The Law of Chastity

View the entire chapter here: The Law of Chastity

Why should parents teach their children about procreation and chastity? How can they appropriately do this?

My children are still pretty young, but I understand the importance of teaching our children correct truths and principles related to these things as appropriate. Procreation and chastity are sacred things. There are strong consequences, both good and bad in nature, if we do not follow the plan as it has been laid out by God. Our children need to know and understand what God’s plan is for us and what his laws are regarding procreation and chastity. If they do not learn it from parents, they are likely to learn it from the world. The view of the world is perversely distorted and wrong. Satan uses a wide variety of tactics to get people to go against the laws of God with regard to these things.

We appropriately teach our children by turning to the word of the Lord. This teaching takes sincere prayer and guidance of the spirit. Each child is different and each should be taught in a way that would suit them best. Parents are blessed with a calling and stewardship which allows them the ability to know how each child would learn these things in the best way.

I think it is important for all of us to understand the why of this. Why do we procreate? We do this because the Lord has commanded us to multiply and replenish the earth. There are many souls waiting their turn to gain a body and live on this earth. We allow them this opportunity through multiplying. We learn about this commandment when we read of Adam and Eve and the first commandments that were given, which still apply for us today. In Moses 2 we read the following:

27 And I, God, created man in mine own image, in the image of mine Only Begotten created I him; male and female created I them.
28 And I, God, blessed them, and said unto them: Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Why do we only procreate within the bonds of marriage? Adam and Eve were first brought together through marriage, which was ordained by God. We are taught throughout the scripture that procreation should remain between a married man and woman. Furthermore, every child has the right to be born into a loving family environment. In the the proclamation to the world on family we read the following:

THE FAMILY is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity.

Marriage is just one of the boundaries which has been taught throughout the scriptures, with regard to procreation. We need these boundaries because we have natural passions and desires within us, which we must learn to control. The boundaries our given to us by God and anything outside of them is not chaste and pure. Anything outside of these boundaries will bring us into the captivity of Satan and his evil ways. Therefore, we are given the law of chastity.

What is the law of chastity?

The laws of chastity, is the law from God which says that we should not have any sexual relations with anyone other than our spouse who we have legally married. (This legal marriage must also be recognized by God in order to remain true to this law.) In Doctrine and Covenants 42 we read the following:

22 Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else.
23 And he that looketh upon a woman to lust after her shall deny the faith, and shall not have the Spirit; and if he repents not he shall be cast out.
24 Thou shalt not commit adultery; and he that committeth adultery, and repenteth not, shall be cast out.

That seems pretty straight forward to me. Anything outside of that is against God’s law and therefore it is a sin. Relations of any physical nature, before marriage or with another other than our spouse during marriage, are serious transgressions of this law. This sin makes us unholy. In 1 Corinthians 6:19 we read, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” If we are unholy because of the sin of immorality, we cannot have the Holy Ghost with us. Furthermore, if we commit this sin without proper repentance, which is difficult and painful, we cannot hope to return to live with God again.

What are some ways Satan tempts people to break the law of chastity?

This is so huge today. Satan was working hard on people when I was a youth, and now just over a decade later, he is working so much harder. I think one of the biggest ways that Satan attacks people with this is that he wants it to be the normal standard in the world today. There was a time, when anything outside of chastity was a faux-pas in the mainstream of life. Now, you are mocked and made fun of if you remain a virgin until marriage. Now, the icons of everyday life are commonly committing adultery and having children outside of wedlock. There are countless tv shows that include immorality and situations where there are children born outside of marriage, as if these are all expected of a normal life. It is becoming increasingly difficult to be modest in our appearance, and immodesty leads to problems with chastity. If we hope to avoid these temptations, we need to do our best to live in the world, but not of the world. We need to be willing to excuse ourselves from the standards of society, and stand firmly for the standards of God.

Besides the societal norm, Satan tempts people to break this law through our natural urges and passions. If we develop innocent relationships with others and allow ourselves to be placed in situations where we are alone and emotionally or physically vulnerable, he tempts us through these natural desires. He tempts us through other forms of entertainment, such as pornography, which is extremely addicting and difficult to break free from. He tempts us to head towards breaking this law, through other means as well, such as using alcohol which lowers our inhibitions. This is why we must be constantly guarding ourselves from these situations and any others that may lead to breaking this law. There are great blessings in store if we remain chaste and virtuous. In Doctrine and Covenants 121:45 we read, “. . . let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.”

