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Why should I treat my body like a temple?

Our bodies were created in the image of God. They are a gift from Heavenly Father to allow us to experience mortality and continue to become more like Him. This knowledge influences the way we treat our bodies and how we feel about Heavenly Father and ourselves. When we treat our bodies as temples of God, we obtain physical, emotional, and spiritual blessings.

Prepare yourself spiritually

Prayerfully study these scriptures and resources. What does the Spirit inspire you to share with the young women?

Genesis 39:1–21; Daniel 1:3–21 (Joseph and Daniel show respect for their bodies)

1 Corinthians 6:19–20; D&C 93:33–35 (We are the temple of God)

D&C 88:15–16 (The spirit and body are the soul of man)

D&C 130:22; Moses 6:9 (We are created in the image of God)

Gordon B. Hinckley, “Great Shall Be the Peace of Thy Children,” Ensign, Nov. 2000, 50–53

David A. Bednar, “Ye Are the Temple of God,Ensign, Sept. 2001, 18

Susan W. Tanner, “The Sanctity of the Body,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2005, 13–15

Virtue,Young Women Personal Progress (2009), 69–72

Video: “Chastity: What Are the Limits?”

Video: “195 Dresses”

Share experiences

At the beginning of each class, invite the young women to share, teach, and testify about the experiences they have had applying what they learned in the previous week’s lesson. This will encourage personal conversion and help the young women see the relevance of the gospel in their daily lives.

Introduce the doctrine

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

  • Show the video “195 Dresses,” and ask the young women to look for blessings that come from dressing modestly. What would they say to someone who asks why modesty is so important?
  • Show a picture of a temple. Ask the young women why the temple is so beautiful and how our bodies are like temples of God. Invite them to look for answers to the question “Why should I treat my body like a temple?” throughout the lesson.

Learn together

Each of the activities below will help the young women understand that their bodies are sacred. Following the inspiration of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best for your class:

  • Assign each young woman one of the scripture passages in this outline. Invite her to study the passage and summarize in a sentence what she learns about why our bodies are sacred. Ask the young women to think of ways in which Satan tries to deceive young women regarding these truths. What can they do to support each other as they try to keep their bodies sacred?
  • As a class, read, watch, or listen to one of the talks suggested in this outline. Ask the young women to think of someone they know who would benefit from these messages about the sacredness of the body (remind them not to talk about individuals in class). What parts of the talk would be most helpful to that person? Invite them to plan ways they can share this message with the person they thought of. Encourage them to use a quotation from the talk and their own personal experiences and testimonies.
  • Read as a class 1 Corinthians 6:19–20 and Doctrine and Covenants 93:33–35. Divide the young women into groups, and ask each group to make a list of the ways our bodies are like a temple of God. Compile the lists into one, and invite the class to discuss some of the challenges young women face in keeping their bodies like a temple. What can they do to overcome these challenges?
  • Divide the young women into pairs. Assign one individual in each pair to read Genesis 39:1–21 and the other to read Daniel 1:3–21 (for pictures of these stories, see Gospel Art Book, 11, 23). Ask them to look for ways Joseph and Daniel showed respect for their bodies and then share with each other what they find. How can they follow the examples of Joseph and Daniel?
  • Invite the young women to look at the table of contents in For the Strength of Youth and identify which of the standards relate to keeping their minds and bodies clean. Divide the young women into groups, and have them search these sections and find answers to the question “Why is my body sacred?” Invite them to share what they can do to live these standards.
  • Write the following questions on the board, and invite each young woman to choose one that she would like to find an answer to: What are the Lord’s standards concerning modesty? Why is it important for me to follow these standards? How does modesty affect our attitude toward the law of chastity? Ask the young women to use the “Dress and Appearance” section in For the Strength of Youth to find answers to the questions they chose. Invite them to share what they find.

Ask the young women to share what they learned today. Do they understand the sacredness of their physical bodies? What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be helpful to spend more time on this doctrine?

Live what we are learning

Invite the young women to consider how they will live what they have learned today. For example, they could:

  • Commit to making changes to the way they treat their bodies, based on what they learned today.
  • Complete Virtue value experience 1 or 2 in Personal Progress.