The Law of Chastity: What It Is and What It Isn’t


As part of an article that I have been preparing on the law of chastity, I thought it would be good to first define it.  However, as I began writing that portion of the article (the definition of the law of chastity), the article became quite long and I realized that this was a topic sufficient for its own post.  So, I am splitting the article into two, this being the first part.

There have been two definitions given of the law of chastity in the temple of God.

The temple definition of the law of chastityprior to April, 1990

“The law of chastity…is that the daughters of Eve and the sons of Adam shall have no sexual intercourse except with their husbands or wives to whom they are legally and lawfully wedded.”  (Source: The Telestial World.)

and

“We are instructed to give unto you the law of chastity. This I will explain.

“To the sisters, it is that no one of you will have sexual intercourse except with your husband to whom you are legally and lawfully wedded. To the brethren it is that no one of you will have sexual intercourse except with your wife to whom you are legally and lawfully wedded.”  (Source: The Terrestrial World.)

The temple definition of the law of chastityApril, 1990 Revision

The 1990 revision speaks of sexual “relations” rather than sexual “intercourse.”

The 1990 revision does not have women and men covenant separately to keep the law of chastity. Instead, women and men simultaneously covenant to have no sexual relations except with their “husband or wife” to whom they are legally and lawfully wedded.  (Source: The Terrestrial World, Notes 1 and 2.)

Paraphrased law of chastity with pre- and post-April, 1990 revision comparisons

I will paraphrase the definition given previous to April, 1990, and state it as follows:

The law of chastity is that no woman will have sexual intercourse except with her husband to whom she is legally and lawfully wedded and that no man will have sexual intercourse except with his wife to whom he is legally and lawfully wedded.

And here is a paraphrase of the definition given in the April, 1990 revision:

The law of chastity is that no woman will have sexual relations except with her husband to whom she is legally and lawfully wedded and that no man will have sexual relations except with his wife to whom he is legally and lawfully wedded.

Would the real law of chastity please stand up?

According to the Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary, the term sexual intercourse has two shades of meaning:

1 : heterosexual intercourse involving penetration of the vagina by the penis : COITUS

2 : intercourse (as anal or oral intercourse) that does not involve penetration of the vagina by the penis

(Definition taken from this page.)

According to the same dictionary, the term sexual relations has the following, singular definition:

: SEXUAL INTERCOURSE

(Definition taken from this page.)

We see from these definitions that the terms sexual intercourse and sexual relations are synonymous.

More on the second shade of meaning

As stated above, the term sexual intercourse has two shades of meaning.

So that there is no misunderstanding over the second shade of meaning, which is defined as intercourse, here is the definition of the word intercourse:

3 : physical sexual contact between individuals that involves the genitalia of at least one person <anal intercouse> <oral intercourse>; especially : SEXUAL INTERCOURSE 1 <heterosexual intercourse>

(Definition taken from this page.)

And for those who aren’t sure just what is considered human genitalia,

“The Latin term genitalia, sometimes anglicized as genitals and genital area, is used to describe the externally visible sex organs, known as primary genitalia or external genitalia: in males the penis, in females the clitoris and vulva.”

(Taken from the Sex organ entry of Wikipedia.)

Church manuals give the same definition as the temple definition

For example, in the book Gospel Principles, in chapter 39, entitled, The Law of Chastity, under the section called What Is the Law of Chastity?, chastity is stated this way:

“We are to have sexual relations only with our spouse to whom we are legally married. No one, male or female, is to have sexual relations before marriage. After marriage, sexual relations are permitted only with our spouse.”

The Gospel Topics Gospel Library found on lds.org, an official web site of the Church, under the entry Chastity, states the following:

“Chastity means not having any sexual relations before marriage. It also means complete fidelity to husband or wife during marriage.”

Church manuals and leader’s teachings often go beyond the temple definition

To give an example, I refer back to the Gospel Principles book, same chapter, same section, and directly under the definition quoted above.  Two paragraphs follow which state:

We have been taught that the law of chastity encompasses more than sexual intercourse. Elder Spencer W. Kimball warned young people of other sexual sins:

“Among the most common sexual sins our young people commit are necking and petting. Not only do these improper relations often lead to fornication, [unwed] 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” (The Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 65).

This tendency to go beyond the temple definition and lump together anything and everything that can lead to breaking the law of chastity is fairly common in the church.  These “related sins and indiscretions” are often categorically labeled immorality.

The sexual laws of the Bible

What the Bible says about proper sexual activity is not quite the same as the temple definition of the law of chastity.  It is not my intention to address the biblical sexuality laws here.  It would take too much time and require more than one post.  Others, however, have addressed these issues, so I will refer the reader to one of them, the Controversial Truths section of the Righteous Warriors website, in which can be found biblical sexuality articles.

For the purposes of this post, I will be sticking to the temple definition of the law of chastity and to nothing else.

Where fornication and adultery fit in the law of chastity

For the sins of fornication and adultery, only the first definition of sexual intercourse applies.  In other words, if a married woman has oral sex with some guy she’s not married to, she is breaking the law of chastity, but she isn’t committing the sin of adultery.  If she has a lesbian affair, she is breaking the law of chastity, but she isn’t committing adultery.  The sins of fornication and adultery require vaginal penetration by the penis.  But, don’t take my word on this. Go ask your bishop to see the church handbook for yourself.

Now that we know what the law of chastity is, let’s talk about what it isn’t.

Masturbation does not break the law of chastity

To break the law of chastity, at least two people are required.  Therefore, masturbation, which is sexual self-stimulation, does not break the law of chastity.

Kissing does not break the law of chastity

Kissing, even passionate kissing, as long as the genitalia are not involved, does not break the law of chastity.

Petting does not break the law of chastity

Petting and even heavy petting, like kissing, does not break the law of chastity, as long as the genitalia are not involved.  Also, keep in mind that the breasts are not considered genitalia.

Viewing pornography does not break the law of chastity

For the reasons stated above, looking at pornography does not break the law of chastity.  It is impossible to physically have sexual intercourse with just the eyes.

Committing adultery in one’s heart does not break the law of chastity

Jesus said “that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”  (See Matthew 5: 28.)  The Lord also said, “He that looketh upon a woman to lust after her hath denied the faith, and shall not have the Spirit, and if he repents not he shall be cast out.”  (See D&C 42: 23.)

“Looking on a woman to lust after her” means that a man consciously wishes that he could cheat on his wife (if he is already married) and have sexual intercourse (1st shade of meaning of that term, which covers the sin of adultery) with another man’s wife.

Obviously, this is a sin that can rapidly lead to breaking the law of chastity, but in and of itself, this sin does not break the law of chastity.

Immodesty does not break the law of chastity

How you dress can affect how you feel about yourself and how others treat you, but it is outside of the jurisdiction of the law of chastity, therefore, dressing immodestly does not break the law of chastity.

(For a fuller treatment of modesty, see its Wikipedia entry.  For a brief review of modern LDS modesty standards, see the blog post, A Style of Our Own.)

Why knowing the definition of chastity is helpful

People often beat themselves up unnecessarily.  A person is, of course, free to add as many personal rules as they want to the laws of the gospel, including the law of chastity, as did the Pharisees, but when it comes right down to it, chastity is what the Lord, in His holy temple, has defined it as being.  Nothing more, nothing less.

So, the next time you are sitting in a temple recommend interview with your bishop or stake president, and you are asked if you live the law of chastity, you may want to keep these things in mind.  Having the temple definition in your head may make answering the question a whole lot easier.

Next Chastity article: “David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me”

Previous Chastity article: Does legalized, same-sex “marriage” break the law of chastity?

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

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71 Comments

  1. Interesting, I was thinking about this a few weeks ago and actually had this conversation with my wife at the time=). It was interesting, trying to convince her that after reading the scriptures I could find no reference to masturbation being a sin. I completely agree with you that we do beat ourselves up too much. My discussion with my wife turned into a discussion about how much guilt is heaped on us by the modern church. Granted, I recognize that “lusting after” another woman is committing adultery in your heart and therefore is a sin all of its own, but the actual acts are not necessarily sins unless they conform to the temple definition of Chasity.

    Didn’t Joseph have a quote where he said something to the extent that many things that we teach are sins are not sins? I think that we, especially in the church, have interpreted Victorian ideas and culture and held it up as the highest truth (again, you could bring an argument in favor of polygamy here but its seems that dead horse have been beaten much recently so I will refrain).

    I loved this quote…

    “This tendency to go beyond the temple definition and lump together anything and everything that can lead to breaking the law of chastity is fairly common in the church.”

    I would just as sure say that the “Word of Wisdom” is treated much the same way. How many times have we heard “drugs” included in the WOW? or Caffeine? or even Tea or Coffee (which are NEVER mentioned in it?)… yes, the Lord just said “hot drinks” and we throw so much more into it then the Lord ever required. From “hot drinks” we have interpreted first hot tea and hot coffee (which I agree with because they are hot), then we decided that cold tea and coffee were against the WOW, then we decided that caffeine was against the WOW…

    I am not saying that all those things are good for you, I admit that most of them are bad, but they are not SINS… ones worthiness to enter the temple should NEVER depend on whether they drink coffee or not.

    Great post, I hope it starts a good discussion.

    Troy

  2. I understand that touching someone’s breast is not breaking the covenat to keep the law of chasitity or committing adultery, but I doubt anyone (at least anyone I know)could really do it and not be lusting after the person.

  3. Another thought…
    You said
    “Where fornication and adultery fit in the law of chastity

    For the sins of fornication and adultery, only the first definition of sexual intercourse applies. In other words, if a married woman has oral sex with some guy she’s not married to, she is breaking the law of chastity, but she isn’t committing the sin of adultery. If she has a lesbian affair, she is breaking the law of chastity, but she isn’t committing adultery. The sins of fornication and adultery require vaginal penetration by the penis.”

