What Can Mary teach us about the pregnant unwed girl?

 

I can’t imagine a more frightening experience.  It was a time when you could be stoned for adultery.

 

If a man marries a girl who is claimed to be a virgin, and then finds that she is not, “they shall bring the girl to the entrance of her father’s house and there her townsmen shall stone her to death.” (Deut. 22:20)

 

What could happen to the pregnant unwed mother during the time Christ was born?

Mary, a virgin and conceived Christ after the angel Gabriel appeared and the spirit overcame her.

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After she became pregnant, the bible says:

 

Luke 1:39 And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda;

 

Haste;  excessive speed or urgency of movement or action; hurry.

 

Why would Mary leave in haste?  Could it be she was frightened?  Concerned?  Overwhelmed?  Fleeing for her life?

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And what of Joseph?  What could happen to a man hiding an unwed pregnant woman?

 

If a man has relations within the walls of a city with a maiden who is betrothed, “you shall bring them both out to the gate of the city and there stone them to death.” (Deut. 22:23)

 

There was so much at risk.  If there was ever a more unplanned inconvenient pregnancy in the history of the world this was it.

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Dreams, visions, angelic appearances?

A girl engaged to be married.

Pregnant before her wedding?

Who would believe her?

It would only take one to turn her in.

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What if Mary was a girl at your parish or church?  Would you take her in?  Would you gather around her?   Collect items for a poor outcast girl pregnant with child?

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Or would you turn away?  Judge her? Would you pick up a stone in anticipation?

 

And what of abortion?  What if abortion was an option for woman in that day?  What if woman were aborting their babies for gender selection, inconvenience or so they could further their education?

It would take a special woman to withstand all the pressure to keep a child under such circumstances.

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No doubt Mary was an exceptional person.  She was strong, god-fearing and full of love for her child.

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In Luke 1:28, Gabriel tells Mary in his salutation that she is “highly favored,” and in verse 30, that she “has found favor with God.” The Greek word translated highly favored means “to grace,” “to endue with special honor,” or “to be accepted.”

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So what type of person was Mary?  How was she raised?  Was she obedient?  Was she law-abiding?

 

Mary, a girl, unwed and pregnant who God found favor with.  A virgin, a believer – just a girl.

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Because a girl would bring life to the Son of God.

And what about the unwed pregnant girl of today?  What are our social norms regarding pregnancy?  No longer do we stone with rocks, but with words?  Judgement?  Gossip?  Shame?  Do we provide shelter?  Do we reach out and nurture?  Do we praise the unwed pregnant girl who instead of stepping into the shadows of abortion takes on her task and steps out into the light of life?

 

I think we have a culture problem here.  No longer should an unwed pregnant girl have to hide in shame.  The act of her becoming pregnant should be none of my concern.  That is between her and her God, but I do believe in this day a girl who becomes pregnant and chooses life when abortion is such an easy solution will be looked upon by God with favor.

 

Favor:  to grace, to endue with special honor, to be accepted.

 

It should be no surprise that in the same chapter Mary conceives her son we read the following scripture:

For with God nothing shall be impossible. (Luke 1:37)

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Written by Laura Lofgreen.  Laura is the mother of six beautiful children; 5 boys and 1 girl – all of which are named after Arizona towns.  She blogs at www.mydeartrash.com.  You can also follow her on facebook.

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Sisters, You Are Deceived

LauraDear Readers,

I’d like to introduce my guest blogger, Laura Lofgreen.  She’s been blogging for years at My Dear Trash about her love of turning trash into treasures.  If you see a resemblance to me, you’re right! She’s my daughter and a wonderful mother to six beautiful children.  She has had numerous pre-birth experiences and has strong feelings about motherhood and its importance. I am happy to have her share her perspective about choice on my blog. 

Love,

Sarah

 

laurawithsonMy beautiful sisters, women from all around the world, you are truly amazing.

I love you.  You are amazing in your own right.  Your smile is contribution enough and makes this world a better place, but beautiful sister, if you think abortion is right, you are deceived.

I’m not writing this to take away your power of choice. I’m writing this because your child is the most precious gift you will ever have in this life.

