Most Abominable above all Sins . . .

Denver Snuffer said in Lecture One: “We equate in large measure, repentance, with whatever it is you’re doing with your genitals. Joseph equates redemption and repentance with whatever it is you’re doing with your heart and with your mind.”

It’s under this umbrella I wish to discuss Alma 39.

the-red-light-districtFor decades, the Church and its handbooks have been a harsh punisher of sexual sin—in Brigham’s time it could have resulted in death. People who mess up before marriage get their weddings postponed for months or cancelled, often they are dis-fellowshipped. Others are stripped of their blessings. Others are told they must marry in order to avoid judgment from the Church, causing years of torment in a bad marriage. Others are denied service in the Lord’s kingdom, even AFTER they are declared temple worthy through annotated records that chase them from ward to ward and year to year. In other terms, sexual sins have been described as heinous. For LDS doctrinaires, the scripture that is used to justify such judgment by Church leaders is Alma 39:

“5 Know ye not, my son, that these things are an abomination in the sight of the Lord; yea, most abominable above all sins save it be the shedding of innocent blood or denying the Holy Ghost?”

Yep, there it is . . .the most abominable sin. Or . . . is it? Is this another example of the Lord giving us the easy answer when it takes effort to find the correct one?

Instead of highlighting what is “most abominable” perhaps what we should be doing is highlighting “these things.” What are these things?

Again, the easy answer is the previous verses:

“3 And this is not all, my son. Thou didst do that which was grievous unto me; for thou didst forsake the ministry, and did go over into the land of Siron among the borders of the Lamanites, after the harlot Isabel. Yea, she did steal away the hearts of many; but this was no excuse for thee, my son. Thou shouldst have tended to the ministry wherewith thou wast entrusted.”

So the easy answer is sex outside of marriage. But does it actually SAY that. What the verse says is that Isabel, the harlot, stole his heart. He left his ministry to go after his own heart, his own lusts. I don’t know if he even accomplished the task of getting her into the sack. The verse isn’t clear. But we sure have extrapolated a lot about the sin equal to murder based on this one verse, so I think it needs another look. The simplest answer is not necessarily pre-marital sex, but forsaking your ministry (notice that Alma repeats himself about him abandoning his ministry), in order to chase harlots. When put that way, if you can imagine an missionary today leaving his companion, his ministry, total abandonment, and trying to date or bed a harlot, that would be pretty bad, maybe close to the sins of murder and denying the Holy Ghost.

Maybe . . . but there’s more

Alma in verse 5 says, “these things.” This is obviously plural. It’s a combination of things that Corianton does that relegates his sins (plural) as to being close to murder. Maybe it would be good to list them as Alma lists them and put them together to get a better picture.

  • Did not give heed unto his father Alma (verse 2)
  • Boasted of his own strength (verse 2)
  • Forsook the ministry (verse 3)
  • Chased prostitutes (verse 3)
  • These sins could have had him sinning against the Holy Ghost (I’ll get to that later)
  • Went after the lusts of his eyes (verse 9)
  • Going after vain and foolish things (verse 9)
  • Poor example among his potential converts, possibly leading them to destruction (verses 11-12)
  • Seeking for riches and vain things (verse 14)

When placed in context, the behavior of harlot-chasing seems to be a result of his other, grosser and more entrenched sins. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the first sin explicitly listed is “boasting of his own strength.” When one does such things, one thinks it is because of THEM and THEIR efforts that give them success. How many Priesthood holders look at their own efforts, their works, their charisma, their leadership as evidence of their own successes instead of looking to Christ and being merely a tool in His hand? In this list, boasting of one’s own strength is a gateway drug that leads to the other sins.

When one takes strength unto themselves, they see themselves as deserving of the things they desire. In Corinaton’s case, it was a harlot, vain things, and riches. These are all under the umbrella of “lusts of the eyes.” The harlot in this instance, is merely the hand caught in the cookie jar. How many Latter-day Saints see themselves as deserving because of their own strength and works? How many lust after riches because they see themselves as righteous? How many of them feel they deserve the most perfect, most sexy, most engaging, most successful, and most “spiritual” spouse and will not marry until they get the perfect companion? How many indulge in pornography? How many would line up at the bishop’s office to get more wives if polygamy were to return? Truth be told, I’m not sure many Mormons are out chasing harlots, but I’m sure there are a few.

