By putting on the “whole armor of God,” we are able to protect four main parts of our bodies: 1. The girdle of truth: chastity 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. Remember: there is no protection from the backside, suggesting that we need to face our problems and not run from them.
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 Ballard concluded with “seven things” that every parent can do to minimize the negative effect media can have on our families.” 1. Hold family councils and decide media standards. 2. Spend quality time with our children. 3. Make good media choices. 4. Limit the time our children watch TV, play video games, or use the Internet. 5. Use Internet filters and TV programming locks. 6. Have TVs and computers in a common room. 7. Watch appropriate media with our children.
THE BISMARCK 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 406-millimeter, triple turret, radar-controlled gun that required more than fifty-seven thousand blueprints to build. The Bismarck was considered unsinkable. 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 (See David – Irving, Hitler’s War, New York: The Viking Press, 1977).
The Challenge to Live the Law of Chastity 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).
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). D&C 59:6“Or do anything like unto it!”
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).
Masturbation 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).
Kissing 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…” (TSWK, 281).
Pornography 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.
The problem with pornography is that it presents immodesty and immorality as normal and acceptable. 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.
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 marriage.
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). “Chain-saw hands”
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” (TSWK, 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 Youth).