≡ Menu

Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places

Recent discussions here about the problem of abortion and of how we might be able to help curb such trends in our society reminded me of something that happened a few years ago. I thought I would share it here.

My husband once had a discussion with a friend (I ?ll call him Jerry) who was a bishop in a young single adult ward. Trying to make conversation, my hubby asked Jerry about his calling. Imagine my spouse ?s shock when Jerry told him that, at any given time, there are about 50 to 75 young adults in his ward who have committed serious sexual sins. Suppose the ward has about 200 members and ?well, you do the math.

Jerry had delegated everything possible to his counselors so he can dedicate his time to counseling to try help these young people deal with the fallout of their choices and avoid such pitfalls in the future.
In short, Jerry spent most of his time counseling those who have broken the law of chastity. (He was actually warned before he started his role that he would do little else as a bishop of this ward.)

While still trying to catch his breath from these sad statistics, my husband asked a natural follow-up question: What do you think is driving such a high percentage of young adults to break the law of chastity?

(What would you have thought the answer would be?)

Jerry shared the common thread he sees saw in most of the situations: Most have come from broken homes and have turned to sexual relationships to fill a need for love and acceptance.

Now, the purpose of this article is not to heap guilt on already-wounded souls who have experienced divorce, nor to discuss divorce per se. We all know that divorce is a problem in our society and in the Church, but we also know that children of married parents are not in any way immune from challenges and sin. And we all know there are many children of divorced parents who thrive.

Moreover, this one bishop ?s experience is certainly not a scientifically sound study, and I don’t want to be misunderstood as making absolute assertions here. Assuredly, there are several factors that can come into play when it comes to sexual sin. No one thing can be blamed. And let ?s not forget that agency is a key factor, regardless of the curve balls that life may throw.

All of that said, I was still taken aback by this bishop ?s response, particularly because there was no mention of our sex-laden society or the problem of pornography or other directly-related-to-sex factor. While surely the prevalence of sex in our culture contributes to rampant immorality (both in and out of the Church), Jerry ?s observations remind us that often immorality is not about wanting sex, it ?s about wanting love. That ?s really not anything new, but it gave me pause nonetheless. How sad that there is such a hole in these individuals ? lives (whatever the cause) that they seek love, acceptance, security, and reinforcement through illicit sexual relationships. Equating extramarital sex with love is one of the adversary ?s cunning counterfeits.

But rather than just ‘be sad’ (or, heaven forbid, cluck our tongues at such situations), I wanted to think through some of this here. I ?d like to explore two things:

1) What are some situations (in addition to divorce) that can put a young person at risk for looking for love in all the wrong places ?? Some examples might be death of a parent (which was something else Jerry mentioned), abuse, hidden contention and stress at home, peer troubles, illness or handicaps (physical, mental, or emotional), inactivity of family members ?. My hope is to raise awareness of such risk factors so we can all be sensitive to those who might need a little extra TLC.

2) What might we be able to do ?-as parents, relatives, friends, neighbors, teachers, and brothers and sisters in the gospel and in our neighborhoods ?-to help those with holes in their hearts and lives find love in the right places (or to help prevent holes in the first place)? Following are some ideas I have had:

-We can develop- ?and share- ?our own testimonies of God ?s love for us and of our eternal worth.

-We can practice and exemplify looking first to God for love and support, not to external sources for reinforcement and approval.

-We can be aware of those who might be at risk ? because of difficult situations in their lives. We can open our hearts to those around us who have such challenges. (This isn ?t always easy, because sometimes such people can be harder to love.)

-We can do all within our power (while seeking for heaven ?s help) to make our homes places of love, security, and peace, where the Spirit can dwell and fill the hearts of those in our families.

-If we are married, we can do all within our power to nurture and strengthen our marriages.

-We can encourage others in their marriages, and support marriage as an institution in general.

-If we have children, we can nurture, love, and teach them.

-We can nurture, love, and teach children (and youth, and adults!) who cross our paths.

-We can use the Proclamation to the World on the Family as a guide in all of our efforts and roles.

-We can find ways to strengthen others ? marriages. That may sound like a weird concept, but this article has some interesting ideas. (The same author shares some related thoughts here as well.)

-We can teach doctrine about the sacred nature of marital intimacy and the importance of chastity. IMO, we should focus less on behavioral teachings (e.g., dos and don ?ts) and more on the doctrine. True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior. The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior ? (Boyd K. Packer, Do Not Fear, ? Ensign, May 2004, 77).

