Why Do Mormons Have So Many Kids?

Why is it so common for Mormons to have 6 or 8 kids when most other families only have 2 or 3? Does their religion say that birth control is a sin??


Note: I’m AWARE that there are Mormon families that don’t have ANY kids, and that there are non-Mormon families that have 17 kids. I’m just asking about a general trend!

Well, IIRC, pregnancy is supposed to be the “Blessed State” for women. Also, it is through men that women can attain salvation.

This just caused me to remember the Protestant scene from Monty Python’s The Meaning Of Life (right after the musical number “Every Sperm is Sacred”)

(man) Bloody Catholics, filling the bloody world with children they can’t bloody feed.

(woman) What are we, Henry?

(man) Protestants! and fiercely proud of it.

(woman) But why do they have so many children?

(man) Because every time they have sexual intercourse, they have to have a baby.

(woman) but it’s the same with us, Henry…

(man) What do you mean?

(woman) Well, we’ve got two children and we’ve had sexual intercourse twice.

(man) that’s not the point. We could have it anytime we wanted.

(woman) Oh, YES Henry!

(man) What’s more, because we don’t believe in all that Papist claptrap, WE can take PRECAUTIONS.

(woman) What d’you mean? Lock the door?
(sigh… I’m tired of typing all this… someone else finish it, would you, please?)

abel- “Also, it is through men that women can attain salvation.

Through men? Does that mean through sex with men??

If so, I find this Mormonism religion very intriguing!

They are trying to make up for when they could have four wives.:smiley:

Just kidding.

I am not a Mormon, but it was explained to me by my aunt who is LDS. They believe there is finite number of souls waiting for earthly bodies and the opportunity to exercise free will. The second coming of Christ cannot happen before all of these souls have had their chance at earthly life. If they have as many children as they can afford, they are shortening the time it will take for Jesus to return to the Earth.

And from a purely political matter (IANAMormon), the more kids you have, the more full-grown Mormons you’ll have in 20 years.

Want to control a city council? Move 20 Mormon couples into a city with no other Mormons. If each couple has just 5 kids, that’s 120 Mormons who can vote as a block in a few decades. Multiply that by thousands and you can control a state.

[ul]* The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not allow abortion

  • There is no provision against contraception
  • There is no regulation how many children a couple must or should have
  • It is recommended that rearing of children not be delayed for “selfish reasons” (i.e. a boat, summer home etc)
  • Many LDS people come from farm backgrounds where large families are more often the norm[/ul]Having listed the above, in my casual observation the average size of LDS families has gotten smaller in the past 20-30 years.

Historically, keep in mind that the Mormons were persecuted horribly in the 1800’s. Joseph Smith was killed by a mob in 1844. Keep in mind that he was a declared candidate for President at the time. One of the best ways for a persecuted minority to fight back is via growth (both conversions and procreation). Things have changed, but it’s still there in the back of many LDS minds.

[Adam Ant]

…don’t drink, don’t smoke, what do ya do?..

[/Adam Ant]

I bet the take-up rate of their door-to-door activities is pretty low, so they have to grow their assemblies from the inside…

[I am a Mormon]

  1. The Mormon church grows much more from conversion than by birth. I don’t have the official figures handy (dig them up at www.lds.org if you’re inclined), but there are something like 10 times the number of converts versus births increasing the Mormon head count per year. Folks in other countries (especially South American ones) seem to go for the missionary approach more so than Americans, and that’s a good thing: we need more diversity.

  2. Pretty much everything Threadkiller said was right. (Great name, BTW!) I think the church allows abortion in cases of rape/incest/extreme danger to mother’s health, but that’s off-topic.

  3. What Tequila Mockingbird (another great name!) said–I’ve heard this before, and I think a lot of people in the church do feel this way. I personally think that people who believe in it are full of crap. (No offense to your aunt.) I believe that there are souls waitng for a mortal existence, but I don’t think God requires anyone to have 10 children to facilitate His plans for humanity. I’m a proud Trojan man for the foreseeable future, since me and the wife would not benefit from the appearance of Junior until we finish grad school and get decent jobs. And am I thwarting God’s plan? Don’t think so; He’s smarter than that.
    (Although John Widstoe, a prominent church leader in the late 19-th century, said that white people (especially Mormons, who were all white at the time) should have lots of kids for fear of being out-bred by Asians and Africans! Makes me want to laugh and retch simultaneously.)

  4. My own $.02: more educated Mormons tend to have fewer kids. Mormons are becoming more educated as time passes. Therefore, our family size will drop over time.

]Adam Ant was right in a way, Sue Duhnym. (Another great name! I feel left out–only 4 people in the world understand my SDMB name.) Anyway, to present an edited version of a joke I heard once:

A Mormon person and a Catholic priest are on a train.

Priest: I’m curious–have you ever tried alcohol?
Mormon: Yes, once, in my youth. Those were crazy times.
(pause) I’m curious: have you ever had intimate relations with a person?
Priest: Yes, before I became a man of the cloth.
Mormon: (grinning) Better than booze, eh?

They choose to have more kids, birth control is not a sin. They believe children are worth more than gold and will be with them for all eternity, even if they die before their baptized, so if they die, they have nothing to lose, they’ll be with them forever and mormons usually have a lot of them because they want a large eternal family. Also not all Mormons have a lot if kids.

Wasn’t there supposed to be some sort of revelation about this in the nineteenth century–that they were commanded to practice polygamy and bring forth as many children as possible?

For the same reason that Catholics have so many kids. And muslims (via multiple wives) etc. Simply because the best way to ensure a religion’s survival and dominance in a society is to do *everything *possible to make it (and keep it) the majority of the population. Really that simple.

The whole ‘birth-control, divorce, abortion etc, is evil’ stuff is all after-the-fact…

AFAIK, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does permit abortion in the cases of rape, incest, or when the mother’s life is in jeopardy.

Maybe they just enjoy having children and having big families? I know several Mormons and they have just 2-3 kids just like everyone else. its the other religious groups where you see 4 or more kids.

Modern Catholics don’t have any more kids than non-Catholics, at least around here.

Welcome to the SDMB!

I agree with most of your post. But as to whether birth control is a “sin”, there’s not really a consensus. When I got married, my brother and brother-in-law and bishop all counseled me to have children as soon as possible, and to avoid birth control. They were all referencing a talk from a fairly recent prophet, which one of them printed for me. The instruction even went as far as to instruct newlyweds not to wait until college is finished and a career is started; apparently it’s more important to spawn babies than to be able to provide for them financially.

So the guideline with Mormons and birth control is much like the guidelines with the SDMB and resurrecting 14-year-old dead threads; frowned upon, but maybe not quite “sin”.