Teaching How to Be Sexually Pure and Prepared
August 2020

“Teaching How to Be Sexually Pure and Prepared,” Ensign, August 2020

Teaching How to Be Sexually Pure and Prepared

father and son with basketball

Photograph from Getty Images, posed by models

As a professor at Brigham Young University, I have researched and taught about parenting for the past 15 years. When I speak with parents, one of the most common questions I get is when and how to talk with children about sexuality. When I talk with college students, I often hear about how scared or uncertain they are about sexuality or how little they know and understand.

We hear increasingly from Church leaders and wonderful new Church resources how parents and youth can better communicate about sexual intimacy so young people can have positive and accurate views of sexuality and the law of chastity. President M. Russell Ballard has said, “Be positive about how wonderful and beautiful physical intimacy can be when it happens within the bounds the Lord has set, including temple covenants and commitments of eternal marriage” (“Fathers and Sons: A Remarkable Relationship,” Ensign, Nov. 2009, 49).

  • Co-author Meg Jankovich and I share with parents some ideas on the how, when, and why of talking to their children about sexuality (see page 20).

  • Elder and Sister Renlund discuss the importance of keeping the law of chastity (see page 14).

  • The articles for young adults discuss how to develop a positive view of sexuality and how the law of chastity blesses us (see page 68).

  • Find related articles in the digital edition of this issue at ensign.ChurchofJesusChrist.org or in the Gospel Library app.

It is my prayer that, through these articles, young people and parents will desire to talk with one another openly and draw closer to the Lord as they resist incorrect information that is being communicated in the world today about sexual intimacy and instead contemplate the power of being both sexually pure and prepared.


Laura M. Padilla-Walker, PhD