-We can teach and reinforce the principles of agency and accountability. As we do, we can teach and testify of the Atonement as well ?always focusing, however, on the blessings that come from obedience to God ?s commandments. After all, repentance is indeed possible, but it is painful. It ?s a lot easier to be obedient.

What are your thoughts? What life situations and challenges might put someone at risk for insecurities and a hole-y heart that might lead to a desire to look for love in empty ways? What can we do to help people look for ?-and find- ?love in the right places?

In addition, what helps you feel God ?s love in your life?

{ 37 comments… add one }
  • facethemusic January 22, 2009, 5:50 pm

    Wow…. funny how something that you’re already aware of can still hit you like a ton of bricks.
    Okay– so things that may LEAD to “looking for love in all the wrong places”–

    People of the male persuasion don’t like hearing this– but I’ve heard it from so many of my own friends (girls) that I think there must be something to it—
    –not having a close/good relationship with their father– even though parents are married
    –pressure from a boyfriend/girlfriend
    –lack of honest, specific counsel/weak teaching on part of parents and leaders about the power and intensity of sexual feelings
    — lack of honest, specific counsel/weak teaching about chastity and what falls under the umbrella of “fornication” or breaking the law of chastity (thinking that certain sexual acts are ‘okay’ or at least “not really sinning” because it isn’t really “sex”)
    — parent/child power battles
    — not realizing how EASILY sexual feelings can be aroused, even by seemingly innocent touching, hand holding, embraces, simple/innocent kisses, etc
    — their own biology and raging hormones!

    Setting aside the personal “problems”– family issues, school issues, etc, etc, I really think the big problem (at least with LDS youth) really is a lack of very frank and honest discussion. Everyone always wants to tip-toe around sexuality- but I think it’s too important to be “tip-toed” around.

  • agardner January 22, 2009, 6:35 pm

    Face said:

    not realizing how EASILY sexual feelings can be aroused, even by seemingly innocent touching, hand holding, embraces, simple/innocent kisses, etc
    — their own biology and raging hormones!

    Setting aside the personal “problems”– family issues, school issues, etc, etc, I really think the big problem (at least with LDS youth) really is a lack of very frank and honest discussion. Everyone always wants to tip-toe around sexuality- but I think it’s too important to be “tip-toed” around.

    I really agree with this. I don’t think all, or even necessarily most, unmarried people who have s ex are looking to fill an emptiness in their heart. I can only speak for myself and those I know, but any act or temptation that came was a part of a pretty natural process that is quite normal and healthy in marriage. It’s just realizing how powerful it is and how quickly it can happen.

    This is one of the things that I really want to teach my girls about, because I’ll be honest in saying I was pretty clueless about this stuff, and I think my parents – mom especially – were pretty open about this issue.

    Girls, especially LDS girls, do not seem to get at all how quickly this can happen, especially for boys. There were times when I was dating when I was not aroused IN THE LEAST but a guy was geared to go. For example – dancing. A few times in my youth, I would be dancing with a boy – I didn’t think especially close or suggestively – and he was, um…aroused. Not to be too graphic. As innocent as I was, I didn’t even realize what it was at the time.

    It doesn’t excuse boys who push the issue, but they need to be taught that these responses may happen and that they need to keep a certain distance to avoid that. Same with girls.

    On the other hand, I do think that promiscuity is more of filling a void than most couples who have relations thinking that they are in love and things just kind of…progress to that.

  • mlinford January 22, 2009, 9:55 pm

    I think these are good points.

    The youth are blessed to have very direct and clear counsel from the prophets about this topic, but I still think it needs lots of reinforcement and clear, clear teaching. I had parents who were really open about this, but I still was pretty naive — even until I got married — about understanding how EASY it is to “push the line” as it were.

    I loved it when a bishop we had talked to the girls in YW VERY specifically about how quickly and easily young men can get aroused — like from close dancing, or just feeling a girl even remotely close physically.

    I think, too, just really good counsel is to avoid situations that could be compromising — being alone in a house, being up too late, etc. It probably sounds so old-fashioned at the face to some young people, but some of this, as has been discussed, is just about being smart.

    I do think, though, that the more confident and self-aware young people are, the less likely they will be about getting into a relationship, or approaching a relationship, without safeguards well in place in the first place. Justification comes so easily in the moment. Decisions need to be made early and clearly.

