The Mormon Chronicle has already written two articles showing what the prophets of God have said about birth control and limiting your family size (here and here). Really, the issue cannot be made any more clear. However, as we will show below, the prophets have said even more about this topic than what we have already posted. Since not everybody has the time or resources to find these quotes, we have taken the liberty to make them available to you.
A Vital Question
In October 1908, President of the Church, Joseph F. Smith, wrote a piece for Volume 11 of the Improvement Era, an official church publication. The article was titled A Vital Question and the part relevant to birth control is below.
A physician who desires to “know the gospel,” which he is convinced is true, asks that he be given a correct answer to an important question, that he may learn the consistent position to be taken on the matter from the standpoint of a Latter-day Saint. He states that, being a physician, he is in a position to hear expressions directly from individuals themselves, upon the question which he considers truly vital. It is upon the subject President Roosevelt has denominated race suicide. The doctor is authority for the statement that a great many people, even among the Latter-day Saints, hold to the view that parents should control the size of their families; that they should not be the means of bringing children into the world unless “they are able in every way to provide for their children’s wants in keeping with modern requirements;” that prevention of birth is justifiable, even where parents are in strong physical health, provided criminal measures are not resorted to. He admits that, without doubt, there are ways by which it is possible, without resorting to recognized criminal measures, to limit one’s family practically as absolutely as is being done in France. He then asks, “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, is disregards or annuls the great commandment of God to man, “Multiply and replenish the earth.” I am now speaking of the normally healthy man and woman. But, that there are weak and sickly people who in wisdom, discretion and common sense should be counted as exceptions, only strengthens the general rule. It is not necessary to go into detail concerning the wisdom of prevention in these cases, only to say that in my estimation no prevention, even in such cases, is legitimate except through absolute abstinence. – A Vital Question, Joseph F. Smith, Improvement Era, Vol 11, October 1908, pp. 959-960
In Answer to Birth Control
In the March 1972 New Era, a poem written by Julie Ann Hill and titled In Answer to Birth Control was published. It is short and to the point, but it allows us to think of the consequences and results that come from limiting the size of our own families.
Where would we be, And what would we do
If the Lord had decided, That he’d stop at two?
Contrary to the Laws of God
In keeping with the revelations on this subject, one of our early leaders, the late Melvin J. Ballard, said this:
“There is a passage in our Scriptures which the Latter-day Saints accept as divine: ‘This is the glory of God—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man’ [see Moses 1:39]. Likewise we could say that this is the glory of men and women—to bring to pass the mortality of the sons and daughters of God, to give earth-life to the waiting children of our Father. … The greatest mission of woman is to give life, earth-life, through honorable marriage, to the waiting spirits, our Father’s spirit children who anxiously desire to come to dwell here in this mortal state. All the honor and glory that can come to men or women by the development of their talents, the homage and the praise they may receive from an applauding world, worshipping at their shrine of genius, is but a dim thing whose luster shall fade in comparison to the high honor, the eternal glory, the ever-enduring happiness that shall come to the woman who fulfils the first great duty and mission that devolves upon her to become the mother of the sons and daughters of God” (Sermons and Missionary Services, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1949, pp. 203–4, italics added).
We reaffirm today what U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt said in 1917:
“What this nation vitally needs is not the negative preaching of birth control to a submerged tenth, and the tenth immediately adjoining, but the positive preaching of birth encouragement to the eight-tenths who make up the capable self-respecting American stock which we wish to see perpetuate itself” (Metropolitan, Oct. 1917).
