Today's Family: Protect the Power to Create Life

Hands

“You live in a world where moral values have, in great measure, been tossed aside, where sin is flagrantly on display, and where temptations to stray from the strait and narrow path surround you,” President Thomas S. Monson says. “Many are the voices telling you that you are far too provincial or that there is something wrong with you if you still believe there is such a thing as immoral behavior. . . . Does this make immoral behavior acceptable? Absolutely not! The commandments of our Heavenly Father are not negotiable!”

Essential to God’s Plan

“The power of creation—or may we say procreation—is not just an incidental part of the plan,” says President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “Without it the plan could not proceed. The misuse of it may disrupt the plan. . . . Protect and guard your gift. Your actual happiness is at stake.”

Immorality cannot be made right by making it popular, President Packer continues. “The Lord’s standard of morality commands that the sacred powers to beget life be protected and employed only between man and woman, husband and wife. To misuse this power is exceeded in seriousness only by the shedding of innocent blood and denying the Holy Ghost.”

A Higher Standard

“Could any of us lightly regard precious seeds of reproduction—specifically and uniquely yours—or disregard the moral laws of God, who gave divine rules concerning their sacred use?” Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles asks. “While the world descends to the level of concern for ‘safe sex,’ your standard is sacred sex—within the bounds of holy matrimony as intended by the Lord.”

We can know what standards of moral conduct are right and wrong by following the Spirit, Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles says. “These promptings never will lead you to do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, unclean, or ashamed. You must be sensitive to these promptings because your physical passions can obscure them if you are not careful.”

“To ensure you keep this sacred commandment [to remain morally clean], in moments of quiet reflection when you feel the influence of the Holy Ghost, set specific personal standards of what you will do and what you will not do when temptation comes—for it surely will,” Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles says. “No one intends to make serious mistakes. They come when you compromise your standards to be more accepted by others. You be the strong one. You be the leader. Choose good friends and resist peer pressure together.”

Commanded by God

One of many reasons for us to avoid immorality is that God has commanded us to do so, Elder Scott says. “Any sexual intimacy outside of the bonds of marriage—and I emphasize that means any involvement of the sacred, private parts of the body—is a sin and is forbidden by God. While the world has other standards, you must stay morally clean.”

“In matters of human intimacy, you must wait!” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles says. “You must wait until you can give everything, and you cannot give everything until you are legally and lawfully married. . . . 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.”

Co-Creators with Heavenly Father

Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles teaches that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are creators by nature and that They have “entrusted us with a portion of Their creative power and provided specific guidelines for the proper use of that sacred ability to create life and establish an eternal family.” He continues, “How we feel about and use that sacred power in this life will determine in large measure whether additional creative power will be ours in the life to come.”

“The most sacred of all our divine powers is to become a co-creator with Heavenly Father in providing physical bodies for His spirit sons and daughters and in establishing a righteous and Christ-centered family,” Elder Bednar says. “Nothing is more holy; nothing deserves more reverence; nothing is more central to the plan of happiness.”