Skip to content

Mormonism LIVE: 109: The LDS “Mormon” Church’s Teachings on Sex

Bill and RFM take a deep look at how sex and sexuality were presented within the LDS Church over the last 200 years. What was taboo and sin and to what degree did Leaders impose what could and could not go on the Bedroom.


A.) BOM teaching – Moroni 9:9

  1. implemented into Gospel Principles (David O McKay, Heber J Grant, Spencer W Kimball)
    1. Restated by Marion G Romney
    2. Then by Mark E Petersen (Bill has soundbite)
  2. And then the Church seems to distance itself from the teaching …. Sort of
    1. Still in scriptures
    2. No documented way for believers to grasp they are distancing themselves from it.
    3. Elizabeth Smart – led to the distancing
  3. Neil Anderson (Bill has soundbite.  But video is here )
    1. Doctrine is taught by all 15 members of the First Presidency and Q of the 12.
      1. I would challenge believers to show me where I can find any teaching that has been held up and taught by all 15 of the top leadership. 
      2. That list would be so small that there should be no barrier to listing them because if 14 men taught it and one didn’t by this standard it is not Doctrine (Remember God is not a God of Confusion)
      3. So I am left to assume Neil meant that so long as it is taught generally among the Leaders?
      4. Was this teaching in its day taught generally among the leaders?  YES
    2. It is not hidden in an obscure paragraph of one talk.
      1. Was this hidden in an obscure paragraph of one talk?  NO
      2. It (That Virtue and chastity can be taken from you by an abusive act committed against you and that one is better off dead than having lost their virtue) was taught
        1. By President, Prophet, seer and Revelator David O McKay
        2. By President, Prophet, seer and Revelator Heber J Grant
        3. Marion G Romney Counselor in the First Presidency  (Prophet Seer and Revelator)
        4. By President, Prophet, seer, and Revelator Spencer W Kimball
        5. By Apostle Mark E Petersen (Prophet Seer and Revelator)
        6. In the past correlated curriculum in Gospel Principles
        7. In the Book of Mormon one of the standard works
      3. This is the very reason for which old white men claiming to be moral authorities simply aren’t.  Because not only do they collectively struggle to grasp what healthy morality is and seem to collectively follow each other down the path of perpetuating abusive and unhealthy ideas, but because they also can’t define doctrine in any way that is actually useful to the Church. BOOM (Sound Effect)


A.) Unholy & Unnatural Act

  1. THE OLD DEFINITION OF CHASTITY (Old Handbook 21.4.5 Chastity and Fidelity)  “The Lord’s law of chastity is abstinence from sexual relations outside of lawful marriage and fidelity within marriage. Sexual relations are proper only between a man and a woman who are legally and lawfully wedded as husband and wife. Adultery, fornication, homosexual or lesbian relations, and every other unholy, unnatural, or impure practice are sinful. Members who violate the Lord’s law of chastity or who influence others to do so are subject to Church discipline.”
  2. THE NEW DEFINITION OF CHASTITY  – The Lord’s law of chastity is: Abstinence from sexual relations outside of a legal marriage between a man and a woman. Fidelity within marriage.
    1. Not in Gospel Principles either
    2. But Still on the Church’s site in other forms
      1. Teachings of President Kimball
      2. Guide to the Scriptures
      3. Intimacy in Marriage
        1. President Kimball seemingly contradicting himself as he is the one who took up this cause

B.) Oral Sexcapades

Spencer W. Kimball and the First Presidency naming it in official letter

  1. Retracting it in a second letter

BIRTH CONTROL  (I want to be extremely brief here.  I am going to present these quotes in passing)


