How to Live Today » Avoid All Sexual Thoughts and Activity Before Marriage

[this teaching has not yet been illustrated]


Heavenly Father has made it clear how important it is to him that we obey the law of chastity. To do so, we must keep our thoughts, words, and actions morally clean, and must never ever engage in any sexual activity outside the bounds of the lawful marriage between a husband and wife. Any other sexual activity is an abomination before God that is next to murder in its seriousness.


The prohibition against sexual activity before marriage covers much more than sexual intercourse. Do not do anything to arouse the powerful emotions that must only be expressed in marriage. People of dating age must not kiss passionately, lie on top of one another, or touch one another's private, sacred parts—directly or through clothing. It is forbidden by God. Our thoughts as well as our actions must remain pure.


At the first signs of puberty, children should be taught that masturbation is a sin and why it is wrong. The manipulating of one's own genitals to produce sexual excitement is detrimental to spirituality and induces feelings of guilt and shame. It is a form of slavery to the flesh, a perversion of the body's passions, and can lead to the more serious and reprehensible sins of exhibitionism and homosexuality.


One fine member of the Church advised his 11-year-old son: "Son, if you never masturbate, the time will come in your life when you will be able to sit in front of your bishop at age 19, and say to him, ‘I have never done that in my life.’" Seven years later, his son was a rare young man who had never masturbated. Masturbation is not a physical necessity. The male body relieves excessive spermatic fluid quite regularly through the nocturnal emission or "wet dream".


Sexual purity is the foundation of all righteousness and a youth's most precious possession. A sexually pure youth is especially glorious and near to the angels. Such a youth has unspeakable joy in the here and now, and will have eternal happiness in the eternal afterlife. Heavenly Father has given every girl a beauty that is as sacred as life and as pure as the sunlight, and that beauty is chastity—the beautiful crown of womanhood.


To kiss while casually dating is asking for trouble. If timely courtship justifies a kiss, it should be one that is clean, decent, and sexless. But Hollywood tries to convince us that even young awkward and innocent romances must be consummated with a kiss, and the kind of kiss often seen in movies is one that has been prostituted and degenerated to stir feelings of lust. This so-called "soul kiss" is an abomination that leads to illegitimate babies and unwed mothers. Passionate kissing or "making out" should wait until after marriage.


A youth boiling with hormones is dealing with a human instinct second only to the will to survive in its power. The desire to mate is constant and compelling. God made us attractive to one another and planted in us a divine urge which can easily be subverted to evil and destructive ends. It is a powder keg that must be kept under control. Passion is not something that needs to be exterminated like insects or eradicated like a disease. It like electricity—a powerful force must be channeled safely to generate power and life.


Satan wants us to break the law of chastity to keep us from being able to return to the presence of Heavenly Father. So Satan attacks the standards of modesty. He urges us to listen to music, watch movies, look at pictures, and take part in dances that tempt us toward unchastity. He wants us to believe that the beauty of the human body is something to flaunt and expose, that allowing others to see our bodies is acceptable. But Heavenly Father wants us to cover our bodies so that we do not encourage immoral thoughts in other people's minds.


Though Satan tries to deceive people into thinking nothing bad will happen if they break the law of chastity, young people need to understand that pain and suffering are the consequences of sin. God has said, "I command you to repent—repent, lest I smite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your sufferings be sore—how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to bear you know not." The penalty may not come right away, but your future could be burned and your world go up in flames.


Sometimes it might seem like people who are not members of the Church are having more fun than you. With their less strict code of conduct, they seem to be able to break God's law of chastity and still live happy and prosperous lives. But do not be fooled by such appearances. The effects of sin are not all visible or immediate. Actions have eternal consequences. Even if such people seem happy, you must have faith that true happiness can only come through living by the Church's standards.


Satan knows how to destroy young boys and girls. He knows that immorality begins in smaller indiscretions like sexual thoughts and passionate kissing. Sexual indulgence whets the passion and creates morbid desire. Necking and petting awaken lust and evil thoughts, and lead to pregnancy and abortions. Satan may not be able to immediately convince someone to commit adultery or murder, but he knows that if he can get a boy and a girl to sit in a dark, parked car long enough, they will eventually succumb and fall.


Avoid unwholesome conversations and situations. When you have tempting thoughts, do not let them linger. Choose a sacred hymn with uplifting words and reverent music and memorize it. Then whenever you have base and immoral thoughts, bring this hymn to mind and concentrate on its words. The unworthy thoughts will shamefully slip away. Eventually you'll find that as soon as some influence from the world encourages an unclean thought, your hymn will play almost automatically to sweep it away.


When the law of chastity is broken and a woman becomes pregnant, Satan may tempt you to commit an additional abominable sin. He will deceive you by encouraging you to think "It's my body, and I have the right to choose what I do with it." But you must not submit to, encourage, pay for, perform, or arrange for an abortion. Every effort should be made to encourage the unwed couple to marry each other.



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