marriage bed symbol

marriage bed symbol

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

LDS Doctrine or Cultural Myth? Sex is for making children only

Is sex in marriage for procreation only, and doesn’t need to be continued once all your children are born?

Answer: Cultural Myth

I’ve come across many LDS members who have let their sex life die out of neglect, or purposefully stamped it out, after their children were born. This is a serious mistake to make, and is not supported by the doctrine of the apostles and prophets, old or new.

“It is the destiny of men and women to join together to make eternal family units. In the context of lawful marriage, the intimacy of sexual relations is right and divinely approved. There is nothing unholy or degrading about sexuality in itself, for by that means men and women join in the process of creation and in an expression of love.”~ Spencer W. Kimball, The Lord’s Plan for Men and Women, Ensign, Oct. 1974, emphasis added

“Physical intimacy between husband and wife is beautiful and sacred. It is ordained of God for the creation of children and for the expression of love between husband and wife. God has commanded that sexual intimacy be reserved for marriage.”~Sexual Purity," For the Strength of Youth: Fulfilling Our Duty to God, (2001), emphasis added

The belief that sex is for procreation only, and should or will someday be eradicated entirely originates with the early Catholic beliefs that:

  • the body is evil
  • the day will come that we will be freed from our body and all these earthly desires, and
  • we must discipline ourselves to not give in to any bodily desires under any circumstances if we are to obtain perfection.
These are not LDS doctrine. (For more information, see my article on “The Sexual Spectrum”)

Important as the function of procreation in marriage is, sex in marriage is good for much more than having children. It helps us (and peripherally, our children and grandchildren) to become more like our Heavenly Father.

“The lawful association of the sexes is ordained of God, not only for the sole means of race perpetuation, but for the development of the higher faculties and nobler traits of human nature, which the love-inspired companionship of man and woman alone can insure.” – Joseph F. Smith, as quoted in The Eternal Marriage Student Manual, p. 139, emphasis added

We don’t get the benefits of eternal marriage by simply pretending to be happily married while our husband or wife is miserable because they’re not getting any sexual intimacy. We must choose the path of happiness every day and go to work on it (2 Nephi 5:27). This includes sex with our spouse – for all of our married life; not just during the childbearing years.


Daniel di Falco said...

My wife and I are both converts from our teen years and sex was never as taboo as it is among our LDS friends. It has always seemed to us that most of our friends treat it as taboo and are raised always learning that sex and petting and those forms of intimacy are sinful. Mainly because there is such a push from Church programs to teach the youth that message. However there needs to be a balance that the other side of the coin be that those things need to be encouraged once a couple is married. I had never heard that message until I was about to get married from my bishop. I hardly think that after years of instruction that something is wrong or sinful that one conversation will erase that instruction. Instead it should be taught that sex and all those other forms of intimacy are good and ordained of god. But that there is no equivalent to the right time, right place, and with the right authority.

MrShorty said...

Coach Sam:

This post came across your facebook feed the other day, and it intrigued me. I am reminded of an article I read a few months ago: I brought this topic up to a conservative LDS community on the internet to discuss the relationship between sexual "needs" (if sex is a need) and sexual "obligation" (if sex can even be considered an obligation). It was interesting how many comments from conservative LDS denied that sex was any kind of need and did not want to accept that a spouse had any kind of sexual obligations (other than not commiting adultery, obviously).

From your concluding statement here, and other statements you make (your sexless marriage and the sacrament post, for example), It seems that you believe that spouses have at least some level of obligation to engage and reach out to each other sexually. You tend to use these kind of "Sex is allowed in marriage" statements to support that position. My question is, -- do you really think that the LDS Church (institution) and/or our general authorities believe this? Is it really correct to extrapolate "sex is allowed in marriage" to "you should have sex in marriage"? It seems to me that, as a church and community, we are rather uncomfortable with that extrapolation.