There are various arguments for curtailing the birth of children or the size of families, but they are contrary to the laws of God. Our early citizens who were patriotic and God-fearing, and in many instances lacked for material possessions, believed in large families; and from that stock came some of our greatest statesmen and finest lawyers, scientists, and educators. They were self-made men reared in humble homes where spirituality abounded. – Ensign, Celestial Marriages and Eternal Families, N. Eldon Tanner, May 1980
A Satan-Inspired Philosophy
So, then, what is required of parents, who have been so joined in the Lord’s house, concerning their children? First, they are to love each other—this is so vital; then they are to welcome choice spirits from the Lord and teach them to love the Lord, keep his commandments, and walk uprightly before him. When they do this, they have given these children the foundation for attaining real joy here in this world and in the world to come. For they will have eternal life, which is the ultimate success, and they will be made rich. “… Behold, he that has eternal life is rich.” (D&C 6:7)
May this be our goal, and may we be willing to pay the price to obtain it and not be taken in by all the misinformation which is abroad in the land today about birth control, abortion and sex education, and other Satan-inspired philosophies; that we may look to the Lord and follow his living prophets and oracles today. – Hartman Rector, Jr., General Conference April 1973
Opposition to God’s Plan
The United States is taking a leading role in the development and dissemination of birth control information and devices, not only here at home, but world-wide. Only a few weeks ago through the Agency for International Development, our country provided a half million dollars’ worth of oral contraceptives to India, enough to supply 100,000 women with pills for 18 months.
Major birth control programs are now under way in scores of countries, largely fostered by American interests.
In India 5 per cent of the women are now taking “the pill,” as do 6 per cent of the women in Pakistan, 20 per cent in Korea, 13 per cent in Taiwan, and 11 per cent in Hong Kong and Singapore. Throughout Central and South America there are similar extensive private and governmental programs. It is estimated that 14 million women in the world now take “the pill,” half of them being Americans. The effect as yet has not appeared to any extent in the vital statistics. There are still 14 million babies born each year in India.
Generally the reason given for this widespread adoption of birth control is the shortage of food. More recently some have attempted to justify it by saying that although the pill is fatal to some women, these deaths are not as numerous as those from forced abortions; therefore by birth control more lives are saved. Nations now, however, are beginning to liberalize abortion laws, apparently in the hope of reducing the birth rate in two ways—using more pills and inducing more abortions.
In this birth control effort man places himself in direct opposition to the plan and laws of God. The Almighty made this world, and He made us. All human beings are His children, His spirit offspring, and it is His intention to provide each one of us with a body of flesh and bones. This body is essential to eternal progress.
With this in mind He gives us the powers of procreation and permits us to join with Him in a divinely sponsored act. But by preventing or aborting legitimate births, we oppose this plan. His spirit children are born into bodies of flesh and bones by His own design. Then who are we to prevent it? Are we so naive as to believe that God would fail to provide for His own offspring as they come into the world? That would be to regard the Infinite as being less considerate than finite mortals.
Many people point to the starving millions of India and China. But why are they starving? Is it because the earth cannot produce sufficient food for all its inhabitants? Or is poor management by imperfect man to blame? It seems appropriate for us to begin to revise upward our conception of the wisdom and power of the Infinite. In speaking of the fulness of the earth, the Almighty told the Prophet Joseph Smith that there is “enough and to spare.”
Agriculturalists frequently remind us that if proper farming methods were used, the earth could and would produce “enough and to spare” for all mankind.
Governments and private groups would do well to study the word of God, understand His plan for His children, and reconstruct their faith in Him. He will provide, if we but obey Him. He who has made the deserts to blossom as the rose, and who has promised that abundant waters will spring forth in the “thirsty place” and that He will care for His faithful children, can give to the earth the abundance of its paradisiacal verdure.
And consider those of us who live in America—where is the justification for widespread birth control here? Is this country in danger of starvation? Are we over-populated? Or do we have a more selfish reason for using half the world’s contraceptives? God says: “Multiply and replenish the earth.” He has not revoked that commandment, but He has promised us “enough and to spare” if we follow His teachings. Why not begin to believe Him? – Mark E. Peterson, Way to Peace, pg. 265
Adversary’s Efforts to Thwart the Plan of God
To the first man and woman on earth, the Lord said, “Be fruitful, and multiply” (Moses 2:28; see also Gen 1:28; Abr. 4:28). This commandment was first in sequence and first in importance. It was essential that God’s spirit children have mortal birth and an opportunity to progress toward eternal life. Consequently, all things related to procreation are prime targets for the adversary’s efforts to thwart the plan of God. … Knowledge of the great plan of happiness also gives Latter-day Saints a distinctive attitude toward the bearing and nurturing of children.
