Recently, The Huffington Post did a series of interviews on various religions, asking select members of each faith how their church views sexuality. This controversial subject is one that is often misrepresented amongst members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). Where those interviewed did a fair job in answering the questions, it’s clear that the world really doesn’t understand what Mormons believe when it comes to sexually related topics. For instance, within the LDS faith masturbation and pornography are never okay — before or after marriage or within the marriage relationship.
Mormons are very much like other religious people. We follow what the scriptures say. We believe that keeping one’s self pure and free of sexual sin brings one closer to God and brings happiness into one’s life. We believe that good is still good, and evil is still evil. Our prophets have reminded us to be sensitive and respectful, to those who struggle with sexual or gender identity, but by the same token, we desire to be respected for our own beliefs.
“Chastity is sexual purity and involves being morally clean in thoughts, words, and actions. Sexual intimacy is ordained of God for the creation of children and for the expression of love between husband and wife. God has commanded that sexual intimacy be reserved for marriage. When we are sexually pure, we qualify for the Holy Ghost, are protected from the emotional and spiritual damage of sexual sin, and are worthy to bear the priesthood of God.”
Our sexual feelings were placed inside our bodies to serve others: (1) To demonstrate love to our spouse, and (2) to bring children into the world. To twist these feelings into selfish gratification is to change the very purpose in which it was given.
The For Strength of Youth pamphlet is a document given to all youth 12-18 to help guide them in a world that would teach them to look out for themselves first and only. The Lord teaches us, from a young age, to keep ourselves clean, pure, and worthy of the Holy Ghost, so we can continue in our service to build the kingdom of God. We must be pure in order to enter into the holy temple, which is another place of great service. In the temple, we make covenants to continue the direction of service in our lives as we promise to help others, while keeping our lives pure and holy as best we can.
As members of the LDS faith, we declare these following statements from The Family: A Proclamation to the World.
- Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God.
- All human beings … [are a] son or daughter of heavenly parents.
- Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for … families to be united eternally.
- We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force; that the sacred powers of procreation are … between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.
- The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan.
While it is interesting to discover what other religions believe, the truth is that we all believe in pretty much the same thing. We all know and recognize the Ten Commandments. We all have scriptures that teach us the difference between right and wrong. Mormons believe the same things as everyone else, promoting a high moral standard and refusing to bow down to the world’s changing and confusing values.
As the world continues to erode into an immoral pit of depravity, people (religious and nonreligious alike) still understand that what is happening is wrong, and even unacceptable. Think of well-known figures caught cheating. The sensationalism kills their careers. As this new age thinking increases, more and more are surviving the public flogging. When mankind is left to his or her own devises, Satan penetrates to destroy. By falling away from the safety of Heavenly Father’s loving guideposts, we become subject to pain, hurt, misery, and confusion. Why would anyone put themselves through that in the name of hedonism?
The Bible, which most of us still adhere to, is full of references of how Heavenly Father feels about sexual impurity:
Ex. 20:14 – “Thou shalt not commit adultery.
1 Cor. 6:9 – “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? … neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind (footnotes define as homosexuals).”
1 Cor. 6:18 – “Flee immorality.”
Eph. 5:3 – “But fornication … let it not be.”
1 Thess. 4:3 – “For this is the will of God … abstain from fornication.”
Heb. 13:4 – “Marriage is honourable … but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”
What everyone wants most in this world is to find happiness and peace. The only way to achieve that longed-for place is to obey Heavenly Father’s eternal laws. By simple obedience we will find true freedom (John 8:32).
And as Mormons have been encouraged for many years,
To the youth … , we plead with you to live clean [lives], for the unclean life leads only to suffering, misery, and woe physically,—and spiritually it is the path to destruction. How glorious and near to the angels is youth that is clean; this youth has joy unspeakable here and eternal happiness hereafter. Sexual purity is youth’s most precious possession; it is the foundation of all righteousness. (First stated by Pres. Heber J. Grant, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1942, later echoed by President Thomas S. Monson, “May You Have Courage,” Apr. 2009.)