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Larry L. Eastland, Ph. D.
Thursday, November 07 2013

A YSA Bishop Talks to the Sisters About Intimacy

By Larry L. Eastland, Ph. D. Notify me when this author publishesComment on Article
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Editor’s Note: This is from a talk given at a gathering of young single adult sisters. Click here to read the companion piece for the young single adult brothers.

CoupleROse

Introduction

2 ¶ And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon.

3 And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bath-sheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?

4 And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her;[i]

You’re Beautiful

You’re beautiful. Do you know that? You’re supposed to be.

Artists since the beginning of time have painted your figure on walls, papyrus, ivory, copper, stone and canvas. They have sculpted you all over the world. Writers have attempted to describe your beauty in literally millions of words through all time. Composers have created the most beautiful works of music about you.

Men, on the other hand---with the exception of David by Michelangelo---are depicted for power, strength, war, dominance, intellect or virility. But, almost never for beauty. (In fact. I think the story of “Beauty and the Beast” tells it all: he “konks” people over the head to protect her, while she patiently civilizes him.)

So, it is little wonder that men look at you, admire you, and to one extent or another, lust after you. They---we--notice just about everything about you, including how you dress. We notice how much of you is showing on the outside. If:

  • You wear a dress cut low enough that they can see even a part of your breasts, the brethren (over there) cannot help but look. You’re beautiful in our eyes.
  • If your dress shows a lot of your legs, we admire them.
  • If you wear something without sleeves, some male eyes will see any movement that shows your bra.
  • If you lean over and you reveal your upper body, Beast will see whatever Beauty reveals.

Because God created you to be beautiful in Adam’s sight. It’s called “attractive” because it “attracts” our eyes and more. And, it has worked for 6,000 years.

24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.[ii]

And so, you want to look beautiful, interesting, and yes, desirable. God intended it that way. When He said a man shall cleave unto his wife and they shall be one flesh, he wasn’t talking about mud wrestling. He was talking about intimacy, the most trusting relationship between a man and a woman.

On Being a Woman

From the “Proclamation on the Family” we learn that:

2. All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.

3. In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshiped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize his or her divine destiny as an heir of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.

4. The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife. [iii]

How Men See You

There are some differences between how you see the issue of modesty – or immodesty – and how men see it. Men and women are simply different; they process images differently.

What you are marketing, the message you are sending---and the message men are receiving---when you dress immodestly to be more attractive are two very different messages. And, here rests the challenge you face when determining how to dress and how to act.

What you may see as being simply more attractive—desirable--by being less modest than you have been taught, men will see as an invitation to touch, to enjoy, to “lie with you” as David did when he saw Bathsheba. (Not coincidentally, not only “lie with you”, but probably “lie to you” as well.) Remember: David desired her by only seeing her. He knew nothing about her.

All too often, when I counsel with a sister about improper behavior, she says “I thought it meant as much to him as to me. Now, he doesn’t want to see me at all.” Desire, or lust, and love are two different things and often mean different things to the two people involved.

What men see they want to possess. So, what you show they desire. The more you show the greater the invitation to them, as they see it, to do something they should not because the message received is that it is OK with you or you wouldn’t be dressing, or undressing, that way. Whether you intend it or not, that is the message they believe you are sending – an invitation to do much more than simply admire. An invitation to caress and possess.

Do not believe that lust will make him love you. I have counseled too many of the brethren who are currently in a lustful relationship doing things they know are wrong including improper touching and oral sex. When asked, “do you love her? Are you thinking of marrying her?” the heartbreaking answer is “no.”

When a sister tells me she doesn’t want to take out her endowments because garments restrict her wardrobe, the message I receive is much larger than garments and wardrobe. It is about where she is in committing to live her life God’s way, rather than the world’s way.

(I understand the inconvenience garments are for women because of the other things you wear. I’ve lived with a woman – a very modest woman – who is as beautiful to me today as she was when I married her more than 41 years ago.


52 Comments

  1. This is a wonderful article and great guidelines for women (young and old) to live by. The world does not teach these principles. The media is full of filth and things that bring great heartaches when followed. Thank you for voicing these guidelines in such a clear way. I wish it would have been like this when I was young. It would have made my life easier. I had to find and establish my own boundaries and was called arrogant because I was not "like all the other girls". I was branded as "demanding" and not wanting to "have fun". My advice - follow the guidelines for a happier life. Erika TX
  2. So women are supposed to communicate that 'modest is hottest'? How exactly do you define that? What is the difference between 'interesting' and 'inappropriate'? Please expound. How about we focus on behavior instead of knees and shoulders? And please stop referring to the normal biological reaction of arousal as a sinful behavior. That can really interfere with one's ability to enjoy sex later on in a marriage.
  3. This bishop is spot on with how female modesty affects men. I am sure though that the attacks will follow telling the brothers that this is their problem because they should just control their thoughts. That seems to be the go to argument these days in the church by some sisters and parents of sisters. That it is the boys' fault for not averting their eyes and controlling their thoughts. Every time I hear that retort I just shake my head in wonder that some in the church could be so willing to make things difficult for our Priesthood holders to stay faithful to their covenants. Yes the brethren do have a responsibility to control their thoughts but it does not absolve the responsibility of the sisters so they can dress however they want and think that the problem lies with the brethren.
  4. A wise man I know said he hears the question, "How far is too far before I cross the line?" all too often. He says, "Those who ask the question don't understand the reasons of the guideline in the first place"
  5. I think I can agree with a lot of the "practical" advice given in this article. However, I think I have to take exception to some of the underlying reasoning and philosophy here. Disclosure: I am writing from the other side of the marriage altar -- it has been a long time since I was single. The past several years of my otherwise good marriage have been clinically sexless and very frustrating in this respect. I believe that, while the practical advice about not being alone and not touching each other inappropriately etc is good advice, I feel like much of the philosophy that is used here (not much different from what I was taught by other bishops when I was single) has too much potential to contribute to "good girl syndrome" as Laura Brotherson calls it. I feel like he gives too much of an impression that all men are nothing more than oversexed animals. Perhaps the statement that might best illustrate my concern with this philosophy. In the 4th paragraph under "How Men See You" the author states: "Desire, or lust, and love are two different things" IMO, this kind of statement is prone to paint a picture of sexuality where "all sexual desire is lustful and therefore wicked and sinful. True love, on the other hand, is a purely asexual construct with no room for sexual feeling." After marriage as our sex life deteriorated, I was constantly frustrated with myself that I could not just "shrug off" her sexual refusal (because true love is not supposed to have a sexual component). I have since come to realize that I was wrong in my thinking. True love and sexual desire (lust if you want to equate it with sexual desire) are not polar opposites. They may be separate concepts, but they are more intricately intertwined than this kind of philosophy tends to admit. After years with an incorrect philosophy/theology of sexuality (and the attending behavior patterns that developed) it is much more difficult to change than if I had had a correct understanding of the relationship between love and sex and marriage to begin with. I wish I had good advice for really how to present this kind of thing. Having daughters who are approaching YSA/teen age, I will probably give them much of the same "practical" advice (don't be out alone with a young man, avoid solitude, etc.) but I don't think I will be able to present it from the same philosophical viewpoint. I hope I can help my daughters accept and embrace and nurture their sexuality in way that does not promote "good girl syndrome."
  6. Immodesty is not and never should be considered an invitation to cross boundaries and do things such as "caressing and possessing". That is so creepy. I'm a man but I don't have a weird touching problem or feel ownership over women because they are immodest. I wish more men understood women (even immodest women) are not objects to lust over, but this article perpetuates that idea.
  7. David should not have stood there long enough to lust after the woman in the first place. why do men place the responsibility on the woman?? Men, if you see a woman who is beautiful and you are tempted in any way, YOU should be the one walking the other way and controlling your own feelings.
  8. Wow, what a great read! I am amazed that people would find this offensive on some level. He is merely trying to counsel young adults on reducing or eliminating behavior that will make them unhappy in the long run. For me it's true. Although I love fooling around with girls, I would give it up to have a loving, rewarding marriage. I don't really feel that guilty fooling around, but when it comes down to it, I wouldn't want my future daughter doing things like I do with girls I hang out with.
  9. I truly believe that many young women are so modest, they subconsciously put on weight, so they don't attract sexual attention, they are not seeking. However, this backfires when most men can't look past the extra 20 lbs. to see the modest, beautiful woman they truly are. and be a friend first.
  10. So many issues with this article. One of the biggest ones is equating female value with her beauty, and a man's value with his intelligence, strength, etc. I'm tired of this line of thinking, which is leading to lower and lower self esteem in young women. Appearance should not be the focus of men when it comes to women. Appearance should not be the focus of women when it comes to themselves. As to the mention of the burqa and the amish clothing, I found it highly ironic as these objects are being used as examples of extremism, which just shows how ideas of modesty are entirely subjective. Because this idea is subjective, it allows for constant criticism of women no matter how they dress. Remove the idea that you are allowed to judge me based on my clothing, and then we might make some progress.
  11. This is so depressing to read. I know it's meant as good advice, and I can appreciate it for that. But why is it ok that men always lecture women on how to act/be/feel/think. Why is it always, ALWAYS, my responsibility to keep the men in check? I think attraction is a natural part of life. It happens for men and women. The interesting part to me is that, having lived in various cultures, that it's always there - whether you're totally covered, or not. So, in other words, the fact that men ogle women is not correlated with how much skin is covered. I think we need to address men's behaviors apart from expectations for women. I should not make my life dependent on how men may think or feel when they see me. Their thoughts etc. are not under my control, and I cannot constantly try to worry about every other person on the planet when I try to get dressed. Being aware of the culture you live in is wise, and trying to dress appropriately for the occasions is good. But man, take ownership of your eyes, and your thoughts, and don't push this onto me.
  12. This article makes me sad. It is entirely on the us, the brethren, to control our thoughts. The sisters' choice in dress is entirely their own and shouldn't affect you in any way. If you find your eyes being drawn to it, make an effort to look elsewhere. Hum a hymn. Think of scriptures. But don't blame the sisters for your lack of self control. You have the free agency to look away and ignore it, so use it.
  13. This is awful. How about we teach young women what healthy boundaries are and we teach young men to respect boundaries(and vice versa). If he touches your breast you slap him and tell him to take a hike. If he can't respect boundaries while dating he will still have problems in marriage. Every healthy marriage has healthy boundaries.
  14. I hope the next article is called, "Why Men Are Responsible For Controlling Their Own Thoughts Like The Adults They Are." Equating a woman's value with her beauty is dangerous. Making her feel responsible for a man's wandering eyes is shameful. Let's have a conversation about what modesty really means and not stop the conversation once we've covered (pun intended) hemlines and plunging necks.
  15. As an LDS psychologist, there's a lot to consider in this article and I add upon it here: http://centerforwomenspsychology.wordpress.com/
  16. What is self-abuse?
  17. I agree with those who point out some of the flawed/repetitive arguments in this article. Why is it the responsibility of the woman what the man thinks of her or of doing to her? And for "men see things they want and they must possess it...blah blah blah" why hasn't anyone in the church addressed that demeaning mentality? Hmm? Also, why doesn't anyone remember that Bathseba was bathing, therefore she was NAKED!!! David was looking at a naked woman! Comparing this passage of scripture to immodesty is so backwards!!! A woman is responsible for her life, and a man is responsible for his life.
  18. I hope all young people read this article
  19. This makes me recall back as bishop when, more often that I would like, see youth that would fall into Satan's trap. I always council youth to wear clothes modest enough to cover the temple garments that they should strive to some day be worthy to wear. I council them to never touch each other in areas above the elbow above the knee. I always told the young ladies that if they ever felt temped to let a boy go too far, just imagine I'm behind you watching. My wife and I never kissed with an open mouth until after we were made one in the house of the lord. We've since celebrated our union and brought nine wonderful souls into the world. Remember that marriage is sacred and couples shouldn't indulge in every disgusting act they hear about. We didn't and it worked for us.
  20. Remember when revealing an ankle was scandalous...lust is in the eye of the beholder, folks.
  21. I strongly support Bishop Eastland's remarks and Meridian's decision to publish it. Both took courage. Articles like this are the reason I come to this magazine--there are plenty of feminist magazines or weak, watered down LDS blogs. Meridian has the courage to publish what the average member believes.