  • Ray January 22, 2009, 10:25 pm

    I think too many parents (Mormon or not) want the best of both worlds:

    They want their kids to have healthy relationships, but they don’t want to have to talk about sex. I also think too many present sex in a negative way (and there are subtle and blatant ways to do so), since that’s the easy way out. I know a young woman who was told that sex was bad before marriage and only bad girls wanted to have sex. The first time her boyfriend pushed the limits and she found out how good it felt, she decided she must be a bad girl – and ended up pregnant. Since the same parents constantly told their daughters that boys naturally wanted sex and it was their responsibility to not let it happen, her brother decided he couldn’t really help himself – and ended up getting a girl pregnant who “let it happen”. Twisted but easy to reach conclusions for still maturing teenagers.

    One of my favorite lines in any movie was in “Cheaper By the Dozen” when one of the daughters says to her parents, as they are kissing each other, “Can you wait until I leave?” The response from her parents, “Can you hurry?”

    I don’t care what question my kids ask me, I’ll answer them honestly and openly and as fully as they want to hear – and I’ll tell them that they can’t blame the other person if they do something they shouldn’t do.

  • Alison Moore Smith January 23, 2009, 12:06 am

    Posted By: RayThey want their kids to have healthy relationships, but they don’t want to have to talk about sex.

    WHY??? Seriously, what is the big deal that gets people to be all squeamish and weirded out about sex? OK, except for the fact that I have personally heard comments from far too many women who just don’t care that much for it, which makes me want to cry (for them and their husbands). I swear I thought that all died out with the Victorian era.

    OK, now that that’s off my chest.

    My dad was a bishop a number of times. Once for a BYU married student ward. That was actually a pretty good gig–at least from my memory. Once it was at the MTC. That was interesting. I can’t tell you how many times our phone rang in the middle of the night (is this when guilt is unassuageable?), my dad answered, put his suit and tie on, and drove to the MTC. He’d come home in the early morning. Of course, he never told us the details, just that an elder had the need to confess. right. that. minute.

    So, no, I’m not at all surprised by the stats. Compared the the college-aged population at large, they’re still a mighty good group, if you ask me.

    That said, with the situations I’m aware of, I knew few who I would classify as getting into trouble to fill some psychological need. Some, yea. Two if I have to give a number. But honestly most of the ones I knew just…well…enjoyed messing around, to whatever extent they engaged in it.

    I only knew one girl who was in a sticky situation because she was naive. She wasn’t pregnant or even close, she just thought you could get pregnant if you “wished really hard while you were kissing.” Yea, I swear. (But I never did figure out why she was wishing to be pregnant, since she most decidedly did not want to be so.)

    I didn’t know anyone who got into trouble because they didn’t realize guys get turned on easily. Not that they were really studied in that particular aspect, but seriously it took them about one makeout and the resulting…effect…to figure it out. And none of them was date-raped or something just because it came on suddenly. The first time they just kind of said, “Oh, wow. Who knew?” And then they understood.

  • mlinford January 23, 2009, 1:26 am

    Compared the the college-aged population at large, they’re still a mighty good group, if you ask me.

    Sure, they are a good group, but I don’t think it’s sufficient to compare to the general population. The stats are still too high for covenant young adults, imo. I don’t say that without a heart, but just to say that in the end, there is no excuse.

    with the situations I’m aware of, I knew few who I would classify as getting into trouble to fill some psychological need.

    I imagine this is probably true in many situations, but I also can’t help but wonder if a bishop might get a little different view of emotion and psychology as he counsels with those who have ended up making a mistake.

    The older I get, the more complex I realize humans are, and the more apt I am to assume that there are almost always underlying issues with whatever is actually visible — not in a spirit of judgment, but more in a spirit of compassion.

    As such, I think that talk of chastity is critical, but talk of the doctrine of eternal worth and God’s love may be even more critical in the long run.

    As to being squeamish about sex – honestly, Alison, I know so many people whose parents were not open about that topic. The openness about sex is pretty new, generationally speaking. I think it will take a generation or two for that to really be rooted out more at the general level. We can be grateful for more information more readily available, for more clear counsel and teachings, for more books and resources even for LDS folks that help.

    In our home, we have ongoing conversations about sex, which started around ages 4-6. I actually love the opportunities to teach, so I’m not defending squeamishness, because I don’t have it and I don’t like it. But I think we ought not to condemn those who come from homes where squeamish is all they knew.

