Policies and Announcements
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“Policies and Announcements,” Ensign, Aug. 1989, 80

Policies and Announcements

The following letter, dated 25 May 1989, was sent to priesthood leaders. It was signed by the First Presidency:

Unwed Parents

Priesthood and auxiliary leaders are again encouraged to renew their efforts to teach ward and stake members the importance of living chaste and virtuous lives. We have noted with concern an increase in the number of out-of-wedlock pregnancies.

Unwed parents should be counseled to marry and establish a family. Of course, this may not always be feasible. In the latter case, priesthood leaders should not make the parent feel that it is necessary to keep the infant as part of the repentance process or out of an obligation to care for his/her own. Placing the infant for adoption through LDS Social Services is preferred. Where LDS Social Services is not available, efforts should be made to encourage placement through a legally authorized agency.

An unwed parent who determines to keep the child should be treated with compassion and concern, and is encouraged to have the child given a name and a blessing. (See General Handbook of Instructions, 1989, page 5-1.)

Young women seventeen and older who have babies out of wedlock and who choose to keep the child should be welcomed into Relief Society. For young women under seventeen in similar circumstances, you are encouraged to review the Bulletin, 1988–1, page 1, “Young Women Who Are Pregnant Out of Wedlock.”

May you seek the guidance of the Lord when dealing with these serious and sensitive issues.