Thursday, March 26, 2009

Morality: Purity, Chastity, Virtue

The East Glacis of the
Great Salt Lake Temple


Some mistakenly believe that these ideals have the connotation the world assigns to the same values of sexuality. Nothing could be further from the truth.

On the one side, morality is values-based. It deals with our reason and rationale for altruism. We sacrifice self-interest because we have been created with the ability to recognize that it serves a higher purpose to forward the righteous needs and desires of others over our own.

On the contrary, the natural man is an enemy to God, and represents everything that persuades and entices abusive force, brutality, selfishness, satiation, excess, and worse, to exclude gentleness, meekness, and love unfeigned.

Virginity is not the same as chastity or virtue. Nor does a loss of virginity of necessity signify any attendant sacrifice of virtue, chastity, or purity. Much of the world confuses these terms, and the dictionary is no longer useful, because common usage reflects that misunderstanding. Heavenly Father and myself are the ones to whom I account for my own morality. It is of little interest or account to the rest of the world. Most of the rest do not agree with me on what it means anyway, so why share my status and just spread confusion?

There are two special exceptions that exist at present, as there are often policy exceptions. One is if I happen to be married, and the other is my bishop. Both are confidential, and should never divulge or discuss with others any details of personal matters except under very rare circumstances.

22 comments:

Alexander's Way said...

I would tend to agree, for the most part, however, as you know, I believe there may be some divergence in our concurrence.

When one's virtue is stolen from them, and yes, I do believe that virtue, purity and chastity can be stolen away, one's ability to see truth and righteousness clearly may be clouded by the wrong thinking that has been planted in their brain.

Truly the natural man is an enemy to God, as you say, but when a young child is taught that things of the natural man are the right things, it can create such a conundrum within that child as to befuddle that child's mind for life. Again, as you said, it "persuades and entices abusive force, brutality, selfishness, satiation, excess, and worse, to exclude gentleness, meekness, and love unfeigned."

For a very young someone, there is a great confusion and connection between virginity and virtue. If that very young someone is robbed of their virginity, they are likely to believe that they have been robbed of their virtue. They are likely to believe that their worth in the eyes of God has been greatly diminished, if not lost altogether.

I recall specifically a lesson taught in seminary about a luscious slice of warm homemade bread slathered with butter and homemade jam. The bread is then passed around the room and everyone takes a turn licking the jam off the bread. At that point, the seminary teacher then asks "Who wants this bread now?" This is a lesson on morality.

In like manner, as a newlywed, I was asked to make a wedding cake so a seminary teacher could give a similar lesson to a stake youth group where he would take a piece of the wedding cake I lovingly prepared, drop it on the floor, step on it, pick it up, and then ask who wanted to eat it. This was his lesson on morality. I flatly refused to make the cake.

The problem with these lessons is that they both teach teens, who are prone to making poor moral choices, to forget all about the atonement, that key and central portion of the entire gospel. These lessons completely deprive the gospel plan of the primary character in the plot - our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

It was with this type of lesson in mind that I entered my teen years, having had my virtue stripped from me without my permission in my very early years, and feeling worthless because my "jam" had been licked off or my "cake" had been stepped on and smooshed into the ground.

Oh, how I wish someone had loved me enough to have discussed with me the fact that I was not accountable for that which was acted upon me without my consent. My teen years would have been entirely different. I would have grown up loving myself, rather than hating myself and searching for acceptance anywhere I thought I might find it.

So, therein lies our disagreement. I think these things should be discussed openly with kids, so when things come up where they have cause for self-loathing, they won't have to hate themselves. Rather, they can see that their Savior loves them and accepts them no matter what, and that they can repent no matter what.

Wouldn't it be lovely?

Jim Cobabe said...

Alexander,

Sorry,
Meant to ask, why are we still burdened with bad paradigms?

I got interuppted in mid thought.

Remember one time that happened and I crashed into a car at thistle junction?

Alexander's Way said...

I wish I could understand. My own parents don't want to understand me enough to talk things through with me. I am broken and unworthy in their eyes - no purity, no chastity, no virtue. I am lost to them. I am drowning in my own sorrow.

Jim Cobabe said...

Alexander,

As I said, I believe I am an adult and account for morality ultimately only to myself and Heavenly Father. When I start sharing it with others, it gets way too complicated.

Jim Cobabe said...

Alexander,

It is a non-sequitur to speak of stealing virtue, chastity, and purity.

Jim Cobabe said...

Alexander,

Remember, in formal logic, is an argument where its conclusion does not follow from its premises.

In a non sequitur, the conclusion can be either true or false, but the argument is a fallacy because the conclusion does not follow from the premise. All formal fallacies are special cases of non sequitur. The term has special applicability in law, having a formal legal definition. Many types of known non sequitur argument forms have been classified into many different types of logical fallacies. Lets be rational.

Alexander's Way said...

Perhaps if you had been raped by your brother, you might not think it a non-sequitur. You might actually see the logic in what I had said.

The fact that you cannot see things from my perspective does not invalidate my perspective, dear one. It simply makes you myopic.

N'est pas?

Jim Cobabe said...

Alexander,

Who is the judge of how I have been treated by my brother? Look at Genesis 4:9, and topical guide references to brotherhood and who is my neighbor.

Alexander's Way said...

