Today in church I listened to two amazing talks, by two amazing woman. The first women spoke about agency and obedience, and the second woman talked about the plan of salvation. These two talks made me think about many things and inspired me to write this blog post.
Abortion has been weighing on my heart and mind a lot recently, and it is a hot topic due to the release of multiple videos showing Planned Parenthood directors and executives discussing the selling of baby parts by The Center for Medical Progress. I am not going to discuss the contents of these videos, and this blog post is not about arguing about the validity of these videos. The point I brought them up, is because, like many others, these videos have brought this subject to the lime light. And I want to talk about it.
The first talk about agency and obedience hit me hard today, and it was like a light bulb went off in my mind. The Gospel is pro choice I thought to myself mid way through her talk. So what do I mean by that?
Agency is the ability and privilege God gives us to choose and to act for ourselves. Agency is essential in the Plan of Salvation.
The Plan of Salvation, also called the plan of happiness explains where we come from, what the purpose of life on earth is, and what is to come after death.
Obedience makes us free. The Savior taught that true freedom comes only from following Him. If ye continue in my word...and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:31–32)
From the day we are born on this Earth, we have the freedom to make our own choices. The freedom to choose how we want to live our lives. During church today we sang a hymn called Know this, That Every Soul is Free.
Know this, That every soul is free
To choose his life and what he'll be
For this eternal truth is given
That God will force no man to heaven
Freedom and reason made us men
Take these away, what are we then?
Mere animals, and just as well
The beats may think of heaven and hell
May we no more our powers abuse
But ways of truth and goodness choose
Our God is pleased when we improve
His grace and seek his perfect love.
The second line really stood out to me. To choose his life and what he'll be. We have hundreds of choices to make, each day, each week, each month, each year. Decisions do determine Destiny.
The woman who spoke first shared this story, one day she was driving home, the drive normally took her about 2 hours. A terribly storm had formed in front of her, and she was driving straight into the worst of it. The rain was pouring down so fast and hard that she felt like her car was under a waterfall. Her wiper blades were going as fast as they could, but she still could barely see anything. There was thunder and lighting, and the lighting was so close that it would blind her and the other drivers each time it struck. She was driving slowly, hoping and praying that she could make it home and not get into an accident. Everything seemed invisible, but she found the white line on the road, which was barely visible in the rain. She decided to follow that white line, because she knew it would lead her to safety. After following the white line for a long time, she noticed that she was now on an off ramp, she saw a hotel a short distance away and decided to pull over, sleep and wait out the storm.
Because she made the choice to follow that white line, she was able to safety stay on the road and find her way to a place where she could rest and wait until the storm had passed to make her way home.
As children our choices seem easy. To be nice or to be mean, to eat the cupcake or not to eat the cupcake. As children, when we do something wrong we can feel it instantly.
There is something so fascinating about human nature--the ability to feel guilt. Guilt is not something you learn from you Parents, it is an automatic trait that humans possess. When I was a young girl, my cousins were over at my house for a holiday. One of my cousins was about the same age as me, and for some reason I was annoyed by her presence in my house. She was bothering me and getting on my nerves. I instructed my little brother to throw a toy at her, because it would be funny I thought to myself. I handed my brother a toy train, and told him to aim, then fire. He threw the train, hitting her in the head. I thought I would laugh, but when she started crying I knew I had done something wrong, and so did my brother. I ran away, and hid in my room, pretending I had been doing something else.
My parents never found out that I was behind the toy train incident that day, and I was never punished by them. But my brother was. I had this guilt of making the wrong choice that I felt immediately and for many days afterwards.
"Guilt is the legitimate remorse we feel for a deliberate decision to do wrong." "Guilt is how we know we are free to choose for ourselves." "Guilt is to the spirit what the sharp protest of a twisted ankle is to the foot: it's protest is to hurt enough to stop you from crippling yourself further. It's function is to prevent more pain, not expand it." The God Who Weeps.
The plan of salvation gives us clarity on what life on earth is all about. Life on this Earth is a time to prepare to meet God. A time to be tested, tempted and tried. A time to make our own decisions, to decide to choose light and love and peace, or to choose darkness, hate, and discord. We are meant to make mistakes, we are meant to struggle. Because in our short failings, and our hardest times, our true character is more loudly shown. In those hard, scary times, will we choose good or will we fall and choose something that seems easier, that doesn't require courage, or faith, something that is "socially acceptable" or trendy. Or will we do what is morally right--something that doesn't create guilt.
It is hard to know what is wrong and what is right these days. Especially when you do not have the Gospel of Christ in your life. The society we live in tells us that good is bad, and bad is good. Drugs aren't bad, they are fun. Sex isn't sacred, it is fun. Profanity isn't bad, words don't mean anything. Porn isn't bad, it is fun and teaches you tips. Buy this, buy that, because materials make you happy. Change that, change this, because conforming makes you better. Sin is appealing. We live in a world where we have learned that we need instant gratification, through our food, our drinks, our phones, and computers. We are told that pleasure is happiness. Pleasure through drinking, through drugs, through sex. We are told that we should let our desires control us, if you have the desire to have sex, then do it. If you have the desire to get high, then smoke weed. If you have the desire to get drunk and drown out your sorrows, then drink.
I have learned that when we let our humanly desires control our lives, we are no longer free. Instead we become captive to the constant search for that next buzz. Because when looking for true happiness in the realm of pleasure, it will not last, so we are always searching for it.
