What is chastity and why is it so important? The law of chastity is taught firmly within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In essence, the law of chastity is a commandment given from God to abstain from sexual relations outside of marriage. This includes abstinence before marriage and complete fidelity to one’s spouse after marriage. The law of chastity is one of the most important laws God has provided us. God wants us to experience joy in this life, so he gives us the law of chastity to protect us from the negative consequences that can come from breaking it. The consequences of breaking this law are often life-changing and irreversible. God wants to protect us both physically and spiritually, which is why He asks us to wait until after marriage to participate in sexual activity.
In his talk, “Of Souls, Symbols, and Sacraments,” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland reminds us that sex within marriage is meant to help unite couples in every way and symbolize the sacred covenants they made to each other in the temple when they were sealed for time and all eternity (1988). God gives us this commandment to keep us safe, but he also understands that some are victims of sexual assault. Those who are victims are innocent and have committed no sin.
These talks discuss the law of chastity in context with real situations involving real people. While God wants us all to obey this law, He recognizes that others do not always follow it. These talks address topics such as sexual assault and where to find help and healing from it, the blessings of keeping the law of chastity, and what to do to repent if you have made such a mistake. More than anything, each of these talks is full of hope. When we are willing to accept the atonement of Jesus Christ and repent sincerely, we can be forgiven of any sin with the help of the proper priesthood authority.