A former President and Prophet of the LDS Church, Joseph Fielding Smith, taught “The time of quickening is when the mother feels the life of her unborn infant.” In other words, the LDS Church has no official statement on when life begins, although obviously it is sometime between conception (including the moment of) and birth. If, as Mormons, we are to say “We don’t know when life begins” then we surely take the route of erring on the safe side and assuming that it might begin at conception. It is my belief that life does begin at conception and according to my experience that would appear to be the opinion of almost every Latter-day Saint.
The LDS Church’s official stance on abortion is as follows:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes in the sanctity of human life. Therefore, the Church opposes elective abortion for personal or social convenience, and counsels its members not to submit to, perform, encourage, pay for, or arrange for such abortions.
The Church allows for possible exceptions for its members when:
• Pregnancy results from rape or incest, or
• A competent physician determines that the life or health of the mother is in serious jeopardy, or
• A competent physician determines that the fetus has severe defects that will not allow the baby to survive beyond birth.
The Church teaches its members that even these rare exceptions do not justify abortion automatically. Abortion is a most serious matter and should be considered only after the persons involved have consulted with their local church leaders and feel through personal prayer that their decision is correct.
The Church has not favored or opposed legislative proposals or public demonstrations concerning abortion.