Friday, September 9, 2011

Ahem...Excuse me while I get on my soap box.

Two weeks ago I was asked to teach Relief Society. The lesson? Chastity. Oh, and by the way...the Young Women (meaning 16 and older) will also be joining us.

My initial response was to text my sister. "Guess which recently knocked up chick just got asked to teach the Law of Chastity in Relief Society?"

Her response? "Guess it's a good thing Chastity is more than just not getting knocked up."

And so, this got me really fired up. Because you know, she was right.

If anyone can give a scared straight, lay it on the line chastity talk that would scare the pants on you, I could. Come on kids! You do not want an STD on your face. The statistics? Oh, I know them. What's going on in America's high schools? Been there, studied that. And originally this was the direction I was headed in. But on the advice of a friend I got a copy of Between Husband and Wife. THIS IS A MUST READ!!!

In a religion where abstinence is taught, I don't feel like it's something that we talk openly and appropriately enough about. It is a damn shame! As a church we are failing ourselves, our marriages, and our children. Yes, I said 'sex' and used correct anatomical terms in the church and in front of the Bishop's wife. It did not catch of fire and she thanked me for my honesty and openness. In fact, the Relief Society President came to me in tears and said she had never heard a lesson on the Law of Chastity given that way. Not to pat myself of the back, all I did was talk about information that is already there.

We did not focus on the "don'ts". We already know what those are. We talked about "why?" Why is it so important that we understand this? Why is it so important that we teach it? Since then, a member of the Stake Young Women's Presidency has asked me for a copy. I thought I would share some of the highlights here. You've got to read this book. Between Husband and Wife. Do it. Now.


What we teach and the attitude that we cultivate should be that sex is SACRED, not Secret.

We need to have positive attitudes towards sex. That it is good, and beneficial in a marriage. Our peers and our children need to see that it holds a special place within our marriage, that is to be respected. And yes, even that we like it.

It is our God given responsibility to teach our children these principles. If you don't talk to your kids about sex, someone else already is. Use correct anatomical terminology. It is important that your kids be able to accurately describe to you what has occurred should they ever find themselves in an inappropriate or predatory situation. Not just when they are 13. When they are 3, 4, and 5.

There are least five DIVINELY ordained purposes for sex IN MARRIAGE.

1. to provide a profound expression of love
2. to bring emotional and physical closeness
3. to lift the relationship to a higher plan
4. to fulfill Gods commandment to have children
5. to experience pleasure and joy.

Only ONE of these is procreation for the sole purpose of bearing children. Our child bearing years are a very short period of our mortal lives. As someone who has experienced infertility, sex for the sole purpose of bearing children is not only stressful, but can be very damaging to a relationship. Sex can and should be fun. If it's not, there is room for improvement.

President Kimball taught, “It is the destiny of men and women to join together to make eternal family units. In the context of lawful marriage, the intimacy of sexual relations is right and divinely approved. There is nothing unholy or degrading about sexuality in itself, for by that means men and women join in a process of creation and in an expression of love.

In the right time, in the right place, and with the right purpose.

Parley P. Pratt “Our natural affections are planted in us by the Spirit of God, for a wise purpose; and they are the very main springs of life and happiness- they are the cement of all virtuous and heavenly society-they are the essence of charity, or love;...
There is not a more pure and holy principle in existence than the affection which glows in the bosom of a virtuous man for his companion.”

This is why is important. This is what we should be teaching our youth and cultivating withing ourselves. Not because you can get pregnant or get and STD, but because you do not want to forfeit yourself from having a relationship with someone you love that is based on communication, and trust. 

Satan Wants Us to Break the Law of Chastity

President Packer stated, “The adversary is jealous toward all who have the power to beget life.” “He cannot beget life; he is impotent. He and those who followed him were cast out and forfeited the right to a mortal body”

They will be alone for eternity. This is why is cares so much! If he can stop of us from benefiting and using our God given powers then he wins! 

Pres. Packer, “To willfully destroy a marriage, either your own or that of another couple, is to offend our God. Such a thing will not be lightly considered in the judgements of the Almighty and in the ternal scheme of things will not easily be forgiven.
Do not threaten nor break up a marriage. Do not translate some disenchantment with your own marriage partner or an attraction for someone else into justification for any conduct that would destroy a marriage."

We like to say that it is 'The World' and place blame on someone other than ourselves. That we have to protect ourselves and our families from “out there” but Satan is smarter than that. He is working on us and our families from the inside.

The obvious hard work that Satan is putting into destroying and distorting these doctrines shows just how important they are, but what are we doing to distort them.

What conflicting messages do WE send our Young Women and ourselves?

Do we say that it is “special”. Between two people who love eachother and are married. Unless it is Tues, Wed, or Thurs night and our favorite show is on and we're getting together with our girlfriends to watch. Where selling yourself out for one night is part of the game and then we call that “love.”

Do we ever stop blasting the music so loud that we actually hear the words and realize what it is they are describing in accurate detail?

We tell our girls that they should be admired and respected for more than their bodies. That they should fill their minds. What do they hear us talk about?

Do we tell them it is not just about your body and more than looks and then stand in the mirror and berate ourselves and all that God has given us? How often do your friends and Young Women hear us whine about our arms, our butts, our thighs, the width of our lips, shape of our eyes, and every other God-given part we are dissatisfied with?

When we are getting dressed and ready to go out with our girlfriends, do we want to BE beautiful or look sexy?

When we go clothes shopping do we throw our hands up and whine about how hard it is to find modest , decent and appropriate clothes or do we write to these distributors and tell them We don't think this is okay. It works. A very trendy, popular clothing store pulled an entire line of t shirts with offensive and demeaning phrases aimed at young girls like “Does this shirt make me look fat?” They pulled the entire line because a group of moms said THIS IS NOT OKAY.

Do we tell our girls to wait for marriage, till they find a cute RM who can take them to the temple, where they will make covenants with GOD. Unless it is that ONE dress for that ONE occasion and then it's okay to tuck your garments...

What confusing messages are we sending our girls. What confusing messages are we sending ourselves?

My kids are young. As they grow and learn and I have to teach them about these things, I hope I can impress upon them that it is MORE than not getting pregnant or an STD. It is about the benefit of having an intimate relationship with someone they love and who loves them. Worse than any moral sin is forfeiting themselves of the blessing that the closeness and intimacy with someone they love can provide.

I hope I can teach with unconditional love so that they will know that it takes strength and humility, and more strength to go through the repentance process. That there are few things you can do in this life where God and our Savior would not want us to turn to them. Worse than the sin is the guilt that Satan will use to stop us from repenting. Because then he wins again.

These things are Sacred, not secret. They are virtuous, lovely, praiseworthy, and of good report. They are blessings given to us by a Heavenly Father who loves us so we can have an opportunity to express love to the one person we are closest with. It is our privilege to teach and understand them.


1 comment:

Shane said...

So bummed I missed your lesson. I wish I would of been there! Thanks for sharing some of it on here. I like the way you approached it.

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