Lesson 8 – Intimacy in Marriage
“And they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).
President Spencer W. Kimball taught: “There are many aspects to love in marriage, and sex is an important one. Just as married partners are not for others, they are for each other. Paul knew the approaches to adultery and the ways to avoid them: “‘. . . Let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. “‘Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. “‘The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. “‘Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.’ (1 Cor. 7:2–5.)” (The Miracle of Forgiveness , 73).
The union of man and woman is sanctified in marriage and becomes an expression of the love, unity, and potential godhood of the couple. President Joseph F. Smith noted, “The lawful association of the sexes is ordained of God, not only as the sole means of race perpetuation, but for the development of the higher faculties and nobler traits of human nature, which the love-inspired companionship of man and woman alone can insure” (“Unchastity the Dominant Evil of the Age,” Improvement Era, June 1917, 739; or student manual, 139).
A correct understanding of intimacy in marriage increases our chances of building a happy marriage.
“Married couples . . . should understand that sexual relations within marriage are divinely approved not only for the purpose of procreation, but also as a means of expressing love and strengthening emotional and spiritual bonds between husband and wife” (Book 1: Stake Presidencies and Bishoprics , 158).
Physical Intimacy is Ordained of God
President John Taylor
“We have a great many principles innate in our natures that are correct, but they want sanctifying. God said to man, ‘Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.’ (Genesis 1:28.) Well, he has planted, in accordance with this, a natural desire in woman towards man, and in man towards woman and a feeling of affection, regard, and sympathy exists between the sexes. We bring it into the world with us, but that, like everything else, has to be sanctified. An unlawful gratification of these feelings and sympathies is wrong in the sight of God, and leads down to death, while a proper exercise of our functions leads to life, happiness, and exaltation in this world and the world to come. And so it is in regard to a thousand other things” (Gospel Kingdom, 61).
Physical Intimacy Only in Marriage
Elder Richard G. Scott
“Any sexual intimacy outside of the bonds of marriage—I mean any intentional contact with the sacred, private parts of another’s body, with or without clothing—is a sin and is forbidden by God” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1994, 51; or Ensign, Nov. 1994, 38).
Purposes of Intimacy
President Lorenzo Snow
“Think of the promises that are made to you in the beautiful and glorious ceremony that is used in the marriage covenant in the temple. When two Latter-day Saints are united together in marriage, promises are made to them concerning their offspring, that reach from eternity to eternity. They are promised that they shall have the power and the right to govern and control and administer salvation and exaltation and glory to their offspring worlds without end. And what offspring they do not have here, undoubtedly there will be opportunities to have them hereafter. What else could man wish? A man and a woman in the other life, having celestial bodies, free from sickness and disease, glorified and beautified beyond description, standing in the midst of their posterity, governing and controlling them, administering life, exaltation, and glory, worlds without end” (Teachings of Lorenzo Snow, 138).
Misused Physical Intimacy
President David O. McKay
“Let us instruct young people who come to us, first, young men throughout the Church, to know that a woman should be queen of her own body. The marriage covenant does not give the man the right to enslave her, or to abuse her, or to use her merely for the gratification of his passion. Your marriage ceremony does not give you that right” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1952, 86).
President Spencer W. Kimball
“If it is unnatural, you just don’t do it. That is all, and all the family life should be kept clean and worthy and on a very high plane. There are some people who have said that behind the bedroom doors anything goes. That is not true and the Lord would not condone it” (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, 312).
“We urge, with Peter, ‘. . . Abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.’ (1 Pet. 2:11.) No indecent exposure or pornography or other aberrations to defile the mind and spirit. No fondling of bodies, one’s own or that of others, and no sex between persons except in proper marriage relationships. This is positively prohibited by our Creator in all places, at all times, and we reaffirm it. Even in marriage there can be some excesses and distortions. No amount of rationalization to the contrary can satisfy a disappointed Father in heaven” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1974, 8–9; or Ensign, May 1974, 7).