  1. . . . there is a certain class of Latter-day Saints that have come to think as the gentile world does—that it is not stylish, not nice to have large families; and therefore we find, much to our sorrow, that in some instances steps are being taken “to prevent these spirits being tabernacled by them. .. . Apostle Abraham O. Woodruff, 1900
  2. Speaking about Birth Control and Abortion Joseph F Smith said “Possibly no greater sin could be committed by the people who have embraced this Gospel than to prevent or to destroy life in the manner indicated.”
  3. The Church statistical report for 1901 (possibly the earliest reporting a Church birth rate). “There is something wrong,” reported the Juvenile Instructor, “either with ourselves or with our statistics—possibly with both; but we trust it is with the statistics, as that is the lesser evil.” Not only had the marriage rate declined, but “our average birth rate, if we can believe our statistical reports, is far too low. It is below that of the nations of modern Christendom to whose birth rate we have been able to obtain access. Ours, as reported, is a little over thirty-five per annum in each thousand souls.”54 The reaction to this discovery was predictable. A charge was given to review the statistics and to keep more accurate records, and markedly increased attention was given in Church discourses and publications to the obligation to have large families. Throughout the remainder of the decade, the Saints were enjoined to “be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth,” and to abandon the “tendency to postpone the responsibilities [of marriage] until middle life.” Bachelorhood and “wilfully motherless wives” came under particular attack, while the mothers of large families were singled out for special recognition.The mothers of Zion (or the statisticians) responded to the call. Within a decade, the Church could announce a birthrate of 38 per thousand, up ten percent. Although not as high as desired, there was still room for considerable pride that this was “the highest birth-rate in the world, as far as available statistics show.”56 (By comparison, the national rate was nearly ten per thousand lower. At these rates, a representative Mormon mother would average nearly five children, while her non-Mormon counterpart would be closer to 31/2.
  4. Joseph Fielding Smith – “. . . those who attempt to pervert the ways of the Lord, and to prevent their offspring from coming into the world . . . are guilty of one of the most heinous crimes in the category. There is no promise of eternal salvation and exaltation for such as they. . . “
  5. Joseph F Smith “. . . I regret, I think it is a crying evil, that there should exist a sentiment or a feeling among any members of the Church to curtail the birth of their children. I think that is a crime whenever it occurs, where husband and wife are in possession of health and vigor and are free from impurities that would be entailed upon their posterity. I believe that where people undertake to curtail or prevent the birth of their children that they are going to reap disappointment by and by. I have no hesitancy in saying that I believe this is one of the greatest crimes in the world today, this evil practice. . . .”
  6. David O McKay – “The viewpoint of the Church,” he wrote on another occasion, “.. . is that the use of artificial preventatives is strictly out of line, as long as the health of the wife is not seriously impaired by childbearing.”
  7. 1976 Handbook of Instruction (as one who is aware that the old handbooks exist out there on the internet, I am confident that Birth Control was not discussed in the handbook earlier and the position was softened in later editions)(Spencer Kimball President) –   (Close Up)
  8. Bruce R McConkie – Mormon Doctrine – “”Those who practice birth control—the regulation of births in a family by the employment of artificial means or contraceptives to prevent conception—are running counter to the foreordained plan of the Almighty. They are in rebellion against God and are guilty of gross wickedness.”
    1. Give the Church a compliment here.  Express that on this issue they have been moderately healthy and outside of some really early quotes and the 1976 Handbook anomaly they have been moderate and credit should be given to Bruce R McConkie and Mormon Doctrine for the proliferation of the unhealthy view that associated Birth Control with wickedness and somewhat unredeemable forgiveness


  1. The decision of how many children to have and when to have them is a private matter for the husband and wife.
  2. Decisions about birth control and the consequences of those decisions rest solely with each married couple. Elective abortion as a method of birth control, however, is contrary to the commandments of God.