    So, I understand that committing adultery is worse than breaking the law of chastity. My explanation would be that it has to do with “becoming one flesh” (which is reserved for a covenant relationship) without having made the covenant. One could also use the argument that I was taught growing up in the LDS church that is also is because it has to do with the potential to create life. And therefore is just under the severity of shedding innocent blood or denying the Holy Ghost.

  4. There is another part of the temple ceremony.

    Law of the Gospel: We are required to give unto you the Law of the Gospel as contained in the Holy Scriptures; to give unto you also a charge to avoid all lightmindedness, loud laughter, evil speaking of the Lord’s anointed, the taking of the name of God in vain, and every other unholy and impure practice, and to cause you to receive these by covenant.

    Merriam Websters online dictionary gives this definition for the word charge.

    4 a : instruction, command b : instruction in points of law given by a court to a jury

    So from this we see that we are given a command or instruction from God to avoid “every other unholy and impure practice”. The wording here is ambiguous. And as far as I saw, this laws wording didn’t change in the revision. If that is incorrect, then let me know.

    The Brethren have the job of explaining the ambiguous parts of the scriptures, and I could see an argument where: masturbation, heavy petting, necking, and viewing pornography fit that definition of breaking a command.

    If you recall, the Law of the Gospel comes first in the ceremony. Maybe that’s commentary on this topic. If you don’t want to break the Law of Chastity, first don’t break the Law of the Gospel and all will be well.

  5. Logic is a tricky thing. Technically you may be right – but spiritually these other things amount to the same thing. It reminds of the old “Be Moral – Do Oral” meme that went around – because technically oral sex isn’t vaginal intercourse by penis. Of course, none of us would defend that among the unmarried.

    I think the problem lies in too narrowly equating sexual relations with sexual intercourse. I think the wording was changed to reflect the wider range of temptations and potential sins around us. We have so many things in our world that are “like unto it” (D&C 59:6).

    Via Google define:
    relation – an abstraction belonging to or characteristic of two entities or parts together
    related – being connected either logically or causally or by shared characteristics
    relation – The manner in which two things may be associated

    Relation is a very broad word and we need to remember that.

    However, I will agree, not every sin of chastity is the same level (or anywhere close) as adultery.

  6. zen, you are breaking it down too far. It is not just relation alone. The much broader-meaning (when alone) noun relation has a modifier attached to it, sexual, which narrows it down to a more specific meaning. But it is not just an adjective modifying a noun, which could be interpreted in various ways according to how you meant the adjective to be used. The term sexual relations is an entry in and of itself in all the good dictionaries. And the meaning is always the same: sexual intercourse. For another example, consider wordreference.com’s entry on sexual relation.

    The word change may have been to play upon people’s ignorance of the term sexual relations. If a person doesn’t know that sexual relations is synonymous with sexual intercourse, then they might think the law of chastity covers additional things and so avoid doing those thing, too.

  7. “Logic is a tricky thing”

    I don’t think so. It is just “logical”.=)

    Troy

  8. If we go with “sexual relations” vs. ‘sexual (adjective) relations’ then we get different defintions – but this doesn’t help much either.

    Google Define: gives us
    # Human sexual behavior or human sexual practices or human sexual activities refers to the manner in which humans experience and express their sexuality. …

    # The act of sexual intercourse; Sexual activities between individuals

    While Dictionary.com gives us
    1. sexual intercourse; coitus.
    2. any sexual activity between individuals.

    Both sources define activities in a very broad manner – not exclusively as intercourse itself. Unless we can show definitively that activity == intercourse AND NOTHING ELSE, then the OP logic has a small but significant flaw – which is sad because nothing is sadder than a beautiful theory ruthlessly ruined by merciless facts.

  9. Okay, I guess this comes down to the dictionary you are using. The “sexual relations” entry on dictionary.com brings up 3 dictionary results. First,

    sexual relations

    –noun
    1. sexual intercourse; coitus.
    2. any sexual activity between individuals.
    Origin:
    1945–50
    Dictionary.com Unabridged
    Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2009.

    Second,

    sexual relations
    pl.n.

    1. Sexual intercourse.
    2. Sexual activity between individuals.

    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
    Copyright © 2009 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
    Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

    Third,

    Medical Dictionary

    Main Entry: sexual relations
    Function: noun plural
    : COITUS
    Merriam-Webster’s Medical Dictionary, © 2002 Merriam-Webster, Inc.

    The third result is pretty straightforward, as are the first shades of meaning of the first two results. The second shades of meaning of the first two results can cause confusion. After all, just what is “sexual activity”? If you do another search for “sexual activity,” dictionary.com brings up one dictionary result.

    sexual activity

    noun
    activities associated with sexual intercourse; “they had sex in the back seat”
    WordNet® 3.0, © 2006 by Princeton University.

    Boy, that really clears up the confusion, doesn’t it? LOL

    This reminds me of the Clinton scandal with Monica Lewinsky. Check this article out:

    When Is Sex Not Sexual Relations?

    Notice, in the article, that it is stated that the

    definition says that a person engages in sex if he or she “causes” contact with the genitals of “any person”

    So, it is contact with the genitals (penis, vulva and clitoris) that is the defining characteristic of sexual relations, just as the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary said. If there ain’t no contact with the genitalia, there ain’t no sex.

    This just goes to show that not all dictionaries are created equal.

  10. What about through clothing? No penetration yes, but still stimulation and climax.

  11. I would say that that would come under the second shade of meaning of sexual intercourse for a couple of reasons. People use toys during intimacy and clothing could be considered a toy. Also, people can touch other people through clothing or other material. We don’t say, “My clothing touched me.” We say, “He or she touched me through my clothing.” I think it comes down to if you can physically feel someone touching you. If it has to be precisely flesh to flesh contact, then wearing a condom would remove a great deal of activity from the law of chastity definition.

  12. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_intercourse has a great deal to say about this subject. Give it a read especially where it says “universally” and “to have sex” bits that are in it.

  13. Hmmm… While I might be politically radical, I’m not sure I see the value in pushing the boundaries when it comes to the law of Chastity. Obviously it is only more serious violations that need to be worked with Church leaders. Following the Spirit, as with all things in this life, is incredibly important here. In terms of anyone beating themselves up over temple worthiness issues, my recommendation would be stop beating yourself up, repent, and get to the temple. There aren’t any Chastitiy issues I’m aware of that would keep someone permanently away from the temple.

    It’s also important to remember that there are powerful emotions associated with this issue, regardless of how “rational” we may want to be. It’s how we’re wired. We are accountable for how we treat our spouses and other loved ones, and how we might cause emotional pain and harm to others.

    There just isn’t much to be gained by pushing boundaries on this issue, and there is a lot to lose. I am not advocating creating about bunch of extra rules, since that itself would just create a situation of someone thinking: “well I didn’t break that rule exactly,” but in fact spiritual and emotional harm were caused.

    If it seems questionable, don’t do it. If something questionable has been done, clear it up with everyone involved, insofar as possible, and repent. And every dictionary in the world isn’t going to be able to substitute for following the Holy Ghost.

  14. I have decided to cut to the chase, this is it,here is your salvation if you donot resonate with the quantum wave from the the center of the galaxie by the time it aligns with the our solar plane you shall burn as stuble! You ignorant Mormonites! you fools you have broken the everlasing covenants and never said a word! you let those supposed prphets lead you to Hell!! You Have no honor no valor in the face of the enemy, you cowards!! The spirit of God has spoken expresley and you ignored it you have blasphemmed, and shed the bloiod of the great Jehova afresh !! your Savior weeps for you, you foolish virgins, You are all politically correct! congratulations. I spew thee out of my mouth, even tho i have lost my first children the young warriors shall now come forth and as a young lion amidst the sheep you all shall be hewn down and cast into the fire. You are gentiles and your time is up the house of iisreal has come fiorth, Ephraim shall now prevail ! !

  15. We quote mans definition of sexual relations or sexual intercourse, or sexual misconduct. I wonder what God’s definition would be.

    When Jesus taught that man teaches against adultry, and he teaches against lusting after a women, we was refering to the idea of stop it before it starts. The thought of sinning is the first sin.

    You think that touching woman’s breasts is worthy of a Priesthood holder representing God?

    You sin when you think about touching a woman’s breast. Because God never would think about touching your wife, you daughter, or any other woman’s breasts.

  16. You posted the link “The Law of Chastiy” but failed to post the next paragraph after the one you posted
    “We have been taught that the law of chastity encompassesMORE than sexual intercourse. Elder Spencer W. Kimball warned young people of OTHER sexual sins:

    “Among the most common sexual sins our young people commit are necking and petting. Not only do these improper relations often lead to fornication, [unwed] 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” (The Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 65). ”

    You are being decieved when you say that pornography, necking, petting, masturbation, oral sex and etc. are not breaking the law of chastity. Anyone who do these things and do not repent and confess to the bishop are not worthy to hold a temple recommend. The For the Strength of Youth booklet also talks about sexual purity and things not to do, which means if you do them you are not sexully not pure. (talks about necking, petting, masturbation (arousing those emotions in your own body)
    If you honestly believe that these things are not breaking the law of chastity then you do not know and understand or follow the prophet.

    No matter what you or anyone says against these truths are wrong.

  17. Anonymous, check the post again. Under the heading, “Church manuals and leader’s teachings often go beyond the temple definition,” you’ll find that I DID POST those two paragraphs.

  18. I think the point being made by anonymous is that the prophets are not expanding the definition of Adultry or Fornication, but that they are explaining the kinds of sinful behaviors that lead to such things.

    If I explain that doing X will ultimately lead to doing Y, then I could conclude by your consenting to do X that you wouldn’t have a problem with Y. I think that is the issue at hand.

