I had the chance yesterday, in my driving back and forth to Bountiful to pick up the van, to listen to the talk by Elder Bednar titled, “We Believe in Being Chaste“.
Like all of Elder Bednar’s talks, it’s a very well thought out and detailed talk. Every sentence seems to be full of deep content that I need to think through. So, that’s what I’m going to do today for my study time.
The header of the talk says the following:
Obedience to the law of chastity will increase our happiness in mortality and make possible our progress in eternity.
- Increase our happiness in mortality.
- Make possible our progress in eternity.
I’m going to study about why for both those ideas.
Obedience to the Law of Chastity will increase our happiness in mortality
First, what is the Law of Chastity?
Although this doesn’t answer that question yet, I really liked this statement:
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.
I would say the Law of Chastity is defined as “complete sexual abstinence before marriage and total fidelity within marriage…” and this “…intimate relations are proper only between a man and a woman in the marriage relationship prescribed in God’s plan.”
Here’s more about why obedience to this law will increase our happiness in mortality:
Our Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son are creators and have entrusted each of us with a portion of Their creative power. Specific guidelines for the proper use of the ability to create life are vital elements in the Father’s plan. How we feel about and use that supernal power will determine in large measure our happiness in mortality and our destiny in eternity.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks explained:
“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” (“The Great Plan of Happiness,” Ensign, Nov. 1993, 74).
Intimate relations “…are in mortality one of the ultimate expressions of our divine nature and potential and a way of strengthening emotional and spiritual bonds between husband and wife.”
I like what Elder Bednar says about the natural man, that there is, to some degree, a portion of the natural man in all of us as mortals. However, we have the agency to choose who we decide to follow. This scripture hits that right on the head:
But remember that he that persists in his own carnal nature, and goes on in the ways of sin and rebellion against God, remaineth in his fallen state and the devil hath all power over him. Therefore he is as though there was no redemption made, being an enemy to God; and also is the devil an enemy to God. (Mosiah 16:5)
Alma 42:10 explains this further:
Therefore, as they had become carnal, sensual, and devilish, by nature, this probationary state became a state for them to prepare; it became a preparatory state.
President Spencer W. Kimball taught, “The ‘natural man’ is the ‘earthy man’ who has allowed rude animal passions to overshadow his spiritual inclinations” (“Ocean Currents and Family Influences,” Ensign, Nov. 1974, 112).
What does it mean to be a man of Christ?
- Bridles all passions
- Lays hold upon the word of God
- Deny’s themself
- Takes up his cross
- Presses forward along a course of faithfulness, obedience, and devotion to the Savior and His gospel
What is the test of mortality?
Will I respond to the inclinations of the natural man, or will I yield to the enticings of the Holy Spirit and put off the natural man and become a saint through the Atonement of Christ the Lord (see Mosiah 3:19)?
That’s the overlying question of this life – whom do I choose to serve?
The good news is that “every appetite, desire, propensity, and impulse of the natural man may be overcome by and through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.”
I’m grateful for the study I’ve done today. There is more to study but I will continue it tomorrow.
Now to submit my will to God and have a day of recovery.