Lesson 33: The Sacred Power of Procreation

Young Women Manual 2, (1993), 126–30


Each young woman will develop an appreciation for her body and the godly power of procreation.


  1. 1.

    Picture 17, Boyd K. Packer (64332); picture 18, A Young Woman; picture 19, A Young Couple with a Family; picture 20, A Group of Teenagers; picture 21, A Couple in Front of a Temple. All are located at the back of the manual.

  2. 2.

    If possible, invite the bishopric counselor responsible for young women to read the talk by Elder Boyd K. Packer contained in the lesson. Use the pictures listed above to illustrate the talk as indicated.

  3. 3.

    Prepare a card for each young woman containing the quotation from Elder Mark E. Petersen.

  4. 4.

    Assign young women to present any scriptures, stories, or quotations you wish.

Suggested Lesson Development

The Power of Procreation Should Be Used According to God’s Plan

Discussion and quotation

Ask the following questions:

  • Who ordained marriage? (God.)

  • What is the purpose of marriage? (To establish families here and hereafter.)

  • Why is chastity important as you prepare to marry and establish a family?

Read the following statement from President Spencer W. Kimball:

“The earth cannot justify nor continue its life without marriage and the family. Sex without marriage, for all people, young or older, is an abomination to the Lord, and it is most unfortunate that many people have blinded their eyes to these great truths” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1974, p. 9; or Ensign, Nov. 1974, p. 8).

  • What does chastity mean to you?

“The powerful sex drives are instinctive, which is to say, God-given, and therefore are not evil per se. In order that these instincts may be controlled and directed into proper channels, they should be indulged only within the divinely instituted sacrament of marriage” (Hugh B. Brown, The Abundant Life [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965], p. 70).


Ask your guest to read the following talk by Elder Boyd K. Packer. As the talk is being read, display the pictures found at the end of the manual when suggested.

“[Display the picture of Elder Packer.] My message is of deep importance to you. It concerns your future happiness. The subject should be of great importance to you—why stay morally clean. I approach the subject with deepest reverence.

“In the beginning, prior to your mortal birth, you lived with our Heavenly Father. He is real. He lives, and I bear testimony of it.

“He knew you there. Because He loved you, He was anxious for your happiness and for your eternal growth. He wanted you to be able to choose freely and to grow through the power of correct choice so that you may become much as He is. To achieve this it was necessary for us to leave His presence, something like going away to school. A plan was presented, and each agreed to leave the presence of our Heavenly Father to experience life in mortality.

“Two great things were in store for us as we came into the world. One, we would receive a mortal body, created in the image of God. [Show the picture of a young woman.] Through it, by proper control, we might achieve eternal life and happiness. Two, we would be tried and tested in such a way that we could grow in strength and in spiritual power.

“Under the accepted plan, Adam and Eve were sent to the earth as our first parents. They could prepare physical bodies for the first spirits to be introduced into this life.

“There was provided in our bodies, and this is sacred, a power of creation—a light, so to speak, that has power to kindle other lights. It is a sacred and significant power. This power is good.

“You who are teenagers, like every other son and daughter of Adam and Eve, have this power within you.

“The power of creation, or may we say procreation, is not just an incidental part of the plan—it is essential to it. Without it the plan could not proceed. The misuse of it may disrupt the plan.

“Much of the happiness that may come to you in this life will depend on how you use this sacred power of creation. The fact that you young men can become fathers and that you young women can become mothers is of utmost importance to you. [Show the picture of a young couple with a family.] As this power develops within you, it will prompt you in the search for a companion and empower you to love and to hold him.

“I repeat, this power to act in the creation of life is sacred. You can someday have a family of your own. Through the exercise of this power, you can invite children to live with you—little boys and little girls who will be your very own, created, in a way, in your own image. You can establish a home, a dominion of power and influence and opportunity. This carries with it great responsibility. This creative power carries with it strong desires and urges. You have felt them already in the changing of your attitudes and your interests.

“[Show the picture of a group of teenagers.] As you move into your teens, almost of a sudden a boy or girl becomes something new and intensely interesting. You will notice the changing of form and feature in your own body and in others. You will experience the early whisperings of physical desire.

“It was necessary that this power of creation have at least two dimensions. One, it must be strong, and two, it must be more or less constant.

“This power must be strong. Except for the compelling persuasion of these feelings, men would be reluctant to accept the responsibility of sustaining a home and a family. This power must be constant, too, for it becomes a binding tie in family life.