Finally, how many of our behaviors are seen by outsiders in such a way that it turns them away from Christ because of our bad examples? In a way, we murder them because we kill AN opportunity for them to be saved by Christ. This should give all of us pause in how we behave and how our behaviors are noticed by others, starting with how serious we take our discipleship. But that then leads into what we buy, what our worldly habits consist of, to yes, our sexual behaviors (cheating, porn addiction, serial marriages, etc.) But I also find that sexual behaviors are much less visible than how we treat others, how we treat ourselves, or what we spend our time and money doing.

CHISimply stated, the sin that is next to murder is pride. Sexual sins are often a direct result of pride, but pride is the originator! Perhaps when the Saints are prideful and seek after riches and boast of their own strength, or misuse their Priesthood, it would be wise for a handbook to “amen” their membership privileges for at least a year or so, and if they repeat it, excommunicate them.

Or better yet, we stop some of the restrictions we place on people because we think they are going to be damned when they mess up in the bedroom with someone else. Perhaps pride should be the theme of judgment and not the sex itself. Ask yourself these questions. Do these sexual sins, in and of themselves, feel like they are close to murder?

  • An engaged couple who messes up before marriage
  • A single woman who is preyed upon by men who succumbs to advances because she doesn’t know how to say “no” (Women are punished unequally in the Church)
  • A person who desperately wants to avoid sexual sin but is compelled out of addiction
  • People who cohabit but don’t marry legally for some reason or another

If any of these people come to me and want to fellowship with me, and show a repentance spirit, I would not deny them the ordinances of the Lord! I believe that a repentant attitude of replacing darkness with light will be successful at removing the sin from these people’s lives more than putting a restriction on partaking of these ordinances. The latter feels like punishment, and often serves to only push the offender away from the gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s the nature of the heart, not the sin, that matters the most.

I don’t want to minimize sexual sin. It is still sin and needs to be forsaken and repented of. But we like to shine a light on it more than other sins, and often it serves for those not ensnared in it to boast of their own strength and of their own pride, knowing that “not even once” did they ever partake in such things, and they are now blessed because of it. Yet, they are ensnared in the insidious sin of pride and they know it not.

Denying the Holy Ghost

When verse 6 is included, we have a different kind of instruction. We learn about denying the Holy Ghost. Here you have a missionary who has not yet had the Holy Ghost. We know this because he was not yet converted to Christ. Had he been, these things would have been affront to his conversion. He would have forsaken the Lord and there would have been no forgiveness. He would have had to suffer for those sins himself or become a son of perdition. But thank goodness he was a naive youth. Instead, he did things that are forgivable by the Atonement of Christ. I think this is helpful when we see many of our young people who mess up, whether before, after, or during a mission or even after entering an ordinance they do not yet understand or have interred, such as a temple endowment. We ought to be more forgiving of their youthful sins and teach them the doctrines of Christ and let those doctrines convert them so that they will be fortified against sin though the Baptism of Fire and the Holy Ghost.

The next three chapters have Alma expounding doctrine and not railing upon his son’s sins. We should take note.

28 thoughts on “Most Abominable above all Sins . . .”

  1. I love this makes me think. When I read this passage in Alma I always thought it was because he was leaving the flock of truth taught of Jesus and going after strange religions. The Bible speaks of the church of the devil being the whore of all whores or something like that. So God does seem to label anything that takes man from truth and virtue the names we use today for people that profit from sex.

  2. A few of the later verses are also helpful to understand the sin he was being chastised for:
    “lust of your eyes”,
    “led away by any vain or foolish thing”,
    “lead away your heart again after those wicked harlots”

    9 Now my son, I would that ye should repent and forsake your sins, and go no more after the lusts of your eyes, but cross yourself in all these things; for except ye do this ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God. Oh, remember, and take it upon you, and cross yourself in these things.

    11 Suffer not yourself to be led away by any vain or foolish thing; suffer not the devil to lead away your heart again after those wicked harlots. Behold, O my son, how great iniquity ye brought upon the Zoramites; for when they saw your conduct they would not believe in my words.