    I admit, I’m also puzzled that you equate women in such a simplistic way as to assume that they don’t like it because they are stuck in Victorian era thinking. This is still a very common problem, and, imo, is often a complex problem. Were it not so, Laura Brotherson would not be so popular. 🙂 The one thing I didn’t like about her book, though, was too much focus on ‘good girls don’t’ mentality, because I don’t see that as the main reason women struggle. It may be one reason, but in my limited experience I have seen other reasons.

    Have you ever known a woman whose husband was controlling and demanding and manipulative, even abusive in this way? I have. It’s tragic, and it’s no wonder that women in such situations struggle with sex. Have you ever met a woman on meds that take away libido? I have. (Should I mention that I just started some sleep meds that have messed up my body, and how rotten that is?) Have you ever met women who struggle with self-esteem, or who have been abused in their past? The list of complicating factors can be myriad and complex. And so I suggest that maybe disinterest is a way for some women to deal with pain – not simply a manifestation of close-minded or outdated attitude. I’m not saying that there aren’t women out there who are just simply disinterested, or don’t care. That’s a tragedy, too. But I think it’s really important (and imo, can help young people) to acknowledge the possible complexities of this part of marriage, and not to dismiss it all so easily as just attitude-based problem alone. I think disinterest can sometimes be a symptom, not the problem.

    There’s my soapbox for the night. I’m always thrilled when women talk about how they love sex, because God designed us to enjoy it!! But let’s go easy on those who don’t because I think things are not always as they appear, especially with such a sensitive, private issue where most of the time, many details are not known, simply because it’s sex, and it’s marriage, and people don’t go around talking about their marital and sex lives freely in detail. Even with what little I have heard with the few situations that people have shared with me, I have seen enough to know that things are often layered, and often not simply a woman’s fault.

    And I’m not convinced all people KNOW why their sex lives are as they are.

  • agardner January 23, 2009, 6:08 am

    Just to clarify, I don’t necessarily think girls end up pregnant directly because they are naive about how quickly arousal happens for men – but I think it’s one of those things where one thing leads to another. And if you can stop that first step, you can stop the whole chain of events.

    -dancing too close
    -boy becomes aroused
    -both boy and girl are thinking “this feels kind of good, I think I’ll explore the issue”
    -heavy making out occurs, where even more arousal happens, more “this feels good, let’s see what else feels good”
    -boom

    I just know for me I was shocked when stuff like that happened and I was nowhere even in the ballpark of thinking we were doing anything “exciting”. But I, or both of us, stopped it right there because we did realize what it was and where it could lead.

  • facethemusic January 23, 2009, 7:59 am

    I know a young woman who was told that sex was bad before marriage and only bad girls wanted to have sex.

    This is EXACTLY what I thought as I was growing up. Sex is what ‘dirty people’ did. Of course, I had no idea at the time that that’s how I GOT here in the first place– and when I finally DID realize that, I was completely grossed out and disappointed in my parents. :shocked:

    My parents NEVER talked about sex with us, but the idea that sex itself is “bad and dirty” is just the IMPRESSION I got, and I honestly don’t remember why. (And I’m not talking about chastity lessons in YW, — this was way before YW– and naturally, they didn’t talk about sex AT ALL in primary.) So I sincerely didn’t know WHERE I got the impression from— UNTIL….

    Just a few weeks ago—my nine year old said something in the car a few weeks ago– now I can’t even remember what she said– but whatever it was, it was something along those same lines– that sex was bad. So, not wanting her to have the same misunderstandings I did, I quickly intervened and learned that she thought that sex was “kissing and being naked and stuff with a boy”. From that and a little further investigation, it was clear that she didn’t know about actual “intercourse”, just that people take their clothes off and get naked.
    AND the idea that sex was bad came from US turning the channel whenever a sex scene came on and saying things like “Why do they always have to stick a sex scene in?”

    So in an attempt to SHIELD our kids from illicit sex and the “public display/voyeurism” aspect of sex in the media, she got the impression that sex ITSELF is bad.

    We don’t realize how even in an attempt to do what’s RIGHT we have to be very careful!