President Howard W. Hunter
“Keep yourselves above any domineering or unworthy behavior in the tender, intimate relationship between husband and wife. Because marriage is ordained of God, the intimate relationship between husbands and wives is good and honorable in the eyes of God. He has commanded that they be one flesh and that they multiply and replenish the earth (see Moses 2:28; 3:24). You are to love your wife as Christ loved the Church and gave himself for it (see Ephesians 5:25–31). “Tenderness and respect—never selfishness—must be the guiding principles in the intimate relationship between husband and wife. Each partner must be considerate and sensitive to the other’s needs and desires. Any domineering, indecent, or uncontrolled behavior in the intimate relationship between husband and wife is condemned by the Lord” in Conference Report, Oct. 1994, 68; or Ensign, Nov. 1994, 51).
The Fountain of Life – Boyd K. Packer
Commandment Never Rescinded
The commandment to multiply and replenish the earth has never been rescinded. It is essential to the plan of redemption and is the source of human happiness. Through the righteous exercise of this power, as through nothing else, we may come close to our Father in Heaven and experience a fulness of joy, even godhood! The power of procreation is not an incidental part of the plan of happiness; it is the key—the very key.
Constant in Mankind
The desire to mate in humankind is constant and very strong. Our happiness in mortal life, our joy and exaltation, are dependent upon how we respond to these persistent, compelling physical desires. As the procreative power matures in early manhood and womanhood there occurs, in a natural way, very personal feelings unlike any other physical experience. It is not without meaning that the process through which life is conceived should be accompanied by feelings of such depth and attraction that they draw the individual to seek a repetition of them.
True love requires a mutual respect and that the couple reserve until after the marriage the sharing of that affection which unlocks those sacred powers in that fountain of life. It means avoiding pre-marriage situations in which physical desire might take control. Courtship is a time to measure integrity, moral strength, and worthiness. The invitation, “If you love me, you will let me,” exposes a major flaw in character. It deserves the reply: “If you really loved me, you would never ask me to transgress. If you understood the gospel, you couldn’t!” Pure love presupposes that only after a pledge of eternal fidelity, a legal and a lawful ceremony, and ideally after the sealing ordinance in the temple are those procreative powers released for the full expression of love. They are to be shared only and solely with that one who is our companion in marriage. Participation in the mating process offers an experience like nothing else in life. When entered into worthily, it combines the most exquisite and exalted physical, emotional, and spiritual feelings associated with the word love. Those feelings and the lifelong need for one another bind a husband and wife together in a marriage wherein all of the attributes of adult masculinity are complemented by the priceless feminine virtues of womanhood. That part of life has no equal, no counterpart, in all human experience. It will, when covenants are made and kept, last eternally, “For therein are the keys of the holy priesthood ordained, that you may receive honor and glory” (D&C 124:34), “which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever” (D&C 132:19).
But romantic love is incomplete; it is a prelude. Love is nourished by the coming of children, who spring from that of life entrusted to couples in marriage. Conception takes place in a wedded embrace between husband and wife. A tiny body begins to form after a pattern of magnificent complexity. A child emerges in the miracle of birth, created in the image of its earthly father and mother, able to see and hear and feel and to perceive through physical senses. Within its mortal body is a spirit, able to feel and perceive spiritual things. Dormant in the mortal body of the child is the power to beget offspring in its own image. “The spirit and the body are the soul of man” (D&C 88:15); hence there are spiritual and physical laws to obey if we are to be happy.
Thou Shalt Not Kill
Every time physical conditions are met, conception will take place, whether in wedlock or out. Once a life is conceived, to destroy that life, even before birth, is a major transgression, save conception results from rape, the mother’s life hangs in the balance, or the life of the unborn is certified to be hopeless. We do not know all about when a spirit enters the body, but we do know that life, in any form, is very precious.
Children of God
No greater ideal has been revealed than the supernal truth that we are the children of God, and that by virtue of our creation we differ from all other living things (see Moses 6:8–10, 22, 59). “All flesh,” the scriptures teach, “is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts” (1 Corinthians 15:39)…. Animals cannot be accountable for the standards of morality by which mankind is judged. They are ruled by the physical laws of nature. Animals by and large are promiscuous in responding to their mating instincts. Nevertheless, their mating rituals follow set patterns and have rigid limitations. For instance, animals do not pair up with their own gender to satisfy their mating instincts. Nor are these mating instincts expressed in the molestation of their own offspring. Children of God can willfully surrender to their carnal nature and, seemingly without remorse, defy the laws of morality and degrade themselves even below the beasts.
