The Law of Chastity Part II/ Church Discipline

The Law of
On February 14, 1939, amid fervent speeches, cheering throngs, and the
playing of the national anthem, the Germans unleashed a new
battleship that threatened to give Hitler’s army an insurmountable
advantage in the naval warfare of World War II. The Bismarck sailed
down the River Elbe bristling with weapons of war.
The battleship featured twenty-eight thousand miles of electrical
circuits and thirty-five thousand tons of armor-plating. It had a 406millimeter, triple turret, radar-controlled gun that required more than
fifty-seven thousand blueprints to build. The Bismarck was considered
The Bismarck’s day of destiny dawned more than two years later, when
on May 24, 1941, the two most powerful warships in the British navy, the
Prince of Wales and the Hood, engaged the Bismarck and the German
cruiser Prinz Eugen in battle. Within four minutes, the Bismarck had
sunk the Hood sending all but 3 men of a crew of 1,419 to their deaths.
The other British battleship, the Prince of Wales, suffered heavy damage
and turned away.
The British knew the Bismarck had to be sunk. They concentrated the
strength of 21 destroyers, 11 cruisers, 8 battleships, two aircraft carriers,
and a sizeable air force, in an effort to find and destroy the mighty
warship. Three days later, the Bismarck was spotted and engaged again,
by four British warships.
The British fired shell after shell, but inflicted only superficial damage.
It began to appear as thought the Bismarck really was unsinkable.
But miraculously a pilot launched a torpedo from the air, scoring a lucky
hit as the torpedo jammed the Bismarck’s rudder. The German crew
scrambled to repair the damage. But their efforts proved fruitless. The
Bismarck could only steer a slow and stately circle.
Not too far away was the powerful German air force and the safety of
home port. Neither could be reached. The British warships drew near.
With guns blazing, the Germans could see there was no hope. Fearing
that the British might capture the powerful vessel, the German crew
scuttled and sank their own ship. The unsinkable warship had been
destroyed (David–Irving, Hitler’s War, New York: The Viking Press,
By putting on the “whole armor of God,” we are able to protect four main parts
of our bodies:
1. The girdle of truth:
2. The breastplate of righteousness:
Our heart being set on the things of God
(our conduct)
3. The helmet of salvation:
Protection of our head
(our thoughts)
4. Our feet:
Shod with the preparation of the gospel. President Lee said that our feet
represent our goals and objectives in life (the path we travel).
There is no protection from the backside
We need to face our problems and not run from them!
Courtesy of Ciara Blackburn.
This is her Ephesian wall back home! (2014)
President Lee taught:
“One who confidently looks
forward to an eternal reward
for his efforts in mortality is
constantly sustained through
his deepest trials; when his
bank fails, he does not commit
suicide; when his loved ones
die, he does not despair; when
war and destruction dissipate his fortune, he does
not falter. He lives above his world and never
loses sight of the goal of his salvation.”
In other words “stick to the plan.”
Saints Warned About Media Impact
Elder M. Russell Ballard
(October Conference, 2003)
Elder Ballard spoke on the ridicule of traditional values
and traditional families in today’s media.
What we choose to watch on TV or movies may end up
to be what we choose to do in our own lives.
The time has come when members of the Church need
to speak out.”
Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the
Twelve Apostles quoted the following poem by
Alexander Pope:
“Vice is a monster of so frightful mien,
As, to be hated, needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace”
(An essay on Man, epistle II, lines 217-20;
Conference Report, Apr. 1993, 94).
Elder Ballard concluded with “seven things” that
every parent can do to minimize the negative
effect media can have on our families.”
Hold family councils and decide on media standards.
Spend quality time with our children.
Make good media choices.
4. Limit the time our children watch TV, play video games, or use
the Internet.
Use Internet filters and TV programming locks.
6. Have TVs and computers in a common room.
Watch appropriate media with our children.
The Challenge to Live the Law of
The Prophet Joseph Smith warned that:
“Immorality will be the source of more temptations, more
buffetings, and more difficulties for the Latter-day Saints
than any other (JD 8:55).