  3. Not to hijack the point of this post because I think it’s a good one, but The Mentinah Archives give an entirely different view on this account. Corianton gives his version of events in pages 122-124. He claims that his father Alma got it wrong and believed the rumors concerning his motives and behavior. He said Alma jumped to conclusions and would not believe him. Corianton says took pity on Isabel because she would always take them (the missionaries) into her home and share food with them while all others rejected them and judged her unfairly. Corianton said Isabel repented of her ways and was converted to Christ. He ultimately took her to wife and they moved in the the land Northward. If true, it goes to show that even someone as gifted as Alma can judge unrighteously. I suppose that’s why judgement should always be left to the Lord…

    1. Then this act of Alma the younger could have been him participating in strange religions and not just sex. But if she converted to Jesus then it seems she was more than just a harlot. I think God feels nearly the same about anything that will take us away from Him. The word harlot covers a lot of things.

  4. Perhaps there is more on the topic. If anyone would glance at other writings, perhaps the perception would change. In the Mentinah archives, there are writings from Corianton’s son in the city of Corianton describing what may have actually happened. It seems that Alma was not there when Corianton was teaching at the borders of the Lamanites. It was heresay from someone else who disliked Isabel. Corianton was so devestated that his father would take it as truth without the facts, he retreated away. Alma was never the same when he found out that he jumped the gun so to speak. He was never found after he left Zarahemla. What may you assume from that? Isabel was a repented faithful woman who helped the missionary effort and all the talk was of judgement against her. “Where are thine accusers?

    If you automatically believe the story of Corianton and Alma in the Book of Mormon just because it is the Book of Mormon and you ascribe every word, phrase and juxtaposition, then can you believe the Mentinah archives as well? There are two sides to every story, especially when there are things you know not of. Perhaps, when the Lord forgave the supposed harlot without Him actually witnessing it, it may give us great pause to do the same since he straightway forgave her without any hesitancy. Oh the burdens we place on ourselves when we follow men, and take their word as from God Himsel! The misery mankind has gone through because of imposed beliefs.has been astounding. Though it is important to lead from the heart and soul, mortality sets up the learning experiences and learning is what we should take from it and not condemnation.

    Therefore all acts committed should be part of the journey of the participant for learning and we have no need to inflict any judgement or condemnation upon them. Discernment is not judgement and judging is fear in disguise. Thall shall not fear.

  5. Adrian Larsen

    An excellent post! Very insightful and well written. Thank you for this light.

    It does indeed come down to heart and mind, doesn’t it? It seems the genitals go where the heart and mind go first. Fighting the genitals does not remove the sin. The battle must be won by filling the heart and mind with light and truth.

    1. Wow Adrian… I could not have said it better. It is so true… at least from my experience. My husband committed “The Sin” and left his family.

      As time went by, I realized that it was not where his body had been but where his heart and mind had gone, that was so painful for me. I became keenly aware that the truancy of his heart and mind was the real betrayal. That wound was the hardest to mend.

  6. I have heard of this account from the mentinah, however, I still believe Joseph Smith’s words that the Book of Mormon is the most correct of any book. I have a hard time believing that Alma’s counsel to Corianton is him misunderstanding the situation. I believe that additional scripture from God will agree with the Book of Mormon, not contradict it. It is the most pure scripture we have. The Bible has been obviously tampered with. The D&C shows signs of tampering by men. The Book of Mormon was translated by the power of God, and there is a verifiable record showing the process from the original manuscript to the first printing. Yes, changes have been made since then, but we can at least look at the first edition and the original manuscript to see what it said originally. We can’t do that with any other scripture.

  7. I started reading the Mentinah Archives and have really enjoyed it … I believe there is much truth in it and the loved Corianton’s account which really resonated with me. I would recommend it to all with the caveat to ask for discernment. I am at present reading a very good book by Terryl Givens entitled “Wrestling the Angel”. It is about the development of Mormon theology and I am learning so much. For instance, it was the Quakers that brought into Joseph’s paradigm that there is a Mother in Heaven and other Gods. We think all things were revealed to Joseph, but what I am learning by reading this book, is that other groups brought pieces of truth and Joseph would then question and receive additional information. The whole mess with polygamy is a nightmare and no one seems to be able to get to the bottom of it … and Givens quotes many early and present day leaders questioning the spiritual sealings to the fathers. Also, he quotes leaders saying polygamy was never a celestial doctrine. Givens explains that after Joseph died Brigham assigned Orson Pratt to the duty of putting forth the advantages of polygamy because the women were not happy (of course not). This is directly from the book, pgs. 282-283. It is very enlightening:

