page pamphlet published in New York City, and again on October 22, 1845 in Liverpool, England. It was issued by the Twelve because no First Presidency had been organized after the martyrdom of Joseph Smith. The First Presidency was not organized until 1847. This proclamation was made in response to a revelation given to Joseph Smith, found in section 124:1-11. Church leaders were commanded to issue a Proclamation to the rulers and people of all nations, declaring that the gospel of Jesus Christ had been restored to the earth and commanding the leaders of all nations to repent, be baptized, and begin building up the kingdom of God. On October 3, 1975, President Ezra Taft Benson, president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, spoke of this Proclamation and quoted portions of it in his General Conference address (Ensign, Nov. 1975, 32- 34).
The third Proclamation was issued by the First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles on October 21, 1865 from Salt Lake City, Utah. It was given to members of the Church to correct theories about the nature of God that had been published by Elder Orson Pratt, of the Twelve Apostles. He did so without having those statements cleared and verified by the First Presidency and the Twelve. A major purpose of this Proclamation was to emphasize the established order of the Church that new doctrine is to be declared only by the First Presidency (Messages of the First Presidency, Volume 2, 235-40).
The fourth Proclamation, was issued by the First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles on April 6, 1980. The Church was celebrating the 150 th anniversary of its organization. During the Sunday morning session of General Conference, President Spencer W. Kimball spoke briefly on the organization of the Church that had occurred in Fayette, New York in the home of Peter Whitmer, Sr. He then announced that the Church had a Proclamation to declare to the world. The broadcast then went to the newly reconstructed Whitmer farmhouse in Fayette, where President Gordon B. Hinckley read the Proclamation. It recounted the events of the restoration and witnessed to the divine destiny of the Church, inviting all to receive the missionaries and accept the truth (Church News, April 12, 1980; Ensign, May 1980; C.R., April 1980). Only four proclamations in 150 years!
PROCLAMATION ON THE FAMILY. PREPARED BY THE FIRST PRESIDENCY AND QUORUM OF THE TWELVE. READ BY PRESIDENT HINCKLEY IN GENERAL RELIEF SOCIETY MEETING, 23 SEPTEMBER, 1995.
As Elder Eyring pointed out, just from the title of the proclamation we learn three important things: 1) We learn that the subject is the family. 2) The audience is the whole world. 3)The proclaimers are the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles. Those we sustain as prophets, seers, and revelators and those the Lord particularly had in mind when he declared “whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same” (D&C 1:38). Satan undermines the power of this proclamation if he can persuade us to not take it seriously.
D&C 68:25-30 1. Faith in Jesus Christ 2. Repentance/ Atonement 3. Baptism 4. Holy Ghost 5. Pray 6. Walk uprightly 7. Observe the Sabbath Day 8. Work
1. The role of a woman is to “nurture.” 2. The role of a man is to protect – provide - and preside. 3. Gender was decided in the pre-mortal existence. 4. Parents are to multiply and replenish the earth. 5. There is accountability if children are not brought up in righteousness. 6. Every child deserves a Mom and a Dad. 7. Marriage and families are ordained of God.
In 1965, President David O. McKay made the following statement to a group of Church employees: “Let me assure you, Brethren, that some day you will have a personal priesthood interview with the Savior himself. If you are interested I will tell you the order in which he will ask you to account for your earthly responsibilities. 1.He will request an accountability report about your relationship with your wife. Have you actively been engaged in making her happy and ensuring that her needs have been met as an individual? 2.He will want an accountability report about each of your children individually. He will not attempt to have this for simply a family stewardship but will request information about your relationship to each and every child.