“You are old enough, I think, to look around you in the animal kingdom. You soon realize that where this power of creation is a fleeting thing, where it expresses itself only in season, there is no family life.

“It is through this power that life continues. A world full of trials and fears and disappointments can be changed into a kingdom of hope and joy and happiness. Each time a child is born, the world somehow is renewed in innocence.

“Again I want to tell you that this power within you is good. It is a gift from God our Father. In the righteous exercise of it as in nothing else, we may come close to Him.

“We can have, in a small way, much that our Father in Heaven has as He governs us, His children. No greater school or testing place can be imagined.

“[Show the picture of a couple in front of a temple.] Is it any wonder then that in the Church marriage is so sacred and so important? Can you understand why your marriage, which releases these powers of creation for your use, should be the most carefully planned and the most solemnly considered step in your life? Ought we to consider it unusual that the Lord directed that temples be constructed for the purpose of performing marriage ceremonies?

“Now there are other things that I will tell you as a warning. In the beginning there was one among us who rebelled at the plan of our Heavenly Father. He vowed to destroy and to disrupt the plan.

“He was prevented from having a mortal body and was cast out—limited forever from establishing a kingdom of his own. He became satanically jealous. He knows that this power of creation is not just an incident to the plan, but a key to it.

“He knows that if he can entice you to use this power prematurely, to use it too soon, or to misuse it in any way, you may well lose your opportunities for eternal progression.

“He is an actual being from the unseen world. He has great power. He will use it to persuade you to transgress those laws set up to protect the sacred power of creation.

“In former times he was too cunning to confront one with an open invitation to be immoral. But rather, sneakingly and quietly, he would tempt young and old alike to think loosely of these sacred powers of creation, to bring down to a vulgar or to a common level that which is sacred and beautiful.

“His tactics have changed now. He describes it only as an appetite to be satisfied. He teaches that there are no attendant responsibilities to the uses of this power. Pleasure, he will tell you, is its sole purpose.

“His devilish invitations are coined into jokes and written into the lyrics of songs. They are acted out on television and at theaters. They will stare at you now from most magazines.

“You grow up in a society where before you is the constant invitation to tamper with these sacred powers.

“I want to counsel you and I want you to remember these words. Do not let anyone at all touch or handle your body, not anyone! Those who tell you otherwise proselyte you to share their guilt. We teach you to maintain your innocence.

“Turn away from any who would persuade you to experiment with these life-giving powers.

“The only righteous use of this sacred power is within the covenant of marriage.

“Never misuse these sacred powers.

“And now, I must tell you soberly and seriously that God has declared in unmistakable language that misery and sorrow will follow the violation of the laws of chastity. ‘Wickedness never was happiness’ (Alma 41:10). These laws were set up to guide all of His children in the use of this gift.

“He does not have to be spiteful or vengeful in order that punishment will come from the breaking of the moral code. The laws are established of themselves.

“Crowning glory awaits you if you live worthily. The loss of the crown may well be punishment enough. Often, very often, we are punished as much by our sins as we are for them.

“Perhaps within the sound of my voice there may be someone who already has fallen into transgression. Some, almost innocent of any intent, but persuaded by the enticements and the temptations, may already have misused this power. Know then that there is a great cleansing power. And know that you can be clean.

“If you are outside the Church, the covenant of baptism itself represents, among other things, a washing and a cleansing.

“For those of you inside the Church, there is a way, not entirely painless, but certainly possible. You can stand clean and spotless before Him. Guilt will be gone and you can be at peace. Go to your bishop. He holds the key to this cleansing power.

“Then one day you can know the full and righteous expression of these powers and the attendant happiness and joy in righteous family life. In due time, within the bonds of the marriage covenant, you can yield yourselves to those sacred expressions of love which have as their fulfillment the generation of life itself.

“[Display the picture of a young couple with a family.] Someday you will hold a little boy or a little girl in your arms and know that two of you have acted in partnership with our Heavenly Father in the creation of life. Because the youngster belongs to you, you may then come to love someone more than you love yourself.

“This experience can come, insofar as I know, only through having children of your own or perhaps through fostering children born of another and yet drawn close into family covenants.

“Some of you may not experience the blessing of marriage. Protect nonetheless these sacred powers of creation, for there is a great power of compensation that may well apply to you.

“Through this loving one more than you love yourself you become truly Christian. Then you know, as few others know, what the word father means when it is spoken of in the scriptures. You may then feel something of the love and concern He has for us.