We are free to make our own choices, but we do not control the consequence and outcome of that choice. So lets get real.
If you choose to have sex, consensual sex with someone you are playing with fire. The power of procreation is sacred. You have the power to create life, and it is so divinely beautiful, and it is so essential to the Plan of Salvation. When you make that choice, you are not a victim of the result. You are the culprit of the result. Pro-abortion arguments tell you that you are the victim of a foreign thing growing inside of you. They do not call them babies, they call them lumps of tissue, fetuses. They dehumanize the life that you helped create. They convince you that killing an innocent child is your choice, your right, because it is your body. They convince you that it is okay. That it is not murder. That you shouldn't have to deal with the consequences of your own actions. Abortion is similar to genocide. Deeming the developing child within inhuman, unworthy, something that nobody wants. Just like Hitler deemed Jews inhuman, unworthy of life. Just like the founder of Planned Parenthood viewed poor people, and black people. “We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.” Margaret Sanger. “The main objects of the Population Congress would be to apply a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is tainted, or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring[;] to give certain dysgenic groups in our population their choice of segregation or sterilization” A Plan for Peace by Margaret Sanger.
Abortion clinics play on the fear and anxiety of young girls who find themselves to be pregnant. No high-schooler, college student, or poverty stricken girl wants to have a child. It would be so much easier to just not have a baby. To continue on your way like nothing ever happened. To continue having careless sex. Schools do not teach youth to stay abstinent. They teach safe sex. But even if you are using condoms, and on birth control, you can still get pregnant. The only way not to get pregnant, is to not have sex. Or to get your uterus removed like what vets do to dogs, which would be ridiculous at a young age. Sexual intimacy is something that the world takes for granted. That young girls take for granted. We have sex because we think it brings us love. And we so badly want to be loved. We see sex as something we have to do in order to make that person like us. We see sex as something fun, something without consequence. It's not a big deal, just be safe, and don't get pregnant.
Sex is a big deal. And as a society we have lost the respect of sex. We have lost respect for creating life. I empathize with girls who have been caught in the lie of society--that pleasure is happiness. I empathize with girls who see no other option then to get an abortion. I empathize with girls who have been in love, and let their desires get the best of them. I empathize with girls who feel used and broken. I have been caught up in the same lies, the same feelings, and the same hurt. I know what it is like. I have lived life with no God to guide it, and I have also lived my life with God to guide it. I know both sides well.
If you are capable of choosing to have sex, then you are capable of dealing with the consequence. Having a baby is hard, having a baby is a lot of work. But having an abortion is hard too. You may justify the decision in your mind that it is okay, and that it is not wrong. That it is your body and not also the body of another human. You may say that the baby cannot feel pain, or that it isn’t human at all.
But at the end of the day, abortion ends lives.
There are options beyond abortion. There are ways to make it work. Planned Parenthood scares away girls from very real and very helpful pregnancy crisis centers by calling them fake. They aren’t fake. Many centers will give you a pregnancy test, STD testing, full womanly checkup, ultra sound, and help you make the best decision for you and your baby. Raising a child isn’t for everyone, and some girls aren’t finically or emotionally ready to raise another human being, but many other people are, and adoption makes it possible to give that child a loving family. There are groups and centers that will help prepare you for motherhood, offering classes, and even giving you some of the necessary materials that an infant require in order to grow up healthy.
Abortion is the easy way out. Abortion doesn't free you from guilt, it doesn't take away the memory, it doesn't heal you, it doesn't make life easier, it doesn't bring you out of poverty, and it doesn't make your life happier. It does take away the consequence of your original choice to have sex, and it does take away the hardship of being pregnant and giving birth. But it doesn’t make either of those two choices right.
We are all free to choose, to make mistakes, to seek after hope or misery. To add good into to world, or to add evil into the world. To help others, or to hurt others. To inspire or destroy.
The Gospel is pro-choice. Pro-making the right choice. pro-love, pro-faith, pro-hope, pro-forgiveness, pro-good, pro-family. I do not intend to make people upset or angry, or feel ashamed. I do not hate or dislike people who see things differently than me, we all have our opinions and our beliefs. The option and choice to get an abortion will never go away. Which is fine, because that gives freedom to make your own choice. I do however have a problem with a major company profiting off of taking babies lives away.
I do not hate people who have gotten abortions—I feel for them greatly. I do not even hate people who perform abortions. They believe that their cause is right, and that they are helping women. Who wouldn’t want to help women? I understand why they do what they do.
I am however sad, sad because I know there is another way. Sad because people I love choose to seek after pleasure rather than eternal happiness. Sad because of the hopelessness of the world. Sad because of hate, Sad because of the calamities of the world. Sad because I wish so very much that love could conquer all, and that faith ruled over fear.
We all believe in different things, we all have different higher powers. I can tell you that I know for sure that the Gospel of Christ has made my life better, happier, more full. It has made me wiser, and kinder, more loving, and more accepting of others. Christ is love, Christ is light, Christ is knowledge, Christ is truth, Christ is hope. Christ brings freedom, and forgiveness.
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*please do not debate and argue with me, that is not what this blog post is about. If you want to argue and debate, do it somewhere else.*
*I am not talking about abortion that is needed to save the mothers life. I am talking only about abortions that come after choosing to have consensual sex.* Sometimes a woman needs the baby removed because it would have killed both.*