Thomas S. Monson is the current president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Mormons, as they are sometimes known, have a reputation for having strict moral standards for their members, both male and female. Following are some of the prophet’s thoughts on a subject most of the world considers unimportant or a restriction on freedom in today’s morally lax world.
Precious young people, make every decision you contemplate pass this test: What does it do to me? What does it do for me? And let your code of conduct emphasize not “What will others think?” but rather “What will I think of myself?” Be influenced by that still, small voice. Remember that one with authority placed his hands on your head at the time of your confirmation and said, “Receive the Holy Ghost.” Open your hearts, even your very souls, to the sound of that special voice that testifies of truth. As the prophet Isaiah promised, “Thine ears shall hear a word … saying, This is the way, walk ye in it” (Isaiah 30:21).
The tenor of our times is permissiveness. A most popular feature of one of the leading newspaper Sunday supplements portrays the idols of the movie screen, the heroes of the athletic field-those whom many young people long to emulate-as flouting the laws of God and rationalizing away sinful practices, seemingly with no ill effect. Don’t you believe it! There is a time of reckoning-even a balancing of the ledger. It’s called Judgment Day, even the Big Exam of Life. Are we prepared? Are we pleased with our own performances?
Thomas S. Monson, “Standards of Strength,” NewEra, Oct 2008, 2-5
I turn next to the courage you will need to be chaste and virtuous. You live in a world where moral values have, in great measure, been tossed aside, where sin is flagrantly on display, and where temptations to stray from the strait and narrow path surround you. Many are the voices telling you that you are far too provincial or that there is something wrong with you if you still believe there is such a thing as immoral behavior.
Isaiah declared, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness.”
Great courage will be required as you remain chaste and virtuous amid the accepted thinking of the times.
In the world’s view today there is little thought that young men and young women will remain morally clean and pure before marriage. Does this make immoral behavior acceptable? Absolutely not!
The commandments of our Heavenly Father are not negotiable!
Powerful is this quote from news commentator Ted Koppel, host of ABC’s Nightline program for many years. Said he:
“We have actually convinced ourselves that slogans will save us. ‘Shoot up if you must; but use a clean needle.’ ‘Enjoy sex whenever with whomever you wish; but [protect yourself].’
“No. The answer is no. Not no because it isn’t cool or smart or because you might end up in jail or dying in an AIDS ward-but no, because it’s wrong. …
“What Moses brought down from Mt. Sinai were not the Ten Suggestions, they are Commandments. Are, not were.”
My sweet young sisters, maintain an eternal perspective. Be alert to anything that would rob you of the blessings of eternity.
Thomas S. Monson, “May You Have Courage,” Ensign, May 2009, 123-27
Because sexual intimacy is so sacred, the Lord requires self-control and purity before marriage, as well as full fidelity after marriage. In dating, treat your date with respect, and expect your date to show that same respect for you. Tears inevitably follow transgression. Men, take care not to make women weep, for God counts their tears….
From ancient times comes an example which emphasizes this truth. Darius, through the proper rites, had been recognized as legitimate king of Egypt. His rival, Alexander, had been declared legitimate son of Ammon; he, too, was Pharaoh. Alexander found the defeated Darius on the point of death and laid his hands upon his head to heal him, commanding him to arise and resume his kingly power, concluding, “I swear unto thee, Darius, by all the gods, that I do these things truly and without fakery,” to which Darius replied with a gentle rebuke, “Alexander, my boy … do you think you can touch heaven with those hands of yours?”
Brethren, are we prepared to touch heaven as we fill our priesthood callings?
Thomas S. Monson, “That We May Touch Heaven,” Ensign, Nov 1990, 45
Permissiveness, immorality, pornography, and the power of peer pressure cause many to be tossed about on a sea of sin and crushed on the jagged reefs of lost opportunities, forfeited blessings, and shattered dreams.
Anxiously you ask, “Is there a way to safety? Can someone guide me? Is there an escape from threatened destruction? The answer is a resounding yes! I counsel you: Look to the lighthouse of the Lord. There is no fog so dense, no night so dark, no gale so strong, no mariner so lost but what its beacon light can rescue. It beckons through the storms of life. It calls, “This way to safety; this way to home.”
The lighthouse of the Lord sends forth signals readily recognized and never failing. These words of warning, these safety standards, are printed in a small booklet soon to be distributed and entitled For the Strength of Youth.
May I share with you the introduction to the booklet, prepared by the First Presidency of the Church:
“Our beloved young men and women,
“We want you to know that we love you. We have great confidence in you. …
“We desire everything in this world for you that is right and good. You are not just ordinary young men and women. You are choice spirits who have been held in reserve to come forth in this day when the temptations, responsibilities, and opportunities are the very greatest. You are at a critical time in your lives. This is a time for you not only to live righteously but also to set an example for your peers. …
“God loves you. … His desire … is to have you return to Him pure and undefiled, having proven yourselves worthy of an eternity of joy in His presence. …
“We counsel you to choose to live a morally clean life. …
“You cannot do wrong and feel right. It is impossible! Years of happiness can be lost in the foolish gratification of a momentary desire for pleasure. …
“You can avoid the burden of guilt and sin and all of the attending heartaches … as you keep the standards outlined in the scriptures and emphasized in this pamphlet. …
“We pray that you-the young and rising generation-will keep your bodies and minds clean, free from the contaminations of the world, that you will be fit and pure vessels to bear triumphantly the responsibilities of the kingdom of God in preparation for the second coming of our Savior.” (For the Strength of Youth, 1990, p. 1.)
Thomas S. Monson, “The Lighthouse of the Lord,” Ensign, Nov 1990, 95