Friday, February 11, 2011

Surgical Sterilization (Including Vasectomies)

I was horrified this week to find out that a member of the bishopric in one of my wards has had a vasectomy.  When I met with him and his wife they admitted to having done this without consulting church leaders.  They said they had felt good about the decision as they prayed about it.

Wanting to get to the root of the problem I asked them where the idea came from.  They felt that with 1 year old twins and 3 other children at home they couldn't afford and didn't have the space for more.  Frankly I am disappointed at their lack of faith.  As prophesied Satan is deceiving the very elect.

The handbook of instructions is clear on this subject. In the section entitled Surgical Sterilization (Including Vasectomy) it states the following:
"The Church strongly discourages surgical sterilization as an elective form of birth control."

I don't see how someone can claim to feel good about doing something that the Church strongly discourages. 

The handbook goes on to clarify that surgical sterilization should be considered only if medical conditions jeopardize life or if someone is mentally incompetent and not responsible for his or her actions.

I asked them if they had any medical conditions and they confirmed to me that they have kept the word of wisdom all their lives and have therefore been blessed with good health.  I then asked them if they considered themselves mentally unstable in any way which they do not. 

The handbook goes on to state that "persons responsible for this decision should consult with each other and with their Bishop".  Because they failed in this regard I felt I should temporarily withhold their temple recommends while they go through the repentance process.  The brother will not sit on the stand as a bishopric member during this time but I will not release him if he sincerely repents.  It breaks my heart.  Church leaders have to make such difficult decisions sometimes.  

36 comments:

Alan Rock Waterman said...

I myself had a vasectomy performed on my Balzac back sometime in the '90's, but I claim mental incompetence.

Stake Pres. said...
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Michael S. Keeney said...
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Stake Pres. said...
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Clint L. said...

It is indeed disturbing to see someone using their free-agency so blatantly without going through the proper channels.

Although this man will still have much to answer for in regard to his sin against procreation, at least now he has a chance to repent of the greater sin of not be subject to the proper Church authorities.

Michael S. Keeney said...
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Stake Pres. said...
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Lisa said...

This can't be for real.

Goldarn said...

If Margaret had decided she'd done enough, the Harold B. Lee wouldn't have become prophet before Spencer W. Kimball. Also, Pres. Lee wouldn't have ignored the clear voice of the Lord to open up the Priesthood to the formerly less-worthy-in-the-preexistence black members, and the Lord wouldn't have had to remove him rather than have him lead the church astray. It's very sad, really.
Fortunately we have the later prophets to show the correct way.

Cindy said...

Your members are fortunate to have a leader who is so dedicated to the doctrine of ungodliness.

I pray that you may also be reminded of God's warning in terms of your own ungodliness as well:

"Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more. By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will confess them and forsake them." - D&C 58:42-43

"Eternal life hangs in the balance awaiting the works of men. This process toward eternal life is a matter of achieving perfection." (Spencer W. Kimball, Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 208)

"And I say unto you again that he cannot save them in their sins; for I cannot deny his word, and he hath said that no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore, how can ye be saved, except ye inherit the kingdom of heaven? Therefore, ye cannot be saved in your sins." - Alma 11:37

Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. - Romans 3:19-20

"Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God." - Moroni 10:32

"And all they who receive the oracles of God, let them beware how they hold them lest they are accounted as a light thing, and are brought under condemnation thereby."

Stake Pres. said...
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Rich said...