INTERRACIAL MARRIAGE (Black African Descent Only) AS SIN

A.) Early Teachings against Inter-racial Marriage

  1. Brigham Young
    1. 1852 Speech on Slavery
      1. “Let this Church which is called the kingdom of God on the earth; we will summons the first presidency, the twelve, the high counsel, the Bishoprick, and all the elders of Israel, suppose we summons them to appear here, and here declare that it is right to mingle our seed, with the black race of Cain, that they shall come in with with us and be partakers with us of all the blessings God has given to us. On that very day, and hour we should do so, the priesthood is taken from this Church and kingdom and God leaves us to our fate. The moment we consent to mingle with the seed of Cain the Church must go to destruction,–we should receive the curse which has been placed upon the seed of Cain, and never more be numbered with the children of Adam who are heirs to the priesthood until that curse be removed.” –   Is this a false Prophesy or Was the Priesthood taken from the Church?
        1. In light of “Today, the Church disavows the theories advanced in the past that black skin is a sign of divine disfavor or curse, or that it reflects unrighteous actions in a premortal life; that mixed-race marriages are a sin; or that blacks or people of any other race or ethnicity are inferior in any way to anyone else. Church leaders today unequivocally condemn all racism, past and present, in any form.”
    2. “If they [the couple and child] were far away from the Gentiles [non-Mormons] they wo[ul]d all have to be killed[.] [W]hen they mingle seed it is death to all. If a black man & white woman come to you & demand baptism can you deny them? [T]he law is their seed shall not be amalg[a]mated. Mulattoes are like mules[,] they can’t have the children, but if they will be Eunuchs for the Kingdom of God’s Heaven’s sake they may have a place in the Temple.”
    3. “In the priesthood I will tell you what it will do. Where the children of God to mingle there seed with the seed of Cain it would not only bring the curse of being deprived of the power of the priesthood upon themselves but the entail it upon their children after them, and they cannot get rid of it. If a man in an unguarded moment should commit such a transgression, if he would walk up and say cut off my head, and kill man woman and child it would do a great deal towards atoneing for the sin. Would this be to curse them? no it would be a blessing to them. -it would do them good that they might be saved with their Bren. A man would shuder should they here us take about killing folk, but it is one of the greatest blessings to some to kill them, allthough the true principles of it are not understood.”

B.) People were punished for inter-racial marriage up to the 1960’s

  1. Under Wilford Woordruff – “In the late 1800s at least two white members were denied church ordinances after they had married a black person. In 1895, a white woman was denied a temple sealing to her white husband because she had previously married a black man, even though she had divorced him.[60]: 78–79  First Presidency member George Q. Cannon argued that allowing her access to the temple would not be fair to her two daughters, whom she’d had with her former husband.[61]: 78 [60]: 37 [62] Another white man was denied the priesthood in 1897 because he had married a black woman, though, then senior apostle Lorenzo Snow stated that the man would be eligible if he divorced his wife and married a white woman.[60]: 79, 83  Additionally, Cannon recorded in his journal having stated in 1881 that when it came to the important question of interracial marriage, Mormons believed against “intermarriage with inferior races, particularly the negro.”

  2. [1966], President McKay addressed a similar issue regarding a woman who had been to the temple and subsequently married a black man. The woman was told by her local Church leader ‘that no further Temple visits would be allowed her, and that[,] because of her marriage to a Negro[,] her Temple endowments are ineffective.’ McKay overruled the invalidation of her endowments but did prevent her from visiting the temple again. – DOCUMENTATION 1  & DOCUMENTATION 2

C.) Inter-racial Marriage still recommended against

  1. Lesson 31 (Aaronic Priesthood Manual)  – Choosing an Eternal Companion – “We recommend that people marry those who are of the same racial background generally, and of somewhat the same economic and social and educational background (some of those are not an absolute necessity, but preferred), and above all, the same religious background, without question” (“Marriage and Divorce,” in 1976 Devotional Speeches of the Year [Provo: Brigham Young University Press, 1977], p. 144).”
  2. ETERNAL MARRIAGE STUDENT MANUAL PDF Page 180 but strangely removed from Page 199 where the quote is only partially repeated “We are grateful that this one survey reveals that about 90 percent of the temple marriages hold fast. Because of this, we recommend that people marry those who are of the same racial background generally, and of somewhat the same economic and social and educational background (some of those are not an absolute necessity, but preferred), and above all, the same religious background, without question.”
  3. Weird Topic with nothing of substance   (Quote haven’t hidden anything)


A.) Boyd K Packer “To Young Men Only”

B.) Spencer W. Kimball – Use Mormon Think to show the litany of quotes

C.) Mark E Petersen – Weirdest correlated talk ever in the Church

“First counselor George A. Smith tells the Salt Lake School of the Prophets about “the evil of Masturbation”  /  (September) Branch presidents at the Missionary Training Center receive a 21-point handout to help “both male and female” missionaries avoid masturbation. Point 19: “In very severe cases it may be necessary to tie a hand to the bed frame with a tie in order that the habit of masturbating in a semi-sleep condition can be broken. This can also be accomplished by wearing several layers of clothing which would be difficult to remove while half asleep.” In a May 1995 article about masturbation, the national magazine ‘Details’ publishes seventeen of these recommendations and identifies Apostle Mark E. Petersen as the suthor of ‘Steps in Overcoming Masturbation: A Guide To Self-Control.’ In 1996, a spokesman at LDS headquarters denies that Elder Petersen authored this document and denies it was ever officially distributed.”

