by Hollie Ogden
Our world has deemed the Law of Chastity irrelevant. Mankind is attacking every word of this commandment and covenant. People don’t want to wait until marriage, limit their sexuality to one person or one gender. Satan wants us to misuse the powerful feelings and drives we have because of its centrality to the plan of happiness.
In a world that is so sick, plagued with impurity, I think this covenant is one of high importance- a rock that we can totally rely on: steady and unchanging despite the whirlwinds and cesspools of disgusting content we face daily.
So Are My Ways Higher Than Your Ways
Although there are many commandments talked and asked about in the temple recommend interview, this is the only one we come under an explicit covenant in the temple to keep. Living this law is a requirement for even the opportunity of covenanting to keep it. That ought to invoke the seriousness of this commandment in our souls- when God repeats Himself, He means business. Because intimacy is so sacred, beautiful, and important between a married man and woman, God seeks with all His power (without taking away our agency) to protect it from being thrown around.
Mankind has their reasons for prohibiting sexual relationships to a marriage relationship: avoiding pregnancy, eliminating transmitted diseases, shirking emotional baggage. We in the church also have our reasons: wanting to keep a temple recommend, honoring familial relationships, and even avoiding guilt.
But the Law of Chastity is the Lord’s law. He gives it in His temple. As with the rest of the temple, the reasons and meaning behind this law are best understood under the context of eternity. Why does the Lord want us to make this covenant and live it? What is the “higher law” behind this commandment?
Eternal Perspective and Potential
The end-all-be-all goal of the temple covenants is to become like God, eternally united as man and woman with the potential to create, grow, and nurture in the House of Israel forever. That is what we are promised through our faithfulness through the endowment and sealing. Dale G. Renlund wrote, “We cannot achieve the kind of life our Heavenly Father enjoys by ourselves or without a complete commitment to fidelity within a marriage to our husband or wife according to God’s plan.” (Renlund, The Divine Purposes of Sexual Intimacy, August 2020 Liahona). Outside of God’s bounds, we don’t protect ourselves from sex because it is bad, but rather protect sex from misuse because it is good and of God.
Heavenly Father entrusts a foretaste of the creative (priesthood) power He possesses to men and women here on earth. This power comes to fruition in two ways. The bearing, rearing, molding, and nurturing of children and the sacred emotional and spiritual bonds that come through sexual intimacy are powerful manifestations of God’s power working through us. It is the foundation for creating a loving eternal family unit. It is serious. And when we enter the temple, we are under covenant and commandment to live it.