What Do Mormons Believe About Abortion?

“We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan.”
—The Family: A Proclamation to the World

Years ago I was in Salt Lake City for a conference of members of our church. Picketing outside the conference center were opponents of our faith who proclaimed, among other things, that we ought to shun abortion. This puzzled me, because we openly teach that abortion is, simply put, wrong.

As a physician, I can’t help but use the opportunity of this post to clarify the term abortion. Medically, an abortion is essentially any termination of a pregnancy before the fetus can survive outside the womb. This includes spontaneous abortions, commonly known as miscarriages. Of course Mormons do not consider a spontaneous abortion to be morally wrong. The type of abortion we are concerned with in this discussion is an elective abortion, or one that is performed to kill and remove a fetus that has not yet died on its own.

As I think back on the group protesting our stance on abortion, perhaps they protested the fact that we do not have an absolute prohibition on elective abortion. There are instances in which a member can perform an elective abortion and remain in good standing in the church, such as forced rape or when a physician determines the life of the mother is at risk or the baby will not survive beyond birth. Even in these circumstances, it is a weighty decision that parents should not take lightly.

We believe that life is sacred. Abortion is the willful ending of a very new life, and God will hold all accountable who choose to destroy life in this manner.

Question Box: The Mormon Bible

From the question box: Does the Mormon Bible have the book of revelation in it?

Short answer: yes.

Our church has four officially canonized books of scripture, of which the Bible is one. We use and love the Bible because it is a book that contains revealed truth about God and Jesus Christ. No other book in our canon is referred to as a “Bible”, so when you say “the Mormon Bible”, you are really talking about the same Bible used by any other Christian church. In that sense, our Bible has the book of Revelation in it just like any other Bible does.

However, when somebody refers to “the Mormon Bible”, we assume they mean The Book of Mormon, which is another book in our canon of scripture. It is the testimony of Jesus Christ as recorded by a branch of the house of Israel that emigrated from Jerusalem before the Babylonian captivity. It contains many great truths, prophecies and testimonies of Jesus Christ, but it does not have the Revelation of John referred to in the question.

For more information as well as a discussion of our other books of scripture, you can follow the links below:

More Than the Bible?

The Book of Mormon: The Mormons’ Bible?

The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ

What Do Mormons Believe: Spiritual strength

“Spiritual strength is essential to a person’s temporal and eternal well-being. Church members grow in spiritual strength as they develop their testimonies, exercise faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, obey God’s commandments, pray daily, study the scriptures and the teachings of latter-day prophets, attend Church meetings, and serve in Church callings and assignments.” 1

“Nirina J-Randriamiharisoa of Madagascar currently lives in France while she pursues her education. When she first arrived, she struggled with loneliness and homesickness. ‘I sought for solace through prayer, scripture reading, and the gentle whisperings of the Holy Spirit,’ says Nirina. ‘These things brought me closer to Heavenly Father and the Savior, and I felt peace.’

“In time Nirina made friends and participated in activities within and outside the Church and found happiness. But then some tragic news from home shook her world. ‘One morning I received a message telling me that my brother had died. I had no idea I could feel such sadness. In the days and weeks that followed, I struggled through moments of loneliness, anger, and despair. Doing even the most basic things became serious challenges.’

“A few months later, a close friend also passed away. The added sorrow increased Nirina’s already-heavy burden. For just a moment Nirina considered not attending church, but then she remembered that the same things that had buoyed her in her earlier difficulties could bolster her now.

“‘As I had when I first moved to France, I sought comfort in prayer, scripture reading, and the Holy Ghost. Through this I discovered more strongly that the Spirit and the doctrine of eternal families can bring us comfort and that the Atonement of Jesus Christ has a real effect in our lives,’ she says. ‘Whatever trials we face, there are no ‘dead ends’ with the Lord. His plan is a plan of happiness.” 2

“A strong testimony gives peace, comfort, and assurance. It generates the conviction that as the teachings of the Savior are consistently obeyed, life will be beautiful, the future will be secure, and there will be capacity to overcome the challenges that cross our path. A testimony grows from understanding truth distilled from prayer and the pondering of scriptural doctrine. It is nurtured by living those truths with faith anchored in the secure confidence that the promised results will be obtained.” 3

For more information on self-reliance and provident living, see Providing in the Lord’s Way: Summary of A Leader’s Guide to Welfare, available in many languages at providentliving.org .


What Do Mormons Believe: Finances

Members of the church are encouraged to wisely manage their finances. Leaders of the church have said:

“We urge you to be modest in your expenditures; discipline yourselves in your purchases to avoid debt. …

“If you have paid your debts and have a financial reserve, even though it be small, you and your family will feel more secure and enjoy greater peace in your hearts.” 1

“All of us are responsible to provide for ourselves and our families in both temporal and spiritual ways. To provide providently, we must practice the principles of provident living: joyfully living within our means, being content with what we have, avoiding excessive debt, and diligently saving and preparing for rainy-day emergencies.” 2

“Successful family finances begin with the payment of tithes and offerings. When members put the Lord first, they are better able to care for themselves and others. Another part of successful financial management involves knowing your income and expenses and controlling money rather than letting it control you.” 3

For more information, visit the Family Finances section of providentliving.org or refer to the pamphlet All Is Safely Gathered In: Family Finances. 

From this site:


What Do Mormons Believe: Family home production and storage

Members are encouraged to store a basic supply of food, water and finances. This council is outlined in a pamphlet produced by the church titled “All is Safely Gathered In.” From the pamphlet:

“Our Heavenly Father created this beautiful earth, with all its abundance, for our benefit and use. His purpose is to provide for our needs as we walk in faith and obedience. He has lovingly commanded us to ‘prepare every needful thing’ (D&C 109:8) so that, should adversity come, we may care for ourselves and our neighbors and support bishops as they care for others.

“We encourage Church members worldwide to prepare for adversity in life by having a basic supply of food and water and some money in savings.

“We ask that you be wise as you store food and water and build your savings. Do not go to extremes; it is not prudent, for example, to go into debt to establish your food storage all at once. With careful planning, you can, over time, establish a home storage supply and a financial reserve.

“We realize that some of you may not have financial resources or space for such storage. Some of you may be prohibited by law from storing large amounts of food. We encourage you to store as much as circumstances allow.

“Build a small supply of food that is part of your normal, daily diet… Store drinking water for circumstances in which the water supply may be polluted or disrupted… Establish a financial reserve by saving a little money each week and gradually increasing it to a reasonable amount… For longer-term needs, and where permitted, gradually build a supply of food that will last a long time and that you can use to stay alive.” (All is Safely Gathered In, pamphlet, 2007)

“This new [home storage] program is within everyone’s grasp. The first step is to begin. The second is to continue. It doesn’t matter how fast we get there so much as that we begin and continue according to our abilities.” H. David Burton, “Family Home Storage: A New Message,” Ensign, Mar. 2009, 60.