Restoring the Temple – The Reproductive System

“Thou shalt keep therefore his statutes, and his commandments, which I command thee this day, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, and that thou mayest prolong [thy] days upon the earth, which the Lord thy God giveth thee, for ever.”

—Deuteronomy 4:40.

In the beginning, God caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep. A rib was taken from his side, and from it, woman was created. God had a plan. Part of that plan included marriage and family. In Genesis 2, He said that man should leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife. This was, of course, before there were any fathers or mothers, yet God mentions those relationships. Adam named his wife Eve, “because she was the mother of all living.” Genesis 3:20.

A female child is born with all the oocytes (eggs) that she will ever have—approximately 2 million, although only about 400 ever reach maturity. One egg is released—a process called ovulation—each month from puberty to menopause. Some women feel this when it occurs, experiencing a sharp pain or twinge in their lower abdomen. This phenomenon is called mittelschmerz, middle pain. When an egg is released from the ovary, it is “caught” by the fingerlike projections on the ends of the fallopian tubes. From there, the egg journeys through the tube to the uterus. If spermatozoa from the husband fertilize the egg (often in the fallopian tube), then the egg will implant in the wall of the uterus. Several hundred million spermatozoa are released from the male, but only a few thousand reach the woman’s body. If fertilization does not take place, then the egg continues to travel out of the body.

The definition of fertilization is the fusion of two distinctive cells into a totally unique DNA combination. Remember that DNA is what makes you specifically you. You are a unique blend of your father’s and your mother’s DNA. How many possible combinations of DNA can occur with fertilization? About 70 trillion. The only people that share the same DNA are identical twins (or other identical multiples). Most of us have at least seen a set of identical twins and know that although they may be incredibly alike in appearance, they are still very different in personality. Evolutionists like to say that this genetic variation enhances the survival of the population. I like to think that God makes us different so that we each can bring a unique talent and perspective in our relationships to God and to one another.

Normally, one sperm manages to fertilize one egg. When that one sperm gets through the outer barrier of the egg, the egg sends a chemical signal to shut out all the rest. However, there is the possibility of twins, or more. This happens in different ways. Identical twins occur when one egg is fertilized by one sperm, and afterwards, the cell splits into two. Fraternal twins occur when two eggs are released by the ovary and each is fertilized by a separate sperm. There is another possibility, called polar body twinning. This occurs when the egg splits prior to fertilization and two sperm fertilize the subsequent two eggs. These twins share 75 percent of their DNA and are sort of half-identical.

Sometime, after fertilization takes place, the brand new individual (currently a ball of cells) implants into the wall of the uterus. The placenta is a wondrous organ made by interlocking cells of the mother and child. The blood of the mother and that of the baby do not mix, but are separated by only a thousandth of a millimeter. Mother’s blood, hopefully rich in oxygen, water, and nutrients, releases this life-giving material across capillary walls into the capillaries of the fetus in the uterus, which then travel up through the umbilical cord and into the baby. Waste products from the baby are then released into the mother’s blood stream, where they exit her body along with her own wastes.

The period of time between fertilization and birth is usually nine months, divided into trimesters, each about three months in length. In the first trimester, cells become specialized, or differentiated. This means that a cell will permanently become a brain cell, or a liver cell, or maybe a cell on the skin of a toe. By the third week, these cells are forming into organs. The embryo becomes a fetus by the seventh week. By the second month, most of every major organ system is in place.

In the second trimester, the fetus increases in size and the bony part of the skeleton begins to form. The mother starts to feel the movement of her baby. During the last trimester the lungs and heart begin maturing in preparation for breathing air. Antibodies from the mother are transferred to the baby, conferring temporary immunity at birth.

After nine months comes the birth of the long awaited baby. This baby is the result of a combination of a genetic blueprint and what the mother puts into her body. Ellen White also said that fathers are a part of the responsibility of the physical and spiritual welfare of the unborn child. “[God] will enable her [the mother] to transmit to her offspring qualities that will help them to gain success in this life and to win eternal life. Fathers as well as mothers are involved in this responsibility, and they too should seek earnestly for divine grace that their influence may be such as God can approve. The inquiry of every father and mother should be, ‘What shall we do unto the child that shall be born?’ [Judges 13:8.] By many the effect of prenatal influence has been lightly regarded; but the instruction sent from heaven . . . shows how the matter is looked upon by the Creator.” The Signs of the Times, February 26, 1902.

Each of us is a wonder that God made and knew from the beginning. The Word tells us that our bodies are temples. Our loving Father gave us the choice to bring glory to Him by our thoughts and actions, made unique by our created individuality.

“With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought: they shall enter into the king’s palace. Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth. I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations: therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and ever.” Psalm 45:15–17.

Sheryle Beaudry, a certified teletriage nurse, writes from Estacada, Oregon where she lives with her husband and twin daughters. She may be contacted by e-mail at