This page is dedicated to all the parents who have kids in Mormonism and the Mormons who believe salvation is dependent upon a mandate of marriage and childbirth. For each situation we want you to know we’re always in prayer for you and your families.
When you’re LDS and female, the drive to marry and produce babies is sometimes greater than self preservation. Hindsight is 20/20 as they say, and I can vividly see where the all consuming need for a husband and babies began.
Sitting in a Sacrament Meeting at 14 years of age, I listened intently to a young woman sob and beg her parents for forgiveness because she had been called out to go on a mission for the Church. She was about 22 years old at the time and because she wasn’t married yet the Church sent her away from her family and friends.
Back in those days young women were expected to be married and well on their way to Mormon suburbia by their early twenties. This poor girl dressed in a plaid and perfectly ironed pleated skirt with knee high socks cried aloud as mascara dripped down her soulful cheeks. It made such a huge impression upon me that I made note of it in my diary and set my mind to begin looking for a husband by the end of ninth grade.
Nothing could be worse for a female than being sent on a mission. While the Church didn’t have anything in hard print stating so, female missionaries were to be pitied for not finding a mate and earning her status as a future goddess wife. It meant she was undesirable and that above all else was cause for great concern.
Today the Church still pushes its agenda on marriage and kids even though they’ve lowered the age for female missionaries from 21 to 19.
Speaking from my own experience, my reasoning for having babies wasn’t on par with basic common sense at times. I ‘had to have babies’ to earn salvation as a Mormon and ignoring any complications associated with each child I forged ahead with nary a thought to what it did to me physically, or the burden it placed on those around me. I’ve discovered over the past 20+ years my experience is eerily similar to the majority of females who grew up in Mormonism.
The Church has always pounded the pulpit with the false message that marriage is absolutely necessary, but in recent years it seems they’ve ramped up their message with greater urgency. You’d be hard pressed to find a General Conference go by without a minimum of one talk about this subject.
Below you’ll find numerous quotes by LDS leaders reminding female members that marriage and childbirth are absolute mandates for salvation. Quotes are listed in alphabetical order of the person we’ve quoted.
If you’re LDS know that we’re praying for you each and every day.
Women, Role is Found in Mormonism
November Ensign 2007, pg 110; “The only place Latter-day Saint women will learn the whole and complete truth about their indispensable role in the plan of happiness is in this Church and its doctrine.” – Julie B. Beck
Ensign, August 2004, pg. 5; “Those who enter into marriage should be fully prepared to establish their marriage as the first priority in their lives.” – James Faust
‘Marriage for Eternity,’ Eternal Marriage Student Manual, (2003), p 173; “It is the normal thing to marry. It was arranged by God in the beginning. One is not wholly normal who does not want to be married. Remember: “Neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.” [1 Corinthians 11:11]
No one can reject this covenant (of celestial marriage) and reach the eternal kingdom of God. ” – Spencer W. Kimball
Mormon Doctrine, pg 118; “Its importance in the plan of salvation and exaltation cannot be overestimated. The most important things that any member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ever does in this world are: 1. To marry the right person, in the right place, by the right authority; and 2. To keep the covenant made in connection with this holy and perfect order of matrimony — thus assuring the obedient persons of an inheritance of exaltation in the celestial kingdom.” – Bruce McConkie
LDS Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual 2002, Section 93, ‘Truth is Knowledge of Things,’ pp 217-222 & General Conference, ‘How to Worship,’ October 1971; “…In other words, true and perfect worship consists in following in the steps of the Son of God; it consists in keeping the commandments and obeying the will of the Father to that degree that we advance from grace to grace until we are glorified in Christ as he is in his Father…To worship the Lord is to be married in the temple, to have children, to teach them the gospel, and to bring them up in light and truth.” – Bruce McConkie
