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secrecy, the results are potent in evil influence. The immortal spirits that come to earth to tabernacle in bodies of flesh have the right to be well-born, through parents who are free from the contamination of sexual vice.
"It is a deplorable fact that society persists in holding woman to stricter account than man in the matter of sexual offense. What shadow of excuse, not to speak of justification, can be found for this outrageous and cowardly discrimination? Can moral defilement be any the less filthy and pestilential in man than in woman? Is a male leper less to be shunned for fear of contagion that a woman similarly stricken?
"Oh the baseness, the injustice, the dishonor of it all! Happily the early promulgators of this shameful conception of a double standard of morals for the sexes are hidden in the oblivion of the past. Let the infamy in which they should rightly share be borne by those who countenance the current acceptance of so vicious a distinction! Visualize the spectacle. Man, who is by nature the protector and defender of woman, ready to stone to social death the adulteress, in whose sin he was partner!
"So far as woman sins it is inevitable that she shall suffer, for retribution is sure whether it be immediate or deferred. But in so far as man's injustice inflicts upon her the consequence of his offenses, he stands convicted of multiple guilt. And man is largely responsible for the sins against decency and virtue, the burden of which is too often fastened upon the weaker participant in the crime.
"Horrifying as the condition is, it is nevertheless a black reality, that hordes of women prostitute their bodies and souls for money and find no lack of eager buyers. Who is the more depraved-the vendor or the purchaser of woman's honor? In many cases a power of discernment
and analysis superior to human attainment is essential to a just verdict, but it appears certain that whatever of palliation through stress of circumstance may be found for the woman, guilty lust is too generally the primal motive of the man.
"The low esteem in which strict sexual morality is currently held is an element of positive danger to the nation as a human institution, to say nothing of the wholesale debauching of souls as an offense against Divine decree. With such awful examples as history furnishes, it is a matter of astonishment that governments should be so nearly oblivious to the disintegrating forces springing from violations of the moral law amongst their citizenry.
"The grandeur of ancient Greece, the majesty of Rome, once the proud rulers of the world, have disappeared; and the verdict of history specifies the prevalence of sexual immorality as among the chief of the destructive agencies by which the fall of those mighty peoples was effected.
"Is our modern nation to bring upon itself the doom of destructive depravity? The forces of disintegration are at work throughout the land, and they operate as insidiously as does the virus of deadly contagion. A nation-wide awakening to the need of personal sanitation and of rigorous reform in the matter of sexual morality is demanded by the exigencies of the times.
"The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the divinely ordained panacea for the ills that afflict humanity, and pre-eminently so for the dread affliction of sexual sin. Note the teachings of the Master while He ministered among men in the fleshthey were primarily directed to individual probity and rectitude of life. The letter of the Mosaic Law was superseded by the spirit of personal devotion to the right. 'Ye have heard,' said He, 'that it was said by them of old time,
Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.' (Matt. 5: 27, 28.) The sin itself may spring from the sensual thought, the lustful glance; just as murder is often the fruitage of hatred or covetousness.
"We accept without reservation or qualification the affirmation of Deity through an ancient Nephite prophet: 'For I, the Lord God, delight in the chastity of women. And whoredoms are an abomination before me. Thus saith the Lord of Hosts." "
NOT GOOD FOR MAN TO BE ALONE
Companionship of the Sexes
new unit amongst uncounted worlds, had developed to a condition suited to human habitation, God created man in His own personal, physical image, and gave him dominion over the earth and its manifold belongings. Beside the man stood the woman, sharing with him the divinely bestowed honor and dignity of supremacy over all lesser creations; for the Lord God had said: "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him." (Gen. 2:18.)
HEN this earth, a
So begins the first page of human history relating to this planet: "In the image of God created He him; male and female created He them."
The earliest recorded commandment to the newly embodied pair provided for the procreation of their kind; for unto them the Lord said: "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth." That the wedded state thus
inaugurated was to be the permanent order of life amongst Adam's posterity is attested by the further Scripture: "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." (Gen. 2:24.)
Inasmuch as the union of the sexes is the only way by which the perpetuity of the race is possible, such union is essentially as beneficent as it is necessary. Lawful, that is to say righteous, association of the sexes, is an uplifting and ennobling function to the participants, and the heritage of earth-life to preexistent spirits who are thereby advanced to the mortal state. Conversely, all sexual union outside the bonds of legitimacy is debasing and pernicious, not only to the guilty parties themselves, but to children who are thus ill-born, and to organized society in general.
The stability of society demands that the divinely established institution of marriage shall be administered under secular law, whereby the family unit shall be a legalized entity, with responsibilities and obligations clearly defined, the rights of husband, wife and children protected, property interests safeguarded, and inheritance regulated.
But the marriage covenant is more than a legalized contract. It is a solemn sacrament, under which the parties are made eligible to the blessing of Divine approval, and by which they are answerable both to the law of man and to the Power that transcends all human institutions. That marriage is honorable is as true today as when the precept was written in the Epistle to the Hebrews.
The Latter-day Saints accept the doctrine of the imperative necessity of wedlock and the sanctity thereof; and they apply it as a requirement to all who are not prohibited by physical or other disability from assuming the sacred responsibilities of the married state. They hold as part of
the birthright of every worthy man the privilege and duty of standing at the head of a household, the companion of a virtuous wife, both imbued with the hope of posterity, which by the blessing of God may never become extinct; and equally ennobling is the desire of every worthy woman to be a wife and mother in the family of mankind.
We repudiate and abhor the pernicious doctrine that the sexual relation is but a carnal necessity, inherent in human kind because of fleshly desire, or that celibacy is a feature of exalted status more acceptable than marriage in the sight and judgment of God. Touching this matter the Lord hath spoken through direct revelation in the current age, saying:
"And again, I say unto you, that whoso forbiddeth to marry is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto man. Wherefore it is lawful that he should have one wife, and they twain shall be one flesh, and all this that the earth might answer the end of its creation, and that it might be filled with the measure of man, according to his creation before the world was made." (Doctrine & Covenants 49: 15-17.)
Without the power of perpetuating his kind man is in part bereft of his glory; for small is the possibility of achievement within the limited range of an individual life. Grand as may seem to be the attainments of a man who is really great as gaged by the best standards of human estimation, the culmination of his glorious heritage lies in his leaving offspring from his own body to carry forward the worthy efforts of their sire. And as with the man, so with the woman.
We regard children literally as gifts from God, committed to our parental care, for whose support, protection, and training in righteousness we shall be held to a strict ac