Photo illustration by Leslie Nilsson
A lot of people cry when they feel the Spirit, but I don’t. Is there something wrong with me?
Crying is not the only—or even the most common—manifestation of feeling the Spirit. President Howard W. Hunter (1907–95) said: “I get concerned when it appears that strong emotion or free-flowing tears are equated with the presence of the Spirit. Certainly the Spirit of the Lord can bring strong emotional feelings, including tears, but that outward manifestation ought not to be confused with the presence of the Spirit itself” (in Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Missionary Service , 99).
The Spirit of God brings peace and clarity to your heart and mind, as well as other positive emotions, such as love, joy, meekness, and patience (see D&C 6:15, 23; 11:12–14; Galatians 5:22–23). If you are experiencing these kinds of things, you can be confident that you are feeling the Spirit, whether your emotions cause you to cry or not.
What exactly is a sexual transgression?
All sexual relations outside of marriage violate the law of chastity. This includes intercourse; touching the private, sacred parts of another person’s body, with or without clothing; arousing sexual feelings in others or yourself for the purpose of gratification; viewing or sending pornography; reading pornographic literature; deliberately dwelling on sexual thoughts; and talking or texting about sex in an explicit manner with the intent of arousing sexual feelings. (See For the Strength of Youth , 35–37.)
That being said, you probably already have a good idea of what is and isn’t a sexual transgression. You simply need to commit to stay pure. As President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) said, “There is a line which you must not cross. It is the line that separates personal cleanliness from sin. I need not get clinical in telling you where that line is. You know. You have been told again and again. You have a conscience within you. Stay on the Lord’s side of the line” (“‘Be Ye Clean,’” Ensign, May 1996, 48). Staying on the Lord’s side of the line is worth it because of the blessings it brings (see Elder David A. Bednar, “We Believe in Being Chaste,” Ensign, May 2013, 41–44, or lds.org/go/73Chaste).