Temptations are ever present in mortal life. The adversary is jealous toward all who have power to beget life. He cannot beget life; he is impotent. He and those who followed him were cast out of heaven and forfeited the right to a mortal body. He will, if he can, take possession of your body, direct how you use it. His angels even begged to inhabit the bodies of swine (see Matthew 8:31). He knows the supernal value of our power of procreation and jealously desires to rule those who have it.
The rapid and sweeping deterioration of values in society is characterized now by a preoccupation— even an obsession—with the procreative act. Abstinence before marriage and fidelity within it are openly scoffed at as being out of date; marriage and parenthood are ridiculed as burdensome and unnecessary. Modesty, a virtue present in a refined individual or society, is all but gone. Morality is no longer a measure of character for prominent role models for our youth—the politicians, the athletes, the entertainers. With ever fewer exceptions, what we see and read and hear has the mating act as the central theme… The philosophies which now converge all have one thing in common: either by insinuation or by declaration they reject God as our creator, as our Father, as our lawgiver.
The Evil Idea
The knowledge that we are the children of God is a refining, even an exalting truth. On the other hand, no idea has been more destructive of happiness, no philosophy has produced more sorrow, more heartbreak, more suffering and mischief, no idea has contributed more to the erosion of the family than the idea that we are not the offspring of God, but only advanced animals. There flows from that idea the not too subtle perception that we are compelled to yield to every carnal urge, are subject to physical but not to moral law.
Freedom to Choose
Society now excuses itself from any responsibility for the high incidence of sexual immorality in young people except for teaching children in school the physical process of human reproduction in order to prevent pregnancy or disease, and providing teenagers with devices which are supposed to protect them against both. When any effort is made to include in these courses basic universal values—not just values of the Church but those of civilization, of society itself—the protest arises, “You are imposing religion upon us, infringing upon our freedom.”
It is interesting how one virtue, when given exaggerated or fanatical emphasis, can be used to batter down another. How clever the deception when freedom—the virtue—is invoked to justify vice! The advocates for lifting all restraints excuse themselves from responsibility by saying, “I do not intend to do any of these things myself, but I think everyone should be free to choose what they want to do without any moral or legal interference.” With that same logic, one could argue that all traffic signs and barriers set to keep the careless from falling to their death should be pulled down on the theory that each individual has the moral right to choose how close to the edge he will go.
There are Higher Laws
If we pollute our fountains of life or lead others to transgress in that way, there will be penalties more “exquisite” and “hard to bear” (see D&C 19:15) than all the physical pleasure could ever be worth.
You who are married will know the joy of parenthood and feel the responsibility which comes with family life. Always keep in mind and make a central part of your lives the rearing of your children in light and truth. Give to these precious souls the best that you are learning from life. And accept this caution. A married couple may be tempted to introduce things into their relationship that are unworthy. Do not, as the scriptures warn, “change the natural use into that which is against nature” (Romans 1:26). If you do, the tempter will drive a wedge between you. If something unworthy has become part of your relationship, be wise and don’t ever do it again.
Birth Control – see Student manual for more guidance
- Eldon Tanner
“We seriously regret that there should exist a sentiment or feeling among any members of the Church to curtail the birth of their children. We have been commanded to multiply and replenish the earth that we may have joy and rejoicing in our posterity. “Where husband and wife enjoy health and vigor and are free from impurities that would be entailed upon their posterity, it is contrary to the teachings of the Church artificially to curtail or prevent the birth of children. . . . “However, we feel that men must be considerate of their wives who bear the greater responsibility not only of bearing children, but of caring for them through childhood. To this end the mother’s health and strength should be conserved and the husband’s consideration for his wife is his first duty, and self control a dominant factor in all their relationships” (letter to stake presidents, bishops, and mission presidents, 14 Apr. 1969).
From the very beginning the Lord decreed, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him” (Genesis 2:18). The Apostle Paul said, “Neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 11:11).
When we understand physical intimacy with the perspective of the plan of salvation and are obedient to the Lord, we can avoid many of the problems that plague the world as a result of disregard for the law of chastity. Husbands and wives knit together in love and fidelity can experience joy in their physical relationship and help the Lord fulfill His purposes in multiplying and replenishing the earth.
Other resources on the topic of sexual intimacy:
Lesson 18 – Fidelity in Marriage
“Thou shalt not . . . commit adultery . . . nor do anything like unto it” (D&C 59:6).