Mormon Doctrine Plain and Simple, 1888, pg 51;“In the resurrection, they stand side by side and hold dominion together. Every man who overcomes all things and is thereby entitled to inherit all things, receives power to bring up his wife to join him in the possession and enjoyment thereof.” – Charles Penrose, First Counselor to Heber J. Grant
Latter-day Prophets and the D&C, 4:392-393; “We cannot feel justified in closing this article on the subject of marriage without saying a few words to unmarried females in this Church. You will clearly perceive, from the revelation which God has given, that you can never obtain a fulness of glory, without being married to a righteous man for time and for all eternity.” – Orson Pratt
D&C 132:54-56; “And I command mine handmaid, Emma Smith, to abide and cleave unto my servant Joseph, and to none else. But if she will not abide this commandment she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord; for I am the Lord thy God, and will destroy her if she abide not in my law. But if she will not abide this commandment, then shall my servant Joseph do all things for her, even as he hath said; and I will bless him and multiply him and give unto him an hundredfold in this world, of fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, houses and lands, wives and children, and crowns of eternal lives in the eternal worlds. And again, verily I say, let mine handmaid forgive my servant Joseph his trespasses; and then shall she be forgiven her trespasses, wherein she has trespassed against me; and I, the Lord thy God, will bless her, and multiply her, and make her heart to rejoice.” – Joseph Smith
History of the Church 5:392; “In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees; and in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood, [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage;] and if he does not, he cannot obtain it. He may enter into the other, but that is the end of his kingdom: he cannot have an increase.” – Joseph Smith
Gospel Doctrine pg. 274; “Without marriage the purposes of God would be frustrated, so far as this world is concerned, for there would be none, to obey his other commands.” – Joseph F. Smith
Doctrines of Salvation 2:64; “UNMARRIED TO INHERIT THE DEATHS. He means they enter into the world-to-come “separately and singly,” and they have no continuation of the “lives,” no increase. That is death. They don’t go on; they come to an end as far as that progression is concerned. The Lord calls it “the deaths,” and I am sure, I am confident, that every soul who rejects this commandment of the Lord and enters into the broad way, will discover when he enters into the eternities that he surely has entered into “the deaths,” he has reached the end-not the end of his life but the end of increase.” – Joseph Fielding Smith
Elder Erastus Snow, JD 5:291; “Do the women, when they pray, remember their husbands? Do you pray for brother Brigham? Yes, you should always pray for him. But when you pray for him, do you pray also for your own husband, that he may have the inspiration of the Almighty to lead and govern his family as the lord? Do you uphold your husband before God as your lord? “What!—my husband to be my lord?” I ask, Can you get into the celestial kingdom without him? Have any of you been there? You will remember that you never got into the celestial kingdom without the aid of your husband. If you did, it was because your husband was away, and some one had to act proxy for him. No woman will get into the celestial kingdom, except her husband receives her, if she is worthy to have a husband; and if not, somebody will receive her as a servant.” – Erastus Snow
Marvelous Work and Wonder, pg. 188; “The Lord intended that the marriage covenant should be for time and for all eternity, and the practice of marrying “until death do you part” did not originate with the Lord or his servants, but is a man-made doctrine.” – James Talmage
Teens, Temple Marriage & Eternity, pg. 1; “”The most important things that any member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ever does in this world are: 1. To marry the right person, in the right place, by the right authority; and 2. To keep the covenant made in connection with this holy and perfect order of matrimony—thus assuring the obedient persons of an inheritance of exaltation in the celestial kingdom.” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966], p. 118.)”
LDS Manual, Achieving a Celestial Marriage, p.65; “Consider this fact: Your marriage is a laboratory for godhood.”