3.He will want to know what you personally have done with the talents you were given in the pre-existence. 4.He will want a summary of your activity in your church assignments. He will not be necessarily interested in what assignment you have had, for in his eyes the home teacher and the mission president are probably equals, but he will request a summary of how you have been of service to your fellow man in your Church assignments. 5.He will have no interest in how you earned your living but if you were honest in all your dealings. 6.He will ask for an accountability on what you have done to contribute in a positive manner to your community, state, country, and the world. (Reported by Cloyd Hofheins in a talk to the seventies quorum of Provo Utah Oak Hills Stake, May 16 th, 1982)
What the Lord Has Commanded Then, According to Our Faithfulness If my spouse and I are worthily sealed by priesthood authority in the temple If our marriage is sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise If we abide by the conditions of the law We will come forth in the First Resurrection We will inherit thrones and kingdoms We will have a valid marriage in eternity We will have eternal increase We will become exalted beings
In 1976, the Church announce the addition of two new revelations to the scriptures. The first revelation, given to Joseph Smith in the Kirtland temple in 1836, was a vision of the celestial kingdom, in which the doctrine of salvation for the dead was revealed. The second revelation was a vision given to Joseph F. Smith in 1918 dealing with the redemption of the dead. These two revelations were initially added to the Pearl of Great Price. I remember when the announcement of these two new revelations was made.. The excitement among the missionaries was extraordinary. We were ecstatic to think that in our lifetime, we were able to witness the addition of new scripture. I think we all assumed that the announcement was received with the same enthusiasm throughout the Church.
However, 4½ months after my return from a mission, Elder Boyd K. Packer spoke to the religious educators of the Church and said: “I was surprised, and I think all of the Brethren were surprised, at how casually that announcement of the two additions to the standard works was received by the Church. But we will live to sense the significance of it; we will tell our grandchildren and our great-grandchildren, and we will record in our diaries, that we were on the earth and remember when that took place” (“Teach the Scriptures,” Charge to Religious Educators, 2 nd ed., 1982, 19-24).
“Nothing will prepare mankind for glory in the kingdom of God as readily as faithfulness to the marriage covenant”(The Way to Perfection (1970), 232). If we understand and value the new and everlasting covenant of marriage, we will be better able to date and court in a way that keeps us worthy of its sacred promises.
In the October 1997 General Conference of the Church, President Gordon B. Hinckley said: “The family is falling apart all over the world. There are too many broken homes among our own people. The love that led to marriage somehow evaporates, and hatred fills its place. Hearts are broken, children weep. As I look to the future, I see little to feel enthusiastic about concerning the family in America and across the world. Drugs and alcohol are taking a terrible toll, which is not likely to decrease. Harsh language and indifference to the needs of one another all seem to be increasing. There is so much of child abuse, spouse abuse, and abuse of the elderly. All of this will happen and get worse unless there is an acknowledgement and conviction that the family is an instrument of the Almighty. It is His creation. I lift a warning voice to our people. We have moved too far toward the mainstream of society in this matter…there are too many families in trouble. This is a malady with a cure. The prescription is simple and wonderfully effective. It is to love. It is plain, simple, everyday love and respect” (Ensign, Nov. 1997, 69).
Elder Packer testified: “This crisis of the family is no surprise to the Church. We have certainly known what was coming. I know of no better testimony that we are led by prophets than our preparation for this present emergency. Thirty-three years ago the Brethren warned us of the disintegration of the family and told us to prepare…The weekly family home evening was introduced by the First Presidency…the entire curriculum of the Church was overhauled-based on scriptures, with excellent manuals for each course. And years were spent preparing new editions of the scriptures. We can only imagine where we would be if we were just now reacting to this terrible redefinition of the family. But that is not the case. We are not casting frantically about trying to decide what to do. We know what to do and what to teach” (Ensign, May 1994, 19-21).
Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God. Studies show that more than 90% of American adults will marry at least once. But in the last thirty years the median age for first marriage has increased from 23 to 26 for men and from 20 to 23 for women. Many delay marriage and simply live together. In the last 30 years, the rate of cohabitation has increased by 500%. In comparison, at least one recent study suggests that members of the Church are marrying younger than in previous decades. More than half of all LDS men are married before age 23 ad more than half of all LDS women are married before age 21 (Heaton, “Demographics of the Contemporary Mormon Family” Dialogue, 1992).
Elder Packer taught, “The ultimate purpose of the adversary…is to disrupt, disturb, and to destroy the home and the family. Like a ship without a rudder, without a compass, we drift from the family values which have anchored us in the past. Now we are caught in a current so strong that unless we correct our course, civilization as we know it will surely be wrecked to pieces” (Ensign, May 1994, 19).
We learn that gender was established in the premortal life and will continue to be an essential part of our personal identity. Our gender was determined by God in the premortal world. Elder Jeffrey Holland once referred to our physical bodies as “the great prize of mortal life” (“Of Souls, Symbols, and Sacraments”). Elder Neal A. Maxwell suggested that the essential purpose of mortality is to be tested and that “life’s most demanding tests as well as life’s most significant opportunities for growth in life usually occur within marriage and family” (We Will Prove Them Herewith, 9). Elder Eyring pointed out eternal life and the perpetuation of the family unit will not just happen. These things cannot just be our hope or our wish. They must be our determination (“The Family” Ensign, Feb. 1998, 16).