    Although pornography, masterbation, and touching breasts don’t constitute a violation of the Law of Chastity — they are still sexual sins. Serious ones that lead to a loss of the Spirit, the loss of a marriage, and the inevitable transgression of Chastity’s Law.

    I agree with your distinction about what the Law of Chastity is and what it is not, but I don’t see the value in splitting these hairs. We’ve been asked to keep the Law of the Gospel — every other unholy and impure practice, and we are asked in our worthiness interview if there isanything in our conduct as it relates to our family that is not in harmony with the teachings of the Church.

    So while I agree with you that squeezing another woman’s breasts is not breaking the Law of Chastity — it is still a sin and I will still end up with a divorce.

  19. Justin said, “I agree with your distinction about what the Law of Chastity is and what it is not, but I don’t see the value in splitting these hairs.”

    Knowledge of the actual, laws of God, as they are written in the scriptures, has intrinsic value, as it allows us to properly order our lives according to what He has actually said, and not according to the precepts of men. Lack of knowledge, or in this case, a correct or proper knowledge, can and often does lead to destruction.

    I’ll give you an example. Consider the teenager, who has been erroneously taught that the law of chastity covers everything we are taught that it covers, and who has also been taught that keeping virtue is more important that one’s own life. You know what I’m talking about, the “I’d rather see my daughter buried than have her lose her virtue” principle. This teenager, then, priding himself or herself on their moral fortitude and “perfect and spotless record,” one night cedes to temptation and fondles a woman’s breasts (or in the case of the woman, gets fondled.) Devastated with guilt, having “broken the law of chastity,” he or she then goes and commits suicide. What, then, is the root cause of this catastrophe (the suicide)? Is it that he or she sinned, or is it that they did not have a proper, correct knowledge of the actual laws of the Lord?

    We heap a lot of guilt on our people. I’m a convert to the church but I was brought up in it as a teenager and I know the incredible pressures and guilt treatments that are put upon us. I know the unnecessary and non-scriptural judgments we place upon each other when others “break the law of chastity.” Your final words are, in fact, indicative of the state of the church on this one issue:

    “it is still a sin and I will still end up with a divorce.”

    That to me indicates a lack of knowledge on your wife’s part. (No offense to your wife.) “Squeezing another woman’s breasts” should not end in divorce. But it might if you take a molehill and make it equal to a mountain. In other words, there are cultural norms and there are gospel norms. We need to keep each one separate and distinct, because once they are blurred together, all broken cultural norms become sins, meaning that the precepts of men are held up as equal to the laws of God.

  20. It is nice to hear someone espousing teachings that I agree so wholeheartedly with.

    Guilt is killing the members of this church. I am not speaking of Godly sorrow, but guilt for breaking cultural and societal norms.

    When we feel guilt, whether deserved or not, we loose spiritual power.

    If the scriptures do not teach that it is a sin then it is not a sin, regardless what your culture or even your church presidents say.

    While I agree that masturbation, pornography, or petting are not inherent sins, it would be very difficult to do any of those three without “lusting” after someone (although it would be possible). That is the sin, lusting after, not the actual act.

    Of course that opens a whole new bag of worms, what does “lusting after” mean.

    For an interesting write up on cultural sins and legitimate sins visit http://www.weepingforzion.com/?p=189

  21. Rather than split hairs on the actual meaning of the Law of Chastity, and the binary possibility of sin (I have or I have not), we should consider how virtuous we are.

    If we only worry about if a sin is committed, at best we are innocent. But, if we cultivate virtue instead of just avoiding sin, then virtue becomes a proactive quality that may be far more than just innocence. In this light, we should not have to worry (or at least worry as much) if something is adultry – we worry instead how much it affects how virtuous we are. How can we let virtue garnish our thoughts continually, if all that consists of is not thinking about bad things? We need to cultivate virtue, the same way we do faith or humility.

    In other words, all the sins listed, are a continuum. It is like when we look at a car and see what kind of shape it is in. No car is perfect, little scratches, dirty interior, bad oil, etc. We can fix a lot of this, but when we drive or buy, we want to know how well it works, not if it is perfect or not.

  22. Sure, I agree with but…

    Don’t think your level of “virtue” is determined by your conforming to societal norms. If it is not a sin, it is not a sin, and not doing it in no way makes you more virtuous.

    Troy

  23. I am not certain how I suggested societal norms had anything to do with it. We need the Lord’s standards, and not the Worlds.

    But as for virtue, you have defined it as “not sin” and by that definition, the best you can do is “not sin”. But the Scriptures suggest to us that Virtue is as much a quality to be cultivated like as faith is. Peter talks about how we can be partakers of the Divine Nature, and that we need to have faith, and to add to our faith, virtue. And to add to our virtue, knowledge, and a host of other positive traits none of which are merely the absence of sin.

    Perhaps I have mis-stated what you think. Just how would you define virtue?

  24. Virtue is power that comes through being righteous, being righteous means you are keeping covenant with the Lord, keeping covenant with the Lord means you are not sinning.

    Virtue essentially comes through doing what the Lord wants you to do and not doing what he does not want you to do.

    The Lord does not want us to break the law of chastity. If we do not break the law of chastity then in that regards we are keeping covenant, if we are keeping covenant then we will have virtue or power.

    If you agree with that then we are in agreement.

    If you think that we also need to do other things to have virtue and power, or add things onto the law of chastity, things that the Lord does not tell us we need to do or refrain from, things that are societal in nature, then we disagree.

  25. When President Monson says that looking at pornography will “literally destroy your soul”, how am I to take that?

    I do agree that looking at pornography does not break the Law of Chastity, but is President Monson correct in saying that it will destroy my soul? Or do you say he is just perpetuating the guilt-parade?

    To me, there are more ways for something to be bad, or to be a sin, than whether or not it breaks the Law of Chastity.

    I joined the Church when I was 20 years old, so I missed those guilt-heaping teenage years you speak of. Perhaps this is why I do not fully understand your point??

    So, I guess my main query would be — isn’t viewing pornography still unacceptable behavior, and isn’t grabbing another woman’s breast still unfaithful to my wife, even though we can admit it doesn’t break the Law of Chastity?

  26. Lusting after a woman who is not your wife is unacceptable behavior, and that is the sin.

    Now I don’t know who could view pornography without lusting, I know I couldn’t, but the bottom line is that the sin is in the lusting, not the looking.

    Troy

  27. Justin, the purpose of the post was to accurately define the law of chastity, as a foundation for my follow-up post on the law of chastity. It was never my intention to cover the gamut of sins that fall outside of the law of chastity. Pornography is a post in and of itself. Perhaps I will write about it and then we can take up that subject in earnest.

    Concerning fondling some (single) woman’s breasts and this being unfaithful to your wife, let me ask you a question. As we are all in agreement that this falls outside of the definition of the law of chastity, if the woman in question consents to being fondled, if you consent to do some fondling, and if your wife also gives her consent, where is the sin in this?

    Now, let’s be clear in this, I’m not suggesting people go around fondling people with consent, I’m just curious how you would answer this question if there is consent given all around. See, I can totally understand how doing something like this without consent, with the expectation by all parties that this will not and should not be done, would be causing someone emotional harm, but with consent, does this action constitute a sin? If so, under what law of God would you be basing it on?

  28. Your last paragraph is a great point. I’ve been calling these actions “unfaithful” because I was assuming, in my mind, that my wife wouldn’t have given her consent.

    You are correct in saying that if all three parties consent, then we aren’t transgressing any Laws of God — only the precepts of men, i.e. you’d be “frowned” upon in the Church is word of this got out.

    Thanks — I really enjoy your posts BTW.

  29. Are you saying that if your wife consents then it is not a transgression because her expectations of you have changed and that she will not experience emotional harm? What about the expectations of your children and the emotional harm that they experience from Dad’s behavior? But if the kids consent too, then it’s OK? SInce when does another person’s consent justify bad behavior? I thought that was called accomplice. And why does the fondled woman have to be single? By your argumenr, couldn’t you fondle a married woman’s breasts as long as she consents, and her husband consents too, and not be a sin?

    I think a lot of the “arguments” here, including the original post, are less arguments and more rationalization for bad behavior.

  30. “I think a lot of the “arguments” here, including the original post, are less arguments and more rationalization for bad behavior.”

    I think this is LDS Anarchy’s point, to correct statements like this. If there is no sin associated with the action then it is not bad behavior, it is simply against societies norms.

    “What about the expectations of your children and the emotional harm that they experience from Dad’s behavior?”

    You make no covenants with your children. Only your spouse.

    It is a difficult thing to completely sever our dependence on societies rules and only embrace the rules of God, but that is what he expects of us. This is why he has given us the scriptures, so we can learn what are God’s rules and what are not. Following the rules of society does not make a person more righteous, only following the rules of God. This is why Joseph Smith said:

    What many people call sin is not sin; I do many things to break
    down superstition, and I will break it down”; I referred to the curse of
    Ham for laughing at Noah, while in his wine, but doing no harm. Noah was
    righteous man, and yet he drank wine and became intoxicated; the Lord did
    not forsake him in consequence thereof, for he retained all the power of
    his Priesthood, and when he was accused by Canaan, he cursed him by the
    Priesthood which he held, and the Lord had respect to his word, and the
    Priesthood which he held, notwithstanding he was drunk, and the curse
    remains upon the posterity of Canaan until the present day. (November 7,
    1841.) DHC 4:445-446.

    Regarding the previous statement by the prophet Joseph Smith, the Lord does not consider drunkenness as a sin yet we teach it an absolutely horrible thing to do.

    This is true with petting, kissing, touching, masturbating or any other “man made additions” to the law of chastity. We are only held accountable to the law itself, no amount of other things that we include in the law will being any more blessings.

    In closing I will again say that Jesus said it is a sin to lust after a woman, so if any of the things above also involve lusting after a woman then they are sins as well, simply not sins by breaking the law of chastity.