So basically a couple could be healthy and vigorous for many years. By their forties they could easily have 20 kids. And I know several couples that fit this category so we are talking about mountains of kids. Now we have huge families that can not support themselves financially and must then turn to the church for help. But realizing that the important thing here is to keep having kids as long and as many as you can in good health. So the Church as a whole should then step in to help with its resources, these are good temple qualified members after all. And then lets multiply this by who knows how many people because I could see the number being rather large. At some point the church and its members are going to be in complete poverty because this can't be upheld. Of coarse the decision to have children is made between a couple and the Lord as long as that answer doesn't go contrary to the handbook that only a few select people have access to. I just have a really hard time following your reasoning here and holding someone out of the temple for a vasectomy doesn't seem right. I don't have access to the handbook so I don't know all the particulars but I have never heard of this before. How do I know what parts of my personal life need to be freely discussed with my bishop? Not the ho many decision but the how to go about stopping the kid production surely is? No one teaches this and we find out when through the rumor mill a story gets back to our Stake Pres and when I go to have my recommend signed I instead end up in repentance for a personal decision about my family? Makes me wonder what else I'm going to be surprised with from the handbook that isn't told to anyone except those who have the handbook.
We may not have many of the sins and weaknesses that average members have, but we still sin all the same.
That is a pretty arrogant statement by the way, from the standpoint of an average member with many great sins and weaknesses

Julie said...

This is obviously a tongue in cheek type blog. Offensive, as well. What is the point?? Why do you wish to deceive and stir up trouble?

angela said...

Unfortunately Stake Pres. Paternoster is getting his information from the church and has chosen to negatively highlight some of the skeletons in our closet. We can not blame him that they exist even if it feels unfair. It is not him who wrote the church handbook of instructions and his quotes from it and of our past leaders are not forgeries. Most members have enough sense not to treat this church like a cult but unfortunately there are some who get sucked into the adrenaline of power callings such as our dear Mr. Paternoster and forget what Christ really stood for.

Anonymous said...

I am horrified by this entire blog. Please refer to the 2011 handbook on pages 184-185 regarding the proper use of the internet. "...when members use the internet for purposes other than Church callings (which this site is doing), they should understand that the message they give is personal. They should not give the impression that they represent or are sponsored by the Church." Also refer to page 190 relating to Statements Attributed to Church Leaders. In direct response to this topic, church members are counseled that family planning is left to the couple and the Lord. Yes, the decision to have a sterilization procedure is major and the couple will be responsible for their decision. I believe that the phrase "medical conditions seriously jeopardize life or health" can certainly refer to mental health. The lady in the article had already had 5 kids - what about her mental health and her physical ability to care for more children? If the couple felt impressed to speak to their Bishop, good for them. No where does it say that this decision is the cause for Church disciplinary measures. How dare you withhold a Temple recommend from a couple trying to take care of 5 children, who obviously felt that they had reached their maximum? Are you seriously threatening someone about the return of polygamy and "a nice young bride."? There are many happy successful marriages that are not based on the ability to reproduce. What a patronizing pompous leader to lament about the making of difficult decisions in his position, but yet gives very little regard to the difficult decision made by someone who feels they have enough children. I have heard of someone abusing the power of his calling, but have never witnessed such a public, show-off display of this tragedy. I pity those who live in your Stake. In fact, I pity them enough to locate where you serve and make sure your Area President is aware of your inflammatory, arrogant demeanor.

Anonymous said...

By the way, I leave the previous post anonymous because I would hate for Mr.Paternoster to "find out" any information about me (like the poor Bishop in this post) that he feels necessitates a blog post on this ridiculous website.

Sue said...

I can't believe that a Stake President would publicly out one of his flock. What does the handbook say about violating such a sacred trust?

For me what you have done Mr. Paternoster renders you untrustworthy.

Stake Pres. said...
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Anonymous said...

If this is actually a "real" blog...you seriously need to seek professional help i.e. please see your area president or mental health professional. If this is supposed to be "joke" blog...you seriously need to seek professional help. You are either very offensive at being a leader in the church or just offensive. Get over yourself already!

Anonymous said...

I think it's great that President Paternoster is so dedicated to his calling in helping the members of church understand the position of our leaders. Sure it would have been easier for him to just look away and ignore his responsibilities when ever an uncomfortable situation came up but he did not. Maybe through this blog others can avoid making the same mistake this man did.

