Sex Education and Behavior
Sexual feelings are normal and expected as children mature through puberty and into adulthood, but all should follow the Lord’s teachings in dealing with those feelings. We should develop healthy relationships with others that keep our actions consistent with the commandments of God that sexual activity be reserved exclusively for a man and a woman who are married (see Doctrine and Covenants 42:22; 49:15–17). We reject the false teaching of the adversary that sexual feelings are meant to be acted on whenever and however desired.
When children and youth are confused or have questions about their growing bodies and their developing sexual feelings, parents have the responsibility to teach them about their feelings and behavior in a timely, clear, and age-appropriate way. Parents approach these conversations with love, patience, and understanding and with gratitude for the opportunity to talk with their children about something so meaningful. The Spirit of the Lord will assist parents as they prayerfully seek to know when and how to have these sacred conversations with their children. (See General Handbook: Serving in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints , 38.6.17.)
God has commanded that sexual behavior be reserved for marriage between a man and a woman (see Genesis 1:26–28; 2:24). Parents should teach that sexual feelings are a normal and sacred part of our nature as children of God and that, when used according to God’s commandments, they can be a source of joy and strength to a husband and wife.
Messages from Church Leaders
Dale G. Renlund and Ruth Renlund, “The Divine Purposes of Sexual Intimacy,” Liahona, August 2020