Sexual relations

I GET it! I FINALLY GET IT!! After nearly 40 years of questioning the why, I’ve got my answer. How subtly it appeared. I almost missed it!

Religious teachings were almost nonexistent while I was growing up. Even so, I was vaguely aware that sex outside of marriage was not accepted by the ‘older generation’.  And our generation was pushing our willful belief to the max, to the point of being thrown out of our parents’ homes.

Most of us didn’t see anything wrong with sexual relations because ‘we were in love’. Love is a good thing. Love is mutual. So what’s the harm?

I can tell you that I learned the hard way what the harm can be. But that pain is not today’s topic. I became pregnant and chose to live with a man in a common law situation. When that relationship fell apart, I moved away and soon afterwards became a Christian.

Reading the scriptures taught me the Lord’s commandments. I love to know the mind and will of the Lord; however I had the most difficult time understanding the laws of fornication.

I like to know the whys in life. For me, it makes the experience and knowledge that much richer. The assurance in my heart is much stronger making me feel invincible.

One day several friends were sitting around a table visiting. My ‘why’ was heavy on my mind and heart, and I blurted out. “What’s wrong with having sexual relations before marriage?”

Usually mild and sweet, my good friend, a man in his late thirties, harshly and abruptly slammed the table hard as he uttered each word a bit louder than necessary, “Because the Bible says so!”

Shocked at his violent response, I shut down. I’ve obeyed that commandment since, hoping that no one would ever ask me the “why”. And I do believe there are immeasurably sweet blessings for those who choose that high road.

In the process of planning this week’s post I pondered on the article in February’s Ensign by Tad R. Callister, preparing to parrot his seven awesome points. (It is such marvelous teaching that I actually considered making this a 7 part series.)integrity3 (2)

Most persons desiring success in life have learned or heard that acquiring integrity is of foremost importance. I believed myself to be quite intimate with the truths of integrity. I tended to think of integrity as a step above honesty. In fact, the online dictionary lists ‘dishonesty’ as an antonym for integrity. Today that antonym seems very inadequate. It is more – so much more than that.

My heart overflows with joy and gratitude for the mellow sweetness of understanding!  (See # 2 -emphasis mine)

Tad R. Callister’s Seven Principles of Integrity

1.  Integrity is the foundation of our character and all other virtues.

“If there are cracks in that foundation, then it will not support the weight of other Christlike attributes that must be built upon it. How can we be humble if we lack the integrity to acknowledge our own weaknesses? How can we develop charity for others if we are not totally honest in our dealings with them?… At the root of every virtue is integrity.”

2.  Integrity is not doing just that which is legal but that which is moral or Christlike.

“It may be legal to commit adultery, it may be legal to have premarital physical relations, it may be legal to gossip, but none of those actions is moral or Christlike. Integrity is not just adherence to the legal code; it is also adherence to the higher moral code.”

“Every young man has the moral duty to protect and preserve the virtue of his date, and every young woman has the reciprocal moral duty for her date. It is a test of his or her integrity. The man or woman who is striving for integrity will develop a resolve and a discipline that transcend even the powerful passions of physical emotions. It is that integrity to God and to self and to others that sustains them and empowers them even when Satan unleashes his arsenal of moral temptations upon them.”

3.  Integrity makes decisions based on eternal implications.

“Integrity is not short-sighted—it is not just a temporary change of behavior; it is a permanent change of nature.”

“For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble patient, full of love, wiling to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father” Mosiah 3:19

4.  Integrity is disclosing the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

“I believe the Lord can live with our weaknesses and mistakes, provided we demonstrate a desire and effort to repent. That is what the Atonement is all about. But I do not believe He can easily tolerate a deceitful heart or a lying tongue.”

5.  Integrity knows no alibis or excuses.

“There is something ennobling about the man or woman who admits his or her weaknesses and takes the blame square on without excuse or alibi. On multiple occasions Joseph Smith recorded his weaknesses in the Doctrine and Covenants for all to read. This tells us he was not perfect, but it also tells us he had nothing to hide—he was a man of integrity.”

Integrity

6.  Integrity is keeping our covenants and our commitments, even in times of inconvenience.

“Integrity is the courage to do right regardless of the consequences and the inconvenience.”

“One of the acid tests of our integrity is whether we keep the commitments and promises we have made or whether there are loopholes in our word.”

7.  Integrity is not governed by the presence of others. It is internally, not externally, driven.

“Would you watch pornography in front of your mother, your date, your spouse, or your bishop? If it is wrong in the presence of others, it is just as wrong in their absence.”

“May the integrity of our souls have a sign that reads in bold black letters “NOT FOR SALE AT ANY PRICE””.

Sir Thomas More

Sir Thomas More

A Man for all Seasons” is one of my all time favorite plays. Very soon-I intend to renew my acquaintance with Sir Thomas More-that man of absolute integrity. 🙂

 

Do you have an experience or thoughts you’d like to share with us? When you hear the word “integrity” what comes to your mind?