“It should have great meaning that of all the titles of respect and honor and admiration that could be given Him, God Himself, He who is the highest of all, chose to be addressed simply as Father.

“Protect and guard your gift. Your actual happiness is at stake. Eternal family life, now only in your anticipation and dreams, can be achieved because our Heavenly Father has bestowed this choicest gift of all upon you—this power of creation. It is the very key to happiness. Hold this gift as sacred and pure. Use it only as the Lord directed.

“I pray God’s blessings upon you. May our Heavenly Father watch over you and sustain you that in the expression of this sacred gift you may draw close to Him. He lives. He is our Father. Of this I bear witness in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”


Discuss the following questions:

  • What two great things were in store for us when we came into this world? (Receiving a mortal body and being tried and tested so that we could grow.)

  • What is the purpose of the sacred power of procreation in the plan of our Heavenly Father?

  • Why must this power of creation be strong and constant?

  • What responsibility do you have now to prepare for the marriage covenant that you will make with your future husband?

  • Why should you keep yourself morally clean?

  • How may one become cleansed if she misuses the power of creation?

Teacher presentation

Explain that the covenant of marriage requires the young women to be true and faithful to their future husbands by keeping themselves morally clean now and throughout their lives.

Explain that to obtain a temple recommend, each person must respond to questions asked by the bishop or branch president. One of these questions deals specifically with morality.

Chastity Brings Happiness


Have the young women respond to the following questions:

  • What blessings come to a young woman who honors herself by keeping morally clean?

  • How will your family be blessed because you live the Lord’s law of chastity?


Explain that the law of chastity, like God’s other laws, was given to bring happiness. Sex is sacred and beautiful when used properly in marriage. You may want to read the following statements:

“Sex is so sacred, so divine, that when it is used in its proper way, those who participate become joint creators with God. They become partners with the Almighty in the great undertaking and enterprise of bringing forth life” (Mark E. Petersen, Our Moral Challenge [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1965], p. 13).

“Chastity, not indulgence, during the pre-marital years, is the source of harmony and happiness in the home and the chief contributing factor to the health and perpetuity of the race. All virtues that make up a beautiful character—loyalty, dependability, confidence, trust, love of God, and fidelity to man—are associated with this diadem in the crown of virtuous womanhood and of virile manhood” (David O. McKay, Treasures of Life [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1962], p. 94).

“This most intimate relationship between man and woman, authorized by God within the covenant of marriage, is not merely physical or biological. It involves the whole personality, affects the complex nature of men and women. This relationship, within the sanctity of the marriage covenant, with its concomitant obligations, makes man and woman one in interests, aims, aspirations, and responsibilities. If they are true to their covenants to each other, to their children, and to God, their whole beings are merged, they become one mentally and spiritually, and the family they establish is an eternal unit. Prerequisite to ideal marriage is deep and abiding love. This enduring relationship requires purity of thought, word, and action; devotion, loyalty, sacrifice, integrity, fidelity, honesty, and again unsullied virtue. There is no real decency without virtue, and there is no real happiness without decency” (Hugh B. Brown, You and Your Marriage [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1960], p. 81).

Note to the teacher

Be aware and sensitive in case any of the young women have had difficulty in the area of chastity. Encourage them to believe that they can be cleansed. Remind them of the words of Elder Packer: “Go to your bishop. He holds the key to this cleansing power.”


Conclude with your testimony of the blessings of keeping morally clean.

Resource Material

Sometimes young people do not understand the specific definitions of words they hear describing immorality. If questions arise during the discussion, you may want to use the following definitions given by President Spencer W. Kimball.

Masturbation: To sexually stimulate oneself. “Masturbation … is not approved of the Lord nor of his Church, regardless of what may be said by others whose ‘norms’ are lower” (Spencer W. Kimball, President Kimball Speaks Out [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1981], p. 10).

Homosexuality: “‘Sexual desire for those of the same sex or sexual relations between individuals of the same sex,’ whether men or women” (Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1969], p. 78).

Adultery: Sexual intercourse with someone other than one’s own lawful husband or wife.

Fornication: Sexual intercourse by the unmarried (see President Kimball Speaks Out, pp. 10, 12).

Necking: Passionate kissing and intimate contact (see President Kimball Speaks Out, p. 8).

Petting: “Fondling of the private parts of the body for the purpose of sexual arousal” (President Kimball Speaks Out, p. 8).