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Roe v. Wade Abortion and Mormonism Part 2

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
January 11, 2021 8:27 pm

Roe v. Wade Abortion and Mormonism Part 2

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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January 11, 2021 8:27 pm

This Sunday is Pro Life Sunday and the remembrance of the 47th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. What about Mormonism and abortion? Bill and Eric discuss.

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Answering Mormons Questions by Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson deals with 36 commonly asked questions by your LDS friends and neighbors. It's a great resource for Christians who want to share their faith with friends and loved ones.

Be sure to pick up your copy today at your favorite Christian bookstore. Viewpoint on Mormonism, the program that examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from a biblical perspective. Viewpoint on Mormonism is sponsored by Mormonism Research Ministry. Since 1979, Mormonism Research Ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect. And now your host for today's Viewpoint on Mormonism.

When it comes to the subject of abortion, should no one be more supportive of a woman's right to make choices about her own body than members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? Welcome to this edition of Viewpoint on Mormonism. I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director of Mormonism Research Ministry.

And with me today is Eric Johnson, my colleague at MRM. What I just read you was the opening line of an article written by a Mormon member named Brian Wangsgard. He wrote an article titled Why Latter-day Saints Should Support a Woman's Right to Choose. And since this Sunday is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, we felt that this would be a good time to introduce some of the arguments that Mr. Wangsgard uses in support of abortion and his encouragement that other Latter-day Saints should be just as supportive as he is. Now, personally, I think Mr. Wangsgard's argument are certainly faulty. And that's why we're discussing what he has to say, because what he is saying is not just the views that he alone holds.

We've heard others use these very arguments. I think one of the worst arguments that he uses is opening salvo when he talks about a woman's right to make choices about her own body. As I brought up in yesterday's show, when it comes to the subject of abortion, it's not her own body that's being aborted. It's another body that's being aborted. It just happens to be inside the body of the mother. And this is why I feel that this argument is certainly flawed.

Let's just make something very clear here, Bill. The human fetus is human. It has the DNA of a human. It has its own heartbeat. It has its own eye color and hair color.

It could be a different sex, as you mentioned yesterday. This is the same state all of us were in at that stage of life. And so the fetus is definitely a preborn human being. And we can know that with four points.

And this is called the sled test, the size, level of development, environment, and degree of dependency. And when you understand that, again, as human beings, we all were at that stage, at that time of our lives, so too is this human being. And so to kill an innocent human being, which is what the fetus is, is, I believe, according to the Bible, a sin. And that's the big question here, because in Mormonism, Mr. Wang's guard is arguing that there are exclusions to where an abortion is not a sin. And I would say that according to what the church teaches officially, Mr. Wang's guard is correct.

But this goes back to my premise yesterday. This is why theology matters and bad theology leads to bad actions. If Mormonism is not true regarding this subject, then that means a terrible atrocity is being committed on the life of another individual, in this case, the unborn, our most defenseless in our society. But yet Mr. Wang's guard is arguing not so much about the exceptions. And as he says, official church policy is opposed to it, except in cases of forcible, rave, serious threats to the life or health of the mother or severe fetal defects that will not allow the baby to survive beyond birth.

He's right. Those are the exceptions. According to Mormonism in an official capacity, if that's already allowed, what is Mr. Wang's guard arguing for? Obviously, he's arguing for the rest of the 97% of abortion cases, which is more for convenience. Is that really what Latter Day Saints want to believe and do?

I certainly hope the average Latter Day Saint is not like Mr. Wang's guard in this thinking. I think you can tell we're very passionate about this topic. And somebody might claim that it's not life and death. But Bill and I would both say it is life and death between having a human being be born or not be born.

I used to have a bumper sticker years ago. It said abortion, one dead, one wounded, because let's be serious, folks. Half of the people that enter an abortion clinic come out of live. Basically, that's true when it comes to the clients of an abortion clinic. But Mr. Wang's guard goes on to talk about this after citing, as we said yesterday, quoting from Abraham 5.7, which is unique Mormon scripture in the Pearl of Great Price.

What does he go on to say after that? If one rejects this idea that the spirit is joined with the physical body only at live birth and instead believes that it is resident much sooner, then what happens to the spirit in an embryo or fetus that is aborted, whether spontaneously or by choice? Let me just conclude that argument is totally irrelevant. It really is not a part of this argument.

It's an interesting question. It's one that can be discussed and debated, but it's really irrelevant as to the act that has taken place. We're not discussing where they're going afterwards.

We're talking about now. In taking the life of the unborn now, is it right or is it wrong? And notice, Mr. Wang's guard is using his bad theology to try and defend himself in saying that abortion is okay. And I have to assume, because as he's pointed out, there are exceptions in Mormon theology that he's going for the whole 97%, meaning that abortions for convenience should be okay.

He goes on and writes, the plan of salvation claims that all spirits who chose to come to earth will indeed have the opportunity to receive a physical body. But miscarriages, that is spontaneous abortions, are common. In the United States, an estimated 15 to 20 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage, generally before 20 weeks, and most before 7 weeks. Miscarriages are especially common among women who have previously given birth, with one study finding 43 percent having experienced one or more spontaneous miscarriages.

