The Law of Chastity
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (otherwise known as The Mormon Church) are taught to live the Law of Chastity, meaning we believe in waiting until marriage to have sexual relations, complete fidelity in marriage, and we also believe in the importance of having clean thoughts. This was a concept taught by Jesus Christ as He said, “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” The teaching to be chaste includes abstaining from pornography and masturbation, lewd talk, vulgar jokes, and having reverence for sex. We consider it a gift God has given husband and wife to enjoy together for the purpose of expressing love and procreation.
Modesty is an important factor in these beliefs to show respect for our bodies and to help resist temptation, as are the shows we choose to watch and the music we listen to. We believe these things can influence our thoughts and the choices we make.
We believe that breaking the law of chastity is extremely serious due to the sacredness of sex and the damage that is often done when there are relations outside of marriage. We feel that children are entitled to be born to a mother and father who love each other and have made that commitment. Marriages have been torn apart and lives ruined by adultery, creating innocent victims who suffer the consequences such as diseases that cause pain, infertility, or even death, and great emotional turmoil due to betrayal. Hearts are broken and the confidence of children is lost in the process.
Those who violate the law of chastity are taught to seek counsel from the bishop and confess. He will lovingly guide them through the repentance process, which varies depending on the severity of what they have done, duration, and their level of remorse. We believe the bishop can receive revelation on how best to help the person confessing. Sexual abuse is of a most serious nature and results in excommunication of the offender. This is not a permanent condition, but the road back is difficult.
We believe that Heavenly Father has given us this commandment for our well being and happiness.