Chastity and true love are defined by God and immovable principles. The law of chastity cannot be tampered with and not result in misery.
God is the creator of the universe, this earth, and the literal Father of our spirits. He has shared the power to create with us, His children. We become co-creators with God when we create physical bodies for His spirit-children. This is God’s greatest gift to us besides our agency, and it is the most abused of God’s gifts. One of the great tests of mortality is to use this gift only within the bounds the Lord has set. His law is stated simply–the powers of procreation must be used only in the covenant relationship of marriage. This is the law of chastity and one of the criteria for true love.
Breaking the law of chastity by misusing the powers of procreation never results in happiness, for wickedness never was happiness; rather sexual sin–with or without a partner–always results in misery. Moreover, breaking the law of chastity through sexual relations outside the covenant of marriage is not an expression of true love and most often drives a couple apart rather than uniting them. President Gordon B. Hinckley said: “It is my observation that a young man and a young woman who violate the principles of morality soon end up hating one another.”
How mortal life begins, continues, and ends is sacred. The divine means by which God has provided that mortal life should begin is through the instrumentality of a husband and wife who have made a legal covenant of marriage.
- “Physical intimacy between a husband and a wife is divinely intended to be a beautiful expression of love that is to be enjoyed exclusively by a married couple. The counsel of prophets is, and always has been, sexual abstinence before marriage, and complete fidelity after marriage.” Thus physical intimacy “demands special sanctity. Such an act of love between a man and a woman is–or certainly was ordained to be–a symbol of total union: union of their hearts, their hopes, their lives, their love, their family, their future, their everything…But such a total, virtually unbreakable union, such an unyielding commitment between a man and a woman, can only come with the proximity and permanence afforded in a marriage covenant….”
From such a loving marriage, life is divinely intended to spring forth. Each new life is sacred to God, our Heavenly Father, for it was God who declared, “The worth of souls is great in the sight of God,” and that which will result in the most joy is bringing “souls unto me.”
Latter-day prophets have denounced practices that lead to birth outside the marriage covenant or practices that abort life while it is developing in the womb: “Thou shalt not…kill, nor do anything like unto it.”
“We declare the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan.”
The law of chastity cannot be violated in any degree without drawing down the wrath of heaven upon the individual and causing him/her untold misery. Such violations of the law of chastity are not expressions of true love. “Spiritual and emotional damage always come from sharing physical intimacies with someone outside of marriage.” Any of the following are violations of the law of chastity:
- Committing any sexual act with or without a partner of either sex
- Committing any sexual act with or without clothing
- Reading, listening to or viewing literature, music or movies that contain sexual content
- Viewing or reading sexual material on a computer or electronic device
- Entertaining sexual thoughts
- Speaking sexual words
- Engaging in any act that has illicit sexual overtones intended to sexually stimulate you or your partner
- And all other sexual deviations beyond the bounds that God has set.
These restrictions surely sound puritanical when compared with the morality (or lack of it) of our day. Young Latter-day Saints who comply with the Law of Chastity stand out from their worldly peers and often must defend lifestyle choices that others can barely comprehend. Mormon youth are taught the eternal consequences of ignoring the Law of Chastity, but physical and psychological consequences are often best understood by those outside the faith.
1. Sexuality numbs the soul.
Indulging in sexual practices outside the laws God has given us, numbs us to almost every good emotion. Anger with family members and loved ones increases, and lies abound. Charity and respect for self and others are diminished.
2. Sexuality in a relationship kills romance.
Once a relationship becomes sexual in nature, sexuality takes center stage and becomes the most reverted-to form of expression and communication. Any guilt suffered by young participants interrupts verbal and emotional communication and opens the way to misunderstanding, jealosy, and anger. The gentle yearning of romance dies, and since romance is paramount for females, young women never receive the courtship and admiration that so fulfills them.
3. Sexual indulgence is quickly addictive.
The endorphins released into the brain during sexual indulgence or viewing pornography makes these activities highly addictive. Once the body is trained to respond, there’s no going back. Or at least, regaining the ability to abstain is extremely difficult.
4. The Holy Ghost cannot dwell in an impure tabernacle.
This may make more sense to LDS youth than to others, but it is important for all of God’s children. All of us were born with a great gift, commonly called “conscience,” but which is, in actuality, the “light of Christ.” It gives us the power to naturally discern right from wrong, good from evil. The gift of the Holy Ghost is permanent for baptized members of the Church who remain worthy, but is also given temporarily to any who seek the Lord and ask for guidance. When we pray, do we want answers? How quickly do we hope the Lord will respond when we really need him? Sexual sin makes us impure vessels into which the Lord cannot pour His spirit unless we repent.
5. In childrearing, helping youth to achieve “safe sex” increases the risk of contracting a sexually-transmitted disease around thirty times.
“Protecting youth” by providing contraception encourages sexual activity. STDs have proliferated in past decades. There are many more varieties of STDs now than there were 30 years ago, the result of promiscuity. One fourth of U.S. youth in their late teens carry an STD, and this is a conservative estimate. STDs can cause infertility, cancer, and many other serious problems.
6. Once pregnancy occurs, youth ends.
Youth who become pregnant are catapulted into adulthood, and this pertains to both unwitting mothers and fathers. Life’s realities quickly pour in, and difficult choices present themselves. Abortion destroys not just babies, but the souls of their mothers and fathers. The Lord calls it next to murder for a reason.
Why does the Lord give us hard commandments? Certainly human desire is strong, and love is wonderful. God’s commandments are given to us for just one reason: by following them, we will be happy. God wants us to be happy. Nowadays, keeping God’s commandments is difficult, but rewarding. The young man or woman who remains chaste and saves sexuality for the marriage relationship never has to worry about STDs and their serious complications, never has to repent, never has to fight a sexual addiction and the anger and lies it breeds, never has to struggle bitterly to feel God’s spirit. The purest of our youth get to feel the sparkle of romance in its innocence, to communicate with words, actions, and loving expressions of affection untainted. The Lord wants us to know that romance is an eternal principle that through the celestial marriage covenant, can last for eternity.