Sis. Daniels

Anonymous said...

I think it's great that President Paternoster is so dedicated to his calling in helping the members of church understand the position of our leaders. Sure it would have been easier for him to just look away and ignore his responsibilities when ever an uncomfortable situation came up but he did not. Maybe through this blog others can avoid making the same mistake this man did.

Sis. Daniels

diogenes said...

Sister Daniels,
I appreciate your sweet spirit, but I couldn't help notice that you repeated your above post twice. I would refer you to President Pasternoster's post called "Endless Meetings" where in his conclusion he speak of correcting our wives in various ways--including constantly repeating ourselves. I trust that you would welcome my noticing of this mistake so that it will not be repeated again. As Elder Packer taught us there is "A Proper Order of Things" and while women are allowed to comment on the internet it would be more orderly (according to the order of Heaven) to avoid vain "repetitions."
I am sure that you will this correction in the spirit in which it is intended. The more we focus on the little things the more we will approach a real zion.

Anonymous said...

LOL, not sure why that happened.

Sis. Daniels

Dave said...

It is very alarming how careless this site is. Your picture and so many details (twins!!) defies the true spirit of confidentiality. My experience tells me that sadly a lot of suffering souls are waiting for you to be released before they feel they can truly repent. I'm sorry, but it seems that you don't understand the most basic important trait it takes to be a clergyman. Trust. (Part of me thinks you have to be a disgruntled member or former member, likely one that was wronged by a less than stellar stake president.)

Anonymous said...

I've read several of your blog posts, I highly doubt you are a true stake president. It is clear to me you are someone with some sort of agenda to cause hurt and pain. No real stake president would be as judgmental as you, nor would one be as self-righteous. A real stake president is a humble follower and disciple of Christ, and is not someone who seems to thrive on condemning the members of his stake. And a real stake president would never violate temple reccomend interviews the way you have done. A real stake president loves his sheep, you just seem to be determined to judge your sheep as well as to condemn them. I just hope you do not cause harm to those who see your blog and think you are a real stake president.

Stake Pres. said...
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Anonymous said...

Hey Wanna-be-pres. - set down the pipe and get help. You need to get off the crack/weed/meth or whatever lights your fire; get over your damaged ego and go get some help. You have entered the delusional stage and you need help. For the sake of everyone around you- go get some mental help. Apparently no one around you can say it but I will...Get over your hurt ego, get over whatever petty disagreement you had in the past and seek professional help!

P.S. I post this anonymously because I think you are a danger to society.

Anonymous said...

FAIL! Once again (delete me quick I dare you), I counsel you to seek help. You are suffering from some past issues and you need to get over yourself. You are hurting people around you with your strange behavior and delusions of being someone with authority. Please put down the pipe/weed/crack/meth and seek professional help.

Stake Pres. said...
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richard dandelion said...

These comments are what happens since we quit teaching Latin in high school. Nice sobriquet, prez. :-)

Jacques Straap said...

I have diagnosed panic disorder and dysthmia. My wife and I have four small children and are struggling to provide temporally, emotionally, and spiritually. My wife takes birth control pills but they are causing some depression as well as migraine headaches. We have tried to space out the children in the past by using condoms but that didn't work. While we love our children to death but we struggle when contemplating more kids. Do you think we lack faith? Do I lack faith because I have mentall illness?

Stake Pres. said...
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Surgical instrument sterilization said...

Hi,

Sterilization is a surgical technique leaving a male or female unable to procreate. It should be considered only if medical conditions jeopardize life or if someone is mentally incompetent and not responsible for his or her actions. Thanks a lot...

Alan Runner said...
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Robert Gomez said...

I had a patient in vasectomy in north carolina. He said that it helped him make up his mind to go through with one. So FYI - even after over 6 years - your old Snippets article is still helping guys out. Well done.

Lauren Mehrbrodt said...
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