President Ezra Taft Benson said, “The plaguing sin of this
generation is sexual immorality…The Book of Mormon places
un-chastity next to murder in seriousness” (Ensign, May
1986, 4).
Honolulu Star Bulletin
One example of this is a November 2nd, 1983
article in the Honolulu Star Bulletin, entitled
“She Teaches Women How to Cheat”
It reports on the work of psychologist Cynthia
Silverman, who conducts workshops “for married
women who are having, or thinking of having
extramarital affairs.” The following excerpt from
the article reveals its teachings:
“This is not advice on free love…Men and women both have
affairs and the frequency of women having affairs is now almost
as great as the men. The goal is to educate women to make a
meaningful decision. Workshop participants are given practical
advice such as remembering to cover absences with excuses a
husband cannot check, and to resist the temptation to confess
because “a white lie is better than a black truth.”
The one hour and 45 minute workshop stresses enjoyment
without guilt.
“I was a basket case when I went in there,” says one wife… “I still
feel a little bit guilty, but not to the same degree.
“The workshop, she added, “helped me set my priorities
differently. I always made sure that my family came first,
especially my children, but now I realize I have a right to
happiness also.”
Top three sins:
(Alma 39:5)
1. Denying the Holy Ghost
2. Murder
3. Sexual Sin
President Spencer W. Kimball warned, “We need to
constantly guard against immorality, pornography, and
sexual permissiveness that would destroy the purity of
family members, young and old… Perhaps I sound like an
alarmist. If so, it is because I am alarmed…and so are my
Brethren in the First Presidency and the Council of the
Twelve Apostles and other General Authorities” (Ensign,
May 1979, 5). (Jacob 2:35)
“Many rationalize that this
attraction of two unmarried
people is love, and they seek
thereby to justify their intimate
relations. This is one of the
most false of all of Satan’s lies.
It is lust, not love, which brings
men and women to fornication and adultery.
No person would injure one he truly loves, and
sexual sin can only result in injury” (President
Spencer W. Kimball, Miracle of Forgiveness, 65).
Why Young Christians aren’t waiting anymore!
By John Blake CNN
(CNN) – True love doesn’t wait after all
September 27th, 2011
That’s the implication in the upcoming October issue of an evangelical
magazine that claims that young, unmarried Christians are having
premarital sex almost as much as their non-Christian peers.
The article in Relevant magazine, entitled “(Almost) Everyone’s Doing
It,” cited several studies examining the sexual activity of single
Christians. One of the biggest surprises was a December 2009 study,
conducted by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned
Pregnancy, which included information on sexual activity.
While the study’s primary report did not explore religion, some
additional analysis focusing on sexual activity and religious
identification yielded this result: 80 percent of unmarried evangelical
young adults (18-29) said that they have had sex – slightly less than 88
percent of unmarried adults, according to the teen pregnancy
prevention organization.
The article highlights what challenges abstinence movements face.
Movements such as “True Love Waits,” encourage teens to wear purity
rings, sign virginity pledges and pledge chastity during public
Yet many of these Christian youth eventually abandon their purity
pledges, Relevant’s Tyler Charles concludes in the article. Tyler talked to
people like “Maria,” an evangelical woman who said she wanted to wait
until marriage to have sex.
But she said she started having sex with her college boyfriend when she
turned 20 because nearly everyone, even most of her Christian friends,
were having sex.
It seemed everyone in my life, older and younger, had “done it.” In fact, I
waited longer than most people I knew and longer than both of my
sisters, even though we were all Christians and came from a good home.
Relevant theorizes about why it’s so hard for so many young
Christians to wait, including the saturation of sex in popular
culture, the prevalence of pornography and a popular “do what
feels good philosophy.”
Yet the article also asks a question that rarely comes up in
discussions about abstinence movement. Relevant notes that in
biblical times, people married earlier. The average age for
marriage has been increasing in the U.S. for the last 40 years.
