Q&A: Questions and Answers


Answers are intended for help and perspective, not as pronouncements of Church doctrine.

My friends have a hard time understanding why I live the law of chastity. It is such a sacred subject, I sometimes don’t know how to explain it to them. What can I say that will help them understand this sensitive topic?

New Era

  • Let your friends know that you live the law of chastity because you choose to.

  • Explain that chastity is a commandment from God. Obedience to commandments brings peace of mind and other blessings.

  • Help your friends understand that living a chaste life shows respect for Heavenly Father, yourself, and others.

  • Discuss with your friends how living the law of chastity will strengthen your future marriage.

Years ago people would not have questioned your decision to follow this important commandment. But societal norms have changed so much over the last few decades that now chastity before marriage might seem incomprehensible to some of your friends. Add to that the fact that chastity is a sacred, private matter, and you are facing a tough discussion.

However, don’t shy away from appropriately discussing this topic with your friends simply because it is difficult. It’s possible that your ideas about chastity might be just what your friends are looking for. Perhaps you will be the one to tell your friends that, not only is chastity all right, but it’s the best choice. You might be the one to let your friends know that, rather than being restrictive, chastity is a tremendous freedom.

Think of a way you can comfortably tell your friends the reasons you have for living the law of chastity. The exact way you word what you say, and how much detail you use, will depend on you and the situation you’re in. A short answer along the lines of “I live a chaste life because it makes me happy; I believe it’s the way God wants us to live” will probably suffice in certain situations. On the other hand, if you’re talking one-on-one with a good friend, you’ll probably want to go into more detail. You might want to review the Church’s position on sexual purity in For the Strength of Youth, pages 14–16. Here are some key points you might want to discuss:

  • Chastity is a commandment (see Gal. 5:16–17, 19–21). Obedience to the commandments brings peace of mind and many other blessings.

  • Living a chaste life shows your respect for your Heavenly Father. The power to create a new life is something to be taken seriously. When you break the law of chastity, you are making a mockery of a very sacred gift.

  • You live the law of chastity because you want to. Tell your friend that you view chastity as a blessing.

  • Chastity makes your future marriage stronger. When a couple has lived worthily before they are married, their relationship can be one of total trust.

  • Chastity puts the focus of your relationships where it should be. Friendship, respect, understanding, communication, trust, shared interests, and gospel values are the foundation for a solid relationship. Putting these things first allows you to get to know each other in a natural, comfortable way.

  • Living the law of chastity allows you greater confidence and self-respect. Being unchaste often opens the door to relationships where your physical self is valued above all the other good qualities you may possess. Chastity, on the other hand, puts the spotlight on your personality, your abilities, your kindness, your goodness.

  • Chastity keeps you safe. Not only are you certain to be free from many terrible physical diseases, but your spiritual self is protected as well.

Readers

I tell my friends that our Father in Heaven has a plan for all of us and living that plan requires that we follow the laws He has set. Just as we must live the laws of the land to be free and happy, we must also follow God’s laws.

Deanna McDowall, 15 Berrigan, New South Wales, Australia

In the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet it says, “God loves you as He loves each and every one of His children. His desire, purpose, and glory is to have you return to Him pure and undefiled, having proven yourselves worthy of an eternity of joy in His presence” (p. 3). We can only return to Him by living a clean and pure life.

Katie Vardeman, 14 Lubbock, Texas

Explain that living the law of chastity is an eternal decision. I tell my friends that I live the law of chastity to be worthy of my future wife. I also live it because the Lord has commanded it and because I want the blessings that come from being obedient.

Jim Krumeich, 17 Tucson, Arizona

The ability to bear children is a sacred gift and should be treated with respect. We should be worthy to go to the temple so that we may have the opportunity to have eternal families and live with our Heavenly Father again.

Anna-Ruth Watts, 14 St. George, Utah

I did not live the law of chastity, and because of that decision I conceived a child out of wedlock and ended up placing him for adoption. The consequences of my decisions were hard on me, even though I have now repented and know that my son is in the family he belongs with. If you are living the law of chastity, be pleased with yourself. You’re doing the right thing.

Name Withheld

[photo] Photography by Lana Leishman. Posed by models

[photo] “On your wedding day the very best gift you can give your eternal companion is your very best self—clean and pure and worthy of such purity in return” (Jeffrey R. Holland, Ensign, Nov. 1998, 76–77). (Photography by Jon T. Lockwood.)