God has given his children on earth the power to provide physical bodies for his spirit children. When we use this sacred power only within the bonds of marriage and when we think and speak of it with reverence, we are keeping the law of chastity.
Note to parents: Some parts of this lesson may be more effective if discussed privately with individual family members.
What is the power of procreation? (We, along with our Heavenly Father, create bodies for his children. We can have children. See Genesis 1:28.)
Discuss how having children helps prepare us for godhood. Talk about learning the value of sacrifice, becoming unselfish, giving unconditional love, learning self-control, being organized, teaching, and disciplining others. These are all skills we need to become like our Father in Heaven.
How does parenthood give us an opportunity to learn these skills?
Explain that parenthood is not only a learning time for parents but it is an act of service to Heavenly Father’s other children. Parenthood allows us to provide bodies for our spirit brothers and sisters, love them, and pass on to them the things that we have already learned from our experiences on earth.
Let your children talk about what kind of parent each wants to be and some of the things each hopes to teach his children.
Share your feelings about parenthood. Talk about things you have learned, how you’ve grown in appreciation, and the joys and sorrows you have felt. Express your thankfulness for the wonderful blessing of procreation. Explain that no other experience helps us to understand our Heavenly Father as well as the sacred opportunity of becoming parents ourselves. Challenge your children to think about and prepare for this wonderful blessing.
Relate the story of Corianton, one of Alma’s sons, in Alma 39:3–4. Discuss how he sinned by forsaking his ministry and going after Isabel. Point out that he broke God’s law of chastity.
Read together what Alma said to Corianton in Alma 39:5.
Why are fornication and adultery such serious sins?
Make a list of some of the destructive effects of these sins, such as the following:
They make our procreative power a thing of cheap and selfish pleasure, instead of an unselfish act of lasting joy.
They destroy our character.
They destroy the character of the partner in sin.
They bring babies into far from ideal circumstances.
Fornication can force early and unplanned marriages; adultery can break up marriages and families in divorce.
They encourage abortion, itself a grave sin.
They drive the Spirit of the Lord away from us.
They destroy Heavenly Father’s plan for families.
They destroy self-respect.
Discuss how every baby has a right to be born into a family where he is wanted and loved. This is possible only when the law of chastity is obeyed.
Remind your children that our power to become parents is one of the most sacred and special blessings given to us by our Heavenly Father. It can bring us the greatest of joys if we use it in the right way or the greatest of sorrows if we misuse it.
Read and discuss the following quotation: “Much of the happiness that may come to you in this life will depend on how you use this sacred power of creation” (Boyd K. Packer, Teach Ye Diligently [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1975], p. 259). Challenge family members to think of their future children whenever they are faced with a moral decision.
Have your children write down the characteristics of the man or woman they would ideally like to marry. Be sure to have them emphasize moral qualities, not just physical.
If you met this wonderful person, what kind of partner do you think he or she would be looking for?
Have them list these qualities too. Explain that we must become worthy of the one that we hope to marry. We must stay morally clean and develop these qualities. Talk about the dangers of trying to impress our peers at the expense of losing our ability to impress that certain someone someday. Discuss how we need to begin very early in our lives to build the habits and form the character that will give us the blessing of someday creating our own ideal home.
Assure your children that there are others in the world that are holding to their standards and standing up for the right, and that if your children stay worthy Heavenly Father will bless them that they will be able to marry someone just as wonderful as they imagine.
Discuss the great blessings of starting a family with the right person (someone with these important qualities) at the right time (when we are sufficiently mature) and in the right place (in the temple). Remind family members that much of their future happiness will rest on these decisions. Challenge them to live worthy of these ideals.
Read Doctrine and Covenants 121:45–46. Discuss what virtue (being morally clean) means and the blessings that come from it.
Is a person morally clean who thinks and talks lustfully but doesn’t do what he talks about? Read together 3 Nephi 12:27–29.
Is a person morally clean who consciously arouses unclean thoughts or desires in another?
List together some of the things Satan tempts us to do that encourage us to begin to break the law of chastity. Some of them might be:
Watching unclean movies or television shows.
Telling or listening to dirty jokes.
Staying out late on dates.
Dating too young.
Listening to bad music.
Make the list as extensive as you can. Then discuss each item on your list.
What thoughts will these put in our minds or in the minds of others?
How is this a beginning to breaking the law of chastity? (See Proverbs 23:7.)
What steps can you take to resist this temptation?
Play a game of “What would you do if … ?” making up realistic situations that your children, at their ages, might face. See if your children can think of graceful ways out of bad situations. Sometimes there will be no graceful way out.
Next tell the story of Joseph and the wife of Potiphar (Genesis 39:1–13). Explain that it is much better to look foolish or displease someone else (no matter who it is) and run away than to compromise on the law of chastity and lose out on the glorious blessings that come from staying truly clean.
Challenge family members to be careful in all that they do to stay clean in thought as well as action.
Genesis 39:1–18 (Joseph fleeing from Potiphar’s wife.)
Psalm 24:4 (Have clean hands and a pure heart.)
1 Corinthians 6:19 (Our bodies are temples.)
James 1:27 (Unspotted from the world.)
Alma 38:12 (Control our passions so we may be filled with love.)
Doctrine and Covenants 121:45 (Let virtue garnish our thoughts unceasingly.)
Doctrine and Covenants 88:86 (Avoid sin.)
See also “Chastity, Chaste” in the Topical Guide.
“The Still Small Voice,” Children’s Songbook, p. 106.
“Firm as the Mountains around Us,” Hymns, no. 255.
“Choose the Right,” Hymns, no. 239.
“True to the Faith,” Hymns, no. 254.
Gospel Principles, “The Law of Chastity,” chapter 39.
“Morality for Youth,” on the videocassette Come unto Me (53146).
“Chastity: As a Man Soweth,” on Family Home Evening Video Supplement 2 (53277).