Privilege brings responsibility and responsibility brings accountability. Divorce is rampant. Social scientist estimate that up to 2/3 of those who marry today will divorce. Many of those divorces are the result of infidelity on the part of one or both spouses. In ten years, half of the children born in America will be illegitimate. Less than half of all children born today will live with both parents throughout childhood. 55% of preschool age children have both parents or their only parent in the work force. God will hold us accountable for “the discharge of these responsibilities.”
Elder Eyring suggested, “To begin with, we can decide to plan for success, not failure…It takes courage and faith to plan for what God holds before you as the ideal rather than what might be forced upon you by circumstances. There are important ways in which planning for failure can make failure more likely and the ideal less so. Consider these twin commandments as an example: ‘Fathers are to…provide the necessities of life…for their families’ and mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children.’ Knowing how hard that might be, a young man might choose a career on the basis of how much money he could make, even if it meant he couldn’t be home enough to be an equal partner. By doing that, he has already decided he cannot hope for what would be best. A young woman might prepare for a career incompatible with being primarily responsible for the nurture of her children because of the possibilities of not marrying, of not having children, or of being left alone to provide for them herself. Or, she might fail to…(realize) that the highest and best use she cold make of her talents and her education would be in her home. Because a young man and woman had planned to take care of the worst, they might make the best less likely” (“The Family”).
Elder Neal A. Maxwell said, “We need more kind and thoughtful fathers who also carry the authority of example. More parents should be remembered as a prophet’s daughter, Helen Lee Goates, remembers hers: ‘A father who was gentle beneath his firmness, and a mother who was firm beneath her gentleness’” (“That Thy Family Should Partake” 56). We cannot fail to fulfill our family responsibilities. Elder Robert D. Hales said, “It is not enough just to save ourselves. It is equally important that parents, brothers, and sisters are saved in our families. If we return home alone to our Heavenly Father, we will be asked, ‘Where is the rest of the family?” (“The Eternal Family”).
The home is usually the place where most of our faith is established and increased, for there we witness the examples of righteous parents as we work out our salvation in a setting that requires love, forgiveness, patience, and all the other virtues. How sad, therefore, that some homes are merely a pit stop, when they should be a prep school for the celestial kingdom (Neal A. Maxwell, Lord, Increase Our Faith, 117).
Cami Gilbert Rel 234 In 2006 Elder L. Tom Perry spoke at a devotional here on campus. I was enrolled in Elder Hammonds Teachings of the Living Prophets class at the time which happened to be right after devotional. On that Tuesday, Elder Perry came into our class for the entire hour, and about 30 of us were able to have a question and answer session with an apostle of the Lord!! (Amazing) I’ll never forget Elder Perry’s response to a question asked about marriage and families. A boy in the class asked something to the affect of: “I am currently engaged and will be getting married in a few months. I’m always hearing conflicting opinions on how soon to have kids after we’re married. What would your advice to my fiancé and I be?”
I’ll never forget Elder Perry’s sense of humor in responding by looking at the boy and asking: “Now when are you getting married?” The boy replied: “April.” Elder Perry then turned and looked at his wife sitting in a chair behind him and asked her: “Now what’s April plus nine months?” He then got a big smile across his face and laughed in that contagious way in which he does and said that he was just kidding. He then got serious and told the student that it was a decision for him to make with his wife and the Lord.
Even with its flaws, the family is basic, and since no other institution can compensate fully for failure in the family, why then, instead of enhancing the family, the desperate search for substitutes? Why not require family impact studies before proceeding with this program or that remedy, since of all environmental concerns the family should be first? Hundreds of governmental departments and programs protect various interests, but which one protects the family? (Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, May 1993, 77).
The human family --- without the gospel or without strong families --- is not going to go very far. Unless we can fix families, you can’t fix anything else. Most of the problems that are most vexing are things government can’t fix. They have to be fixed at a different level. That’s the urgency of our message. I’d rather have ten commandments than ten thousand federal regulations….Unless we rebuild marriages and families, then we really are just straightening deck chairs on the Titanic (Neal A. Maxwell, Searching For God in America, 132-33).
