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Roe v. Wade Abortion and Mormonism Part 3

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
January 12, 2021 8:28 pm

Roe v. Wade Abortion and Mormonism Part 3

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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January 12, 2021 8:28 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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Mormonism 101, a book by Mormonism Research Ministries, Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson, has helped many who want to understand what separates Mormonism from the Christian faith.

Mormonism 101 is available at your favorite Christian bookstore or online at 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. 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. This Sunday is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. It was a proclamation that was given when President Ronald Reagan was in office, where the closest Sunday to the original January 22 date was deemed Sanctity of Human Life Day.

And of course, January 22 was the day when abortion basically became legal in the United States. I'm very passionate about this subject. Eric is as passionate as I am on this subject as well.

We know that it divides a lot of people, but the question is, is which side is right? We've been talking this week about how bad theology leads to bad actions. And as an example of this, we've been looking at an article that was written by a man by the name of Brian Wangsgard.

He's an Air Force veteran now retired and living in Washington, Utah. He wrote an article that was published in the Salt Lake Tribune on March 11, 2020 titled, Why Latter-day Saints Should Support a Woman's Right to Choose. And if you've been listening to the broadcast for the past couple of days, you know that we've been going through his arguments showing how many of his arguments are very faulty. And the reason why they're faulty is because he's trying to support them from what Mormon doctrine teaches. As I mentioned, most Mormons would consider themselves to be pro-life.

And many of them are, although I think LDS doctrine is certainly inconsistent, and I think if we look back on the teachings of various presidents of the LDS church throughout its history, you're going to find that there's a lot of inconsistency as well. But in yesterday's show, I introduced a conference message that was given by 17th President Russell M. Nelson. Now at the time he gave it, which was back in 1985, he was an apostle in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But this talk called Reverence for Life can be found in the Ensign Magazine, May of 1985. And in this talk, he gives what I think is a very good argument as to why abortion is wrong and should not be considered. He starts off by talking about there being a war on the defenseless and the voiceless. He says it is a war on the unborn. Now we don't have time to go through the entire talk, but if you want to read it yourself, again, Ensign Magazine, May 1985.

It's a conference edition. In this talk, Nelson makes the comment that the Lord has repeatedly declared this divine imperative. What is that divine imperative he refers to, Eric? Thou shalt not kill.

Recently he added, Nor do anything like unto it. From Doctrine and Covenants section 59 verse 6. Even before the fullness of the gospel was restored, the enlightened understood the sanctity of life. John Calvin, the 16th century reformer wrote, quote, if it seems more horrible to kill a man in his own house than in a field, because a man's house is his place of most secure refuge, it ought surely to be deemed more atrocious to destroy a fetus in the womb before it has come to light, end quote. So here, Russell M. Nelson is making the argument that taking the human life before it is born is wrong.

And that goes along with a statement that I read from Joseph F. Smith, the sixth president of the church, where he said in 1916, it is just as much murder to destroy life before as it is after birth, although man-made laws may not so consider it. But there is one, and one is spelled with a capital O, who does not take notice and his justice and judgment is sure. I'm making the case here that Mr. Wang's guard doesn't seem to agree with that statement. And it sounds like Russell M. Nelson doesn't agree with Mr. Wang's guard on this issue. Who is using the bad theology in this case? I would argue it's Wang's guard.

I think Russell M. Nelson is correct. And he makes some very good points in this piece. Nelson goes on and says, but what impropriety could now legalize that which has been forbidden by the laws of God from the dawn of time? What twisted reasoning has transformed mythical concepts into contorted slogans, assenting to a practice which is consummately wrong? He goes on to say in this talk, another sympathetic concern applies to pregnancies resulting from rape or incest.

That argument was raised by Mr. Wang's guard. Nelson said, the tragedy of this despoilment is compounded because in such relationships, freedom of choice is denied the woman who is innocently involved. But then Mr. Nelson goes on to say, but less than 3% of all abortions are performed for these two reasons, which would be, of course, for rape or incest.

The other 97% are performed for what they may be termed reasons of convenience. And I would argue that's exactly what Brian Wang's guard is arguing for in his article, why Latter-day Saints should support a woman's right to choose. He doesn't have to argue for the exceptions that his own church already gives officially.

So he's trying to, I guess you could say, notch it up a bit and say, hey, why not the rest? Well, does Nelson agree with that? No, Russell M. Nelson does not agree with this. Another contention raised is that a woman is free to choose what she does with her own body. To a certain extent, this is true for all of us. We are free to think, we are free to plan, and then we are free to do.

