Religious Views of Contraceptives

The place for religious discussions -- doctrinal or cultural, Mormon or otherwise.

Moderators: Lady Celtic, Eric's Moderator Brother, seespot, Sara without the H

0
No votes
0
No votes
Yes... and I'll explain in a post as to why it is wrong.
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No votes
No... but only in circumstances of rape and/or incest.
1
7%
No... if she is married and the couple's regular contraceptive failed.
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No votes
No... it is an option whether the woman is married or not.
11
79%
No... and I'll explain in a post as to why it is not wrong.
2
14%
 
Total votes: 14

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KareNin
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Postby KareNin » Fri 27 Mar, 2009 07:37 pm

You're welcome. :lol: Sorry if that was TMI.

KSS, I was never worried about you or your siblings. Y'all seem to have grown up just fine, despite our best efforts to Totally Ruin Your Lives By Being The Worst Parents Ever TM
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Postby hotel manager » Fri 27 Mar, 2009 08:37 pm

I'm probably stepping into controversy here, BUT...

I wonder sometimes about how far the church goes to teach chastity. Don't get me wrong, I believe in being honest true chaste etc. However, when young people have it ingrained in their mind for their whole life that sex is wrong, sex is a sin, sex is dirty, etc., it will surely lead to some unhealthy marital attitudes about intimate relations. I wonder if mormon women were less puritanical in the bedroom whether mormon men's fascination with pornography would decrease. I also shudder at young people who rush into marriage so they can have sex, and then they have kids, and 10 years in they realize they never really knew this person before they rushed into it, and they don't like them, and they don't really want to be married to them. What is worse, fornication or bringing children into the world only to subject them to a fractured family with parents who never should have been married? I have seen this in my own family and it is heartbreaking.
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Postby Sara without the H » Sat 28 Mar, 2009 12:09 am

You know, I don't hear the attitude of "sex is evil" that much anymore. The message I got as a youth, and that I still hear, is sex is special and beautiful for married people, and can cause great harm outside of marriage.

Regarding contraceptives, there was a good discussion about the Postfertilization effects of birth control methods at the Times and Seasons blog a couple of years ago, written by a Salt Lake ob-gyn. He wrote other posts about religious views of contraception while he was a guest blogger. The "postfertilization effects" are what happens to the body after the egg is fertilized that might prevent the pregnancy from continuing. Making the lining of the uterus hostile to the fertilized egg would be an example of a "postfertilization effect" that would cause an abortion.

The medical definition of "conception" was changed in the mid-60s to mean "implantation," so contraceptive methods that interfere with implantation are technically contraceptives, even though they may prevent a fertilized egg from continuing to develop. I assume that the definition change was meant to make the Pill appear acceptable to a wider range of people, since the biological facts didn't change.

Regarding lilcis's acquaintances who got pregnant before marriage, it's important to remember that a lot of pregnancies happen despite use of birth control. "Failure rates" translate into pregnancies, and those failure rates are higher with younger, more fertile people. The religious person is probably more unwilling to have an abortion for a "contraceptive failure." (Or in the words of Gob Bluth, "She's religious. If that one gets pregnant; it stays pregnant.")

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Postby jds88 » Sat 28 Mar, 2009 09:06 am

hotel manager wrote:I wonder if mormon women were less puritanical in the bedroom whether mormon men's fascination with pornography would decrease.


Events in my family have forced me to read up on the issue of pornography addiction generally. The short answer to your question, according to most experts, is "no".

I also shudder at young people who rush into marriage so they can have sex, and then they have kids, and 10 years in they realize they never really knew this person before they rushed into it, and they don't like them, and they don't really want to be married to them.


I don't want to get overly Pharisaical about divorce. But a huge proportion of divorces--even among Church members--arise out of one spouse or the other's (or both's) desire for instant gratification; not because they had no opportunity to get to know each other well enough.

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Postby WiseNLucky » Sat 28 Mar, 2009 09:54 am

jds88 wrote:Am I the only one who saw that "armor of God" video in seminary? The one where it shows Roman soldiers taking off their armor and going for a swimming and getting attacked by arrows; and then it cuts to a would-be "future missionary" at a party being led off to a bedroom by a girl?

--Jim


I wasn't a youth in the church, so my perspective is limited to serving in three YM Presidencies and two bishoprics. The video of which you speak is unfamiliar to me, but then I never taught seminary. Sounds like a very effective visual.
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Postby WiseNLucky » Sat 28 Mar, 2009 09:59 am

KareNin wrote:I just want WiseGuy to know that, although in general, maybe "Boys seem to have fewer problems transitioning into the marriage environment," there ARE some boys for whom the drumbeat was a little too loud and relentless.