  • Amy E January 23, 2009, 11:13 am

    Posted By: mlinfordAs to being squeamish about sex – honestly, Alison, I know so many people whose parents were not open about that topic. The openness about sex is pretty new, generationally speaking. I think it will take a generation or two for that to really be rooted out more at the general level. We can be grateful for more information more readily available, for more clear counsel and teachings, for more books and resources even for LDS folks that help.

    Quite possibly. This brings to mind the story my mom likes to tell about how she shocked her family, especially her grandmother, by using the word, “pregnant.” You just didn’t say it back then.

  • Ray January 23, 2009, 12:01 pm

    Wow, too many great thoughts to quote one-by-one.

    Face, thanks for that example of the TV and the message our kids get when we change the channel to avoid seeing anything sexual. I’m still going to do that, but it makes me think about what I need to SAY when I do.

  • Alison Moore Smith January 23, 2009, 3:06 pm

    Posted By: mlinford I also can’t help but wonder if a bishop might get a little different view

    I’m sure those in every varied role get a different view. I wasn’t arguing the point, just giving my personal perspective. But, to tell you the truth, I think it’s also possible that when people talk to a BISHOP they like to have as many reasons to explain their behavior as they can.

    OK, not just possible. I know people who lied outright to bishops. That surprised me more than the behaviors themselves, because I just can’t see that being beneficial to them.

    The older I get, the more complex humans are, and the more apt I am toassumethat there are almost always underlying issues with whatever is actually visible

    Sincerely, did this just come about with age? I think there are ALWAYS reasons why people do things. (What are “underlying issues,” if not reasons?) “Enjoying sex” or “enjoying making out” or “enjoying turning someone on” are just as much reasons as “my dad never loved me so I have to find it from someone else.” I understand the psychology and all. I’ve read the same stats. My only point was that in my anecdotal experience, almost all the kids I knew who partied (in whatever fashion) did it mostly because it was fun, it felt adventurous, they wanted to try things, they LIKED the guy/girl, they had raging hormones, etc.

    There was one couple in my high school (Mountain View in Orem) who were “going together.” She was a sophomore and he was a senior. Their parents didn’t approve because the girl wasn’t old enough to date and they were getting really wrapped up in each other to the exclusion of school, etc. Their solution? They intentionally got pregnant so they’d HAVE to get married. Brilliant and an obvious sign of maturity.

    No, I don’t know every detail about each of their families. But I know both families and I know siblings of both of them. I don’t know what the told the bishop, but I know what they told everyone else.

    As such, I think that talk of chastity is critical, but talk of the doctrine of eternal worth and God’s love may be even more critical in the long run.

    I agree.

    But I think we ought not to condemn those who come from homes where squeamish is all they knew.

    I’m not condemning anyone. I just don’t get it. What is to be all ickified about?

    FWIW, my mom was born in 1925 and my dad in 1929. They were very squeamish about sex–at least about TALKING about it. They never did. My mom gave me a short talk before school one morning in 6th grade to explain periods. The end. They also had a book called “A Baby is Born” that they put on the kids bookshelf in hopes we might run across it. I found both that book and a book in my dad’s office called “What to tell your children about sex.” I read them under my covers, thinking I was very sly–not realizing that was what they hoped I would do. (My mom admitted to this when I was in my 30’s.)

    My “sex ed” was my mom drawing ovaries and a uterus for me on paper and the public school “maturation talk” along with a couple of books and a flashlight under the sheets.

    I admit, I’m also puzzled that you equate women in such a simplistic way as to assume that they don’t like it because they are stuck in Victorian era thinking.

    Sorry for being unclear. I didn’t mean to be dismissal, but can see how it could be read that way. It was the squeamishness about TALKING ABOUT IT that I thought was left behind–or should have been. If women don’t like sex, I can see why talking about it in any positive sense would be a problem.

    And, for the record, yes, I’ve seen the things you asked about–although I think you probably wouldn’t have asked if you’d understood what I meant. Is that so?

    But as long as we’re addressing some of the issues, I’ve also seen women who want their husbands to act like women, who put down their husband’s sex drives, who use sex as a weapon to hurt their husbands, and who act disgusted and grossed out by the whole thing, who make up every excuse in the book to not be intimate, etc.

    Years ago I was at a stake RS conference that had various workshops. One was about keeping the romance alive. The teacher asked, “How do you let your husband know you’re ‘in the mood?'” One of my friends on the back row yelled out, “Why would you want to???”

