In the Book of Exodus, God gave Moses ten commandments, detailing the least that is required of us to be worthy of our place in Heaven. The seventh commandment might appear to us to be out dated—out of touch the reality of modern day life.
The seventh commandment is the law of chastity. That commandments teaches that we must practice chastity before marriage and fidelity afterward. However, we have all heard renowned modern-day psychologists say that such old fashioned standards as chastity, virtue and marriage aren’t relevant today and that it’s impossible to live up to such standards
Don’t believe it.
The value of virtue and chastity are perhaps more relevant today than they have ever been. In his talk, “What Is Real Love and Happiness?,” Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (or Mormons,) taught six ways that being chaste in todays world can bring you closer to happiness in this and in the world to come (New Era, Jun 1992, 4.)
1. When you choose to follow the Lords’ commandments, you will be in harmony with Him. Your relationship with Him will be preserved and enriched, helping you to retain his Spirit.
When your thoughts are virtuous, your confidence will “wax strong in the presence of God” (D&C 121:45.)
2. You will discover and retain the blessing of deserved self-esteem. By understanding your own worth, you will be able to truly love your neighbor. “Let every man esteem his brother as himself” (D&C 38:24.)
3. Sin deadens our senses. In these last days, the capacity of man to love will “wax cold” because of iniquity (see Matt. 24:12.)
4. You will be free from the heavy burden of guilt. “Despair cometh because of iniquity” (Moro. 10:22.) Free from guilt, you are not turned inward with self-pity.
5. You will be kept from a very real harm. Reports indicate that “as many as 43 million Americans may have acquired incurable sexually transmitted viral infections” (Deseret News, 7 Oct. 1991, p. 7A).
Such diseases, including AIDS, make clear medically what has always been clear spiritually: the only safe pattern of physical affection is within the bounds of marriage—especially a marriage of two consistent commandment keepers. Abstinence from sin is better than moderation or even repentance. Prevention is better than any cure!
6. You will develop a personal wholeness and serenity, which will greatly bless you in both courtship and marriage and in all of your life. The one you choose to love will be respected by you as an individual and not merely as an object of physical attraction and gratification. Your relationship can be as deep, rich, and broad as eternity.
I can truly testify, from my own personal experience, that “despair cometh because of iniquity” (Moro. 10:22.) There is no downside to choosing the right.
Choose the right, keep yourself clean. The Book of Mormon tells of a people who all strove to stay clean before God: “And surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God” (4 Ne. 1:16.)
I pray that you and I can also be examples of righteous living and in doing so, obtain a happiness that fills our hearts, now and forever.