Chastity: What Are the Limits?

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mackay11
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Chastity: What Are the Limits?

Post by mackay11 » 13 Jul 2013, 01:52

I saw this video aimed at the youth on lds.org.

I appreciate it for a few reasons:

- It doesn't actually answer the question. It tells the youth to answer the question for themselves.
- There's no mention of the (misused) Alma 39 "sexual sin second to murder" guilt trip.

Here are a few highlights:
You can set standards that will help you stay pure.

(Quoting Richard G. Scott), "Firmly establish personal standards... Decide what you will do and what you will not do to express feelings."

Pray and ask Heavenly Father about the standards you have set for yourself.

Don't let what happened in the past define your future. If you have strayed from the path, you can return.
https://www.lds.org/youth/video/chastit ... s?lang=eng

(Adding to quotes thread... I'll need this if ever teaching this in a Sunday School class).

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Mormon-Mason
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Re: Chastity: What Are the Limits?

Post by Mormon-Mason » 13 Jul 2013, 16:41

I recall a conversation I had with a Bishop once on the topic of the Law of Chastity. And he stated that the Law in its self has a very basic definition that we receive in the Temple. That is "That you should have no sexual relations outside the bonds of marriage." What does that mean? Well first off to me it means "sex" "intercourse" the very nature of sexual relations denotes the very act. I'm happy to see the post referring the youth to setting there own guidelines. Because to add much more would be to add that "law of Moses wall" around our doctrine. and we don't need that.

Love the topic mackay11

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mackay11
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Chastity: What Are the Limits?

Post by mackay11 » 13 Jul 2013, 18:39

Mormon-Mason wrote:I recall a conversation I had with a Bishop once on the topic of the Law of Chastity. And he stated that the Law in its self has a very basic definition that we receive in the Temple. That is "That you should have no sexual relations outside the bonds of marriage." What does that mean? Well first off to me it means "sex" "intercourse" the very nature of sexual relations denotes the very act. I'm happy to see the post referring the youth to setting there own guidelines. Because to add much more would be to add that "law of Moses wall" around our doctrine. and we don't need that.

Love the topic mackay11
To be fair to the video I have 'snipped' the bits I like the most.

They still have a list of 'don'ts' from 'Strength of the Youth' such as lying on top of each other, touching 'sacred parts' (what's a sacred part!). But I liked the fact that they only mention that briefly and instead focus the rest of it on making your own boundaries. And instead of telling them 'xyz is too far' they said 'you define xyz,' which suggests it's potentially different for different people. I also smiled at the 'would you do it in front of your parents' - that had big implications for how TBM the parent is and how comfortable the parent/child relationship is. In some ways though, it's again decent advice because it has nuance and degrees of difference built in.

On the subject of "sexual relations" in the temple, didn't it used to say "sexual intercourse"?

Relations can be defined as the same thing, but also has a broader meaning:

Relations
- the various connections between peoples, countries, etc.: foreign relations.
- the various connections in which persons are brought together: business and social relations.
- sexual intercourse.

On that note it's can be about a relationship of connection of a sexual nature. Is intercourse the only type?

Ask Bill Clinton...

Roy
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Re: Chastity: What Are the Limits?

Post by Roy » 14 Jul 2013, 15:51

mackay11 wrote:They still have a list of 'don'ts' from 'Strength of the Youth' such as lying on top of each other, touching 'sacred parts' (what's a sacred part!). But I liked the fact that they only mention that briefly and instead focus the rest of it on making your own boundaries. And instead of telling them 'xyz is too far' they said 'you define xyz,' which suggests it's potentially different for different people. I also smiled at the 'would you do it in front of your parents' - that had big implications for how TBM the parent is and how comfortable the parent/child relationship is. In some ways though, it's again decent advice because it has nuance and degrees of difference built in.

On the subject of "sexual relations" in the temple, didn't it used to say "sexual intercourse"?
The problem enters into where people offer up the whole of their morality to church obedience. I remember HawkGrrrl talking about women at Rick's College (Now BYUI) that would do oral and other things with a clear conscience because it wasn't specifically prohibited in the temple. I remember a friend of mine that would smoke basil and oregano - because it wasn't prohibited by the WOW. For the sake of these individuals the counsel must be specific. Unfortunately once one of these good ideas are expressed by those that we support as Mouthpieces for God they too often become prohibitions themselves. What is the difference between one prophet that said "Thou shalt not kill" and another that said "Women should wear only one set of modest earrings"?

I wish to quote myself on the concept of Guardrails. To the extent that this video promotes the same idea, I will turn cartwheels of joy. :thumbup:
Roy wrote:I have been thinking a lot about this lately. I have been watching a video presentation by Pastor Andy Stanley about Guardrails. He uses guardrails as a metaphor for a system of personal standards that will alert the conscience prior to the danger area.

Let me give an example. One example of a personal standard is to not help attractive members of the opposite sex by giving them a job. This in itself is not a problem but it could lead to "proximity" which could lead eventually to compromising situations.