Even marvelous mothers cannot fully compensate for malfunctioning fathers (Neal A. Maxwell, That My Family Should Partake, 16). Today….we have more functioning gadgets of convenience but fewer functioning fathers! (Neal A. Maxwell, If Thou Will Endure It Well, 24).
One evening, I was with some friends and the topic of having children and birth control came up. I found the issue interesting, yet a little disturbing. Everyone had his or her own ideas about the topic. As the discussion continued and everyone voiced his or her opinion the conversation became somewhat contentious. This confused me and left me with an unsettled feeling. Most were advocates of birth control and waiting to have children till after their schooling was over and they were financially stable.
Then one of the girls said that she had attended a married student fireside, in which someone had asked President Bednar his thoughts on having children. His reply was not to listen to what everyone else says or to what he says, but to turn to our Latter-day Prophets. Otherwise you hear one thing from mom, another from dad, a different opinion from your friends, another opinion from the in-laws, and it never ends. I have a strong belief that there aren’t many worthy reasons for the postponement and curtailment of children. It is our God given responsibility to provide bodies for those who are still waiting their turn. We know if we achieve the highest degree of glory will have a “continuation of seed forever and ever.” God’s command is to “Multiply and replenish the earth…” and we must follow, if we don’t we are self-centered and will receive the consequences. “For whatsoever ye sow, that shall ye also reap…”
President Ezra Taft Benson “The establishment of home is not only a privilege, but marriage and the bearing, rearing, and proper training of children is a duty of the highest order.”
President Spencer W. Kimball “The family is the great plan of life as conceived and organized by our Father in heaven.” “President McKay said, “The more woman becomes like man, the less he will respect her. Civilization weakens as man’s estimate of woman lessens.” “We are told that the average age when women cease bearing children is about 26; yet in these vital years, nearly one of every three is working outside her home. When such masses of mothers are employed outside of the home, what may we expect from the offspring?” “The Lord organized the whole program in the beginning with a father who procreates, provides, and loves and directs, and a mother who conceives and bears and nurtures and feeds and trains. The Lord could have organized it otherwise but chose to have a unit with responsibility and purposeful associations where children train and discipline each other and come to love, honor, and appreciate each other. The family is the great plan of life as conceived and organized by our Father in Heaven.”
“Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” (Genesis 1:28). The Lord does not waste words. He meant what he said. You did not come on earth just to “eat, drink, and be merry.” You came knowing full well your responsibilities. You came to get for yourself a mortal body which could become perfected immortalized, and you understood that you were to act in partnership with God in providing bodies for other spirits equally anxious to come to the earth for righteous purposes. And so you will not postpone parenthood. There will be rationalists who will name to you numerous reasons for postponement. Of course, it will be harder to get your college degrees or your financial starts with a family, but strength like yours will be undaunted in the face of difficult obstacles. Have your family as the lord intended. Of course it is expensive, but you will find a way, and besides, it is often those children who grow up with responsibility and hardships who carry on the world and its work. And, …do not limit your family as the world does. Don’t think you will love the later ones less or have fewer material things for them. Perhaps, like Jacob, you might love the eleventh one most. Young folk, have your family, love them, sacrifice for them, teach them righteousness, and you will be blessed and happy all the days of your eternal lives.
“We believe in following the admonition of the Lord in having large families and rearing them righteously. We hope that our Latter-day Saints will not trade children for accommodation and luxury.” “For the young man, his education is important, his mission vital; but his proper marriage and his proper life to be a righteous father and to properly provide for and give leadership to a family-that is wonderful, a wonderful role in life to play.” “Childbearing should not be delayed for convenience.” After marriage young wives should be occupied in bearing and rearing children. I know of no scriptures or authorities, which authorize young wives to delay their families or to go to work to put their husbands through college. Young married couples can make their way and reach their educational heights, if they are determined.
Supreme happiness in marriage is governed considerably by a primary factor-that of the bearing and rearing of children. Too many young people set their minds, determining they will not marry or have children until they are more secure, until the military service period is over; paid; or until it is more convenient. They have forgotten that the first commandment is to “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it” (Genesis 1:28). And so brides continue their employment and husbands encourage it, and contraceptives are used to prevent conception. Relatives and friends and even mothers sometimes encourage birth control for their budget will not feed extra mouths; or the expense of the doctor, hospital, and other incidentals is too great; it will disturb social life; it would prevent two salaries; and so abnormal living prevents the birth of children. The Church cannot approve nor condone the measures which so greatly limit the family.
