The Catalog of Antimormon Accusations
Mormonism's permissive policies on abortion
by Woody Brison

This is one leaf of a review of "Inside Mormonism: What Mormons Really Believe" by Isaiah Bennett
Back to the main page of the review

Bennett's statement: We uncovered deficiencies with Mormonism's permissive policies on abortion...
<=== Found on p. 16
80% of the way down the page

The Mormon position on abortion is not really very different from the Catholic position. It appears to me that the Bennetts were just looking for some excuse to leave the Mormons and selected this, with drama.

The early Christians knew full well that murder is prohibited under the Lord's laws. But what about abortion?

After the church of Jesus Christ was lost in the early centuries A.D., and was replaced by churches of men, they wrestled with doctrinal questions like this. The ability to get answers by revelation had been lost. They combed the scriptures for answers, tried to use reason, tried to benefit from experience, and also turned to Greek philosophy.

When a baby is born and starts breathing, it is obviously a person, a human being, and to kill one is murder. That is one dividing line, supported by scripture.

Genesis 2:7) And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
Exodus gives rules about miscarriages caused by men. The Septuagint or LXX is the Greek translation the early Christians relied on:
Exodus 21:22-24, LXX, Brenton translation) And if two men strive and smite a woman with child, and her child be born imperfectly formed, he shall be forced to pay a penalty: as the woman’s husband may lay upon him, he shall pay with a valuation. But if it be perfectly formed, he shall give life for life...
Exodus 21:22-23, KJ) If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life... -Another example of bible corruption: one or the other, or both, have to be different from the original.
Modern bibles are generally based on the Masoretic Hebrew Old Testament (for instance, the King James, shown at right) but the early Christians reasoned from the LXX above: late abortions are equivalent to murder, early ones are not.

They recognized that the spirit of the child, or soul, enters the baby before birth. At what point? Christian theologians turned to the Greek philosopher Aristotle, who had pontificated that the spirit enters a male baby's body 40 days after conception (a female 90 days.) Changes to Catholic position over the centuries on this shows that they were still reasoning from the findings of science, which change from time to time. Their current position is that any abortion for whatever reason is wrong and deserves excommunication.

The Latter-day Saints' position is that abortion is usually wrong, but may be the right thing under certain conditions, such as to save the life of the mother, or after rape. Still, the decision must be made in counsel with church leaders, and with direct revelation to the decision-makers. This position does not appear to be given from the Lord directly by revelation, but is derived from various revelations on related topics, such as murder, marriage, etc. The Lord does not micromanage his disciples; they are to use their brains – then check their results with Him. You may be very certain that the LDS leaders did this.

Under this policy, no abortion would ever be done contrary to the will of the Lord. It is difficult to imagine why anyone would consider this excessively permissive, unless their reasoning was compromised by ulterior motives, such as needing an excuse to leave.

I personally favor the theory that the spirit enters the body when that little body starts to kick.

Late term abortions... the baby responds to stimuli such as voices and music. Yet all too often, abortions are done in order to cover up the (relatively) lesser sin of adultery, or even for convenience's sake.

Under the laws and revelations the Lord has given us, abortion is not as bad as murder and a person can repent of it and be forgiven, with great effort and difficulty.

Let's imagine a scenario which is not too unrealistic: a good, sweet woman is raped and injured by a vicious, depraved criminal. Should she now be forced to bring into the world a baby, sired by such a character, even if she will likely die in childbirth?

Suppose she goes to the Lord in prayer and receives the answer, "Abort the pregnancy." Why would she be obligated to adhere to some man-made policy that no abortions are permitted, ever?

Doctrine and Covenants 42:18-19,79) ...Thou shalt not kill; and he that kills shall not have forgiveness in this world, nor in the world to come. And again, I say, thou shalt not kill; but he that killeth shall die ... if any persons among you shall kill they shall be delivered up and dealt with according to the laws of the land; for remember that he hath no forgiveness; and it shall be proved according to the laws of the land.

DC 59:6) ...Thou shalt not steal; neither commit adultery, nor kill, nor do anything like unto it.

"The Church opposes abortion and counsels its members not to submit to or perform an abortion except in the rare cases where, in the opinion of competent medical counsel, the life or good health of the mother is seriously endangered or where the pregnancy was caused by rape and produces serious emotional trauma in the mother. Even then it should be done only after counseling with the local presiding priesthood authority and after receiving divine confirmation through prayer." -First Presidency Statement, April 1973

Luke 1:41-44) And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.

"As the matter stands today, no definite statement has been made by the Lord one way or another regarding the crime of abortion. So far as is known, he has not listed it alongside the crime of the unpardonable sin and shedding of innocent human blood. That he has not done so would suggest that it is not in that class of crime and therefore that it will be amenable to the laws of repentance and forgiveness." -LDS President David O. McKay and his counselors, Stephen L Richards and J. Reuben Clark, Jr.; quoted by LDS President Harold B. Lee and his counselors, N. Eldon Tanner and Marion G. Romney, in an official statement of April 1973.

1. Woody Brison is an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but this website is not affiliated with the church. It may be thought of as an additional, somewhat independent witness.

2. I want this page to be as accurate as I can make it. If you have a correction, please email me.

3. All biblical quotations are from the King James unless otherwise noted.

Copyright 2013 Woody Brison. All rights reserved.