    I personally don’t feel that I know what the Lord meant when he spoke of lusting after a woman. If it simple means a desire for sexual relations then I have “lusted” after my lovely wife. If it means a desire for sexual relations with someone you are unmarried to then again, I have lusted after my lovely wife because previous to our marriage I still desired sex with her, just never did it.

    For these reasons I think lusting after a woman is more along the lines of desiring sexual relations with no accompanying desire or intention to provide and care for the woman.

    This viewpoint is still a work in progress and very open to changes.

    Troy

  31. Yodette, I second what Troy said above in his first 9 paragraphs.

  32. LDS Anarchist,
    I know you explained earlier that you thought lusting after someone meant the desire to have intercourse with them. Can you explain 1)why you think that and 2)how that relates in marriage because shouldn’t we want to have intercourse? And if we do it would it be lusting, but not wrong?

    I tend to agree with what Troy said, but just wanted to hear your thoughts. Thanks.
    Jamie

  33. Jamie, check out the meaning of the word lust during the time of Joseph Smith. In other words, these were the shades of meaning that Joseph would have understood lust to mean:

    lust

    LUST, n.

    1. Longing desire; eagerness to possess or enjoy; as the lust of gain.

    My lust shall be satisfied upon them. Ex. 15.

    2. Concupiscence; carnal appetite; unlawful desire of carnal pleasure. Romans 1. 2 Peter 2.

    3. Evil propensity; depraved affections and desires. James 1. Ps. 81.

    4. Vigor; active power. [Not used.]

    LUST, v.i.

    1. To desire eagerly; to long; with after.

    Thou mayest kill and eat flesh in all thy gates, whatsoever thy soul lusteth after. Deut. 12.

    2. To have carnal desire; to desire eagerly the gratification of carnal appetite.

    Lust not after her beauty in thy heart. Prov. 6.

    Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her,hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. Matt. 5.

    3. To have irregular or inordinate desires.

    The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy. James 4.

    Lust not after evil things as they also lusted. 1 Cor. 10.

    4. To list; to like.

    (Taken from the 1828 Webster’s Dictionary.)

    Not every shade of meaning above has an evil connotation. In particular, meaning #2 of the verb to lust, which simply means to want to have sex with, is applied specifically to the Matthew scripture that’s always brought up, which scripture deals with lusting after a married woman who is not your spouse, which is why it is wrong. But there are other shades of meaning and other scriptures and it depends on the scriptural passage to figure out which meaning fits. Here is a list of all the verses that mention lust.

    Now, does that sufficiently answer your questions?

  34. Why did you choose to use the dictionary from Joseph Smith’s time? The scripture you were quoting is from the New Testament. Just curious.

    And the way you phrased “married woman who is not your spouse” makes it seem as though if it were a single lady then lusting would be okay. Yet in other scriptures such as Mormon 9: 28 it appears to me that any lusting is wrong. So that leaves the question why? I still side with Troy’s logic that it has to do with idea of gratification without responsibility or giving anything in return.

  35. Jamie, I chose that dictionary because it opens up the meaning of the Triple Combination books as well as the Bible. It gives the understanding that Joseph and other Americans of that time had of the words of the Bible, as well as the words of the Book of Mormon and other revelations received by Joseph. From these entries, you can see that there is more than one shade of meaning, so you can’t cookie-cutter the same meaning of lust into every passage. In one passage it means one shade, in another passage it means another shade. The context of the passage reveals which shade of meaning was intended.

    Perhaps I haven’t addressed Matthew 5: 28 and D&C 63: 16. I guess now is as good a time as ever.

    But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. (Matt. 5: 28)

    And verily I say unto you, as I have said before, he that looketh on a woman to lust after her, or if any shall commit adultery in their hearts, they shall not have the Spirit, but shall deny the faith and shall fear. (D&C 63: 16)

    Which shades of meaning of the word “to lust” fit? Shades #1 and 2. Using the words of the dictionary, the person lusting is desiring her eagerly or longing for her, with carnal desire. Or, desiring her eagerly for the gratification of carnal appetite. Using our modern vernacular, the person wants to have sex with her.

    Are we in agreement on this point?

    Okay, moving on… In these two verses the Lord is referring to “a married woman who is not the man’s spouse.” How do we know? Because He says the sin is adultery in the heart. The keyword is adultery. Adultery is committed with a married woman who is not your spouse. It is not committed with a single woman. Sex with a single woman is fornication, not adultery.

    So, lusting after a single woman does not come under these scriptural prohibitions. Why not?

    The Lord doesn’t often give answers to “why” questions, but surely it is useful to ask them anyway. We are accustomed to asking why the law of God prohibits such and such a thing, but it is also useful to ask why God would permit other things.

    For example, we know what is against the law of chastity from the above post and discussion. We can debate back and forth the whys the Lord had in mind in setting these prohibitions. But why does He allow what He allows? Why would He allow lusting after single women? Why would He allow kissing, touching and other things found outside of the jurisdiction of the law of chastity? The Lord does everything for a purpose, so His prohibitions have a purpose and also the things He allows have a purpose. What purpose would allowing lusting after a single woman have? Or even lusting after a married woman who is your spouse?

    As Troy stated above,

    If it simply means a desire for sexual relations then I have “lusted” after my lovely wife. If it means a desire for sexual relations with someone you are unmarried to then again, I have lusted after my lovely wife because previous to our marriage I still desired sex with her, just never did it.

    We see in this that his lusting served a purpose and caused him to marry his wife, thus fulfilling the purposes of the Lord. If all mankind were strictly platonic without any lusting going on, we’d be like little 5 year old kids and no one would get married and no one would have children.

    Now, let’s look at Mormon 9: 28.

    Be wise in the days of your probation; strip yourselves of all uncleanness; ask not, that ye may consume it on your lusts, but ask with a firmness unshaken, that ye will yield to no temptation, but that ye will serve the true and living God.

    This obviously comes under only the 3rd shade of meaning of the noun lust: evil propensity. This shade of meaning has an evil connotation, like the 2nd, but unlike the 1st and 4th shades.

    Troy’s “idea of gratification without responsibility or giving anything in return” as being the meaning of lust is not supported by the actual definitions of the word given in good dictionaries, whether modern or those at the time of the publication of the Triple Combination books. It’s a nice thought and a pleasant theory, and I’ve heard many people espouse such a meaning, and, in fact, if enough people start to think of lust in such a way and use it in everyday speech eventually the dictionaries will start to include such a shade of meaning, but when the Bible was translated into English and when the Triple Combination books were first published such an idea of lust did not exist and was not, therefore, the intended meaning.

  36. Interesting article indeed but one thing I disagree with. First of all yes any definition of the phrase “sexual relations” would preclude masturbation by oneself as being a violation of the law of chastity since there is no intercourse nor anything “between” individuals nor could I even see how it could be a sin as masturbation does not have to include lusting after someone whom is not your spouse. In fact a married man could simply be thinking sexually about his wife while masturbating. Therefore a married man thinking of his spouse while masturbating by himself would not be a violation of the law of chastity nor a sin IF the definition of the phrase “sexual relations” is used.

    However if you define each word individually then “sexual” “relations” would include masturbation by oneself as well since a “relation” does not require two people but merely two things.

    Since masturbation is sexual in nature and it’s a relation of two things (hand and penis) it seems to me as though it would be forbidden if done alone.

    So my question is why are you defining the phrase “sexual relations” instead of the words “sexual” “relations”?

  37. Kevin, perhaps my post, Connecting with Pixels may offer more for you to read in relation to the subject of masturbation and what may make it a sinful behavior — and when it may not be.

  38. Kevin, was the law of chastity in 1989 exactly the same as the law of chastity in 2010? If you answer this question, “yes,” then the pre-1990 phrase “sexual intercourse” means exactly the same thing as the post 1990 term “sexual relations.” If you can break up the term “sexual intercourse” into “sexual” and “intercourse” and still get to masturbation, then you are on solid ground with your theory. I, personally, see no way to do that other than ignoring the definitions found in dictionaries and inventing my own, new shade of meaning for the word intercourse.

  39. “Kevin, was the law of chastity in 1989 exactly the same as the law of chastity in 2010?”
    -The Law itself has never changed however the way it has been explained to us and therefore our understanding of it has changed. Therefore it does not follow that the pre-1990 wording means exactly the same as the post 1990 wording especially when you define each word individually (as one would normally do when looking for definitions of words).

    If the term “sexual intercourse” and “sexual relations” meant exactly the same thing then why the change at all? Don’t you think there was a purpose in changing the wording? If there was what was the purpose? Couldn’t God have been revealing the endowment, and the law of chastity line upon line and precept upon precept? Isn’t it possible that He first revealed the part of the law of chastity that covers “sexual intercourse” and then at a later time revealed that is also includes anything that is a “sexual” “relation”? Again line upon line and precept upon precept.

    Again this does not require that the law of chastity itself has changed only the way it is explained to us has changed since additional revelation has been given concerning it has which further clarifies to us what the law of chastity really is.

  40. Justin – I read your article and enjoyed it. It was very informative and interesting however there is no way around the fact that masturbation is sexual in nature and is also a relation between two things. Therefore when a man or woman engages in it alone (regardless of the thoughts he/she is thinking and regardless of lack of porn) the individual clearly is engaging in a “sexual” “relation” that is not with his/her spouse. That again seems pretty clear to me that it is a violation of the law of chastity (again only when done alone as that is not with your wife/husband).

  41. I guess I’m mainly concerned with masturbation because it focuses sexuality on non-real entities (such as pixels, photographs, imaginary thoughts, etc) — and God intends that binding to be directed towards a human to which the person is married.

    Kevin,
    What then would you say is the difference between breaking the law of chastity and committing adultery in one’s heart?