  1. First I just have to say, any youth given this talk to curb their “self abuse” of their “little factory” was almost assuredly thinking more often about masturbation after reading this and inevitably touching themself more not less.
  2. #13 – Arise immediately in the mornings. Do not lie in bed awake, no matter what time of day it is. Get up and do something. Start each day with an enthusiastic activity.Keep your bladder empty. Refrain from drinking large amounts of fluids before retiring.Reduce the amount of spices and condiments in your food. Eat as lightly as possible at night. Wear pajamas that are difficult to open, yet loose and not binding.  Avoid people, situations, pictures or reading materials that might create sexual excitement. It is sometimes helpful to have a physical object to use in overcoming this problem. A Book of Mormon, firmly held in hand, even in bed at night has proven helpful in extreme cases.  In very severe cases it may be necessary to tie a hand to the bed frame with a tie in order that the habit of masturbating in a semi-sleep condition can be broken. This can also be accomplished by wearing several layers of clothing which would be difficult to remove while half asleep.

D.) Stance has softened in recent years AND I EXPECT SUCH TO CONTINUE

  1. Ensign – “How, When, and Why: Talking to Your Children about Sexuality”
    1. “It is important for parents to find a balance between helping children understand the why behind God’s commandment that sexual behavior occur within a marriage relationship, while also not reacting with disgust or anger when children engage in self-touching or youth admit to masturbating.”
  2. Most recent Handbook says Masturbation not grounds for formal discipline


A.) President Joseph F. Smith stated – [T]he Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has formulated no special rules governing the associations of married people. . . . [A]s to their mutual conduct in the marital relation, so far as sexual intercourse is concerned, they are left entirely free. – Joseph F. Smith To Frank S. Bellings, FEB. 17, 1905.

B.) President Joseph Fielding Smith stated when asked a similar question by an anonymous female member “The Brethren feel that the question which you raise is such as should be answered by you and your husband and in accordance with your own convictions. The Church has never believed it necessary to issue instructions pertaining to intimate relations between husband and wife.” – Joseph Anderson – Secretary to the 1st Presidency to L.A. Mar 23 1971 

C.) Others Statements- “[S]exual relations within marriage are divinely approved not only for the purpose of procreation, but also as a means of expressing love and strengthening emotional and spiritual bonds between husband and wife.”

D.) “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 within marriage.”





Bill’s Fireside Presentation on Sexuality while he was a sitting Bishop – (Please forgive the parts that still convey deeply unhealthy ideas (especially the section on homosexuality & Pornography) and recognize that sections (Those ones in particular) could use some updating. I gave this fireside working within a faithful framing of the Church and hence it, while better than the Church generally, still contains unhealthy ideas.) 


1 thought on “Mormonism LIVE: 109: The LDS “Mormon” Church’s Teachings on Sex”

  1. Let’s talk about Joseph Smit and sexual standards in the current church. Is it possible for you to get a speaker who is an expert in sex, addictions and sex predators who could come and speak about Joseph smith behaviors

    is the church following what Joseph Smith would approve of ?? take a look at Joseph Smith’s life . he did all the things the church says are wrong . knowing Joseph Smith’s sex, addictions, and predator actions.

    masturbation and pornography would have been fine with him.
    and sex outside of marriage. In fact, he had many sexual relationships outside of marriage
    Starting with Fanny And I was his only legal one. He tried to create a legal ceremony, but it was a sham ceremony just so he could convince everybody women and teens included that his polygamist affairs were legal

    Is the church trying to overcompensate for Joseph Smith unlimited and all encompassing sexual behaviors and sins

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.