Monday, March 9, 2015
AUBREY asked: What does the church think about pregnancy before marriage?
I actually feel pretty qualified to answer this question because I was 4 months pregnant with Gracie when Daniel and I got married.
Like most religions, we believe in waiting for that physical aspect of a relationship. Because we had sex before marriage, we broke The Law of Chastity.
What is the Law of Chastity? Well the basics of it are:
We are to have sexual relations only with our spouse to whom we are legally married. No one, male or female, is to have sexual relations before marriage. After marriage, sexual relations are permitted only with our spouse. (1)
Obviously, when someone has sex there is a 50/50 shot of that turning into a pregnancy. (For example, one Grace Elizabeth Rice.) It's not that we got pregnant before marriage, it's that we had sex before marriage. Just because I got pregnant doesn't mean I sinned more than someone else who had sex but didn't get pregnant. The sin is the same.
Because we broke the Law of Chastity, we had to go through a repentance process. We couldn't take the sacrament which bothered me the most. Taking the sacrament is a weekly reminder of the promises we made to our Heavenly Father and it always makes me feel renewed in those promises, and made me feel like I was on the right track.
We also had to have meetings with our Bishop, and we weren't allowed to get married in the temple. We didn't have our temple recommends at the time but if we had, we would have had those taken away for awhile as well. Which seems harsh, but it makes sense. If you break the rules you don't get the rewards from following them and being able to go into the temple is a mighty big reward.
Our probation lasted a long time. We started the repentance process in November of the previous year, Grace was born in May and we didn't get off probation until a few weeks before we blessed her in August. It took a very long time, and I know some people's repentance process doesn't last that long. Each situation is individually prayed about and your Bishop does what he thinks is best for you. It was definitely hard for us to go through that, it was a weekly reminder that we broke one of the Lord's rules, and while we were grateful to have Gracie, not being able to fully participate in church really stunk and I felt like I couldn't be the person I wanted to be IN the church because of it. Let's just say, when our repentance process was complete, boy howdy was I grateful!!!!
Now looking back, I am grateful for that long of a process. I think the Bishop knew exactly what he was doing. Daniel and I had a lot of growing up to do and not being able to take the sacrament was a reminder of how far we had come but we still kept in mind how far we had to go. It was our reminder to grow up. I like to think it worked.
I also know that The Law of Chastity has a different meaning in our house than in others. We will have to explain to Gracie one day that we broke it when she was conceived. We will have to explain to her how IMPORTANT it is to keep that covenant with God while trying to tell her how guilty we feel for breaking it, but that it doesn't mean we are ashamed of her. It will be a tricky line we will have to walk with her. I am mad at myself for creating that situation for her, but I pray it will just make her stronger in her convictions.
Hopefully, we will have raised her enough by that point, that she knows that everyone makes mistakes. No one on this earth is perfect. But that our Heavenly Father has given us a Plan of Salvation (2) that lets us make those mistakes, grow from them, learn from them, repent for them, and find our way back to Him again.
(2) https://www.lds.org/topics/plan-of-salvation ___________________________________________________________________________________________
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