Today, it’s not unusual to meet a Christian who is single at 30 – or
40 or 50, for that matter. So what do you tell them? Keep waiting?
Scot McKnight, author of “The Jesus Creed,” and “One Faith: Jesus
Calls, We Follow,” acknowledges that young, single Christians face
temptations that their counterparts in the biblical age didn’t face.
He tells Relevant:
Sociologically speaking, the one big difference –
and it’s monstrous – between the biblical
teaching and our culture is the arranged
marriages of very young people. If you get
married when you’re 13, you don’t have 15 years of
So what should a Christian parent of youth pastor
do? How do they convince more young
Christians to wait until marriage, or should they
stop even trying?
Not Tempted Above Our Ability?
I Corinthians 10:12-13 is good, but Alma 13:28 contains
the rest of the formula.
Elder Richard G. Scott said, “Not all of our prayers will be
answered as we wish. It is not always easy to know the will of
the Lord, yet there are some things we can be certain of. He
will never ask us to do anything that is not completely in
harmony with His teachings. We cannot count on help if we
are immoral or otherwise deliberately disobedient unless we
sincerely repent. One who prays to know if another is to be
the eternal companion while violating in any degree the law
of chastity has little hope of receiving confirmation without
sincere repentance” (Ensign, Nov. 1991 85).
Controlling Bad Thoughts
I don’t believe God holds us accountable for the
unsolicited immoral thoughts that occasionally
knock on the door of our minds, as long as we
don’t invite them in and smorgasbord them.
The First Presidency taught that immoral
thoughts can be eliminated “through faith in
God, sincere repentance, and persistent effort.
The help of others may be needed” (Statement of
the First Presidency, 14 Nov. 1991).
President Kimball said, “Kissing has been
prostituted…to express lust instead of affection,
honor, and admiration. To kiss in casual dating is
asking for trouble…What is miscalled the ‘soul
kiss’ (or French kissing) is an abomination and
stirs passion to the eventual loss of virtue…If
(French kissing) with its passion were from
dating there would be an immediate upswing in
chastity and honor, with fewer forced marriages,
and fewer unhappy people…” (Teachings of
Presidents of Spencer W. Kimball, 281).
The First Presidency has identified three
consequences of pornography:
1. It desensitizes our spirits.
2. It erodes our conscience (I Nephi 17:45).
3. It weakens our self-discipline.
President Kimball said:
“Masturbation, a rather common indiscretion, is not
approved of the Lord not of His church, regardless of
what may have been said by others whose ‘norms’ are
lower. Latter-day Saints are urged to avoid this practice.
Anyone fettered by this weakness should abandon the
habit before he goes on a mission or receives the holy
priesthood or goes in the temple for his blessings”
(Ensign, Nov. 1980, 97).
The problem with pornography is that it presents
immodesty and immorality as normal and
It can become every bit as much an addiction as
alcohol, tobacco or drugs. And, like those
substances, those who are addicted to
pornography tend to seek out coarser and coarser
material to satisfy their addiction.
Pornography can destroy a marriage as quickly as
almost anything I know of.
Necking and Petting
The First Presidency has advised, “The Lord
specifically forbids certain behaviors,
including all sexual relations before
marriage, petting, sex perversion (such as
homosexuality, rape and incest),
masturbation, or preoccupation with sex in
thought, speech, or action” (Sexual purity,
For the Strength of the Youth).
Oral Sex and Fornication
Church leaders have placed oral sex in the same category as
fornication (Both carry the same penalties).
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said, “Setting aside sins against the Holy
Ghost for a moment as a special category unto themselves, it is
LDS doctrine that sexual transgression is second only to murder in
the Lord’s list of life’s most serious sins…It is my understanding
that we park and pet and sleep over and sleep with at the peril of
our very lives. Our penalty may not come on the precise day of our
transgression, but it comes surely and certainly enough, and were
it not for a merciful God and the treasured privilege of personal
repentance, far too many would even now be feeling that hellish
pain…” (“Of Souls, Symbols, and Sacraments”).
