Dr. David H. Coombs, Marriage and Family Counselor, and Marva J. Coombs
The misuse of sexual passion causes significant heartaches. When we cross sensitive lines, we do so at a high price. Yet, when kept and expressed within the bounds the Lord has set, our sexuality "is a sacred and significant power...this power is good...it is the very key to our happiness" (Boyd K. Packer, Conference Report, April 1972,136).
As Latter-day Saints, we view sexuality as an eternal gift not limited to mortality. Brigham Young taught there is one eternal law of procreation and that God "created man, as we create our children" (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 11 p. 122). President Joseph F. Smith taught the same when he said, "Christ the Savior was born of woman and God, the Father, was born of woman. Adam, our earthly parent, was also born of woman into this world, the same as Jesus and you and I" (Deseret Evening News, Dec. 27, 1913, Sec. Ill, 7). We are, in the most literal sense, children of God; we are of the same race as the Gods.
These sacred powers continue in the resurrection for those who marry worthily in the temple and thus qualify for the highest degree of the Celestial Kingdom (Doctrine and Covenants 132:19). In effect, our Heavenly Parents have said to us in mortality: We will grant unto you the sacred power to have offspring that you may become partners with us to be co-creators of life. If you mis-use these sacred powers and fail to repent of their mis-use, then you will be resurrected to a lesser degree of glory and you will not have these powers restored to you; they shall be taken away. But, if you abide in our work, marry according to the priesthood and exercise these powers of procreation in righteousness, then in the resurrection you shall have them restored to you. You shall then possess the key to having eternal offspring and become as we are.
We can see why Satan wants to do all he can to degrade this sacred power. Most everything vulgar refers to sexuality. Satan does not have a body, therefore, does not enjoy the gift of sexuality. He does all he can to get us to mis-use our sexual powers. He then succeeds in keeping us from obtaining our goal of becoming heavenly parents, unless we repent.
Amazingly, in his opening address of the April 1974 General Conference, President Spencer W. Kimball, in his desire to teach that sex is not just for having babies, quoted Billy Graham as follows: “The Bible celebrates sex and its proper use, presenting it as God-created, God-ordained, God-blessed. It makes plain that God himself implanted the physical magnetism between the sexes for two reasons: for the propagation of the human race, and for the expression of the kind of love between man and wife that makes for true oneness. His command to the first man and woman to be ‘one flesh’ was as important as his command to ‘be fruitful and multiply’” (Reader’s Digest, May 1970, 118).
As stated above, sexual intimacy has two purposes, thus husbands and wives are encouraged to enjoy intimacy throughout their lives. During child-bearing years, couples will appropriately want to use contraceptives in order to wisely space their children. Without contraceptives, some couples could have babies every year. Abstinence during the wife’s fertile period is a form of birth control, but it has side effects: it puts stress on couples’ relationships, and because women’s cycles are not consistent, couples can experience unexpected pregnancies.
Many couples question how many children they should have; this is a private issue that is resolved between the Lord and them alone. Some LDS couples feel they should have as many children as health and circumstances permit. The Psalmist stated: “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord. . .happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them” (Psalms 127:3-5). Nevertheless, the size of the family is the couples’ decision.
Sexual intimacy legitimately belongs only to those who have made marital covenants. The command “Thou shalt not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14) still exists. The Ten Commandments have not been revoked. As Cecil B. DeMille said, “We cannot break the Ten Commandments. We can only break ourselves against them” (Old Testament Student Manual, 1981,127).
Sexual sin has serious consequences. The world portrays sexual promiscuity and recreational sex as normal and without prices or negative consequences. Those who accept this argument live in denial and will ultimately face prices such as heart break, single parenting, guilt, shame, disease, unwanted pregnancies, abortions, divorce, break-up of families, financial devastation, and the broken hearts of children. These are heavy prices.
Sexual purity (abstinence before marriage and complete fidelity in marriage) can be achieved and is well worth all efforts. To those who have mis-used their sexuality, the Lord offers complete forgiveness upon sincere repentance.
Once married, does anything go in the bedroom? No! Anything that offends the sensitivities of either spouse is not worth it. In regards to frequency, intimacy could occur too often or too little. Each couple has to negotiate the frequency and timing that works best for both of them in an environment of mutual respect that allows both to feel loved and adored.
Some want to introduce pornography into their love making with the mistaken idea that it can be used to increase passion. Pornography is poison under any circumstances. It pollutes normal expectations and effects trust in the relationship.
What about the use of vibrators? Vibrators can be useful to help some who cannot achieve orgasm easily or for couples who, for a variety of reasons, cannot have intercourse. For some, intercourse is painful without the aid of lubricants.
Those who have had negative teachings or painful experiences regarding their sexuality may question that sex is meant to be enjoyed. Note what one LDS woman said: “Sex should be sacred and a source of intense enjoyment. . . a complete union of husband and wife. . .But it is to be more than pleasure. We respect our bodies. The body is the temple of the spirit. But God created us to be sexual. I enjoy sex. It makes me happy” (Independent, Press-Telegram, Long Beach, CA, July 19, 1975 A10). Good books, counseling, and consulting physicians can help those with physical or psychological issues that prevent sexual enjoyment.
Men and women approach love making differently and are sexually aroused differently. LDS women should never be guilty of saying anything such as: “You know how men are.” or “He only has one thing on his mind.” We were created differently so we will work at learning to make one another happy.
Because of the bond our love-making creates in our marriages, learning to pleasure one another is worth working for. Remember, “This power is good. . . it is the very key to our happiness” (Ibid, Packer).