The use of the term of the “Law of Chastity” seems to be kind of a Mormon thing. I really don’t know that I have ever heard anybody else call it that. The Law of Being Chaste. The dictionary defines chaste as being pure, modest, and virtuous. In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we refer to it as the law of keeping yourself clean of sexual sin. This may include keeping your dress modest, keeping your speech clean of inappropriate sexual talk, keeping your thoughts pure from contemplating inappropriate sexual acts – including refraining from indulging in pornography, keeping your hands clean of acts such as masturbation, and keeping your body clean by refraining from fornication or adultery. Fornication is defined as sexual acts outside of the bonds of marriage. Adultery is defined as a married individual performing sexual acts with someone other than their spouse. These definitions of fornication and adultery extend to prohibiting sexual acts with individuals of the same sex.
The seriousness of each of these sins varies. The repentance process for each depends on the severity of the sin. Also taken into consideration for the repentance process is the level of commitment the individual has made in the church. While such a concept may sound foreign to people not familiar to the church, it makes total sense to those who are well aware of the churches teachings. An example is that a high school student that engages in premarital sex will likely be disfellowshipped from the church meaning that they are given a period of time to repent while being denied the opportunity to partake of the sacrament or say prayers in church meetings. Whereas someone who has attended the temple who engages in premarital sex will likely be excommunicated and be required to be rebaptized after a more extended period of time. If a priesthood holder has been excommunicated and desires to once again hold the priesthood, the reinstatement may even require approval from the general authorities of the church – the 12 apostles. This is not something taken lightly and often takes several years for approval.
While it may be fashionable to look sexy in the way you present yourself, men and women who respect the Lord’s teachings will dress in ways that will not draw attention to themselves in inappropriate ways. Dressing sharp and well is appropriate especially when done in good taste.
For the Strength of Youth states as follows:
Immodest clothing includes short shorts and skirts, tight clothing, shirts that do not cover the stomach, and other revealing attire. Young women should wear clothing that covers the shoulder and avoid clothing that is low-cut in the front or the back or revealing in any other manner. Young men should also maintain modesty in their appearance. All should avoid extremes in clothing, appearance, and hairstyle. Always be neat and clean and avoid being sloppy or inappropriately casual in dress, grooming, and manners. Ask yourself, “Would I feel comfortable with my appearance if I were in the Lord’s presence?”
Clean speech can range from the use of profanity to the use of telling inappropriate jokes that are sexual in nature. Our speech is a reflection of the heart. When we use profanity, we demean ourselves and we desensitize the feelings of those around us who are striving to live their lives pure in the site of God. When we tell or even engage in the laughter of jokes that are sexual in nature, we offend those who do not wish to hear them and we offend God. The Holy Ghost immediately withdraws. We find ourselves in need of repentance.
Masterbation is a sin.
Outside of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you can find discussion forum and after discussion forum of individuals rationalizing the act of masterbation saying that it is not a sin. The guidance from the leaders of the church do not see it this way. All young men desiring to serve a mission must attain self mastery and overcome this self defeating act prior to receiving their mission call. Individuals who find themselves engaging in this act are recommended to consult with their bishop to receive guidance on overcoming this sin.
If you are engaging in masturbation, you should not partake of the sacrament and should not attend the temple. You should first repent of the sin prior to once again engaging in these sacred ordinances.
Pornography is one of the greatest challenges facing the church today. With pornography being found right at the fingertips of a Google search, Bishops all over the world are bombarded with members coming to them confessing their sins of either having a pornography addiction or simply having one instance of indulging in the viewing of Satan’s greatest tool. Pornography destroys marriages, deceives people into thinking they can have that which is forbidden, and touches a man’s senses in a way that controls them and drags them down to hell. Pornography must not be touched in any way if one wishes to feel the sweet presence of the Holy Ghost. Confession to your bishop may be the only way to obtain repentance and once again feel the sweetness of the Spirit of God dwelling with you.
And don’t even think about attending a so-called Gentleman’s Club. I really don’t know what the church’s disciplinary policy is on this topic. Needless to say, I would not expect it to be well. Would it be seen as the same thing as fornication or adultery? I doubt it. But I expect it would be worse than the viewing of porn pages on the internet.
Proper Conduct while Dating
I don’t believe that I can cover this topic any better that what is already spelled out in the “For the Strength of Youth” pamphlet published by the church.
For the Strength of Youth:
Before marriage, do not do anything to arouse the powerful emotions that must be expressed only in marriage. Do not participate in passionate kissing, lie on top of another person, or touch the private, sacred parts of another person’s body, with or without clothing. Do not allow anyone to do that with you. Do not arouse those emotions in your own body.
In cultures where dating or courting is acceptable, always treat your date with respect, never as an object to be used for your lustful desires. Stay in areas of safety where you can easily control your physical feelings. Do not participate in talk or activities that arouse sexual feelings.
Fornication and Adultery
1 Corinthians 6
9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
Sex outside of marriage is practiced so heavily outside of the church, it is easy to wonder if it is even a sin. For faithful members of the church, we know that it happens as well. We also know that disciplinary action is taken on the individuals who engage in it. Today, if a young man engages in it while in their youth, it is very difficult to ever be allowed to serve on a mission. Once again, approval from a general authority is required. For those who have made temple covenants and then engage in fornication, the result is most always excommunication from the church.
Outside of blasphemy to the Holy Ghost, adultery is next to murder as being of the most treacherous sins a person could engage in. Adultery rips families apart. It breaks the tender hearts of the innocent, destroys families, creates hardships on spouses and children affected by the selfishness. It is deceptive. It is hurtful. A man or a woman who has engaged in adultery will not stand before God without shame unless a serious and sincere repentance is made. True repentance includes restitution. How do you bring back the trust and love that once existed prior to this serious act of betrayal?
Let the Spirit of God Guide You
While black and white principles may be a guiding factor for many people, what is really important is the relationship that you have with our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ. If you strive to obey their commandments and live your life according to the principles taught by the savior, he will guide you in your decisions and bless you with his spirit. You will recognize his spirit as it whispers peace to your soul. The closer you come to him, the stronger and more common will that peace be felt. It is a very personal thing. If you are guilty of sexual sin, you may need to see the Bishop to be placed on a path to repentance. If you are having difficulty feeling the closeness to the spirit, then stop and listen again. He may send a prompting to you reminding you of exactly the reason for the void. He will help guide you as you sincerely seek the path to return to him.