Sexual purity is ordained of God; learning the doctrine can help us understand why.
With the world’s changing views of marriage and sex, it can be easy to lose sight of why chastity is so important—and why keeping sexual intimacy within marriage between a man and a woman is part of God’s eternal plan.
In his talk “Personal Purity,” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland shares reasons why sex outside of marriage is so damaging:
- The body is part of the soul.
Modern revelation tells us that a soul is the body and spirit of a man (D&C 88:15). Elder Holland explains that using the body of another without permission from God “abuses the very soul of that individual” as well as “the central purpose . . . of life.”
- Sexual intimacy is a symbol of total union between a man and a woman.
When two people share sexual intimacy without total union, they perform an act of hypocrisy. They experience pain, sorrow, and regret for their decision. But when sexual intimacy is reserved for marriage, the couple experiences real joy that comes from a legitimate union.
- Sexual intimacy is also a symbol of a shared relationship with Heavenly Father.
Intimacy is part of God’s creative process. When a couple participates in sexual intimacy, they also participate in procreation, bringing them closer to God. Using this power outside of God’s set boundaries mocks their relationship with God.
When we keep sexual intimacy within the bonds of marriage, we can stay pure, holy, and happy. For those who have overstepped these boundaries, there is healing and forgiveness through Jesus Christ and his Atonement.
Read Elder Holland’s “Personal Purity.”
—Rachel Harris, Mormon Insights
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Find more insights
Read what For the Strength of Youth says about sexual purity.
Take a look at “Chasity, What Are the Limits?” a Mormon Message for youth on how to stay chaste.
Watch what Elder David A. Bednar has to say about chastity.
Read more about what the prophets and apostles say about chastity.