“Fidelity to one’s marriage vows is absolutely essential for love, trust, and peace. Adultery is unequivocally condemned by the Lord. “Husbands and wives who love each other will find that love and loyalty are reciprocated. This love will provide a nurturing atmosphere for the emotional growth of children. Family life should be a time of happiness and joy that children can look back on with fond memories and associations” (Ezra Taft Benson, “Salvation—A Family Affair,” Ensign, July 1992, 2; or student manual, 283).
“The high moral standards of this church apply to all members in every country. Honesty and integrity are taught and expected everywhere. Chastity before marriage and absolute fidelity to wife or husband after marriage are required of members of the Church everywhere. Members who violate these high standards of moral conduct place their Church membership in question anywhere in the world” (James E. Faust, in Conference Report, Apr. 1995, 82; or Ensign, May 1995, 62).
Strict fidelity in marriage is essential in honoring the covenants we have made with our spouse and the Lord.
President Gordon B. Hinckley
“Now I move to another corrosive element that afflicts all too many marriages. It is interesting to me that two of the Ten Commandments deal with this: ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery’ and ‘Thou shalt not covet’ (Exodus 20:14, 17). Ted Koppel, moderator of ABC’s ‘Nightline’ program, is reported as saying the following to a group of students at Duke University concerning slogans that were proposed to reduce drugs and immorality:
“‘We have actually convinced ourselves that slogans will save us. . . . But the answer is NO! Not because it isn’t cool or smart or because you might end up in jail or dying in an AIDS ward, but NO because it is wrong, because we have spent 5,000 years as a race of rational human beings, trying to drag ourselves out of the primeval slime by searching for truth and moral absolutes. In its purest form, truth is not a polite tap on the shoulder. It is a howling reproach. What Moses brought down from Mount Sinai were not The Ten Suggestions’ (address given at Duke University, 10 May 1987).
“Think about that for a moment. What Moses brought down were Ten Commandments, written by the finger of Jehovah on tablets of stone for the salvation and safety, for the security and happiness of the children of Israel and for all of the generations which were to come after them.
“Altogether too many men, leaving their wives at home in the morning and going to work, where they find attractively dressed and attractively made-up young women, regard themselves as young and handsome and as an irresistible catch. They complain that their wives do not look the same as they did twenty years ago when they married them. To which I say, ‘Who would, after living with you for twenty years?’
“The tragedy is that some men are ensnared by their own foolishness and their own weakness. They throw to the wind the most sacred and solemn of covenants, entered into in the house of the Lord and sealed under the authority of the holy priesthood. They set aside their wives who have been faithful, who have loved and cared for them, who have struggled with them in times of poverty only to be discarded in times of affluence. They have left their children fatherless. They have avoided with every kind of artifice the payment of court-mandated alimony and child support. . . .
“The complaint of a husband, after eighteen years of marriage and five children, that he no longer loves his wife is, in my judgment, a feeble excuse for the violation of covenants made before God and also the evasion of the responsibilities that are the very strength of the society of which we are a part” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1991, 71–72; or Ensign, Nov. 1991, 51).
Elder Robert D. Hales
“Rationalization that God should change His commandments to accommodate our transgressions leads to spiritual darkness, which only the light of the gospel can remove. To the woman taken in adultery, Christ did not soften the commandment to not commit adultery. Rather, He counseled her to ‘sin no more’ (John 8:11). He promises all of us forgiveness through repentance. It is we who must change, not the commandments” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1996, 52; or Ensign, May 1996, 37).
DISCUSS CASE STUDIES
- Nathalie and Marc had a warm and affectionate relationship during the first year of their marriage. They were happy. Their first child was born early in the second year, and they both enjoyed being parents. Now, in the third year, they seldom hug or kiss or express any kind of physical affection for each other. Other than that their marriage is stable, they enjoy each other, and they work closely together to raise their child. Nathalie, however, has developed a close friendship with their neighbor Gérard. There has been no physical intimacy between them except for a brief, one-time kiss. Because of the trials in their lives, Nathalie and Gérard find that they enjoy sitting together on the couch at Gérard’s apartment and talking for an hour or two before Marc returns from work. Nathalie thoroughly enjoys being with Gérard and feels that she has complete control over her emotions. She is much happier in her own marriage since she has been receiving attention from Gérard. She is not concerned about breaking the law of chastity with Gérard because they have talked about it and each claims to love the Lord too much to do such a thing.