    1. There were three principal justifications, first, Pratt argued that such a doctrine “facilitated the Abrahamic promise of a posterity literally as numerous as the sands upon the seashore.
    2. (THIS IS THE ONE I LAUGHED OUT LOUD ABOUT) – He employed a rather Pauline justification …. Pratt said that given the “fallen nature” men have to “grapple with” .. a plurality of wives is an INSPIRED PREVENTATIVE against the “whoredom, adultery, and fornication” plaguing the non-Mormon world. This became a favorite defense since it turned polygamy into a remedy rather than problem. (it seems sexual promiscuity was now ordained under the cloak of polygamy)
    3. Righteous seed rationale – so many spirits in heaven that needed to come earth to be raised up in righteousness.

    NOW OF COURSE if you understand what Givens is saying … polygamy was an absolute excuse to make unlawful affairs, lawful under polygamy. I was disappointed that Givens did not explain that Orson Pratt’s first wife eventually left him and Mormonism and became an adversary to both the church and polygamy. She bore Pratt 12 children and said she was tired of Orson marrying younger and younger women. She signed two affidavits … an early one stating Joseph never approached her to marry him behind Orson’s back and that she did have an affair with Bennett. She states this was done because her life and Orson’s reputation was threatened. Her second affidavit seems to ring true to me which explains the relationship between John Bennett and Joseph Smith and herself.

    In any event, Terryl Givens gives you a whole different view of how Mormonism evolved. It is my understanding he was approached by leadership to write the book to address many of the issues that are causing many to leave the church.

    I’m learning that I really don’t know anything … I no longer know what is absolute truth … and it is rather alarming to me that we hold onto things so tightly and we are not willing to ask the hard questions.

  8. I just read Denver’s latest post regarding the first presidency of Joseph’s time being involved in killing Joseph and Hyrum. My question is, they seemed to be decent people, not vagrants or vigilantes, etc. before this episode, so what happened to change their minds in promoting righteousness to being criminals? Why would the first presidency want to kill both Joseph and Hyrum if there wasn’t a motivation … like a lot of money, or property, or maybe the reason being is that the “lies” Denver poses were not lies at all. Brigham and Joseph were “tight” and yet Brigham continued the polygamy doctrine. When one looks at all the evidence, all the affidavits, etc. it doesn’t add up.

  9. Pingback: Miscellaneous Musings #16 The Link between Prophet Worship and Breaking the LAW of the Gospel | Because I am Watching

  10. I think you are on the right track, but you make a couple of assumptions which paint a picture that cling to our traditions still. Specifically, you say that Corianton had not yet received the Holy Ghost. That is false. In Alma 31:32, 36 (at the beginning of their ministry) we read:

    “O Lord, wilt thou comfort my soul, and give unto me success, and also my fellow laborers who are with me—yea, Ammon, and Aaron, and Omner, and also Amulek and Zeezrom, and also my two sons—yea, even all these wilt thou comfort, O Lord. Yea, wilt thou comfort their souls in Christ.”

    “Now it came to pass that when Alma had said these words, that he clapped his hands upon all them who were with him. And behold, as he clapped his hands upon them, they were filled with the Holy Spirit.

    Furthermore, at this time they were all give special powers:

    “And after that they did separate themselves one from another, taking no thought for themselves what they should eat, or what they should drink, or what they should put on. And the Lord provided for them that they should hunger not, neither should they thirst; yea, and he also gave them strength, that they should suffer no manner of afflictions, save it were swallowed up in the joy of Christ. Now this was according to the prayer of Alma; and this because he prayed in faith.”

    So you can see what Corianton was bragging about. He was basically Wolverine… a man who didn’t have to eat or drink and couldn’t be hurt. That might be something to show off, don’t you think? Especially for a kid, having super powers is a lot of responsibility.

    The other assumption which is a tradition in our church, is that once you sin against the Holy Ghost there is absolutely no coming back. A Son of Perdition can never return. Why, then, does Alma say:

    “For behold, if ye deny the Holy Ghost when it once has had place in you, and ye know that ye deny it, behold, this is a sin which is unpardonable; yea, and whosoever murdereth against the light and knowledge of God, it is not easy for him to obtain forgiveness; yea, I say unto you, my son, that it is not easy for him to obtain a forgiveness.