Doctrines of the Kingdom, pg. 444; “Joseph F. Smith said: “The lawful association of the sexes is ordained of God, not only as the sole means of race perpetuation, but for the development of the higher faculties and nobler traits of human nature, which the love-inspired companionship of man and woman alone can insure.” – Hyrum Andrus
Sermons and Missionary Services of Melvin J. Ballard, comp. pgs. 203‑204; “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 and women … 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.” – Melvin J. Ballard
Ensign, “We Believe in Being Chaste”, May 2013; “The first commandment … God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife” (Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2010, 129).” – David Bednar
Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, pg 541; “Brigham Young emphasized: “There are multitudes of pure and holy spirits waiting to take tabernacles, now what is our duty?—to prepare tabernacles for them; to take a course that will not tend to drive those spirits into the families of the wicked, where they will be trained in wickedness, debauchery, and every species of crime. It is the duty of every righteous man and woman to prepare tabernacles for all the spirits they can.” (Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 197.)” – Ezra Taft Benson
Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, pg. 546; “Since the beginning, a woman’s first and most important role has been ushering into mortality spirit sons and daughters of our Father in Heaven. Since the beginning, her role has been to teach her children eternal gospel principles. She is to provide for her children a haven of security and love-regardless of how modest her circumstances might be. (CR October 1981, Ensign 11 [November 1981]: 105.)”
Ensign, March 2014, “The Lord’s Standard of Morality”; “…What, then, is the Lord’s standard for use of the sacred power of procreation—His standard of morality?…The procreative power is to be exercised in the marriage relationship for two key reasons: (1) to bind and strengthen ties between spouses and (2) to bring souls into the world. These uses have the blessing and endorsement of the Lord.
On the other hand, the procreative power is not to be exercised outside the husband-wife relationship. Accordingly, any conscious thoughts or voluntary actions that stimulate or result in the expression of the procreative power outside the marriage relationship are disapproved by the Lord.” – Elder Tad R. Callister
Journal of Discourses 2:117; “So, when those spirits come to take bodies, where will the noble and high order of them go? Will they take bodies that have come through a low and degraded parentage? No, no more than the righteous man will take up his abode with the vile and wicked. Where will he go? “Why,” says that noble spirit, that is swelling with light and intelligence, “I will take a body through an honorable parentage; I will have a body that will correspond with my mind; I will go to the place where purity and righteousness dwell.”
…Do good spirits want to partake of the sins of the low and degraded? No; but they will stay in heaven until a way is opened for purity and righteousness to form a channel in which they can come, and take honorable bodies in this world, and magnify their calling. Let us take that course…” – Orson Hyde, Salt Lake City, September 24, 1853
Teachings of Harold B. Lee, pg 283; “There are those among us who think (if it can be called thinking) that having a large family of children is old-fashioned and an evidence of those who are unsophisticated and don’t know better. No more pernicious doctrine than that could hardly be imagined. Those who refuse to accept the obligations of parenthood are not living up to their greatest opportunities…Those who refuse as husbands and wives to have children are proving themselves already too small for the infinitude of God’s creative powers.” – Harold B Lee
Relief Society Magazine, v. 3, no. 7, July 1916; “…Such parents may be sincere, even if misguided; but in most cases the desire not to have children has its birth in vanity, passion, and selfishness. Such feelings are the seeds sown in early married life that produce a harvest of discord, suspicion, estrangement, and divorce.” – David O McKay
Things of the Soul, 106; “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, as through nothing else, 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 of happiness; it is the key—the very key.” – Apostle Boyd K. Packer
Morality, pg 105; “The power of creation-or may we say procreation-is not just an incidental part of the plan: it is essential to it. Without it the plan could not proceed. The misuse of it may disrupt the plan.” – Boyd K. Packer
The Seer, pp 134-135; “Each succeeding generation of Gods follow the example of the preceding ones: each generation have their wives, who raise up from the fruit of their loins immortal spirits: when their families become numerous, they organize new worlds for them…. [T]hey place their families upon the same….” – Orson Pratt, 1853