- What is wrong with this relationship?
- Is there any infidelity between Nathalie and Gérard? In what ways?
- If Natalie and Gérard’s relationship goes no further physically, is it harmless?
- Hiro likes the world of academics and hopes someday to teach at a university. He enjoys the rich interchange of ideas found in that setting. Since he finished his undergraduate program, his work and financial obligations have prevented him from seeking an advanced degree. He is disappointed that his wife Yoshiko, with whom he shared so much during their courtship, no longer enjoys reading and talking about world issues. By sharing his books and ideas with his friends at work and being involved in a weekly book club, he has been able to fill his needs. Mika, a young woman from work, joined the club after hearing about it from Hiro. Hiro especially enjoys the insights that Mika contributes.
- Is there infidelity between Hiro and Mika in this arrangement?
- What are the potential dangers?
- What can Hiro do to build a better relationship with his wife?
- After they married, Dave was surprised to discover that his new wife Joan liked to stay at home most of the time. Dave has always loved sports and the outdoors. Joan, though, loves keeping house and taking care of Dave and their baby. Dave plays for a local sports team, and sometimes Joan is unhappy with the number of evenings it keeps him away. Several weekends a month he goes fishing. Once he even saved his money for months to buy Joan a fishing pole and waders and tried to teach her to fish. She tried to show interest but never really enjoyed it. Dave wishes Joan were more like Trisha, a young woman at work who loves to play and talk sports. Trisha attends many of his sporting events.
- What are the danger signals in this marriage?
- What are possible solutions to the problem?
STORY OF DAVID AND BATHSHEBA
- 2 Samuel 11:2–3. David chose not to turn from temptation when he saw Bath-sheba but instead lusted after her.
- 2 Samuel 11:4. David took advantage of his position as king to seduce Bath-sheba.
- 2 Samuel 11:5. Bath-sheba conceived a child because of their sin.
- 2 Samuel 11:6–13. David attempted to deceive Bath-sheba’s husband Uriah and conceal their sin.
- 2 Samuel 11:14–17. David conspired to cover the embarrassment of their sin by having Uriah killed in battle.
- 2 Samuel 12:1–7. Nathan the prophet exposed David’s sins by telling him a parable and saying “Thou art the man.”
- 2 Samuel 12:11–12. Nathan prophesied future punishments for David, all of which came to pass.
- 2 Samuel 12:15–18. David and Bath-sheba’s child died.
- Doctrine and Covenants 132:39. David has “fallen from his exaltation”; his family has been taken from him.
COSTS OF INFIDELITY
President Howard W. Hunter
“Be faithful in your marriage covenants in thought, word, and deed. Pornography, flirtations, and unwholesome fantasies erode one’s character and strike at the foundation of a happy marriage. Unity and trust within a marriage are thereby destroyed. One who does not control his thoughts and thus commits adultery in his heart, if he does not repent, shall not have the Spirit but shall deny the faith and shall fear (see D&C 42:23; 63:16)” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1994, 67; or Ensign, Nov. 1994, 50).
Elder Gordon B. Hinckley
“Was there ever adultery without dishonesty? In the vernacular, the evil is described as ‘cheating.’ And cheating it is, for it robs virtue, it robs loyalty, it robs sacred promises, it robs self-respect, it robs truth. It involves deception. It is personal dishonesty of the worst kind, for it becomes a betrayal of the most sacred of human relationships, and a denial of covenants and promises entered into before God and man. It is the sordid violation of a trust. It is a selfish casting aside of the law of God, and like other forms of dishonesty its fruits are sorrow, bitterness, heartbroken companions, and betrayed children” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1976, 92; or Ensign, May 1976, 61).