    Did you see that? Corianton was told that it was NOT EASY, not that it was impossible. Our tradition is that the Sons of Perdition are forever lost, which is probably why Nephi lamented so much when he saw the vision of those with his namesake destroyed. They became Sons of Perdition the same way Corianton was in the process of becoming. It is likely that the powers given to the Nephites via the sacrament (which was different than our sacrament) were administered unrighteously (“sold” to people for gold, not after they had born witness of their worthiness and preparation to be baptized by their repentance). The Nephites boasted of their strength and lost the light. As an aside, if recovering these lost ones is possible (even if it is “not easy”), and that effort is initiated by the Gentiles, what are we waiting for?

    Alma must have been questioning his own judgment in bestowing such power on a young one. But we can see that becoming a Son of Perdition is not an instantaneous thing. Fortunately, Corianton figured it out and got back on track. And what a wonderful lesson of forgiveness it is. In fact, I suspect that Corianton talked about it for the rest of his days and a lot of good came out of it. After all, the purpose of his ministry was to prepare the minds of the people, who would in turn “prepare the minds of their children to hear the word at the time of [the Lord’s] coming.”


    In regards to the Mentinah Archives…. it is a pseudepigraphal work which distracts from the purpose of the Book of Mormon. Like other writings of the same ilk, it tries to fill in the gaps of the story, because we’re all curious about what happened to Hagoth, right? Even though Mormon said that as far as he knew, “they were drowned in the depths of the sea.” He didn’t know where his ships ended up, or the one that followed them northward. Except look here, a book which gives us the answer to so many questions!

    This work comes from a culture who grew up with Paul Harvey, Hollywood movie remakes and cover bands. Surely there is a “rest of the story” here that will relieve our itching curiosity! Surely there is a secret narrative that someone can tell us which fills our ears with fanciful adventures and back-stories. Surely we can’t take Mormon’s word for it that they simply drowned. That would be so boring!

    The Archives have another version of this very story of Corianton, one which brings into question Alma’s work and judgment. Those who believe it now have to set Alma’s words aside, as well as Mormon’s. And therein lies the ruse. Therein lies the distraction and the stumbling block. It is a destroyer of faith. And speaking of faith, we won’t know “the rest of the story” until we have the faith like unto the Brother of Jared. The “greater things” are contained in that record, not in some contrived counterfeit.

  11. Inspire, you craft a competent argument regarding whether Corianton had received the Holy Ghost, but your argument is not determinative; to make it stick, you’d have to establish, beyond contradiction, that “receiving the Holy Ghost” and “being filled with the Holy Spirit” are identical, scripturally speaking.

    I’m not so sure such a conclusive case can be made.

    1. Is “receiving” the same thing as “having place in you” as Alma describes it? I grant that receiving something connotes will and free choice. Perhaps that’s why Corianton was able to turn things around relatively quickly, where for others, it is “not easy.” Perhaps being “filled with the Holy Spirit” was the description of how their bodies were changed to resist hunger, thirst and “afflictions.”

      But the original post says, “Here you have a missionary who has not yet had the Holy Ghost.” Moroni 2:3:

      “And he called them by name, saying: Ye shall call on the Father in my name, in mighty prayer; and after ye have done this ye shall have power that to him upon whom ye shall lay your hands, ye shall give the Holy Ghost; and in my name shall ye give it, for thus do mine apostles. Now Christ spake these words unto them at the time of his first appearing; and the multitude heard it not, but the disciples heard it; and on as many as they laid their hands, fell the Holy Ghost.

      Was Alma a “disciple” of Christ as these 12 apostles were? Perhaps not. Maybe what he was doing was preparatory for Christ to extend that “power.” Then again, maybe he was.

      I think your point brings up an interesting observation, and surely something to note. But I don’t believe it changes the crux of what I was trying to say and what we might want to think about: why would Alma say that denying the Holy Ghost is “unpardonable,” yet leave room for the possibility of forgiveness? Is it really that Corianton “would have forsaken the Lord and there would have been no forgiveness” as the author of this post states? Or could it be that Alma is speaking from experience? After all, he himself was guilty of “murder” (by his own admission). Is it possible that because he was “racked, even with the pains of a damned soul…racked with torment…[and] harrowed up” that he wanted to teach his son how to avoid it?