How do you suppose that the Lord would look upon a man and a woman whose marriage seems to be largely for the purpose of living together and sex gratification without the responsibilities of marriage? How do you think that the Lord looks upon those who use the contraceptives because in their selfish life it is not the convenient moment to bear children? How do you feel the Lord looks upon those who would trade flesh-and-blood children for pianos or televisions or furniture or an automobile, and is this not actually the case when people will buy these luxuries and yet cannot afford to have their children? Are there not numerous people who first buy the luxury article and then find they cannot pay the doctor or a hospital bill incident to childbirth? How do you think the Lord feels about women who forego the pleasures and glories of motherhood that they might retain their figures, that their social life might not be affected, that they might avoid the deprivations, pains, and agonies of childbearing and birthing? How do you think the Lord feels as he views healthy parents who could have children but who deliberately close the doors by operation or by contraceptives, close the doors upon spirits eager to enter into mortal bodies?” “As we look about us, we see many forces at work bent on the destruction of the family - one is unwarranted and selfish - birth control.”
“Sterilization to avoid the inconvenience of children is sinful. We marry for eternity. We are serious about this. We become parents and bring wanted children into the world and rear and train them to righteousness. We are aghast at the reports of young people going to surgery to limit their families and the reputed number of parents who encourage this vasectomy. Remember that the coming of the Lord approaches, and some difficult-to-answer questions will be asked by a divine Judge who will be hard to satisfy with silly explanations and rationalizations. He will judge justly, you may be sure. Sterilization and tying of tubes and such are sins, and except under special circumstances it cannot be approved.” Women who are deliberately childless will regret it. I am not sorry for women who sacrifice their lives for children. I am not sorry for those women who have many children. But I am sorry… for women who come to the Judgment Day who have never assumed the responsibility of rearing children, who have been afraid of pain, resistant to sacrifice. They are the ones whose hearts will be heavy. I know there are many women who could not have children- God bless them!”
It is not sufficient that we do not kill or commit murder, but we should protect others form such crimes. Not only is suicide a crime, but one is obligated to protect and save and prolong his own life. Not only shall we not take life, but it is obligatory upon us to give life, both by bearing children into mortality and by leading people toward eternal life by teaching, proselyting and influencing them strongly toward that end.”
Harold B. Lee “The brethren advise against delaying the having of children. I sat one morning with some of my Brethren who are among our most prominent leaders. One of the Brethren said he had recently had requests from two sisters, at different times, asking if he would give them a special blessing so that they could have children. On inquiry he found that in their earlier married life they had refused to have children, and now, when they desire children, for some reason they can’t have them. Another one of the Brethren spoke up and said, “That reminds me of my own experience. We married quite young and we had our children, five of them, before my wife was twenty eight. Then something happened and we were not able to have any more children.” He continued: “If we had delayed having our family until after I had my education, which would have been about that time, we probably would have had no children of our own.” “Those who refuse to have children fail to gain the greatest joy. In the days of our grandparents, their great pride and joy was to rear a large and honorable family. In so doing, there was developed within the family circle an unselfishness and an individual and collective loyalty that made divorce a rare happening and therefore little thought of, in that day, as a solution for social ills.
There are those among us who think (if it can be called thinking) that having a large family of children is old-fashioned and an evidence of those who are unsophisticated and don’t know better. No more pernicious doctrine than that could hardly be imagined. Those who refuse thereby fail to gain the sweetest joys of life with a beautiful family… Those who refuse as husbands and wives to have children are proving themselves already too small for the infinitude of God’s creative powers.” We declare it is a grievous sin before God to adopt restrictive measures in disobedience to god’s divine command from the beginning of time to “multiply and replenish the earth.” Surely those who project such measures to prevent life or to destroy life before or after birth will reap the whirlwind of God’s retribution, for God will not be mocked.” “Love for and desire for children is paramount in Latter-day Saint homes. If I were to name the first thing that impresses me always in these fine Latter-day Saint homes, I would say it was a love for and a desire for children. There are homes where the having of children was not delayed because of some social or educational or financial objective, and where the size of the families has not been limited by the practice of birth control.”