    Yes, she was trying to be funny, but she wasn’t kidding. At least half the women nodded and/or said, “No kidding!” etc. I just can’t imagine what they would have thought if the men made similarly disparaging comments in priesthood meeting or something.

    And I’m not convinced all people KNOW why their sex lives are as they are.

    Speak for yourself, sister. :smile::wink:

  • Alison Moore Smith January 23, 2009, 3:11 pm

    Good points, all. As for the TV changing, that’s a great example. I hadn’t really thought about how that might have a negative impact and, since we do that all the time, wondered about why my older kids don’t have the “sex is dirty” idea. Maybe it’s just countered by what we say and do enough?

  • nanacarol January 23, 2009, 8:02 pm

    Wow, this has been a great discussion and you have hit the high points. I really loved what face said the impression we leave behind sometimes is worth rethinking. Impressions are worth a 1000 words. Good job all. Just wish this discussion had happened a few years back when I was raising mine. I would have done a better job. I had hoped I had explained it all but I guess I didn’t!

  • Naismith January 24, 2009, 2:15 pm

    In one of Brent Barlow’s books, I think “12 Traps,” he talks about compassion and trying-to-help as a reason for folks to fall into a sexual relationship. I didn’t believe it so much at the time I first read it, but since then I have seen that in action a few times.

    Perverse, yes, but not uncommon, apparently.

  • jennycherie January 24, 2009, 2:29 pm

    Posted By: Naismithtrying-to-help as a reason for folks to fall into a sexual relationship.

    That is an interesting thought – do you mean like – “oh, I’ll go out with this guy because he needs a boost” and then one thing leads to another? Or that the s ex happens in a “I want to make him/her happy so I’ll do it”?

  • Ray January 24, 2009, 5:48 pm

    There are quite a few people who are drawn to those who appear to need help, thinking they can “save” them. It happens sometimes, but it also leads the “helper” away from their intended ideal every bit as often.

  • Naismith January 24, 2009, 9:51 pm

    I found the book, and it is actually Barlow quoting from Carlfred Broderick’s COUPLES:
    “I am convinced that more people get themselves into the pain of infidelity through empathy, concern and compassion than through any base motive…With a little help from rationalization, the sympathy leads smoothly into tenderness, the tenderness to the need for privacy, the privacy to physical consolation and the consolation straight to bed.”

  • nanacarol January 24, 2009, 10:09 pm

    Good quote and I am sure it is more true than not!

  • Alison Moore Smith January 24, 2009, 10:31 pm

    LOL Right to the point, Naismith!

    I wonder how reasons for infidelity might differ from those who don’t have a spouse but get involved in sexual immorality. I know lots of the latter, but very few folks who committed adultery (and, yes, I realize that it’s not something you broadcast). Of those who were involved in infidelity, they were pretty extreme cases so not likely representative of much–unless all adultery is extreme. I’m sure it is to the injured party.

  • jennycherie January 24, 2009, 10:39 pm

    thanks for the quote – that definitely clears it up!

  • facethemusic January 24, 2009, 11:29 pm

    I think the quote is right on. It’s not uncommon for spouses to end up having an affair because they were discussing their marital problems to someone of the opposite sex and confiding in them, getting pity, “understanding”, etc ?

  • mlinford January 25, 2009, 9:51 am

    So, we could include that under the heading of ‘trying to give love in all the wrong ways/places’?

  • east-of-eden February 11, 2009, 7:22 am

    Totally late to the party here…

    From my personal experiences as a YSA, the pressure to be married or be with someone is so great that many women have very low self-esteem. They feel like if they can “just be with someone” and that sometimes means “anyone” they will somehow feel better about themselves or somehow be happier, or more accepted. So they, along with the men they are with, get themselves into bad situations that require time with the bishop.

    Somehow, I wish I could covey the notion that you, as a Latter-day Saint woman are great no matter what your socail status, that it’s not worth it to even tempt the line with physical feelings. I think too that people are way too casual about physical relationships. For example, when I was at BYU…everyone was after the NiCMO (non-commital make out). It was seen as no big deal to just make out with random people. Never mind that was the BYU version of casual sex, in my view anyway. Girls alot of the time, I think feel like, “If I do this with him, he will love me more.” It goes back to the whole issue of esteem. No one should feel that way, there are better men out there — men who would never expect anything physical from a date, or never encourage it, because they resepct the girl too much.

  • agardner February 11, 2009, 8:24 am

    Good to see you East!