Since my previous post, I've read that there seems to be a trend among returned missionaries these days to put off marriage more than in the past. I can't imagine that, but I have only my own perspective to view this through. After my mission I was ready for the transition and seemed to make it just fine. My wife was too, and didn't run into problems until she had an emergency hysterectomy in her 30s.

Intimacy issues can be such a huge wedge in a marriage and it would be good if there were a way to help young people maintain chastity before marriage but be comfortable with intimacy after. I can see the challenge, though.
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Postby WiseNLucky » Sat 28 Mar, 2009 10:07 am

Sara without the H wrote:Regarding lilcis's acquaintances who got pregnant before marriage, it's important to remember that a lot of pregnancies happen despite use of birth control. "Failure rates" translate into pregnancies, and those failure rates are higher with younger, more fertile people.


This is a great point. Just about every contraceptive measure has some level of failure, and some methods have a fairly high rate. Another good reason for chastity is the potential failure of birth control.

I tune out a lot of stuff because of my family's infertility, but do church leaders still push young marrieds to have children fairly quickly rather than putting it off for college or whatever? Being on the other side of 40, I can see how difficult it would be to wait to be in your late 30s or your 40s before starting your family. There's things I could do then that I can't do now, like chasing toddlers around. :D
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Postby Lady Celtic » Sat 28 Mar, 2009 02:16 pm

jds--I remember that video! Ahh, fond memories of my first year of seminary....


I don't know that leaders are pushing young marrieds to have children right away anymore. It seems to be that agency and personal revelation are taken into account. I remember a few General Conference talks that said something along the lines of "don't wait until you've attained all your financial goals" like two cars and a house and a boat and what not, but that's all I remember.

This is a great discussion. I want to know that I'm going to say to my daughters when they start asking about intimacy, and this is forcing me to think about it.
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Postby Momma Snider » Sat 28 Mar, 2009 02:42 pm

I don't really remember, even back in the olden days when I was a teenager, being given the impression that sex was bad, only that it was wrong before marriage. And I am making no statement whatsoever about anyone who might be reading this, whether they have commented or not, but I have a feeling and an observation that many times, those who have trouble transitioning from "it's a sin" to "Whoopee!" might have come a little too close to the line a time or two. Just another reason to teach them that even though making out isn't necessarily a sin in itself, it's not a good idea to do it just for sport.

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Postby SDR » Sat 28 Mar, 2009 05:05 pm

Momma Snider wrote:I don't really remember, even back in the olden days when I was a teenager, being given the impression that sex was bad, only that it was wrong before marriage. And I am making no statement whatsoever about anyone who might be reading this, whether they have commented or not, but I have a feeling and an observation that many times, those who have trouble transitioning from "it's a sin" to "Whoopee!" might have come a little too close to the line a time or two. Just another reason to teach them that even though making out isn't necessarily a sin in itself, it's not a good idea to do it just for sport.


I don't remember anyone ever telling me sex was bad in and of itself (just to save it for marriage). However, there are so many things that we are told are bad and/or wrong and/or sinful, etc, that I think there is a tendency (at least on the part of some) to start drawing conclusions where they are not meant to be drawn.

Those same tendencies lead (some of) us to 'hate' those who are guilty of 'greater sins' which is why we need to be continually reminded to abhor the sin, but love the sinner.

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Postby jds88 » Sat 28 Mar, 2009 05:28 pm

Lady Celtic wrote:jds--I remember that video! Ahh, fond memories of my first year of seminary....


Woo hoo! I'm not crazy!

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Postby KareNin » Sat 28 Mar, 2009 08:24 pm

jds88 wrote:
Lady Celtic wrote:jds--I remember that video! Ahh, fond memories of my first year of seminary....


Woo hoo! I'm not crazy!

That proves NOTHING.
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Postby KareNin » Sat 28 Mar, 2009 08:40 pm

jds88 wrote:
Lady Celtic wrote:jds--I remember that video! Ahh, fond memories of my first year of seminary....


Woo hoo! I'm not crazy!


Okay, what I really was going to say was: I'm sure you all are correct in your recollections of your teachings. I also suspect that what my husband was taught in his youth and teen years wasn't substantially different; the factors that skewed it were his own personal interpretations and ways of dealing with what he was told.

We met when he was 30 years old; married when he was 31. He had taken the teachings to heart, completely, with no need for repentance of any sexual sin whatsoever, including The One That Will Make You Go Blind If You Don't Stop. I am not even kidding.

Now you take a guy like that and toss him into marriage with a hot little chickie like I was back then (well???????? gimme a break; I ain't no more, so please allow me my memories), who was not raised with that degree of inhibition toward sex, and you have the potential for a very unbalanced set of expected behaviors.

