One of my friends told me the other day that the Church was against birth control and that it was a sin to get a vasectomy.  I had always heard (and believe) that it is up to the husband and wife and how they feel they should raise their families with the Lord’s guidance.  I decided to look it up in the online version of the LDS Handbook of instruction.  It turns out that both my friend and I are correct.  See below:

21.4.4

Birth Control

It is the privilege of married couples who are able to bear children to provide mortal bodies for the spirit children of God, whom they are then responsible to nurture and rear. The decision as to how many children to have and when to have them is extremely intimate and private and should be left between the couple and the Lord. Church members should not judge one another in this matter.

Married couples should also understand that sexual relations within marriage are divinely approved not only for the purpose of procreation, but also as a way of expressing love and strengthening emotional and spiritual bonds between husband and wife.

 

21.4.15

Surgical Sterilization (Including Vasectomy)

The Church strongly discourages surgical sterilization as an elective form of birth control. Surgical sterilization should be considered only if (1) medical conditions seriously jeopardize life or health or (2) birth defects or serious trauma have rendered a person mentally incompetent and not responsible for his or her actions. Such conditions must be determined by competent medical judgment and in accordance with law. Even then, the persons responsible for this decision should consult with each other and with their bishop and should receive divine confirmation of their decision through prayer.

 

As you can see, on one hand, the Church Leaders say that birth control is a decision between husband and wife.  However, on the other hand, when it comes to getting a vasectomy (which is probably the ultimate form of birth control) they strongly discourage it and encourage the couple counseling with the bishop first. 

For LDS members who have a hard time with making decisions and relying on guidance from the Lord without having Leaders tell them what to do, I can see how this would be a hard decision.  However, I personally feel that the way a husband and wife chooses to use birth control (including a vasectomy) is between them and God and the Church doesn’t need to be involved.

Thoughts?

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