Law of Chastity – Immutable, Never Outmoded…

“We, all of us, make mistakes, some bigger than others. I am forever grateful to our Savior Jesus Christ for His divine power to cleanse and make equal where righteous effort is made by those of us mistake makers. The imperative is: While we with our mistakes become empathetic and compassionate to those in similar circumstances, we must not justify the least inclination to embrace wicked practices authored by the father of lies. Reevaluation of eternal law is neither necessary, nor should be considered, especially in conditions where the considerer is compromised by personal weakness or evil influence. God’s law is law.”

Daniel Joseph Malcolm, 5 April 2024

There has ever been understanding among God’s prophets of the burden of their callings to serve and testify of the truths that God makes known unto them. Of such it is written that they “magnify [their] office unto the Lord, taking upon [them] the responsibility, answering the sins of the people upon [their] own heads if [they] did not teach them the word of God with all diligence; wherefore, by laboring with [their] might their blood might not come upon [their] garments” (Jacob 1:19). It is not fear that of Godly reprisal that motivates prophets. Although not a prophet, I know by my own experience of serving and declaring to my fellow man, that love for brothers and sisters in Christ, a true desire to do everything to mark the path by which our loved ones can travel safely home to heaven, is what motivates men and women of God to testify.

In the nurture of her hands. Responsibility for the path back to Heavenly Father begins at birth and continues through life.

Marking that path, providing that light, is a serious business which must be met with boldness and not timidity. The Prophet Jacob said to his people more than 2000 years passed, “…it grieveth me that I must use so much boldness of speech concerning you, before your wives and your children, many of whose feelings are exceedingly tender and chaste and delicate before God, which thing is pleasing unto God…. But, notwithstanding the greatness of the task, I must do according to the strict commands of God, and tell you concerning your wickedness and abominations, in the presence of the pure in heart, and the broken heart, and under the glance of the piercing eye of the Almighty God” (Jacob 2:7-10).

I recall a day several years ago when I stood before a congregation and I spoke some of these same words. I remember troubled looks on the faces of some dear older sisters, that I had to speak of such things in a mixed group of Christ’s disciples, but I knew it must be, for we all need to hear God’s law in order to follow. I do this again now, and it again grieves me, but it is by commandment and by my love for my brothers and sisters in Christ, for all of you, that compels me to write of one of the immutable laws of eternity, the law of chastity.

Of immutable laws Elder Tad R. Callister wrote, “…they cannot be altered or modified in any form. They are unchangeable from eternity to eternity. They are self-existing, self-perpetuating laws to which even God Himself is subject.”

Elder Tad R. Callister

While familiarity and respect of neighbors and friends may engender compassion and kind tolerance of differing beliefs and lifestyles, such should never be mistaken for adoption or acceptance of practices that go contrary to the eternal laws of Heaven. There are consequences for our actions, and left unrepented the same condemn.

Elder M. Russell Ballard taught, “False prophets and false teachers are also those who attempt to change the God-given and scripturally based doctrines that protect the sanctity of marriage, the divine nature of the family, and the essential doctrine of personal morality. They advocate a redefinition of morality to justify fornication, adultery, and homosexual relationships. Some openly champion the legalization of so-called same-gender marriages. To justify their rejection of God’s immutable laws that protect the family, these false prophets and false teachers even attack the inspired proclamation on the family issued to the world in 1995 by the First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles” (General Conference, October 1999).

Elder M. Russell Ballard

The Family: A Proclamation to the World states, “The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.”

The law of chastity is an immutable law of God, unchanging and reinforced by proclamations of God’s prophets throughout the ages even unto our day.

My daughter Laura and I after planting a new Bing Cherry tree. The same laws that govern multiplying and replenishing of God’s children apply to flora and fauna.

Since the days of Jacob and long before, false teachers and those who wish to do wickedness will call these laws outmoded instead of immutable. They call them the foolish traditions of our fathers, or a violation of our free-speech or freedom of expression. They label them as prejudicial and hateful and as imposing upon our personal freedoms to love who we will love. What they fail to defend, because it is indefensible, is the terrible damage that such violations of the law of chastity impose upon children of collapsing families, or men and women who are slaves to the chains forged by pornography, lust and infidelity in marriage. What of the sleep deprivation that children are suffering as they cling to devices in the night bringing a world of true depravity into their bedrooms and other quiet places of rest? With unfettered access to the corruption brought about by the evil and conspiring who would profit from harming our children through smart phones and other devices, the spiritual senses of our impressionable youth and children are dulled and seared that they may be past feeling and unable to recognize the Spirit of God. Their sense of intimacy and family relations are warped and altered almost beyond repair. There is absolutely no defense, no excuse, no acceptable explanation that makes the consequences of abject wickedness a necessary and acceptable part of living in a free and open society.

As Elder David A. Bednar taught, “The commandment to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force today. Thus, marriage between a man and a woman is the authorized channel through which premortal spirits enter mortality. Complete sexual abstinence before marriage and total fidelity within marriage protect the sanctity of this sacred channel” (General Conference, April 2013). The bonds of marriage are sacred, and the only means by which we are to share sexual or sensual intimacy at any level whether by touch, sight or by any other communication or means.

Elder David A. Bednar

There is always hope for those who have strayed, for those who have participated in the forging of chains whether upon themselves or someone else, and it is through the atonement of Christ. Elder Bednar went on to say, “Every appetite, desire, propensity, and impulse of the natural man may be overcome by and through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We are here on the earth to develop godlike qualities and to bridle all of the passions of the flesh.”

Of undoing the things that we have done, especially to ourselves, there is hope in Christ, but we must fully participate in the repentance process, embracing His atonement. If we have regrettably participated in forging chains for others, we cannot fully undo what we have done and we must again rely on the grace of God and His Son Jesus Christ to repair what we cannot.

My sister Linda and I, in the advancing years of life, with an oak tree that stood long before our earthly walks commenced.

Now is the time when we can change. Now is the time when we can set a good example, set the standards for our homes and families. We are responsible for what goes on in our households and we can make a difference in the lives of our children by leading. We dare not fall into the popular parenting class that allows our children to do things because other parents allow their kids to do the same. We dare not give into things that we know are wrong, things that we know by the Lord that we should or should not do, even if it causes some contention in our homes. We must stand by the principles found in the gospel in the raising of our children, and not lean on the things that are popular in the world. We need not, I think we dare not, become the cool parents, grandparents, sibling, friend, or leader, for that matter. Do not let anyone, not your child, not a friend, not a teacher, not a neighbor, not even a fellow disciple, guilt you into doing something, allowing something, that you know by the Spirit or by God’s prophet, is wrong for you, your child or your family.

My heart swells as I read, “Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven. The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever” (Doctrine and Covenants 121:45-46).

If we will follow this counsel we will have the strength and wisdom to forgo every temptation, live in compliance with God’s immutable laws, and to lead and guide the children and youth of Zion in righteous, fulfilling, and joyful lives. Let us live the law of laws, immutable and never outmoded, God’s Law of Chastity. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/feature/general-conference?lang=eng

Daniel Malcolm is an entrepreneur, journalist, photographer, husband to Monica and father of twelve. He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is a witness of the gospel of Jesus Christ and His Atonement.