Baby The world teaches birth control. Tragically, many of our sisters subscribe to its . . . practices when they could easily provide earthly tabernacles for more of our Father’s children. We know that every spirit assigned to this earth will come, whether through us or someone else. There are couples in the Church who think they are getting along just fine with their limited families but who will someday suffer the pains of remorse when they meet the spirits that might have been part of their posterity. The first commandment given to man was to multiply and replenish the earth with children. That commandment has never been altered, modified, or cancelled. The Lord did not say to multiply and replenish the earth if it is convenient, or if you are wealthy, or after you have gotten your schooling, or when there is peace on earth, or until you have four children. The Bible says, ‘Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: … Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them. …’ (Ps. 127:3, 5.)

Ezra Taft Benson, Relief Society Magazine, December 1952, p. 793

I offer this quote as an explanation for a number of things. First, this quote is indirectly to blame for the fact that I have not updated my blog for a couple of months. After much prayer and consideration, my husband and I decided that our family was not complete. Thankfully, the Lord agreed and we will welcome our fifth child into the world at the end of the summer. I have not been able to think of anything important to say for a while since I have had a very hard time focusing on anything lately thanks to hormones, fatigue, and lack of sleep.

Second, President Benson eloquently answers the question, “Why would a 40 year old woman who already had her hands full with four wonderful children want to have another one, especially when for most of her life she thought four children was the perfect family size?” Quite simply, it just didn’t feel right. For a while I suspected that my reluctance to admit I was done was the fact that I enjoy caring for small children—Not a good reason to have another child. Babies grow up to be teenagers.

When I came across this quote a couple years ago, it touched me to the point that tears ran down my face. The thought of meeting children in the next life who could have been a part of my family but weren’t, really bothered me. What if one such spirit was placed in a family who did not want them or could not love them the way that I could have? I gave the matter a lot of thought and came to the conclusion: We were missing someone.

I’m not saying everyone needs to have a large family. I like that President Benson says: “easily provide.” A family size that is “easy” for one mother may be a nightmare for another. We need to be careful not to judge one another. The decision to have or not to have a child is between the husband, wife, and the Lord.