How are modesty and chastity related? How can parents teach their children to be modest in dress, language, and behavior?

When we dress or behave immodestly, we lessen the value of the temple which God has given to us. It is like walking around with an invitation for others to think about us in unholy ways. Inviting others to think of us that way, is not only giving us the temptation to break the law of chastity, but it encourages others to think and act differently as well. Immodesty is an act of more women than men, I think, because society would have us believe that we are a product of our sensuality. In Jacob 2:28 we read, “For I, the Lord God, delight in the chastity of women.” Chaste women will be modest, and will be valued for much more than their physical body alone.

We can teach our children by example. Teach them how to dress by dressing appropriately. Teach them by explaining what certain things show to others. Teach them how speak with respect for others by speaking respectfully yourself. Teach them how to behave modestly, by being modest in your own behavior. We can teach them by using the information provided by the church leaders. There are great resources in the “For the Strength of Youth” pamphlet. I have also seen some great videos and such on the youth section of the lds site (lds.org/youth). We can teach our children by communicating openly and honestly with them about the reasons we want to be modest. If we do not teach them, they will learn from somewhere else, and it will mostly likely be the teachings of the world.

How can we fight the spread and influence of pornography?

As parents, we need to do all that we can to safeguard our homes against pornography. This includes limiting what is viewed on tv, what sites are accessed online, and so on. It also includes teaching our kids about the evils of pornography, so that they know what they should do if an unexpected situation arises. We fight the spread and influence, by standing up for what we believe while we are out in the world as well.

What promises has the Lord given us to help us overcome Satan’s temptations?

The Lord has promised us that we will not be given any challenges that we cannot handle without his help. In 2 Peter 2:9 we read, “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations . . .” The Lord gives us tools to keep us strong. If we make it a priority to study the scriptures, pray, attend church, and listen to the words of the leaders of the church, we will be worthy of the spirit, which can warn us of tempting situations. If we are firm in our testimonies, and trying to live righteously, we will recognize and discern when there may be a danger in our path. In Alma 13:28 we read, “But that ye would humble yourselves before the Lord, and call on his holy name, and watch and pray continually, that ye may not be tempted above that which ye can bear, and thus be led by the Holy Spirit, becoming humble, meek, submissive, patient, full of love and all long-suffering;”.

In His infinite wisdom and mercy, God has given us a way to return to virtue if we have fallen into Satan’s evil web of temptation. Through the incredible sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ, we have the atonement. The atonement allows us the opportunity to repent and be forgiven of our sins. It is never too late in this life, to repent of any sins against the law of chastity. In the first chapter of Isaiah we read the following:

16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; . . .
18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

In Doctrine and Covenants 58:42 we read, “Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.” If we truly and fully repent, we can return to the state of virtue through His eternal forgiveness. Then we can receive the amazing blessings that come from living the law of chastity.

What blessings do we receive as we keep the law of chastity?

As I mentioned above, when we are pure and avoiding sin, we can be blessed by the companionship of the spirit. This alone is worth living this law to me. There is also the blessing of peace of mind that comes when we are following the laws of God. Immorality is accompanied by the heavy weight of guilt and sadness. On the other hand, being chaste brings freedom from guilt and as was written in Doctrine and Covenants 121 (see above), confidence in the face of God. Relationships with those we love, will remain strong and good, when we follow this law. I know that countless families have been ripped apart by acts of immorality. Shames causes those who break this law to separate themselves from others who they hurt by their actions. These separations and breaks in the ties and bonds of a family can be avoided if we live a virtuous and holy life. Moreover, we can be blessed to live with God and our families again after this life, if we can obey this law.

I have seen both sides of the law of chastity in my own life. I have witnessed the heartbreak, guilt, and shame of breaking this law. I have seen the amazing blessings that come from obeying this law. I can say with every fiber of my being, that I am grateful for this law and I know that it is better to be obedient to it. I know that by living this law I will be blessed for eternity and that my family will also receive amazing eternal blessings.

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