What is the Law of Chastity?

“Chastity” is something that has no one definition. Many see it as being synonymous with abstinence before marriage. However, the shakers believe that any sex, regardless of marital status, violates the law of chastity. Catholics believe that contraception violates the law of chastity.

The LDS church used to include these in their definition of the Law of Chastity:

Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so.

-Brigham Young

Since the founding of the Roman empire monogamy has prevailed more extensively than in times previous to that. The founders of that ancient empire were robbers and women stealers, and made laws favoring monogamy in consequence of the scarcity of women among them, and hence this monogamic system which now prevails throughout all Christendom, and which has been so fruitful a source of prostitution and whoredom throughout all the Christian monogamic cities of the Old and New World, until rottenness and decay are at the root of their institutions both national and religious.

-Brigham Young

The LDS church today in full describes the Law of Chastity as:

Physical intimacy between husband and wife is a beautiful and sacred part of God’s plan for His children. It is an expression of love within marriage and allows husband and wife to participate in the creation of life. God has commanded that this sacred power be expressed only between a man and a woman who are legally married. The law of chastity applies to both men and women. It includes strict abstinence from sexual relations before marriage and complete fidelity and loyalty to one’s spouse after marriage.

The law of chastity requires that sexual relations be reserved for marriage between a man and a woman.

In addition to reserving sexual intimacy for marriage, we obey the law of chastity by controlling our thoughts, words, and actions. Jesus Christ taught,”Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: but I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matthew 5:27–28)

I am a huge proponent of personal revelation. None of these definitions resonate with me, so i decided to hammer it out for myself.

At it’s core sex has 2 purposes: pleasure and reproduction.

Repoduction should never be taken lightly. Bringing another soul into the world is a huge, personal, and lifetime responsibility. The default should not be that you will take on that responsibility becasue not everyone wants to or can. You can find beautiful and fulfilling meaning outside of the context of parenthood.

Sex isn’t strictly about reproduction, though. It can be for having a fun and wild night, and then you just move on with life. You can do it by yourself. Strangers do it. Friends do it. Coworkers do it. Romantic partners do it. People like sex! Its just a fact of life and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. However, when having fun, you need to be safe. You ALWAYS need to get consent and listen to your partner. Unsafe sex can also lead to unwanted reproduction and disease. Its important to protect yourself and your sexual partners. Get STD tested, be open about any STDs you have when becoming sexually intimate, and let your partner know if you are at risk for accidental reproduction.

However, sex can also be one of the most fulfilling, soul-bonding experiences that two people can have together. There’s not many things that can bond people together like sex can. Intimate partners should create ground rules for their specific relationship, so they can know how to prevent hurt feelings. For most this includes monogamy, for for some it doesn’t. There is nothing wrong if people want to share this with multiple people. That connection is founded upon communication, honesty, and trust. Violating those is what can lead to hurt feelings.

My own personal definition of keeping the Law of Chastity includes:

  1. Be prepared for the repercussions of reproduction
  2. Practice safe sex
  3. Be honest and communicative with your partners

If you don’t practice that or prevent others from practicing that, IMO, you have broken the Law of Chastity.

What do you guys think?