Selected Teachings on
Marriage is for the
Purpose of Having Children

D&C 49:15-17 (Jesus Christ)

15 And again, verily I say unto you, that whoso forbiddeth to marry is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto man.

16 Wherefore, it is lawful that he should have one wife, and they twain shall be one flesh, and all this that the earth might answer the end of its creation;

17 And that it [the earth] might be filled with the measure of man, according to his creation before the world was made.

Spencer W. Kimball (President)

The first commandment recorded seems to have been "Multiply and replenish the earth."... I have told tens of thousands of young folks that when they marry they should not wait for children until they have finished their schooling and financial desires. Marriage is basically for the family, and when people have found their proper companions there should be no long delay. They should live together normally and let the children come.

There seems to be a growing feeling that marriage is for legal sex, for sex’s sake. Marriage is basically for the family; that is why we marry—not for the satisfaction of the sex, as the world around us would have us believe. When people have found their companions, there should be no long delay. Young wives should be occupied in bearing and rearing their children. I know of no scriptures where an authorization is given to young wives to withhold their families and to go to work to put their husbands through school. There are thousands of husbands who have worked their own way through school and have reared families at the same time. Though it is more difficult, young people can make their way through their educational programs. (“Marriage is Honorable,” Speeches of the Year, 1973, p.262–63)

David O. McKay (President)

Marriage is a sacred relationship entered into for purposes that are well recognized—primarily for the rearing of a family. (Gospel Ideals, p.470)

Marriage is for the purpose of rearing families, having children. That is fundamental, and I am sorry to note a tendency even among our own people to limit the number of children in the family. I was very much interested in the following from one who has not the ideals that we have:     

"Man has concocted many theories and notions about marriage—among them the theory that each couple has the right to decide whether to have children. Regardless of theories, the chief purpose of sex and marriage is children. This is a law of human nature, which cannot be defied with impunity. A couple entering marriage without planning to have children soon is courting disaster from the beginning."

(Steppingstones to an Abundant Life, p.379)

M. Russell Ballard (Quorum of the Twelve)

Far too many people view marriage as a "couples relationship," designed to fulfill the emotional needs of adults rather than an institution for rearing children. Children are considered a choice rather than a blessing. (Campus Education Week, 19 August 2003)

Dallin H. Oaks (Quorum of the Twelve)

We are taught that marriage is necessary for the accomplishment of God’s plan, to provide the approved setting for mortal birth, and to prepare family members for eternal life. (Ensign, Nov 1993, 72)