President Joseph Fielding Smith “Is it proper and right in the sight of God for parents intentionally to prevent, by any means whatever, the spirits, the sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father, from obtaining earthly tabernacles? I have, of course, only reference to parents lawfully married, and specifically to Latter-day Saints. In a general way, and as a rule, the answer to this question is an emphatic negative. I do not hesitate to say that prevention is wrong. It brings in its train a host of social evils. It destroys the morals of a community and nation. It creates hatred and selfishness in the hearts of men and women, and perverts their natural qualities of love and service, changing them to hate and aversion. It causes death, decay, and degeneration instead of life, growth, and advancement. And finally, it disregards or annuls the great commandment of God to man, ‘Multiply and replenish the earth.’”
President David O. McKay “We seriously regret that there should exist a sentiment or feeling among any members of the Church to curtail the birth of their children. We have been commanded to multiply and replenish the earth that we may have joy and rejoicing in our posterity. Where husband and wife enjoy health and vigor and are free from impurities that would be entailed upon their posterity, it is contrary to the teachings of the Church artificially to curtail or prevent the birth of children. We believe that those who practice birth control will reap disappointment by and by. However, we feel that men must be considerate of their wives who bear the greater responsibility not only of bearing children, but of caring for them through childhood. To this end the mother’s health and strength should be conserved and the husband’s consideration for his wife is his first duty, and self-control a dominant factor in all their relationships.” “The increasing tendency to look upon family life as a burden, and the ever-spreading practice of birth control, are ominous threats to the perpetuation of the United States. In the light of what the restored gospel teaches us regarding pre-existence, the eternal nature of the marriage covenant, and of family relationship, no healthy wife in the Church should shun the responsibilities of normal motherhood.”
President George Albert Smith “How will those feel who fail to obey that first great command [multiply, and replenish the earth] when they stand in the presence of the creator, who says to them, as He said to those in olden times, “Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” how can they comply with that invitation if they have no children to take to the Father? They must remain childless throughout eternity. They have been blind to their rights and privileges. It is only by a proper understanding of the laws of God, and by compliance with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, only by doing what the Lord has said we should do, that we will enjoy the fullness of happiness that our Father in heaven has promised those who are faithful. I do not feel to censure, but with all my heart I pity the man and woman who grace their home with the lesser animals of God’s creation, and keep away from their firesides those angels from His presence who might be theirs through time and through all eternity. I realize there are some men and women who are grieved because they are not fathers and mothers, they are not blessed of the lord in that particular, they have no children of their own, and by no fault of their own. I believe the Lord will provide in such cases. If they will do their duty in keeping the other commandments, their reproach will be taken away. I raise my voice among the sons and daughters of Zion, and warn you that if you dry up the springs of life and abuse the power that God has blessed you with, there will come a time of chastening to you, that all the tears you may shed will never remove. Remember the first great commandment, fulfill that obligation.
President Heber J. Grant “The Lord has told us that it is the duty of every husband and wife to obey the command given to Adam to multiply and replenish the earth, so that the legions of choice spirits waiting for their tabernacles of flesh may come here and move forward under God’s great design to become perfect souls, for without these fleshly tabernacles they cannot progress to their God-planned destiny. Thus, every husband and wife should become a father and a mother in Israel to children born under the holy, eternal covenant.”
President Brigham Young “There are multitudes of pure and holy spirits waiting to take tabernacles, now what is our duty? - --To prepare tabernacle for them; to take a course that will not tend to drive those spirits into the families of the wicked, where they will be trained in wickedness, debauchery, and every species of crime. It is the duty of every righteous man and woman to prepare tabernacles for all the spirits they can. This is the reason why the doctrine of plurality of wives was revealed, that the noble spirits which are waiting for tabernacles might be brought forth.
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 preeminent. That which was practiced then in fear and against 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; it is passing away before the increase of the more healthy, robust, honest, and less sinful class of the people which are pouring into the country daily form the Old World. The wife of the servant man is the mother of eight or ten healthy children, while the wife of his master is them other of one or two poor, sickly children, devoid of vitality and constitution, and, if daughters, unfit, in their turn, to be mothers, and the health and vitality which nature has denied them through the irregularities of their parents are not repaired in the least by their education.”
“The whole object of the creation of this world is to exalt the intelligences that are placed upon it, that they may live, endure, and increase for ever and ever.”
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