Elder Richard G. Scott
“Adultery, fornication, committing homosexual acts, and other deviations approaching these in gravity are not acceptable alternate lifestyles. They are serious sins. Committing physical and sexual abuse are major sins. Such grave sins require deep repentance to be forgiven. President Kimball taught: ‘To every forgiveness there is a condition. The plaster must be as wide as the sore. The fasting, the prayers, the humility must be equal to or greater than the sin.’ [The Miracle of Forgiveness (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1969), p. 353]
Jacob 2:35 – Behold, ye have done greater iniquities than the Lamanites, our brethren. Ye have broken the hearts of your tender wives, and lost the confidence of your children, because of your bad examples before them; and the sobbings of their hearts ascend up to God against you. And because of the strictness of the word of God, which cometh down against you, many hearts died, pierced with deep wounds.
President Spencer W. Kimball
“It is not enough to refrain from adultery. We need to make the marriage relationship sacred, to sacrifice and work to maintain the warmth and respect which we enjoyed during courtship. God intended marriage to be eternal, sealed by the power of the priesthood, to last beyond the grave. Daily acts of courtesy and kindness, conscientiously and lovingly carried out, are part of what the Lord expects” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1978, 7; or Ensign, Nov. 1978, 6).
President Ezra Taft Benson
“Control your thoughts. No one steps into immorality in an instant. The first seeds of immorality are always sown in the mind. When we allow our thoughts to linger on lewd or immoral things, the first step on the road to immorality has been taken. I especially warn you against the evils of pornography. . . . The Savior taught that even when a man looks upon a woman to lust after her, or in other words, when he lets his thoughts begin to get out of control, he has already committed adultery with her in his heart (see Matthew 5:28, D&C 63:16). . . .“. . . If you are married, avoid flirtations of any kind. . . .“. . . If you are married, avoid being alone with members of the opposite sex whenever possible. Many of the tragedies of immorality begin when a man and woman are alone in the office or at church or driving in a car. At first there may be no intent or even thought of sin. But the circumstances provide a fertile seedbed for temptation. . . . It is so much easier to avoid such circumstances from the start so that temptation gets no chance for nourishment” (“Law of Chastity,” 51–52).
Case study. Roberto, a married member of the Church with two young daughters, enjoys surfing the Internet late in the evening when everyone is asleep. He recently happened on a site with pornographic materials. Although it was offensive at first glance, he found himself drawn into it. For the next several evenings, after everyone was asleep, he returned to that site and additional sites with similar material. One night his wife, Ana Maria, came into the room and caught him looking at pornography. She was devastated and became angry. She insisted on an appointment with the bishop and threatened to divorce Roberto. Roberto knows what he was doing was wrong but feels that Ana Maria was overreacting.
- Where do you think Roberto erred?
- Why is Roberto’s behavior serious?
- What can Roberto do to rebuild his wife’s confidence in him and strengthen their marriage?
- At what point would you recommend Roberto seek counseling?
Note: See overcomingpornography.org
Elder H. Burke Peterson
“Again I say, leave it alone. Turn it off, walk away from it, burn it, erase it, or destroy it. I know it is hard counsel we give when we say movies that are R-rated, and many with PG-13 ratings, are produced by satanic influences. Our standards should not be dictated by the rating system. I repeat, because of what they really represent, these types of movies, music, and tapes serve the purposes of the author of all darkness” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1993, 60; or Ensign, Nov. 1993, 43).
President Thomas S. Monson
“Whatever you read, listen to, or watch makes an impression on you. “Pornography is especially dangerous and addictive. Curious exploration of pornography can become a controlling habit, leading to coarser material and to sexual transgression. “Don’t be afraid to walk out of a movie, turn off a television set, or change a radio station if what’s being presented does not meet your Heavenly Father’s standards. In short, if you have any question about whether a particular movie, book, or other form of entertainment is appropriate, don’t see it, don’t read it, don’t participate” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1990, 60; or Ensign, Nov. 1990, 46).
Elder Marvin J. Ashton
“A diet of violence or pornography dulls the senses, and future exposures need to be rougher and more extreme. Soon the person is desensitized and is unable to react in a sensitive, caring, responsible manner, especially to those in his own home and family. Good people can become infested with this material and it can have terrifying, destructive consequences” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1977, 108; or Ensign, Nov. 1977, 71).
President Gordon B. Hinckley
“Portrayals of sexual perversion, violence, and bestiality become increasingly available for those who succumb to their lures. As this happens, religious activities are likely to become less attractive because the two do not mix any more than oil and water mix” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1983, 66–67; or Ensign, Nov. 1983, 45).
Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly!
D&C 121: 45-46 – Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven. The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever.