Mormon church leaders affirmed the value of every child’s life and the evil of abortion Saturday during their annual conference in Salt Lake City.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints opposes abortion and supports the sanctity of human life.
During the church’s annual conference, held virtually this year due to COVID-19, Elder Neil Andersen urged Christians to offer “love, encouragement and, when needed, financial help” to mothers experiencing unplanned pregnancies, The Church News reports.
“Let us share our deep feelings about the sanctity of life with those who make decisions in society,” Andersen said. “They may not fully appreciate what we believe, but we pray that they will more fully understand why, for us, these decisions go well beyond just what a person wants for his or her own life.”
The AP reports Anderson condemned abortion as “evil, stark and real and repugnant,” quoting former church President Gordon B. Hinckley. He also mourned that fewer children are being born throughout the world, including in prosperous countries.
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Also speaking Saturday, children’s ministry leader Joy D. Jones emphasized that all children are valuable and encouraged parents to treasure them, according to the report.
“We value children and do all we can to combat the evils of abuse,” Jones said.
Andersen also praised mothers for sacrificing for their families.
“The women of the Church are amazing, loved and honored,” he said. “With intelligence and wisdom, you bear the burdens of your family. You love. You serve. You sacrifice. You strengthen faith, minister to those in need and greatly contribute to society.”
While abortion rates have been dropping in the U.S., nearly 1 million unborn babies still are aborted every year in the country. Since 1973, more than 62 million unborn babies have been legally aborted in America.