20: Intimacy in Marriage

Preparing for an Eternal Marriage Teacher Manual, (2003), 73–75


Doctrinal Overview

“Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else” (D&C 42:22). God ordained the physical union of husband and wife. Elder Dallin H. Oaks said, “The expression of our procreative powers is pleasing to God, but he has commanded that this be confined within the relationship of marriage” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1993, 99; or Ensign, Nov. 1993, 74; see also student manual, 261).

Principle

Obeying the Lord’s counsel on intimacy helps us have a happy marriage.

Student Manual Readings

Selected Teachings from “Intimacy in Marriage” (139)

Statement in “Costs of Infidelity,” President Thomas S. Monson (in “Fidelity in Marriage,” 113)

“Birth Control” (14)

“Personal Purity,” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland (233)

“The Fountain of Life,” Elder Boyd K. Packer (141)

Suggestions for How to Teach

Student manual. Testify that the ability to multiply and replenish the earth is a blessing (see Abraham 4:27–28). Read the statements under “Physical Intimacy Ordained of God” (in “Intimacy in Marriage,” student manual, 139), except for the statements by President Spencer W. Kimball. Ask:

  • In what ways are natural affections a blessing to mankind?

  • What impact can falsehoods about physical intimacy have on a married couple’s intimate relationship?

  • What impact can an eternal perspective of physical intimacy have on a married couple’s intimate relationship?

Read the statements by President Spencer W. Kimball under “Physical Intimacy Ordained of God.”

Suggestions for How to Teach

Student manual. Read the subsection “Physical Intimacy Only in Marriage” (in “Intimacy in Marriage,” student manual, 140). Have students look for reasons the Lord requires that sexual relations between a man and a woman be kept within the bonds of marriage. Discuss students’ findings.

Student manual. Read the subsection “Purposes of Intimacy” (in “Intimacy in Marriage,” student manual, 140). Ask:

  • What blessings did President Lorenzo Snow say will come to families in which the parents have been married for eternity?

  • What did President Snow say has been promised to couples who are unable to have children?

  • According to President Spencer W. Kimball, how is love in an eternal marriage different from what many in the world call love?

If you have children, consider bringing pictures of them at different ages and testifying of the joy they bring to you and your spouse. Testify that the joy of parenthood can be eternal.

Suggestions for How to Teach

Student manual. Read the subsection “Misused Physical Intimacy” (in “Intimacy in Marriage,” student manual, 140). Also read and discuss the statement by President Thomas S. Monson of the First Presidency in the subsection “Costs of Infidelity” (in “Fidelity in Marriage,” student manual, 113).

Note: If students have questions, refer them back to the statements in the subsection “Misused Physical Intimacy.” Do not add detail beyond that given by the Brethren on this subject. If questions arise regarding birth control, answer from the teachings in the “Birth Control” section (student manual, 14).

Suggestions for How to Teach

Group work. Invite students to read “Personal Purity,” by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (student manual, 233). Divide the class into groups of three or four, and assign each group one or more of the following questions:

  • According to Elder Holland, why is understanding that “the spirit and the body are the soul of man” important when learning about intimacy in marriage? (D&C 88:15).

  • Why is intimacy between a man and a woman who are married for eternity the “ultimate symbol of total union”?

  • What does this address teach about the relationship between a married couple and their Father in Heaven?

Have a representative from each group present their findings to the class.

Discussion. Invite students to read “The Fountain of Life,” by Elder Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (student manual, 141). Ask:

  • What did Elder Packer say is a prerequisite to the full enjoyment of the physical, emotional, and spiritual feelings of physical intimacy in marriage? (We must enter into it worthily.)

  • Why is the power of procreation essential in the plan of happiness?

  • Why do you think “the desire to mate in humankind is constant and very strong”?

  • What do you think Elder Packer means when he says that “mature love has a bliss not even imagined by newlyweds”?

  • Why is romantic love “incomplete” and only “a prelude”?

  • Why must the power of procreation be “controlled as electricity is controlled, to generate power and life”?

  • In what ways has the flaunting of sexuality changed our society? How can we avoid following this destructive trend?

Conclusion

Reemphasize Elder Packer’s statement that marital intimacy, “when entered into worthily, … 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 marriage” (“The Fountain of Life,” student manual, 142). Testify that following divine counsel in matters of marriage and intimacy will bring us great happiness.