I always assumed it was overly zealous teachings that LDS youth were given; I'm beginning to blame the teachings and teachers much less, and realize that it was more of a coping over-reaction on Hub's part--with no ill intent from either party.

Man, I love the principles of repentance and personal revelation!

Thanks, you guys, you've honestly helped with this in my mind.
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Postby SDR » Sat 28 Mar, 2009 11:27 pm

KareNin wrote:I always assumed it was overly zealous teachings that LDS youth were given; I'm beginning to blame the teachings and teachers much less, and realize that it was more of a coping over-reaction on Hub's part--with no ill intent from either party.


Well, there certainly *are* those out there that teach that sex is evil to the extreme, just as there are bishops / stake presidents that go off script and ask extra temple recommend questions and/or refuse to submit missionary papers until weight is lost and/or what-have-you.

My mother called this "The Gospel according to fill-in-the-blank". I'm sure got it from elsewhere, but that's where I heard it.

There also is often a difference between what we are taught and what we think we were taught. Especially when the subject becomes uncomfortable to talk about, and we would rather just assume we understood the lesson rather than ask a question. Or the instructor would rather not ad-lib answers to questions and stick to the lesson as entered, either because of *their* discomfort or perceived discomfort on the part of parents and so on.

I don't know how to fix it. It is just reality and recognizing it is a big part of the battle.

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Postby WiseNLucky » Sun 29 Mar, 2009 11:25 am

SDR wrote:Well, there certainly *are* those out there that teach that sex is evil to the extreme.


I've witnessed it. And it made me very uncomfortable because I didn't personally agree with the teacher, although you can't jump up and disagree with them in front of the kids, particularly if you are of the other gender, and doing it after the fact would be pointless.

Since this discussion started, I've reflected more on my experiences. I don't really remember this kind of discussion coming from men to young men, only from women to young women, and I remember worrying both about the teachers and teachees at the time. It's possible that the teachers were just being strict because a member of the bishopric (a man)was there, but I can't be sure. I just remember coming away with the feeling that girls were going to come into a marriage relationship totally unprepared or, worse, would derail before even getting to that point.

I've noticed many young women go through a stage when their sexuality awakens but they don't yet know how to deal with it. Many become somewhat flirty around all members of the opposite sex, even their dads, but they seem unconscious of it. Their mothers and women leaders (and boys and men) notice, though. My wife confirmed that such a stage is pretty normal, and that a lot of girls get new-found attention and then sometimes in trouble during it and don't understand why. I noticed it was at times like these that women leaders seemed to come down hard on the girls, leaving them with the impression that sexuality is wrong. So how do you best coach a young woman through this phase when they suddenly develop power they didn't have, and teach them to tamp it down without stamping out the fire entirely for later when they will need it? There is such a strong need for inspiration among all you parents and youth leaders; I guess it's good sometimes to be the HP Group instructor!
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Postby Momma Snider » Sun 29 Mar, 2009 11:25 am

Very good points.

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Postby WiseNLucky » Sun 29 Mar, 2009 11:26 am

Momma Snider wrote:Very good points.


I would like to point out that even though Momma S.'s post appears after mine, I started before her and finished after, so her comment wasn't referring to my post which she hasn't yet had the chance to read!
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Postby lisapants » Sun 29 Mar, 2009 11:50 am

WiseNLucky wrote: So how do you best coach a young woman through this phase when they suddenly develop power they didn't have, and teach them to tamp it down without stamping out the fire entirely for later when they will need it? There is such a strong need for inspiration among all you parents and youth leaders;


This reminds me of a talk I heard many years ago by John Bytheway (I think). He was talking about Alma 38:12, where Alma says to his son Shiblon "bridle all your passions, that ye may be filled with love." Bro Bytheway related it to a horse bridle, saying that you don't want to kill the horse because then you can't use it, but if you use the bridle correctly to control the horse, then the horse can be very useful in many ways. Or something to that affect. It's been a while since I've heard the talk.
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Postby SDR » Sun 29 Mar, 2009 08:10 pm

WiseNLucky wrote:...tamp it down...


I read tramp it down, then I snickered.

Sorry.

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Postby ImAdhis » Sun 29 Mar, 2009 09:29 pm

lilcis wrote:My husband and I feel strongly that we should teach the use of contraception to our children in addition to teaching them abstinence.

Hubby and I have discussed this as well. His concern was that it would send contradicting messages to our kids. I suggested that we could say something along the lines of "when you're married, some ways to prevent pregnancy until you are ready to have children are..." and he felt at peace with that.
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