God's Perspective Sex is designed for married couples For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. Years earlier, Blaine had begun complaining that his wife spent too much time with the children and Church service.
Over time, he began to embrace the views of the world and convinced himself that chastity was not a necessary moral commitment. But with the disciplinary council behind him and divorce papers potentially ahead of him, Blaine saw his excuses, his rationalizations, his blindness. He had called good evil and evil good. He was losing his Church membership and perhaps his family.
Human sexuality is more than a physical matter. Chastity and fidelity begin in the spirit, not in the body. They are an expression of the condition of our spirit. When our spirit is in tune with godly thinking and gospel truths, we want to live high standards, and our actions reflect that desire. Thus, chastity and fidelity are more than sexual abstinence before marriage and sexual fidelity after marriage.
They express the quality of our spiritual life. Immorality and infidelity are likewise more than merely physical acts. They too are an expression of the condition of our spirit. They are the culmination of a path upon which the spirit embarked long before. The body simply responds as a lustful spirit directs. A lustful spirit produces the lusts of the flesh. Hence, the threat to the chastity of the unmarried or to the fidelity of the married is determined by the condition or quality of our spirits, which is evidence of whether we are, in any given moment, choosing light and truth over captivity and death, whether we are honoring the light within us or rejecting that light.
Susan, baptized into the Church at age 28, had always lived the law of chastity. I never dated a Latter-day Saint until I met Tom. When I heard the gospel, I was glad that I had never given in to sexual temptation. One year later our baby daughter died at birth. We were devastated but grateful we had been worthy to be sealed in the temple when we were first married.
Knowing that our baby was born in the covenant brought us critical understanding and peace. The commitment involves the giving of our hearts—our broken hearts, our softened hearts—unequivocally to our mates. For husbands and wives, there can be no fulfillment without such willing and mutual commitment in love.
Yet in our time, the ridicule of chastity and the justification of adultery constitute frequent attacks on the family—some of the most devastating of all the attacks made. In such an environment, the family seems to be under siege as never before. The unraveling of communities is often traced to the weakening fabric of its families. Whatever external forces fray family ties, sexual impurity is an even more destructive weapon because it attacks families from within.
Lost because of adultery are trust, unity, sacrifice, honesty, humility, and covenants. Lost because of immorality are confidence, commitment, worthiness, and promise.
Sexual impurity ruins individual lives, yet the consequences always continue beyond the present moment, beyond the illicit relationship, and stretch across generations. We cannot isolate the consequences of our sins from others. Mothers sorrow, fathers weep, brothers and sisters are horrified, children are visited with the impact of sins and of consequences not of their making.
Marriages are deeply threatened or destroyed. Yet repentance is possible. Further, the gospel teaches us that sexual purity is an essential feature of preserving the family across generations. As we honor our covenants with each other, as fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, we guard the power to create life as a gift from God.
Those who have so lived, across generations, testify to the blessings of such a life. They joyfully testify it is the happiest way, the most fulfilling way, the most productive way, the safest way, the most glorious way, and the most honorable way to act in behalf of those we love.
The counterfeit version sees chastity and fidelity as unnecessary for happiness, as an unrealistic expectation. This view, supported by the philosophies of men, attempts to justify immoral living, to make it attractive and defensible.
Just as a well-made counterfeit bill is hard to discern, the seductive invitations to sexual impurity are so disguised as to make immorality seemingly acceptable, valuable, perhaps even inevitable. Alas, everything that worldliness promises it cannot deliver. Worldliness offers a false version of the way things really are, and that falsity is expressed in attitudes, feelings, beliefs, philosophies, and actions.
It is when we walk within these shades of gray that our thoughts and our actions place us in jeopardy. It is, however, we who give life to the danger as a result of what we seek and what we invite to stay in our thoughts. The philosophies of men are pitted against the truths of the gospel to provide the thinking necessary to foster and defend the acts of fornication or adultery. First, individualism—the false idea that personal identity, space, rights, development, and well-being must take place in opposition to the claims of family ties and relationships.
This translates in attitude and action to mean that my life and my sexual feelings are my business. Only I know what is best for me. Nobody can tell me what to do. Second, relativism—the false idea that all moral stands are equally valuable, and it is prejudicial to assume one way is better than some other way. This translates in attitude and action to mean that morals are a way of imposing points of view on others and that those views are to their detriment.
Third, victimization—the false idea that we are primarily simply products of our drives, desires, past environments, and imperfections. These three false ideas—individualism, relativism, and victimization—are the counterfeits to the equivalent gospel truths relating to family commitment, morality, and agency: First, it is in commitment to family and others that our personal identity and development are fostered.
Thus, we come to earth to serve others; as a consequence of losing ourselves in serving others we further find ourselves. Third, it is in agency that we recognize we are able to choose not to be acted upon by our sexual drives and desires in a way which makes us our own victims.
By contrast, Satan seeks to justify false philosophies and worldly behaviors with an attending worldly reasonableness about it all. He has not given up the tactics he used against Jesus in the wilderness, constantly saying that if we are what we say we are—the children of God—then there is nothing wrong with experiencing appetites, power, or glory see Matt.
He constantly asks us to misuse our sexual desires, which are central to our mission on earth. The attack begins with us as it did with Jesus—it is an attack on the spirit to tell the body to do unseemly things. And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within. Like Joseph, we too can choose.
Agency resides in the spirit, not in the body. Hence, the body responds to what the spirit tells it to do. We are not the victims of drives and desires that are beyond our control see 1 Cor. We are moral agents, capable of initiating action. In contrast to what Satan would say, sexual purity is realistic, essential, and a blessing.
To choose to live a chaste life is to choose to be the most practical of all men and women. By shunning indiscriminate and self-centered sexual involvement, we not only avoid the physical consequences—which is what the world worries most about—we avoid the long trail of spiritual, emotional, familial, and social consequences as well. Such consequences often go far beyond what we anticipate or imagine. They are certainly more than we can control or avoid. Further, physical consequences are not just the extremes of pregnancy out of wedlock or AIDS.
Virtually incurable venereal diseases, some of which result in permanent infertility, are considered epidemic among the immoral. These nonphysical consequences can destroy us spiritually, emotionally, and socially, with the results affecting generations of families. As Elder Boyd K. King David, unlike Joseph, ignored the boundaries the Lord set. Then when the prophet Nathan presented the parable of the ewe lambs, David did not see the obvious.
Sin had blinded him to many truths see 2 Sam. Unfortunately, in the world there are many persons who are like King David, blinded by their own sins, blinded to the meaning of their own actions. It is only after they come out of the darkness of their wrongdoing that they see the truth of their circumstances. Those who have chosen to repent of sexual sin bear testimony that their immorality was the most painful, regretful, despairing, false, subversive, destructive circumstance they ever invited into their lives.
No person I have ever talked to who has violated the law of chastity or the law of marital fidelity acknowledged their actions were wrong until they were in the midst of repentance. While being immoral or unfaithful, they believed their own excuses or rationalizations, statements like these: I just lost control. What else could I do, given how I feel? Better find out now if we are compatible.
People fall out of love. My spouse is just not the same. We just slipped once. At least this woke us both up. We are no longer taking each other for granted. Each of these incredibly false excuses is a denial that the actions committed were entirely wrong and that the individual is fully responsible. These excuses are attempts to deny that wickedness is wickedness.
Conversely, the world teaches that happiness is in wickedness. As long as the misuse of the power to create life is excused or explained away, it is the expression of an unrepentant or self-deceiving soul.