  42. Your main concern with masturbation is an interesting idea that certainly may be correct and I have no disagreement with that theory.

    The only thing I question is the idea put forth in the original post by LDSA that masturbation isn’t forbidden by the law of chastity. I see no reason to only use/rely on the definition of the phrase “sexual relations” and at the same time reject the definitions of the individual words “sexual” and “relations”.

    As far as a difference between breaking the law of chastity and committing adultery in one’s heart I don’t know if there is a difference. Is pondering sexual intercourse in your mind a “sexual” act? If so then seems to me as though it would be included under the umbrella of “sexual” “relations”; the “sexual” part referring to the sexual thoughts of intercourse and the “relation” part referring to yourself and your thoughts. I’m not sure if I actually think that but seems like it’s possible. I guess the short answer to your question is I don’t really have a strong opinion either way and have yet to decide on that one.

  43. Okay lets establish some answers. I will try. Jesus spoke of several major classes of sin in the sermon on the mount. He contrasted the apostate teaching of the day which allowed people to commit sin and yet claim righteousness with the eternal truths from Him by taking an example of the first approach to the sin he was addressing. Hence we have the subject of sexual sin and He starts from the extreme end of the evil the act of adultery and then takes the first approach to that act which is looking upon a woman (or man) to lust or to explain it in precise detail looking at a person with the intent to engage in sexual relations with them yet without being married to them.
    Now if you say that Jesus is saying that is equal to adultery then surely I have been a murderer more than a 10,000 times over because how many times have I been angry at someone?
    I had a friend that was a menonite. Great good hearted guy. He said something that sounded nice but is just not true. Jesus said if you offend in one point of the law you offend in all. So the breaking of any commandment is the same as breaking any other commandment.
    It makes no difference what Jesus meant in the principle which was then perverted. Only in the fact that big sins are bad for us and others and little sins are bad for us and others are they related.
    I have no doubt that God could care less in quantifying all sins and lining them up in a row from greatest to least and there are surely more productive things to do with our time too. I am not accusing Kevin or Justin of anything like that.
    I just want to stomp real hard on the idea that committing adultery in your heart is equal to having sexual relations with another person. That just isn’t the truth period. One involves only one person’s mind and can be as fleeting as a minute or less then completely repented of with no further harm to them and zero harm to anyone else. The act of engaging in sexual relations and especially coitus where the sexual organs of a man and woman come together and continue till an orgasm should and can produce an eternity long bond and can produce the physical body which will also be eternal and the spirit child of God whose body it will be is entitled to and truly needs a lifetime of commitment to care for. And if all that is done without the express commitment and also the express agreement of the other spouses then you can see it is not equal to a thought or an unholy desire.

    And as for masturbation it doesn’t break the law of chastity but it does violate the law of the gospel which says we are to refrain from all unholy and impure practices.

    What is holy? It means set apart for a special purpose. The sexual organs and hormones of our bodies have the power to create other bodies and eternal bonds of love. That is holy. To use them for selfish purposes is to waste a potential. That is unholy. So I believe masturbation is not right, but it is also not equal to adultery. It obviously does not create the havoc that fornication and adultery does.

    Now there was a principle just stated that should be put over on the marriage is ordained of God post comment.
    To use our creative powers for selfish purposes is a waste of potential and is therefore unholy. So if a spouse (sp1) forces their spouse (sp2) to use their (sp2)’s sexual powers in a way which serves only their (sp1)’s selfish purposes (jealousy) that too is a waste of potential and is unholy.

    If there was a lesser law surely monogamy is one of them. But as was well stated there are no lesser or greater laws there are only expedient laws.

  44. dyc4557:

    You seem to equate committing adultery in the heart with only involving the mind — being “as fleeting as a minute or less then completely repented of with no further harm to them and zero harm to anyone else.

    In the comments on the Connecting with PIxels post, LDSA summed up the definition that our conversation arrived at: “Viewing pornographic material with the intent of exciting oneself sexually to the point that sexual self-stimulation occurs causes one to commit adultery within the heart.

    He said, concerning that definition:
    That is an interesting and concise definition, involving both the inner, spiritual man (the desires and intents of the heart) and the outer, physical man (masturbation). I think many would agree with it. In particular, such a definition contains an element of something that is actually done, an actual act, even masturbation, and not strictly mental musings. We tend to think of sins as commission, something done, or ommission, something that should have been done but wasn’t, but always in terms of action or lack of action. The Savior’s “adultery in one’s heart” sin throws a wrench in the works for it (apparently) takes away the action part. At the last day, if someone says, “You desired to have sex with that married woman!” and is answered by the accused, “Yeah, but I DIDN’T DO ANYTHING. I didn’t act on my desire,” technically, that would be correct. Spiritual adultery technically isn’t physical or real adultery. Yet, if we define it as you have here, with a physical action taking place, the sexual climax without the partner, now something has been done, although it wasn’t actually done with the one who was lusted after.

    Concerning your point that “And as for masturbation it doesn’t break the law of chastity but it does violate the law of the gospel which says we are to refrain from all unholy and impure practices.” — this post was actually one of the first that I started commenting on about a year ago. That too was my thoughts on the subject. While I do think that it is important (from the standpoint of removing all the undue placement of guilt that commandments of men can have) to state clearly that masturbation is not breaking the law of chastity as it is defined in our temple ceremony — many people take that to mean an allowance for the behavior, as though it were justifiable. I think that though LDSA was saying that it doesn’t break the law of chastity — does not mean that he was saying that there is nothing wrong with it.

    My previous comments from a year ago, that I referenced above, start here.

  45. Kevin:

    The Law itself has never changed however the way it has been explained to us and therefore our understanding of it has changed. Therefore it does not follow that the pre-1990 wording means exactly the same as the post 1990 wording especially when you define each word individually (as one would normally do when looking for definitions of words).

    There is a term “sexual intercourse” (one term) and there is a term “sexual relations” (one term). Both terms are synonymous. If the law doesn’t change and hasn’t changed since the beginning of time, you must apply the same rules to one as to the other. You cannot just arbitrarily decide to take the second term and split it up to get more prohibitions from it which the orginal (first) term never gave because that adds to the law of chastity. In other words, doing so effectively changes what the law of chastity is.

    If the term “sexual intercourse” and “sexual relations” meant exactly the same thing then why the change at all? Don’t you think there was a purpose in changing the wording? If there was what was the purpose?

    If you preach against masturbation and against petting and fondling and a host of other behaviors, the term “sexual intercourse” is not very useful, for it doesn’t include those behaviors. By changing it to “sexual relations” it is possible to play upon people’s ignorance that “sexual relations” = “sexual intercourse” so that when people hear the new term they think instead, “sexual” + “relations” (two terms), as you did, instead of “sexual relations” (one term), thus seemingly putting these other behaviors under the jurisdiction of the law of chastity, while still technically keeping the original meaning of the law of chastity intact and exact, neither adding to, nor taking away from it.

    Laws must be precise and exact for them to be binding upon people (and there is no one more precise and exact than God.) It is the reason why in man’s law there is a separate Black’s law dictionary. When dealing with law (the law of chastity, for example), words must have precise meaning. If a law doesn’t change, but the way you describe the law does because you use the different wording, the new wording must mean the same as the old wording in order for the law not to change. Not everyone is a lawyer, so they miss the fact that the law remains unchanged. The only thing that has changed is people’s perception of what the law is and isn’t.

    Couldn’t God have been revealing the endowment, and the law of chastity line upon line and precept upon precept? Isn’t it possible that He first revealed the part of the law of chastity that covers “sexual intercourse” and then at a later time revealed that is also includes anything that is a “sexual” “relation”? Again line upon line and precept upon precept.

    The leaders teach that there have been no changes (additions or subtractions) to the law of chastity and that it is eternal law, therefore the former and latter wordings must be synonymous. Nevertheless, the Lord is free to reveal new principles and knowledge under which the law of chastity applies, without actually changing the law. So, for example, people used to think that monogamy kept the law of chastity and every other type of marriage relationship broke it. Then God revealed more and now we know that polygyny, polyandry and multiple wife/multiple husband marriage systems all keep the law of chastity. We have received line upon line and precept upon precept, yet the law of chastity has not changed in any way, only our understanding of what breaks it and what doesn’t break it.

    Again this does not require that the law of chastity itself has changed only the way it is explained to us has changed since additional revelation has been given concerning it has which further clarifies to us what the law of chastity really is.

    Your example doesn’t clarify the law of chastity, it fundamentally changes it. The two versions explain chastity using different words, but the meaning must be the same for the law not to change. If “sexual intercourse” meant exactly the same as “sexual” + “relations,” you would have evidence to back your interpretation. But this isn’t the case.

    However if you define each word individually then “sexual” “relations” would include masturbation by oneself as well since a “relation” does not require two people but merely two things.

    Since masturbation is sexual in nature and it’s a relation of two things (hand and penis) it seems to me as though it would be forbidden if done alone.

    The use of the word “relations” in regard to masturbation makes no sense. There is no relation between you and your penis. Your penis is a part of you. It is you. (When your penis enters your wife, is it your penis entering your wife or is it you entering your wife? Can you claim to have never entered your wife because it was your penis, a thing, that entered your wife and not you? See how ridiculous these questions are?) Can one relate to oneself (have relations with oneself)? The very idea is absurd. To relate requires you and something (or someone) that isn’t you.

  46. Justin said, “I think that though LDSA was saying that it doesn’t break the law of chastity — does not mean that he was saying that there is nothing wrong with it.”

    That is correct. I wasn’t justifying masturbation by what I wrote about it not breaking the law of chastity.

  47. LDSA –

    Your pre-1990 definition doesn’t go back far enough. According to one web site, the circa 1931 covenant for men was “You and each of you do covenant and promise that you will not have sexual intercourse with any of the opposite sex except your lawful wife or wives who are given you by the holy priesthood.” and for women: “You and each of you do covenant and promise that you will not have sexual intercourse with any of the opposite sex save your lawful husband, given you by the holy priesthood.”

