Why Chastity?
August 2019

“Why Chastity?” New Era, Aug. 2019, 38–39.

Why Chastity?

The reason for this law has to do with Heavenly Father’s eternal plan for our souls.

Why Chastity?

Heavenly Father has commanded us to be sexually pure. Many in the world would say that concept is outdated or silly and that there’s really no reason for it. But Heavenly Father has given us the reasons. Those reasons are found in His plan to save each soul—both spirit and body.

Premortal Life

  • We lived with our Heavenly Father as spirits, male and female, before we came to earth.

  • We are His spirit children. He wants us to become like Him, and we want to become like Him.

  • In His plan, we can come to earth, obtain a physical body, and gain earthly experience.

  • We accepted this plan. Satan rebelled against it.

Mortal Life

Commandments and Temptation

  • We came to earth to receive a body and keep God’s commandments.

  • Because of Satan’s rebellion, he and those who chose to follow him were denied the privilege of having a mortal body.

  • “Because Satan is miserable without a body, he wants us to be miserable because of ours.”1

  • Satan entices us to break the law of chastity and tries to convince us that it’s no big deal. But it is.

  • “Violating the law of chastity is a grievous sin and a misuse of our physical tabernacles. To those who know and understand the plan of salvation, defiling the body is an act of rebellion (see Mosiah 2:36–37; D&C 64:34–35) and a denial of our true identity as sons and daughters of God. As we look beyond mortality and into eternity, it is easy to discern that the counterfeit companionship advocated by the adversary is temporary and empty.”2

  • Heavenly Father considers chastity to be “dear and precious” (Moroni 9:9).

Marriage and Family

  • Physical intimacy between husband and wife is sacred. It’s a way to express love and enables a husband and a wife to have children and grow their families.

  • “The power to create mortal life is the most exalted power God has given his children. …

    “The expression of our procreative powers is pleasing to God, but he has commanded that this be confined within the relationship of marriage.”3

The Atonement of Jesus Christ

  • “The spirit and the body are the soul of man” (Doctrine and Covenants 88:15).

  • “One who uses the God-given body of another without divine sanction abuses the very soul of that individual, abuses the central purpose and processes of life. … In exploiting the body of another—which means exploiting his or her soul—one desecrates the Atonement of Christ, which saved that soul and which makes possible the gift of eternal life.”4

  • Jesus Christ willingly atoned and suffered the pain for our sins (see Doctrine and Covenants 19:16–19).

  • Breaking the law of chastity with the thought of repenting later shows irreverence for the Savior and His sacrifice for us.

  • We are responsible to God for how we treat our body and spirit. “Ye are not your own,” the Apostle Paul taught, “Ye [have been] bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19–20; emphasis added).

  • If we fall into temptation and sin, we can be forgiven if we repent.


  • One day we can receive a resurrected, glorified physical body.

  • Only when our spirit and body are permanently united are we capable of becoming like Heavenly Father and receiving a fulness of joy (see Doctrine and Covenants 93:34; 130:22).

  • If we have been obedient and made and kept covenants, we can obtain a celestial glory and become like our Heavenly Father, living in families, forever (see Doctrine and Covenants 88:15–29; 131:1–4).

  • “The Savior’s way of life is good. His way includes chastity before marriage and total fidelity within marriage. The Lord’s way is the only way for us to experience enduring happiness.”5


  1. Russell M. Nelson, “We Can Do Better and Be Better,” Apr. 2019 general conference (Ensign or Liahona, May 2019, 68).

  2. David A. Bednar, Apr. 2013 general conference (Ensign or Liahona, May 2013, 43).

  3. Dallin H. Oaks, Oct. 1993 general conference (Ensign, Nov. 1993, 74).

  4. Jeffrey R. Holland, Oct. 1998 general conference (Ensign, Nov. 1998, 76).

  5. Russell M. Nelson, Oct. 2013 general conference (Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2013, 108).