An LDS perspective on moving from childless to childfree living.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Multiply and Replenish the Earth

 













My youngest cousin got married on Friday in the Salt Lake Temple.  She was radiant and her new DH was so excited!  The exterior and interior of the temple are so beautiful and the spirit that is there is peaceful.  I am honored to hold a temple recommend so I can attend the temple, especially for weddings, which are called sealings in the temple.  The ceremony is simple and powerful!  The LDS Church believes we can be sealed to our families into the eternities, and that is expressed in the sealing ceremony.

The words "multiply and replenish the earth" are also in the ceremony.  This was a commandment given to Adam and Eve as recorded in scriptures Genesis 1:28 and Moses 2:28.  The LDS Church believes this commandment remains in force today, as described in "The Family:  A Proclamation to the World."  My DH and I are not able to live this commandment.  This is where I have some guilt about not trying to have children earlier in our marriage, before DH got leukemia. 

There are so few couples who remain active in Church who cannot have children.  I'm sure the guilt about their inability to "multiply and replenish the earth" has something to do with their becoming less active.  Because there are so few couples who have been married 10+ years without children, it is hard to find a place within the Church. 

Many people at Church compare a childless situation with that of those who have never married.  While I can understand the sadness in not being married, the Church has singles wards and activities for those who are not married.  Occasionally there is an article in the Ensign about infertility, but those stories seem to always end with parenthood.

The best reminder that came out of attending my cousin's sealing was the fact that a family is created when we are married.  You do not have to be parents to have a family!  This was what I held to so tightly when DH was sick, knowing that we are sealed for eternity made his leukemia trial bearable.

7 comments:

  1. I know of one couple in our ward dealing with infertility who became inactive for several years until they finally were able to have a baby through treatments. They are now coming to church every Sunday. I do feel like there is very little support for those with infertility in the church. I have found nothing in Logan which is why I am trying to start my own group. The church does have an adoption agency, but what about those like my husband and I who are still mourning our loss and are not ready to adopt? Another friend of mine said that they really focus on the feelings of the birth mother not so much the couple trying to adopt. I often don't want to attend church because I feel like such an outsider. We are trying to just remember that when we were married, we formed our own family. With or without children, we are a family. I have thought about this a lot and I really appreciate you sharing this post!

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    1. The only "support" for those with infertility is LDS Family Services. There is nothing built in at the ward or stake level. We were with LDS Family Services for four years. We never had a referral through them. We never felt like they were trying to help us find an adoption match. We felt pretty supported by our first SW, who helped us through our failed adoption and a couple of other matches we had in the first year. Then he switched locations, and just like wards and stakes, you're supposed to be serviced at your boundary office. We had four SW's in four years. They would barely get to know us let alone advocate for us with potential birth parents.

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  2. Yes! "There are so few couples who remain active in Church who cannot have children. I'm sure the guilt about their inability to "multiply and replenish the earth" has something to do with their becoming less active. Because there are so few couples who have been married 10+ years without children, it is hard to find a place within the Church." This happened to us, and after 14 years of inactivity, we went back when we lost our son half way through pregnancy. I still feel like we don't have a place within the church. I am becoming a hermit!

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    1. We have stayed active, but maybe not as fully as we could. We do not go to church on Fast Sunday and certain holidays or the Primary program day. While there are couples in our ward who have struggled with infertility, their resolution has been parenthood through adoption. Still in my own little place without others like me.

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  3. I'm glad I found this blog and have been thinking a lot about all of this...hence the reason for finding this blog. We lost our first and only baby to a rare disease when he was a month old, to which I'm the carrier. Because of this, we did IVF with PGD 2 times. First time ended in miscarriage and second time did not take. We are now looking into adoption options. It's just hard for me to even do anything right now because of the huge disappointments we've faced so far as we've tried to have children. I also don't like the price people put for babies and of course all the other negative things about adoption that worries me...things you sadly had to go through. Since we have moved twice since our baby died, most people in our ward don't know we ever had a kid or even that we are almost in our mid thirties. A girl not long ago asked me how many years we had been married. As soon as I said six years, she immediately asked if we were trying to have kids. I told her we had a baby that died and that shut her up...kinda awkward but of course I'm used to all the rude comments people say as you know. I don't consider myself that old, but I always feel that I'm the oldest married person without kids at church, and yes it's hard cause we don't really fit into any group. If we get invited to anything at all it's usually by newly married couples that are very surprised if they find out we are in our thirties because most of them are a whole lot younger than us. I just think a lot about is it okay to have 1 kid and feel content and not feel guilty or not feel judged. Meaning we might only have one more kid if we are lucky enough to adopt or something...or sometimes I think that maybe we won't or don't need to or should have any more kids at all.

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  4. I know this post is old, but I just wanted to tell you how much it means to me to actually find someone else who is LDS and living child free. My husband and I have been married for ten years, have been trying to have kids for seven years and have recently found peace with not having kids. I cried when I read about you not going to baby showers or the primary program or Mother's Day or baby blessings. I have been struggling with church so much, and the realization that maybe I'm not the only person that feels this way and that maybe I'm not horrible and faithless because I can't stand the Primary program is very powerful for me. Anyway, I just wanted to tell you that what you're writing means something to someone else. Thank you!

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    1. Laura - I'm so glad this post has helped you. I don't know how long I will avoid certain events. Last fall, I was asked to play the organ for a couple of songs in the Primary program, and the theme was families. It was hard. Next time, I'll ask what the theme is before saying I'll help. Best wishes to you. Jen

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