Gospel Doctrine: Selections from the Sermons and Writings of Joseph F. Smith, p. 288; “Motherhood lies at the foundation of happiness in the home… Can she be saved without child-bearing? She indeed takes an awful risk if she wilfully disregards what is a pronounced requirement of God. How shall she plead her innocence when she is not innocent? How shall she excuse her guilt when it is fastened upon her?” – Joseph F. Smith
Doctrines of Salvation 2:88; “President Brigham Young has this to say about birth control, an abomination practiced by so-called civilized nations, but nations who have forsaken the ways of life: There are multitudes of pure and holy spirits waiting to take tabernacles, now what is our duty? To prepare tabernacles for them; to take a course that will not tend to drive those spirits into the families of the wicked, where they will be trained in wickedness, debauchery, and every species of crime. It is the duty of every righteous man and woman to prepare tabernacles for all the spirits they can.”” – Joseph Fielding Smith
Doctrines of Salvation 2:48; “The Father has promised us that through our faithfulness we shall be blessed with the fulness of his kingdom. In other words we will have the privilege of becoming like him. To become like him we must have all the powers of godhood; thus a man and his wife when glorified will have spirit children who eventually will go on an earth like this one…” – Joseph Fielding Smith
Articles of Faith, pg. 402; “Grand as may seem the achievements of a man who is truly great, the culmination of his glorious career lies in his leaving posterity to continue, and enhance the triumphs of their sire. And if such be true of mortals with respect to the things of earth, transcendently greater is the power of eternal increase, as viewed in the light of revealed truth concerning the unending progresssion of the future state. Truly the apostle was wise when he said: “Neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”” – James Talmage
House of the Lord, pg 85; “Under the teachings of the Church, marriage is the duty of all who are not debarred by physical or other effective disability from assuming the responsibilities of the wedded state. The Latter-day Saints declare that part of the birthright of every worthy man is to stand at the head of a family as husband and father; and equally strong is the right of every worthy woman to be an honored wife and mother.” – James Talmage
Gospel Doctrine, pg. 288; “Motherhood lies at the foundation of happiness in the home…God has laid upon men and women very sacred obligations with respect to motherhood… In I Timothy 2:13-15, we are told that “Adam was first formed, then Eve…Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.” Can she be saved without child-bearing? She indeed takes an awful risk if she wilfully disregards what is a pronounced requirement of God…” – Joseph F. Smith
Journal of Discourses 3:264, 268; “The spirits which are reserved have to be born into the world, and the Lord will prepare some way for them to have tabernacles. Spirits must be born, even if they have to come to brothels for their fleshly coverings, and many of them will take the lowest and meanest spirit house that there is in the world, rather than do without, and will say, “Let me have a tabernacle, that I may have a chance to be perfected.”… I do not feel that there is any requirement in this congregation for fresh teachings, or new revelations; if I am mistaken, all right.” – Brigham Young, Provo, July 14, 1855
Brigham Young; Oct. 8, 1861; Original in LDS Church Archives; “I wish to say to my young sisters, if you can go into the hands of a man, that will lead you into the kingdom of heaven, and exalt you there to become an eve – a queen of heaven – the wife of a god; and you can remain with that man whom your soul delights, and you take to him your virginity, you have obtained a treasure that millions of worlds like this could not buy from you, for there is your glory to all eternity. Trifle with this matter, and you will reap sorrow and sore affliction.” – Brigham Young
Journal of Discourses 4:56; “I have told you many times that there are multitudes of pure and holy spirits waiting to take tabernacles, now what is our duty?—to prepare tabernacles for them… It is the duty of every righteous man and woman to prepare tabernacles for all the spirits they can; hence if my women leave, I will go and search up others who will abide the celestial law, and let all I now have go where they please; though I will send the Gospel to them.” – Brigham Young, Salt Lake City, September 21, 1856
Journal of Discourses 6:275; “After men have got their exaltations and their crowns—have become Gods, even the sons of God—are made Kings of kings and Lords of lords, they have the power then of propagating their species in spirit; and that is the first of their operations with regard to organizing a world.” – Brigham Young, Salt Lake City, August 28, 1852