      It is conjecture to conclusively state so, but perhaps therein lies the ability of one to “with surety hope for a better world,” regardless of how low they have fallen. This is a lesson from the Book of Mormon that is worth our attention.

      Side note: Justice is “unpardonable,” (cannot be robbed) and “exerciseth all his demands,” while “mercy claimeth all which is her own. And thus, none but the truly penitent are saved.” In order to claim mercy, one must behave mercifully. Is it any wonder that Alma wanted to cry repentance with the voice of an angel? He needed to demonstrate the (changed) desire of his heart.

      1. My definition of the Holy Ghost here is having the Baptism of Fire and the Holy Ghost. The reasoning is that he didn’t know enough about the doctrine of Christ, so I surmise that he didn’t have this experience–he wasn’t yet “converted.” Otherwise, why would Alma have spent so much time on the basics of the doctrine of Christ?

      2. But I don’t believe it changes the crux of what I was trying to say and what we might want to think about: why would Alma say that denying the Holy Ghost is “unpardonable,” yet leave room for the possibility of forgiveness?

        Alma did not leave room for forgiveness. Let me separate these two concepts.

        Alma 39:6
        6 For behold, if ye deny the Holy Ghost when it once has had place in you, and ye know that ye deny it, behold, this is a sin which is unpardonable.

        Yea, and whosoever murdereth against the light and knowledge of God, it is not easy for him to obtain forgiveness; yea, I say unto you, my son, that it is not easy for him to obtain a forgiveness.

        This second part is, indeed, Alma’s experience.

        Alma 36:14
        14 Yea, and I had murdered many of his children, or rather led them away unto destruction; yea, and in fine so great had been my iniquities, that the very thought of coming into the presence of my God did rack my soul with inexpressible horror.

        1. So it looks like you’re saying that there is a difference between denying the Holy Ghost (when it has once had a place in you) and murdering against the light and knowledge of God. Okay, I can see that.

          Let’s continue Alma’s words, starting in verse 6:

          For behold, if ye deny the Holy Ghost when it once has had place in you, and ye know that ye deny it, behold, this is a sin which is unpardonable; yea, and whosoever murdereth against the light and knowledge of God, it is not easy for him to obtain forgiveness; yea, I say unto you, my son, that it is not easy for him to obtain a forgiveness.

          And now, my son, I would to God that ye had not been guilty of so great a crime.

          Corianton was at the very least guilty of murdering against the light… the same crime he himself had committed.

        2. Hence…

          2 Nephi 28:15
          15 O the wise, and the learned, and the rich, that are puffed up in the pride of their hearts, and all those who preach false doctrines, and all those who commit whoredoms, and pervert the right way of the Lord, wo, wo, wo be unto them, saith the Lord God Almighty, for they shall be thrust down to hell!

  12. It saddens me that we use shame and guilt (tools of the adversary) with so many of our young (and old) people. The more our scientific understanding of the mind & body expands, the more we learn that the truths we’re taught in the scriptures are meant to make us happy (4 Ne. 1:16). For instance, the shunning we give missionaries who return early, or almost-married couples who mess up physically, or the judgment we receive from a bishop if we confess about pornography–only serve to make us more dependent upon those sins! Our VIctorian norms of shame & guilt need to go. Calling someone to repentance is find, but the cold shoulder is very different.
    This TED talk is worth the watch in this regard:

    1. Nathan Shackelford

      @ jps_seeker

      I saw the TED Talk you shared a while ago. VERY powerful!! Loved the key “message” that he nails at the end… “The opposite of addiction is not sobriety, the opposite of addiction is connection!”

      The closer I come to God, the more I am filled with compassion, and so very much less and less filled with any reason for calling others to “repentance” (at least in the way that concept is thrown around the virtual church-o-sphere).

      Along these same lines, this TED talk provided such a clear message to my heart. I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed with compassion, on a lot of different levels. I experienced a genuine internal shift, a deep repenting (dare I use that word).

      Monica Lewinsky: The Price of Shame

  13. Interesting. Pride is really the gateway to all sin isn’t it?

    I’ve felt at times that even more and more members of the church sometimes wonder why sexual sin keeps getting ranked up there with murder. As a teenager, and even a returned missionary, I sometimes wondered as well, until I had someone explain to me that both are directly related to the life and agency of another individual.