In some times and places, children have been regarded as no more than laborers in a family economic enterprise or as insurers of support for their parents. Though repelled by these repressions, some persons in our day have no compunctions against similar attitudes that subordinate the welfare of a spirit child of God to the comfort or convenience of parents.
The Savior taught that we should not lay up treasures on earth but should lay up treasures in heaven (see Matt. 6:19-21). In light of the ultimate purpose of the great plan of happiness, I believe that the ultimate treasures on earth and in heaven are our children and our posterity.
President Kimball said, “It is an act of extreme selfishness for a married couple to refuse to have children when they are able to do so” (Ensign, May 1979, p. 6). When married couples postpone childbearing until after they have satisfied their material goals, the mere passage of time assures that they seriously reduce their potential to participate in furthering our Heavenly Father’s plan for all of his spirit children. Faithful Latter-day Saints cannot afford to look upon children as an interference with what the world calls “self-fulfillment.” Our covenants with God and the ultimate purpose of life are tied up in those little ones who reach for our time, our love, and our sacrifices.
How many children should a couple have? All they can care for! Of course, to care for children means more than simply giving them life. Children must be loved, nurtured, taught, fed, clothed, housed, and well started in their capacities to be good parents themselves. Exercising faith in God’s promises to bless them when they are keeping his commandments, many LDS parents have large families. – Dallin H. Oaks, General Conference October 1993
Satan’s Way of Destroying
From the beginning God has made it clear that woman is very special, and he has also very clearly defined her position, her duties, and her destiny in the divine plan. Paul said that man is the image and glory of God, and that woman is the glory of the man; also that the man is not without the woman, neither the woman without the man in the Lord. (See 1 Cor. 11:7, 11) You will note that significantly God is mentioned in connection with this great partnership, and we must never forget that one of woman’s greatest privileges, blessings, and opportunities is to be a co-partner with God in bringing his spirit children into the world.
It is of great concern to all who understand this glorious concept that Satan and his cohorts are using scientific arguments and nefarious propaganda to lure women away from their primary responsibilities as wives, mothers, and homemakers. We hear so much about emancipation, independence, sexual liberation, birth control, abortion, and other insidious propaganda belittling the role of motherhood, all of which is Satan’s way of destroying woman, the home, and the family—the basic unit of society. – N. Eldon Tanner, General Conference October 1973
The Result of Selfishness
Jesus warned that iniquities in the last days would become so great “that, if possible, they shall deceive the very elect, who are the elect according to the covenant” (JS-M 1:22; see also Matt. 24:24). I understand this to mean that eventually even the most faithful of the Lord’s covenant Saints will become contaminated and threatened by modern-day philosophies. I believe it is for this reason that unless these days are shortened none of us could long remain unaffected by such trends.
It may well be that the present attitude of personal selfishness is the cause of most of the unhappiness with life among the people of the world. It shows up even in our daily occupations. For instance, when a person is offered a job, he seldom asks what opportunities the job offers to be of service to others. His first question is “What is there in this job for me?” The salary offered is too low. Having to move to or live in a given city is not convenient. He does not want to travel. He does not want to be confined to a desk, or he does not want to work such long hours. Before he even begins to work he asks, “What retirement benefits will I receive?” He is not interested in challenges, but only in security.