Don’t let the monsters of society convince you that your child, made of your DNA, that perhaps has your cute turned-up nose or maybe your red hair is not worth keeping.

You will study your child’s face more than any of the greatest paintings painted by the greatest painters in the world.  The detail of your baby’s lips or color of his cheeks is unmatched.  The sound of your child’s laughter will be more beautiful to you than the most acclaimed and honored music you will ever hear.  His distinct cry will cause you to move mountains.  You will work harder than any college or university could convince you to every work.  You will ache and bleed, you will be sleep-deprived and exhausted but you will find the energy to go on in the beauty of your child’s existence because their life becomes your life.  There is no place you could ever travel to learn the meaning of live more than that of your own child’s existence.

CanyonnewbornSisters, if you think a child does not feel pain while being aborted, you are deceived.  This point of the abortion debate cannot be disputed.  The pro-choice movement will try to convince you of this, but if there was every an instance to give your child the benefit of the doubt, it is now. “Will my baby feel pain?” is the number one question a woman asks before having an abortion.  Planned Parenthood tells woman a baby does not feel pain until 28 weeks into development but this is a lie.  My baby was born at 37 weeks and 4 days.  Shortly after he was born he cried out.  Why?  Because he felt the pain of hunger.  This is a simple human instinct we all have.  Later, I carefully trimmed my newborn son’s nails and when I pulled the tiniest of hangnail he winced and cried out in pain.  A hang nail, sweet sisters.  A tiny piece of skin pulled away from his body caused him to cry.  When I take him outside, I shade his face from the bright noon day sun.  You see, he winces and turns away from the discomfort of the bright light.  Like me, he has comforts and discomforts.  Do not for a minute believe an aborted baby does not feel pain.

Sisters, if you think you will not feel regret after an abortion you are wrong.  I have felt regret over far less significant experiences than abortion.  Regret is a terrible burden to carry.  Abortion and regret are a heavily intertwined chain wrapped up in the death of life.  Once a life is gone, it is gone forever.  Although I do believe a soul lives on, no amount of correction or time can ever bring that child back in that mother’s womb at that significant time and place.  I do believe in forgiveness.  I never judge a woman who has had an abortion.  Never!  There is redemption.  I feel many women who have abortions have been deceived, but no more.  Stand up.  Do not let the monsters take your precious child.

LaurascooterSisters, if you believe your baby is your choice you are deceived.  A choice is an idea.  A choice does not breathe or smile.  A choice is an event that leads you down a path.  You cannot hug your choice at night when you are scared. You cannot kiss your choice or hold its hand.  The concept of choice does not entitle us to hurt others. Never have I heard a felon use the argument of choice in his murder trial.  Your child is so much greater than a choice.  Be bigger than yourself.  Be a hero.

This child is yours and yours only.  There is nothing on this earth worth more than the child you can create.  Fight like a tiger.  Roar like a lion.  “You cannot have my child.”  “Keep your bloody hands off my precious baby!”  Can you imagine a mother freely handing her child over to a sharp-toothed vicious monster whose only intent was to kill that child?  A monster who had no mercy if her child cried out.  It would be ludicrous, yet we have allowed ourselves to believe it is better to give our babies to a monster who will show absolutely no mercy than to keep him or her nurtured and protected in the safety of our care.

Many of us have seen the horrors of terrorism.  We’ve seen nightly news casts of videos with terrorists holding innocent people as ransom.  With see the family’s plea to release their loved one.  We see the plea of those begging for life right before death is inflicted on them.  We ourselves cry out for those lost in the hands of terrorism.  “Please have mercy, show compassion,” yet these terrorists are without feeling.  They no longer feel the pain of others.  I often consider an unborn child’s plea before his or her life is taken.  They cannot speak.  They cannot cry or scream.  They cannot plead or beg.  There death is done in darkness.  There death is shamed into a web of secrets and regret.