Sadly, it is often true that those who are immoral before marriage
are often the ones who are unfaithful to their spouses after
President Kimball said, “Among the most common sexual
sins our young people commit are necking and
petting…They awaken lust and stir evil thoughts and sex
desires. Too often, young people dismiss their petting with a
shrug of their shoulders as a little indiscretion, while
admitting that fornication is a base transgression. Too many
of them are shocked, or (pretend) to be, when told what they
have done in the name of petting, was in reality fornication.
The dividing line is a thin, blurry one…The devil knows how
to destroy our (youth). He may not be able to tempt a
person to…to commit (fornication) immediately, but he
knows that if he can get a boy and a girl to sit in the car late
enough… or to park long enough…(even) the best (young
man) and the best (young woman) will finally succumb and
fall. He knows that all have a limit to their resistance”
(Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, 280-81).
Homosexuality and Lesbiansism
The First Presidency stated, “Homosexual and lesbian
activities are sinful and an abomination to the Lord.
Unnatural affections including those toward persons of the
same gender are counter to God’s eternal plan for his
children. You are responsible to make right choices.
Whether directed toward those of the same or opposite
gender, lustful feelings and desires may lead to more serious
sins. All Latter-day Saints must learn to control and
discipline themselves” (Sexual Purity, For the Strength of
Joseph Smith declared that Church councils or
courts were to be conducted according to an ancient
pattern which had been “shown to him by vision.”
“Jerusalem was the seat of the Church Council in ancient
days,” said the Prophet, “the apostle, Peter, was the
president of the council and held the keys of the
Kingdom of God on earth.” To clarify the matter of guilt,
the Prophet added;
It was not the order of heaven in ancient councils to pled
for and against the guilty as in our judicial courts (so
called) but that every counselor when he arose to speak,
should speak precisely according to evidence and
according to the teaching of the Spirit of the Lord, that
no counselor should attempt to screen the guilty when
his guilt was manifest (Kirtland Council Minute Book,
Doctrine and Covenants 102:2
“Why Church Discipline?”
1. To preserve the good name of the Church.
2. To help the sinner repent so that they can
continue to progress.
3. To restore blessings (it is an act of love).
Joseph Smith declared that Church councils or courts
were to be conducted according to an ancient pattern
which had been “shown to him by vision.”
“Jerusalem was the seat of the Church Council in ancient
days,” said the Prophet, “the apostle, Peter, was the
president of the council and held the keys of the
Kingdom of God on earth.” To clarify the matter of guilt,
the Prophet added;
It was not the order of heaven in ancient councils to pled
for and against the guilty as in our judicial courts (so
called) but that every counselor when he arose to speak,
should speak precisely according to evidence and
according to the teaching of the Spirit of the Lord, that
no counselor should attempt to screen the guilty when
his guilt was manifest (Kirtland Council Minute Book,
Grounds for Church Discipline:
Deliberate disobedience to the rule of the Church.
Moral transgressions
Child molestation
Plural Marriage
Embezzling of church funds
Cruelty to spouse or children
Not Grounds:
1. Inactivity
2. Membership in another Church.
3. Name removed from church records.
4. Breaking the Word of Wisdom
Types of Courts
1. Bishops
2. High Council
3. First Presidency
4. Twelve Apostles
Types of Decisions
1. No action
2. Formal probation
3. Dis-fellowship
4. Excommunication
Prepare and Prevent
Certainly our first goal should be to prevent violations of the
law of chastity from ever occurring.
President Kimball declared:
“That man (or woman) who resists temptation and lives
without sin is far better off than the man (or woman) who
has fallen, no matter how repentant the latter may be”
(Church News, Sept. 3, 1988, 16).
President Benson suggested four things that can help us
avoid violating the law of chastity:
Decide now to be chaste!
Control your thoughts!
(Genesis 39:7-12)
The first seeds of morality are always sown in the mind.
Pray for the power to resist temptation!
(D&C 10:5)
Plan positive and constructive activities so that you are
not left to yourselves with nothing to do but share
physical affection.