The law of chastity is God’s law to protect the means by which life is given. The sexual ability was given to mankind for a few short years of mortality for two main purposes – to create physical bodies for Heavenly Father’s spirit children and to strengthen the bonds between husband and wife. The law of chastity was given to honor this great gift from God and to protect the source of life.
The law of chastity can be best understood when one understands that the family is central to Heavenly Father’s plan for the eternal happiness of His children. He created this earth for the very purpose that His spirit children could come here to “obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize his or her divine destiny as heirs of eternal life.” (See “The Family:A Proclamation to the World.)
Elder David A. Bednar states, “Our physical bodies make possible a breadth, a depth, and an intensity of experience that simply could not be obtained in our premortal existence. Thus, or relationships with other people, our capacity to recognize and act in accordance with truth, and our ability to obey the principles and ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ are amplified through our physical bodies.” (See David A. Bednar, “We Believe in Being Chaste,” Ensign, May 2013,)
Spirits alone do not have the same capabilities as the combination of spirit and body. According to Elder Bednar, having a body helps us “to experience tenderness, love, kindness, happiness, sorrow, disappointment, pain, and even the challenges of physical limitations in ways that prepare us for eternity.” There are lessons that can be learned only by having a body.
God created Adam and put him in the Garden of Eden. He then created Eve to be Adam’s wife and helpmeet. “The unique combination of spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional capacities of both males and females was needed to enact the plan of happiness…. The man and the woman are intended to learn from, strengthen, bless, and complete each other” (Bednar).
Heavenly Father gave Adam and Eve specific instructions to “multiply and replenish the earth” (Genesis 1:28). That commandment remains in force with God’s children on earth today.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks explains, “The power to create mortal life is the most exalted power God has given his children. Its use was mandated in the first commandment, but another important commandment was given to forbid its misuse. The emphasis we place on the law of chastity is explained by our understanding of the purpose of our procreative powers in the accomplishment of God’s plan….
“Outside the bonds of marriage, all uses of the procreative power are to one degree or another a sinful, degrading and perversion of the most divine attribute of men and women” (Dallin H. Oaks, “The Great Plan of Happiness,” Ensign, Nov. 1993, p. 74).
Anyone who violates the law of chastity commits a grievous sin and needs to repent. To those who know and understand God’s plan for the happiness of His children, breaking this law is “an act of rebellion” (Bednar).
Sexual sin includes abstaining from masturbation, pornography, homosexuality, and any other misuse of the procreative powers. Simply stated, there should be “no sexual contact” with anyone before marriage and total fidelity to spouse after marriage. Anything less is sexual transgression.
Elder Richard G. Scott compared sin to “cancer in the body. It will never heal itself. It will become worse unless cured through repentance…. You can become clean and pure by repentance under the guidance of the bishop.” (See Richard G. Scott, “Making the Right Choices,” Ensign, Nov. 1994.)
Heavenly Father wants His children to be morally clean and gave the law of chastity to assist them. He wants His children to stay clean and pure in body and mind because He wants all of them to return to His presence. Amulek declared, “no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of heaven” (Book of Mormon – Another Testament of Jesus Christ, Alma 11:37). God will help His children to keep the law of chastity if they will turn to Him in faith.