May I first speak to young people about personal selfishness in courtship? Actually, what is the main purpose for dating? Isn’t it to get to know another person well enough to know what kind of a partner that person would be? Isn’t it to learn to know that other person’s character, interests, talents, and abilities? Or is dating merely an opportunity to satisfy one’s passions? Each person will have to answer that question for himself. However, a sure guide would be to follow the words of the Savior: “Again I say unto you, let every man esteem his brother as himself” (D&C 38:25).
The necessity to practice unselfish love in courtship becomes imperative in marriage. Persons interested only in romance soon find the realisms of marriage too much to cope with. Yet in magazines and books emphasis is placed on romance and material pleasures. This is almost the exclusive appeal of advertising. It is demonstrated over and over again in moving pictures and on television. It is the exclusive appeal of pornographic literature. People become conditioned by this exposure and grow up expecting only personal gratification in marriage. Personal selfishness is the main reason for the present high divorce rate throughout the world.
This desire for personal gratification results in disharmony in marriage. Couples interested only in themselves don’t communicate. Lack of communication then becomes a major stumbling block in developing true love. Lack of communication coupled with the postponement of children is based on selfishness, as is the greater evil of abortion. We shudder as we read in Leviticus of the sacrifices of idol worshipers of that time who fed their children into the fiery maw of the iron god Molech. Is personal selfishness which results in abortion any less repulsive to God, as modern people through abortion offer the sacrifice of their children to their idol of selfish materialism?
In Europe families are limited to a point where couples are more or less ostracized by neighbors and friends if they have more than two children. Some European nations are even now beginning to decline in population as birth control and abortion become a way of life. Far too many wives are working in order that the couple may have its own home, a car, colored television, or extensive vacation trips. Children for such couples are an unwanted handicap and a needless expense.
Why bother to marry when children are neither wanted nor expected? – Theodore M. Burton, General Conference April 1979
Erosion of the Family
As we look about us, we see many forces at work bent on the destruction of the family, both in America and abroad. Family ties are being destroyed by an ever-increasing divorce rate, by increased infidelity of spouses, by the abominable sin of abortion, which bids well to become a national scandal and is a very grave sin. Another erosion of the family is unwarranted and selfish birth control. – Spencer W. Kimball, General Conference October 1979
An Act of Treason
This [young men refusing to marry], however, is but one phase of the social evil; there are others, and these among those who have already entered into the marriage state, notably the increasing love of pleasure, by indulgence in the sensual delight of sex without incurring the risks, the pains and the responsibilities of parenthood. … This practice of limiting families by so-called birth-control leads to many evils physical and moral and spiritual. It endangers and wrecks the health of women, since it involves them in methods for prevention of conception, and foetus destruction, leading frequently to abortions and to infanticide – which is murder. Prevention, both by mechanical and chemical means endangers the health of women who indulge it, impairs vitality, shatters nervous energy and deteriorates the race. The moral effect of such methods of living is nothing less than disastrous. It brutalizes and makes a shame of sexual pleasure itself, and kills the sentiment of love which alone refines the act to endearment. It ministers to the gross desire for sexual promiscuity; for with a felt security, through knowledge of a preventative nature, from consequences that would expose infidelities to the marriage covenant, temptations to fornications and adulteries are greatly multiplied, and the moral tone of a community greatly lowered if not destroyed. … When the marriage institution is mutilated by halfing it, taking the companionate feature of it, permitting sex association but eliminating offspring and family, there is destroyed the sanctifying element of marriage, the most important element, and to destroy that element that is sin. It is a violation not only of God’s law, but an act of treason against an institution resulting from God’s law, and seriously affecting the welfare of mankind! Again: when there is eliminated from sex association the consequences of offspring, with the duties and responsibilities of family banished, then “marriage” becomes merely an institution under which companionship with sex sensual pleasures and liberties may be safely indulged – and “respectability” assured! … Members of the Church of the Latter-day Saints have been taught to accept their moral duties as rising from the Divine Law through revelations from God; and so long as they adhere to that principle and the application of it, they will never be inclined to follow after the false leadership of the new ethic – if ethic it can be called – of “companionate marriage,” with its attendant evil of mutilation of complete marriage by the prevention of offspring, birth control, (as advocated by the “reformers”) easy divorce, without reproach – and therefore frequent exchanges of partners in the matrimonial dance, to the breaking down of the morale of society, and the destruction of all that is pure, highest and best in life. No, this will never be an attractive marriage system, or rather anti-marriage system, among Latter-day Saints. As a Church they stand committed to quite an opposite program from this. Their religion and their Church stand for the purity and the permanence of the home. – B. H. Roberts, Improvement Era, Vol 16, January 1928
Shut Out a Means of Exaltation
In an earlier article, we quoted multiple general authorities stating that those who practice birth control are in danger of losing their exaltation. In the April 1900 General Conference, Apostle Abraham O. Woodruff adds another witness to this idea. Immediately after his talk, Joseph F. Smith got up and endorsed what Woodruff had just said.
Before taking my seat there is another matter that occurs to me which I wish to speak upon. I have noticed that there is a spirit creeping in among a certain class of Latter-day Saints which is not of God, but of the world. It has been popular, ever since Mormonism was established, to have large families; for we understand that there are hundreds of thousands of spirits in the other world anxious to be tabernacled by good fathers and mothers, that they may pass through this state of probation. But there is a certain class of Latter-day Saints that has come to think as the Gentile world does — that it is not stylish, not nice to have large families; and therefore we find, much to our sorrow, that in some instances steps are taken to prevent these spirits being tabernacled by them. I want to say that, every Latter-day Saint ought to feel that they are not justified before God their Father in pursuing a course of this kind. We want, so far as God will favor us, the privilege and blessing of posterity. And those who employ means to prevent this will find in the spirit world that they have lost the stars in their crown and have shut out a means of exaltation; that they have done a grievous wrong which they may not be able to repair for many ages, it at all. – Abraham O. Woodruff, General Conference April 1900
The remarks that have just been made by Brother Woodruff are worthy of attention and acceptation on the part of the young men and women of Zion. Those who have taken upon themselves the responsibility of wedded life should see to it that they do not abuse the course of nature; that they do not destroy the principle of life within them, nor violate any of the commandments of God. The command which he gave in the beginning to multiply and replenish the earth is still in force upon the children of men. Possibly no greater sin could be committed by the people who have embraced this gospel than to prevent or to destroy life in the manner indicated. We are born into the world that we may have life, and we live that we may have a fulness of joy, and if we will obtain a fulness of joy, we must obey the law of our creation and the law by which we may obtain the consummation of our righteous hopes and desires—eternal life. – Joseph F. Smith, General Conference April 1900
May Be Denied Celestial Glory
Now I wish to ask a question: How will a young married couple feel when they come to the judgment and then discover that there were certain spirits assigned to them and they refused to have them? Moreover, what will be their punishment when they discover that they have failed to keep a solemn covenant and spirits awaiting this mortal life were forced to come here elsewhere when they were assigned to this particular couple. … I regret that so many young couples are thinking today more of successful contraceptives than of having a posterity. They will have to answer for their sin when the proper time comes and actually may be denied the glorious celestial kingdom. – Joseph Fielding Smith, General Conference October 1965
Church Teaches Against Birth Control
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is organized to help the family. No other organization provides more help. The whole program of the Church is correlated to supplement the teachings of the home. The Church speaks out boldly against the common evil of this day—the deliberate limiting of families by birth control. It teaches, rather, the sacred obligation resting upon husband and wife to bring children into the world. – A. Theodore Tuttle, General Conference October 1969
Purpose of Marriage
As already stated, in our consideration of the Lord’s overall plan, his purpose for the institution of enduring marriage was propagation: the bringing of God’s spirit children into mortal life. The scriptures are as specific on this point as they are concerning marriage and divorce. – Marion G. Romney, Ensign, Scriptures As They Relate To Family Stability, February 1972
To multiply and replenish the earth, according to my commandment, and to fulfil the promise which was given by my Father before the foundation of the world, and for their exaltation in the eternal worlds, that they may bear the souls of men; for herein is the work of my Father continued, that he may be glorified. – D&C 132:63