  22. 1) I'm a man and I do not blame women for my thoughts 2) Our culture urges women to focus enough on their body image, why don't we (men) make an effort to never say anything about it? That sounds like a real Christian desire. 3) WHY DON'T YOU HOLD MEN RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT THEY THINK? Are you serious? Women do it. Men can do it too.
  23. I agree with Alexander. Don't blame the sisters. We all have self control over our feelings and desires. Just look away. We wen look too. I love a nice chest and legs on men but I'm married so I look away. So don't blame sisters for the men's lack of self control.
  24. This article should be read by every woman in the church. I am saddened by the comments here that basically deflect all responsibility on the men. The article clearly doesn't state that men aren't responsible for their actions or thoughts. It is simply trying to help women understand the effect they have on men. It is scientific fact that visual stimulus can cause a physical response in a person's brain. Yes, we can all choose how we respond to that response, but let's not pretend it's not there, or say it can be changed, limited, or in some cases eliminated.
  25. Tim, it does not take courage to post something that you think most people believe in. It takes courage to stand up for your beliefs even though they may be unpopular. And just because a wrong is popular, doesn't make it right.
  26. This was a good talk. However, YSA bishop left the 2nd most important part off, which should be the ending of this talk. That is that these same young women need to know that most all he told them changes when they get married. Too many marriages have suffered and fallen apart because no one in the Church gave them permission to change those modest thoughts after the honeymoon. Also, someone in the Relief Society needs to give the women in the Church very frank and open instructions that if they are married that they can unlock their chastity belts and enjoy and share with their with husbands what God gave to them. That is not a sin.
  27. I've seen the direct effects of the line of teaching that women are responsible men's thoughts. I'm not saying that "anything goes," but I am tired of hearing that women should dress modestly to not tempt men. I think modesty has everything to do with self-esteem and should be a personal decision and that young women should not feel like they have to dress the way they do because a man's thoughts depend on it.
  28. I think there is some value in this article, but I wish a) Modesty in clothing would be equated more with SELF-RESPECT and b) David and Bathsheeba? Seriously? That actually kind of makes me angry. David paid a serious price for HIS SINS when he spied a woman bathing naked and everything that followed. That story is so far from being a cautionary tale for immodest women. I don't mind approaching this idea of modesty with the question of "why don't we help each other out in keeping our covenants?", but twisting that story so that all the ladies that might show a little bit of cleavage are put in the position of being responsible for a fall from grace as epic as David's? It just makes me feel ill.
  29. I'm going to be honest,. This subject has always confused me, shaken my testimony a little, and leaves me questioning... I do believe modesty is important, but I also believe a woman can decide for herself what she believes to be inappropriate and appropriate. Growing up I wore skirts above the knees and tank tops here and there, I dated allot of youngmen in the church and NEVER had an issue with one getting too "handsy" yet my best friend wore very "modest" clothing and had a couple young men get to "handsy" I honestly feel like its up to mens self control and womens high standards, and knowing their self worth. I'm now married and my husband respects my body like a temple and I never really censored my wardrobe while dating him. Its all about praying for yourself and deciding between you and God what's best for YOU! I also agree that so many young adults in the church get confused about sex, making love, or intimacy (which ever you choose) because they're told its sin, but what happens when you do wait to be intimate with your spouse? All of a sudden its okay? Its time for adults to step up and talk about sex once married. I do have a testimony this church, but you need to pray for yourself what you believe is right. This comment isn't meant to offend... Just my opinion I guess... quit putting the blame on either sex and just realize we're human and we can all do better.
  30. A lot of people commenting here are very defensive because they did not read the Editor's note at the beginning of this article-------A companion piece for the BROTHERS is forthcoming. Chill, people! As a woman, I am very grateful for Brother Eastland's wise counsel. I am often saddened by the immodest dress of some of our young people and also temple-going adult women. I am amazed when I attend Sacrament Meeting to see these women showing cleavage. I wonder if it ever occurs to them that they are not only dishonoring their own bodies, but also the other sisters in the congregation?
