"For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light..."

Premarital Sex

by H. Reese Hansen

Throughout the centuries, the Lord has declared very clearly that sexual relations outside of marriage are sin (cf. Ex. 20:14; Deut. 5:18; 22:13-30; 2 Sam. 13:12; Matt. 5:27-30; 19:18; Acts 15:20; 21:25; 1 Cor. 5:1; 6:18-20; Alma 39:3-6; D&C 42:22-26). In like manner, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that premarital sex is sin and counsels its members to abstain from it. Recognizing that the "new morality," which advocates that consenting partners may do whatever their appetites urge them to do, is nothing more than the "old immorality," the Church rejects the popular view that sex before marriage is not sinful and is justifiable as "normal and natural." Rather, the Church teaches that sex should be a sacred expression of love between a husband and wife and that both men and women should abstain from sexual activity until their marriage. It teaches that sex before marriage is an expression of lust, not love, and admonishes its members not to participate in it or in any other kinds of activities that excite sexual desires. The Church teaches that those who have participated in premarital sex may repent of their sin, reminding them that true repentance requires that they abstain from sexual relations except with their legal spouse.

(See Daily Living home page; Teachings About Sexuality home page; ; Marriage; Repentance.)


Kimball, Spencer W. The Miracle of Forgiveness, pp. 213-32. Salt Lake City, 1969.



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Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 3, Procreation

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