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Declining Birthrates.


Connolly

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There are so many different supposed sayings that members of the attribute to Joseph Smith that in fact he never said.

Here is yet another, claimed by a reader making a comment to a Deseret News article about the declining numbers of children in the latest census figures.

The reader using the moniker "The Caravan Moves On" makes the claim

Joseph Smith once prophesied that there would come a day when virtually no one but the Latter-day Saints would want to have children.

Now this is the first time I've ever heard that particular one. Did Joseph ever make that claim? Or is it just more of the never ending lore that is perpetually repeated. I'm sure that hundreds of readers will see that particular comment and repeat it in church meetings as gospel where it will get picked up by yet others who will repeat it.

Does anyone have a source?

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There are so many different supposed sayings that members of the attribute to Joseph Smith that in fact he never said.

Here is yet another, claimed by a reader making a comment to a Deseret News article about the declining numbers of children in the latest census figures.

The reader using the moniker "The Caravan Moves On" makes the claim

Joseph Smith once prophesied that there would come a day when virtually no one but the Latter-day Saints would want to have children.

Does anyone have a source?

Well, Latter-day Saints and Liberia.

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Thanks for the info Mars.

While Madsen was very well versed about Joseph, I'm still wondering if there are any first hand accounts that J.S. actually said it (namely record of sermon or writings of Joseph) or if it was second hand information - namely (insert name of prominent church member who knew Joseph here) said that Joseph said it.

Or is this merely another mis-attributed quote along the lines of "Joseph said if you ever saw the telestial kingdom you would..." which he actually never said.

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I found the following HERE. It is about a quarter of the way down the page under Joseph Smith and Spiritual Gifts.

Joseph Smith made many prophetic statements that last to our day. Some of them seemed preposterous at the time. Lillie Freeze recalls one such. "He said the time would come when none but the women of the Latter-day Saints would be willing to bear children."

I am unsure who Lillie Freeze is but that is who appears to be the source.

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From what I've heard, LDS birthrates are greater than the population in general, but both are trending down. So we may ultimately end up at the same place:

irthrates have declined considerably among the core North American LDS membership. The average active U.S. LDS family has three children, just one more than the average non-LDS family. A fertility rate of 2.1 children per couple is required for population replacement. With only 22 percent of Latter-day Saints born to U.S. active families remaining active lifelong and another 44 percent returning to the Church after periods of inactivity, the natural growth of Latter-day Saints in the United States appears to be below the level required to sustain a stable population.

U.S. Latter-day Saints with temple marriages have higher fertility rates than those with civil marriages, and those who attend the temple more regularly have larger families than those who attend less regularly. Dr. Heaton has documented that the U.S. LDS divorce rate lags only 5 to 10 percent behind the 50 percent national average. Demographic data demonstrate that fewer Latter-day Saints follow the counsel of LDS prophets that mothers should remain at home with their children in most cases. Brigham Young University sociologist Marie Cornwall observed of U.S. Latter-day Saint women: "As a group, they have one more child than the national average, [and] are in the labor force at the same rate as other women but [are] more likely to be in low-paying jobs."

Dr. Tim Heaton reported that rates of contraceptive use between U.S. LDS and non-LDS populations are exactly the same at 80.5 percent. Obstetrician Dr. Robert Romney observed that at least 80 percent of young women seen at the Brigham Young University health center for premarital exams request some form of contraception. Although most Mormons have traditionally believed that the purpose of the nineteenth century era of polygamy was to "raise up posterity," most LDS couples today choose to limit their families to three children or fewer under far more prosperous circumstances. While birth control was heavily discouraged by LDS Church leaders during the 1960s and 1970s, this stance has been de-emphasized in recent years.

http://www.cumorah.com/index.php?target=church_growth_articles&story_id=11

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