“My Body Is from God,” Help for Parents (2019)
“My Body Is from God,” Help for Parents
“What would happen if we truly treated our bodies as temples? The result would be a dramatic increase in chastity, modesty, observance of the Word of Wisdom, and a similar decrease in the problems of pornography and abuse, for we would regard the body, like the temple, as a sacred sanctuary of the Spirit” (Susan W. Tanner, “The Sanctity of the Body,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2005, 13).
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Genesis 1:27).
Our bodies were created in the image of God. They are a gift from Heavenly Father to allow us to experience mortality and continue to become more like Him. This knowledge can change the way we treat our bodies and how we feel about Heavenly Father and ourselves. When we treat our bodies as sacred temples created by God, we obtain physical, emotional, and spiritual blessings.
One way we can show respect for God’s amazing gift is by avoiding sexual misconduct, which includes any involvement with pornography. Pornography is any material that depicts or describes the human body or sexual conduct in a way that arouses or is intended to arouse sexual feelings inappropriately. It is distributed through many media, including magazines, books, television, movies, music, and the internet. We must prepare ourselves so that when we do encounter such materials, we can respond in ways that will preserve our spiritual well-being and ensure protection from further involvement.
The following scriptures and resources can help you deepen your knowledge of the doctrine related to this topic. As you study, consider ways to share the doctrine with your children.
Genesis 1:27 (God created us in His image)
Alma 40:23 (The Resurrection will reunite our body and spirit)
Doctrine and Covenants 93:33–34 (We need our bodies to experience a fullness of joy)
Conference talks and magazine articles:
David A. Bednar, “Ye Are the Temple of God,” Ensign, Sept. 2001, 14–21
Susan W. Tanner, “The Sanctity of the Body,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2005, 13–15
Vicki F. Matsumori, “My Body Is a Temple of God,” Friend, Aug. 2011, 40–41; Liahona, Aug. 2011, 64–65
“Be Not Moved” (video, ChurchofJesusChrist.org)
Family Conversations: Talking about Healthy Sexuality, Mormon Channel, mormonchannel.org
“The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2017, 145
Let Virtue Garnish Thy Thoughts (pamphlet, 2006)
“Dress and Appearance,” For the Strength of Youth (booklet, 2011), 6–8
“The Lord Gave Me a Temple,” Children’s Songbook, 153
A Parent’s Guide (1985)
For more materials to use in teaching children, see “Body” in Resources for Teaching Children, ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
Choose from these ideas or think of your own to introduce the doctrine that our bodies are from God.
Find out what your children already know about bodies. Ask them who created our bodies and why bodies are special. Talk about how we can respect our bodies. Encourage your children to ask any questions they have about the importance of their bodies.
Display side by side a picture of someone in your family and a picture of a temple. Ask your family how their bodies are like temples (see 1 Corinthians 6:19).
Invite each person to share why it is important to keep our bodies and minds clean and healthy.
Invite a member of your family to talk about a time when he or she spent a lot of time and effort making something (examples could include paintings, essays, or other projects). What were his or her feelings about the project? What does this teach us about how God feels about us as the creator of our bodies?
If you live near a temple, consider having your home evening lesson on the temple grounds. You could discuss the sacredness of temples and the beauty of the building and the grounds.
Follow the guidance of the Spirit as you select one or more of the following activities that will be appropriate for the age groups and needs of your family. Once you have taught the importance and sacredness of our bodies, help your family connect this doctrine to avoiding and responding appropriately to pornography. You may need to give an age-appropriate description of what pornography is.
Show a picture of your family. Teach that God created our bodies and that they are special. Then print out the activity from “My Body Is a Temple of God” (Vicki F. Matsumori, Friend, Aug. 2011, 40–41; Liahona, Aug. 2011, 64–65) for each member of the family. Teach what is good and what is bad for our bodies as you do the activity.
Create a scavenger hunt in your house. Write a list of items we can use to take care of and respect our bodies, such as fruits and vegetables, exercise equipment, modest clothing, sunscreen, toothpaste, soap, water bottles, vitamins, and first aid materials. Give everyone five minutes to find as many items on the list as they can. Then meet together to share what you found and talk about the importance of caring for our bodies.
Teach your family the Primary song “The Lord Gave Me a Temple” (Children’s Songbook, 153). You may want to listen to a recording of the song while you color pictures of the temple, or you could discuss what the lyrics teach us about our bodies.
Susan W. Tanner, former Young Women general president, asked, “What would happen if we truly treated our bodies as temples?” (“The Sanctity of the Body,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2005, 13). Select one or two sections of her talk “The Sanctity of the Body” (13–15) to discuss as a family. You could discuss the answer to her question together, or you could give family members time to write a response in their journals.
Examine as a family how the media portrays the human body. You could do this by having a discussion, asking each member to make a list on a piece of paper, or making a list on a poster or whiteboard. Then watch “Be Not Moved” together. After you’re finished watching the video, ask everyone to make another list that describes how God wants us to view our bodies. Discuss what we can learn from this activity and how we can apply what we learn.
Ask each family member to read a section from Elder David A. Bednar’s article “Ye Are the Temple of God” (Ensign, Sept. 2001, 14–21). Ask them to share what they learn about how the treatment of our body is connected to our purpose on earth.
Invite your family to think about and share how they will respect and honor their bodies. Make a list and post it in a place where your family will see it often.