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Sunday, September 29, 2013

God's Plan For Sex

What do you think of?

Do you think... 
PORNOGRAPHY IS POISON. Pornography, with its sleazy filth, sweeps over the earth like a horrible, engulfing tide. It is poison. Do not watch it or read it. It will destroy you if you do. It will take from you your self-respect. It will rob you of a sense of the beauties of life. It will tear you down and pull you into a slough of evil thoughts and possibly of evil actions. Stay away from it. Shun it as you would a foul disease, for it is just as deadly” (Gordon B. Hinckley, “Some Thoughts on Temples, Retention of Converts, and Missionary Service,” Ensign, Nov. 1997, 51).
(I realize this particular quote is about pornography... but let's not forget pornography is about sex.)

Or how about this one:

UNCHASTITY NEXT TO MURDER. In the category of sins, the Book of Mormon places unchastity next to murder. (See Alma 39:5.) As Alma states, “Now … I would that ye should repent and forsake your sins, and go no more after the lusts of your eyes, … for except ye do this ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.” (Alma 39:9.) (Cleansing the Inner Vessel, Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, May 1986)
 Or this one:
INTENTIONAL CONTACT FORBIDDEN BY GOD. Any sexual intimacy outside of the bonds of marriage—I mean any intentional contact with the sacred, private parts of another’s body, with or without clothingis a sin and is forbidden by God” (Richard G. Scott, in Conference Report, Oct. 1994, 51; or Ensign, Making the Right Choices, Nov. 1994, 38).
Or this one from the For The Strength of Youth:
DO NOT AROUSE SEXUAL FEELINGS. Never do anything that could lead to sexual transgression. ... Before marriage, do not participate in passionate kissing, lie on top of another person, or touch the private, sacred parts of another person’s body, with or without clothing. Do not do anything else that arouses sexual feelings. Do not arouse those emotions in your own body. (Sexual Purity, For The Strength of Youth) 
Of course, these statements are 100% true.
However, these  and similar statements focus ONLY on
ONE aspect of sexual relations.
-spiritual consequences of misusing sex-

It's no wonder many of us view

As members of the Church, in our effort to promote sexual
abstinence before marriage and faithfulness after marriage we tend
to focus on this one aspect of sexual relations:

There is eternal harm to teenagers (and adults) walking around with boiling hormones believing:
-there is shame and embarrassment talking about sex.
-only bad people think about sex.
-if I enjoy sex therefore, I am evil.
-sex is dirty.
-sex is "carnal, sensual and devilish."

Oh the stories I could tell about strange believes religious persons have about sexual relations. ...

In my opinion, the world focusing on the physical body -sexual pleasure- aspect and we in the Church, focusing on the spiritual aspect  -particularly the negative aspects- causes a variety of problems including - increased pornography problems for our males and for our females -making the producer of "Magic Mike" and the author of "50 Shades of Grey" very very rich!

Hugh B. Brown sums up my thoughts: 
Sex is not an unmentionable human misfortune, and certainly it should not be regarded as a sordid but necessary part of marriage. There is no excuse for approaching this most intimate relationship in life without true knowledge of its meaning and its high purpose. (P. 76.) Thousands of young people come to the marriage altar almost illiterate insofar as this basic and fundamental function [of sex] is concerned. The sex instinct is not something which we need to fear or be ashamed of. It is God-given and has a high and holy purpose. (P. 73.)  (You and Your Marriage, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1960)

The problem still exists in 2013. This "illiteracy," includes not only what they don't know, but also what they have learned or come to believe about sex.

The Problem: "SEXUAL FRAGMENTATION" -Satan's tool

The spirit and the body are the soul of man” (D&C 88:15); hence there are spiritual and physical aspects of sexuality. Remember "Wherefore, verily I say unto you that ALL THINGS unto me are spiritual..."  (D&C 29:34) that include sexual relations.

There is a spiritual aspect of sexual relations---
We in the Church tend to emphasize this aspect.
There is a physical aspect of sexual relations...
We in the World (particularly with pornography) tend to emphasize this aspect.
Thus, creating "fragmentation" of sexual relations.

Note: "Fragmentation"- dividing, separating, breaking up of - the spiritual and physical aspects of sexual relations.           

Talking about the danger of "fragmentation" of sexual relations Jeffrey Holland warns us,
"...and to give only part (the physical part) of that which cannot be followed with the gift of your whole heart and your whole life and your whole self  (the spiritual part) is its own form of emotional Russian roulette. If you persist in sharing part without the whole, ..., in giving parts and pieces and inflamed fragments only, you run the terrible risk of such spiritual, psychic damage that you may undermine both your physical intimacy and your wholehearted devotion to a truer, later love. " (Of Souls, Symbols and Sacraments, Jeffrey R. Holland, BYU Devotional 1988)
As a psychologist who specializes in sex (That sounds weird when I see it written) a red flag suggesting a need for "sex-specific treatment" is - casual sex, sex without a relationship-the spirit (mind and heart) is not involved. (This can be a problem even with couples "happily" married in the temple!)

This Mormon Channel interview What’s the biggest difference between what the world teaches and what the gospel teaches about sexuality? explains more about sexual fragmentation. You only need to watch the first 3 minutes.... it's worth it.

We need to honestly communicate the awesomeness of God’s gift of marital sex-both spiritual and physical. The sexual relationship in marriage was created by God with the intent of giving intense physical pleasure for both husbands and wives in marriage. (If your sexual relations is not doing this-its time to talk with your spouse.)  Read: God's Love Chemicals
God intended sex to unite us physically, emotionally, and spiritually as "ONE". I believe God would want us to tell the whole sexual story...in addition to reminding us that there are serious spiritual consequences to misusing sex, we should
emphasize the positive PLEASURABLE,
resulting when used
"within the bounds the Lord has set".
Sample physical aphrodisiacs might inlude: "Believe you are suppose to have a sex drive. Sex was created for you to feel great physically. And you're suppose to feel aroused!"

Sample spiritual aphrodisiacs might include: "a long conversation" or "prayer" before sex!

When we combine the physical with the spiritual, sex is stupendous, because it encompasses all that God has created it to be.

Expanding the concept of the physical aspect of sex David Bednar explains:
Sexual relations are in mortality one of the ultimate expressions of our divine nature and potential and a way of strengthening emotional and spiritual bonds between husband and wife. (We Believe in Being Chaste, Ensign, May 2013)
Perhaps Spencer W. Kimball says it best:
"The love of which the Lord speaks is not only physical attraction but spiritual attraction as well." (Faith Precedes the Miracle, 130–31).
And when we "fragment" the physical pleasure from the spiritual bonding, we lower sexual relations from its rightful spot in the Celestial Kingdom.

If you're married, have sex according to God's Plan.
If you're not married, wait.

dr rick
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