    With murder, you take away a life, and have effectively ended the ability of another individual to use agency in mortality. With sexual sin, you’ve potentially created a life in which a Spirit child of God is essentially already handicapped in how they can apply their agency given circumstances Heavenly Father knows are less than ideal for any of His children ( I realize some of this may be debatable from a doctrinal standpoint but it’s impressed upon me over the years). Every child deserves loving, married parents where remotely possible. Of courser, sexual sin can also lead to abortion/murder, which is also why it’s so serious.

    Now, after a few years of marriage, it adds so much more to understanding the seriousness of sexual sin. The relationship speaks for itself.

    1. The concept that sexual sin is related to murder because it relates to the life and agency of another individual has been a standard point by the Brethren. I know Elder Holland has used this a time or two. Although I’m not certain I would agree these days. If having unmarried sex results in a pregnancy which results in a baby and the parents choose to walk away from their commitment to that child, THEN it may be next to murder. However, say that couple decides to adopt out that child? As a parent of an adopted child, I am eternally grateful that the parents decided to do this in the best interest of who is now my son. The decisions all along the way determine the “heinousness” of the sin, the indulgence in the heat of the moment is only part of the problem. For those parents, the hindsight of that sin to my wife and I, and the birth mother, almost seem to have been guided by God.

      The other problem with the “value of life” argument, is that many sexual acts do not involve bringing life into the world–namely homosexuality. Many youth today also do not have regular sex. Oral sex is considered a less risky experience. So . . . if contraception is used, or if it’s same sex, or oral sex, is the sex less worse because it does NOT involve bringing a life into the world? Youth especially will rationalize with that slippery slope.

      At the end of the day, sexual sin is a sin of indulgence that ties very closely to another’s emotions. THAT maybe why it’s dangerous, as much as the potential to bring life, it plays with the emotions and uses the emotions of another for personal gratification way too often. In sex, two people expose themselves in some of the most vulnerable ways emotionally. It is like playing with emotional fire. Of course, some have played with it so much that they are dead inside and it doesn’t cause anymore damage if they are consenting adults, but I truly believe certain spiritual and emotional sensibilities can be “murdered” if we indulge in it. Yet, is it any different than food indulgence, anger, or other sorts of passions of the flesh and heart? At certain levels, no matter what the indulgence, we murder the light inside because we become slaves to it.

  14. Godfearing servant

    Um deny the holy ghost is not that. It is deny christ the atonement and so forth after the holy ghost revealed it to you in your heart. And if you read miracle of forgiveness it has a better way to understanding this article. It is also turning against the truth and fighting with the devil to turned the hearts of man away from God in your own evil way after you have the holy priesthood.
    Joseph Smith also said that you basically have to have the father reveal Christ to you and then deny him which is unforgiving . So there is a lot of unforgiving sin in the scriptures but one in particular is speaking against the holy ghost after receiving it by authority . And what does the holy ghost reveal is Jesus is the Christ .

  15. you want to talk sexual sin in church?

    lets talk circumcision….you know the fine art of strapping a newborn baby boy down to something called a circumstraint table with his arms and legs tied, while you take very sharp metal objects to your childs penis and cut off a good chunk of it, and the fact you PAID your doctor to do this….all the while your child screams himself into a shock induced coma because he’s been traumatized by getting raped and mutilated.

    THEN…church and society has the gall to act shocked when now the man who you raped and mutilated, has sexual problems like a porn addiction, or has ED, or needs viagra or why he cant bring his wife to orgasm(hint….its the “useless” foreskin you cut off….it aint useless)


    no Abraham did not bring about rape and mutilation of infants. what he calls circumcision is not what is called today circumcision…..and any and all circumcisions are forbidden from the new testament onwards or to paraphrase paul “if you are circumcised, Christ profit you nothing because Christ did away with the old law”

    want to tackle sexual sin in church? let’s start there at the very beginning.

  16. heres a picture of a circumstraint×450/98177.jpg

    it should be noted….replace that baby with a hot model and you basically have bondage porn. just tossing that out there….hell since you are doing mutilation to the body via bondage that is an even more sick porn fetish.

    just tossing that out there….want to stop sexual sin….lets stop sexually violating our children. and no your good intentions dont absolve you of this fact.

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