19th century Latter-day Saint women reportedly averaged 8 live births and 16.7 miscarriages. Bill, let me ask you this question. Is that apples and oranges? Absolutely. Again, it goes along with that paragraph that we looked at prior to this. It doesn't matter.

It just doesn't matter. We're not talking about that. Those are natural occurrences, which we certainly have no control over. Abortion, we do have control over. Someone has to give permission, and someone has to perform the act. And in doing so, someone is going to die.

It's as simple as that. Talking about miscarriages is totally irrelevant, a terrible argument that he's raising here, but somehow he feels that that justifies his position. He goes on and writes, And this is where bad theology leads to bad actions. I mean, again, this isn't even relevant. I mean, you can use that as an argument. And I've heard some professing Christians use that argument. Well, if all babies go to heaven, let's just abort them.

And they're safe and sanitary. I mean, that's not even relevant. I mean, you can use that as an argument. And I've heard some professing Christians use that argument. Well, if all babies go to heaven, let's just abort them.

And they're safe and sound. That's a horrible reason to give, to defend this act, because if you are, in fact, taking a human life, first of all, you're doing it without due process. You're violating the constitution of our land, much less the Ten Commandments. Our constitution says that you cannot take a human life without due process. And yet that child is being killed without due process. And if you're going to say, well, it's the product of rape, that's not the baby's fault. The baby is the product of the crime.

The person who perpetrated the crime needs to be punished, not the child. So you can see an inconsistency in that argument. And his problem is that he equates the spontaneous abortions with people who are doing abortions. Here's a letter to the editor. And I want to read a part of this because I think it's related to what this man is saying, because he's saying, well, the spirits get to go back and do it again, and they'll choose another body to take on. And he doesn't provide any biblical or Book of Mormon support or Doctrine and Covenant support.

He doesn't provide any to show that that's the case. But listen to what this writer, Beverly Terry from Salt Lake City, she wrote a letter to the editor, November 13th, 2020, page A8. And her letter was titled Disappointed in LDS Vote. And I don't want to get into the politics of it, but she comes up this point. She calls herself a member of the LDS church. She was disappointed in those who use abortion and how they would vote. And so this is one of the reasons she gives. She says, I won't vote for anyone who supports abortion.

She writes, really? And she says, which death toll are you going to accept? But you believe in a person's right to choose gun rights, mask and social not distancing rights, and yet you don't believe in a woman's right to own her own body. She says this, Mormons believe God saves all children under the age of eight, unless you think there is an exclusion clause somewhere.

Do you see what she just did, Bill? What she did is she said, well, even if it were a human being, as long as they're under the age of eight, doesn't matter because she doesn't say they're going to get a chance to go into a new body. They're going to get to go to heaven. They're going to be able to be able to go to the celestial kingdom because of the right of accountability.

You just said bad theology creates bad actions. Now, I want to bring out and now I'm speaking to our LDS listeners. There was a message that was given by Russell M. Nelson, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, back when he was an apostle. He gave this talk in April of 1985. And if you want to find this message, it was titled Reverence for Life. And it's in the Ensign magazine, May 1985. And I believe it starts on page 11. But Russell M. Nelson gave a talk on this very subject.

He calls it the War on the Unborn. Now, in an earlier show, I mentioned that Mormons have what they call modern day prophets who are to guide them in their understanding of what their scriptures say. And as we've read, Mr. Wangsgard goes to his scripture and tries to get it to say what he wants in that abortion should not be a problem with any Latter-day Saint.

But yet I want to give credit where credit is due. And I think we're pretty good in our 40 plus years of ministry to do that when it comes to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Some people say, well, you never say anything good about the church. That's not true.

That's not true. This is one of those areas where I think Russell M. Nelson needs to be commended because in this message that he gave, he gives very good and I believe sound arguments as to why abortion should not be considered. Do I think he's consistent in all areas?

No. And at the end of his talk, I'll explain why. But still, I think that this would be a good message for people like Brian Wangsgard to read, because it appears to me in this talk, Reverence for Life, that Russell M. Nelson does not agree with the position that Brian Wangsgard, or in this case, the woman who wrote that letter to the editor, Beverly Terry, I don't think she's considered what Russell M. Nelson said.

Now, again, this was back in the 1980s. I don't think Russell M. Nelson has changed his position since then. And he is a doctor, which I think gives him a little bit more credibility in this area than maybe Brian Wangsgard, who's merely a retired Air Force person. But tomorrow, we want to go through some of the points that Russell M. Nelson gave in this talk, Reverence for Life. So I hope you come back to listen to tomorrow's broadcast. Thank you for listening. If you would like more information regarding Mormonism Research Ministry, we encourage you to visit our website at, where you can request our free newsletter, Mormonism Researched. We hope you will join us again as we look at another viewpoint on Mormonism. Thank you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-06 01:13:59 / 2024-01-06 01:20:05 / 6

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