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Mar 3rd 2007

Chastity

This article was recently submitted to all-encompassingly for publication. It is one of a series of informational posts intended to address widely-held misconceptions about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. –Admin

Mormon doctrine teaches that sexual intimacy should take place between a man and a woman only when they are legally married; adultery, or any infidelity during marriage, is a serious sin. However, physical intimacy should take place within marriage. It is an expression of love between husband and wife and the God-given power to create life—to bring children into the world. Children have the right to be born into a family with a father and mother who are faithful to each other.

The law of chastity concerns more than sexual intercourse. The Church teaches, “before marriage, do not do anything to arouse the powerful emotions that must be expressed only in marriage. Do not participate in passionate kissing, lie on top of another person, or touch the private, sacred parts of another person’s body, with or without clothing. Do not allow anyone to do that with you. Do not arouse those emotions in your own body.
In cultures where dating or courting is acceptable, always treat your date with respect, never as an object to be used for your lustful desires. Stay in areas of safety where you can easily control your physical feelings. Do not participate in talk or activities that arouse sexual feelings.”

Those who break the law of chastity, or find themselves overly tempted to do so, are encouraged to seek the help of their bishop (leader of a congregation) and begin the process of repentance. Homosexual activity is also considered a serious sin. Victims of rape or abuse are not considered guilty of sin, but are also encouraged to seek help from their bishop and/or a professional counselor.

Pornography is another area of chastity which the Mormon Church warns its members about. Mormon doctrine explains that pornography is as harmful to the spirit as tobacoo, alcohol, and drugs are to the body. God has commanded, “Thou shalt not commit adultery nor do anything like unto it.” Viewing pornography is a serious sin which can lead to even more sin and discontent in the home. A leader of the Mormon Church has said, “Pornography impairs one’s ability to enjoy a normal emotional, romantic, and spiritual relationship with a person of the opposite sex. It erodes the moral barriers that stand against inappropriate, abnormal, or illegal behavior. As conscience is desensitized, patrons of pornography are led to act out what they have witnessed, regardless of its effects on their life and the lives of others.” Members of the Mormon Church are warned to avoid pornography in any form and oppose its production, distribution and use.

The Mormon Church teaches that great blessings come from obeying the law of chastity. “When people care for one another enough to keep the law of chastity, their love, trust, and commitment increase, resulting in greater happiness and unity. In contrast, relationships built on sexual immorality sour quickly. Those who engage in sexual immorality often feel fear, guilt, and shame. Bitterness, jealousy, and hatred soon replace any positive feelings that once existed in their relationship.” The law of chastity has been given by Heavenly Father to us as a protection. It is an important part of having personal peace and happiness in the home.

Other Links:

  • Mormon Beliefs
  • Mormon Religion
  • Mormon Family
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    1 “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” For the Strength of Youth: Fulfilling Our Duty to God, 44
    2 “Sexual Purity,” For the Strength of Youth: Fulfilling Our Duty to God, 26
    3 Doctrine and Covenants 59:6
    4 Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Pornography,” Ensign, May 2005, 89
    5 “Chastity” True to the Faith.

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