    To my memory, which does not reach back to 1931, the law of chastity was explained (defined) as “have no sexual intercourse with any of the Daughters of Eve except for your wife, to whom you are legally and lawfully wedded.”

    Thus, the “sexual” part of “sexual intercourse” needed to include both sexes. The “solitary vice” wasn’t included. Intercourse between two men wasn’t included.

  48. Getting excessively worked up over the legalistic wording is not all it is cracked up to be. If, Heaven forbid, sex with furniture became popular, we could scarcely call that other than a perversion, though it is certainly nowhere mentioned! That is why verses like “thou shalt not commit adultery….. nor anything like unto it” D&C 59:6 are so important. Frankly, we have more options and ways of breaking the law of chastity than there have been in the past. If we insist on limiting ourselves to old definitions, we are slitting our own throats.

  49. This might fit here:

    Re: the law of chastity definition. I’m no lawyer or attorney, but my understanding is that if a law doesn’t change, but the wording used to define the law has changed, then the original wording and the final wording must mean the same thing.

    The law of chastity, we are taught, is eternal and does not, nor will it, change. Also, it deals with the law of God, not the law of man. This means that the word lawfully is not referring to the law of man, but lawful according to the law of God. The current wording of the law of chastity, using the words lawfully and legally, likewise only refer to the law of God.

    Nothing has changed in the chastity. The only thing that has changed is our perception of what it means. Under the law of God, lawful and legal refers to the fact that a covenant of marriage has been entered into by the man and the woman. It there has been no covenant, there has been no marriage between the two and they are breaking the law of chastity.

    Even if one were to take the definitions and think of them as speaking of the laws of the State and not of God, it still means the same thing. If you look up the word legal, you find that it says, “Anything is legal which the laws do not forbid.” This means that if a man or a woman covenant with each other to be husband and wife without using a State marriage license, this is legal. The State laws do not forbid this. The only thing the State forbids is the mingling of races, in which case it demands a State marriage license. This is what I have heard, though I haven’t verified it. Everybody else can marry with someone of their own race without a marriage license and will not be breaking the law. And this is the test. If you marry a woman without a marriage license, can you be prosecuted and thrown into jail? No, you cannot. The law doesn’t even recognize marriages that are performed without a marriage license. Therefore, what the State doesn’t recognize and doesn’t forbid, is perfectly legal.

    Any way you look at these definitions, then, it must mean the same thing, for the law of chastity does not change.

    Taken from here. This deals with the changing of the definition of the law of chastity from only “lawfully” to “legally and lawfully”.

  50. LDSA,

    That seems to likewise end Kevin’s argument above. “Sexual relations” still means “sexual intercourse” as it did prior to the change. It didn’t change from being “sexual intercourse” to being any “relations” that happen to be “sexual”. The change in wording only changed what we might think it means — not the eternal law.

  51. And I still disagree. My argument does not require the law itself to have changed. THE law could have always been any “relations” that happens to be “sexual” yet the wording in the temple wasn’t entirely accurate until now. Anyone making the argument that the current wording entails too much ignores the opposite possibility: that the previous wording didn’t entail enough and through revelation the wording has been corrected to now be more accurate.

    I don’t understand why everyone assumes that the previous wording is automatically more accurate. The fact that a law is eternal in no way means that the first explanation of said law is automatically more accurate than a later explanation of the same law. This is especially true when you consider that explaining God’s will in English will certainly carry with it some complications since no language man has invented could possibly explain things as well as God’s language.

    It gain is just as much a possibility that the previous wording wasn’t completely accurate to begin with.

    To be clear I’m not claiming to know exactly what THE LAW is I’m just saying that all arguments presented thus far do not prove THE LAW is only “sexual intercourse”.

  52. LDSA said, “There is a term “sexual intercourse” (one term) and there is a term “sexual relations” (one term). Both terms are synonymous.”
    -And there is also a word “sexual” and a word “relations”. When defined seperately they are not synonymous with the term “sexual relations”.

    “If the law doesn’t change and hasn’t changed since the beginning of time, you must apply the same rules to one as to the other.”
    -No because the original wording of “sexual intercourse” may not have been completely accurate to begin with. Yes the law itself is eternal but the english explanation can change and will if needed.

    “You cannot just arbitrarily decide to take the second term and split it up to get more prohibitions from it which the orginal (first) term never gave because that adds to the law of chastity. In other words, doing so effectively changes what the law of chastity is.”
    -Yet you are the one that have arbitratily decided that the second term cannot be split up and thus potentially subtracts from the law of chastity. The new wording doesn’t change the law, as you pointed out it’s eternal. The new wording merely changes our understading of it.

    “If a law doesn’t change, but the way you describe the law does because you use the different wording, the new wording must mean the same as the old wording in order for the law not to change.”
    -Not if the first explanation wasn’t completely accurate in the first place.

    “The leaders teach that there have been no changes (additions or subtractions) to the law of chastity and that it is eternal law, therefore the former and latter wordings must be synonymous.”
    -This assumes that the former wording was completely accurate to begin with which may not be the case.

    “Your example doesn’t clarify the law of chastity, it fundamentally changes it. The two versions explain chastity using different words, but the meaning must be the same for the law not to change.”
    -No, a change is wording doesn’t change the law itself but only changes the way it’s explained to us in English.

    “The use of the word “relations” in regard to masturbation makes no sense. There is no relation between you and your penis.”
    -The relation isn’t between you and your penis; the relation is between a hand and a penis. Look up the definition of relation yourself; it can be between two things like a hand and a penis.

    “Your penis is a part of you. It is you. (When your penis enters your wife, is it your penis entering your wife or is it you entering your wife? Can you claim to have never entered your wife because it was your penis, a thing, that entered your wife and not you? See how ridiculous these questions are?) Can one relate to oneself (have relations with oneself)? The very idea is absurd.
    -Agreed which is why I’m not making the claim that masterbation is a relation between you and a part of you. Again it’s a relation between a hand and a penis.

    “To relate requires you and something (or someone) that isn’t you.”
    -No, look up the definition of relation. It again can be between two things and does not require two people.

  53. I t is clear to me that you’re assuming that the LOC hasn’t changed; therefore, the meaning of the (changed) words must not have changed. This is entirely circular: it hasn’t changed because it hasn’t changed.

    I also think it incorrect: the wording has changed several times, in order to include or exclude variations on what is now encompassed as “immorality.” Earliest known wording did not reference a legal marriage. Legal marriage language was added after the 1890 and 1904 (“and we really mean it, this time!”) Manifestoes. Language forbidding homosexual intercourse added sometime between 1967 and 1990. Language forbidding “relations” other than intercourse added 1990.

    Words convey meanings. Altered words convey altered meanings.

  54. “Your penis is a part of you. It is you. (When your penis enters your wife, is it your penis entering your wife or is it you entering your wife? Can you claim to have never entered your wife because it was your penis, a thing, that entered your wife and not you? See how ridiculous these questions are?) Can one relate to oneself (have relations with oneself)? The very idea is absurd.
    -Agreed which is why I’m not making the claim that masterbation is a relation between you and a part of you. Again it’s a relation between a hand and a penis.

    Kevin — the point is, I believe, that the “parts” of you are you. As LDSA said in the example: “When your penis enters your wife, is it your penis entering your wife or is it you entering your wife? Can you claim to have never entered your wife because it was your penis, a thing, that entered your wife and not you? See how ridiculous these questions are?

    The part is you — a part of you. The same is true with the hand. Were I to strike someone with my hand, could I claim to not have hit them b/c is was my hand? No — my hand is me.

    Two parts of me do not relate with one another b/c it’s just me.

    I think your best grounds for stating masturbation breaks the law of chastity is to do so on the grounds of the relations occurring between myself [hand and penis] and the pixels or images to which I am masturbating. Though I would define that as “adultery in the [right-brain]-heart“.

  55. I agree with this statement from Senile Old Fart.

    Words convey meanings. Altered words convey altered meanings.

    But if God is the author of this law then why would any alterations be necessary? Oh of course it is only us mortals trying to clarify things for our sakes. But then how would convey any type of altered meaning? Just altered words right?

    I think the reason why some of us seem to “assume” to assign greater weight to the original wording is because of our belief in revelation and the scripture that is produced from and through revelation. If changing words can change the meaning they convey (I agree that it does) then the real explaining that should be happening is not further explanation of the law of chastity for all of us stupid, sinful, regular, rank and file members…but an accounting for these changes to the holy ordinances. Who is responsible and where is their revelation from God authorizing them to meddle with the meaning as it is conveyed to temple patrons’ minds.?!

  56. I’m not sure I’m totally understanding all the nuances of the various arguments… but I do totally agree with what the Senile Old Fart stated:

    “Words convey meanings. Altered words convey altered meanings.”

    I can’t see how we could argue that a change in words, especially in a ceremony + ordinance we seem to believe in, doesn’t modify the meaning in one way or another. At least, I can’t see that if that is what is being argued. There are so many comments that it’s hard for me to really process without spending more time than I want to gather all the viewpoints, but that being said, OSF seems to have hit the nail on the head.

    “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.” – Deut. 4:2

    “What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.” – Deut. 12:32

  57. Lol. I’m not sure about the latest fad of quoting SOF’s statement, but I’ll join in, too:

    Words convey meanings. Altered words convey altered meanings.

    Now, I don’t think that that is a truism 100% of the time. I think it might be better stated, “Altered words may convey altered meanings.”

    For example, “I went to the store and bought a big hat.” And, “I went to the store and bought a large hat.” Different words, yeah, but altered meaning? English is flexible enough to use different words, and/or words in different sequential order, to convey the same meaning. So, the altered words might convey altered meanings, but then again, they might not.

