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Why is chastity important?

Chastity is sexual purity and involves being morally clean in thoughts, words, and actions. Sexual intimacy is ordained of God for the creation of children and for the expression of love between husband and wife. God has commanded that sexual intimacy be reserved for marriage. When we are sexually pure, we qualify for the Holy Ghost, are protected from the emotional and spiritual damage of sexual sin, and are worthy to bear the priesthood of God.

Prepare yourself spiritually

Prayerfully study these resources. How can you help the young men understand and feel the importance of chastity?

Genesis 39:7–21 (Joseph fled from sexual sin)

1 Nephi 10:21 (We must be pure to dwell with God)

Alma 39:1–13 (Sexual sin is an abomination)

Moroni 9:9 (Chastity is dear and precious)

D&C 46:33 (Practice virtue and holiness before the Lord)

David A. Bednar, “We Believe in Being Chaste,Ensign or Liahona, May 2013

Jeffrey R. Holland, “Personal Purity

Jeffrey R. Holland, “Helping Those Who Struggle with Same-Gender Attraction,” Ensign, Oct. 2007, 42–45

Dress and Appearance,” “Sexual Purity,” For the Strength of Youth (2011), 6–8, 35–37

Chastity,” True to the Faith (2004), 29–33

Videos: “I Choose to Be Pure,” “True Confidence,” “Chastity: What Are the Limits?”

Let the young men lead

A member of the quorum presidency (or an assistant to the bishop in the priests quorum) conducts the quorum meeting. He leads the young men in counseling together about quorum business, teaches them their priesthood duties (from the scriptures and the Duty to God book), encourages them to share their experiences fulfilling their duty to God, and invites an adviser or other quorum member to teach a gospel lesson. He could prepare by filling out a quorum meeting agenda during a presidency meeting.

Begin the learning experience

Choose from these ideas or think of your own to review last week’s lesson and introduce this week’s lesson:

  • Sometime before class, ask a quorum member to prepare a two-minute summary of what he learned in the last quorum meeting. Allow the young man to share it at the beginning of the lesson.
  • Invite a young man to hold up a picture of Joseph resisting Potiphar’s wife (see the Gospel Art Book, 11) and summarize the story in his own words. What eventually happened as a result of Joseph’s faithfulness? What could have happened if he had broken the law of chastity? Why is it important to remain chaste?

Learn together

Each of the activities below can help the quorum members understand the law of chastity. Following the inspiration of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best for your quorum:

  • Invite a quorum member to teach a portion of this lesson. He could do this as part of his Duty to God plan to learn and teach about the law of chastity (see “Understand Doctrine,” page 18, 42, or 66).
  • Invite some of the young men to read scriptures about chastity (such as those suggested in this outline); invite others to read “Sexual Purity” in For the Strength of Youth; and invite the rest to read “Chastity” in True to the Faith. Ask them to look for answers to the question “Why is chastity important to the Lord?” and share what they find. How are the principles in these scriptures and resources different from what the world teaches about chastity? What do the young men learn from these resources that can help them detect the falsehood in the world’s view?
  • Show the video “Chastity: What Are the Limits?” After the video ask the young men to explain what the analogies (such as the waterfall, airplane, or alligator) teach them about the law of chastity. What else do they learn from this video? Invite them to think of and share other analogies that teach the importance of chastity.
  • Divide the young men into three groups. Give each group one of the sections of Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s article “Personal Purity” or Elder David A. Bednar’s talk “We Believe in Being Chaste.” Ask each group to study their section and answer the question “Why is it important to be sexually pure?” Invite them to share statements or truths that they found meaningful or important. How can they use what they learn to help their friends understand why chastity is important to them?
  • Ask the young men to use the “Dress and Appearance” section in For the Strength of Youth to answer questions such as “What are the Lord’s standards concerning modesty?” “Why is it important for you to follow these standards?” and “How does modesty reflect or influence our attitude toward the law of chastity?” Ask them to share their answers and ponder what they can do to live these standards more fully.
  • Ask the young men how they would help a friend who is struggling with same-gender attraction. Invite them to look for ideas in Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s article “Helping Those Who Struggle with Same-Gender Attraction.” Encourage them to write a letter that could help their friend. What else do they learn from Elder Holland’s article?

Ask the young men to share what they learned today. Do they understand the law of chastity better? What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be worthwhile to spend more time on this doctrine?

Invite to act

The young man who is conducting concludes the meeting. He could:

  • Share his feelings about the importance of chastity and what he will do to remain morally clean.
  • Challenge other quorum members to be chaste in their thoughts, communications, and actions.