  31. When I read this article I felt that this Bishop was honestly trying to help and counsel the ladies with a situation that they have in their Ward. If your situation interprets this differently than there may be an important reason for that. There are some interesting points made here in the comments and I appreciated reading many of the perspectives. We need to remember that this is not fun for a Bishop to do. He doesn't enjoy lecturing people on this topic and maybe we can give him the benefit of the doubt about what his intentions were and where his heart was. Isn't that the elusive 'charity' that we're all seeking to have? If this article upset you then keep in mind that the majority of the leaders in the Church are trying to do the best they can and they're only human. President Uchdorf said it best in Conference this October. He said, "I suppose the Church would be perfect only if it were run by perfect beings.” P.S. It’s almost standard Single’s Ward Bishop protocol to talk to men and women separately about chastity/modesty, etc. at least once a year. ***So don’t worry ladies, the men will get to have their ‘fun’ talk from the Bishop too.
  32. Clearly well intentioned and some valuable advice, but also some flaws. The David and Bathsheeba story had nothing to do with modesty/immodesty, at least on her part. Women (and men) should dress modestly, but out of respect for themselves. Whilst I agree how someone dresses might possibly send a message about them, I can NEVER place the responsibility for my thoughts or actions. I agree we need to teach our youth and YSA clearly about sex. As a former Bishop and SP I have counseled too many broken hearted young women who have given up their virtue believing it would buy the love and loyalty of a young man, only to find themselves left feeling used. Nevertheless, I still find our teaching about sex is far too negative. We focus on the 'do nots' and in many cases end up creating problems in marriage. Intentionally or not, we create too many negative vibes around sexual expression. Sex is awesome, sex is exciting, sex is fun, sex is good, sexual expression is God given. And because that sexual expression is one of the greatest gifts we have to share with another person, it's worth saving it for the special person with whom you will spend eternity. Sex itself is on no way sinful. Sex is to be celebrated, with the right person, at the right time and the right place.
  33. I am a woman. I also know when I dress whether it could be enticing or not. If we (men and women) are looking for eternal companions why on earth would a man be considering a woman that is immodest? AND why would a woman be trying to tempt a man? Doesn't that defeat the purpose? Neither of us is going to get what we want. I know that I would not respect the man that was drawn to me because I was displaying myself immodestly, nor could I imagine the man respecting me for being immodest.
  34. Oh! I wish I had heard this when I got off of my mission. I was in no way prepared for this temptation... And now I'm struggling with going through the repentance process. It's been very painful and I spend a lot of time regretting those actions. I wish every young person would read this. It's very clear--no beating around the bush. I appreciate that. I never understood where the line was or how to address it. ):
  35. While this might be great advice for the sisters in his ward, he does not have the authority to provide me with what I need to hear. He is elaborating on opinion and this article should not be seen as conclusive. Women, we know how we need to be acting and dressing. Men, you know how to respect women. My advice to both men and women: step up and act the way you know you should.
  36. What a lot of people are missing about the article is that women, especially in the church, should be giving the men and young men a refuge, a break from seeing cleveage et. al every where they go i.e. church functions. As a woman I find it distracting and disappointing that some women don't realize that they are letting fashion trump covenants.
  37. Enough with the either-or fallacies! It is perfectly consistent to tell men that they are responsible for their thoughts and behavior, while simultaneously telling women to consider the effect of their dress on the men around them. Anyone who thinks that modesty means nothing more than being comfortable with your own dress should read 1 Corinthians 8 and consider the implications.
  38. As a man, I can say that we have to learn to keep our thoughts and actions in check. When I was dating my wife, I made sure to excuse myself if I was getting too aroused while kissing. I didn't want to put her in that position, I had to own it. As a man, yes I do notice attractive women and legs. However, I don't dwell on that. My advice to all young adults, is to have self worth and use common sense. If you make a mistake, all is not lost.
  39. I have 8 daughters. I hope not a one of them will read this article Dear daughters...your outward beauty is NOT who you are. True beauty is a reflection of your loving heart and enlightened mind. Righteousness is beautiful. How very sad it would be if your looks were the most notable thing about you. The best women are strong and loving and righteous and courageous. The kind of man you want is attracted to ALL of you. A real man will see ALL of you..your heart and mind and soul and your body. Any man who focuses only on your body, has not grown up yet, and isn't worth your time. My daughters are modest, because they respect themselves. They respect the amazing gift that a body is. They know that no matter what they wear animals may react, but a man doesn't react...he chooses. yes we should be clear about what is appropriate and why. This foundation is so shaky. I strongly suggest people read Souls Symbols and Sacraments by Jeffrey R Holland I have so much more to say to my daughters and *I* will say it. I will not rely on such mixed messages and sad messages as this. a skirt short enough to interest.....UGH. AND just to be clear...if skin happens to be showing you do NOT have ANY right to touch a woman! A true man would offer his jacket or turn himself away. Someone else's choices NEVER dictate your own. A woman, is a daughter of God and deserves respect whether or not you think she is currently living up to it. Had David been a gentleman at all he would have turned away. Her lack of dress in NO WAY justifies his choice.