McCoy: Perhaps we can cover a little philosophical ground. Life, death, life. Things of that nature.
Spock: I did not have time on Vulcan to review the philosophical disciplines.
McCoy: C'mon Spock, it's me, McCoy. You really have gone where no man's gone before. Can't you tell me what it felt like?
Spock: It would be impossible to discuss the subject without a common frame of reference
McCoy: You're joking.
Spock: A joke...is...a story with a humorous climax.
McCoy: You mean I have to die to discuss your insights on death?
Spock: Forgive me Doctor. I'm receiving a number of distress calls.
McCoy: I don't doubt it.

Alexander's Way said...

Oh, pardon me. I'll be more clear in the future (since you are throwing in non-sequiturs).

When was the last time you were posed nude in "sexually provocative" poses as a child by your male sibling or forced to undergo violent sex acts by the same male sibling?

I hate to have been so vague as to have muddied the waters.

Please don't do this to me, Jim. Cruelty really does not befit a person of your caliber.

Jim Cobabe said...

Alexander,

It constitutes cruelty to leave you suffering under what I believe is not needful. You have told me yourself how to unburden of unwanted things by leaving the bundle at Jesus' feet. Why can you not now follow your own healing counsel? Is it any wisdom for you to call my acts cruelty when you persist in them yourself? This makes no rational sense.

Jim Cobabe said...

Alexander,

Please understand my position. I have no weapons. I have no fights. I have no contention. I have no ill will. I have no bias except toward what I believe to be true and honorable. You have known me.

Do you yet believe me?

I am not a bad person.

I am trying to desperately to help you and your family. All I bring is kind words, gentle words, gentle persuasion, mekkness and humelity, and true love unfeigned.

If that makes you uncomfortable, I have already lost.

Johnna said...

Good on ya, for not making the wedding cake, Alex. I'm so glad that chewed gum, bruised gardenias, and pre-sampled jam are being dropped from our culture as a way to teach anything about sin and forgiveness.

I'd like to see the kind of clarifying discussions Alex suggests--so children from all situations have a correct understanding of their God-given worth that no one can take away, and be supported in respecting their own bodies and selves. I was so encouraged by a recent study on teen sexuality that found a remarkably high percentage of mormon teens did return to celibacy after losing their virginity. That made me hope we are getting the message across.

Jim said something about the exceptions of marriage and the bishop--ha, I was so confused by how he said that I thought at first he was saying people can have sex with their spouses or with the bishop! Yikes! Certainly a spouse or a bishop are the only two parties one *might* be obligated to discuss one's own sexual history with. I don't think that precludes a person *choosing* to discuss personal matters with others. A person's history is her own to make these decisions about.

But to whom and where you talk about what happened to you and what you've been through, that's a practical matter involving a world that doesn't love with Christ's perfect love.

Alexander's Way said...

Jim -

As I have told you repeatedly, my visualization of leaving my bundle of pain and sorrow at the Savior's feet is not perfect. It is something I have to do over and over and over again. I have not perfected this technique. Have you?

And if you think you have no weapons or contention, you are kidding yourself. You have some very stinging barbs when you choose to. You just hide under the guise of your strokes and play innocent. You're no dummy.

Alexander's Way said...

Thank you, Johnna -

I believe in just that type of honest discussion you are speaking of - nothing veiled. Veiled discussion serves only one purpose, and that is to beguile.

I adore my brother, but he can be tricksy sometimes! LOL

Jim Cobabe said...

Alexander,

I hardly know how to respond to your last. I am a man you can depend on to speak without guile.

Absolute. Uneqvocal. Direct.

My approach is honesty, pure and unadulterated. Of this you can be assured.

I will tell you plainly, I have known Johnna the Just for more years than I care to count, and she is a trusted confidate and friend. I invited her, no I begged her to particpate her because she is a brilliant mind, and I value and respect her views, and as much as I try, I can never see the world from a woman's unique perspective. Johnna is her own free spirit, and has many independent friends whose opinions I would also value, if they would deign to stoop so low as to join the discussion on Snail Hollow. I can only ask, and hope.

Jim Cobabe said...

Alexander and Johnna,

The Lord is not the body of imperfect disciples who aspire and oft time fall short, some times far short.

Something to keep in mind, when reciting examples of bad paradigms.

I heard of one that used to be popular, that is no longer cited. Can it be that Church members learn from their mistakes and correct themselves? I suppose the bread and cake stories might still be popular, or not. Let's check with someone in the church education system, just to see if these stories are still in the lexicon.

Alexander's Way said...

They had better not be, or I have a good stick for whacking that I will be happy to wield.

And no, I'm not kidding.

I'll give them an object lesson they'll never forget!

Jim Cobabe said...

Alexander,

Let it be stated, just for the record, that my understanding is that the best kind of teaching is based in and reinforced by the principles of charity, love unfeigned, long-suffering, within the framework of many other gospel themes that build upon this foundation.

It is of little avail to apply a good stick for whacking if you ignore these, it will profit nothing

Jim Cobabe said...

Alexander,

It tends to annoy the whackee in general, which you may or may not find to be of some detriment.

Caveat lector.

Johnna said...

I dunno, some situations call for charity, love unfeigned, long suffering, and a good thwacking.

Obviously, there's way more going on here than I can comment on.

Jim Cobabe said...

Johnna the Just.

I prithee, good M'Lady your continued interest, and prolonged indulgence I do beg for, unworthy though thy humble servants might prove. Please continue thy votive candle light vigil here with thy humble Sancho in attendance to guard the armor outside th sacristy whilst thou dost pay thy devotions...

Indeed, behold, thou has guest blogger privege here now, and wilt thou not please honor us with an epistle of thine own on this open blog? Yea, in a thrice we prithee wilt thou ask thy good friend to join forthwith, sooth.