I would never claim to fully understand the Law of Chastity and its ancillary rules. However, I believe that Christ’s admonission in the Sermon on the Mount that “whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” is the source of our ideas of what is wrong and what is right. The reason I suggested the bishop was out of line was because he said “anything that arouses sexual feelings” That’s quite different than lust. You can kiss without lust, but it’s hard to imagine breast fondling without lust.
Either way, it’s a difficult thing to ask of a single adult. You should know, however, that the Church creates difficulties for those who DO fit the Mormon norm. We all have things we struggle with.]]>
Singles are not stupid. When the change was made from “sexual intercourse” to “sexual relations” it was obviously a way to prohibit anything in the “gray areas”, often at a bishop’s discretion. If the bishop of a (single’s) ward said that a ward member should confess to masturbation, and the member disrespects his position despite belief in his authority, that causes major dissonance, or at very least undermines the bishop’s role.
Obviously, even kissing can be sexual (i.e. a “sexual relation”. We who grew up under President Kimball’s insistence that kisses between unmarried people should be like that of a “mother to a son” have a lot of anger and sexual issues engendered by the dear of Church itself.
Are Rusty and Steve admitting that everything up until intercourse is okay for singles? If that’s what you’re saying, nominate yourselves for prophet and first counselor, because no one else is telling the singles these things. Every singles ward I’ve been a member of has had these “chastity talks” years or twice a year–UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE STAKE PRESIDENCY–in which the leadership insists that older singles are under the same rules as teenagers except for the group dating part. The only way to tell the bishop he’s full of it and to take back self respect is to stop being treated like a child and stop going going to church since that’s where the juvenile treatment occurs.
no, it’s not some “rogue bishop” that made me “inactive.” It’s the refusal of the church to acksnowledge that it creates difficulties for those who don’t fit the Mormon norm, including singles of all ages who are expected to be asexual.]]>
However, I imagine there were other issues keeping you from returning to church, which is truly sad (as dumb as some bishops are, I hope you would be able to overlook a stray comment by a well-meaning bishop, knowing that he’s not the Church). Hopefully you can see, by reading all these blogs, that we’re all just people trying to do what’s right and we screw up and say dumb things sometimes. Some of us more than others.]]>
He distinctly said, further, “anyone who masturbates should make an appointment to see me.”
I haven’t been back to church since.]]>
Yes, to answer your question, the sexual conduct standard was definitely (and I have to believe intentionally) raised circa 1990. In my generation, unmarried endowed members would generally get a free pass at giving or receiving climax by means short of intercourse if the relationship had terminated or there was a commitment of marriage. And, even in the case of completely unrepentant and ongoing oral sex in a casual relationship, disciple would have been short of excommunication.
However, to those who might speculate if the present standard might have prevented someone like myself completely falling off the LofC cliff before marriage, I sincerely doubt it.]]>
Anyway, all of this reminds me of when I was 12 or so and I’d get restricted and my friends would come to the window and say “your parents didn’t say your head couldn’t come out, did they?”
And the next thing you know I’d be outside playing in the rain and laughing it up.
And after that would be the yelling and the “I can’t believe…” speech. Usually wrapped in the “didn’t we teach you better” speech.
Which usually ended in me being sent to my room, grounded for longer.
But without TV. Or books. Or Music.
I think I folded clothes for 2 weeks solid once. Blech.]]>