  40. I admit I've made mistakes. I didn't make mistakes because I was dressing immodestly, rather the opposite. I was perfect in my outward appearance. My downfall came when I was entirely too embarrassed to talk to my parents or leaders because I was lead to believe that anything that made me feel like I wanted to kiss someone was a sin. I didn't talk to anyone and I condemned myself a sinner. I had given up internally. Growing up I was always told never to lust. I believe lust in moderation and boundaries is incredibly important in marriage. Many of my dear friends are having marriage problems because they lack intimacy with their husbands. They see sex as just a means to make a baby. They don't feel wanted or needed in that aspect.... They really should have a class that teaches "hey kids, now you're adults and you're married, sex is encouraged" it's important.
  41. I believe this article to be very truthful. Especially because I understand the affects pornography on our society. Equality has nothing to do with it. I think women don't want to be accountable and blame men. Men don't want to be accountable and blame women. Truth is it does matter how a women dresses. And it does matter how a man acts. I would rather dress modest and get a man's attention with my goodness not my body. There are men out there that will control his tendencies towards physical but sorry ladies we have to be respectful of ourselves and men. This is true for me........when I dress modest I don't get attention like the girls that are showing off legs, bellies and stomachs. So it does matter how we dress. I don't dress modest to help men only. I dress modest because I respect my inner beauty and worth higher than my body beauty. I dress modest because I respect my dad, my brother's and my nephew's. I dress modest because I want my daughter to respect herself and get the right attention from men.
  42. I appreciate all the comments I see here. This was a fairly good article, in some ways, yet I agree with some of the comments that there is an artificial distinction presented between modesty and attraction. I have been married many years yet I recall very well different stages of my single life as an LDS man. Too many false, scary, shaming, and unhelpful things can be said (and WERE said!) in the effort to oversimply men as "base" and women as "naive." I agree totally with the comment above that asks "us" to acknowledge that Attraction can be aesthetic, warm, interesting, uplifting, and beautiful --evoking emotions that are NOT "lustful" yet require a maturity to keep the enjoyment in a healthy range. Looking back many decaes, I think I was influenced way to much by well-meaning men (& women) in the Church who were too fear-based and stuck in their own "chastity" vs "be unappealing" thinking that no one was able to teach "us" (men as well as women) that emotional and spiritual richness can be learned, and that Christ can Heal us from an Abstinent Ape kind of Self Control Chastity to Wonderful Enjoyable & Rich Chastity that offers Joy instead of deprivation, frustration and later marital discouragement. So sad that so many LDS men and women doubt that any man can appreciate their appeal and enjoy them in a relaxed and "appropriate" way----where are our Teachers of Joyful Chastity?
  43. For those who are so offended by this article: This is a talk to single adults who are attending a single adult ward and who want to remain chaste. While there is information here that could be helpful in general, context should be taken into consideration. Singles wards are notorious for the women trying to out-do each other to vie for attention. They're the equivalents of nightclubs. So of course the bishop is going to talk about the uniform and the rules. If singles in the 2010s are going to stay abstinent, they have to get advice about how to do that, which could include covering up a bit more, not lying down when kissing their boyfriends, and being more respectful of the men they're dating. What's so wrong with that?
  44. It does say there will be one for young single men coming soon. And it will probably be equal to this in the sense of point out what not to do. Just cool it peeps. :)
  45. The problem I had with this is that it makes sexual desire seem bad and in fact it's not. Things do happen to people who truly do love each other it's not always lust. Sometimes that sexual attraction is so strong that we do mess up. I also feel we are raising boys to be sissies they need to be prepared for what they will be around NO I'm no saying a girl should be dressed like a prostitute but if she's wearing a sleeveless shirt or her shorts don't hit her knees he should learn to control his urges and not base them on what the girl is wearing. I do agree with the guy who mentioned Good Girl syndrome WHAT FUN IS THAT? When you're married you shouldn't be afraid of sex or feel ashamed that you like it
  46. So women, dress in a way that shows respect for you, but always remember that you are so much more than your body or anything you wear. And men, before judging and blaming, try looking for the daughter of God in the woman standing right in front of you. And always remember who you are. We can do so much good together in this crazy world
  47. Plain truth about morality is never very popular. Not that the article is perfect, but what article is? I applaud the author for speaking plainly about the road that leads to fornication. I find it interesting that some acknowledge that fornication is second only to murder, but like to pretend that dark alleyway leading up to it is somehow neutral territory. I applaud the writer for addressing that. Signposts that adorn the entrance to that path include those of immodesty. It may be a long path from immodesty to serious sexual sin, but then again, it may not always be so short. After all, if anyone is going to decry being taught modesty, how must they feel about the Savior himself who equated merely looking lustfully with adultery. Not surprisingly, he taught the strictest standard. To pretend that immodesty is acceptable while acknowledging the Savior's standard that lustful looking is committing adultery is the most ridiculous double talk. Intentionally or not, if you wear the uniform of compromise, you have both marked yourself as an easy prey for the wolves, as well as tempting the sheep to give way to wolfish behavior. To say that dressing immodesty is not tempting others is to close your eyes and simply pretend sexual drives don't exist, and to pretend that you are not accountable for tempting others is ludicrous - if that were true, the devil is apparently blameless, for he has committed no murder, no sexual sin, no stealing himself, he has just tempted others to do so. The saddest thing I see in the comments is the number of people who have lived their lives so that sex has become linked in their minds with guilt and sin. How tragic. A person that likes to venture a short way, or maybe further, into that dark pathway finds that sex has become linked in his or her mind with feelings of guilt, sorrow, pain and regret. Thus when marriage comes along, they find that even if they are clean, their dalliances haven't been without consequence, and it takes a lot of time to get past those associations and fully enjoy the pure, clean, unbounded happiness that is now granted them. More tragically they have wasted the time that was given them to learn to restrain their desires, and will struggle more with temptations toward unfaithfulness and pornography unless they work hard to learn that restraint they never saw as important before they were married. The time before marriage serves a critical purpose. It is the time you learn self control. You can be forgiven if you failed to do so, but be warned! The stakes are so much higher now and you have forgone the training period. By contrast, that person who stays morally clean before marriage and is faithful after marriage (including faithful to the commandment to cleave to their spouse, to become one flesh with that spouse) experiences sex linked only with joy, family, marital unity, gratitude and happiness because they have never experienced it as sin. That is our peculiar doctrine, that God has a body, that he is married. We get a body and if we are true to our God with it, if we submit the flesh to the will of the spirit, we can have what God has, marriage, including the joy of intimacy, for eternity. There is nothing more exalting, than the joys of marriage. Hence to have it forever is called exaltation.
  48. I completely support this bishop and brother teaching the law of chastity. But I would love to see the principle of modesty invoked and taught in its fuller doctrinal context, which has to do with reverence and not just chastity. LDS.org states that "modesty is an attitude of propriety and decency in dress, grooming, language, and behavior. If we are modest, we do not draw undue attention to ourselves. Instead, we seek to glorify God in our body, and in our spirit." To me, that has to do with reverence and respect for God, and humility....not directly chastity. I'm not saying chastity is unrelated, I just dispute its primacy, which is how it tends to be taught. Three further pieces of food for thought: 1) What if instead of our usual "don't tempt the boys" lesson, we reframed it as having the young women examine why certain articles of clothing were tempting for THEM to wear? What if we talked about what it meant to glorify God rather than ourselves? Sure, doing so might invoke the ideas of men lusting after women, but rather than take a "prevent that lust from happening" approach, what if we talked about resisting the temptation to glorify our body and instead focus on serving God? 2) Once I was an advisor at a combined YM/YW activity, and the activity was to play basketball. I looked at the court, and all the YM were playing, and the YW - including several award-winning athletes - were standing on the sidelines watching. I pointed this out to a YM advisor who basically had to force the YM to "take" the girls on their teams. The YM advisor went back to chatting, and I then watched as the YM passed the basketballs right over the heads of their open YW teammates for the rest of the evening, taking shots they were sure to miss rather than pass it to their YW teammate. In my own examination of the doctrine of modesty, that incident would be among the most immodest things I've ever seen happen in a church building. No spaghetti straps were present. If we taught modesty properly, in my opinion, the other 75% of modesty (grooming, language, and behavior) would be given equal focus. The consequences of immodest behavior might not be as immediately apparent and easily identified/labeled as immodest dress, but they can be just as spiritually damaging. 3) The idea that "women should cover up to protect the brethren" is not, in my opinion, a bad one. However, there are serious, documented consequences to people internalizing this message in the wrong way. Including an inability for women to enjoy sex with their spouses. Including the victimized feeling it was their fault. We need to address these issues directly, not with a passing "sex is good when you're married" 2-second nod in a 60-minute sermon. 4) The "women should cover up to protect others" is, in my opinion, the same argument that you shouldn't scream in church because it distracts other people. That's true, but if someone else is screaming in church, it's still your responsibility to pay attention and focus on God. We should teach people not to scream because it distracts others, sure - that's important. We should be one in Christ, and that involves supporting each other in our worship and efforts to keep our covenants. However, if I were going up to someone who was screaming, I would not say "You need to stop, you're distracting other people and making it hard for them to live their covenants!" I would talk to them about reverence, and the need for all of us to focus on God and not draw attention to ourselves. It's not that you don't scream for other people - you don't scream for YOURSELF, too. It's a subtle reframe, but an important (and less 'othering') one. 5) I'd also like to point out that this is an article to women about sex, but it's primarily about men and their sex drive. Even a comment above from a "Former Bishop" says "when you're tempted to LET a boy go too far" - implying that men are the actors in sexual situations, and women the recipients. There are several dozen problems with this, but that's a topic for another discussion. Overall: I recognize that this article was about chastity, not modesty per se. But I wish that modesty were taught differently, and framed differently. I think we as a people have room for growth here.
  49. I actually found there to be a lot of truth to this article. But this speaker should have been followed by a fashion designer. One that could teach these girls that clothing is such a powerful tool! Yes there is another category other than trashy and cheesy wardrobe! It's the classy category! I teach my daughter to I invest in clothes that are fitted and chic! There is nothing more appealing in a women then modesty that fits your body type correctly and accentuates your curves! I see it all the time the mormon girl switching from the cheesy mormon brand clothes to the tube talk and daisy dukes to get attention! We need to teach our girls how to use the great fashion options of today in a way that will express class. Let's face it every guy wants to see under the hood and will wait if the outside of the car has a great paint job and set of wheals. And if the girl has confidence a man will wait for her however long it takes.
  50. Scripturally modesty is about avoiding vanity and flaunting fine clothing. And Jesus places lusting in one's heart squarely in the category of sin like adultery without referring at all to what the woman was wearing. There is no responsibility there because no one can perfectly communicate a message with their clothes. Instead, the only ones that know the heart and motivation behind your outfit is you and God, and inwardly is where both men and women should be looking. That's why we don't judge or single out or ostracize anyone because of what they are wearing. I believe we are to see more than skin deep and appreciate the woman and reject Satan's message that equates the female body with sex. I wish women were appreciated for what they think, do, and say and less because of what they're wearing. Finally Elder Holland in "Of souls, symbols, and sacraments" provided a deeper, comprehensive view of intimacy that firmly lambasted men for believing in a "drugstore psychology" where they are ruled by their glands and hormones because if they can't manage themselves they have no business aspiring to kingdoms or priesthood power.
  51. I hope I'm not being prideful, but I'm hoping he also expects men to hold themselves accountable to their actions. There are really good pieces, the majority really, of this talk, but I don't think of modesty as a way to "help the men out" because that is their responsibility, and honestly, no matter how modestly I dress, if a man decides to think like a pig I can't really do much about that. Rather I view modesty as a protection for myself, giving me a holy place in my own body, and giving me a sense of self respect, knowing I don't need to follow fashion trends to feel good about myself. I don't agree that modesty is for the men. They need to learn that women aren't trophies on display, modest or not.
  52. So, where's the companion piece for men?

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