Chastity in Mormonism
The law of chastity is not a new commandment and not just for those in the Mormon Church. Since God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, there will never be a “new morality,” meaning that the law of chastity will not change for the times.God warned us in 2 Peter 2:1 that “There shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies…and bring upon themselves swift destruction.”1 False teachers are everywhere today! They are at the bookstores, in the grocery stores, on the television, the screen and the internet. They would have us believe that the commandments of God are “outdated” and that He gave those commandments to the children of Israel and they no longer apply. No matter what is said, the law of chastity is still a commandment and applies today just as much as it did for the children of Israel.Satan is cunning and has many followers that would deceive us. He whispers in our ears that unchaste thoughts and feelings are normal; they are natural and should be expressed in the name of love or desire. Satan would have us claim that purity is old-fashioned and that educated men and women today should rid themselves of freedom-inhibiting notions about the sacredness of sex. After all, his followers will tell us, that we are living in an enlightened age; we need to change with the times and “everyone is doing it.”
In 1938, President J. Reuben Clark Jr., one of the Mormon Church’s leaders, said the following:
“Our very civilization itself is based upon chastity, the sanctity of marriage, and the holiness of the home. Destroy these and Christian man becomes a [monster]…Chastity is fundamental to our life and to our civilization. If the race becomes unchaste, it will perish. Immorality has been basic to the destruction of mighty nations of the past; it will bring to dust the mighty nations of the present. Every one of us who instructs our youth in whatever place or position…must teach the young people…to abstain from unchastity.”2
How poignant this statement is today as it was then!
The dictionary defines chastity as the following: virtuousness, sexual abstinence, and decency or modesty.
President Spencer W. Kimball, a Mormon Prophet, quoted the following:
“Among the most common sexual sins our young people commit are necking and petting. Not only do these improper relations often lead to fornication, pregnancy, and abortions – all ugly sins – but in and of themselves they are pernicious evils, and it is often difficult for youth to distinguish where one ends and another begins. They awaken lust and stir evil thoughts and sex desires. They are but parts of the whole family of related sins and indiscretions.”3
The law of chastity was given to men and women to help them achieve the kind of purity of heart that Paul spoke of when he said, “Unto the pure all things are pure.”4 “Only with a pure heart can one see God.”5
Chastity is in thought and deed and is not achieved in a day, nor is it a final destination that, once arrived at, needs no other work. Not so, it needs constant work on a daily basis. Because it is a spiritual and physical quality, all must work towards keeping thoughts clean and pure. Much counsel has been given throughout the years to the members of the Mormon Church regarding this law. Dress modestly; do not engage in any kind of provocative behavior, whether that be a way of sitting, talking, or dancing; do not associate with those who would encourage you to violate your standards; avoid situations where you may be tempted to yield to your passions; do not by thought, look, or intimate conversation infringe upon another’s marriage; avoid movies, television, internet, or literature that would encourage you to pervert and misuse the power of procreation.