    To quote SOF again:

    It is clear to me that you’re assuming that the LOC hasn’t changed

    Yes, that is correct. I am assuming that the law of chastity has not changed. To my knowledge, all the church leaders have stated repeatedly that the law of chastity has not changed, nor ever has, nor ever will. It is the same law from the time of Adam to our time. At least, this is what I understand from what the leaders have taught.

    the wording has changed several times, in order to include or exclude variations on what is now encompassed as “immorality.” Earliest known wording did not reference a legal marriage. Legal marriage language was added after the 1890 and 1904 (“and we really mean it, this time!”) Manifestoes. Language forbidding homosexual intercourse added sometime between 1967 and 1990. Language forbidding “relations” other than intercourse added 1990.

    So, let’s dissect this. If the “earliest known language did not reference a legal marriage” (assuming you mean the necessity of a marriage license) and my reading of the scriptures actually indicates that no state marriage license is necessary, then that is consistent with what the scriptures say. Next, if “legal marriage language was added after the 1890 and 1904…Manifestoes”, but the word “legal” has a theological shade of meaning which does not indicate the need for a marriage license, then that is also consistent with the scriptures. (Keep in mind that the temple definition of the law of chastity does not specify the shades of meanings of the words, and more especially, it does not specifically mention the need of a state marriage license. Therefore, it must be interpreted in light of the canonized scriptures, not in light of current cultural perceptions or trends.) Later, if “language forbidding homosexual intercourse” was “added sometime between 1967 and 1990,” this again is consistent with what the scriptures teach, so still nothing has changed in the law of chastity, despite the altered words. Finally, the 1990 language, which altered “sexual intercourse” to “sexual relations”, still doesn’t change the law because the two phrases mean the same thing. They are synonyms.

    So, what has changed in all these altered words? Only our perception of the law has changed. We perceive, erroneously, that in all these word alterations, the actual, eternal law of chastity has been altered, or subtracted from, or added to. But it hasn’t. It is the same. And in this one instance, our leaders are speaking the truth.

  58. accept that if they are synonyms then why the redundancy with legally and lawfully? i learned from reading on this blog that The Lord was not as redundant as I thought he was with phrases like “poor and needy”. I guess then were just saying that as leaders and the led adopted philosophies of men as regarding marriage and propriety they felt it was logical to change the wording? well to me the changes seem to lead my mind towards believing i need a marriage liscense. so while i dont believe that the law of chastity has changed, and i am sure that those responsible for the changes in wording would say it hasn’t changed at all either…i don’t think the leaders and The Lord’s definitions match up.

  59. Obviously, there are several ways to look at this. My feeling is that the scriptures should be the lens we use to look through when considering the temple ceremony. What is given in the temple has got to match what is given in the scriptures. In the temple, we are given the law of sacrifice as contained in the Old and New Testaments. We are given the law of the gospel as contained in the Book of Mormon and Bible. We are given the law of consecration as contained in the book of Doctrine and Covenants. When we are given the law of chastity, there is no mention of the canonized books in which it is contained, but we know that the law of chastity wasn’t revealed anew in the temple. It actually is found in the four standard works. So, the temple definition doesn’t have as a goal to reveal the law anew, or redefine the law, or add to it, or reduce it, but merely to summarize it succintly (and put us under covenant to obey it specifically), because it’s already in the scriptures scattered around (like every other doctrine and law of God).

    If there is ever a contradiction between the laws we are put under covenant to obey in the temple and these same laws as they are found in the scriptures, then that creates a problem and we are justified, I believe, in chucking the temple contradictions as invalid. But, if the two “sets” of laws can be matched up, so that there is no contradiction, then even though the temple wording may change from time to time, as long as each time it still matches up to what is said in the scriptures, it does not redefine the law that is explained to the temple patrons.

    In the case of the terms legally and lawfully, these terms, in their theological shades of meaning, are not synonymous. They mean different things. If we apply the theological shades of meaning to the words, then, we find that none of the temple wording for the law of chastity is a redefining of that law. It is only when we do not apply the theological shades of meaning that we run into trouble, because then we have the scriptures saying that a man and a woman marrying without a State-issued marriage license is valid, while the temple wording states that only a marriage that the State approves of (by license) is valid. This creates a contradiction and invalidation. But there is no need for such contradiction if one apply the theological shades. Then we find everything is hunky dory and the law of chastity still hasn’t changed.

    Again, the temple wording doesn’t redefine the law of chastity, but since LDS don’t typically go to their dictionaries to find out all the shades of meaning of legally and lawfully, they just assume that it must mean “a marriage license is necessary” and go and get one. Only the perception of the LDS has changed as to what the law of chastity requires and means, not the actual law of chastity. But again, it’s just a matter of perception. And our perception is off. And so we go get marriage licenses, thinking that anything else is breaking the law of chastity.

    I used to believe, like most LDS, I suppose, that legally referred to “State laws” and lawfully referred to “God’s laws.” I no longer believe that. Both terms are referring to different aspects of God’s laws, which makes sense because the temple is all about our relationship to God’s laws (not man’s laws). The temple is a theological institution revealing or discussing theology, not politics.

    Whoever in the leadership authorized the wording changes, did so with subtety, allowing the law to retain the same meaning while causing all who heard the wording to think something different. As the temple wording is technically correct, the leaders can, in all honesty, claim that the law hasn’t changed.

    It may be that the corporate nature of the Church, being a creature of the State, has something to do with the desire for all members to get a State marriage license. The Church already has the entire membership believing that a license is required, so it has won the battle. And prohibiting temple sealings without a license is accepted by all members. (The Church can prohibit for any reason whatsoever entrance into its temples.) But the necessity of a license hasn’t been decided by a long shot. There have been no test cases (to my knowledge). We need a test case, in which two LDS get married without a license and it is brought to the attention of the church. Then we can see whether the couples will be brought up on charges or will merely be left alone. From my perspective, as members can only be judged according to the law of the Lord as found in the canonized scriptures, there would be no case against them, so they couldn’t (and wouldn’t) be prosecuted, though measures could be taken against them in the sense that callings could be withheld from them, etc., so as to stigmatize the behavior and discourage others from doing the same.

  60. I had previously lamented on another post that:

    When I was getting ready to enter the temple to be sealed to my wife and daughter, I was surprised to learn that a sealing only was not an option. By that I mean that I thought we would have three options for the ceremony in the temple:
    1) A marriage for time (A typical marriage — until death do you part)
    2) A marriage for time and all eternity (A typical temple wedding for couples who were both born as members of the Church)
    3) A marriage for eternity (A God-sanctioned marriage — no state benefits, but God recognizes your union in heaven)

    I found it to be a infringement on our agency to make my wife and I wait one year before our family could be sealed. Since 1890, our Church has been beholden to the state — a supporting piece of evidence for this is that I had to bring a state-sanctioned marriage license into God’s temple before they would solemnize our marriage in heaven.

    I’ve been thinking about this post and talking about it with my wife. I have decided to file for divorce. This way, we will be able to have option (3) stated above: A marriage for eternity (A God-sanctioned marriage — no state benefits, but God recognizes your union in heaven) — since a civil divorce does not revoke a temple sealing.

    In my state, there is, in the legal code, provision for “MARRIAGE WITHOUT FORMALITIES” — in which it states that in a judicial, administrative, or other proceeding, the marriage of a man and woman may be proved by evidence that the man and woman agreed to be married and after the agreement they lived together in this state as husband and wife and there represented to others that they were married.

  61. My wife and I were required to present our state marriage certificate there at the temple before being married. I have also been considering filing for divorce too as my wife and I want to make ourselves ready to enter covenants with additional spouses. But we are unsure how to proceed because we want to be able to travel with our children (who are not yet born) and do not want them more easily snatched from us.

  62. I hesitate to engage this discussion as my views are so different.

    Our Lord does not give any temporal commandment. Even Section 89 was given not by commandment as the membership is allowed to use their own discretion.

    Any temple ceremony involving the imposition of a temporal commandment or a “law” that does not occur in revelation is suspect of being man made.

    But let me interrupt myself and say that the passage stating that if you; look upon a woman to lust after her you have committed adultery in your heart; technically refers to a “married” woman and involves developing an intent in your heart to have her displaced or removed from her marriage and her loyalty to the will of the Lord Who has defined to whom she belongs. Consensual marital diversions void of any intent to disrupt emotional bonds and covenant loyalties do not violate divine principles.

    Now in the case of the temple directive to where the garment, to obey the law of the Gospel and to obey the law of Chastity; we have a great deal of inconsistency wrapped in an illegitimate attempt to control the people of the Lord.

    The garment of the holy priesthood is the companionship of the Holy Spirit. Accepting a directive to wear clothing that reminds one of Gospel covenants or principles is optional and should not be imposed as if commanded and required. This is merely a test of ones covenant maturity.

    To be put under covenant to obey the Law of the Gospel is an obviscation. “My Law” or the Law of the Gospel is Heaven’s social and economic orders as in Patriarchal Marriage and Consecrated United Order. If the Temple were to clearly state this the membership would be under great condemnation of hypocrisy.

    To be put under covenant to obey the law of Chastity is to promise to obey something that does not exist in revelation. That is why they offer a definition. All this back and forth about body parts and splitting hairs about what is allowed and what isn’t; completely misses the point. When you understand the definitions of flirting, courting, fornication, harlotry, and adultery; you do not need a ‘law of chastity’. and you do discover a great deal of freedom provided by the Lord for those who are “drawn from the breasts and weaned from the milk”.

    Some leaders like to impose rules that are ambiguous; to keep people off balance enough so they do not think to question why the leaders are not anxiously engaged in establishing Zion as the revelations actually do mandate.

  63. “You think that touching woman’s breasts is worthy of a Priesthood holder representing God?