LauraLofgreenfamilyMy dear sister, if you believe your baby is not a baby you are deceived.  A baby is so much more than a baby.  A baby is a small human being with inherent potential to make a difference in this world.  Before you know it, your baby will start growing up.  A baby will hold your hand as she crosses the street.  A baby grows so fast from newborn to infant to toddler.  Only weeks after birth a baby will share his or her first smile.  A baby will laugh when you tickle them.  They respond to your voice when you sing them a lullaby.  They become part of your identity almost immediately after birth.  It’s almost impossible to believe it’s a real baby growing inside you, but it is.  Your pregnancy creates a life so pivotal in your own development.  You will find the answers to some of life’s greatest challenges in the throws of parenthood.

My dear sister, if you think because a baby is so small/tiny/underdeveloped it is not entitled to life you are deceived.  I have often thought of how baby animals in our world survive after birth.  Rarely does a mother animal leave her baby, but if it is in her biological make up to abandon her baby, that baby usually has some sort of defense mechanism to protect itself.  So what about human babies?  What is there defense mechanism of protection?  They don’t have sharp teeth, high-pitched shrills or the ability to swiftly run/swim away.  In my view, there only defense is their tininess.  Something in the human heart comes alive when we see a tiny helpless creature in need of our care.  I recently watched a video of tiny baby hummingbirds.  They had been abandoned and somebody found them chirping desperately in their little nest.  On this video, they are being fed through a tiny straw.  The survival instinct, their little desperate attempts to feed; it brought tears to my eyes.  A tiny human baby will instinctively pull at our heart strings unless we are deceived it is not pro-woman to do so.  Why is a woman weak if she chooses life? Isn’t keeping the baby the stronger of the choice?  Isn’t it more noble?

SarahanddaughtersThe pro-choice movement claims to be feminist.  The feminist movement says we can do anything we want to do.  Not only can we burn our bras, but we can hold any position a man can.  We can be president of successful businesses and of the United States of America, but according to the pro-choice movement we can’t raise our own baby.  There is a double standard here that is incredibility hypocritical.

My dear sister, if you believe pro-life is a religious issue you are deceived.  Prolife is a humanitarian issue.  True, most humanitarian aid in the world is done through religious organizations and/or churches.  Operating/funding orphanages, feeding starving children, helping the poor, building communities destroyed through natural disaster; these necessary charities are primarily funded through people of faith.  There are many good religions.  Moral ideals are taught like humility, faith, gratitude and honesty.  People of faith are taught to love their neighbor.  They are taught to serve and reach out to others.  Because these ideals are taught through religion does that make them in opposition of separation of church and state?  Much to their advantage, evil does not have a church but the teaching of abortion is its own religion.  It is an ideology taught out of fear, regret, sexual immorality and shame.

paysonholdingcanyonThe prolife message might be:

Babies are love

Babies are a blessing

Choose life

Love, life and blessing can be viewed as religious words so the pro-life movement is accused of forcing religious beliefs.  Quite the contrary.  Moral ideals are good in any category.  The bible teaches not to murder.  When a man commits murder and we punish him are we doing it out of religious conviction?  When a man steals or is dishonest is it a religious issue?  No, he is condemned out of moral conviction.  Without morals good natured ideals are impossible to teach.  Morals are intertwined with religion.  Evil teachings are not intertwined with religion, so bad concepts and poor choices receive a free pass in our society.  In my teenage son’s school, a student cannot pray but they can use profanity all they want without consequence.  Prayer is deemed religious whereas profanity is not.  Let’s not confuse good with bad just because good is associated with religion.

Lauralofgreenfam2My dear sister, if you think a baby is an unfortunate consequence of sex you are deceived.  Procreation is the primary reason for sex.  In the animal kingdom are animals having sex for pleasure?  Sex is part of humanity to keep the human race going.  Sex for pleasure is a wonderful thing, but pregnancy is one of the many benefits of sex.

For those of you that are pro-choice, I’m not writing this to take away your power of choice, I promise you that. I’m not here to be right or win a debate.  If you have had an abortion, I hold no animosity towards you.  I love all my sisters around the world and support you whatever stage of life you are in.  All I want is this:  If there is a young girl out there considering abortion, she has the right to know her baby is rightfully hers along with all the joy, love and potential. 