I once had an inactive female coworker with a young daughter going through a bad divorce. She was trying to come back to church and needed a place to stay. I thought about offering her a room in our home. My wife was vehemently opposed, and acted like I was horrible for even suggesting it. All these years I thought that my motives were pure and that DW had overreacted. When I saw this example of a "guardrail" the light hit me that the idea of inviting this woman into my home so many years ago was fraught with potential problems. I had thought that I had a green light to move forward and even felt like I had received personal revelation to do so (yeah, I know - in hindsight the implications of this are kinda scary), even though it was a seriously bad idea.

Another example might be the personal standard to abstain from alcohol or not eat alone with members of the opposite sex or carpool alone with members of the opposite sex.

They in themselves might not be a problem at all and if someone is stranded and needs a ride home or you are sick and need some Nyquil then to make an exception is ok. But the point of the guardrail is that even in making an exception you will feel uneasy - thus ideally preventing you from the slippery slope of disastrous consequences.

The problem in the church is that our moral code is all tied up in what is sin or not and what I can do and still hold a TR. Thus to drink even a drop of alcohol is a sin, and to mow your lawn as a shirtless endowed male is a sin, and dating before the age of 16 is a sin (sarcasm but you get the idea).

Part of the sin vs. not sin quandary is that it is so hard to understand why we must uphold our standards while others don't need to. If a certain action is a sin then everyone that commits the act must be a sinner. Ok, maybe we can cut them a little slack because others have not been taught the full law - but surely we who have been taught and live the commandments are ahead of those others - right? We go to the CK and they go to the Terrestrial - right? What’s the point of trying so hard if I don’t get to be better than these people?

So yes, I believe that there is much that we do in the church that is a good idea and is a hedge about the law or a guardrail against danger. The problem comes from following these rules to be a good Mormon or because “God says so” and never coming to a more mature, individualized, and internalized morality.
We have used the idea of the scaffolding before (i.e. church=scaffolding). The scaffolding is good and important especially during developmental periods, but Beware of building your building without internal support.

One last point: For years I have tried to understand why some people refuse to play card games with face cards. I have never heard a GA preach against them. A fair number of members do play with face cards and this doesn’t appear to be a problem. Just yesterday I thought about this restriction as a “guardrail.” If I want to set up a personal boundary against gambling and I want the world of poker and blackjack to be so foreign to me that even playing with face cards would make me feel uncomfortable – then that would be a reasonable guardrail for me to impose upon myself. As long as I understood that it was a personal choice/standard and the reasons for its imposition and others are in no way inferior for not having a similar conviction – then it could be an effective guardrail to help me avoid even dabbling my big toe into gambling.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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Re: Chastity: What Are the Limits?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 14 Jul 2013, 15:53

The last comment is an example of why I love and respect Roy so much.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

Roy
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Re: Chastity: What Are the Limits?

Post by Roy » 14 Jul 2013, 16:10

Ray Degraw wrote:The last comment is an example of why I love and respect Roy so much.
:oops: :shifty: :D Thanks!
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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Sheldon
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Re: Chastity: What Are the Limits?

Post by Sheldon » 22 Aug 2013, 13:25

mackay11 wrote:On the subject of "sexual relations" in the temple, didn't it used to say "sexual intercourse"?
Yes it did, and I believe it was changed specifically because if Bill Clinton and the whole oral sex thing (it’s not “intercourse”!)

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mom3
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Re: Chastity: What Are the Limits?

Post by mom3 » 22 Aug 2013, 18:26

Roy - I agree with your premise of setting our own guard-rails. I find when I am the person setting anything, I am more likely to stay within the boundaries or reach the heights those guard-rails and standards create for me. However, on your statement regarding no GA ever talking about face cards, one did, Spencer W. Kimball. He was prophet at the time. In April 1974 conference he stated

"We hope faithful Latter-day Saints will not use the playing cards which are used for gambling, either with or without the gambling. As for the gambling, in connection with horse racing or games or sports, we firmly discourage such things."

This was a big deal in the area I grew up in. It became another line of righteous or unrighteous demarcation. I have never heard it repeated again, nor that direct line ever placed in a manual since. It has never been added to the For Strength of Youth pamphlet, etc. But for people who were old enough, it was a commandment. And even if they can't remember who said it, it was a part of life for quite a while since President Kimball was a long standing prophet.

Oh the talk is entitled God Will Not Be Mocked. It's quite a list of do's and don'ts.
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Re: Chastity: What Are the Limits?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 22 Aug 2013, 19:27

I absolutely loved Pres. Kimball - but the one area where I did not agree, consistently, was his public willingness to go beyond teaching principles and not allowing the membership to "govern themselves".
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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Re: Chastity: What Are the Limits?

Post by Orson » 22 Aug 2013, 19:32

Sheldon wrote:
mackay11 wrote:On the subject of "sexual relations" in the temple, didn't it used to say "sexual intercourse"?
Yes it did, and I believe it was changed specifically because if Bill Clinton and the whole oral sex thing (it’s not “intercourse”!)
I thought it changed in 1990.
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