Victims of rape, incest or sexual abuse are not guilty of sin and are not considered victims of the law of chastity.  However, they often feel that they have lost their virtue, which reinforces the feelings of shame and guilt of many rape victims. The Book of Mormon says, “For behold, many daughters of the Lamanites took captives; and [they] deprived them of what was above all dear and precious, that is, chastity and virtue.  In a general conference address, President Richard G. Scott said, “The victim must do everything in his or her power to stop the abuse. Most of the time, the victim is innocent because they are embarrassed by the fear or power or authority of the abuser. At some point, however, the Lord may cause a victim to acknowledge some degree of responsibility for the abuse. Your priesthood leader will help you assess your responsibilities so that you can fulfill them if necessary.  Activities considered a violation of the law of chastity include adultery and fornication as well as more general behavior. As President of the Church, Kimball taught that the law of chastity “encompasses all sexual relations outside marriage—fondling, sexual perversion, masturbation, and sexual intercourse in thought and speech. Included are all hidden and secret sins and all ungodly and impure thoughts and practices.  In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the law of chastity is both an essential doctrine of our heavenly parents` plan for their children and an essential covenant we make in the temple. And yet, elements of our culture, such as casual makeup, high rates of pornography, teaching young women with licked cupcakes, and body shame and modesty, suggest that we struggle to understand why this important law is relevant to us today.
In this article, I`d like to give you a brief overview of why this law is important to you and your relationships (both those related to time and eternity), as well as some tips on how to keep the law of chastity in dating. Do not be misled by Satan`s lies. There is no lasting happiness in immorality. There is no joy in breaking the law of chastity. The exact opposite is true. There may be momentary pleasure. For a while, it may seem like everything is wonderful. But quickly, the relationship will turn sour.
Guilt and shame set in. We are afraid that our sins will be discovered. We have to sneak in and hide, lie and cheat. Love begins to die. Bitterness, jealousy, anger and even hatred begin to grow. These are all the natural consequences of sin and transgression. In his April 2013 general conference address titled “We Believe in Chaste,” President David A. Bednar asked, “Why is the law of chastity so important?” His response included several elements: invite some members of your group to read the chastity scriptures (as proposed in this draft); invite the class to read “Sexual Purity” in Strong Youth; and invite others to read “Chastity” in fidelity to faith. Invite them to look for answers to the question, “Why is chastity important to the Lord?” and share what they find. How do the principles of these scriptures and resources differ from what the world teaches about chastity? What has the class learned from these tools that can help them discern falsehood in the worldview? In recent years, Elder Bednar has also spoken about the “why” of keeping the law of chastity. In his June 1998 Education Week talk entitled “Teaching Them to Understand,” Elder Bednar spoke of the importance of understanding the “why” of the gospel commandments.
Violation of the law of chastity may result in the creation of a Church advisory council, including formal membership restrictions or withdrawal of membership. The way our bodies respond to arousal was designed by God to prepare us for satisfying sexual experiences in marriage. These arousal patterns are normal, healthy and important! When hugging, kissing, or cuddling a partner, practice noticing how your body reacts and be aware of when and how arousal is triggered in your body. What kind of contact do you like/find particularly exciting? Are there certain places or contexts that appeal to you more? Don`t be afraid to think about these kinds of questions.