Do not believe the lies.  Society’s message to be a strong woman does not mean you need to throw your baby away.  A strong woman loves.  A strong woman makes choices that protect others.  A strong woman recognizes her body was designed to create life.  Instead of living in fear of the “what-if’s”, live in the knowledge that by having your baby you are a true hero.  You are a hero for life.

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Still the First Day at World Congress of Families

It’s still the first day!  This morning of The World Congress Families IX, Elder Russel M. Ballard, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gave the keynote speech. Elder Ballard was very bold about declaring the beliefs of our faith and he emphasized that the family is the beginning and the fulfillment of God’s plan, because the family goes right on into eternity.  We are His spirit children–mortality starts with a family. The most important system in our society is the family.

He presented a video of a group of beautiful little children singing a song I have not heard, I Lived in Heaven. ( I was touched by the song for many reasons, one of them being I have a book titled, We Lived in Heaven). The song was about our home in heaven with God before we were born.  I sat next to a very friendly Catholic priest who turned to me during the song and said, “Wow, I never knew that I was a child of God–awesome!”

It is such an honor just to be here!  It fills us with gratitude to be surrounded with so many like-minded people from around the world, many in the clothing of their homeland, all standing up for faith and family.

Soon Brent and I ventured out to our booth, which was made available to us in a miraculous way just a few days ago.  I was just planning to walk around and ask people if they wanted a book, but there it was when I arrived to the Grand Ballroom of The Grand America Hotel, a booth with my name on it, right next to the door of the ballroom. Amy on staff of the World Congress of Families called me Thursday afternoon and offered the booth to me, as a gift for sharing my books. I have learned that our Heavenly Father expects us to step out and do as His Spirit directs us, even if we don’t know how every detail will work out. President Ezra Taft Benson said, “Send your bread out on the waters, and God will send it back to you toasted and buttered.”

It was a wonderful blessing to have Brent with me today.  We met so many wonderful people from around the world, and his help made the visits really fun.  We reached over half again as many people than I could have reached alone.

I loved the women at Big Ocean Women.  They were right across from me–women from all over the world standing up for faith, family and motherhood.  We hugged and I told them that I was so proud of them. They went to the United Nations in March during the International Week for Women and shared their love for women of the world.  Big Ocean Women stood out as happy women in their roles of wife and motherhood and received quite a lot of excellent press.

And finally, a story of a miracle waiting to happen.  I emailed our friend Dale Gwilliam and told him that I wish I could find someone to drive books hot off the press from Mesa to Salt Lake City.  I was afraid I would not have enough books for people who wanted a copy of The Castaways. He put a post on his Facebook page and shared my post, where I offered to pay for someone’s gas if they would drive them up to me. Within less than  24 hours, a friend of Dale’s volunteered to do it. Amazing!  So grateful for such wonderful kindness!

More later—
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Project Rachel at the World Congress of Families

I’m here at the World Congress of Families being held in Salt Lake City, Utah.  To start the conference, children marched in with the flags of their countries.  This was such a perfect spiritual beginning I couldn’t help but think of our dear castaways; it felt as if they were here in spirit.  I’ve had the opportunity to gift my new book, The Castaways: Real-Life Accounts of Aborted Souls, to many people in attendance.

 

Sarah with Vickie Thorn, founder of Project Rachel

Today I also had the privilege of meeting Vickie Thorn, founder of Project Rachel, an amazing organization whose purpose is to empower women to heal from abortion as well as to encourage women to choose life for their unborn child.  Project Rachel’s website, www.hopeafterabortion.com is a beautiful site!  Their ministry is stated right on their home page: “It’s normal to grieve a pregnancy loss, including the loss of a child by abortion. It can form a hole in one’s heart, a hole so deep that sometimes it seems nothing can fill the emptiness. You are not alone….”  Their logo expresses the essence of real healing. “Project Rachel: Peace starts here.”

Project Rachel is devoted to hope and healing, and offers many resources for the grieving survivors of abortion. I hope you’ll visit their site! There really is hope after abortion.

 

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