  • Alison Moore Smith February 11, 2009, 11:21 am

    Posted By: east-of-edenSomehow, I wish I could covey the notion that you, as a Latter-day Saint woman are great no matter what your socail status

    :clap:

    Nice to see you, eden!

  • Alison Moore Smith February 11, 2009, 11:22 am

    Wait, there was something wrong with a NiCMO??? :wink::cool:

  • east-of-eden February 11, 2009, 4:24 pm

    Wait, there was something wrong with a NiCMO???

    I know you’re totally joking, but yes, there is something wrong with a NiCMO. Someone mentioned it up thread, but I don’t think people really realize how fast physical feelings and desires can be stirred up. And the older you get the harder it is to close pandora’s box…at least it was for me.

    I don’t know if any of you have seen the TV show 17 KIds and Counting about the Duggar family, but their oldest son recently was married. They take it to the extreme, no kissing even till you’re married,(which I think is a bit over the top, but hey it works for them) but I like how they present the whole subject of physical relations as something that is very special and sacred, and that is to be treated very seriously. Even their little kids understand that. I watched the Wedding Special and it was so refreshing to see them get married and know that they were doing things the right way…it was a testament to me that there are still good kids out there.

    Anyway….Should I start another post for what I’m going to say next? I don’t know….

    I should probably mention that in November I had a baby. A little boy, 8lbs 2oz, 19 3/4 in long. The pregnancy was a medical miracle, but froght with some interesting challenges. So, now life consists of chaning diapers, making bottles and figuring out if the crying means “I’m still hungry” or “I want the other one to hold me”.

  • agardner February 11, 2009, 5:06 pm

    East, that is awesome. Congratulations on your new little one!

  • Alison Moore Smith February 11, 2009, 5:56 pm

    East!!!!! Holy cow!!! I am so happy for you, I can’t even tell you. Congratulations on your miracle!!!!! Hugs!

  • mlinford February 11, 2009, 6:31 pm

    Somehow, I wish I could covey the notion that you, as a Latter-day Saint woman are great no matter what your socail status
    AMEN sista!

    Congrats on your baby, your miracle!

  • davidson February 11, 2009, 10:11 pm

    East, I am thrilled for you! I bet you are such a wonderful mom! What did you name your son, if you don’t mind my asking?

  • Michelle D February 13, 2009, 8:44 am

    Congrats, East! What a wonderful miracle!

  • emjomay February 16, 2009, 6:06 pm

    I’m new too, but I definitely have a lot to say on this subject! I was a young woman a few years ago, and then a YSA, and am now a newylwed and Laurel Advisor, so chastity has been on my mind for a while.

    From my experience, a lot of girls got into their situations because they wanted to prove their love to their boyfriend (and the plethora of reasons already laid out in this discussion). Obviously this love idea was misguided, but once they headed down that path they felt like they had to stay with that person because no upstanding RM would want “used goods” (to quote a friend). Soon they would become inactive because they couldn’t bear the guilt of their sins. They felt like they had to bear that burden because in order to repent they’d have to break up with the “only person who would ever love them”.

    As a YW leader, I’ve tried to impress upon my laurels that there is nothing they can do that would cause their Heavenly Father to lose faith in them–they just aren’t that powerful! I don’t want them to get into the horrible cycle of guilt and then feeling unworthy to pray. That cycle is destructive to anyone, especially to those with growing testimonies who are just about to go out on their own.

    From my own experience in the YW and YSA programs I remember talking about the law of chastity and how important it is, but we didn’t get into specifics. The biggest thing we talked about was making the decision not to have sex before you got into a bad situation. There are a lot of other important things I wish they’d covered: how you can get into that situation, how boys are affected, what to do if something DOES happen, etc. I really think that frankness, along with understanding the atonement would help a lot of young adults.

  • facethemusic February 16, 2009, 6:10 pm

    Hi emjomay!! Welcome to Mormon Momma!!
    I agree 100% with that last paragraph!! :thumbup:

  • Alison Moore Smith February 16, 2009, 6:54 pm

    emjomay, welcome! Glad to have you here!

  • mlinford February 16, 2009, 8:52 pm

    Welcome and I, too, agree with your comments, esp. about frankness.

  • Michelle D February 17, 2009, 1:14 pm

    I will just echo the last few comments – welcome, emjomay! I concur with the wish for frankness and covering a multitude of important issues related with chastity.

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Next post:

Previous post: