Embryo Research Separates LDS
SALT LAKE TRIBUNE -- Thursday, August 9, 2001
Debate in the U.S. Senate over federal funding of embryonic stem cell research reveals a deep divide in personal religious beliefs and the theology of when life begins.
The five senators who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints all have come out in favor of spending federal money to study whether cells taken from embryos in the first stages of development can be used to cure such problems as heart disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, cancer and diabetes.
The Mormon senators' stand is controversial because the collection of these cells would require the destruction of excess embryos produced at fertility clinics…The Mormon senators "have helped move the debate away from right-to-life absolutism without sacrificing pro-life theology.
The LDS Church, not the Vatican, is playing the pivotal role in the struggle over stem cells," according to an analysis by Drew Clark in the Aug. 2 edition of Slate Magazine. Central to the Senate debate is the question of when life begins.
…"There is No Direct Revelation upon the subject of when the spirit enters the body," (LDS) church spokesman Dale Bills said this week.
…Church leaders have not said whether this joining of spirit and body occurs at conception or sometime later in the development of the fetus.
On the issue of embryonic stem cell research, LDS Church leaders issued a statement last month saying they had no position but added the idea "merits cautious scrutiny."
…Catholic Church, said the church's position on this issue has been consistent since at least the 1300s.
"Life begins when life begins, and that is at the moment when an ovum is fertilized with a sperm," said Cummings. "We are not left with the concept that something is there which might become a person, but a person is there in the process of becoming." Catholics have no objection to research using stem cells collected from the placenta, umbilical cord or from adults, Cummings said, but the embryo is "sacred" and must not be destroyed.
Many Jews also believe life begins when the egg is fertilized, said J. David Bleich, a rabbi and professor of Jewish law and ethics at Yeshiva University in New York City…The rabbi said the federal government should not finance work in which embryos are destroyed to collect stem cells. "The government has no business funding things that are morally offensive to huge sectors of society," he said.
Someone should point this out to the LDS church: "BEFORE I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations." Jeremiah 1:5
No Stance on Evolution
No definitive LDS stance on evolution
Deseret Morning News -- Wednesday, March 1, 2006
OREM — Despite characterizations by some Latter-day Saints that their theology eschews the theory of evolution, two LDS scientists say their church has no definitive position on whether humans evolved from earlier life forms. William Evenson and Duane Jeffery told dozens of people gathered at Utah Valley State College on Tuesday that what definitely has evolved over time is the position taken by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on the issue.
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