But once an action has been taken, we are never free from its consequences. Those considering abortion have already exercised certain choices. He goes on to say the woman's choice for her own body does not validate choice for the body of another. The expression, quote unquote, terminate the pregnancy applies literally only to the woman. The consequence of terminating the fetus therein involves the body and very life of another. These two individuals have separate brains, separate hearts, and separate circulatory systems.

To pretend that there is no child and no life there is to deny reality. Notice that Russell M. Nelson is making what I think is a very good argument and why the opening salvo that Brian Wangsgaard gives about making choices about a woman's own body are not valid in this case. Russell M. Nelson, who is a doctor by the way, he recognizes that we are talking about a completely different body. So when a woman says, my body, my choice, that is a horrible argument because the one that is going to die from that decision is not her.

It's not her body. It's someone else's body that's going to face the consequences and that's what Russell M. Nelson is talking about. So I would agree Russell M. Nelson is absolutely correct. He goes on to address another argument talking about meaningful life. It is not a question of when meaningful life begins or when the spirit quickens the body. In the biological sciences it is known that life begins when two germ cells unite to become one cell bringing together 23 chromosomes from both the father and from the mother.

These chromosomes contain thousands of genes. In a marvelous process involving a combination of genetic coding by which all the basic human characteristics of the unborn person are established, a new DNA complex is formed. A continuum of growth results in a new human being. The onset of life is not a debatable issue but a fact of science. That seems to be lost when it comes to listening to arguments from those such as Brian Wangsgard. Let's get away from the science and let's move into the emotions or even in some cases they could say let's move into our bad theology which excuses us for taking a human life because hey after all where's that spirit going to go after we kill it? According to Mormonism it gets recycled. It may come down as a human to another woman but does that make the act of abortion okay?

No it doesn't and I think this is what Mr. Nelson is trying to address here and I think he's absolutely correct and credit needs to be given in this particular case. When he talks about DNA the question is what is the DNA of an unborn child? Is it not human? It certainly doesn't have dog DNA or frog DNA.

It's human DNA. So when I hear people tell me that abortion is okay my response is usually oh so you're not in favor of complete human rights. You have exceptions for certain humans and not others. Is that a good argument especially if you claim to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? Remember I'm talking to you right now Latter-day Saint. How are you going to make your decision?

Are you going to believe a guy by the name of Brian Wangsgard or are you going to trust in your Latter-day prophet? This is one case where I say you should probably be listening to your prophet on this subject. I think it's used as a smokescreen when these exception cases are brought out and we're talking about 97 percent of all abortions being done mainly because of convenience or you can't afford the baby or whatever else. We have something called adoption and there are many couples out there who cannot have children, who would love to have children and so destroying a human being as you're calling it and I agree with you completely is the wrong thing to do and even the LDS Church would say this. So if you're a Latter-day Saint who is pro-choice I would say well you're not in line with what your leaders are teaching. Nelson goes on in this talk that he gave in 1985 to say that scripture declares that the life of the flesh is in the blood and interesting he quotes from Leviticus 17 11 here.

I wonder how he knows that that verse is translated correctly but that's a whole other argument. Abortion sheds that innocent blood. Now if you're shedding innocent blood wouldn't that be murder? Now some Latter-day Saint leaders have said it is murder. If it's murder how should that be handled in the context of Mormonism because murder is supposed to be the unforgivable sin but yet in yet in Mormonism abortion is not considered murder and it says so in their official manuals.

There is a huge inconsistency. Now this is what Mr. Nelson goes on to say quoting now from Exodus 21 22. Now as a servant of the Lord I dutifully warn those who advocate and practice abortion that they incur the wrath of Almighty God who declared if men hurt a woman with child so that her fruit depart from her he shall be surely punished. He says the church now this this is where I would certainly disagree with Nelson in this talk. He goes on to say the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has consistently opposed the practice of abortion. 100 years ago the first presidency wrote and we again take this opportunity of warning the Latter-day Saints against those practices of feticide and infanticide. Now I disagree with this statement because you can go back and look at some of the statements of early Mormon leaders and they're not consistent when it comes to the subject of abortion. They're not consistent when life begins but I would say for the most part they certainly have been against this practice and I commend Russell M. Nelson for the strength of this message and it's not that he hasn't mentioned things like this in recent years because he has but this talk that he gave back in 1985 I would say most Christians reading this talk would not have a problem with most of what he says because I think he's using very sound arguments and I would think that it would do a person like Brian Wangsgard some good if he would in this case listen to his own leaders. 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.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-05 11:14:39 / 2024-01-05 11:19:54 / 5

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