I am going to be more explicit here than I normally think is good. But I think the problem is large enough in the church, and is becoming larger, that frank words are necessary.
The Lord often describes his relationship with his church as that of a husband and a bride. The marriage has not taken place yet, but will take place when he comes to reign personally over the earth.
There is an interesting truth that is rarely observed. There is significance to this imagery of Christ as the husband and the church as the bride that we don’t comprehend. Take all the pretty young brides in the church today. If we were to know for each such bride when she presents herself to her husband after the wedding the answers to these intimate questions, we would know how well the church is prepared as a bride for Christ as its husband: When she joins with her husband will it be her first sexual experience? Will it be her first sensual experience? Will he caress and hold her in ways that are new, or will he be simply the second, or third, or the seventh to put his hand on her clothed bosom, or to see her top uncovered? How much clothing must she remove for her husband to see that which other men have not taken pleasure in already, or is there no amount that will do? Was her husband the first to claim her and make her his, or was he simply standing in line?
Now those questions are incredibly blunt and fairly explicit. But you can pretty much know the preparation of the church as a bride for her Lord by the answers to those questions in the lives of the pretty young brides in the church.
And we seem to have lost track of that reality. We don’t teach our daughters that the virtue they will present to their husbands when they are married is a type and a measure of the churches preparation to be a bride for its Lord. But we should.
And I wouldn’t have asked such explicit questions, except that I fear that immorality is becoming more and more normalized among the younger generation, and I fear that if I had just asked the question “are the pretty young brides in the church virtuous?” I would get a blanket “yes”, whereas the answers to many of the particular questions I actually posted would be very different.
Now you may object that the boys are accountable too. Why bless your soul, of course they are! But it is not likely that the behavior of the one group is all virtue and goodness while the virtue of the other is uncleanness and sin. If these girls were misbehaving, they were misbehaving with someone.
We do not know it, but yes, you can know the church’s preparation as a bride for its Lord by knowing the preparation with which the daughters of Zion prepared themselves for their husbands.
Yes, there is forgiveness available through the atonement. But it is also possible to corrupt the atonement in a doctrine of allowance for adultery. And we have such doctrine among us, and tragically it is gaining popularity swiftly.
I wish you could understand this. I wish you could understand the deeply personal nature of it. If a man could imagine to himself what he would feel in his heart to see his wife in another man’s arms who she yields to, or if he could imagine to himself what he would feel in his heart to find out that his young bride has been the sensual experience of many before him, that feeling in our hearts would give us a sense of what it means to our God when we mistreat things that are sacred to him, be it chastity or be it the temple. Sadly, I think we frequently mistreat them in combination, by rationalizing unchastity and then going into the temple.
Can people be forgiven if they sin? Yes, yes, of course they can. Absolutely.
But repentance is not going to fully come to pass when the sin itself becomes a normal part of the course.
And come on, think of the young bride. What are we offering up to our Lord? Can we really believe we offer more to him as a church that we can offer in the virtue of our pretty daughters as brides? If we cannot offer virtue up in that sacred matter, then we should stop pretending that we have it to offer up to our God.