    You sin when you think about touching a woman’s breast. Because God never would think about touching your wife, you daughter, or any other woman’s breasts.”

    I don’t believe the article was referring to touching just anyone’s breasts. But since you opened the door…Of course God nor any other decent guy would ever think about touching anyone’s breast if they are married or committed to someone.

    Now if you are single and you see an attractive lady, you are not normal if every once in a while you dont think about how it would be to touch that persons breasts. In fact if you are not attracted to the point to desire to touch that persons breasts, it would spell disaster if and when a marriage happens.

    Now if this single person with the permission of the single lady, touches her breast, I don’t see great harm. It might even be good for the relationship. In fact there are at least a hundred of other things I would be more worried about, than someone out of curiosity touching a girlfriends breasts.

    I think it all comes down to the particular situation really. Your blanket statement of ” You sin when you think about touching a woman’s breast” is not true 100% of the time.

  64. ‘not true’ …(false) 100% of the time.

  65. I liken the law of chastity, and sexuality/intimacy in general, to skiing.

    I love skiing. I like the groomed runs. I like moguls. I like the deep powder on less travelled parts of the mountain. I like weaving in and out of the trees. I like the green beginner runs and the intermediate blue runs and black diamonds and sometimes double blacks. I am comfortable on all those parts of the mountain. So where I choose to ski on a given day or on a given mountain is easy for me because I feel comfortable almost anywhere. But those not as comfortable with skiing will not share my peace of mind. Skiing (aka sexuality or intimacy) is very foreign and frightening to some, and expecting a novice skier to drop into a black diamond on their first day is insane and very dangerous. But other skiers are of the same level, and feel comfortable on slopes of varying difficulty. This remains true for most runs in ski resorts.

    Something changes when you venture off into the high mountain and go back country, and this is because a new risk is introduced: the avalanche. Resorts often set off blasts to prevent avalanches so more skiers can safely ski back country, but these preventive methods are not foolproof. You can still get caught in an avalanche, and it has the potential to completely alter the course of your life. However, if you are a skier, there is nothing quite like skiing back country. There is a joy, a peace, a thrill, that is (in my opinion) simply not possible on conventional ski runs. It takes skiing to an entirely new level, a richness not previously enjoyed. So before I make the decision to head back country, I take avalanches seriously. I want to be ready for them. I want to survive should one come.

    This is different from fantasizing about skiing back country. I do that frequently, and with relish. I imagine the rush of cutting through the fresh, untraveled powder. I stare up at mountain peaks and imagine how much I would enjoy skiing them.

    But actually skiing these mountain peaks is a different matter. In my preparation I need survival training and proper gear. I commit myself to this preparation, investing both my time and money, knowing that should the avalanche come I will be as prepared as possible. Then, the preparation over, I commit myself to the mountain, drop in, and enjoy the rush.

    Hopefully the parallels in this are obvious, and I can spare you a relatively boring explication.

  66. this is a dumb metaphor bro. skiing is not sex. god is down with you skiing all you want. he has told you when you can and cant have sex. and you dont need special training and gear to have sex unless youre being a pervert

  67. I think if we first look at only masturbation we strangely find it not mentioned in scriptures anywhere….oddly enough we find commands against incest,homosexuality,beastiality,adultrey, fornication, lusting after a woman in your heart, and genesis 6 the sons of God are angels and they have sex with human females and this leads to the flood. so we see a very wide range of sexual sins mentioned but oddly enough masturbating just doesnt get mentioned. I find this odd at best.

    the problem with masturbation then becomes if I have come to the right conclusion is that masturbation itself is not the sin but rather how its done. people who it often:

    1. use porn
    2. the porn instantly leads to lusting after someone in your heart
    3. sites like yourbrainonporn and others as well as personal experience tell us porn truly affects your brain
    4. its addicting and as such unhealthy and the gospel as always promoted what is best for your own health.
    5. porn stars are quite frankly mistreated and abused in great numbers and I am pretty certain the gospel condemns such abuses.
    6. porn leads to many unhealthy sexual fetishes some of which are potentially lethal. yes there is healthy sexual fetish and there is unhealthy. no you dont have to limit sex to missionary style but there is a limit that can be crossed.
    7. leads to the objectivifying of women(at least usually women but men too) that people are merely sex objects and not actual people.
    8. leads to excessive masturbation.

    another tenent of this is more and more people waiting longer and longer to get married. this is partly i think responsible for the increase in porn use that and the internet and complete ignorance of most people on the topic. its hard to ask people 25 and older or 30 and older to remain virgins. its not really healthy. so you get mormons going with the current culture because its impossible to truly escape the culture you live in and as such they suffer unhealthy side effects of such a long period of going sexless. not masturbating for instance might be a lot more feasiable in earlier times where you got married at 15 thus negating the need to masturbate.

    this illustrates another problem. when it comes to sexual addiction recovery and such it is almost always focused on people who have a spouse. the end goal is to stop masturbating….however when you have a spouse you have an outlet. if you are single you do not so you are left with the biological urge and need to ejaculate yet the crippling guilt and shame its always brought on you because you probably exclusively did it 99% of the time to porn which wrecks you. yet blue balls and the unfilled urge to whack off can really leave you irritated and frustrated as hell.

    I really think people posting that are saying porn is not bad because its not found in the scriptures are quite frankly being lead astray by Satan. Porn really is a terrible plague. however to overcome a porn addiction one of the first steps is to stop beating yourself to death with guilt. When President Monson says that looking at pornography will “literally destroy your soul”, how am I to take that? you are to take that as one of the times Monson isnt speaking pure and total BS but actual total truth.

    another problem comes fro the dont lust after a woman statement Jesus makes. While Im not going to dispute Jesus here I will say I think we are all kidding ourselves if think it is possible to go up to a girl, ask her out, and eventually marry her and during the entire time of this courtship before marriage and not ever lust after her. I think that would be completely 100% impossible. I also like to think Jesus knew this so His statement has to be in reference to something other than simple lusting. it also wouldnt be the first time Jesus hides meanings in what appear to be obvious take it only one way statements. so to me it seems there is more to the statement than simple STOP LUSTING YALL. there is of course the fact that because Jesus is mentioning adultry He is merely speaking of only married people especially given the fact people got married within months of being physically mature enough to spit out kids so perhaps Jesus simply left it vague and for whatever reason didnt bother coming back to the subject. perhaps nobody thought about 30 year old Single people. Im not saying Jesus wasnt perfect but I am saying as a mortal He didnt need to know how to build a spaceship so as a mortal He probably didnt know how do that so likewise He may not have been clued in on single 30 year olds anymore than He was clued in on how to build a spaceship. there really are many ways to take this statement.

    as for inconsistent temple ceremonies. the facts are that the temple has sadly changed. I would agree it hasnt changed for the better. however it is important to note that we did go through the temple as is and we do make those convenants with God, angels and witnesses. so while those convenants might be the original version of what God wanted we did nevertheless make those convenants. so it is important not to rationalize and hair split our way out of said convenants.

    “The garment of the holy priesthood is the companionship of the Holy Spirit. Accepting a directive to wear clothing that reminds one of Gospel covenants or principles is optional and should not be imposed as if commanded and required. This is merely a test of ones covenant maturity.”

    while you are right I will say it again when we go through the temple we make that covenant to do just that. to wear it all times. whether or not that is the right covenant or not we are telling God that we promise we’ll wear it at all times. it is not different than a prayer where you say God I promise Ill do X. whether or not you should’ve made that promise is irrevelant to the fact you did make a promise. same as a business deal…you sign a contract and you are bound to honor it.

    it is also curious how easy it is to masturbate as well. despite this as i stated before its not mentioned yet countless other weird sexual sins get mentioned constantly. so I am to believe ancient Isarel lacked a masturbation problem but had a serious human-animal sex addiction? I just cant buy it. theres a series incest problem but people have the self control to not masturbate? yea Im not buying this especially because as stated its so damn easy to do. then we have the fact that little boys sometimes masturbate using the same thought process of “oooo whats this new body part”. this is akin to a baby realizing he has fingers. so I certainly wouldnt call that 4 year old a sinner. We also probably have undue guilty brought on young boys that get caught doing something they are totally unaware of being bad because at that age they cant comprehend its bad. you might as well tell them to stop playing with their fingers because to them its all the same.

    so my conclusion? once or twice a week whacking off without the help of porn and just for a few minutes to release the semen you have building up is probably healthy and as far as I can tell not against any scripture I am aware of. however I admit I could be wrong and justifying sin but I just havent been able to find a reason not too. maybe that will change. However I agree porn is bad and that might be affecting my thought process and my conclusions are relatively new

    this topic is quite vast and full of rabbit holes. it also has little clarity in the matter either as surely anything i just wrote is grounds for excommunication or disfellowshipping yet it is scientifically and scripturally backed up.

  68. I have been following this commandment and it helps me a lot through life and I think that everyone should as well follow this law. And I am telling you that it works. Oh yes and don’t forget to pray and ask God his self.

  69. LAW OF CHASTITY AFTER MARRIAGE:
    -Missionary Style ONLY!
    -Also you must become one flesh as soon as possible, like that night!
    -No toys.
    -None of that kinky stuff!

  70. HAHA GART!

  71. “The early apostles and prophets mention numerous sins that were reprehensible to them. Many of them were sexual sins—adultery, being without natural affection, lustfulness, infidelity, incontinence, filthy communications, impurity, inordinate affection, fornication. They included all sexual relations outside marriage—petting, sex perversion, masturbation, and preoccupation with sex in one’s thoughts and talking.”
    Study Chapter 17 of “Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball” and study “The Miracle of Forgiveness.”
    Breaking the law of chastity includes more than just sexual intercourse. We are judged by our throughts, words, actions, and desires.
    If you really want to know, ask you bishop and stake president.


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