There are two places where an old idea is presented that is extremely foreign to us. It is the extreme weight that is rightly placed on virtue and fidelity for them to be as God desires them.
One of these places is relatively recent. It is Spencer W Kimball’s “Miracle of Forgiveness” in which he says that if someone attempts to rape a girl she is responsible to resist and even give up her life rather than to give up her virtue. He says that any of us would rather have our children lose their life than lose their virtue, and he is speaking in the context of rape.
The idea he is putting forth, which is so foreign to us, is that a woman that prefers to preserve her life than to prevent a man from committing adultery with her, even forcibly, is a woman that does not have the full measure of virtue. The idea he, and many of his day, understand is that virtue is only properly weighted and kept when it is more valuable to a woman than life itself.
Wow. That is really foreign to us.
It is probably really good doctrine, but we are so used to rationalizing on moral issues that we find it shocking.
The other place a similar idea appears is in the teachings of the savior when he gives his teachings on adultery. The idea here seems to be similar. The woman may have been divorced from her husband, but for her to remarry is for her to commit adultery. And a man who marries a woman who was divorced commits adultery himself.
Both of these place such a high prize on perfect fidelity to the one person that one commits to in marriage, and respecting that same commitment made by another even when their partner has abandoned it, that they kind of leave us reeling.
But one comes from the mouth of the Son of God.
And the other comes from Spencer W Kimball, and from an day of much greater righteousness than what we live in now.