Purpose of Sex
There is some belief, too much I fear, that sex desire is planted in us solely for the pleasures of full gratification; that the begetting of children is only an unfortunate incident. The direct opposite is the fact. Sex desire was planted in us in order to be sure that bodies would be begotten to house the spirits; the pleasures of gratification of the desire is an incident, not the primary purpose of the desire. Remembering that fact, many problems will disappear, particularly the one presented by these who seek full gratification without begetting children. … As to sex in marriage, the necessary treatise on that for Latter-day Saints can be written in two sentences: Remember the prime purpose of sex desire is to beget children. Sex gratification must be had at that hazard. – J. Reuben Clark, Jr., Conference Report October 1949, pp. 191-195
The Plan of Happiness
The commandment to multiply and replenish the earth has never been rescinded. It is essential to the plan of redemption and is the source of human happiness. Through the righteous exercise of this power, we may come close to our Father in Heaven and experience a fulness of joy, even godhood. The power of procreation is not an incidental part of the plan; it is the plan of happiness; it is the key to happiness. – Boyd K. Packer, General Conference April 2015
These last three quotes say that sex and marriage are for the purpose of procreation and having children and that this is the plan of happiness. Does this mean that sex and/or marriage without attempting to procreate is thwarting the plan of happiness? Something to think about.
Fulfilling the Abrahamic Covenant
The February 1989 Liahona contained an article titled When I Couldn’t Answer Their Questions. It was written by a member of the church named Christy Williams. This article contains perhaps one of the most profound insights one can gain when reading and studying about birth control. The relevant part is posted below.
How often the Lord answers our prayers through the scriptures. They are his voice, reminding us of our covenants and the glorious promises that are ours. I found, as I began to study the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price, that the inspiration I received in answer to prayer would often come in the form of a scripture!
For example, on one occasion when I was expecting our second child, I watched a television program presented by a famous scientist. The program showed the impact of Western civilization on some remote island cultures. At the end of the program, the focus changed, and film excerpts showed crowded cities and impoverished peoples across the world. The scientist pleaded with the television viewers to persuade their governments to introduce birth-control measures. She predicted world disaster if the population growth was not brought under control.
I was deeply distressed; my husband and I were bringing another child into the world! I pleaded with the Lord to help me to understand as he did—at least in part—to help me know if I was obeying his will. I prayed for some time, and finally I felt as if I had crossed a barrier. Through the still small voice came these words: “You are helping to fulfill the promise made to Abraham that his seed would be as numerous as the stars of the heavens and the sands of the sea.”
I turned to Abraham 2:11 and read the Lord’s words: “In thy seed … shall all the families of the earth be blessed, even with the blessings of the Gospel, which are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal.”
In Abraham 3:12-14, the Lord shows the patriarch the starry skies and says, “I will multiply thee, and thy seed after thee, like unto these.”
When my reading brought me to Doctrine and Covenants 132:31-32, I found with great excitement that the Lord had spoken about this promise to Abraham: “This promise is yours also, because ye are of Abraham, … and by this law is the continuation of the works of my Father, wherein he glorifieth himself.
“Go ye, therefore, and do the works of Abraham; enter ye into my law and ye shall be saved.”
The promise to Abraham was meant for all our Father’s children!
What does this mean to you? This means that the Abrahamic covenant applies to you and that you are responsible, at least in part, for the fulfillment of that covenant. It means that an attempt to curtail the birth of our brothers and sisters who are still in the pre-mortal realm is an attempt to curtail the fulfillment of this covenant. The Father is glorified by bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. The lawful exercise of the powers of procreation is bringing to pass the Abrahamic covenant. It is fulfilling the plan of happiness. It is how we glorify the Father. Multiple prophets have declared that any person who is able to help bring this work to pass but attempts to bypass this commandment of God is in danger of losing their exaltation. God the Father is creating and populating numberless worlds with his own spirit children and will do so for eternity. He has not decided to limit His family and never will. We also know that this is what we are trying to obtain. What makes us think that we can limit the size of our families in this life, but that when we pass on to the next life, we are all of a sudden going to change our minds and will want more spirit children? The Book of Mormon teaches that this is not true. Alma 34:34 states, “that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.“
The prophets have taught the same thing about birth control and limiting family size since the restoration of the gospel. Yet, many Latter-day Saints still disobey the counsel of the prophets simply because they haven’t heard such counsel within their own designated time frame. The argument is that we are not under any obligations to follow what past prophets have said until the living prophet specifically states the same thing. We already referenced an article exposing that logic.
Why Doesn’t The Church Currently Emphasize This Teaching?
A lot of people don’t think the church currently emphasizes this teaching about birth control and family size. This is false. You can go read almost any recent General Conference talk about families, marriage, or children and, if you are searching, you can see it being taught. Take Dallin H. Oaks’ October 2018 General Conference talk “Parents and Children,” for example. The doctrine is there.
We Don’t Need A Prophet
As you read the following story of President Clark, think of the articles we have written documenting what the prophets have taught about family size and birth control. Indeed, you will realize that we do not “need a prophet” to tell us the same thing that has been taught for nearly 200 years. We need a listening ear and a resolve to obey the commandments of the Lord.
Some time ago a pamphlet came across my desk which unfortunately I threw away. On the outside page it was stated, “We need a prophet,” and as I read it then, and as I think of it now, I think how blind the world is. We have had a prophet, an American prophet, one who spoke our language, one who was imbued with Christian ideals, and that prophet gave us the great righteous principles, of which we know and of which the world partly knows; he gave them in our own language over a hundred years ago. These may all be read; we have been teaching them for a century. The trouble with the world is they do not want a prophet teaching righteousness. They want a prophet that will tell them that what they are doing is right, no matter how wrong it may be.
There is nothing new in this. Going back to the beginning, Noah taught the people. He was a prophet, and he told them what to do. He finally convinced his own family, and they were saved. So of Moses—while the children of Israel were in Egypt and he was promising them deliverance, they followed him, they did what he told them, but once out of Egypt and away from the bondman’s lash they forgot, and he had rebellion after rebellion upon his hands from then until he died. The later prophets in Israel—Elijah vindicated by a miracle, that he was a prophet of God; yet Jezebel hunted him like a wild beast and would have killed him had not the Lord taken him by a miracle; and Isaiah and Jeremiah, these prophets spoke not only about righteous living and what Israel should do in their family life and in their religious worship, but those prophets spoke also of the relationship of nations and how Israel should bear herself toward those nations, but their warnings and prophecies went unheeded, and the calamities which they predicted came.
Now our Prophet, Joseph Smith, and the prophets since his time — and there has always been a prophet in this Church, and prophets, and you sustain the brethren here, conference after conference, as prophets, seers, and revelators — the Prophet, himself, through the Lord by revelation, gave certain great principles that would save the world if the world would but listen. We do not lack a prophet; what we lack is a listening ear by the people and a determination to live as God has commanded. That is all we need.
The way has been made perfectly clear. – J. Reuben Clark, Jr., General Conference October 1948
Set aside your selfishness in the interest of a far greater and eternal cause. Bring up your children in light and truth as the Lord has commanded. – Gordon B. Hinckley, General Conference October 1993
NOTE: Every quote shared condemns the use of birth control as a tool to prevent pregnancy. That is how we have discussed it.
Apart from the billions of prophetic teachings we have shared, the following are more resources to study: